"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." - Ben Bova [ more quotes ]

"BLOOD SIMPLE"

By

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

LANDSCAPES

An opening voice-over plays against dissolving Texas
landscapes--broad, bare, and lifeless.

VOICE-OVER
The world is full of complainers.
But the fact is, nothing comes with
a guarantee. I don't care if you're
the Pope of Rome, President of the
United States, or even Man of the
Year--something can always go wrong.
And go ahead, complain, tell your
problems to your neighbor, ask for
help--watch him fly. Now in Russia,
they got it mapped out so that
everyone pulls for everyone else--
that's the theory, anyway. But what
I know about is Texas...

CUT TO

ROAD NIGHT

We are rushing down a rain-swept country road, listening to
the rhythmic swish of tires on wet asphalt.

VOICE-OVER
And down here... you're on your own.

INT. CAR NIGHT

We are looking at the backs of two people in the front seat--
a man, driving, and a woman next to him.

Their conversation will be punctuated by the occasional glare
of oncoming headlights and the roar of the car rushing by.

The windshield wipers wave a soporific beat. The conversation
is halting, awkward.

WOMAN
...He gave me a little pearl-handled
.38 for out first anniversary.

MAN
Uh-huh.

WOMAN
...Figured I'd better leave before I
used it on him. I don't know how you
can stand him.

MAN
Well, I'm only an employee, I ain't
married to him.

WOMAN
Yeah...

Pause, as an oncoming car passes. Finally:

WOMAN
...I don't know. Sometimes I think
there's something wrong with him.
Like maybe he's sick? Mentally?...
Or is it maybe me, do you think?

MAN
Listen, I ain't a marriage counselor.
I don't know what goes on, I don't
wanna know... But I like you. I always
liked you...

Another car passes.

MAN
...What're you gonna do in Houston?

WOMAN
I'll figure something out... How
come you offered to drive me in this
mess?

MAN
I told you. I like you.

WOMAN
See, I never knew that.

MAN
Well now you do.

WOMAN
...Hell.

Another pause. Another car.

Suddenly:

WOMAN
Stop the car, Ray!

CLOSE SHOT BRAKE

Stamped on.

EXT. CAR

Low three-quarters on the car as it squeals to a halt.

A car that has been following screeches to a halt just behind
it.

Both cars sit.

Rain patters.

INT. FIRST CAR

Close on the man, from behind.

He looks at the woman.

MAN
...Abby?

She doesn't answer. He turns to look back and we see his
face, for the first time, in the headlights of the car behind.

HIS POV

The car behind them waiting, patiently. Rain drifts down
past its headlights.

Finally it pulls out and passes them slowly, their headlights
showing it to be a battered green Volkswagon. First the car
itself, then its red taillights, disappear into the rain.

BACK TO THE MAN

Cutting between him and the woman, each from behind.

MAN
...You know that car?

WOMAN
No.

MAN
What's the matter?

WOMAN
I don't know... I just think maybe
I'm making a mistake...

She looks at the man.

WOMAN
...What was that back there?

MAN
Back where?

WOMAN
Sign.

MAN
I don't know. Motel... Abby--

WOMAN
Ray. Did you mean that, what you
said before, or were you just being
a gentleman?

MAN
Abby, I like you, but it's no point
starting anything now.

WOMAN
Yeah.

MAN
I mean, I ain't a marriage counselor--

WOMAN
Yeah.

The man is uncomfortable.

MAN
...What do you want to do?

The woman is uncomfortable. After a long pause:

WOMAN
...What do you want to do?

MOTEL ROOM

Pulling back from RAY and ABBY in bed, making love.

The only light is from cars passing along the highway outside.
Each sweeping light-by ends in black.

The pullback ends in a wide shot of the motel room. The black
following the last car lingers.

A telephone rings.

SAME WIDE SHOT MORNING

Ray and Abby are asleep. On a nightstand next to the bed,
the telephone is ringing.

Ray stirs, reaches for the phone.

RAY
...Hello.

VOICE
Having a good time?

RAY
...What? Who is this?

VOICE
I don't know, who's this?

A silence at both ends.

VOICE
...You still there?

RAY
Yeah, I'm still here.

Ray listens to another silence. It ends with a disconnect.

Abby is stirring as Ray gets out of bed.

ABBY
...Ray?

RAY
Yeah.

ABBY
What was that?

RAY
Your husband.

BAR BACK OFFICE NIGHT

We are tracking past a man seated behind a wooden desk,
towards an 8 x 10 black-and-white photograph that has just
been slapped down on the desktop.

The picture is of Abby and Ray in bed together in the motel
room.

VOICE
I know a place you can get that
framed.

The voice is familiar as that of the narrator whose musings
on life in Texas and the Soviet Union opened the movie.

We cut to him.

He is settling himself into a chair facing the desk. He is
LOREN VISSER, a large unshaven man in a misshapen yellow
leisure suit.

He smiles at the man behind the desk.

JULIAN MARTY

Sits staring down at the photograph. Behind him a window
opens on the bar proper. Country-western music filters in
from the bar.

Marty is not pleased.

MARTY
What did you take these for?

VISSER
What do you mean...

He removes a pouch of tobacco from his breast pocket and
nonchalantly starts rolling a cigarette.

VISSER
...Just doin' my job.

MARTY
You called me, I knew they were there,
so what do I need these for?

VISSER
Well, I don't know... Call it a fringe
benefit.

MARTY
How long did you watch her?

VISSER
Most of the night...

He lights his cigarette, then slaps his lighter onto the
desktop.

It is silver, engraved on the top with a lariat spelling out
"Loren" in script, and on the side with a declaration that
he is "Elks Man of the Year."

VISSER
...They'd just rest a few minutes
and then get started again. Quite
something.

Marty stares down at the photograph.

MARTY
You know in Greece they cut off the
head of the messenger who brought
bad news.

A smoke ring floats into frame from offscreen.

VISSER
Now that don't make much sense.

MARTY
No. It just made them feel better.

Marty rises and goes to a safe behind his desk.

Visser laughs as he watches Marty.

VISSER
Well first off, Julian, I don't know
what the story is in Greece but in
this state we got very definite laws
about that...

Marty, hunched over the standing safe behind his desk, tosses
in the photograph and takes out a pay envelope.

VISSER
...Second place I ain't a messenger,
I'm a private investigator. And third
place--and most important--it ain't
such bad news. I mean you thought he
was a colored.
(he laughs)
...You're always assumin' the worst...

Visser blows another smoke ring, pushes a fat finger through
the middle of it, and beams at Marty.

VISSER
...Anything else?

MARTY
Yeah, don't come by here any more.
If I need you again I know which
rock to turn over.

Marty scales the pay envelope across the desk. It hits Visser
in the chest and bounces to the floor.

Visser looks stonily down at the envelope; no expression for
a beat. Then he roars with laughter.

VISSER
That's good... "which rock to turn
over"... that's very good...

Sighing, he leans forward to pick up the envelope. He rises,
straightens his cowboy hat, and walks over to a screen door
letting out on the bar's back parking lot.

VISSER
Well, gimme a call whenever you wanna
cut off my head...

He pauses at the door, cocks his head, then turns back to
the desk and picks up his cigarette lighter. Returning to
the door:

VISSER
...I can crawl around without it.

The door slams shut behind him.

Marty scowls at the back door. After a moment he rises and
crosses the office to the window looking out on the bar.

Over Marty's shoulder we see the long bar leading up to the
window in perpendicular. The camera is tracking forward,
past Marty, to frame on the window.

A black man is just now vaulting the near end of the bar,
over onto the customer side.

MATCH CUT TO:

MARTY'S BAR

REVERSE ANGLE VAULTING MAN

Tracking back with him as he lands on the customer side and
heads across the bar. This shot, from the other side of the
back-office window, reveals the window to be one-way glass
mirrored on this side

MEURICE, the black bartender, is muscular, about 200 pounds,
dressed in white pants and a sleeveless T-shirt. He is making
his way through the crowd towards the jukebox.

Another man stands in front of it examining the selections.

He deposits a quarter.

MEURICE
Hold it, hold it. What's tonight?

MAN
What?

MEURICE
What night is it?

MAN
(studying Meurice)
...Friday?

MEURICE
Right. Friday night is Yankee night.
Where're you from?

MAN
Lubbock?

Meurice shakes his head and punches the selector buttons on
the jukebox.

MEURICE
Right. I'm from Detroit
(turning to leave)
It's a big city up north with tall
buildings.

A Motown song drops. We track behind Meurice as he makes his
way back toward the bar. When he reaches it, he claps a couple
of people on the shoulder, who make way for him. He vaults
back over the top, walks down the bar, and stops in from of
an attractive white woman sitting on a bar stool and sipping
a brandy.

MEURICE
Where was I?

WOMAN
You we telling me about the Ring of
Fire.

MEURICE
Yeah, well, I may be getting in over
my head here, I mean you're the
geologist, but my theory for what
it's worth, you got all these
volcanoes and each time one pops
it's the equivalent of what, twenty,
thirty megatons of TNT? Enough to
light Las Vegas for how long? How
many years? Course, I'm no
mathematician but--

MARTY
Meurice.

Marty is approaching from the direction of the office.

MEURICE
Yeah, I know. Pour 'em short.

MARTY
Has Ray come in yet?

MEURICE
No, he's off tonight. Where was he
last night?

MARTY
(glaring)
How would I know?

MEURICE
I don't know, didn't he call?

Marty loses his glare and his gaze drifts over to the woman.
After an awkward pause, Meurice clears his throat.

MEURICE
...Marty, I'd like you to meet an
old friend of mine, Debra. Debra,
this is Julian Marty, the dude I'm
always talking about.

She is unselfconsciously returning Marty's stare.

MARTY
If he does come in I'm not here...
What were you drinking, Debra?

