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Cirque de Nocte: Circus of the Night - Complete Script





FADE IN:

 

EXT  CARTWRIGHT HOME - ESTABLISHING

 

A stillness hangs in the air. The usually normal neighborhood goes silent.  A large circular shadow passes over the houses.

 

INT  PORTER HOME - BEDROOM - MORNING

 

SHANE PORTER (mid-twenties), rolls over restlessly. He moans in his disturbed sleep.

 

EXT  CIRCUS (DREAM) - DAY

 

YOUNG SHANE (10 years old) stands outside a bustling circus. He looks in awe at the ferris wheel. Suddenly he's standing atop the ferris wheel. He reaches for the sky, as if to embrace the stars which have magically appeared.

 

A voice calls out to him.

 

                                                MAN'S VOICE

                Shane. Come down. Come back.

 

INT  CIRCUS - BIG TOP (DREAM) - CONTINUING

 

Young Shane stands in the center ring. All around, excited whispers buzz through the air. A ring of fire rolls up behind him.

 

                                                MAN'S VOICE

                Jump, Shane. Through the ring. Jump.

 

Young Shane looks at the ring. The heat draws beads of sweat on his forehead. He looks at the shadow commanding him.

 

                                                MAN'S VOICE

                Jump.

 

                                                YOUNG SHANE

                I can't. It's fire.

 

A WHIP cracks out. Young Shane inches closer to the ring of fire.

 

                                                MAN'S VOICE

                Jump, or I'll whip her again!

 

The whip cracks out. A girl SCREAMS!

 

EXT  CARTWRIGHT HOME - MORNING

 

REALITY

 

The air shatters as a child SCREAMS!

INT  PORTER HOME - BEDROOM (REALITY) - SAME TIME

 

Shane jerks awake as the scream yanks him from his dream. The screams pierce his sleepy brain. He closes the open window and tries to shake the nightmare from his head.

 

INT  CARTWRIGHT HOME - CONTINUING

 

The screaming continues from upstairs.

 

The phone RINGS. EVELYN CARTWRIGHT (mid thirties), jumps from the table and races up the stairs. On her way up, the phone gets knocked off the hook.

 

The female voice on the phone belongs to MARQUELLE EVANGELISTA.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                                (on the phone, sultry)

                Hey Rocky. It's Marquelle. I want you-

 

Evelyn's son, FISCHER (8 yrs), picks up the phone from off the floor.

 

                                                FISCHER

                Hello?

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                                (on phone, slightly surprised)

                Hello, yourself. Who's this?

 

                                                FISCHER

                Fischer Alan Cartwright.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Fischer. Nice to meet you. How old are you, Fischer?

 

                                                FISCHER

                Eight.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Tell me about yourself.

 

INT  CARTWRIGHT HOME - BEDROOM - CONTINUING

 

Evelyn holds her shaking daughter, ALI MICHELLE (6 yrs). Ali whimpers as her eyes slowly creep back to the corner.

 

                                                EVELYN

                It's all right honey. Mommy's here. Shh. It's all right.

From the corner, Ali's eyes travel to the partially open closet door.

 

A glimmer shines off something black, like a large eye. Ali's scream catches in her throat and she buries her face in her mom's chest. Her tortured sobs rack her entire frame. No sound emerges except muffled gasps of terror.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Ali? Are you all right?

 

Ali shakes her head vigorously.

 

                                                EVELYN

                What? What's the matter, sweetie?

 

Ali points to the closet. Something stirs inside.

 

Slowly, Evelyn gets up and crosses the floor to the closet. Ali watches from the bed, transfixed.

 

The hanging clothing swishes as something moves inside the closet. Evelyn reaches out and grabs for the open door. It flies open at her! Startled, She jumps and falls backward onto the floor.

 

Their cat, ELLIOT, races out of the closet and tears out of the room.

 

Evelyn laughs in relief.

 

                                                EVELYN

                It was just Elliot, sweetie. Just Elliot.

 

Ali shakes her head no.

 

INT  CARTWRIGHT HOME - KITCHEN - CONTINUING

 

Fischer continues on the phone with Marquelle.

 

                                                FISCHER

                Ali's six. But she's a big scaredy baby. She has to have two night lights.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                                (on phone)

                Really? But you're not afraid of anything, are you, Fischer?

                                                FISCHER

                No. Not even dragonflies. They have big eyes, you know.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                                (on phone)

                Yes, I know all about the big scary eyes.

 

Fischer wraps himself in the long phone cord.

 

                                                EVELYN (O.S.)

                Fischer?

 

Marquelle hears Evelyn's voice.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                                (on phone)

                Fischer, tell your father that Mr. Andros will contact him soon.

                                (click)

 

Fischer hangs up the phone.

 

                                                EVELYN

                What are you doing?

 

Fischer looks up innocently from his incriminating position.

 

                                                FISCHER

                Nothing.

 

               CUT TO:

 

EXT  CARTWRIGHT HOME - SAME TIME

 

ROCKY CARTWRIGHT (late 30's) jogs up to the house. Trim and athletic, he wears a confident smile. He smiles and nods at his pretty neighbor (and sister-in-law), SARAH PORTER (mid-20's).

 

Sarah has her hair pulled back in a ponytail as she digs at the weeds in her flower garden. She's on her hands and knees, and her bottom sticks up a little.

 

Rocky takes note of this and pauses for a brief look before speaking.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Morning, Sarah.

 

                                                SARAH

                Hi, Rock.

                                                ROCKY

                Looking good.

 

Sarah smiles at the compliment.

 

                                                SARAH

                Thanks. I just wish I could get rid of all these weeds.

 

                                                ROCKY

                I might just have to sneak over in the middle of the night sometime. You know that, don't you?

 

                                                SARAH

                Sure. My pruning shears are nice and sharp.

 

Sarah's front door opens. SHANE steps out. He shakes his head, still a little groggy.

 

                                                SHANE

                Morning, babe.

 

                                                SARAH

                Hey, sweetheart. What's the matter?

 

                                                SHANE

                I had a strange dream.

 

                                                SARAH

                Tell me about it.

 

Shane looks over and notices Rocky. He also notices Rocky looking at Sarah.

 

                                                SHANE

                There was this guy. And he was looking at you kind of like he was checking you out. And so I slapped him upside the head and flushed him down the toilet. Two flusher. He was a big piece of -

 

Shane stops as Sarah holds up her finger.

 

                                                SARAH

                No cussing. Funny how dreams are like that.

 

                                                SHANE

                Yeah. Good thing, too. Don't want anyone getting on my bad side. Subconscious violent tendencies and such.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Yep. Sometimes I get 'em, too. 'Cept mine usually have ... um.

 

Rocky fades off as his attention zooms in on Sarah standing and stretching. She kisses Shane good morning.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Well, I'd better be getting inside. Got my woman making breakfast.

 

                                                SHANE

                Wouldn't want that bacon to get cold.

                                (coughs)

                Pig.

 

                                                ROCKY

                What was that?

 

                                                SARAH

                Pick.

 

                                                SHANE

                Yeah. Pick a flower on the way in.

                                (quieter)

                Pig.

 

Rocky stops again, almost hearing this time.

 

                                                ROCKY

                I get it. I get it. You're trying to use suggestion on me to get me to pick a flower for Evelyn.

 

Shane and Sarah nod at each other and at Rocky.

 

                                                SARAH

                That's it.

 

                                                SHANE

                Yeah. No getting anything past you.

                                (quiet)

                Pig.

 

Evelyn steps out on the porch. She looks over at Shane and Sarah.

                                                SHANE

                Morning, Sis.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Good morning.

                                (to Rocky)

                We need to talk.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Okay.

 

He gives Shane a thumbs up as he picks a rose from his flower bed, but stabs his hand on the thorns, drawing blood.

 

Rocky goes inside his house.

 

                                                SHANE

                Idiot.

 

INT  CARTWRIGHT HOME - KITCHEN - CONTINUING

 

Rocky tousles Fischer's hair and shoos him out. Evelyn leans back on the counter. Rocky looks around, but sees no breakfast.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Isn't something missing?

 

                                                EVELYN

                Like, "Good morning, dear?"

 

Rocky dives into the refrigerator, looking for breakfast. (The rose is still in his hand.)

 

                                                ROCKY

                Yeah, good morning, babe. What's up?

 

                                                EVELYN

                Ali is having nightmares again. She woke up screaming.

 

Rocky pulls out a piece of ham and shoves it in his mouth.

 

                                                ROCKY

                So, what? We take her to a shrink?

 

                                                EVELYN

                Rocky. This is not a joke. Something is going on inside her that is terrifying her. Rocky, she's scared. Our little girl. And where are you? Out jogging.

Rocky opens a bottle of orange juice and plops the rose in, stem first. He drops to a knee and presents it to Evelyn.

 

                                                ROCKY

                A rose by any other name would still not be as beautiful as you, Evie.

 

The stern look holds fast on Evie's face, but she takes the rose and gives the orange juice back to her husband.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Rocky, I'm serious.

 

                                                ROCKY

                So am I. You are absolutely the most beautiful creature. This rose; it's embarrassed to be next to you. Listen.

 

Rocky holds the rose up to Evelyn's ear. He gets really close and whispers.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Put me back outside, please. I can't feel beautiful in here.

 

Evelyn rolls her eyes, but Rocky sees his opening and continues.

 

                                                ROCKY

                What'dya want me to do? I got work.

 

She sets the rose down on the counter.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Could you just go talk to her? Please?

 

                                                ROCKY

                No sooner said, than I get it done.

 

Rocky wipes his hand on his shorts. A smear of BLOOD marks the evidence of his injury.

 

Evelyn takes the rose and plops it into the vase with all of the other roses from this week.

 

               CUT TO:

INT  PORTER HOME - SAME TIME

 

Shane's hair reaches out every which way, resisting Sarah's attempts to comb it.

 

                                                SHANE

                I was at a circus.

 

                                                SARAH

                That's the third time this week. Do you think it means anything? It has to mean something.

 

                                                SHANE

                I don't know. It was weird. Not like normal circuses. And ... it was like I'd been there before.

 

                                                SARAH

                Do you remember what this one was called?

 

Shane thinks back, but can't quite make it out.

 

                                                SHANE

                No. It's gone. There was a whip. And a girl.

 

Sarah's eyes widen a little at this. She puts a plate of toast in front of Shane.

 

                                                SARAH

                Shane, this is starting to worry me. You're not sleeping well. And you keep having these dreams.

 

                                                SHANE

                It's all so ... I don't know. It's like this has all happened before.  And it's starting all over again.

 

                                                SARAH

                What do you mean?

 

                                                SHANE

                I don't know. Forget I said it. Mmm. Toast.

 

                                                SARAH

                Eat. I don't want your blood sugar low.

 

                                                SHANE

                You need to eat, too.

Sarah pulls a health shake from the fridge. She holds it up to prove that she's eating something.

 

                                                SHANE

                Those things'll rot your stomach.

 

                                                SARAH

                You like my flat tummy, so ... down the hatch.

 

She takes a swig of the canned shake.

 

Shane shoves the toast in his mouth and pulls a white shirt on.

 

Suddenly, a BRIGHT FLASH of light outside blinds them both.

 

                                                SHANE

                                (with his mouth full)

                CAMERA!

 

Sarah grabs the camera and they both run out to the street. Shane snatches the camera from her and takes pictures of the sky.

 

                                                SARAH

                Did you get it?

 

                                                SHANE

                I don't know. Maybe. I hope I did. Fox Mulder, eat your heart out.

 

Sarah looks up at the sky, then at her husband. She takes him by the shoulders and points him back toward the house.

 

                                                SARAH

                You'd better get your pants on.

 

INT  CARTWRIGHT HOME - BEDROOM - CONTINUING

 

Ali lies curled up on her bed, her thumb in her mouth. Her eyes stay fixed on the closet door.

 

Rocky enters and sits on the foot of the bed. He sets his orange juice down on her little desk.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Hey angel, your mother says you've got a problem. You want to talk about it?

 

Ali pulls her thumb from her mouth and points to the closet.

Rocky looks in the closet.

 

                                                ROCKY

                There a monster in here?

 

He swishes the clothes around, then gets a startled look on his face. His arm disappears up to the shoulder into the closet.

 

                                                ROCKY

                It's got me!

 

Ali screams in absolute terror.

 

Rocky fights with his unseen assailant. Evelyn pushes her way into the room and pulls her daughter close.

 

Rocky braces himself and yanks out his adversary - a stuffed PANDA BEAR.

 

                                                ROCKY

                                (continuing; laughing)

                A ha! There's your problem, Ali. Panda Claus.

 

Ali breaks down in sobs. Evelyn glares at Rocky.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Don't you ever do that again.

 

               CUT TO:

 

EXT  THURGOOD'S - GROCERY STORE - MORNING

 

Shane pulls up on his bike. He walks his bike through the store to the back room.

 

                                                SHANE

                Morning, Oswald.

 

OSWALD MONACO (50's) looks up from the morning paper at his younger assistant.

 

                                                OSWALD MONACO

                Good morning, Shane. Read the paper?

 

                                                SHANE

                Only the obituaries. Didn't make it this week. Someday, though. They're going to say, "Shane Porter, now there was a man who had his head on straight-"

 

                                                OSWALD MONACO

                "And his pants on backwards."

                                (chuckles)

                That gets better every time.

 

A headline on the bottom of the page catches Shane's attention. He stares at it. His bike falls down.

 

                                                SHANE

                "Flying Saucer sighting has residents puzzled." That's four this month.

 

Shane quickly scans the article.

 

                                                SHANE

                Did you see anything this morning?

 

                                                OSWALD MONACO

                A flying saucer? No. I keep the teacups and saucers locked safely away at my house.

 

Shane pulls on his tie.

 

                                                SHANE

                About twenty minutes ago.

 

                                                OSWALD MONACO

                Something rattled the windows. Sounded like a giant lawnmower. You know the ones they use on golf courses?

 

                                                SHANE

                I knew it! Yes. Oswald, you are the man.

 

Shane picks up his bike.

 

                                                SHANE

                I've gotta run to the photomat real quick. Be back in ten.

                                                OSWALD MONACO

                You'd better be. If those watermelons aren't out like the coupon says, there'll be hell to pay.

 

Oswald chuckles as Shane races out the door.

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  CARTWRIGHT HOME - MASTER BEDROOM - MORNING

 

Rocky pulls on a shirt and tie. His cellular phone rings. He grabs it out of his sport jacket as he pulls it on.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Cartwright Construction. Rocky here.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                                (on phone)

                Hello, Rock'em Sock'em. It's Markie.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Hello. How is the deal going? Are we almost ready?

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                                (on phone)

                Listen. I've got something for you.

 

                                                ROCKY

                I don't have time to talk right now. Little Ali -

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                                (on phone)

                Touching. Meet me at Granby's Diner in twenty minutes.

 

A smile crosses Rocky's face. It quickly disappears when Evelyn walks in.

 

                                                ROCKY

                I'll just have to call Mr. Andros later to discuss the contract.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                                (on phone)

                Bye.

 

He puts his phone away.

                                                EVELYN

                Who was that?

 

                                                ROCKY

                Business. The Andros deal. I told you about that, didn't I? Big deal. Sixteen million dollars.

 

                                                EVELYN

                You really scared her.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Who?

 

                                                EVELYN

                Ali. Your daughter. You scared her half to death. What kind of father are you?

 

                                                ROCKY

                Hey, you're the one that wanted to get married. Don't blame me for any of this.

 

Evelyn slams the door so the kids won't hear.

 

                                                EVELYN

                                (whispering harshly)

                Me? You're the one who wanted the tax break. Big construction man ought to have a wife. You said. Well here I am. You got Dad's business on a silver platter. Now how about a little respect?

 

                                                ROCKY

                Don't even start Evie. We don't have the time.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Why? You have another big meeting to run off to?

 

                                                ROCKY

                As a matter of fact ...

 

Evelyn sits on the bed.

 

                                                EVELYN

                You've always got meetings. Everyone else gets Rocky Cartwright, except the Cartwrights.

                                (sigh)

                Not even me ... I miss you.

 

Rocky picks up his briefcase.

 

                                                ROCKY

                I'm late. I'll bring you something pretty.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Don't bother. I don't want presents. I want you.

 

Rocky kisses her on the forehead.

 

                                                ROCKY

                So does everybody else. That's why I've gotta go.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Fine. I love you.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Right back atcha kid.

 

Rocky smiles winningly and exits.

