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Soul Searcher: Family Secrets - Page Seven

Soul Searcher

Family Secrets

page 8

 

INT SCOTTSDALE MANOR - CELLAR - CONTINUING

Althea gropes in the darkness, moving toward the soft sobs. An insistent WHISPER surrounds her, threatening to overwhelm her.

ALTHEA

Jessie?

Althea feels on the floor, and her fingers touch Jessica's. Both sisters grip tightly. Althea pulls Jessica close to her.

ALTHEA

Oh, Jessie.

JESSICA

I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I took your Diary. I'm sorry.

Althea strokes Jessica's hair, calming her.

ALTHEA

It's okay. It's okay, Jessie.

The room brightens almost imperceptibly. A soft BLUE GLOW comes from behind Althea.

JESSICA

I'm so sorry.

ALTHEA

It's all right.

Althea looks into her sister's eyes.

ALTHEA

Are you okay?

Jessica nods. They don't quite notice the illumination yet.

JESSICA

I peed. I was so scared.

She looks down at the wetness on her pantlegs.

ALTHEA

(laughs in relief)

That's okay. You're okay. That's all that matters to me.

The Whispers take on an excited CHATTER.

JESSICA

(listening)

What is that?

Althea turns around. A JAPANESE FAMILY surrounds the Little Girl. They draw her in close, embracing her.

ALTHEA

Don't you see them?

JESSICA

Nuh uh. I hear something, though.

The Little Girl turns back to Althea.

LITTLE GIRL

This is my family.

JESSICA

(repeating)

"This is my family"? Who is that, Althea?

ALTHEA

She's a little girl. A bad man killed her and her family. Now they're back together. Everything's okay.

The door upstairs rattles as it shakes in its hinges. Then it flies open!

CUT TO:

INT SCOTTSDALE MANOR - MASTER BEDROOM - CONTINUING

Gerard walks slowly around the room. He glances inside the closet. Behind the drapes. Every possible hiding place.

Finally he zeroes in on the Wooden Chest. He taps the hilt of his knife on the lid.

GERARD

Knock, knock.

(pause)

Who's there?

Gerard KICKS the side of the chest, rattling it. Inside, Holly cries out.

GERARD

Bitcher.

(pause)

Bitcher, who?

Gerard picks up one side of the chest and flips it over!

Holly spills out onto the floor. She clutches her head in pain.

GERARD

Bitcher wishing you were someplace else.

Gerard bends down really close to Holly's face.

GERARD

Say goodnight, sweetheart.

He claps a hand over Holly's mouth. Her eyes widen in absolute terror. His other hand drops the knife and clamps down on the back of her neck. He pinches a nerve, and she loses consciousness.

INT SCOTTSDALE MANOR - CELLAR - CONTINUING

Althea pushes Jessica behind her. She gulps as she puts on a brave face to stand up to whatever threw open the door.

Halfway down the stairs, the footsteps stop.

CASEY (O.S.)

Althea?

ALTHEA

Casey?

Casey flies down the rest of the stairs.

CASEY

Jessica!

His smile brightens his whole face.

CASEY

Good. Let's get out of here.

INT SCOTTSDALE MANOR - KITCHEN - CONTINUING

Althea leads Jessica by the hand through the dark. Casey follows behind them. As they walk into the entryway, Jessica STUMBLES.

She looks down and sees ALTHEA'S BAG tangled around her foot.

JESSICA

Your bag.

ALTHEA

Yeah. Thanks. We'll bring it with us. I don't think I'm going to come back here again.

A SCREAM pierces their ears.

Althea whirls around.

CASEY

Holly!

Casey takes the stairs, two at a time, racing toward the sound of the scream.

INT SCOTTSDALE MANOR - MASTER BEDROOM - CONTINUING

Holly lies facedown on the bed. Her shirt lies on the bed beside her. Blood stains the back of her white bra.

Carved into her back is the word "BITCHER".

Randall Graves stands next to the bed, silently watching.

Holly's eyes fly open as the scream of pain escapes her lips. She rolls to her back and screams again as she sees Gerard.

His shirt is off, and he eyes her hungrily.

Holly scoots backwards on the bed. She clutches her shirt against her chest, covers herself a little.

GERARD

You are so beautiful. A work of art.

He drops the bloodied knife onto the bed.

HOLLY

Stay the hell away from me.

GERARD

It's our secret. Now you have the mark.

Gerard unbuckles his belt.

The DOOR slams open! Casey bursts in.

As Gerard whips around, Casey sees the word "BUTCHER" deeply scarred in his back.

CASEY

Get away from her.

Gerard grabs the knife and slashes around. Casey jumps back, the knife barely missing him.

Casey snatches the CANDLESTICK from the dresser and brings it down on Gerard's forearm. He drops the knife, but immediately bullrushes Casey, driving him into the wall.