DEBRA
Remy.

MARTY
You've got a very sophisticated
palate.

DEBRA
Thanks.

MARTY
Give Debra here another drink, and
give me the usual.

Meurice walks down the bar.

DEBRA
...What's a palate?

Marty studies her for a beat, she studies him, he smiles.

MARTY
Listen, I got tickets for the Oilers
and the Rams next week in the
Astrodome. Ever sat on the fifty
yard line?

DEBRA
I don't follow baseball.

Marty laughs.

MARTY
You won't have to. I'll explain what
a palate is.

DEBRA
You won't have to. I just wanted to
see if you knew.

Marty smiles bleakly. Debra drains her glass as Meurice
returns. He sets another Cognac in front of Debra, and a
glass of milk in front of Marty.

MARTY
What's this?

MEURICE
You said the usual--

MARTY
Red Label.

MEURICE
(picking up the milk)
Right. Sorry.

MARTY
Pour that back.

MEURICE
What.

MARTY
Don't throw that out.

MEURICE
Right.

He wanders on down the bar; Marty's attention returns to the
woman.

MARTY
So how long have you know Meurice?

DEBRA
About ten years.

Marty's attention is caught by something down the bar. He
half-rises from his stool.

MARTY
What--Waitaminute--What...

HIS POV

Meurice is pouring the milk down the sink. He looks innocently
up.

MEURICE
What.

BACK TO MARTY

Angry but not knowing what to say. He glances around the
bar, sinks slowly back onto his stool.

MARTY
Deuce in the corner needs help.

MEURICE
Right.

Marty sits staring across the bar for a moment, nods a couple
of times at nothing in particular, then looks back at the
woman.

MARTY
...So what're you doing tonight?

DEBRA
Going out with Meurice.

Marty tosses a beer nut into his mouth.

MARTY
Tell him you have a headache.

Debra gives him a level stare.

DEBRA
It'll pass.

MARTY
We don't seem to be communicating--

DEBRA
You want to hustle me. I don't want
to be hustled. It's as simple as
that. Now that I've communicated,
why don't you leave?

MARTY
I own the place.

DEBRA
Christ, I'm getting bored.

MARTY
I'm not surprised, the company you've
been keeping the last ten years.

They both fall silent as Meurice enters frame. He takes a
bottle from the bar and pours himself a drink.

MARTY
What's this?

MEURICE
What.

MARTY
(pointing at Meurice's
drink)
This.

MEURICE
Jack Daniels. Don't worry, I'm paying
for it.

MARTY
That's not the point.

MEURICE
What's the point?

MARTY
The point is we don't serve niggers
here.

MEURICE
Where?
(he looks over his
shoulder; up and
down the bar)
...I'm very careful about that.

Marty tosses back Meurice's drink, then turns to Debra,
smiling.

MARTY
He thinks I'm kidding. Everybody
thinks I'm kidding;
(as he turns to leave)
if Ray comes in I'm not home.

Debra watches him go, then turns back to Meurice.

DEBRA
Nice guy.

MEURICE
Not really. What'd you say your last
name was?

MARTY'S HOUSE TRACKING DOWN HALLWAY

We are following a large German shepherd as it pads down the
hall toward a warmly lit room at its end. We hear only the
sound of the dog's paws on the hardwood floor, and the faint
clicking of billiard balls.

BILLIARD ROOM

It is a paneled, carpeted room with black leather furniture
and a nine-foot billiard table. Various stuffed animal
trophies are scattered around the room, including a moose
head mounted on one wall. Ray stands alone in the foreground,
shooting pool, an unlit cigarette in his mouth. The room is
very quiet.

In the background the German shepherd enters from the hallway,
sits down in a corner, and benignly watches Ray.

UPSTAIRS BEDROOM

It is expensively appointed; a brightly lit woman's bedroom.
Abby is opening a hinged drawer in a white antique bureau.
She pulls out a leather handbag, gropes nervously through
its contents, then puts it aside.

She crosses the room to a vanity table, takes a purse from
underneath, and spills its contents out on top of the table.

BILLIARD ROOM

Ray pockets a couple of balls, looks over at the dog, then
up at the wall at the far end of the room.

RAY'S POV

Hanging on the wall are a couple of framed photographs of
Marty and Abby, taken a long time ago.

BACK TO RAY

Staring at the pictures. He looks back down at the pool table.

UPSTAIRS BEDROOM

Abby is sitting on a large double bed. She puts aside another
purse, rises and crosses the room hurriedly, and pushes back
the sliding doors of a long wardrobe closet. The upper shelf
is lined with handbags--fifteen or twenty of them. She grabs
the first one, looks in, tosses it aside; grabs the second,
looks--and stops.

HER POV

Inside the purse, a small pearl-handled gun.

BILLIARD ROOM

Ray is now standing in front of the pictures on the wall,
looking from one to the next.

RAY'S POV

A picture of Abby and Marty standing together on a Gulf beach.
Marty is wearing a long velour beach robe, Abby is in a
swimming suit. Ray's hand enters frame. He traces a finger
down her leg.

CLOSE SHOT RAY

His head cocked to the side. After a moment his eyes shift.

EXTREME CLOSE SHOT PHOTO DETAIL

Of Marty's face. He is staring into the camera, at whoever
took the picture. His head is thrown back slightly; he is
laughing.

From offscreen in the quiet room we hear a static hum and
then Abby's voice over an intercom.

ABBY'S VOICE
Ray...?

BACK TO RAY

He turns from the photograph and walks to an intercom speaker
next to the mounted moose's head. He presses the speaker
button.

RAY
Yeah...

He idly takes his unlit cigarette and sticks it in the moose's
mouth.

RAY
...You get what you wanted?

ABBY'S VOICE
Yeah. Let's get out of here.

MARTY'S FRONT FOYER

We are looking across a dark, high-ceilinged foyer toward
the front door. Ray leans against the doorjamb, in silhouette
in the open doorway. He is facing a curved staircase that
descends into the foyer. Abby appears at the second-floor
landing and starts down the stairs.

RAY
Why d'you wanna leave all this?

ABBY
You kidding? I don't wanna leave all
this, I just wanna leave Marty...

As she reaches the bottom of the stairs:

ABBY
...Drive me to a motel?

RAY
You can stay at my place, I'll drop
you there.

ABBY
Where... where you going?

RAY
See a guy.

ABBY
(nervously)
Don't go to the bar, Ray. I know
him, that ain't a good idea.

RAY
I just gotta see a guy.

MARTY'S BAR

The crowd has thinned out. Meurice and Debra are in the
foreground.

Ray enters from the street and makes his way over to them.

MEURICE
Howdy stranger.

RAY
Meurice. Sorry I didn't show last
night.

MEURICE
Wasn't too busy. You missed a good
one, though. This white guy walks in
about one o'clock, asks if we have a
discount for alcoholics... I tell
him to get lost, but Marty's sitting
here listening and I can tell he's
thinking that maybe it ain't such a
bad idea...

He pours Debra another drink and starts to set one up for
Ray.

MEURICE
...Ray, this is Debra. She's a
geologist. That's the theory of rocks.

Ray nods at Debra.

RAY
Is Marty here?

MEURICE
Not here tonight. Wasn't here last
night. He's especially not back in
his office.

RAY
(leaving)
Thanks Meurice.

MEURICE
For what?

EXT. BACK OF MARTY'S BAR

Marty is sitting on the stoop that descends from his back
office to a graveled back parking lot; he is framed in the
open doorway of his brightly lit office. He stares fixedly
at something offscreen.

MARTY'S POV

In the middle distance a huge incinerator operates full blast.
Orange flames lick out the sides; white smoke billows out
the top. Two figures in silhouette are chucking garbage in
through a large gate.

BACK TO MARTY

Behind him, in the office, we see the door from the bar open,
and Ray entering.

RAY
Marty?

Marty looks over his shoulder, then back toward the furnace.
Ray descends the stoop and stands in front of him.

RAY
...Well...? What?

Marty stares past Ray across the parking lot.

MARTY
What "what"?

RAY
Am I fired? You wanna hit me? What?

MARTY
I don't particularly want to talk to
you.

RAY
Well... if you're not gonna fire me
I might as well quit.

MARTY
Fine. Suit yourself.
(still staring fixedly
at the furnace)
...Having a good time?

Ray tenses. There is a pause.

RAY
...I don't like this kind of talk.

Marty still stares at the furnace.

MARTY
Then what'd you come here for?

RAY
(no more conciliation)
You owe me for two weeks.

Marty shakes his head.

MARTY
Nope. She's an expensive piece of
ass...

He finally looks up at Ray.

MARTY
...You get a refund though, if you
tell me who else she's been sluicing.

RAY
I want that money. If you wanna tell
me something, fine--

MARTY
What're you, a fucking marriage
counselor?

Ray breaks into a strained half-smile.

Marty grins humorlessly back, mimicking Ray's smile.

MARTY
What're you smiling at--I'm a funny
guy, right, I'm an asshole? No, no,
that's not what's funny. What's funny
is her. What's funny is that I had
you two followed because, if it isn't
you, she's been sleeping with someone
else...

He grabs a knee in each hand and leans forward, still looking
at Ray. He is becoming only slightly more animated.

MARTY
...What's really going to be funny
is when she gives you that innocent
look and says, What're you talking
about, Ray, I haven't done anything
funny...

He leans back again.

MARTY
...But the funniest thing to me right
now is that you think she came back
here for you--*that's* what's funny.

Ray moves forward and Marty's eyes follow him as he
approaches. Marty's smile abruptly turns to a look of
apprehension. Ray enters frame and brushes past Marty as he
walks up the stoop, and crosses the back office toward the
bar.

Marty relaxes, and his gaze returns to the furnace.

MARTY
...Come on this property again and
I'll be forced to shoot you...

Ray opens the door to the bar and shuts it softly behind
him.