 

                                                EVELYN

                I'll miss you.

 

Evelyn flops down on the bed. It crinkles as she falls back on an OPEN NEWSPAPER. She rolls over and picks up the paper.

 

On the bottom of the opposite page reads the article about the flying saucer.

 

                                                EVELYN

                                (continuing; reading)

                "Sold out circus draws rave reviews."

                                (sighs)

                I like circuses.

 

               CUT TO:

 

EXT  PORTER HOME - BACKYARD - CONTINUING

 

Sarah sits on her back patio singing along to the radio. She casually flips through a gardening magazine.

 

She keeps humming, even though the song ended.

                                                RADIO HOST

                We're back now, and we just got a call from a listener who swears he just saw a UFO.

 

Fischer pushes his way through the hedge separating the two yards. He swings a stick lazily as he wanders over to the patio.

 

                                                SARAH

                Hi, Fischer.

 

                                                FISCHER

                Hi.

 

                                                SARAH

                Have you eaten?

 

                                                FISCHER

                Uh huh.

 

                                                SARAH

                Yeah? Still hungry?

 

                                                FISCHER

                Uh huh.

 

                                                SARAH

                Yeah? Here. There's some toast on the table.

 

Fischer goes through the open kitchen door and takes a piece of toast off the table. It falls on the floor, but he takes a bite anyway.

 

The radio host continues his monologue.

 

                                                RADIO HOST

                I mean, seriously, the probability of UFO's actually existing is, if you'll pardon the pun, astronomical. There's just no scientific evidence.

 

                                                SARAH

                                (to radio)

                Bull. There's plenty of evidence.

 

Fischer chews thoughtfully on his toast.

 

                                                FISCHER

                What's a UFO?

                                                SARAH

                An Unidentified Flying Object. Do you know what that is?

 

                                                FISCHER

                Uh unh.

 

Sarah turns down the radio.

 

                                                SARAH

                Just like there are people on our world, there are people that live on other planets, too.

 

                                                FISCHER

                Like the moon?

 

                                                SARAH

                Kind of like that.

 

Fischer cocks his head sideways as if hearing something.

 

                                                FISCHER

                What do they look like?

 

                                                SARAH

                People say a lot of different things about what they look like. Some think that they have really big eyes.

 

                                                FISCHER

                Like owls.

 

                                                SARAH

                Sometimes. But their eyes are more like a dragonfly. Big and black. At least some of them.

 

                                                FISCHER

                I don't like dragonflies.

 

Sarah pours Fischer a glass of orange juice.

 

                                                SARAH

                Are you afraid of them?

 

                                                FISCHER

                No! I'm not afraid of anything. But Ali is. She's just a big scaredy baby.

 

                                                EVELYN (O.S.)

                Fischer!

Evelyn walks around the hedge.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Sarah, have you seen ... oh there you are. It's time to get ready for school.

 

                                                FISCHER

                I don't wanna go.

 

                                                EVELYN

                I think you'd better.

 

                                                FISCHER

                I wanna stay here and talk about flying saucers.

 

Evelyn shoots Sarah a questioning glance.

 

                                                SARAH

                He heard it on the radio.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Come on, Fischer. There's no such thing as flying saucers, so you can just put that out of your head.

 

                                                FISCHER

                But Mom.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Say thank you to Sarah for the toast.

 

                                                FISCHER

                Thank you.

 

                                                SARAH

                You're welcome.

                                (to Evelyn)

                I've got to run a few errands, but I'll be back by eleven.

 

                                                EVELYN

                I'll pick up lunch. Ali isn't doing well, so I'm going to keep her home. She'll be joining us.

 

                                                SARAH

                Sounds like fun. I'll get out my dolls.

 

Evelyn takes Fischer's hand and pulls him home.

                                                SARAH

                Bye, Fischer.

 

                                                FISCHER

                Bye.

 

                                                SARAH

                                (very quietly)

                They're for real. They're very real.

 

               CUT TO:

 

EXT  GRANBY'S DINER - MORNING

 

Rocky pulls into the parking lot. The diner sits in a nice part of town. Large business buildings tower over this historic restaurant.

 

Rocky sees Marquelle's company BMW in the parking lot. He smiles, straightens his tie, and walks in.

 

INT  GRANBY'S DINER - CONTINUING

 

Rocky looks over the patrons. MARQUELLE waves to him from a corner booth. She wears a short necklace with a BLACK STONE.

 

Rocky joins her at the booth.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                I ordered waffles for you.

 

She sips her coffee.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                You have such good coffee here.

 

                                                ROCKY

                It's not bad. What are you having?

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Oh, something terribly fattening and sinful.

 

The WAITRESS brings their order. Waffles and a bagel and a small bowl of fruit salad.

 

                                                ROCKY

                That's fattening?

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Yes. Terribly.

                                                ROCKY

                What do you eat for dinner?

 

Rocky digs into his waffles.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Care to find out?

 

The fork stops halfway back to his mouth.

 

                                                ROCKY

                What?

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Gotcha.

 

                                                ROCKY

                                (chuckles)

                You got me. For a minute, I thought that was an invitation.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Don't be silly. What could be more innocent than a gorgeous businesswoman and a married man eating breakfast together in a corner booth?

 

                                                ROCKY

                This is a business meeting.

 

Marquelle waves her spoon dismissively.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Whatever's best on your conscience, but we both want something.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Yeah. I want those contracts signed.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Testy, testy.

 

She reaches into her bag and pulls out some papers.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Here. I need your signature. There, there, and there.

 

                                                ROCKY

                What's this for?

                                                MARQUELLE

                Preliminary stuff. I've got to show Mr. Andros that I've talked to you about everything.

 

Rocky signs the papers.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Here.

 

Marquelle quickly stuffs the papers back into her bag.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                I'll give these to Mr. Andros. He'll get the contracts ready for tonight.

 

                                                ROCKY

                'Bout time.

 

Rocky pours more strawberry syrup on his waffles.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                You got some on your hand.

 

Rocky looks at his hand. The thorn pricks are still a little wet.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Not syrup. Blood.

 

Marquelle takes his hand and kisses it.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Poor thing. Was it worth it?

 

No response from Rocky. The silence grows uncomfortable.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                So, how are your kids?

 

                                                ROCKY

                Fine. 'Cept Ali's having nightmares again.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Poor thing. I'll bet I could help her. Take her mind off all her worries.

 

                                                ROCKY

                                (muttering)

                More than Evelyn can do.

                                                MARQUELLE

                What would you do for me then? Hmm? Give me a thank you card? Handshake? Kiss on the cheek? Or maybe get a little down and dirty?

 

                                                ROCKY

                Just get the contracts. Then we'll talk.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                I'm going to hold you to that.

 

Rocky shoves the last bite of waffle in his mouth. Marquelle waves down the waitress.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Can we get our check?

 

She hands a credit card to the Waitress.

 

                                                ROCKY

                I'll get it.

 

Marquelle puts her hand over his. The moment isn't lost on Rocky.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                So chivalrous. But this is a new milennium. The rules have changed. Power is what we're all after. Emotions are power. Control emotion, and you have the power.

 

The Waitress comes back with the credit card and receipt. She sets it down on the corner of the table.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Excuse me.

 

Marquelle stands, "accidentally" knocking the credit card to the floor. She bends down to pick it up, giving Rocky quite a view of her figure.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                                (continuing; whispering)

                Whoever has the power, makes the rules.

                                (standing up)

                Gotcha.

Rocky finishes up his breakfast and stands up quickly. He hits his hip on the corner of the table. Wincing in pain, he stands to try to be a gentleman.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                He'll give you the tip. See you tonight, Rocky.

 

Rocky fumbles in his wallet. He pulls out a ten dollar bill.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Keep it.

 

Rocky limps outside. Marquelle honks her horn as she drives away.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Hey! I want those contracts signed tonight!

 

Marquelle just waves out the window.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Women.

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  THURGOOD'S - GROCERY STORE - MID MORNING

 

Shane stocks diapers on the shelf. A WOMAN looks over the baby foods nearby.

 

                                                SHANE

                Extra absorbent. Right. Best kept secret in advertising.

 

The WOMAN overhears him and approaches.

 

                                                WOMAN

                Do you have children?

 

                                                SHANE

                Not yet. But I did have a water balloon.

 

The woman gives him a quizzical look.

                                                SHANE

                In college. It was a project. I carried around a water balloon. To get the parental instincts flowing.

 

                                                WOMAN

                How long did you carry around your balloon?

 

                                                SHANE

                A week. Then there was just a magical something that happened. A week turned into the rest of the semester. I still have little Sebastian in a box in my dresser.

 

                                                WOMAN

                O-kay.

 

She walks quickly away.

 

                                                SHANE

                Wait - he had a brother.

                                (quieter)

                Ichabod. That's how I know these diapers don't ... never mind.

 

Oswald comes over the loudspeaker.

 

                                                OSWALD MONACO

                                (on intercom)

                Shane, phone call, line two.

 

Shane sets the diapers on the shelf. He points at the package.

 

                                                SHANE

                Someday I'm going to expose your little conspiracy.

 

INT  THURGOOD'S - GROCERY STORE - BACK ROOM - CONTINUING

 

Shane sits down at his desk and hits one side of the receiver to make it pop up into his hand. It doesn't and hits the floor.

 

Intercut as needed.

 

                                                SHANE

                Thurgood's, Shane Porter speaking.

 

                                                SARAH

                Hey, cutie.

                                                SHANE

                Hey, yourself, beautiful.

 

                                                SARAH

                Did you drop off the film?

 

                                                SHANE

                Yep. It should be done by now.

 

                                                SARAH

                You're going to pick it up, right?

 

Shane twirls a pencil in his fingers.

 

                                                SHANE

                Yep. Say, I was stocking the diapers just a minute ago-

 

                                                SARAH

                Shane, no, please. Don't start again.

 

                                                SHANE

                We're not getting any younger. I want a little redheaded terror going around sticking things up his nose.

 

                                                SARAH

                I can't talk about this right now. Please.

                                (sigh)

                I was just calling to ask if you wanted to go out tonight.

 

Shane drops the pencil back onto his desk.

 

                                                SHANE

                Sure. Whatever.

 

                                                SARAH

                I don't want you to be mad.

 

                                                SHANE

                I'm not. See you tonight then.

 

                                                SARAH

                I love you.

 

                                                SHANE

                Yeah.

 

He slowly hangs up the phone. He wipes his hand over his face. He looks up to see  the open newspaper on his desk. It's open to a page reading, "SOLD OUT CIRCUS DRAWS RAVE REVIEWS".

 

                                                SHANE

                I love circuses.

 

EXT  CIRCUS (FLASHBACK) - SUNSET

 

Young Shane, ten years old, stands with an older woman outside the circus.  Bright tents cast ominous shadows in the twilight glow.

 

The sign outside reads "DREAMLAND CIRCUS".

 

                                                YOUNG SHANE

                It looks dark.

 

The woman, AMANDA, looks down at him and smiles reassuringly. She wears a short necklace with a polished BLACK STONE.

 

                                                AMANDA

                We're going to have lots of fun. I'll let you get anything you want.

 

They walk towards the main tent. Suddenly everything silences. Young Shane looks around nervously.

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  THURGOOD'S - GROCERY STORE (REALITY) - BACK ROOM - CONTINUING

 

Shane shakes his head. The memory disappears. But the traces around the edges of his mind cloud his emotions. The repressed memory flees back into the shadows of his mind.

 

                                                SHANE

                Weird.

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  PORTER HOME - LIVING ROOM - CONTINUING

 

Sarah draws herself up into a ball on the sofa.  Silent tears well behind her eyes, but don't quite fall.

 

                                                SARAH

                I don't want to have a baby yet.

 

The phone RINGS.

                                                SARAH

                Hello. Oh, hi Evelyn. All right. Yeah, sure, I'll watch her for a little while. No, I don't have to be in until one today. Just five hours. Okay. Mm-hmm. Bye.

 

Sarah puts down the phone. She wipes her eyes and straightens the cushions on the sofa.

 

                                                SARAH

                Better put something better on.

 

She walks back to her bedroom. On the way, she passes the GUEST ROOM.  The door is slightly ajar.

 

INT  PORTER HOME - GUEST ROOM - CONTINUING

 

A baby cradle and rocking chair are the only furniture in the room.  The walls are bedecked with soothing colors and wallpaper in pastel colors. Inside the cradle, a life-sized baby doll lays quietly.

 

Sarah reaches in and strokes the doll's head. The emotions well inside her and she does her best to hold them back.

 

                                                SARAH

                I'm not ready! I'm just not ready.

 

The doorbell rings. Sarah blinks back the tears and wipes the remainder away with the heel of her hands. She quickly wipes her nose on her long sleeve and goes to the door.

 

INT  PORTER HOME - LIVING ROOM - CONTINUING

 

The door opens. Ali stands there clutching her little purse and blanket. Evelyn gives her a little push to go inside.

 

                                                EVELYN

                I just need to go out for a little bit. I know you said you'd do it, but I'll pick up lunch for us.

 

She notices Sarah's eyes.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Are you all right?

 

Sarah nods mutely.

                                                EVELYN

                I'm serious. Are you okay?

 

                                                SARAH

                Yeah. Fine. Just a little emotional, you know, getting close to that time of the month.

 

                                                EVELYN

                All right.

                                (to Ali)

                You be a good girl for Sarah. Mommy'll be back in a couple of hours with lunch. Kisses.

 

She leans down and kisses Ali.

 

                                                EVELYN

                                (continuing; to Sarah)

                She's had a rough morning. She might not be very talkative.

 

                                                SARAH

                She'll be fine.

 

Evelyn leaves. Sarah closes the door.

 

                                                SARAH

                How are you today, Ali?

 

Ali shrugs.

 

                                                SARAH

                I feel about the same. Want to listen to music? I've got Muppets.

 

Ali nods and smiles for the first time this morning. Sarah puts on a Muppets CD. Ali plops down on the sofa. Her little feet bounce in time to the music.

 

                                                ALI

                Where's your dolls?

 

                                                SARAH

                You want to play dolls?

 

                                                ALI

                Yeah.

 

                                                SARAH

                I'll go get them.

Sarah goes down the hall into the DEN.

 

INT  PORTER HOME - DEN - CONTINUING

 

The walls and shelves are covered with UFO models, pictures, and every imaginable bit of extraterrestrial memorabilia. Standing in the eminent place of honor on Shane's desk is an 18-inch tall ALIEN FIGURE.

 

Sarah opens a closet and rummages through boxes, looking for her box of dolls.

 

INT  PORTER HOME - GUEST ROOM - CONTINUING

 

Ali walks down the hall and pushes open the guest room door. She enters and smiles as she sees the soft colors and comforting pictures.

 

Like a magnet, she's drawn to the crib. She looks in at the doll. As she reaches her hand through the bars of the crib-

 

The DOLL rolls over! An ALIEN FACE looks back at her!

 

Ali screams and falls backwards. She curls into a ball on the floor and screams and kicks in terror.

 

Sarah throws the door open.

 

                                                SARAH

                Ali! What happened?

 

She picks up the terrified little girl. She whispers and soothes Ali as best she can. Ali quiets down a little and points to the crib.

 

Sarah sets Ali down in the rocking chair and looks in the crib.

 

The blanket covers the doll's face. She pulls it back. The ALIEN FIGURE from Shane's desk lies there.

 

Sarah picks up the figure.

 

                                                SARAH

                What?

 

She takes Ali's hand and walks back into the den. The Alien Figure is missing from the desk.

 

Ali stops at the doorway. She won't budge an inch further into the room. She just looks warily at the pictures on the walls.

                                                SARAH

                Ali? You don't like these pictures, do you?

 

Ali shakes her head.

 

                                                SARAH

                That's okay. Come on. I've got the dolls.

 

Sarah sets the Alien Figure on the desk and picks up the box of dolls.

 

               CUT TO:

 

EXT  CARTWRIGHT HOME - MID MORNING

 

MR. ANDROS, medium build, dark hair, and a bemused look in his eye, steps out of his dark car and walks to the door. He pulls an ENVELOPE from his suit pocket.

 

He KNOCKS on the door. No response. He looks around, seemingly amused by the neighborhood.

 

Still no answer at the door. He picks up a GARDEN GNOME from the flower bed. He sets the envelope in the door, halfway between the doorknob and the ground. He holds the Garden Gnome up and gives it strict instructions.