Casey gasps, his wind knocked out of him.

Randall watches, expressionless.

ALTHEA (O.S.)

Casey!

Althea appears in the door, shadowed by Jessica.

This distracts Gerard, and Casey hits him across the face. Casey drives Gerard back into the wall.

Holly runs across the room, wincing in pain.

Gerard throws Casey backwards. He crashes into Holly, knocking her down. She hits her head and falls to the floor.

JESSICA

Holly!

Gerard jumps on top of Casey and pummels him senseless. Casey's head lolls to the side. Blood pours from his smashed nose.

ALTHEA

No!

She jumps on Gerard's back and rips her nails across his face.

He throws her off.

ALTHEA

Jessie, run!

Jessie stands frozen in the doorway. Gerard turns to stare at her. He gets up to his knees.

Althea jumps in between them. Fierce determination blazes in her eyes. Gerard rises to his full height. He towers over Althea.

She tries to kick Gerard in the crotch. He blocks, and pushes her backwards.

Althea falls out the doorway and slumps against the opposite wall. Jessica drops to her side.

JESSICA

Oh, Althea. C'mon. Get up.

Althea's head rolls slowly to face Jessica.

ALTHEA

Run.

Gerard lunges out into the hallway. Faster than a rabbit, Jessica darts out of his reach.

Althea pulls herself to her feet. Gerard winks at her.

GERARD

Good night.

He grabs her around the throat and marches her backwards.

INT SCOTTSDALE MANOR - MAIN FLOOR - CONTINUING

Jessica glances quickly back over her shoulder as she stumbles down the stairs. She trips as she runs across the floor. Around her feet again is Althea's BAG.

She kicks it off her feet, and her foot hits something hard, something metal. She looks down and sees Althea's HANDGUN.

INT SCOTTSDALE MANOR - STAIRWAY - CONTINUING

Gerard stops right at the top of the stairs. Althea teeters on the top stair. She gasps for breath in Gerard's iron grip.

Gerard removes his grip from her throat. He displays his scarred FINGERTIPS to her.

GERARD

No one will ever know. No fingerprints.

A shadow darts up the stairs.

GERARD

Sweet dreams, sweetheart.

Althea stares dumbly at him.

GERARD

A kiss before you sleep.

Gerard leans forward to kiss her.

JESSICA

Kiss this!

Three POPS.

His eyes widen in disbelief. He looks down. Jessica holds the handgun pressed against his belly. Dark blood stains his shirt.

Gerard GASPS as a new pain sears his back. He turns around. His KNIFE sticks out of his back.

Holly glares bitterly at him. Blood streaks her fingers and her forehead.

HOLLY

Die and rot in hell!

Gerard slowly collapses toward the railing. He slumps over the railing and topples.

Jessica pulls Althea out of the way.

Gerard falls down the stairs. His body lies motionless at the base of the stairs.

Holly walks to the edge of the balcony and SPITS down toward Gerard.

INT SCOTTSDALE MANOR - STAIRWAY - CONTINUING

Gerard opens his eyes. He gasps and pulls himself to his feet. He feels his belly, and looks. There's blood, but not too bad.

RANDALL GRAVES (O.S.)

I promised I'd meet you here.

GERARD

What?

RANDALL GRAVES

Welcome to Hell.

Gerard turns and looks at the stairs. His dead body lies broken and bloody at the foot of the wide staircase.

Anger twists Gerard's face. He glares at Randall.

GERARD

You did this to me! You ruined me! Look at me! LOOK AT ME!

RANDALL GRAVES

I see you. You carried on my legacy. You were the Butcher.

A small voice from the Kitchen cuts them to the core.

LITTLE GIRL (O.S.)

It doesn't hurt anymore.

She walks out, followed by her family. A BLUE GLOW envelops them. As the light touches Gerard and Randall, it SEARS their skin.

RANDALL GRAVES

Aaaagh!

Gerard swings at them, but his swing falls far short. The family surrounds the two evil men.

LITTLE GIRL

It doesn't hurt anymore.

She smiles at her father.

Althea watches from the top of the stairs.

The LIGHT INTENSIFIES. Gerard and Randall scream in agony.

RANDALL GRAVES

Help me!

The light gets so bright that even Althea turns away.

Gerard's and Randall's screams intertwine, then suddenly stop.

Althea turns to look.

ALTHEA

They're gone.

Jessica looks down, but she can't see what Althea sees.

JESSICA

What do you see?

Althea takes Jessica's hand. She leads her down the stairs.

The Entire Japanese Family welcomes Althea.

LITTLE GIRL

Look.

She holds out her hand. The SLICE is gone.

LITTLE GIRL

It's gone.

The Japanese Father speaks in his native tongue.

ALTHEA

What did he say?