MARTY
...Fair notice.

MARTY'S OFFICE LATER

CLOSE SHOT CEILING FAN

At the cut the music and all other bar noise drops out. We
hear only the rhythmic whir of the fan. We tilt down from
the ceiling fan to frame Marty, tilted back in his desk chair,
staring up at the fan.

MEURICE (O.S.)
Marty...

WIDE SHOT THE OFFICE

Meurice is standing in the door to the bar. Far behind him
we can see Debra waiting in the dimly lit, deserted bar.

MEURICE
...I thought you were dead. Going
home?

MARTY
No. I think I'll stay right here in
hell.

MEURICE
(turning to leave)
Kind of a bleak point of view there,
isn't it Marty?

MARTY
Meurice...

Meurice pauses in the doorway.

MARTY
...I don't want that asshole near my
money. I don't even want him in the
bar.

MEURICE
We get a lot of assholes in here,
Marty.

Meurice and Debra can be heard leaving the bar. Marty looks
down at the telephone in front of him on the desk, then picks
up the receiver and dials. He tilts back in the chair and
stares back up at the ceiling.

MARTY'S POV

The ceiling fan, turning slowly.

EXT. RAY'S BUNGALOW FROM INSIDE RAY'S CAR

In the foreground Ray sits behind the wheel of his parked
car, slumped back against the seat. He is staring at his one-
story bungalow, in which a couple of lights are burning.
Inside we can faintly hear his telephone ringing.

It rings for a long time.

RAY'S LIVING ROOM

CLOSE SHOT THE RINGING TELEPHONE

Abby's hand enters frame, hesitates, then after another ring
picks up.

ABBY
Hello?

The is no answer. From the other end we hear only the rhythmic
whir of a ceiling fan.

MARTY'S OFFICE

Marty listens. He says nothing, still tilted back in his
chair, staring at the ceiling.

RAY'S LIVING ROOM

Abby listens. She shifts the phone to her other ear, listening
hard to the sound of the fan. There is another long pause.

ABBY
...Marty?

The phone goes dead just as we hear the front door opening.
Abby looks up as she cradles the phone.

Ray is standing in the doorway.

RAY
Who was it?

ABBY
What?

RAY
On the phone. Was it for you?

ABBY
I don't know, he didn't say anything.

RAY
Uh-huh. So how do you know it was a
he?

ABBY
(smiling)
You got a girl--am I screwing
something up by being here?

Ray leans against the door and folds his arms, watching Abby.

RAY
No, am I?

Abby looks at him, puzzled. After an uncomfortable pause:

ABBY
...I can find a place tomorrow, then
I'll be outta your hair.

RAY
If that's what you want to do, then
you oughta do it. You, uh... you
want the bed or the couch?

Abby shifts uneasily, looking at Ray.

ABBY
Well... the couch would be all
right...

RAY
You can sleep on the bed if you want.

ABBY
Well... I'm not gonna put you out of
your bed...

RAY
You wouldn't be putting me out.

ABBY
...Well, I'd be okay in here--

Ray walks toward the bedroom.

RAY
Okay.

MARTY'S OFFICE LATER

Still tilted back in his chair, Marty stares glumly at the
ceiling. The bar itself is completely still except the
rhythmic whir of the fan.

CLOSE SHOT A CEILING FAN

Turning slowly. We tilt down from the fan to frame Abby,
lying under a sheet on Ray's couch, staring up at the fan in
the darkened living room. The room is still. We hear only
the whir of the fan and the distant sound of crickets. Abby
turns her head, looking offscreen.

HER POV

A ray of light slants up the hallway from the direction of
the bedroom. The light is snapped off, leaving the hallway
in darkness. We hear a faint cough and the creaking of
bedsprings.

RAY'S BEDROOM

Ray lies in bed, staring at the ceiling.

RAY'S LIVING ROOM / HALLWAY

LONG SHOT THE LIVING ROOM FROM THE HALLWAY

Abby sits up. She stands and walks across the moonlit room
toward the hallway. We pull her back down the hall toward
the bedroom. She pauses in the bedroom doorway and looks
down toward the bed.

ABBY'S POV

Ray in bed, his eyes closed.

BACK TO ABBY

We pull her as she enters the room, then tilt down with her
as she hesitantly sits on the edge of the bed.

ABBY'S POV

Close shot, Ray asleep.

BACK TO ABBY

Framed against a moonlit window from the shoulders up.

There is a long pause.

Ray's hand enters frame and pulls Abby down out of frame
onto the bed. We hold on the moonlit window.

DISSOLVE THROUGH TO:

SAME WINDOW SAME ANGLE PRE-DAWN

Through the window the slow dissolve gradually defines the
front lawn and the street beyond in the flat pre-dawn light.
Abby rises into frame and quietly gets out of bed. The camera
tracks behind her as she walks up the hallway into the living
room.

We follow her across the living room and move into a close
shot on her hand as she reaches into her purse and withdraws
a small plastic compact.

LOW-ANGLE CLOSE SHOT ABBY

She flips open the compact, then, hearing something, looks
up, squinting across the room.

ABBY'S POV

In the shadows at the far end of the room we can just see
two pointed ears and a glittering pair of eyes. The German
shepherd is panting softly.

OVER ABBY'S SHOULDER

As she peers into the shadows, her face reflected in the
mirror of the open compact.

ABBY
Opal--

In the mirror something moves just behind her. Abby starts
to turn.

Marty's hand clamps over her mouth from behind. His other
hand circles her waist. Abby struggles.

MARTY
(quietly)
Lover-boy oughta lock his door...

Marty's hand drops from her waist to her thighs and slides
under the robe.

MARTY
...Lotta nuts out there.

Still holding her from behind, Marty forces her down on her
knees. Abby's cries are muffled by the hand clamped over her
mouth. Marty shoots a glance down the dark hallway. There is
no movement.

Abby's hand is groping forward out of frame.

CLOSE SHOT ABBY'S PURSE

She upsets it. The contents spill out, among them a small
pearl-handled revolver. Her hand gropes for the gun.

BACK TO ABBY AND MARTY

Marty yanks her to her feet, looking down the hallway.

MARTY
Let's do it outside...

He is dragging her to the front door.

MARTY
...in nature.

He pushes her through the screen door.

EXT. RAY'S BUNGALOW

The neighborhood is deserted and still. The streetlamps are
still on. Marty and Abby stumble down the front stoop onto
the lawn.

His hand is still clamped over her mouth. She reaches up,
grabs a finger, and bends it back.

We hear the bone snap.

Marty screams. His hand drops. His other hand cuffs her on
the side of the head, spinning her around.

Marty is now clutching his broken finger with his good hand.
Abby kicks him in the groin.

He sinks to his knees, drops forward on one hand, and vomits.

FRONT STOOP

Ray is coming out the door, hitching up his pants. In his
right hand he hold Abby's pearl-handled revolver.

MARTY

Slowly gets to his feet, looking at Ray.

ABBY

She has backed away from Marty and now stands on the lawn,
breathing heavily. She looks from Ray to Marty.

BACK TO MARTY

Backing toward his car, a Cadillac parked at curbside, still
looking at Ray. He turns to get into the car.

The German shepherd lopes across the lawn and takes a clean
leap into the car through the open window on the passenger
side.

Marty turns the ignition. The engine coughs and dies. He
tries again; it starts.

The car roars up the street.

RAY

Watching the car. He looks at Abby.

ABBY

Still panting. Up the street we can hear Marty's car
alternately racing and stopping, shifting in and out of gear.
His engine rumble starts to grow louder again.

RAY
Like to have seen his face when he
found the dead end.

In the background we see Marty's car roar by in the opposite
direction.

MOUNT BONNEL EVENING

LATERAL TRACK

Moving past a row of cars parked on an overlook near the top
of the mountain. Below we can see the lights of the city of
Austin. The lot is littered with beer cans. We hear the sound
of rock music coming from various car radios. Several
teenagers lean against cars drinking beer; inside the cars
we can see the vague forms of others.

TEENAGER
Hey mister, how'd you break your
pussyfinger?

His friends laugh.

TRACK PULLING MARTY

Ignoring the laughter as he walks past the cars, apparently
looking for someone. His right index finger is taped up in
an aluminum splint.

MARTY'S POV

At the end of a row of cars we see a green Volkswagon bug.
Leaning against the hood is Visser, still dressed in his
rumpled yellow suit. He is smoking a cigarette, talking to a
sixteen-year-old girl in shorts and a tube top. When he
notices Marty:

VISSER
(to the girl)
Sorry sweetheart, my date is here...

The girl drifts off. Marty enters frame and Visser turns to
him.

VISSER
...She saw me rolling a cigarette
and thought it was marijuana.
(he laughs)
I guess she thought I was a swinger.

Visser open the back door of the car. Marty ignores the
invitation, walks around to the front on the passenger side
and gets in.

INT. VISSER'S CAR

As Visser gets into the driver's seat. A small topless doll
is suspended from the rearview mirror. Visser gives it a
tap. As it swings back and forth two small lights, one behind
each breast, blink on and off.

VISSER
Idnat wild?

Both men sit watching the doll intently.

Finally Marty reaches up and stops its swinging with the
rounded end of his splint. Visser eyes the splint.

VISSER
(genially)
Stick your finger up the wrong
person's ass?

Marty is silent, but Visser is in a good mood.

VISSER
You know a friend of mine broke his
hand a while back. Put in a cast.
Very next day he takes a fall,
protects his bad hand, falls on his
good one, breaks that too. So now
he's got two busted flippers and I
say to him "Creighton, I hope your
wife loves you. 'Cause for the next
five weeks you cannot wipe your own
goddamn ass..."

Overcome by laughter. Finally:

VISSER
...That's the test, ain't it? Test
of true love--

MARTY
Got a job for you.