 

                                                ANDROS

                I'll only say this once: I'm trusting you. Keep this envelope safe. A lot depends on you doing your job.

 

He sets the Gnome down in front of the door.

 

Then Andros whirls around, his fingers pointing like a gun. He makes a shooting noise at the tree across the street. Birds scatter. He blows his finger and holsters his finger gun.

 

                                                ANDROS

                                (continuing; to birds)

                Now be quiet.

 

He laughs, but his eyes reflect no mirth.

 

               CUT TO:

EXT  ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - NOON

 

Marquelle pulls up in her car to the school. She walks inside the office.

 

INT  ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - OFFICE - CONTINUING

 

Marquelle pulls a paper out of her bag.

 

The SECRETARY, MRS. AAMES, greets her.

 

                                                MRS. AAMES

                May I help you?

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Yes. I'm a friend of the Cartwright family. I'm here to pick up their son, Fischer.

 

               CUT TO:

 

EXT  CARTWRIGHT CONSTRUCTION - NOON

 

Evelyn pulls up to the building. She parks her car out of sight of the windows. She looks around to make sure that no one saw her pull in. Then she goes to the door. She pulls out her cell phone and dials.

 

INT  CARTWRIGHT CONSTRUCTION - CONTINUING

 

Rocky sits with his feet up on the secretary's desk. Her feet are crossed atop his legs. She blows bubbles as they sit there. Rocky thumbs through an architectural magazine.

 

The telephone rings.  The secretary, BROOKE, answers.

 

                                                BROOKE

                Cartwright Construction. Brooke, speaking. May I help you?

 

                                                EVELYN

                Hello, Brooke. How did the cheerleading tryouts go?

 

                                                BROOKE

                Mrs. Cartwright.

                                (pushes MUTE on phone)

                I heard they let you out of the pound.

                                (lets off MUTE)

                What can I do for you?

 

                                                EVELYN

                I need to talk to my husband.

Brooke looks over at Rocky. He mouths the word, "MEETING".

 

                                                BROOKE

                I'm sorry. He's in a meeting right now.

 

                                                EVELYN

                When are you expecting him back?

 

Brooke looks to Rocky again. He shrugs.

 

                                                BROOKE

                I'm not sure. Probably around two.

 

Rocky nods approval.

 

                                                EVELYN

                All right. Just tell him I'll stop by sometime today.

 

                                                BROOKE

                I'll give him the message.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Well, that was exciting.

 

The door opens. Evelyn walks in. Rocky stands up quickly, dumping Brooke onto the floor.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Evie!

 

                                                EVELYN

                Am I interrupting your ... meeting?

 

                                                ROCKY

                No. No. Of course not. I was just making sure that Brooke's heel wasn't broken.

                                (to Brooke)

                It's fine. No more twisted ankles for you. Good as new.

 

Brooke picks herself up off the ground, barely keeping herself modest in the process.

 

                                                BROOKE

                Hi.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Surprise.

Evelyn shoots a dirty look at Rocky. He doesn't miss the implication.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Evie, come in.

 

He points to his office.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Brooke, hold my calls. I'm not available for anyone.

 

                                                BROOKE

                Not even-

 

Rocky cuts her off before she can finish.

 

                                                ROCKY

                No one. Got it?

 

                                                BROOKE

                Yeah. Sure.

 

The door closes.

 

                                                BROOKE

                                (continuing; toward Rocky's office)

                Got a couch if you need it. And you probably will.

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - OFFICE - SAME TIME

 

Mrs. Aames looks at the signed note Marquelle gave her.

 

                                                MRS. AAMES

                And he authorized you to pick up Fischer today?

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                That's what it said. I talked with him this morning.

 

                                                MRS. AAMES

                This is not what we normally do. I'm going to have to call him.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                He's at work right now. Do you have the number?

Mrs. Aames looks through her rolodex.

 

                                                MRS. AAMES

                No. I don't believe I do. Let me call their home number.

 

The phone rings, and the answering machine picks up. Mrs. Aames hangs up before leaving a message.

 

                                                MRS. AAMES

                What's Mr. Cartwright's work number?

 

INT  CARTWRIGHT CONSTRUCTION - ROCKY'S OFFICE - CONTINUING

 

Evelyn sits down across the desk from Rocky. His eyes scan the desk guiltily. He spies a pair of earrings under some papers and quickly puts his hand atop them.

 

                                                ROCKY

                So, Evie, what's on your mind?

 

                                                EVELYN

                You.

 

                                                ROCKY

                This is quite a surprise.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Really.

 

Rocky sweeps the papers and the earrings off his desk with a sweep of his hand (made to look accidental).

 

                                                ROCKY

                Really. It is. I've been busy with so many things-

 

                                                EVELYN

                Meetings? Shoe repair? Or maybe you were looking for a run in her nylons?

 

                                                ROCKY

                She's not wearing -  No ... Evie, it's not like that.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Then tell me. What is it like, Rocky? Why did she lie to me?

 

A KNOCK at the door. Brooke enters.

                                                BROOKE

                Rocky, line one.

 

                                                ROCKY

                                (deep breath)

                Brooke ... I'm in the middle of something. Take care of it. Whatever it is, it's fine.

 

                                                BROOKE

                O - kay.

 

She closes the door behind her.

 

                                                BROOKE

                It's your head.

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - OFFICE - SAME TIME

 

Mrs. Aames hangs up the phone. She looks surprised at the response to her call.

 

                                                MRS. AAMES

                Well, that was Mr. Cartwright's secretary.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                That would be Brooke.

 

                                                MRS. AAMES

                Yes. She said that Mr. Cartwright was in a very important business meeting, and that he had authorized her to speak on his behalf. Your story checks out, so I don't see any reason why Fischer can't go with you.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Wonderful.

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  CARTWRIGHT CONSTRUCTION - ROCKY'S OFFICE - NOON

 

Evelyn folds her hands in her lap, seemingly calm. But her knuckles grow white from the pressure. Rocky squirms under her constant penetrating gaze.

 

                                                EVELYN

                I thought I meant something to you.

                                                ROCKY

                You do.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Then why? Why are you doing this?

 

                                                ROCKY

                                (apologetic)

                Evelyn ... I'm sorry. What do you want me to do?

 

Evelyn softens a little bit.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Just come with me to lunch.

 

                                                ROCKY

                I thought you had a lunch date with Sarah.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Please.

 

                                                ROCKY

                All right. Let me just pull some papers together.

 

Evelyn squeezes his hand, then exits.

 

Rocky picks up the earrings off the floor and sticks them in an envelope. He looks around for any other incriminating evidence.

 

INT  CARTWRIGHT CONSTRUCTION - CONTINUING

 

Evelyn picks up the phone and dials Sarah. She does her best to ignore Brooke. Brooke snaps her gum extra loud as she files her nails - just to annoy Evelyn.

 

                                                BROOKE

                He's not all bad, you know. Sometimes he just gets bored.

 

Evelyn slams down the receiver and glares at Brooke.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Bored? BORED? Listen you little wench. He's mine. He may be a jackass, but he's mine. Got it?

 

                                                BROOKE

                You're not as young as you used to be. If I had to look at your face everyday-

Evelyn slaps Brooke across the face.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Slut!

 

Brooke's stares unbelieving at Evelyn, then she bursts into tears. She pushes past Evelyn and locks herself in the bathroom.

 

Rocky emerges from his office. He holds the envelope in his hands. He looks around for Brooke.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Where's Brooke?

 

                                                EVELYN

                I slapped her.

 

Rocky laughs. Evelyn doesn't. His eyebrows furrow in distress.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Let's go.

 

Rocky drops the envelope on Brooke's desk. He opens the door for Evelyn. Then he glances back into the office with the unpleasant expression of a man going to his own execution.

 

               CUT TO:

 

EXT  ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - SAME TIME

 

Marquelle and Fischer walk out of the school toward her car.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                So how has your day gone?

 

                                                FISCHER

                Fine.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Do you remember me? I talked to you on the telephone this morning.

 

                                                FISCHER

                Oh. Yeah. You're my dad's friend.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                That's right.

 

She opens the door for him.

                                                MARQUELLE

                We're gonna have lots of fun today.

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  RESTAURANT - AFTERNOON

 

Evelyn and Rocky sit in a corner booth. Rocky sweats under her watchful gaze.

 

                                                ROCKY

                I'll get a new secretary.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Sure. Just drive by the college. See who looks qualified.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Evie. That's not fair.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Why not?

 

                                                ROCKY

                It just isn't.

 

Evelyn tightens her grip on her steak knife and looks directly into his eyes.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Let me tell you what isn't fair. It's not fair to me to have you take over my father's business. Kick me out-

 

                                                ROCKY

                But you wanted to be home with the kids.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Kick me out. And do who-knows-what with that teenybopper you call a secretary.

 

                                                ROCKY

                She's not-

 

He thinks better of it and shuts up.

 

                                                EVELYN

                I want to see the contracts.

                                                ROCKY

                No.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Half of that business is mine. I want to see the contracts!

 

                                                ROCKY

                They've only got my name on them.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Doesn't matter. I want to see them. Where is all of the money going?

 

Rocky squirms desperately. No way out of this one.

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  TOY STORE - SAME TIME

 

Marquelle lets Fischer run wild. She watches him with a smugly predatory look in her eye.

 

Fischer looks back at her and smiles.

 

                                                FISCHER

                This is the most fun I've had in my entire life!

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Good. The fun's just getting started.

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  PORTER HOME - LIVING ROOM - SAME TIME

 

Ali sits at the coffee table, eating a sandwich. Sarah paces back and forth.

 

The phone rings. Sarah jumps on it.

 

                                                SARAH

                Hello?

 

Shane's voice sounds on the other end.

 

                                                SHANE

                Hey babe. Where are you? Thought we were going to have lunch.

 

                                                SARAH

                Evelyn didn't show.

                                                SHANE

                So ... what?

 

                                                SARAH

                She left Ali here, and said she'd be back.

 

                                                SHANE

                I'm sure she's fine.

 

Ali holds the sandwich in front of her doll, to feed her.

 

                                                SARAH

                I hope so. She seemed a little bit ... I don't know, occupied.

 

                                                SHANE

                Occupied, like how?

 

                                                SARAH

                Like there was something big on her mind.

 

                                                SHANE

                I'm sure she'll be there anytime.

 

Sarah pours a glass of lemonade.

 

                                                SARAH

                If she doesn't, I'll have to call the library.

 

                                                SHANE

                If you do, let me know.

 

Sarah looks out the window to next door. Evelyn pulls into the driveway.

 

                                                SARAH

                She just pulled up.

 

Rocky screeches in right behind her. He jumps out of the truck and yells at her, gesturing wildly.

 

                                                SARAH

                Uh oh.

 

Evelyn picks up the garden gnome on the porch and threatens Rocky with it.

 

                                                SARAH

                I'm gonna have to call you back.

                                                SHANE

                What's wrong?

 

Sarah hangs up the phone.

 

                                                SARAH

                Ali, stay here. I'll be right back.

 

Sarah goes out the door.

 

EXT  CARTWRIGHT HOME - CONTINUING

 

Sarah hurries over to the arguing couple.

 

                                                EVELYN

                That's my money, too.

 

                                                ROCKY

                I told you, it's all there.

 

Sarah interjects.

 

                                                SARAH

                Are you two okay?

 

                                                EVELYN

                Fine. How's Ali?

 

                                                SARAH

                I need to talk with you about her.

 

                                                EVELYN

                What happened?

 

Sarah notices the envelope in the door.

 

                                                SARAH

                What's that?

 

Evelyn picks up the envelope. She opens it. TICKETS to the Circus.

 

                                                EVELYN

                What's this?

 

                                                ROCKY

                What does it look like?

 

                                                EVELYN

                Tickets. To the Cirque de Nocte. That's been sold out for weeks!

 

                                                ROCKY

                Surprise.

Rocky holds his hands out innocently.

 

                                                EVELYN

                And this is supposed to make it all better?

 

Rocky opens his arms wide and smiles graciously.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Hey. Baby.

 

Evelyn pulls the tickets out.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Two family passes for tonight? Oh, I suppose you'll want to bring little Brooke along?

 

Rocky pulls the tickets from her hand and looks at them.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Two. Huh.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Yeah. Two. That means I get to take who I want. Sarah, want to go to the circus?

 

                                                SARAH

                Oh. Uh, sure. Okay. That'd be fun.

 

                                                EVELYN

                You are not out of the doghouse, mister. Not by any stretch of anybody's imagination.

 

Rocky reaches out and touches Evelyn's arm.

 

                                                ROCKY

                How about this? Dinner's on me.

 

                                                EVELYN

                No pizza. No burgers. And NO rollerskating waitresses.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Okay. Okay. How about ...

 

                                                EVELYN

                No. Not Hooters, either. Sarah?

                                                SARAH

                No. Absolutely not. Um ... how about The Tropics? I've heard that's good.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Yeah. And expensive. Sounds good to me.

 

Both women turn to Rocky. He smiles, almost.

 

                                                EVELYN

                And I hear they've got divers there.

 

                                                ROCKY

                                (muttering)

                Great.

 

               CUT TO:

 

EXT  NORDSTROMS - AFTERNOON

 

Evelyn walks inside. She whips out one of Rocky's credit cards.

 

INT  NORDSTROMS - CONTINUING

 

Evelyn approaches a stunningly handsome salesman, HARRY (30's). He smiles broadly as she draws nearer.

 

                                                HARRY

                Evelyn, you look wonderful. Are you interested some new shoes today?

 

                                                EVELYN

                Yes I am. But that's just the beginning.

 

Evelyn takes Harry by the arm.

 

                                                EVELYN

                I'm in the mood for revenge. And I've got a big favor to ask you.

 

               CUT TO:

INT  PORTER HOME - AFTERNOON

 

Shane walks in. He tosses his tie over the back of his recliner and flops down on the sofa. He kicks off his shoes, narrowly missing the TV.

 

He pulls an envelope of DEVELOPED PHOTOS out of his bag and tosses them on the coffee table.

 

He grabs a bag of munchies and pops a handful in his mouth. To his surprise, it's tiny rice cakes. He spits out a little bit, but decides to eat them anyway.

 

Shane flips on the TV and changes to MTV. He closes his eyes and taps his feet to the music.

 

Ali sneaks out from the hallway and jumps on him.

 

                                                ALI

                Uncle Shane!

 

Shane nearly jumps out of his skin.

 

                                                SHANE

                Hey, Ali, I thought no one was home.

 

                                                SARAH (O.S.)

                She wanted to surprise you.

 

Sarah comes out into the living room, putting in earrings. She's more dressed up than before.

 

                                                SHANE

                You both surprised me.

                                (kisses Sarah)

                Hey, babe. I thought you had work.

 

                                                SARAH

                They'll be all right. We've got tickets to the Circus. Rocky's taking us all to dinner at The Tropics.

 

Shane notices his wife's clothes.

 

                                                SHANE

                You're looking good.

 

                                                SARAH

                Thanks. We've got to get Ali dressed up, too.

                                                SHANE

                The Tropics, huh? Well, I'd better dig out my best Hawaiian shirt.

 

Ali sits down in front of the TV. Her little head bops back and forth to the music.

 

                                                SARAH

                You are not wearing that thing. It's hideous.

 

                                                SHANE

                Ouch. That's just spiteful. I look good in that shirt.

 

                                                SARAH

                I've already got your clothes picked out. They're on the bed.

 

Shane walks back to the bedroom. He looks into the den on his way. His Alien Figure is out of place.

 

                                                SHANE

                Whoa. Barnaby's moved. Who moved Barnaby?

 

Sarah quickly hurries down the hall. She motions for Shane to keep his voice down.

 

                                                SARAH

                Let me try to explain.

 

She closes the door behind them. In the living room, REM plays on MTV, "The End of The World."

 

                                                SARAH

                It somehow appeared in the cradle when Ali was in there. I was getting the box of dolls from the closet, and then I heard her scream. When I looked in the cradle, it was there.

 

                                                SHANE

                All by itself.

 

                                                SARAH

                I don't know how it got there.

 

Shane furrows his brow. Something seems to explode inside his mind.

                                                SARAH

                Are you okay?

 

INT  BEDROOM (FLASHBACK) - NIGHT

 

Young Shane wakes up to the sound of scuttling feet. Dark shadows scurry around his bed. Now and then, a glint of light reflects off what appears to be large black eyes.

 

The shadowy figures run around moving all of his toys.

 

Young Shane gasps, and one of the figures stops and stares at him through unblinking eyes.