LITTLE GIRL

He says that he thanks you for finding me. And for bringing me back to them.

The Father continues to speak.

JESSICA

(to Althea)

Who's that talking?

ALTHEA

It's her father.

LITTLE GIRL

Father says that his grandfather once spoke of a man who could talk to the Spirits, like you do. This man was called ...

(turns to Father)

What? I don't understand.

(speaks in Japanese)

Oh.

(to Althea)

The man was called Soul Searcher.

Althea smiles.

ALTHEA

Soul Searcher.

Upstairs, Casey staggers out of the hallway. He clutches his throbbing head.

Holly reaches out to him, but he brushes her away.

JESSICA

Soul Searcher.

Jessica hugs Althea.

The Little Girl looks up, as if hearing something. The whole family looks up. Their faces glow with joy.

The light brightens, and they are GONE!

CUT TO:

EXT SCOTTSDALE MANOR - DAWN

Althea sits outside the gate. Police mark off the area as a crime scene. Coroners wheel out Gerard's body.

A POLICEMAN approaches Althea. He holds the CAMCORDER.

POLICEMAN

This yours?

ALTHEA

No. It's Casey's.

POLICEMAN

We're going to have to keep this. Evidence.

ALTHEA

Whatever.

Althea's mom, Geneva, pulls up in her car. Donald is conspicuously ABSENT.

GENEVA

Althea, are you okay?

JESSICA

Mom!

Jessica hugs her mom tightly. Geneva draws both her girls close.

GENEVA

Things are going to be different now. I promise.

Dr. Simonson turns from talking with a police officer to approach Althea.

DR. THEODORE SIMONSON

I'm not sure if I quite understand everything that happened here.

GENEVA

I'm Geneva Coleman. Althea's mom.

Jessica tugs on Geneva.

GENEVA

And Jessica's mom.

DR. THEODORE SIMONSON

Dr. Ted Simonson.

(to Althea)

You actually talked to the Japanese Family? The Nishime's?

Althea and Jessica share a knowing look.

DR. THEODORE SIMONSON

If you don't mind, I'd like to discuss these things in greater detail ... at a more convenient time, of course.

Nearby, Holly winces as paramedics apply bandages to her back. She looks over at Althea. Their eyes meet, but it isn't the same. The friendship isn't there.

Holly looks away first, shame darkening her eyes.

CASEY (O.S.)

Althea?

Althea turns around. Casey holds a cold pack to his face. One hand hides behind his back.

CASEY

Althea, I was wondering if maybe you and I ...?

Althea sighs. She shakes her head.

CASEY

I understand.

He starts to turn away.

ALTHEA

Casey?

Casey turns back around.

ALTHEA

Give me a few days.

CASEY

(smiles)

All right.

CUT TO:

INT CAFETERIA - DAY

Ten days later.

Holly walks alone, her books clutched tightly to her chest. She wears a tank top, and the wounds on her back show quite clearly.

Sneers and taunts of "BITCHER" follow her everywhere she goes.

Todd and Seth sit apart from everyone. They turn their backs on Holly as she walks by.

Althea watches Holly as she hurries by. But Althea says nothing. She just continues to eat her lunch alone and read her book.

CUT TO:

EXT HILLSIDE - AFTERNOON

Althea sits alone on the hillside, overlooking the valley. She writes in a book.

ALTHEA (V.O.)

I think Holly knows a little bit more what I feel like now. Everyone makes fun of her and she really doesn't have any more friends. I don't really feel sorry for her. In a way it serves her right for what she did to me.

(pause)

Mom's doing a lot better now. Dad left for a while. She talked with me about things she sees. Kind of like me. I read in the Bible last night. It said that one of the gifts of God was "the beholding of spirits."

Unseen by Althea, a truck pulls up behind her.

ALTHEA (V.O.)

Maybe this Soul Searcher thing is okay after all. Oh, by the way, this is a new Diary. I can't find my old one. It must have disappeared in the mess at Scottsdale Manor.

Footsteps approach Althea. Casey holds her Diary in his hand.

Althea stares at the book in front of her. She's too involved to even notice Casey coming up behind her.

Casey sets a Boombox on the ground. He pushes PLAY. Escape Club's "I'll Be There" floats through the air.

Althea turns, surprised at the sound.

CASEY

Hi.

ALTHEA

Hi.

CASEY

I brought back your Journal.

Althea takes it, but questions fill her eyes.

ALTHEA

I guess you know all my secrets now, huh?

CASEY

Not all of them. But I do know what questions to ask.

Althea smiles at him.

ALTHEA

Oh yeah? Like what?

CASEY

Like ... I know it's not Winter Wonderland ... it's just me and a boombox, but ... would you dance with me?

Althea's grin splits her face. She wraps her arms around Casey's neck and pulls him close.

FADE OUT:

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