VISSER
(settling down)
...Well, if the pay's right and it's
legal I'll do it.

MARTY
It's not strictly legal.

Visser shrugs, lights up another cigarette with his
fraternally inscribed lighter and drops the lighter onto the
dashboard.

VISSER
If the pay's right I'll do it.

MARTY
It's, uh... it's in reference to
that gentleman and my wife. The more
I think about it the more irritated
I get.

VISSER
Yeah? Well how irritated are you?

Marty doesn't answer. Finally Visser laughs.

VISSER
...Gee, I'm sorry to hear that. Can
you tell me what you want me to do
or is it a secret?

MARTY
Listen, I'm not--this isn't a joke
here.

Visser eyes him, still smiling. Finally he shrugs.

VISSER
You want me to kill 'em.

MARTY
I didn't say that.
(a pause)
Well?

VISSER
Well what?

MARTY
What do you think?

VISSER
You're an idiot.

Marty's shoulders slump. He seems less tense, almost relieved.

MARTY
So, uh... this wouldn't interest
you.

VISSER
I didn't say that. All I said was
you're an idiot. Hell, you been
thinking about it so much it's driving
you simple.

They are staring at each other.

MARTY
Ten thousand dollars I'll give you.

Visser laughs again.

VISSER
I'm supposed to do a murder--two
murders--and just trust you not to
go simple on me and do something
stupid. I mean real stupid. Now why
should I trust you?

MARTY
For the money.

VISSER
(sobering)
The money. Yeah. That's a right smart
of money...

He turns and gazes out the window.

VISSER
...In Russia they make only fifty
cents a day.

He falls silent again, still staring out the window

In the closeness of the car Marty is starting to sweat.

MARTY
(hoarsely)
...There's a big--

VISSER
(abruptly)
I want you to go fishing.

MARTY
...What?

VISSER
Go down to Corpus for a few days.
Get yourself noticed. I'll give you
a call when it's done... You just
find a way to cover that money.

Marty is slumped in his seat, not responding to the fact
that Visser has just ended the conversation.

Finally he rouses himself and gets out of the car, leaving
Visser staring at the door he has left open behind him.

After a moment we hear Marty's footsteps approaching again,
and he leans back into the open door with an afterthought.

MARTY
I'll take care of the money, you
just make sure those bodies aren't
found... There's a...

These words are difficult to say.

MARTY
...If you want, there's a big
incinerator behind my place...

The two men look at each other. Marty leaves. After a moment,
Visser leans over to grab the handle of the still open door.

VISSER
(under his breath)
Sweet Jesus, you are disgusting.

The door slams.

INT. EMPTY APARTMENT NIGHT

The apartment is dark. We are looking across a shadowy floor
towards a large window, through which cold blue street light
shines. Through the window we can see the facade of the
building across the street; we are three or four floors up.

We can hear the animated, accented voice of an Hispanic woman
approaching the apartment from the hallway behind us.

LANDLADY (O.S.)
--big windows, paneleen and
everytheen. So you want, like your
own place? Like a Town House?

A crack of light shoots across the floor as we hear the
apartment door open behind us. A figure enters frame. As it
crosses into the shaft of light we see that it is Abby. She
moves across the dark apartment, in silhouette against the
window.

LANDLADY (O.S.)
No one will bother you here, sweetie--

An overhead light is switched on and the room is bathed in
light. Several feet from Abby, an old man in a dirty
undershirt is asleep on a cot. Abby starts.

The old man grumbles, slowly sits up, squints.

With the light, the window behind Abby has become a mirror
of the entire room, in which we now see the matronly Landlady
standing by the wall switch.

The Landlady roars at the old man in Spanish. The man glowers
at her. The Landlady looks back at Abby.

LANDLADY
(cheerful again)
I show you around.

We follow Abby as she accompanies the landlady back into the
short hallway-entrance foyer. Abby glances back at the old
man.

ABBY
Are you sure this is... Are you sure
this apartment is vacant?... Mrs.
Esteves?

The Landlady laughs cheerfully.

LANDLADY
Oh yes...

She gestures to a kitchen alcove on the left.

LANDLADY
...That's the kitchen...

She turns and throws a few more barbs in Spanish back toward
the old man, then opens a door on the right side of the foyer
and enters the bathroom.

LANDLADY
...This is the bathroom...

She flushes the toilet.

LANDLADY
...The toilet works and everytheen...

She bustles out of the bathroom and takes the two short steps
back into the main room. She gestures expansively.

LANDLADY
...And here we are back in the liveen
room.

She gives one vigorous stomp.

LANDLADY
...Good floors. Gas heat.

She points.

LANDLADY
...That's Mr. Garcia.

The old man is now sitting on the edge of the bed, smoking a
cigarette, looking for a place to put the ash. The Landlady
snaps at him again in Spanish, and is again cheerful as she
turns back to address Abby.

LANDLADY
...I was just esplaineen to him that
he moved out of here yesterday...

She walks to the apartment door.

LANDLADY
...You look around. Don't mind Mr.
Garcia; he use do be my brother-in-
law.

She walks out and shuts the door.

The room is quiet.

CLOSE SHOT ABBY

Staring at the door. She looks at Mr. Garcia, looks nervously
around the apartment. She looks back at Mr. Garcia.

CLOSE SHOT MR. GARCIA

Staring vacantly at Abby. He blows a stream of smoke across
the room. The ash falls off his cigarette.

STRIP BAR NIGHT

EXHORTER'S CUBICLE

Hunched over the public address microphone in his small
cubicle of exhortation, is the middle-aged strip-bar barker.
Years of service in the bar have left his exhortations
depressingly bereft of conviction.

EXHORTER
How 'bout it, gentlemen, let's show
out appreciation for Lorraine up
there, a registered nurse from Bolton,
Texas, how 'bout it gentlemen, yeah...

THE BAR PROPER

Meurice is one of a line of men sitting at the bar, all
looking intently at the same point off left. All of the men
except Meurice are conservatively dressed and apparently
well-to-do. An audio loop is blaring a bump-and-grind version
of "Yellow Rose of Texas," punctuated by the crash of cymbals
and the thumping of toms.

Abby enters and sits into an empty chair next to Meurice.

ABBY
Looks like the state legislature is
out of session.

Meurice continues to stare intently off.

MEURICE
I thought this is where they met.

All of the heads at the bar start to swivel, including
Meurice's. A couple of patrons hurriedly snatch their drinks
off the bar.

In the extreme foreground a stripper dances on the top of
the bar into frame. We crop her just above her white high-
heeled cowboy boots and her bare calves.

The conversation continues with Abby looking at Meurice, but
Meurice and everyone else at the bar looking up at a point
somewhere above the stripper's calves.

ABBY
Listen Meurice, you're gonna help me
with a problem.

MEURICE
I am?

The stripper drops a white leatherette vest onto the bar in
the foreground. The audience cheers.

ABBY
You're gonna keep an eye on Marty
and Ray, make sure nothing happens.

MEURICE
It won't?

Two sheriff-star pasties drop onto the bar. The audience
cheers.

MEURICE
...Ever occur to you, Abby, that
maybe I'm the wrong person to ask?

THE EXHORTER

Into his microphone.

EXHORTER
Let's not sit on our wallets,
gentlemen. Lorraine is up there
dancing her heart out, and if you
let that cash money set on your hip,
you might just as well be broke...

ABBY AND MEURICE

She is rising to leave; he is still staring off.

ABBY
Thanks, Meurice.

MEURICE
Any time. But you don't have to worry
about a thing for a while. Marty
went down to Corpus yesterday.

An old-west gunbelt hits the bar. The audience roars.

THE EXHORTER

Into his microphone.

EXHORTER
And remember, gentlemen, we're always
here, two to two, A.M. to P.M., three
hundred and sixty-four days and
Christmas, God willing and the creek
don't rise...

RAY'S BEDROOM

The room is dark. We are looking across the room toward a
moonlit window. Beyond, across the lawn, the lamplit street
is empty.

Suddenly Abby sits bolt upright into frame from the bed below.

ABBY
He's in the house.

Offscreen we hear Ray stirring in bed.

RAY
What's the matter?

Abby twists around to look down at him.

ABBY
I could've sworn I heard something.

RAY
Door's locked. Nothing there.

He pulls her down out of frame and we hold on the window and
the empty lamplit street. Then Abby rises back into frame,
in silhouette against the window, looking down at Ray.

ABBY
I knew it. 'Cause we wouldn't have
heard anything if it was him. He's
real careful. Fact is, he's anal.

RAY
...Huh?

ABBY
Yeah, he told me once himself. He
said to me...

She taps herself on the forehead.

ABBY
..."In here, Abby. In here... I'm
anal."

HIGH ANGLE RAY

Looking up at Abby.

RAY
(yawning)
...Well I'll be damned.

ABBY
I couldn't believe it either...

SIDE ANGLE ABBY

Framed against the window, looking down at Ray.

ABBY
...Me on the other hand, I got lots
of personality...

She drops down onto the bed out of frame. The camera holds
on the window through which we see the empty lamplit street.

ABBY
Marty always said I had too much.
'Course he was never big on
personality...

She rises back up into frame, in silhouette against the
window.

ABBY
...He sent me to a psychiatrist to
see if he could calm me down some.

RAY
Yeah? What happened?

ABBY
Psychiatrist said I was the healthiest
person he'd ever met, so Marty fired
him.

RAY
(sleepily)
...I don't know if you can fire a
psychiatrist, exactly.

ABBY
Well, I didn't see him anymore, I'll
tell you that much.

HIGH ANGLE RAY

His eyes half-closed.

RAY
Uh-huh.

ABBY
I said, Marty, how come you're anal
and I gotta go to the psychiatrist?

RAY
What'd he say?

SIDE ANGLE ABBY

Framed against the window.

ABBY
Nothing. He's like you, he doesn't
say much.