 

Young Shane's scream catches in his throat, and he dives under his covers.

 

INT  PORTER HOME - BEDROOM (REALITY) - AFTERNOON

 

Shane's breathing quickens as the memory takes hold of him.

 

                                                SARAH

                Are you all right? Shane?

 

Shane sits slowly down on the bed.

 

                                                SHANE

                They moved my toys.

 

                                                SARAH

                Shane. What are you talking about?

 

He shakes his head, clearing it.

 

                                                SHANE

                Nothing.

                                (smiles)

                Nothing. Just memories. Sorry. Nothing that'll get in the way of us having a good time tonight at the circus.

 

               CUT TO:

 

EXT  NEIGHBORHOOD - AFTERNOON

 

A school bus lets children off. Marquelle pulls her car off to the sidewalk. She lets Fischer out. He holds a brand new GI JOE figure and helicopter.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                There you go, Fischer. I had fun today.

                                                FISCHER

                Me too.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Remember, this is our little secret. And what do you say if your mom asks where you got the toys?

 

                                                FISCHER

                My friend Markie gave them to me.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Good. I'll see you later, okay.

 

                                                FISCHER

                Bye.

 

Fischer climbs out of the car and starts walking toward his house. He waves to Marquelle as she drives away.

 

Fischer zooms the toys through the air as he walks through his front yard.

 

INT  CARTWRIGHT HOME - CONTINUING

 

Fischer opens the door. He plops his backpack on the floor and opens the refrigerator. He sets his toys on the counter.

 

Rocky enters the kitchen. He's on his cell phone.

 

                                                ROCKY

                No, I can't help it that I have to take the rest of the day off. Just close up early, or something. No, you know how many clients we have. Fine. If you have to, just charge it to the expense account. Yeah, The Tropics.

 

He sees Fischer home.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Gotta go. See ya.

 

Rocky sits down at the table. He points the TV remote at the living room TV and flips it to MTV. A BRITNEY SPEARS video plays. Rocky's attention is mostly on the TV and not on Fischer. 

 

                                                ROCKY

                Hey, Fischerman. How was your day?

                                                FISCHER

                Fine.

                                (sees TV)

                Mom doesn't like Slutney Spears.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Your mother doesn't like a lot of things. And her name is Britney.

 

                                                FISCHER

                Mom says it's Slutney.

 

                                                ROCKY

                                (muttering)

                Probably just jealous.

 

Rocky notices Fischer's toys.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Cool toys. Did I get 'em for you?

 

Fischer shrugs. He stuffs his face with brownies.

 

                                                ROCKY

                All right. We're going to the circus tonight.

 

                                                FISCHER

                                (with his mouth full)

                Cool. When?

 

                                                ROCKY

                Seven. But we're going to eat first. We've got reservations at 5:30, so you've got an hour before we've got to leave.

 

Fischer grabs another brownie, picks up his toys with his elbow, and heads out the back door.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Don't go too far. Your mother's going to be home any time now.

 

He taps his fingers on the table. Then he looks back at the TV.

                                                ROCKY

                But until then ... Slutney, er, Britney, you're all mine.

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  PORTER HOME - BEDROOM - AFTERNOON

 

Shane lays on the bed with his eyes closed.

 

Sarah lights a CANDLE and carries it into the bedroom. Shane's eyes peek open. He freaks out when she reaches over him to set the candle on the nightstand. He rolls out from under the candle.

 

                                                SHANE

                What are you doing?

 

                                                SARAH

                Relax. It's just a candle.

 

                                                SHANE

                You could have slipped. You know - I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Just please don't do it again.

 

                                                SARAH

                I just wanted the room to smell nice.

 

Shane pulls Sarah close and kisses her apologetically.

 

                                                SHANE

                I'm sorry. I just don't want to burn the place down.

 

                                                SARAH

                It's okay.

 

She blows out the candle.

 

                                                SARAH

                Come on. Time to get ready.

 

Shane picks up a shirt from the back of a chair. 

 

                                                SHANE

                I'm sorry. It's just, you know how I get with fire.

 

                                                SARAH

                It's okay.  My mistake.

She watches his eyes as he looks out the window.

 

                                                SARAH

                I worry about you.

 

                                                SHANE

                I know. Sometimes I get a little worried myself. But we're going to be okay.

 

                                                SARAH

                Promise?

 

                                                SHANE

                Promise.

 

INT  PORTER HOME - LATE AFTERNOON

 

Shane and Sarah look around the living room. Shane pats his pockets to make sure he has everything.

 

He notices the PHOTO ENVELOPE, still unopened, on the coffee table.

 

                                                SHANE

                What about the photos? You see 'em yet?

 

                                                SARAH

                No. Leave them. We'll look at them later tonight. All right? Come on, we don't want to be late.

 

Shane locks the door behind him. A small shadow darts across the wall.

 

EXT  PORTER HOME - CONTINUING

 

Shane and Sarah walk out to their car. They're both dressed in comfortable, nice clothes. Shane opens the door for Sarah.

 

Next door, the Cartwrights also load up their car.

 

                                                EVELYN

                We'll see you there.

 

                                                SARAH

                It's so nice of you to do this for us, Rocky.

 

Evelyn walks over to Shane. She motions him quickly.

                                                ROCKY

                Evie, the reservation says 5:30.

 

Evelyn wears a long overcoat to hide her new clothes.

 

                                                EVELYN

                                (quietly to Shane)

                I've got a favor to ask.

 

                                                SHANE

                Sure.

 

                                                EVELYN

                There's going to be some people there tonight. Just play along, all right?

 

                                                SHANE

                Okay. Anyone I know?

 

                                                ROCKY (O.S.)

                Evie!

 

                                                EVELYN

                I'm coming.

 

Sarah waves to Ali and Fischer. They wave back.

 

They all load up and pull their cars out of their respective driveways.

 

                                                SARAH

                Got everything?

 

Shane looks in his rearview mirror. He sees a bald, dark eyed being looking out his bedroom window at him.

 

Shane whirls around to see with his own eyes. Nothing!

 

                                                SARAH

                Shane!

 

He slams on the brakes, nearly rear ending the Cartwrights.

 

                                                SARAH

                What?

 

                                                SHANE

                I thought I saw something.

 

                                                SARAH

                Like what?

                                                SHANE

                I don't know. Probably just a reflection.

 

He reaches under his seat and pulls out a handgun.

 

                                                SHANE

                See if it's loaded.

 

Sarah checks the cartridge.

 

                                                SARAH

                Yeah. It is. Shane, what's going on?

 

                                                SHANE

                Nothing. You just never know what might be out there. Can't be too careful.

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  THE TROPICS - EVENING

 

Evelyn takes her two children by the hand and leads them into the restaurant.  Shane and Sarah follow closely behind. Rocky trails along, not looking very interested in anything.

 

The Tropics boasts a centrally located lagoon with cliff divers. Fire dancers stand on little islands in the lagoon. The entire atmosphere brings a smile to everyone's face.

 

Evelyn greets the HOST, THOMAS.

 

                                                THOMAS

                Good evening. Party of ... six?

 

                                                EVELYN

                Yes. Cartwright.

 

Thomas looks at his list.

 

                                                THOMAS

                Ah, yes. Cartwright. Here we are. Follow me, please.

 

He gives a sly smile as he looks at Rocky.

 

                                                SARAH

                This place is great.

                                                SHANE

                Sure nice of Rocky to bring us here.

 

Rocky rolls his eyes.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Please.

 

Thomas leads the party to a private island on the far side of the lagoon. Their table affords a view of the entire lagoon - cliffs, etc.

 

Standing at the their table, waiting for them is a very pretty waitress, AMBER (20's).

 

                                                AMBER

                How are you folks this evening? I'm Amber. I'll be your servant this evening.

 

Rocky perks up.

 

                                                ROCKY

                'Bout time something good happened.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Hi, Amber. I'm Evelyn. This is Fischer, Ali, Shane, Sarah, and my husband, Rocky.

 

                                                AMBER

                Hi, everyone.

 

She bends down to talk to Ali.

 

                                                AMBER

                You want a root beer float?

 

Ali looks at her mom, who smiles.

 

                                                ALI

                Yeah.

 

                                                AMBER

                And Fischer, what can I get for you?

 

                                                FISCHER

                Um. I think that I want grape.

                                                AMBER

                One grape soda. And the rest of you?

 

Everyone places their order. Amber goes to fetch them. Rocky watches her leave.

 

Shane pulls out Sarah's chair for her. Everyone sits down. Noticeably, Rocky doesn't pull out Evelyn's chair for her.

 

Evelyn takes off her overcoat and drapes it over the back of the chair.

 

                                                ALI

                Mommy, you look pretty.

 

Evelyn wears a tight shirt and leather pants. She smiles at Ali.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Thank you baby.

 

Rocky stares around the room, apparently bored.

 

                                                FISCHER

                Look!

 

A diver jumps off a far cliff, twisting and turning, finally knifing perfectly into the lagoon.

 

                                                FISCHER

                Woooooow.

 

Amber returns with their drinks. Rocky takes particular note of her.

 

                                                ROCKY

                So, you worked here long?

 

                                                AMBER

                A while.

 

                                                ROCKY

                How long is a while?

 

                                                AMBER

                Long enough to learn to look for rings.

 

Shane laughs. Sarah hides her laugh.

 

                                                SHANE

                Ouch. Strike one.

Amber passes around menus.

 

                                                AMBER

                I'll give you all a chance to look over the menu.

 

                                                EVELYN

                What do you recommend?

 

                                                AMBER

                Personally, I love the sweet and sour ribs. Our cooks are great.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Well, if the waitresses are any indication, they must be great.

 

                                                AMBER

                We do set a high standard.

 

Amber cuts short that line of conversation. Rocky takes the hint and looks over his menu.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Hmm, what looks good?

 

                                                SHANE

                Pig.

 

Ali makes a piggy noise. Evelyn's laugh escapes before she can stop it. Even Amber smiles.

 

                                                ROCKY

                That does look kind of good.

 

                                                AMBER

                Actually, the pig is a little old for my liking.

 

Evelyn catches Amber's eye. She signals to give some space.

 

                                                AMBER

                Oh ... if you'll excuse me, I've got to check on some of the other guests. I'll be back in a few minutes to take your order. Enjoy your drinks.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Well, she's a good one. I like her.

 

                                                FISCHER

                I want a cheeseburger.

Across the room, a stunningly handsome man, HARRY (the salesman from Nordstrom's), waves to Evelyn.

 

                                                HARRY

                Evie! What a surprise.

 

Harry comes over to their table. Evelyn stands up and gives Harry a hug.

 

                                                HARRY

                You look incredible. Have you been working out?

 

                                                EVELYN

                                (blushing)

                A little.

 

                                                HARRY

                Who are these fine looking people?

 

                                                EVELYN

                This is my brother, Shane. His wife, Sarah. My children, Fischer and Ali.

 

Harry leans down next to Ali.

 

                                                HARRY

                You've got a really pretty mommy.

 

                                                ALI

                I know.

 

Harry turns to Fischer.

 

                                                HARRY

                You're a fine looking young man. I'll bet all the girls just love you.

 

                                                FISCHER

                Eew.

 

                                                EVELYN

                And this is my husband, Rocky.

 

Harry sticks out his hand. Rocky ignores it.

 

                                                HARRY

                You're a lucky man. I'd hold on to this one if I were you.

                                (smiles)

                I'd hold on to her myself, if only the past hadn't slipped away too quickly.

 

                                                ROCKY

                You know, you're getting real close to the line there, pal.

 

                                                HARRY

                At least one of us is.

 

Evelyn interjects.

 

                                                EVELYN

                So what are you doing here?

 

                                                HARRY

                I'm meeting a blind date. But after seeing you,

                                (looks at Sarah)

                And your sister-in-law,

                                (winks)

                I see I'll just have to settle for the third most beautiful woman in here.

 

Sarah and Evelyn both blush.

 

                                                HARRY

                                (continuing; to Shane)

                I hope you don't take offense.

 

                                                SHANE

                Not at all. You have good taste. But, you've got to see the ring, too.

 

Shane holds Sarah's left hand up to show her wedding ring.

 

                                                HARRY

                And it breaks my heart to see rings on the fingers of such beauties.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Oh, stop.

 

Ali holds up her finger. She's got a little plastic ring on.

 

                                                ALI

                I got one, too.

                                                HARRY

                What a beautiful diamond. Did your daddy get this for you?

 

                                                ALI

                Uh huh.

 

                                                HARRY

                You're a lucky man, Rocky. Don't mess it up.

 

                                                EVELYN

                It was great to see you again, Harry. We should get together sometime. All of us.

 

Rocky makes faces and mimics Evelyn.

 

                                                HARRY

                That'd be nice. I'd have to find a date, though. Single folks and married folks don't mix real well. Nice to meet you all.

 

Rocky looks off into the distance as Harry excuses himself.

 

                                                SARAH

                Who was that?

 

                                                EVELYN

                Old friend. Old flame.

 

                                                SARAH

                Wow. He's great. Likes kids, too.

 

                                                ALI

                I think he's handsome.

 

                                                SHANE

                Kid's got good taste.

 

Rocky sees BROOKE enter. He perks up.

 

                                                ROCKY

                I need to use the bathroom.

 

He gets up and leaves without another word.

 

Evelyn follows him with her eyes and sees Brooke. Her eyes smolder.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Sarah, order for the kids. I need to step out for a moment.

Rocky brushes past Brooke at the bar. She wears a stunning dress, obviously very new, and obviously very expensive.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Looking good.

 

                                                BROOKE

                Missed you today.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Sorry. Family stuff.

 

                                                BROOKE

                When are you gonna dump 'em?

 

                                                ROCKY

                Hey, this is my family you're talking about.

                                (pause)

                I don't know.

 

Evelyn walks back toward the entrance. She waves down Thomas. He steps over to her. She slips a bill into his hand and whispers in his ear.

 

                                                EVELYN

                I need Amber to do a little more.

 

                                                THOMAS

                Evelyn, I can't. She could lose her job.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Please. Where is she?

 

               CUT TO:

 

EXT  DARKNESS - EVENING

 

Two voices, Andros and Marquelle, speak in hushed tones.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Is everything ready?

 

                                                ANDROS

                All is according to plan. When the darkness falls, so will they.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                All of them?

                                                ANDROS

                Yes. And when they do ... showtime.

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  THE TROPICS - LATER

 

Amber walks from the bar with a platter of drinks. Brooke stands up to walk over by the lagoon. Amber bumps into her, spilling drinks all down the front of her dress.

 

                                                AMBER

                I'm sorry. Here, let me help you.

 

                                                BROOKE

                Clumsy wench!

 

Amber tries to sop up some of the drink with a towel.

 

                                                BROOKE

                GET OFF OF ME! This was my brand new dress!

 

                                                AMBER

                I am so sorry. It's my fault.

 

                                                BROOKE

                Yeah. You're sorry. This dress cost me five hundred dollars!

 

Everyone turns to look at Brooke yelling.

 

Rocky's eyes widen.

 

                                                ROCKY

                                (silently)

                Five hundred dollars?

 

Amber picks up her spilled tray.

 

                                                BROOKE

                Who's the manager? I'm going to have you fired. You know that? I'm going to get you fired. You deserve to be fired. You spilled that all over me. Don't they teach you anything in waitress school?

 

Thomas hurries over.

 

                                                THOMAS

                Is there a problem?

He sees the problem.

 

                                                THOMAS

                Oh, I see. Well, let's get you cleaned up. Here, let me get you something to drink. On the house.

 

                                                BROOKE

                I want her fired. You can fire her, can't you?

 

                                                THOMAS

                I'll deal with her later. Here, let me give you our finest table. Are you waiting for anyone?

 

Amber smiles as cleans up her mess.

 

                                                AMBER

                Waitress school.

 

INT  THE TROPICS - LATER

 

The group eats their meals. Rocky keeps mostly to himself, letting the others engage in conversation. He checks his watch constantly, wanting nothing more than to be out of there.

 

                                                EVELYN

                                (to Rocky)

                How's your food?

 

                                                ROCKY

                Fine. Yours?

 

                                                EVELYN

                It's great. Thanks.

 

                                                SARAH

                It's really nice of you to take us out to eat.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Sure.

 

                                                ALI

                I love you, daddy.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Yeah, pumpkin. Me too.

 

Fischer gets bored and pulls an action figure out of his pocket. It marches over his plate.

                                                SHANE

                Cool figure.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Fischer. What have I told you about playing at the table?

 

                                                FISCHER

                But Mom. We're not at home.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Put it away.

 

Fischer sucks the food off of the figure's feet, and glumly sticks it back into his pocket.

 

Amber appears next to their table.

 

                                                AMBER

                How's everything?

 

                                                EVELYN

                Great. Thank you so much.

 

                                                AMBER

                Is there anything else I can do for you?

 

                                                EVELYN

                No. I think -

 

                                                ROCKY

                Actually, yeah. That girl you dumped the drinks on earlier, where is she?

 

                                                AMBER

                I don't know.

 

                                                ROCKY

                You gonna get fired?

 

                                                AMBER

                I'm afraid I don't know.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Rocky.

 

Rocky holds up his hand.

 

                                                ROCKY

                I think you should.

On the other side of the lagoon, up one level, Brooke points out Amber to an older gentleman, MIGUEL. (Miguel owns The Tropics.)

 

                                                BROOKE

                That's her. Right there. She's the one that spilled all over my brand new dress.

 

Miguel looks out, squinting his eyes. He can't quite see who Brooke is pointing to.

 

                                                BROOKE

                There. The blonde one. She's the one you should fire.

 

                                                MIGUEL

                The one in the corner?

 

                                                BROOKE

                No. That one right there.

 

Brooke leans way over the edge, to point directly at Amber.

 

HARRY walks by. He follows Brooke's pointing finger. He makes eye contact with Evelyn.

 

                                                MIGUEL

                The one on the island?

 

                                                BROOKE

                Yes. That one.

 

Harry nudges Miguel to the side.

 

                                                HARRY

                Excuse me. Is that the one?

 

Harry points out at another waitress.

 

                                                BROOKE

                No. THAT one.

 

Harry sidles a little closer to Brooke.

 

                                                HARRY

                I'm a little near sighted. Which one?

 

Brooke leans WAY over the edge of the railing to point. The lagoon lies directly beneath her. Harry glances down, then glances at Evelyn. He gives a little smile.

When Brooke looks over at him, he rubs his eyes.

 

                                                HARRY

                Okay, one more time. Which one was it?

 

Brooke leans out to point.

 

                                                BROOKE

                THAT ONE!

 

Harry nudges Brooke, and she tumbles over the railing. She screams and splashes into the lagoon.

 

Everyone turns to stare. Brooke surfaces, sputtering and screaming.

 

                                                HARRY

                Oh. THAT one.

 

Harry waves to Evelyn and company, then disappears into the crowd.

 

Rocky rushes over to pull Brooke out of the lagoon.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Are you all right?

 

Evelyn's right on his heels.

 

                                                BROOKE

                                (to Evelyn)

                You. You did all this. You set me up.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Me?

 

                                                BROOKE

                You. And all your little friends. You did this to me.

                                (to Rocky)

                You promised me. I got this dress, just for you.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Well. Soaking wet looks good on you. Oh, you poor dear. I think your mascara's running.

 

Evelyn pulls out a handkerchief to dab at Brooke's face. Brooke slaps her hand away.

An audible "OOH" comes from the gathered crowd.

 

                                                EVELYN

                You wanna play rough? Don't mess with momma bear.

 

Evelyn shoves Brooke back into the lagoon. Everybody cheers.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Go back to your dollhouse, little girl.

 

When Rocky tries to help Brooke out, he gets "BOO'D". He helps Brooke out, then collapses under the pressure of the crowd and walks away.

 

Brooke is left all alone, dripping wet. Angry sobs try to fight out of her throat, but she won't let them go.

 

                                                BROOKE

                                (to everybody)

                What're you looking at?

 

               CUT TO:

 

EXT  THE TROPICS - CONTINUING

 

Shane walks in back with the kids, a few paces behind Evelyn and Sarah. Rocky has already gone ahead to unlock the car.

 

                                                SARAH

                This is definitely your night, Evelyn.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Yeah. I feel pretty good.

 

                                                SARAH

                She'll think twice before talking to you again.

 

                                                EVELYN

                She'd better. I'm just getting warmed up.

 

Sarah pauses, searching for a nonthreatening way to say what's on her mind.

 

                                                SARAH

                So, are you and Rocky ... you know?

                                                EVELYN

                I don't know. If things don't change, probably.

 

                                                SARAH

                What if he tries to take the business?

 

                                                EVELYN

                Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. He hasn't seen anything yet.

 

Shane tries to eavesdrop on the conversation, but only gets bits and pieces. He lifts Ali onto his back, trying to distract the kids from the serious talk a few steps ahead of them.

 

                                                ALI

                Horsey ride. Horsey ride. Mommy, look at me. Horsey ride.

 

                                                EVELYN

                I see.

 

Fischer plays with his action figure, flying it through the air.

 

                                                FISCHER

                Hey, Uncle Shane, what's a flying saucer?

 

                                                SHANE

                Why are you asking that?

 

                                                FISCHER

                I dunno. Just wondering.

 

                                                SHANE

                Where'd you hear about those?

 

                                                FISCHER

                Do people really live on other planets?

 

                                                SHANE

                'Course. Be a big wast of space if they didn't.

 

Fischer chews on this for a moment.

 

                                                FISCHER

                Have you ever seen one?

                                                SHANE

                                (smiles)

                That's best left for another time. Don't want anything to get in the way of this evening.

 

                                                ALI

                Giddyap, horsey. Take me to the circus.

 

                                                SHANE

                On to the circus.

 

               CUT TO:

 

EXT  GRAVEL ROAD - EVENING

 

The road leads out into the hills.

 

                                                SARAH

                Boy, this is a ways out here.

 

                                                SHANE

                It's where Rocky's leading us. He's got the map.

 

                                                SARAH

                But if he was lost, do you think he'd tell anyone?

 

                                                SHANE

                Good point.

 

Shane honks the horn and stops his car. Rocky stops the car up ahead. Shane pulls up to him.

 

                                                SHANE

                How much further?

 

Rocky rolls down his window.

 

                                                ROCKY

                It says six miles. We've only gone four and a half.

 

                                                SARAH

                But there's nothing out there but ...

 

                                                ROCKY

                Then it should be spooky, shouldn't it?

Rocky rolls up his window, ending the conversation. He spins his tires, kicking up dust as he pulls away.

 

Inside the Cartwright car, Evelyn casts a disapproving glance at Rocky.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Did you have to be rude?

 

                                                ROCKY

                I was just answering her question.

 

                                                FISCHER

                Are we there yet?

 

                                                EVELYN

                Not yet. Just be patient.

 

Fischer flies his new toys around.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Fischer, can you keep those quiet, please?

 

She notices the toys he's playing with.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Where did you get those?

 

                                                FISCHER

                They're new.

 

                                                EVELYN

                I can see that. Where did you get them?

 

                                                FISCHER

                My friend.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Which friend?

 

                                                FISCHER

                Markie.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Well, Markie's mother will probably be mad that he gave you his toys. You'll just have to give them back.

 

Fischer pouts.

                                                FISCHER

                But Markie said I could have them.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Little kids say a lot of things.

 

                                                ROCKY

                                (muttering)

                Gonna push him in the water, too?

 

Evelyn glares at Rocky. She folds her arms and sits back in her seat.

 

               CUT TO:

 

EXT  OUTER GATE - EVENING

 

The large outer gate looms up, ghostlike, as the round the corner. It proudly proclaims "CIRQUE DE NOCTE".

 

                                                ROCKY

                Well, there it is.

 

Shane stops the car a few lengths behind Rocky.

 

                                                SHANE

                I've got a funny feeling about all this.

 

                                                SARAH

                It'll be okay.

 

                                                SHANE

                I hope so.

 

They drive through the gate and down the road further.

 

Unseen to them, a gate swings shut behind them, pushed by short figures. Little shadows run toward the tents after the cars.

 

EXT  CIRQUE DE NOCTE - CONTINUING

 

A large BLACK TENT awaits them.  They park their cars and step out into the chill evening air.

 

Sarah shivers.

 

                                                SARAH

                Oh, I got the chills.

 

                                                SHANE

                Me too.

Evelyn looks around.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Where is everyone?

 

A robed figure, ANDROS, beckons them closer.

 

                                                ANDROS

                Come. Come. You'll miss the show.

 

                                                ROCKY

                See? There's someone now. Chickens.

 

                                                SHANE

                Pig.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Oink. Oink. Wanna roll in the mud now?

 

                                                SARAH

                Sorry. He's not nineteen and blonde. And his ring means something to him.

 

Rocky gives a dirty look, then heads into the tent. He hands the tickets to Andros. The tent flap closes behind him.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Take my hand, children.

                                (to Andros)

                Good evening.

 

                                                ANDROS

                A good evening to you.

 

Shane holds Sarah back and whispers in her ear.

 

                                                SHANE

                I'm getting a really weird, wiggy feeling.

 

                                                SARAH

                It's your -

 

                                                SHANE

                No. I'm serious.

 

Sarah smiles reassuringly.

 

                                                SARAH

                Don't worry. It'll be fun.

                                                ANDROS

                Welcome to the greatest show on earth.

 

Shane and Sarah enter. The tent flap closes behind them. Andros smiles.

 

                                                ANDROS

                Turn your attention to the center ring. Rocky Cartwright. Womanizer. Pig.

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  CENTER RING - NIGHT

 

Rocky puts out his hands, panicked. Suddenly a spotlight from above blinds him.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Who's there?

 

A familiar voice sounds from above.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Hello, Rock'em Sock'em.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Marquelle?

 

She appears behind him. She whispers in his ear.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                In the flesh. Or at least a good representation of it.

 

She takes him and kisses him. He doesn't struggle at all, but gives in.

 

The scenery changes around him. He's surrounded by dark, hooded figures. Marquelle pushes him away.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Why?

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Smile for me, Rock. I love your teeth.

 

One of the hooded beings runs their fingers along his shoulder and down his back. Rocky flinches.

                                                ROCKY

                Who are you? Get the hell off me!

 

Rocky whirls around and shoves at the hooded figure. It disappears, and he stumbles into the darkness.

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  EMPTY TENT - NIGHT

 

Evelyn looks around and frowns.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Where is everybody?

 

Ali looks up in the bleachers and sees a shadow. Dim light reflects off large black eyes. She tugs on her mom's coat.

 

                                                ALI

                                (whimpering)

                Mommy.

 

                                                EVELYN

                What is it, baby?

 

                                                ALI

                Up there.

 

                                                EVELYN

                I don't see anything.

 

Fischer pulls out an action figure and walks over to a bleacher and sits down.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Don't go too far, Fischer.

 

Fischer ignores her and continues playing.

 

Ali watches the shadow. It seems to smile at her. She ducks behind Evelyn.

 

                                                EVELYN

                I don't see anything.

 

                                                ALI

                Up there. Big black eyes.

 

Evelyn sniffs the air.

                                                EVELYN

                Popcorn. Can't have a circus without popcorn, can you?

                                (to Fischer)

                Come on. Want some popcorn?

 

She takes Ali by the hand and walks across the tent. Fischer follows several steps behind, completely oblivious to his surroundings.

 

Ali watches the shadow closely as they walk by.

 

EXT  EMPTY TENT - CONTINUING

 

Fischer looks around. His mom and sister are gone.

 

                                                FISCHER

                Mom?

 

He runs back into the tent, but no one's there.

 

Whispers come all around him.

 

                                                WHISPER ONE

                He's coming closer.

 

                                                WHISPER TWO

                Good. I want to play.

 

                                                WHISPER ONE

                Hey, Fish, want to play?

 

                                                WHISPER TWO

                Come in here.

 

A smaller tent opens, revealing a huge pillow on the ground, with a video game playing on a huge screen. Two little boys sit there in the dark. They face him, but their heads are cloaked in shadow.

 

                                                WHISPER ONE

                Hurry up. It's your turn.

 

Fischer smiles and enters the tent.

 

               CUT TO:

 

EXT  EMPTY TENT - CONTINUING

 

Evelyn exits the tent. She walks a few steps before she realizes that Fischer isn't with them.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Fischer?

She throws open the tent flap and looks inside.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Fischer?

 

Panic starts when she can't find him anywhere.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Fischer!

 

Andros walks up behind her and whispers in her ear.

 

                                                ANDROS

                Missing someone?

 

Evelyn jumps involuntarily.

 

                                                ANDROS

                The show will start shortly. Please take your seat.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Where's my son?

 

Ali tugs on Evelyn's hand.

 

                                                ALI

                Mommy.

 

                                                ANDROS

                You have children?

 

                                                EVELYN

                Yes, I have children.

 

Andros smiles down at Ali. She cowers behind her mom.

 

                                                ALI

                                (tugging harder)

                Mommy.

 

                                                ANDROS

                Charming. How old are they?

 

                                                EVELYN

                Where is my son?

 

                                                ANDROS

                Let me help you find him.

Andros opens the tent flap. He shows Evelyn inside. Ali stays on the opposite side of her mother from Andros.

 

INT  FUN HOUSE - CONTINUING

 

Lights flash and raucous noise blares at Evelyn and Ali. The startling effect momentarily stuns Evelyn.

 

Evelyn turns around to talk to Andros.

 

                                                EVELYN

                How is this - ?

 

But he's gone. There's no tent flap, either.

 

                                                ALI

                                (pointing)

                Look, mommy. A clown!

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  CROWDED TENT - NIGHT

 

Shane and Sarah walk hand in hand beneath crowded bleachers.

 

                                                SHANE

                Looks like the show's already started.

 

                                                SARAH

                Where are the others?

 

                                                SHANE

                They probably already found their seat. Come on.

 

Shane pulls her along, eager to find an empty seat. He's driven by an urge he can't explain.

 

Excited buzzing and chatter reverberates above him, it becomes like a living, pulsating entity. Shane hurries closer and closer to the action.

 

Shane's hand slips from Sarah's. Shane finds an empty seat from below and peeks out. His eyes shine with excitement. He gestures back to Sarah.

 

                                                SHANE

                Babe, come on. Come see.

 

But Sarah is transfixed by her reflection in a mirror. She puts up her hair and looks at herself. She smiles, as if in a dream.

Shane turns back to peering out at the circus.

 

                                                SARAH

                Look at me. I'm an angel.

 

Andros picks up the mirror and turns it up to face him. Sarah's reflection still shines there.

 

                                                ANDROS

                Very beautiful.

 

Sarah smiles at him.

 

                                                SARAH

                I'm gonna be a rock star.

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  CENTER RING - NIGHT

 

Rocky crashes into a hard wall. He lays there stunned for a moment.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Come out where I can see you! Cowards!

 

The word "COWARD" hisses out of the darkness surrounding Rocky.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Stop it! Marquelle! Where are you?

 

A black cloak appears in front of him. He swipes at it he throws it to the floor.

 

A solitary coat rack mocks him with its silence. He grabs the coat rack and swings it with all his might, hurling it into the blackness.

 

                                                MARQUELLE (O.S.)

                Afraid of a little darkness, Tough Guy?

 

Marquelle breezes past him, her fingers brush his hand. They're cold as ice. Rocky jerks his hand back.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Try looking inside some time.

 

Rocky grabs Marquelle, wincing as her cold wrist burns into his hand.

                                                ROCKY

                What are you doing here?

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Same as you. I'm here for the show. Wanna see?

 

She points, and a dim light brightens the distant darkness.

 

Rocky looks. A large mirror spiderwebs with a hundred cracks. The coat rack lies at the base of the mirror.

 

Rocky slowly approaches the mirror. Scenes of several women, including Marquelle and Brooke, play before him in the mirror. He smiles as the memories unfold in front of him.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                You've known lots of women.

 

The shadow passes over Marquelle's face, changing her to Evelyn.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                                (continuing; as Evelyn)

                So what do you have to say for yourself?

 

Rocky stares in horror at the woman behind him.

 

               CUT TO:

 

EXT  FUN HOUSE - NIGHT

 

Ali tugs on Evelyn eagerly, pulling her to the nearby CLOWN. The Clown makes balloon animals, his back to them.

 

                                                ALI

                Mommy I want a balloon.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Ali, we've got to find Fischer.

 

The clown turns, a glowing smile on his face, but a dark shadow passes over the whites of his eyes.

 

                                                CLOWN

                Did I hear balloon?

 

He twists a balloon into a strange winged creature. He holds it out to Ali.

                                                ALI

                Eew. What is that?

 

He lifts the balloon creature closer to Ali's face.