RAY
(murmuring)
Thanks.

ABBY
Except when he doesn't say things
they're usually nasty.

RAY
...Mm-hmm.

ABBY
When you don't they're usually nice.

RAY
...You ever get tired?

ABBY
Huh? Oh, yeah, I guess. Mm-hmm.

Ray's hand rises into frame and coaxes Abby back down onto
the bed, revealing, through the window, a green Volkswagon
now parked at curbside on the lamplit street.

We hear the rustle of sheets.

As we hold on the window, we begin to hear the faint, distant
sound of metal scraping against metal.

HALLWAY / LIVING ROOM

We track down the dark hallway into the living room. As the
camera advances the sound of the scraping becomes louder.

We are moving across the living room up to the front door of
the bungalow. The scraping is louder still as we finally
frame on a close shot of the doorknob, which is jiggling
ever so slightly.

We hear a click as the lock finally releases.

The door swings slowly open, revealing a man's hand on the
outside doorknob. We follow the hand as the man advances
slowly and quietly across the living room.

Abby's purse comes into frame, sitting on a bureau; next to
it is a large tote bag. The hand rummages through the tote
bag briefly, then the purse. The man withdraws Abby's pearl-
handled revolver. He breaks it open.

LOW-ANGLE CLOSE SHOT THE MAN'S FACE

It is Visser. As we hear a click offscreen, his face glows a
dim orange.

BACK TO HIS HANDS

His right holds the revolver, cylinder open, inside the purse.
His left holds his cigarette lighter as he inspects the
chamber. Three of the holes glint silver, the other three
are black--empty.

We hear the faint creaking of bedsprings.

WIDE SHOT LIVING ROOM

Visser cocks his head, listening, and looks down the hallway.
He takes a couple of quiet steps across the living room and,
as the camera tracks up to him, opens the back door of the
bungalow.

We follow him outside onto the lawn.

EXT. RAY'S BUNGALOW

We track behind him as he rounds the corner of the house and
approaches the open window to Ray's bedroom. He slows, moves
more cautiously, then sinks to his knees under the window.
As he reaches into his breast pocket the camera continues
tracking up to and over him, finally framing his POV through
the window.

On the bed inside we can dimly see Abby and Ray, asleep.

We have been hearing a faint rumble, becoming louder and
louder as if approaching from a distance. Just as the rumble
becomes deafening a sudden bright flash of light illuminates
the room, seeming to polarize the image of Abby and Ray in
bed, and we:

CUT TO

EXT. PHONE BOOTH DAY

A huge truck roars by on the street behind Visser, and with
it the deafening rumble recedes. It is a painfully bright
day. Visser stands sweating in the phone booth with the
receiver pressed to his ear. We hear the phone ringing at
the other end.

Finally, it is picked up.

VOICE
Hello.

VISSER
Marty?

MARTY
Yeah. Is it...

VISSER
Ya catch any fish?

MARTY
...What?

VISSER
Ya catch any fish?

MARTY
Yeah...

VISSER
...What kind of fish?

MARTY
Listen, what is it? Is it done?

Visser forces a chuckle.

VISSER
...Yessir, you owe me some money.

MARTY'S OFFICE NIGHT

CLOSE SHOT TWO STRINGS OF FISH

Being plopped down onto Marty's desk.

WIDER THE OFFICE

Visser sits facing the desk. He lights himself a cigarette
and sets the lighter down on the desk in front of him. Marty
settles, fidgeting, into the chair behind it.

The bar is quiet, shut down. We hear only the whir of a fan
somewhere offscreen. Marty and Visser are lit by a lamp on
the desk between them. Light streams into the room from a
bathroom in the background. Visser is looking at the dead
fish.

VISSER
(dully)
They look good.

Marty half-rises from his seat and picks up one of the
strings.

MARTY
Want a couple?

He drops them on Visser's side of the desk. Visser's head
draws back: he was only being polite.

VISSER
Just the ten thousand'll be fine.

MARTY
Got something to show me first?

Visser hands a 9 x 12 envelope across the desk. Marty stares
at it for a moment, then quickly bends back the flap and
takes out an 8 x 10 photograph.

THE PHOTOGRAPH

It is a black-and-white shot of Abby and Ray in Ray's bed.
The sheet that partially covers them is pocked with three
dark bullet holes and is stained with blood.

MARTY

Staring dully down at the picture.

MARTY
Dead, huh?

VISSER
So it would seem.

CLOSE SHOT THE TOP OF THE DESK

Visser is pushing the fish away from his side of the desk
with the eraser end of a pencil.

MARTY
What did you...

BACK TO MARTY

Still looking at the picture. He traces the outline of Abby's
body with his finger.

MARTY
...What did you do with the bodies?

VISSER
It's taken care of. The less you
know about it the better.

MARTY
Jesus, I don't believe it...

Marty slips the picture back into its 9 x 12 envelope. His
face is pale.

MARTY
...I think I'm gonna be sick.

He rises and heads for the bathroom, still clutching the
envelope.

CLOSE SHOT VISSER

As his eyes follow Marty's exit. The bathroom door doesn't
close all the way; a narrow shaft of light slices the office
from the bare bulb in the bathroom.

VISSER
I'll want that picture back...

He turns to look across the desk.

VISSER'S POV

The standing safe behind the desk.

BACK TO VISSER

Still looking at the safe. Beads of sweat have popped out on
his forehead. He fans himself with his cowboy hat.

VISSER
...and you did say somethin' about
some money.

We hear a toilet flush offscreen.

LONG SHOT MARTY'S OFFICE

As he reenters the office.

MARTY
Your money, yeah.

Visser stares dully down at the desktop.

VISSER
Something I got to ask you, Marty.
I've been very very careful. Have
you been very very careful?

MARTY
Of course.

VISSER
Nobody knows you hired me?

HIGH ANGLE CORNER OF THE OFFICE

Marty is hunched over the open safe, still holding the
envelope. Blocking Visser's view of the safe with his body,
he slides the picture of Abby's and Ray's corpses from under
the envelope into the safe, then withdraws two packets of
money.

MARTY
Don't be absurd, I wasn't about to
tell anyone...

He shuts the safe and spins the dial.

MARTY
...This is an illicit romance--we've
got to trust each other to be
discreet...

He walks across the room and throws the money and the envelope
down on the desk.

MARTY
...For richer, for poorer.

Visser looks from the money down at his hands. They are
sweating.

VISSER
Don't say that. Your marriages don't
work out so hot...

He wipes his hands on his pants.

VISSER
...How did you cover the money?

Marty sits and props his booted feet up on the desk.

MARTY
It's taken care of. The less you
know about it the better.

He smiles.

MARTY
...I just made a call about that.
It'll look fine.

VISSER
(shaking his head)
I must've gone money simple. This
kind of murder...

He nods toward the envelope on the desk.

VISSER
...it's too damn risky.

MARTY
Then you shouldn't have done it.
Can't have it both ways.

He pushes the money across the desk with his boot.

MARTY
...Count it if you want.

VISSER
(reaching into his
coat)
Nah, I trust ya.

His hand comes out with a gun pointing at Marty and--BAM--he
fires, an orange lick of flame spurting from the gun.

Both men sit frozen. Visser's hand is the only thing that
moved.

CLOSE SHOT MARTY

Staring at Visser.

After the gun blast we hear only the whir of the fan.

CLOSE SHOT VISSER

Staring at Marty.

MED SHOT MARTY OVER VISSER'S SHOULDER

His eyes are now shut. Otherwise he hasn't moved. A blood
stain is growing on the front of his shirt.

WIDE SHOT THE OFFICE

The two face each other across the desk. Visser's gun is
still trained on Marty.

After a moment Visser starts fanning himself again with his
cowboy hat. The only movement in the frame is the slow back-
and-forth of the yellow hat, rhythmically in and out of shadow
as it catches and loses the light from the desk lamp. There
is a long pause.

Finally one of Marty's feet slips from the desk and hits the
floor with a THUD.

Visser lays the gun on the desk.

CLOSE SHOT VISSER

As he reaches into his breast pocket and withdraws a
handkerchief. He wipes his forehead, then picks up the gun
and wipes it off. He leans down with the gun.

CLOSE SHOT THE GUN

As Visser places it deliberately on the floor near the desk.
It is Abby's pearl-handled revolver.

THE DESKTOP FROM DESK LEVEL

As Visser straightens up in the foreground. From our head-on
angle shooting across the desk we can see the bright metallic
glint of Visser's cigarette lighter underneath the dead fish.

Visser's hands move over the near part of the desk, picking
up the money and the 9 x 12 picture envelope.

EXTREME HIGH SHOT THE OFFICE

As Visser turns from the desk and walks across the room out
of frame. We hear the back door opening.

VISSER
Who looks stupid now.

The door slams shut.

The only sound is the whir of the fan. A pause. The camera
tracks slowly forward, tilting down to keep Marty and the
desktop centered in frame. As the camera moves the noise of
the fan grows louder. When Marty's body and the desk are
directly beneath us, the blades of the ceiling fan cut across
the immediate foreground and effect a:

WIPE TO:

MARTY'S BAR LATER

It is completely still. We are looking from the bar, across
the dark empty floor, toward the pebbled windows at the front
of the building that catch a hard blue light from the
streetlamps outside. The jukebox in the middle distance glows
in the darkness.

A pair of headlights catches the pebbled glass and grows
brighter as we hear a car pull up to the bar and stop. We
hear a car door open and shut, then the sound of feet on
gravel. A huge shadow appears on the pebbled glass as the
figure crosses in front of the headlights. The man tries the
door, finds it locked, and walks back in front of the
headlights to cup his hands at a window. He walks back to
the door, and a moment later it swings open--framing him in
the doorway in silhouette.