 

                                                CLOWN

                                (whispering)

                It's a ... bat.

 

Suddenly, the balloon turns into a bat! It flies at Ali's, then Evelyn's, face. Then the bat shrieks and flies off into the night.

 

                                                CLOWN

                Sorry. Sometimes I get carried away.

 

He smiles, but not apologetically.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Thank you. But I think we need to find my son.

 

                                                CLOWN

                Little boy? About this high?

                                (points)

                I saw him go in there.

 

The Clown points into the Fun House.

 

                                                EVELYN

                I ... don't follow us.

 

The Clown smiles as innocently as one with a painted face can.

 

                                                CLOWN

                The fun is just beginning.

 

Evelyn takes Ali's hand and enters the Fun House.

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  FUN HOUSE - CONTINUING

 

Bizarre lights and sounds whirl around Evelyn and her daughter. A large figure stands in the shadow ahead. Its index finger gestures inside. Evelyn jumps in fright, but realizes it's just a wax mannequin.

 

                                                ALI

                It's not real, Mommy. See?

Ali tugs on the figure. Evelyn reaches up and runs her finger along the face. Small curls of wax come off in her fingernails.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Just a dummy. Let's go find Fischer.

 

They enter through the door. The WAX MAN steps off his pedestal and follows them.

 

                CUT TO:

 

INT  CROWDED TENT - BELOW BLEACHERS - NIGHT

 

Shane hears music from the center ring of the tent. He strains to see, but can't quite make it out. It's hauntingly familiar. Shane smiles as he hears a woman singing.

 

He pulls at the bleachers. They pull apart like clay in his hands.

 

As Shane breaks through the bleachers, he sees the center ring. It's surrounded by light. He sees a female figure at center stage, singing. Her features are indistinct in the bright bathing light.

 

                                                SHANE

                So beautiful. So incredibly beautiful.

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  CROWDED TENT - BELOW BLEACHERS - CONTINUING

 

Sarah smiles as she looks in the mirror. She looks at Andros.

 

                                                SARAH

                That's me.

 

                                                ANDROS

                Yes. It is you.

 

In the mirror, Sarah sees herself singing on the stage. She's surrounded by white light.

 

                                                SARAH

                It's beautiful.

 

Andros raises his hand above her head. She turns up to face his hand. Sarah glows and rises off the ground toward his hand, almost like a fish on a line.

                                                ANDROS

                Go. Go live your dream.

 

Sarah looks down at the mirror. Her entire frame fuzzes and shoots into the mirror.

 

EXT  CENTER STAGE - CONTINUING

 

Sarah jolts, as her soul joins with her body in this living dream. She smiles in jubilation, as she realizes that she's living her childhood dream.

 

She sings a song of torn dreams and unfulfilled aspirations.

 

The audience roars with applause. As Sarah looks out on them, beyond the cool light, she sees silhouettes of tall, wiry beings. Their limbs flow in time to the music.

 

That snaps her out of her trance. The roars of the crowd turn to strange, alien whisperings.

 

She looks out and sees her husband, SHANE, as he pushes his way through the crowd. Suddenly he's lifted above the crowd and bodysurfs over a sea of undulating limbs.

 

                                                SARAH

                Shane.

 

The background singers continue her song. The music takes on a surreal tone.

 

                                                SARAH

                Shane, up here.

 

                                                SHANE

                I'm floating!

 

                                                SARAH

                Shane, what are those?

 

She gestures out to the audience. The singers again mimic her.

 

As Shane comes to the end of the thronging crowd, he jumps to the ground. The way to the stage is open. He runs toward the stage.

 

                                                SHANE

                Sarah.

 

Out of nowhere, two bodyguards grab Shane and haul him away. He reaches out to Sarah.

                                                SARAH

                Shane!

 

                                                SHANE

                I love you.

 

One of the bodyguards turns to look at Sarah, showing huge ALIEN EYES.

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  SMALL TENT - NIGHT

 

Fischer sits down the beanbag chair in front of the huge video game monitor. The TWO BOYS (THE WHISPERS) are in shadow. He can't see them. As he turns to look at them, they turn away.

 

                                                WHISPER ONE

                Fischer, it's your turn.

 

                                                FISCHER

                What are we playing?

 

                                                WHISPER TWO

                It's a fun game. You'll like it.

 

                                                WHISPER ONE

                He's scared.

 

                                                FISCHER

                Am not.

 

                                                WHISPER TWO

                Are too. You're just a big scaredy baby.

 

Fischer picks up the video game controller. The screen reads, "CIRQUE DE NOCTE - THE BUG HOUSE".

 

Dim light emanates from the screen. Fischer looks around. The walls appear to be moving. A clicking, hissing noise rises as Fischer pushes the controls to start the game.

 

                                                WHISPER ONE

                Go for it.

 

                                                WHISPER TWO

                Don't chicken out.

 

                                                FISCHER

                I'm not afraid.

The screen goes white, loading the next level. Fischer looks around and sees the walls of the tent crawling with insects.

 

                                                WHISPER ONE

                You will be.

 

WHISPER ONE turns to face Fischer. Fischer drops the controller in surprise as both boys turn to him - they have DRAGONFLY HEADS!

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  CENTER RING - NIGHT

 

Rocky stares in horror at this woman with Evelyn's face.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                                (as Evelyn)

                So what do you have to say for yourself, Rockford?

 

                                                ROCKY

                You ... you're not real. You're not Evelyn.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                                (as Evelyn)

                I'm as real as you are. I'm as real as the darkness inside you. I am that little secret you've been hiding from everyone.

 

Rocky claps his hands over his ears.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Shut up! Shut up!

 

Marquelle's face changes back to normal.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                You have no idea.

 

She ruffles his hair and walks into the darkness. She drops her cloak behind her.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                We've got a great show, Rocky. You up to it?

 

Rocky gets up and dumbly follows Marquelle.

 

               CUT TO:

INT  SMALL TENT - SAME TIME

 

Fischer scrambles to get out the door. The TWO DRAGONFLY BOYS grab him and hold him down.

 

                                                FISCHER

                Let me go!

 

                                                WHISPER ONE

                Make me.

 

                                                WHISPER TWO

                Who's the scaredy baby now?

 

                                                WHISPER ONE

                Hey, Fischer, thirsty? Wanna drink?

 

They both pick up Fischer and drag him out of the tent into the dark shadows.

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  FUN HOUSE HALL OF MIRRORS - SAME TIME

 

Evelyn looks at the glittering lights in the hall of mirrors. She squeezes Ali's hand to make sure she's still there.

 

                                                ALI

                Mommy, look. Hats.

 

A box of hats and a box of costumes appear on the floor in front of them.

 

Ali grabs a hat and tries it on. She admires her reflection in the mirror.

 

                                                ALI

                Look at me, mommy. I'm pretty. Just like you.

 

Evelyn sees her reflection. She brushes away a loose strand of hair from her face. She's transfixed by her reflection. She walks closer and closer to the mirror.

 

She hears Brooke's voice from before.

 

                                                BROOKE (O.S.)

                You're not as young as you used to be. If I had to look at your face everyday ...

 

SLAP! Evelyn reels from the stinging blow.

                                                BROOKE (O.S.)

                I'd start shopping for cyanide. You're ugly.

 

Evelyn rubs her stinging face. She turns to look at a distorted mirror. Her reflection is short and fat.

 

                                                ROCKY (O.S.)

                Why can't you be more like other women?

 

                                                BROOKE (O.S.)

                Yeah. More like everyone else. Pretty.

 

                                                ROCKY (O.S.)

                Pretty. Pretty, pretty girls. Then there's you, Evie.

 

Stark facts stare back at Evelyn from the mirror.

 

                                                EVELYN

                I'm ugly. I'm short and fat. I'm ugly.

 

The mirrors start twirling around her. They completely encircle her, trapping her inside her own reflections.

 

                                                EVELYN

                I'm hideous!

 

Evelyn whirls frantically. Everywhere she turns, mirrors. Ugly mirrors. Ugly reflections.

 

She collapses into a sobbing heap.

 

INT  FUN HOUSE HALL OF MIRRORS - CONTINUING

 

Ali puts on hats and feather boas. She admires herself in the mirrors. She sees nothing in the reflection, but a shadow falls over her.

 

The WAX MAN reaches out to grab Ali.

 

                                                ALI

                                (screams)

                Mommy!

 

The fingers flex, ready to close around the little girl. A POP startles him, and he reflexively covers his ears.

                                                CLOWN (O.S.)

                No. NO! Bad Wax.

 

The Clown beats the Wax Man with a balloon bat. He cowers and retreats.

 

                                                CLOWN

                She's not yours to play with.

                                (to Ali)

                Hello, little girl. Do you like to play?

 

Ali nods underneath her huge hat.

 

                                                CLOWN

                Good. I've got someone you should meet.

 

The Clown takes Ali by the hand. They walk toward a mirror. In the mirror stands a reflection of a door. The Clown turns the reflection doorknob and opens the mirror! They walk through.

 

                                                EVELYN (O.S.)

                                (whispering hoarsely)

                Ali. Ali. Please. Don't leave me.

 

               CUT TO:

 

EXT  CROWDED TENT - NIGHT

 

The two burly alien-faced guards dump Shane outside the tent.

 

                                                SHANE

                Hey. Thanks for the lift.

 

They close the tent flap behind them.

 

Shane shakes himself off and looks around. A TRAILER sits nearby with its door open.

 

A soft whisper calls to him from the trailer.

 

                                                AMANDA (O.S.)

                                (whispering)

                Shane. Help me.

 

INT  TRAILER - CONTINUING

 

Shane peers inside the trailer. He steps inside. The door closes behind him.

 

A hauntingly familiar voice greets him.

                                                AMANDA (O.S.)

                Hello, Shane.

 

The shadows seem to form in around Shane, pushing him forward.

 

                                                SHANE

                Who are you?

 

Amanda stands with her back to Shane. She takes out her earrings and sets them on the table. She adjusts a wig on a stand next to her.

 

                                                AMANDA

                I've been called many names.

 

She turns around. Her face strikes some deep memory within Shane's subconscious.

 

                                                AMANDA

                Don't you remember? I brought you to the circus when you were ten.

 

Shane shakes his head, trying to deny this.

 

                                                SHANE

                No. It was just a dream.

 

                                                AMANDA

                Just a dream. It's all just a dream to you, isn't it, Shane? That's why you haven't gotten anywhere.

 

                                                SHANE

                What do you want with me?

 

She smiles. But her teeth are more pointed than normal. This gives her a fiercely predatory look.

 

                                                AMANDA

                What I've always wanted. You. I've wanted you since I first laid eyes on you. You were such a cute baby.

 

She steps closer to Shane. He backs up until he hits the wall. He notices several foam heads holding wigs all around the room. But they are in shadow, so he can't see more than silhouettes.

 

                                                AMANDA

                And when you were six, and you broke your arm on the monkey bars.

Amanda picks up a head from the table. She holds it out, revealing a loose mask with long hair.

 

The mask's face forms solid, and speaks in Amanda's voice.

 

                                                AMANDA

                                (continuing; as mask)

                I held you and comforted you until your mother came.

 

Shane stares aghast at the mask.

 

                                                SHANE

                Miss Allen?

 

He stares in horror at all of the masks around the room. Suddenly they seem to take on the features of important women in his life - teachers, friends, acquaintances.

 

                                                SHANE

                It was you.

 

Amanda picks up another mask and fits it over her face. It molds fluidly. Suddenly she becomes Marquelle.

 

                                                AMANDA

                                (as Marquelle)

                I've watched you forever, Shane. And now I have you.

 

Amanda/Marquelle moves toward Shane. Shane stumbles backwards over another foam head/mask.

 

Suddenly Amanda/Marquelle is gone!

 

Shane stares down at the head by his feet - Sarah's!

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  CROWDED TENT - SAME TIME

 

Sarah watches the guards throw Shane out. She pulls the guitar from around her and throws it to the stage floor.

 

                                                SARAH

                No. Shane!

 

She jumps down off the stage.

 

Andros takes the microphone.

                                                ANDROS

                Now I direct your attention to stage right, where we see a worried girl searching desperately for her one true love. But will he love her again? Let's find out.

 

Sarah pushes through the crowd and runs outside.

 

EXT  OPEN FIELD - CONTINUING

 

Sarah stops short. She's completely out in the open. She turns around, but the tent is at least two hundred yards behind her.

 

                                                SARAH

                Shane! Shane! Where are you?

 

A bright light rises from behind nearby trees. Searchlights probe in weaving patterns along the ground. They approach her.

 

                                                SARAH

                No.

 

She turns and runs. Not toward the main tent, just away from the approaching light.

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  CENTER RING - NIGHT

 

Rocky looks out the tent door into the darkness. No stars shine. It's completely dark. A gray haze floats on the air.

 

                                                ROCKY

                What's out there?

 

He turns back to talk to Marquelle, but she's nowhere to be seen.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Markie?

 

A clear note gives a clarion call to Rocky from outside the tent. He looks and sees a luminous being in the distance. It beckons to him.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Yes.

His eyes glaze over. He hears a voice inside his head. He mumbles agreement to the voice.

 

                                                ROCKY

                                (continuing; mumbling)

                Yes. I know. They're not mine. They're the ones hurting me. Make the hurt go away. Yes. YES. YES!

 

A jolt runs through his body as a dark shadow passes over the whites of his eyes.  He grins maliciously, as he takes off into the darkness.

 

               CUT TO:

 

EXT  OPEN FIELD - NIGHT

 

Sarah runs as fast as she can away from a rapidly approaching flying light. The probing searchlights weave no more than ten yards behind her.

 

Suddenly she's knocked from her feet. Panicked, she stares at her assailant. Rocky!

 

                                                SARAH

                Rocky?

 

He puts a hand over her mouth and looks up. The searchlights shut off. The glowing saucer flies over them and shoots off into the distance.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Shh. Don't talk. I know all about them. They're the ones hurting us.

 

                                                SARAH

                What are you talking about? Those things have Shane.

 

                                                ROCKY

                He's gone. You can't worry about him. You stay with me now. I'll take care of you.

 

Sarah pushes him away.

 

                                                SARAH

                No. Get off me.

 

Rocky's eyes harden.

                                                ROCKY

                You're with them. You almost had me, you wicked temptress. Bad girl. Do you know what happens to bad girls?

 

He raises his hand to strike Sarah. She snaps her foot out and kicks him in the crotch. Then she hammers him on the side of the head. Without looking back, she races toward the distant tents.

 

                                                ROCKY

                I'll kill you! You and all the rest of them!

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  FUN HOUSE HALL OF MIRRORS - NIGHT

 

The lights dim. Evelyn looks up. Her tear streaked face stares around at all of her reflections. She pulls herself up onto her knees.

 

Evelyn remembers the compliments from earlier that night.

 

                                                ALI (V.O.)

                Mommy, you look pretty.

 

                                                HARRY (V.O.)

                You have a really pretty mommy.

 

                                                ALI (V.O.)

                I know.

 

Evelyn smiles. She narrows her eyes at the mirrors. Her reflections change back to normal.

 

                                                EVELYN

                I know what I am. I am beautiful. And you have my children. I'm going to get them back. Don't mess with momma bear.

 

Evelyn pushes aside a mirror on a hinge and plunges into the dark.

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  KIDS PLAYROOM - NIGHT

 

Toys and pillows and all sorts of fun stuff fill the large room almost to overflowing.

Fun foods and delicious desserts line a bar on one wall. Ali sits in a corner, playing with some dolls.

 

The Clown picks up a piece of pizza. He sniffs it, and wrinkles his nose. He tosses the pizza on the ground and stomps on it. Cockroaches run out of the smashed pizza crust.

 

The Clown picks up a cockroach and opens his mouth -

 

                                                MARQUELLE (O.S.)

                You're forgetting we have guests.

 

The Clown frowns and bites the head off the cockroach, and offers the rest to Ali. She shakes her head and continues playing.

 

                                                CLOWN

                See?

 

He picks up the smashed pizza and shakes two more cockroaches out into his hand.

 

                                                CLOWN

                Stuffed crust.

 

Marquelle crosses the room to Ali. She kneels down by the little girl.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                What are you playing?

 

                                                ALI

                Dollhouse.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                I've got a big dollhouse. Wanna see?

 

                                                ALI

                Uh huh. What kind is it?

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                It's a big one. It has lots of rooms. And I'll even let you have your own room. Would you like that?

 

Ali nods. She takes Marquelle's hand and stands up.

 

A door opens in the ceiling. Fischer falls through, into a big beanbag, sending styrofoam beads flying everywhere.

 

The two Dragonfly Boys stare down at him.

                                                WHISPER ONE

                Two point landing.

 

                                                WHISPER TWO

                Yeah. One point for landing. One point for surviving.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Thank you, boys.

 

They close the door.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                                (continuing; to Fischer)

                Hello, Fischer. Glad you could make it.

 

Fischer picks himself out of the pile of beads. He's covered from head to foot in white styrofoam.

 

                                                ALI

                Fischer!

 

Ali runs and hugs Fischer.

 

                                                FISCHER

                Hi. Hi, Markie.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                We're going to play dollhouse. You don't have to play, but I've got a go kart you can drive around.

 

                                                FISCHER

                Cool. Where is it?

 

The Clown dips a cockroach in ice cream and pops it in his mouth.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                                (to Clown)

                See that our guests are taken care of.

 

Marquelle takes the kids by the hands and walks to the corner of the room. A trap door opens and a slide appears.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Here we go.

 

All three jump down the slide.

INT  SLIDE - CONTINUING

 

The kids squeal in delight. The ride seems to freeze in time, and their movement slows to almost imperceptible.

 

Marquelle breaks the stillness.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Andros, we're coming.

 

                                                ANDROS

                Are you finished?

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                I have what I came for.

 

               CUT TO:

 

EXT  TRAILER - NIGHT

 

Shane backs away from the trailer. Mixed emotions flood his face. He half walks, half stumbles toward the bigger tent.

 

He skirts the tent warily, and hurries around to the other side. There's his car. He unlocks the door and pulls the gun from under his seat.

 

                                                SARAH (O.S.)

                Shane?

 

Shane jumps, nearly falling down.

 

His hands shake, but he raises the gun to point at Sarah.

 

                                                SHANE

                Stay back. Stay right there, where I can see you.

 

Sarah raises her hands slowly and steps toward him.

 

                                                SARAH

                Shane, something's going on here.

 

                                                SHANE

                Stay back!

 

Tears of frustration and hurt and rage well in Shane's eyes.

 

                                                SARAH

                Shane, please. What's wrong?

 

                                                SHANE

                You lied to me. You've lied to me this whole time.

                                                SARAH

                What are you talking about? What do you mean, I lied to you?

 

                                                SHANE

                Don't try to con me. I saw it. I saw your face.

 

Sarah's face clearly registers confusion.

 

                                                SARAH

                I saw you too. In the crowd. They carried you away.

 

                                                SHANE

                You wanted them to.

 

                                                SARAH

                No. I wanted you to stay. Shane, really. I'm not going to hurt you. Put down the gun. Please.

 

Sarah's words echo in Shane's memory.

 

                                                SARAH

                I'm not going to hurt you.

 

INT  BEDROOM (FLASHBACK) - NIGHT

 

Young Shane looks up at a tall woman - Amanda.

 

                                                AMANDA

                I'm not going to hurt you.

 

Quick flashes of memory race by. Bright lights. Alien eyes staring right in his face. A circus. Ferris wheel. Eerie clowns. Amanda. Shadows. The ring of fire. Hurt.

 

EXT  CIRQUE DE NOCTE (REALITY) - CONTINUING

 

Sweat pours off Shane's face.

 

                                                SHANE

                You hurt me.

 

                                                SARAH

                I'm sorry. Shane, please. I love you. It's me, Sarah.

 

                                                SHANE

                That's not who you are. Take off your face. Take off your face!

Sarah starts crying. She doesn't understand.

 

                                                SARAH

                Shane, there's something weird going on here. I don't know who's doing this to you, but it has to stop. Please ...

 

Shane lowers the gun a little. Sarah puts out her hand.

 

                                                SARAH

                Give me the gun.

 

                                                SHANE

                I don't want you to hurt me.

 

                                                SARAH

                I'm not going to hurt you.

 

Sarah puts her hand over the gun as Shane collapses onto her shoulder.

 

                                                SHANE

                Why?

 

Sarah brushes the tears away from his eyes.

 

                                                SARAH

                I don't know why this is happening.

 

Shane puts her arm around his shoulder as she removes the gun from his hand.

 

                                                SHANE

                They want me back.

 

                                                SARAH

                Who?

 

                                                SHANE

                I won't go. They can't make me go.

 

                                                SARAH

                I'm going to protect you. No matter what.

 

Small shadows emerge from the darkness. A strange clicking/hissing sound approaches, seemingly echoing from the shadows.

Sarah steps in front of Shane. They back up against the car. The beings made of shadow gather around them, just outside of the light.

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  FUN HOUSE - NIGHT

 

Evelyn pushes her way out of the Hall of Mirrors. She looks around, but nobody, not even the WAX MAN, is around.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Ali! Fischer!

 

No answer. She runs outside, searching. Frustrated tears roll down her cheeks.

 

                                                ROCKY (O.S.)

                Looking for something?

 

Evelyn whirls. Rocky stands behind her, smirking.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Not me, of course. You never went looking for me. It was always someone else.

 

He circles Evelyn, eyeing her coldly.

 

                                                ROCKY

                There was always someone else, wasn't there? All the business trips I went on. You couldn't wait to get me out the door.

 

                                                EVELYN

                No.

 

                                                ROCKY

                No, you couldn't wait? Or no, that's not true?

 

                                                EVELYN

                That's not true.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Isn't it? What about Harry? From the restaurant.

 

                                                EVELYN

                He's a friend. We -

 

Evelyn stops. Rocky's breathing down her neck from behind.

                                                ROCKY

                We what?

 

                                                EVELYN

                We ... I wanted to make you jealous.

 

Evelyn turns to face Rocky.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Jealous? JEALOUS? No. I'm not jealous. Not jealous at all.

 

Rocky points his finger and presses it to Evelyn's forehead.

 

                                                ROCKY

                You blew it, Evie. I wanted this marriage to work. But you've been sneaking around on me all this time.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Me? What about that slut Brooke?

 

                                                ROCKY

                NO! Don't even try to make this my fault.

 

Rocky pulls off his wedding band.

 

                                                ROCKY

                You blew it.

 

He drops it. Evelyn watches the ring slowly fall into the dirt. She bends down and picks it up.

 

                                                EVELYN

                                (softly)

                So it's over.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Hell yeah. Face it, Evelyn. You're just a cheap whore. You'll find someone else. You always do.

 

Evelyn slaps him across the face.

 

                                                EVELYN

                I loved you for all these years. I have tried to ignore all the phone calls. All your looking at other women.

She holds up the ring.

 

                                                EVELYN

                And you do this to me? What about your kids? Huh? What about them?

 

Rocky grabs Evelyn's wrists and gets right in her face.

 

                                                ROCKY

                No. No more using them as leverage. Who's are they? Harry's?

 

Evelyn doesn't even answer. She knows that Rocky's too far gone to hear her anyway. She pulls away from him.

 

                                                ROCKY

                What's the matter? Cat got your tongue? He was probably the next in line, huh?

 

Evelyn sucker punches Rocky in the nose. His nose crumples. He goes down.

 

                                                EVELYN

                I hate you.

 

She walks past him. Rocky's hand snakes out and grabs her leg!

 

Evelyn stumbles. She kicks out with her other foot and catches him in the face, smashing his broken nose again.

 

Evelyn gets up and runs without looking back.

 

                                                ROCKY (O.S.)

                Evelyn! You'll come crawling back! Then I'll kill you!

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  CENTER RING - NIGHT

 

Darkness permeates the tent. A low light rises. Andros stands in the center of the darkness.

 

                                                ANDROS

                Through the deepest blackness, and the darkest night, always, always, our fears come crawling out of the ooze. Scratching, creeping, clawing their way into our minds. Fear. Every creature feels it. It grips every soul. No one escapes. Not even little children.

 

He raises his arms outward.

 

                                                ANDROS

                May I turn your attention to our final act.

 

               CUT TO:

 

EXT  CIRQUE DE NOCTE - NIGHT

 

Marquelle walks with Fischer and Ali out of the circus and toward a large dark object nearby. They can't make out any details - only that it is a large dark shape.

 

Ali clutches her little doll close to her.

 

                                                FISCHER

                What's that?

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                That's my home.

 

                                                ALI

                That's your dollhouse?

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Yes. And yours now, too.

 

                                                ALI

                Wooow.

 

The DOOR opens on the dark shape, spilling white light onto the ground for about ten yards. Dark shapes scuttle just beyond the light.

 

                                                FISCHER

                What are those?

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Don't worry about them. They can't hurt you as long as you stay in the light.

 

A familiar voice from behind them stops them. They stand in the middle of the light.

 

                                                EVELYN (O.S.)

                Fisher! Ali!

The kids turn around.

 

                                                ALI

                Mommy!

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Ali. Don't. You come with me.

 

                                                ALI

                But I want mommy.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                You don't need her. You have me now.

 

Evelyn reaches out her arms and runs toward them. She stops a few yards short of the light.

 

                                                EVELYN

                I'm here, kids. Mommy's here.

 

Fischer looks away. Then looks to Marquelle.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                You belong with me now. She left you.

 

                                                EVELYN

                No. Kids, please. Come here.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                She doesn't love you. She can't love you like I can. She can't give you what you want. She doesn't have toys like I have.

 

Fischer looks toward the light. He can't see inside. Then he looks out into the dark. He sees dark shapes moving out there.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                There's bad things out there, Fischer. Very bad things. Things that will hurt you.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Fischer, I won't let anything happen to you. I promise.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Don't listen. Look for yourself.

 

Fischer looks out. The two Dragonfly Boys walk into view.

                                                WHISPER ONE

                Hey ya, Fischer. Wanna come out and play?

 

                                                WHISPER TWO

                We've got a cool game. It's called Smash the Bug.

 

Fischer shakes his head. He closes his eyes in terror.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                That's right. You can't do it. Come inside.

 

Marquelle walks up a few steps into the doorway.

 

                                                ALI

                I want Mommy.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Look, Ali. Look at the eyes.

 

All around the barrier of light on the ground, dark beings with glittering black eyes stare up at Ali.

 

                                                ALI

                                (screaming)

                Mommy!

 

                                                EVELYN

                It's okay, baby. Come here.

 

Ali freezes in the middle of the light. She stares terrified at all the eyes looking at her.

 

                                                EVELYN

                                (continuing; to Marquelle)

                Let them go.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                I'm not the one keeping them here. They stay by choice.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Liar!

 

Evelyn tries to approach, but she can't. An invisible barrier holds her back.

 

                                                ALI

                I want my mommy!

                                                FISCHER

                Me too. Make them go away.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Stay in the light, children. They can't come into the light.

 

The dark beings stay outside the light, according to Marquelle's word.

 

                                                FISCHER

                Mommy. I'm sorry.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Fischer. Don't be afraid. Come here.

 

Fischer looks at the Dragonfly Boys.

 

                                                FISCHER

                I can't.

 

                                                WHISPER ONE

                Fischer can't move.

 

                                                WHISPER TWO

                Scaredy baby. Scaredy baby.

 

                                                FISCHER

                Shut up.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Come on. They can't hurt you.

 

                                                WHISPER ONE

                Yes, we can. We can pull your arms off.

 

                                                WHISPER TWO

                One at a time.

 

Ali walks over to Fischer. She holds her doll tight with one hand and takes Fischer's hand with the other.

 

                                                ALI

                Just close your eyes.

 

Fischer closes his eyes. Ali leads him towards their mom.

 

Evelyn waits with open arms. Ali stays focused on her.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Come on, baby.

They reach the edge of the light. Ali and Fischer step across. Ali feels a tug under her arm. Something pulls her doll away.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Don't look back. Just keep moving.

 

                                                FISCHER

                Mom, I'm scared.

 

                                                EVELYN

                It's okay. Nothing's going to happen to either of you.

 

Behind them, dark shapes struggle over Ali's doll.

 

                                                WHISPER ONE

                Fischer, we're gonna get ya.

 

                                                WHISPER TWO

                Rip. Rip. Go the arms.

 

                                                FISCHER

                                (whimpering)

                Nooooo.

 

Only fifteen more feet to go.

 

                                                ALI

                It's okay. They can't get you.

 

Ten more feet.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                NO! Stop right there.

 

The kids stop.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                Get them!

 

All of the black eyes turn toward the kids. As one, they surge after the two children.

 

                                                EVELYN

                No! RUN!

 

Ali and Fischer run the final few feet into Evelyn's outstretched arms, bowling her over.

 

                                                MARQUELLE

                NOOOO!

She slams the door. Everything goes dark.

 

Silence.

 

                                                ALI

                                (in the darkness)

                Are we dead?

 

Above them, the stars come out, one by one, lighting the ground, if only dimly.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Oh no, Ali. We're not dead.

 

                                                FISCHER

                I'm sorry, mom.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Oh, Fischer, it's okay.

 

Evelyn pulls herself and her kids to their feet.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Let's go home.

 

They turn and walk toward the Cirque de Nocte.

 

               CUT TO:

 

EXT  CIRQUE DE NOCTE - SAME TIME

 

Shane and Sarah look out on the sea of glittering eyes.

 

Sarah points the gun at one of the creatures. It growls at her.

 

                                                SARAH

                Shane?

 

                                                SHANE

                They want me.

 

                                                SARAH

                Well they can't have you.

 

                                                SHANE

                If I go, they'll leave you alone.

 

Shane steps from behind Sarah. One of the creatures steps forward and takes him by the hand. It leads Shane into the tent.

Sarah moves to follow. Several of the creatures hold their hands up, restraining her. She struggles and screams. The angry tears flow down her cheeks, but she can't move. She tries to talk, but all that comes out is a hoarse whisper.

 

               CUT TO:

 

EXT  EMPTY TENT - SAME TIME

 

Evelyn leads her children back through the dark circus.

 

                                                ROCKY (O.S.)

                Evelyn! Where are you?! Get out here now!

 

                                                ALI

                That's Daddy.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Shh. Don't let him hear you.

 

Evelyn pulls the kids into the closest tent. She closes the flap.

 

                                                ROCKY (O.S.)

                Evelyn! I'll kill you. You and your kids!

 

                                                FISCHER

                Why is he mad at you?

 

                                                EVELYN

                Your father ... he's ... something happened, and he's ...

 

                                                ALI

                Is Daddy crazy?

 

                                                EVELYN

                Yes, dear. Daddy's crazy. And I don't want him to find us.

 

                                                ALI

                What if he does?

 

A dim glow shines from beyond an inner wall. Evelyn goes to investigate. Her kids follow.

 

INT  EMPTY TENT - INNER ROOM - CONTINUING

 

A lighted mirror stands on a table. A high backed chair covers most of the person sitting. A CLOWN WIG sticks out, giving some hint to who is sitting in the chair.

Ali tugs on Evelyn.

 

                                                ALI

                Mommy, who's that?

 

                                                EVELYN

                Shh.

 

The chair turns a little. The person heard them.

 

                                                CLOWN

                                (back to them)

                Go home. The show's over. No more balloon animals. Go home.

 

Ali tugs more fiercely on Evelyn.

 

                                                ALI

                                (scared)

                Mommy.

 

Evelyn takes a step forward.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Excuse me.

 

Suddenly, the chair whirls around! The Clown holds a rag in his hand, wiping off his makeup. Half of it is gone, showing an ALIEN FACE!!!

 

                                                CLOWN

                I said GO HOME!

 

Evelyn stumbles backwards over the kids. They all fall to the floor.

 

                                                CLOWN

                GO!

 

They scramble out of the tent as fast as they can.

 

The Clown pulls the wig from his head.

 

                                                CLOWN

                Humph.

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  CIRQUE DE NOCTE - MAIN TENT - SAME TIME

 

Shane enters, following the creature by the hand. He shakes his head as the memories haze his mind.

Sharp cracks, like a whip, echo in his memory. Equally sharp screams follow closely.

 

The lights dim. Excited murmuring ripples through the audience.

 

Andros stands in the very center of the ring. Shane approaches.

 

                                                ANDROS

                And now, the grand finale. The star of our show.

 

The creature lets go of Shane's hand and hurries to sit with the audience.

 

                                                SHANE

                Who are you?

 

                                                ANDROS

                I am Andros, the Ringmaster. Welcome.

 

                                                SHANE

                Why are you doing this to me?

 

                                                ANDROS

                To you? Aren't we the egocentric one?