We follow him as he moves across the floor, behind the bar
and up to the cash register. He switches on a small
fluorescent light clamped to the top of the cash register.
It is Ray.

He punches a key and the register rings open. He lifts up
the empty cash drawer and takes some papers from underneath
it.

RAY'S POV

As he flips through the papers; bills, receipts, no money.

BACK TO RAY

As he finishes flipping through the papers.

RAY
(muttering)
Damn...

He slips them back under the cash drawer and slams the
register shut. Turning from the register he glances around
the bar, the pauses, noticing something.

RAY'S POV

Light is spilling out from under the door to Marty's office.

BACK TO RAY

As he starts across the floor to Marty's office.

RAY
Marty...

He reaches the door and knocks sharply. No answer. He turns
the knob.

RAY
Marty...

The door is locked. We hear the muffled whir of the ceiling
fan inside.

A pause. Ray withdraws a ring of keys from his pocket and
uses one on the door. The door swings open.

Over his shoulder we see Marty, still at his desk, his back
to us. On foot is still propped on the desk.

RAY
What's the matter, you deaf?

No answer.

Ray stumbles toward Marty.

He stumbles slightly and we hear the sharp blast of a gun
and the sound of something metallic skating across the floor.

Ray, startled, steadies himself against the desk, then studies
Marty.

RAY'S POV

There is a dark pool of blood under Marty's chair.

BACK TO RAY

He looks back up at Marty, then walks behind his chair and
throws a wall switch. The room is bathed in light. His eyes
still on Marty, Ray crosses behind the desk.

RAY'S POV TRACKING SHOT

The camera moves in a slow arc around the back of Marty's
motionless head.

BACK TO RAY

Still moving. He looks away from Marty, scans the floor. He
gets down on his hands and knees and peers under the safe.

RAY'S POV

There is a glinting silver circle in the darkness under the
safe. It is the business end of the revolver that Ray half-
stumbled over, half-kicked.

BACK TO RAY

Still on his hands and knees. He reaches in and we hear a
rattle as he gropes under the safe. He withdraws the gun,
looks at it.

THE GUN

It is Abby's revolver.

BACK TO RAY

For a long moment he doesn't move. Then, slowly, he starts
to get up.

WIDER

The desk, Marty behind it, Ray straightening behind him. Ray
looks from the gun to Marty, slowly sets the gun down on the
desk. A pause. He begins to hoist Marty from the chair.

There is noise from the bar, as of someone entering.

Ray reacts.

THE DOOR

Separating the bar and back office. Ray hurries to it.

MEURICE (O.S.)
Marty?

Footsteps approach the door.

EXTREME CLOSE SHOT RAY'S HAND ON THE DOOR BOLT

He turns it gently. The bolt clicks shut.

BACK TO RAY

Meurice's footsteps draw nearer.

MEURICE (O.S.)
Marty, ya home?

There is a rap at the door; Ray stands frozen. The doorknob
rattles. Ray reaches out compulsively to grab it, but stops
himself before actually touching it.

Now Meurice's footsteps can be heard going casually back
into the bar. We hold on Ray's rigidly set face.

MEURICE (O.S.)
What day is it today, Angie?

WOMAN (O.S.)
Tuesday.

MEURICE (O.S.)
Tuesday is ladies' night.

WOMAN (O.S.)
What?

MEURICE (O.S.)
Tuesday night is ladies' night. All
your drinks are free.

We hear a record drop on the jukebox and a Motown song blares.

Ray crosses to Marty's chair and takes off his nylon
windbreaker. He stoops down and tries to mop up the pool of
blood with his windbreaker. This isn't going to work.

He rises and walks over to the bathroom, the windbreaker
dripping blood.

MARTY'S OFFICE BATHROOM

CLOSE SHOT FAUCET

The song continues faintly in the background. The faucet is
turned on and Ray's hand enters frame, holding a dirty white
towel under the stream of water.

BLOOD-SPATTERED FLOOR

The song continues in the background. Ray's hand enters frame
holding the balled-up towel. His windbreaker is wrapped
inside. The camera follows as he pushes it across the trail
of dripped blood to the pool of blood under Marty's chair.

CLOSE SHOT MARTY

He still has not moved. Ray rises into frame and takes him
under the armpits. He notices something on the desk in front
of him.

CLOSE SHOT THE GUN ON THE DESK

Ray's hand enters frame and picks it up.

CLOSE SHOT MARTY'S COAT POCKET

Ray's hand enters frame and slips the gun into Marty's pocket.
Marty is hoisted up.

EXT. BACK OF THE BAR / PARKING LOT

Ray appears in the doorway. The music from the bar, though
fainter, can still be heard.

There are three or four wooden steps going down from the
back door to the small gravel parking lot in back. Ray backs
down the stairs; Marty's feet THUMP-THUMP-THUMP down the
stairs after him.

The rear door of Ray's car is open. Ray heaves in Marty's
torso. Marty's legs rest on the ground outside the car. Ray
takes an ankle in each hand and pushes.

CLOSE SHOT RAY

As he shuts the door. He looks up across the parking lot.

RAY'S POV

The incinerator belching fire and smoke. We hear its distant
roar over the bar song. We hear the car door slam.

HIGH-ANGLE TRACKING SHOT TOWARD INCINERATOR

We are looking down on Ray's car as the camera tracks behind
it towards the incinerator. At the cut the roar of the
incinerator is suddenly louder. It grows louder still as we
approach it.

Ray's car draws even with the incinerator without slowing or
stopping. The wadded-up towel is chucked out of his window
into the fire. We hold on the fire as Ray's car rolls on out
of frame.

INT. RAY'S CAR

As he drives down a deserted country highway. We hear the
rhythmic sound of the wheels clomping over asphalt. The radio
is broadcasting a fundamentalist's sermon, periodically
interrupted by static. Ray is sweating.

EVANGELIST
--so there were three signs, the
second of which is Famine, this famine
which I have already pointed out is
devastatin' Africa and the Indian
subcontinent. And the third of these
signs is earthquakes. Now I don't
know why he threw that in but if you
talk to a geologist, and I've talked
to many, he'll tell you that
earthquake activity--

Ray twists around and looks in the back seat.

RAY'S POV

Marty is lying inert.

EVANGELIST
--has increased almost eighty percent
in the past two years, and what's
more, in two years' time we'll be
experiencin' what's knows as the
Jupiter Effect--

BACK TO RAY

He looks back at the road. A car roars by.

EVANGELIST
--wherein all the planets of the
known universe will be aligned up
causin' an incredible buildup of
destructive gravitational force. Now
in Matthew Chapter Six, Verse Eighteen
the Lord out and tells us that these
are the signs by which we shall know
that He is at our door. There are
many good people disagree with me,
but it's my belief that this
Antichrist is alive today and livin'
somewhere in Europe, in that ten-
nation alliance I spoke of, bein'
groomed for his task--

Ray switches off the radio.

We hear the sound of faint, labored breathing.

EXTREME CLOSE SHOT RAY

His jaw tightens. He whips his head toward the back seat.
His head snaps forward again and he slams on the brakes.

The car screeches to a halt.

EXT. HIGHWAY

LONG SHOT THE CAR

As Ray's door flies open. He is bolting from the car. The
camera, at waist level, tracks toward him as he races out
into the field that abuts the highway.

Fifty yards in he finally stops, panting, framed from a low
angle. His breath vaporizes in the crisp night air. We hear
only his breath and the chirring of crickets. He is looking
back toward the road.

RAY'S POV LONG SHOT THE CAR

Standing abandoned on the shoulder of the deserted highway.
Its headlights cast a lonely beam up the road. No movement.

BACK TO RAY

His panting slows. He is in a cold sweat. After a long moment,
he starts walking slowly, reluctantly, back toward the car.

RAY'S POV TRACKING

Toward the car. Still no sign of movement.

BACK TO RAY

He slows as he draws up to the back of the car. He looks in
the back window.

RAY'S POV BACK SEAT OF THE CAR

It is empty.

The door on the highway side is ajar.

BACK TO RAY

No reaction.

He walks around the back of the car onto the highway. He
looks up the road.

RAY'S POV

Marty is crawling up the road on his hands and knees, leaving
a trail of blood. The headlights of Ray's car give a
fantastically long shadow.

BACK TO RAY

Still no reaction. He gets into the driver's seat and stares
through the windshield as he gropes for the ignition key.

RAY'S POV

Marty, crawling.

BACK TO RAY

He throws the car into drive, looks at his target, thinks--
decides. He pulls the key out of the ignition and goes around
to the trunk of the car. He opens it and pulls out a shovel.

MARTY LOW ANGLE

From in front. The headlights glare behind him. His breath
vaporizes. In the background Ray is walking toward him,
dragging the shovel, which scrapes along the asphalt. As Ray
moves into the foreground and turns to face Marty only his
lower legs and the shovel are in frame.

The shovel rises out of frame.

CLOSE SHOT RAY

Both hands hold the shovel tensed over his shoulder. He stares
down at Marty. A long pause. We hear a distant rumble.

CLOSE SHOT RAY'S FEET

Inches away from Marty. Marty's hand slides forward and wraps
around one of Ray's ankles.

BACK TO RAY

He shudders. He adjusts his grip on the shovel.

The rumble grows louder.

RAY'S FEET

He jerks his foot away, breaking Marty's grasp.

BACK TO RAY

Looks up from Marty. The rumble grows louder.

RAY'S POV

Headlight beams, although not yet the headlights themselves,
are visible a long way down the road.

BACK TO RAY

Staring down the road. Finally he lowers the shovel, walks
back to the car and throws it viciously into the trunk, walks
back up into the foreground and stoops down.

CLOSE SHOT MARTY

As Ray grabs him under the armpits and starts dragging him
back to the car. Just before Ray heaves him into the back
seat, Marty coughs weakly. A fine spray of blood comes out
with the cough.

The engine rumble is quite loud now.

MED SHOT RAY FROM ACROSS THE ROOF OF THE CAR

As he slams the back door shut. He presses himself against
the side of the car. Headlights glare over him; the truck
roars by just behind him.

EXT. OPEN FIELD

FULL SHOT RAY'S CAR

Sudden quiet at the cut. We are looking at Ray's car in
profile, parked in the middle of a deserted field. From
offscreen we hear the sound of a shovel biting into earth.

We track laterally down the car, along the beam of its
headlights, to finally frame Ray as he climbs out of the
shallow grave he has just finished digging.

He plants the shovel and walks back to the car.

VERY WIDE SHOT

The grave in the middle background; the car's headlights
beyond it.

Ray is dragging Marty toward the grave. He dumps him in.

HIGH SHOT THE GRAVE

As Marty thumps to the bottom, face up.

CLOSE SHOT RAY

As he bends over to pick up the shovel, dripping sweat. We
hear the shovel biting into earth.

HIGH SHOT THE GRAVE

Ray, in the foreground, pitches the first shovelful of earth
onto Marty. Marty moves slightly.

LOW SHOT RAY

As he pauses, looking down into the grave. He stoops down
and resumes shoveling, bobbing in and out of frame as he
hurls dirt into the grave.

BACK TO HIGH SHOT

As Ray shovels, Marty is moving under the loose dirt. A faint,
inarticulate noise comes from the grave.

Almost imperceptibly, Marty's right arm starts to rise.

LOW SHOT FROM INSIDE THE GRAVE

Ray stands on the lip of the grave, hunched over his shovel,
crisply illuminated by the headlights. In the shadowy
foreground Marty's arm rises, extended toward Ray. He is
clutching Abby's gun in his splint-fingered hand.

CLOSE SHOT RAY

As he straightens up and stands motionless, expressionless,
watching Marty, making no attempt to get out of the way.

HIGH SHOT MARTY

The gun extended into the foreground. His index finger
splinted, he slides his middle finger over the trigger of
the gun.

LOW SHOT RAY

Watching.

HIGH SHOT MARTY

The gun trembling in the foreground. His knuckle whitens
over the trigger.

The trigger releases and we hear the dull click of an empty
chamber.

LOW SHOT RAY

Staring blankly down at Marty.

SIDE SHOT

Of Marty's gun hand as Ray slowly sinks down on the lip of
the grave, bracing himself with the shovel. His hand reaches
for Marty's. Marty squeezes off two more empty chambers.
Ray's hand slowly closes over the barrel of the gun.

As he pulls, the gun slides from Marty's fingers.

CLOSE SHOT THE BLADE OF THE SHOVEL

Biting into the earth.

MED SHOT RAY

Furiously shoveling dirt into the grave.

HIGH SHOT THE GRAVE

Marty barely visible under the dirt.

MED SHOT RAY

Shoveling, panting.

HIGH SHOT THE GRAVE

Half full.

MED SHOT RAY

Working furiously. His breath comes in short gasps.

HIGH SHOT THE GRAVE

It is filled. Ray is packing down the earth, slamming the
shovel furiously against the bare patch of earth.

CLOSE SHOT THE BLADE OF THE SHOVEL

Being slammed down against the earth. Again and again.

EXT. OPEN FIELD SUNRISE

The staccato beat of the shovel slamming against earth drops
out at the cut. There is perfect quiet. The sun is just
peeping over the horizon. In the foreground Ray is sitting
in the open door of his car, smoking a cigarette. His gaze
is fixed on a spot offscreen.

HIS POV

A house. Quite near by.

The house and its perfect green rectangle of lawn are set
incongruously in the middle of the open field.

BACK TO RAY

Staring, without emotion.

He takes one last, fierce drag on the cigarette, then flicks
it away. He takes the shovel, walks over to the grave and
stares at it for several seconds, shovel clasped firmly in
both hands.

He walks back to the car.

HIGH SHOT

House, car and grave. Ray throws the shovel into the car,
gets in, and turns the ignition.

The engine coughs weakly and dies.

He tries again. Same result.

One more time. The engine coughs, sputters, and fires to
life. The car runs over the grave and rattles on across the
rutted field towards the highway in the distance.

INT. RAY'S CAR DAWN

As Ray drives down the straight empty highway in the flat
early-morning light.

CLOSE SHOT RAY

Pale and unblinking.

RAY'S POV THE HIGHWAY

In the distance we see a beat-up white station wagon
approaching. It's headlights wink on, then off again.

BACK TO RAY

He squints at the approaching car.

RAY'S POV

The car is closer. It's headlights wink again.

BACK TO RAY

His jaw tightens. He stares intently at the car. Then,
abruptly, he looks down at his dashboard.

CLOSE SHOT HEADLIGHT KNOB ON THE DASHBOARD

His headlights are on. Ray's hand enters frame and pushes in
the knob.

SIDE ANGLE RAY

Watching the approaching station wagon. As it passes we catch
a glimpse of its occupant. He grins and cocks a you-got-it
finger at Ray before roaring out of frame.

EXT. DESERTED GAS STATION

HIGH ANGLE

The station hasn't opened yet. Ray's car, empty, stands alone
in the lot. Flat prairie stretches to the horizon. No movement
in the frame.

At the cut we hear the faint sound of a phone ringing through
a receiver. After four or five rings the phone is picked up
and we begin a slow crane down.

ABBY
(through phone;
sleepily)
Hello?

RAY
(present; very hoarsely)
Abby... you all right?

ABBY
Ray?... What time is it?

RAY
I don't know. It's early... I love
you.

A beat.

ABBY
...You all right?

RAY
I don't know. I better get off now.

The continuing crane down reveals Ray in a phone booth in
the foreground.

ABBY
Okay, see ya... Thanks, Ray.

RAY
Abby--

The phone disconnects.

INT. ABBY'S APARTMENT

CLOSE SHOT ABBY

Her sleeping head on a pillow. Offscreen we hear a door open
and shut. A moment later Ray's dirt-caked hand comes into
frame and gently brushes a wisp of hair back for Abby's face.
We hear Ray walk across the apartment and a moment later the
sound of water running.

Abby stirs. She looks offscreen.

LONG SHOT RAY

Standing in the doorway to the bathroom. He is wiping his
hands on a towel.

ABBY
(sleepily)
...Ray?

RAY
You're bad.

Still half asleep, Abby smiles.

ABBY
...What?

RAY
I said you're bad.

There is a long pause. Finally:

ABBY
(smiling)
...You're bad too.

Ray swings a chair out and sits down behind a table at the
far end of the room. He leans back and props his legs up on
the table. He is staring across the room at Abby.

RAY
We're both bad.

FADE OUT

BLACK

As we hear the click of a pull-string the camera is dropping:
down past an orange safe light, down the length of the string,
down to a metal darkroom tray where two short strips of
negative are burning.

Visser's hand and yellow sleeve cuff (now orange) enter frame,
with an 8 x 10 black-and-white photograph. The photograph is
dropped into the tray. As it burns we see that it is the
same picture of Abby's and Ray's "corpses" as Visser showed
Marty, except that in this print the bullet holes and blood
are less convincingly brushed in.

Another print is dropped into the tray and ignites. In this
one we see bullet holes but no blood.

A third print is dropped in and ignites. It is the original
undoctored shot of Abby and Ray asleep in bed.

Visser's hands enter frame holding the picture-envelope that
he took away from Marty's office. Visser rips it in half and
is about to drop it into the tray, but stops abruptly.

There is posterboard, not a photograph, peeking out of the
torn envelope.

Visser's hands pull the two halves of the placard from the
envelope and fit them together. The stenciled 8 x 10 placard
says: "All Employees Must Wash Hands Before Resuming Work."

LOW-ANGLE CLOSE SHOT VISSER

Staring at the placard in disbelief.

After a moment his hand rises into frame to deposit a
cigarette in his mouth. His hand drops back down, groping in
a pocket.

His hand jumps back into frame, empty; he thumps at his breast
pockets; he can't find his lighter.

He wheels and exits frame. The light snaps off. A door slams
shut.

ABBY'S APARTMENT DAY

CLOSE SHOT RAY

He has dozed off in his chair. Offscreen we hear a door slam,
and his eyes open.

ABBY

Emerging from the bathroom. Her voice has a flat echo in the
bare apartment.

ABBY
Why didn't you get into bed?

RAY
(groggy)
I didn't think I could sleep. I'm
surprised you could. Are you all
right?

ABBY
Yeah...

She walks over and sits down on the bed.

ABBY
...You called me this morning.

RAY
Yeah.

Abby looks at him, expecting more. Finally:

RAY
...I just wanted to let you know
that everything was all right. I
took care of everything. Now all we
have to do is keep our heads.

ABBY
...What do you mean?

Ray finally looks directly at her.

RAY
I know about it, Abby. I went to the
bar last night.

Abby is looking at him in alarm.

ABBY
What happened?--Was Meurice there?

RAY
Yeah.

He laughs shortly.

RAY
...He didn't see me, though. Nobody
saw me.

The chair grates back as he stands up and looks vaguely around
the room.

RAY
...Is it cold in here?

Abby is looking at him nervously.

ABBY
Well... what happened?

RAY
I cleaned it all up, but that ain't
important...

He starts nervously pacing around the room, looking for
something.

RAY
...What's important is what we do
now; I mean we can't go around half-
cocked. What we need is some time to
think about this, figure it out...

He moves a packing crate aside, still hunting around the
apartment.

RAY
...Anyway, we got some time now. But
we gotta be smart.

ABBY
Ray--

RAY
Abby, never point a gun at anyone
unless you're gonna shoot him. And
when you shoot him you better make
sure he's dead...

Ray's pacing is more agitated as he looks distractedly around
the apartment.

RAY
...because if he's not dead he's
gonna get up and try and kill you.