 

Shane looks out toward the audience. Only small glints of light reflect back from the darkness.

 

                                                SHANE

                Then what. Why me?

 

                                                ANDROS

                Because out of the six billion beings on this earth, you were the only one with an open Friday night.

 

Eerie laughter from the audience.

 

                                                SHANE

                No. I don't buy that. You've been using me my whole life. Why? Why me? Why not some other schmuck?

 

Andros walks around Shane.

 

                                                ANDROS

                Because you're special. I like you. You put on one hell of a show. You'll love what we've got cooking next.

 

               CUT TO:

 

EXT  EMPTY TENT - SAME TIME

 

Evelyn and the kids race out of the tent. Rocky spots them from across the way. He holds a lighted torch in his hand. The tent behind Rocky goes up in flames.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Evelyn!

 

Rocky rushes after them, stopping only to light another tent on fire.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Run, kids! Run as fast as you can!

 

They run for their lives.

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  CIRQUE DE NOCTE - MAIN TENT - SAME TIME

 

Shane stands in front of Andros. Memories cloud his vision.

 

                                                ANDROS

                Remember, Shane? You didn't do so well last time around. We'll see how you do this time.

 

He gestures, and a RING OF FIRE appears. Shane looks dumbly at it.

 

                                                ANDROS

                Jump through the hoop.

 

                                                SHANE

                No.

 

                                                ANDROS

                Still stubborn. Or could it just be your inexplicable fear of fire?

 

Andros gestures, and a wall of fire appears, surrounding him and Shane.

 

               CUT TO:

EXT  CIRQUE DE NOCTE - MAIN TENT - CONTINUING

 

Rocky lights the tent on fire.  The kids scream as the flames crackle closer and closer.

 

Rocky laughs and lights another spot on the tent. The maniacal gleam in his eye glows with an intensity hotter than the fires he's lit.

 

INT  CIRQUE DE NOCTE - MAIN TENT - CONTINUING

 

Shane sweats as the fire heats up.

 

                                                ANDROS

                Jump, Shane. The hoop is right there.

 

                                                SHANE

                I ... can't. I can't do it.

 

                                                ANDROS

                Maybe you need a little motivation. Eh?

 

Andros pulls a WHIP from behind him.

 

                                                ANDROS

                Remember this? You didn't like the whip, did you?

 

He CRACKS it once. Shane jumps. Again. Same thing.

 

                                                ANDROS

                Still nothing? We can fix that.

 

Several gray creatures pull Sarah in. She stands in front of Andros. Her back is to Shane.

 

                                                SHANE

                No. Don't you dare lay a finger on her.

 

Andros smiles and puts out one finger and lays it on Sarah's shoulder.

 

                                                SHANE

                Sarah, run.

 

                                                SARAH

                I won't leave you.

                                                ANDROS

                How touching. Here. Let me help you.

 

Andros straightens Sarah's collar. He pushes a BLACK NECKLACE down, out of view.

 

                                                ANDROS

                Have to look your best. It's your big moment.

 

Andros turns Sarah around to face Shane. Her hands are bound together.

 

                                                SARAH

                I'm sorry.

 

                                                ANDROS

                Now. Let's try this again. Jump.

 

He gestures to the ring of fire.

 

The heat intensifies. The sweat pours down Shane's face.

 

                                                ANDROS

                You're running out of time, Shane. Jump.

 

EXT  CIRQUE DE NOCTE - MAIN TENT - CONTINUING

 

The entire tent crackles in flames. Evelyn, Fischer, and Ali run around from behind and hurry to the car.

 

The first light of dawn peeks over the horizon.

 

Evelyn rounds the car and stops short. She looks down in shock.

 

INT  CIRQUE DE NOCTE - MAIN TENT - CONTINUING

 

Shane's eyes blur. The heat's getting to him.

 

                                                ANDROS

                Jump, Shane.

 

He CRACKS the whip. Sarah SCREAMS.

 

                                                SHANE

                NO!

 

                                                ANDROS

                Jump!

                                                SHANE

                I can't!

 

                                                ANDROS

                This is not time to be afraid. JUMP!

 

He cracks the whip again. Sarah screams and sobs.

 

                                                SARAH

                Shane, please.

 

                                                SHANE

                                (to Andros)

                I'll kill you.

 

Andros' voice takes on more of a GROWL.

 

                                                ANDROS

                JUMP!

 

He cracks the whip. Shane stumbles toward the ring of fire and leaps!

 

               CUT TO:

 

EXT  CIRQUE DE NOCTE - MAIN TENT - DAWN

 

Evelyn stares down at Sarah lying on the ground. Tears pour down Sarah's face as she struggles against the forces that pin her to the ground. Then, suddenly, she's released.

 

Evelyn helps her up. Sarah looks at the flaming tent and screams.

 

                                                SARAH

                SHANE!

 

                                                EVELYN

                Shane's in there? Oh no.

 

EXT  CIRQUE DE NOCTE - MAIN TENT - OTHER SIDE - CONTINUING

 

Shane bursts out of the tent, through a ring of fire. He looks back inside the tent.

 

Through the haze, Shane sees Andros and "Sarah". "Sarah" pulls on the back of her head and pulls a MASK off. It's Amanda/Marquelle. They turn and disappear into shadow.

 

The tent collapses from the flames.

 

Shane picks himself up slowly.

Suddenly he's shoved from behind!

 

                                                ROCKY (O.S.)

                You did this! You did all of this. You and your tramp sister.

 

Rocky swings the torch at Shane. Shane ducks under it and swings up, hitting Rocky in the gut. He knocks the torch out of Rocky's hand and punches Rocky in the chin.

 

Rocky glares at Shane through crazed eyes. His blood smeared face twists in homicidal rage.

 

                                                SHANE

                What the hell's your problem?

 

                                                ROCKY

                You. You and your harlot sister. You did this to me.

 

Rocky looks around for something to use as a weapon against Shane.

 

Shane wastes no time, but rushes Rocky, shoving him to the ground.

 

On the far side of the tent, Fischer sees some movement beyond the flames.

 

                                                FISCHER

                I see something!

 

SIRENS wail in the background.

 

Sarah races around the tent to see Rocky throw Shane off and pull a knife from his pocket.

 

                                                SARAH

                Shane!

 

Shane glances over to see Sarah alive!

 

Rocky slashes at him, slicing Shane's shirt across his chest. He draws a line of blood.

 

                                                SARAH

                NO!

 

Shane grabs Rocky's arm and rushes him. The knife twists, but Shane grabs that wrist with his other hand. Shane pushes Rocky backwards. Rocky trips over one of the tent wires and falls on his back.

The knife buries itself in Rocky's side. He gasps as the blade pierces his flesh.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Evelyn. Evie! You did this to me!

 

Shane pulls himself up. He kicks Rocky's other side.

 

                                                SHANE

                No. This was all me.

                                (kick)

                Pig.

 

Sarah runs to Shane. He almost collapses in her arms.

 

FIRETRUCKS and an AMBULANCE pull up. Firefighters jump out and unwind their hoses. They spray what's left of the burning circus.

 

               CUT TO:

 

EXT  CIRQUE DE NOCTE - MORNING

 

Everyone sits wrapped in blankets. The final ashes of the Cirque de Nocte crumble to the ground.

 

A FIREMAN walks up to the FIRE CHIEF.

 

                                                FIREMAN

                I couldn't find anyone else. I guess these six are all there were.

 

                                                CHIEF

                They've sworn there were at least six others.

 

The Fireman pulls the Chief to the side, out of hearing range.

 

                                                FIREMAN

                And they say there were a lot of little gray men, about this high. Frankly, Sir, I don't know what to believe.

 

                                                CHIEF

                Who started the fire?

 

                                                FIREMAN

                Rocky Cartwright, Sir.

 

                                                CHIEF

                And these others were out here ... stargazing?

                                                FIREMAN

                Uh ... yes, Sir.

 

The Chief gestures to the sky.

 

                                                CHIEF

                There's been a lot of shooting stars. A lot of activity in the sky.

 

A dark shadow passes over the whites of his eyes.

 

                                                CHIEF

                All shooting stars. Am I clear?

 

                                                FIREMAN

                Perfectly, Sir.

 

                                                CHIEF

                You will give me your official report when we get back to the station. Choose your words carefully.

 

                                                FIREMAN

                Yes, Sir.

 

The Chief walks over to Rocky, strapped down to a stretcher. His vitals are stabilized. The knife wound wasn't bad.

 

                                                CHIEF

                You've got quite a bit of explaining to do.

 

                                                ROCKY

                Go to hell. Those kids are spawns of the devil.

 

                                                CHIEF

                I see you've been a wonderful example to them.

                                (quietly)

                Rock'em, Sock'em.

 

Shane and Sarah sit on the hood of their car.

 

                                                SARAH

                Well, I guess it's all over now.

 

                                                SHANE

                No. They'll come back again. They always have. They always will.

Shane fixes his gaze on a distant speck on the horizon. As he watches, it grows larger.

 

                                                SARAH

                What is it?

 

                                                SHANE

                Oh no.

 

A gentle breeze quickly turns into a furious gust. The ashes blow every which way. Everybody ducks, out of natural instinct.

 

The wind whips through the meadow, lifting the ashes into the sky.

 

As quickly as it appeared, the wind disappears. But the ashes are all gone, leaving only burned circles in the fields.

 

                                                SHANE

                Gone without a trace.

 

The firemen all stare in shock. They look at each other for explanation, but find none.

 

Ali leans into Evelyn. She pulls Ali and Fischer close.

 

                                                ALI

                I wanna go home.

 

                                                EVELYN

                All right. Let's go home.

 

               CUT TO:

 

EXT  CARTWRIGHT CONSTRUCTION - MONDAY MORNING

 

Brooke walks in, like usual. Late. The clock reads 8:10. She hangs her purse on a hook, and stops in shock.

 

Amber (the waitress from The Tropics) sits at her desk!

 

                                                BROOKE

                What ... get out! Get out now!

 

                                                AMBER

                Good morning. Welcome to Cartwright Construction. I'm Amber. Can I help you?

 

Brooke throws open the door to Rocky's office. She doesn't even notice that his placard is missing.

INT  CARTWRIGHT CONSTRUCTION - ROCKY'S OFFICE - CONTINUING

 

The high-backed chair faces away from Brooke.

 

                                                BROOKE

                What is that ... that wench doing here?

 

The chair turns around. Evelyn smiles at Brooke. But her eyes show absolutely no mercy.

 

                                                BROOKE

                Evelyn!

 

                                                EVELYN

                Good morning, Brooke. There's been a little change of management.

 

                                                BROOKE

                Where's Rocky?

 

INT  ALLEN SANITARIUM - SAME TIME

 

Rocky lays in a hospital bed, staring at the wall. An IV pumps a sedative into his arm.

 

                                                EVELYN (V.O.)

                The Allen Sanitarium. He got transferred there this morning. Probably won't get out anytime soon, seeing as he tried to kill all of us. But visiting hours are from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays. You can go visit the pig if you want.

 

Rocky snorts, making an unintentional pig noise.

 

                                                EVELYN (V.O.)

                Won't do you a bit of good, though. You've lost him.

 

INT  CARTWRIGHT CONSTRUCTION - ROCKY'S OFFICE - CONTINUING

 

                                                EVELYN

                Here.

 

Evelyn hands an ENVELOPE to Brooke.

                                                EVELYN

                                (continuing; explaining)

                A bill for all of your purchases with the company card. I'll expect payment in full before the end of the year.

 

Evelyn pulls a paper bag from under the desk.

 

                                                EVELYN

                And some clothing you left here. Thought you could use it.

 

                                                BROOKE

                What are you saying?

 

                                                EVELYN

                Brooke, you're young, you're pretty, and you've got a lot of talent. Unfortunately, none of that matters to me. You're fired.

 

                                                BROOKE

                You can't do this.

 

Brooke throws the bag down on the floor. Its contents spill, showing all the clothing she's left at the office.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Rocky sure liked 'em dumb. Brooke, get out.

 

Brooke gathers up her spilled clothing, glares at Evelyn, and storms out.

 

INT  CARTWRIGHT CONSTRUCTION - CONTINUING

 

Brooke breaks a heel as she stomps through the lobby.

 

Amber smiles at Brooke's misfortune.

 

                                                BROOKE

                What're you looking at?

 

                                                AMBER

                Nothing.

 

Brooke grabs the doorknob and breaks a nail.

                                                AMBER

                Oh. I almost forgot. If you're interested, I hear The Tropics is looking for a new waitress.

 

Brooke scowls and slams the door ... on her purse. She yanks her purse out and hobbles away.

 

She passes a BUSINESSWOMAN, SYLVIA. Sylvia wears a short necklace with a polished BLACK STONE.

 

                                                AMBER

                May I help you?

 

                                                SYLVIA

                Yes. My name is Sylvia. I work for Mr. Andros. He wanted me to bring some contracts over. Is Ms. Cartwright busy?

 

                                                AMBER

                No. She's right in there.

 

Amber shows Sylvia into the office.

 

INT  CARTWRIGHT CONSTRUCTION - ROCKY'S OFFICE - CONTINUING

 

                                                AMBER

                Evelyn, this is Sylvia from Mr. Andros' company.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Oh. Hi. Come on in.

 

Sylvia spreads some documents on Evelyn's desk.

 

                                                SYLVIA

                We did a little bit of research, and we found out that Cartwright Construction originally belonged to your father, Ronald Smith, and he left it to you. By the way, we heard about your husband. I'm sorry.

 

                                                EVELYN

                It's all right. I should have dealt with it a long time ago.

 

                                                SYLVIA

                Mr. Andros asked me to bring by these contracts for you to sign.

Evelyn looks at the contracts.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Sixteen million dollars?

 

                                                SYLVIA

                We felt that was a fair price ... in advance.

 

                                                EVELYN

                That sounds wonderful.

 

Evelyn pauses. Something flashes in her mind.

 

                                                EVELYN

                Wait a minute. Who did you say you worked for?

 

                                                SYLVIA

                Mr. Andros.

 

                                                EVELYN

                That name sounds so familiar. I wonder why. Oh well. It's probably nothing.

 

                                                SYLVIA

                Funny how things like that happen. By the way, how was your weekend?

 

               CUT TO:

 

INT  PORTER HOME - MORNING

 

Shane looks over the newly developed photos. He shuffles through them, and then counts them.

 

                                                SHANE

                Nineteen, twenty ... twenty-one. Shoot! Three gone.

 

Shane looks around for the missing three photos. Then he looks in the envelope.

 

                                                SHANE

                Negatives, too.

 

He slumps in the couch.

 

                                                SHANE

                Darn.

INT  PORTER HOME - GUEST ROOM - CONTINUING

 

Sarah smiles at the soft colors. She runs her fingers across the cradle. She puts her hand on her belly, and gets a quizzical look on her face.

 

                                                SARAH

                I'm late. I'm never late.

 

She walks into the BATHROOM. She opens a cupboard and pulls out a box of pregnancy tests.

 

INT  PORTER HOME - LIVING ROOM - CONTINUING

 

A POSTCARD drops through the mail slot. Shane opens the door, but no one's in sight.

 

He picks up the card and reads the back.

 

                                                SHANE

                "Congratulations." Hmm.

 

He holds the postcard as he walks down the hall.

 

                                                SHANE

                Hey, Sarah.

 

Sarah comes out of the bathroom, holding the pregnancy test.

 

                                                SARAH

                Hey, Shane.

 

She hides the pregnancy test behind her back.

 

                                                SARAH

                I've got something to show you.

 

                                                SHANE

                Yeah, me too.

 

                                                SARAH

                Me first.

 

She holds out the pregnancy test. Positive.

 

                                                SHANE

                Really? This is great!

 

He's beside himself with excitement. So is Sarah.

 

                                                SARAH

                Yeah. I think I'm ready now.

                                                SHANE

                Really ... I love you. You're not yanking my chain? You really mean it?

                                (laughs)

                You are the greatest, babe.

 

Shane looks into her eyes.

 

                                                SHANE

                I'm sorry about what happened the other night. I promise, nothing will ever, ever come between us again. I mean that.

 

Shane picks up Sarah in a big bear hug.

 

                                                SARAH

                Mmm. I love you too. What's that?

 

Shane holds out the postcard.

 

                                                SARAH

                "Congratulations." No name. Wonder who it's from.

 

She turns the postcard over. TWO DARK ALIEN EYES stare back at them.

 

               FADE OUT:

 

 

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