He pauses, seemingly at a total loss.

RAY
...That's the only thing they told
us in the service that was worth a
goddamn--Where the hell's my
windbreaker?

ABBY
What the hell happened, Ray?

Ray is walking to the window. Sunlight streams in around
him.

RAY
That ain't important. What's important
is that we did it. That's the only
thing that matters. We both did it
for each other...

He stoops down to look through a pile of clothes by the
window.

RAY
...That's what's important.

ABBY
I don't know what you're talking
about.

Ray's head snaps around. Staring at her he slowly rises to
his feet and then remains still.

ABBY
I... I mean what're you talking about,
Ray? I haven't done anything funny.

RAY
...What was that?

Abby, startled, can't contain her agitation anymore.

ABBY
(rapidly)
Ray, I mean you ain't even acting
like yourself. First you call me at
five in the A.M. saying all kinds of
nice things over the telephone and
then you come charging in here scaring
me half to death without even telling
me what it is I'm supposed to be
scared of. I gotta tell you it's
extremely rattling.

RAY

We track toward him, isolating him against the window. He is
perfectly still. For a long time he can't speak.

RAY
(quietly)
...Don't lie to me, Abby--

BACK TO ABBY

Still worked up.

ABBY
How can I be lying if I don't even
know--

The ring of the telephone cuts her off. She looks at the
phone, pauses for a moment, then continues, struggling.

ABBY
...I mean if you and him had a fight
or something, I don't care, as long
as you...

Her voice trails off.

The telephone won't stop ringing. Abby and Ray are staring
at each other, seemingly oblivious to it. Finally:

RAY
...Pick it up.

CLOSE SHOT TELEPHONE

Still ringing. Abby's hand enters frame and picks it up.

ABBY
What.

Through the phone we hear only the rhythmic whir of a ceiling
fan. Abby shifts the phone to her other ear, listening hard.
It is the same sound we heard earlier when she picked up the
phone at Ray's house.

As before, the line clicks dead.

ABBY
(looking at Ray)
...Welp, that was him.

There is a long moment of silence. Then Ray's voice comes
from across the room:

RAY
...Who?

ABBY
Marty.

There is silence again.

LONG SHOT THE APARTMENT

Ray shifts in front of the window. He laughs humorlessly.
The laugh stops abruptly.

ABBY
...What's going on with you two?

RAY
(quietly)
All right...

He starts across the room.

RAY
...You can call him back, whoever it
was...

He is heading for the door.

RAY
...I'll get out of your way.

He pauses at the foyer and pulls Abby's gun out of his pocket.
He sets it on a shelf by the door.

ABBY

Watching. We hear the door open.

RAY (O.S.)
You left your weapon behind.

We hear the door slam shut.

CLOSE SHOT CEILING FAN

We hear the rhythmic whir of the fan. We tilt down from the
ceiling to reveal that we are in the living room of Ray's
bungalow.

In the foreground Visser sits in a chair with the cradled
telephone in his lap, facing the front door, which stands
open in the background. The contents of Abby's tote bag lie
strewn on the bureau next to Visser. Her purse is not there.
After a moment Visser rouses himself and starts to sweep the
articles back into the tote bag.

INT. MEURICE'S APARTMENT DAY

LOW WIDE SHOT LIVING ROOM

It is dark, lit only by the morning light leaking in around
the drawn blinds. It is a small modern apartment such as one
sees in large apartment complexes--shag carpeting, built-in
bar. In the extreme foreground the small red "Power" light
of a telephone answering machine glows in the darkness.

The front door opens in the background, spilling bright
sunlight. Meurice stoops down, picks up two newspapers,
enters, and shuts the door. He walks toward the camera and
his hand enters frame in extreme foreground to punch the
rewind button on the machine. His hand leaves frame. A few
pieces of mail are flipped down onto the machine table, piece
by piece, as the machine rewinds. He reaches down again and
hits playback. After a beep:

WOMAN'S VOICE
Hi Meurice, this is Helene, Helene
Trend, and I'm calling 'cause I wanna
know just what the hell that remark
you made about Sylvia's supposed to
mean...

Mail continues to flip down onto the table, piece by piece.

WOMAN'S VOICE
...She says you're full of shit and
frankly I believe her. And hey, I
love you too. Sure. Anyway, you better
call me soon because I'm going to
South America tonight--you know,
Uruguay?

Dial tone. Beep.

MARTY'S VOICE
(barking)
Listen asshole, you know who this
is. I just got back from Corpus and
there's a lot of money missing from
the safe...

The mail stops dropping; Marty has Meurice's attention.

MARTY'S VOICE
...I'm not saying you took it but
the place was your responsibility
and I told you to keep an eye on
your asshole friend. Don't--uh, don't
come to the bar tonight, I've got a
meeting. But tomorrow I want to have
a word with you, and with Ray--if
you can find him.

Dial tone. Beep.

Meurice's hand drops into frame.

WOMAN'S VOICE
Meurice, where the hell have you
been? I--

His finger presses the stop button.

MATCH CUT TO:

RAY'S FINGER

Pressing into a dark stain in the upholstery of the back
seat of his car. When he raises it the fingertip is red--the
seat still wet with blood.

CLOSE SHOT RAY

Looking down at the seat. He backs out of the car and walks
up the driveway to his house.

INT. RAY'S LIVING ROOM

As he comes through the screen door. It bangs shut behind
him. As he crosses the living room we see, and he hears,
Meurice's Trans Am pulling up and stopping at the foot of
the lawn. Ray turns and looks out the window.

CLOSE SHOT CLOSET DOOR

Ray throws it open and hurriedly pulls out the first thing
at hand--a sheet. We hear the door of the Trans Am open and
slam shut.

EXT. RAY'S BUNGALOW

TRACKING SHOT ON RAY

Exiting the house as the screen door bangs and shudders behind
him. He hurries down the walk.

TRACKING SHOT RAY'S POV

Meurice is rounding the bottom of the lawn and starting up
the drive toward the incriminating car. Its back door is
standing ajar.

MEURICE
I hope you're planning on leaving
town.

BACK TO RAY

Reacting to the line as he reaches the car. He bends over to
throw the sheet over the seat just as Meurice walks up behind
him.

RAY
(his back to Meurice;
arranging the sheet)
Got a problem, Meurice?

MEURICE
No, you do, cowboy. You been to the
bar?

Ray is still hunched in the open doorway. He freezes
momentarily in arranging the sheet.

RAY
...Why?

MEURICE
You shouldn't have taken the money...

Ray doesn't reply or turn around. Meurice is getting more
strident.

MEURICE
...Look at me man, I'm serious. You
broke in the bar and ripped off the
safe...

Ray backs out of the car and turns around.

MEURICE
...Abby warned me you were gonna
make trouble. Trouble with you is,
you're too fucking obvious; the only
ones with the combination are me and
you...

Ray looks evenly at Meurice. Behind him the sheet has been
arranged over the seat. He puts an unlit cigarette in his
mouth.

MEURICE
...and Abby. Maybe. But as far as
I'm concerned that only leaves one
fucking possibility.

RAY
(tonelessly)
What's that?

Meurice reaches out and swipes the unlit cigarette out of
Ray's mouth.

MEURICE
Those things are nothing but coffin
nails.

He turns and stares down the street, exasperated.

MEURICE
...Look. Personally I don't give a
shit. I know Marty's a hard-on but
you gotta do something. I don't know;
give the money back, say you're sorry,
or get the fuck out of here, or
something...

Mow that his temper is gone, he realizes he has nothing much
to say. He shakes his head and turns back down the drive,
muttering as he lights himself Ray's cigarette.

MEURICE
...It's very humiliating, preaching
about this shit.

CLOSE SHOT RAY

Standing in front of the back door of his car, watching
Meurice walk away. His right hand rises into frame to deposit
another unlit cigarette in his mouth. Offscreen, Meurice
calls from the end of the drive:

MEURICE
I'm not laughing at this, Ray Bob,
so you know it's no fucking joke.

We hear his car door slam. After a moment Ray exits frame,
heading for the house. The camera tracks slowly in to the
back window of the car.

Traces of blood are starting to seep up from the upholstery
into the sheet.

INT. MARTY'S HOUSE DAY

LOW WIDE SHOT FRONT FOYER

We are looking across the tiled floor toward the front
doorway. The room has the dim gray cast of daytime inside a
shuttered house. We hold on the empty foyer as we hear an
intermittent high whining sound. We hear the padding of feet
on carpet, and then the clatter of nails on tile as Opal,
Marty's German shepherd, trots into frame and circles the
foyer, still whining. She jumps up and scratches desperately
at the front door.

A slow, rhythmic pounding is very faint on the track.

EXT. MARTY'S BAR DUSK

Abby has just gotten out of her car and is walking up to the
front of the darkened bar. The faint, rhythmic thumping
continues over the cut, its source somewhere offscreen. As
Abby takes a key out of her purse and lets herself into the
bar, the thumping stops.

INT. MARTY'S BAR

Abby switches on the lights, looks around, goes to the back-
office door. Locked. As she fits her key into the lock:

ABBY
(quietly)
Marty?

The door swings open, fanning a shaft of light onto the
darkened room.

MARTY'S OFFICE BATHROOM

We are looking from the inside at the bathroom door that
won't close all the way. As the light fans into the office
beyond and seeps in through the crack of the bathroom door,
we see Visser's sleeve cuff and his hand pressing against
the door, to hold it near-shut.

BACK TO ABBY

Standing in the office doorway. We pull her into the room.
She stops abruptly, looking past the camera, and wrinkles
her nose.

ABBY'S POV

Marty's fish, now half-decayed, still lie on the desk.

Some of the desk drawers stand open, with some of their
contents strewn across the surface of the desk.

BACK TO ABBY

She takes a step forward. We hear the crunch of glass
underfoot. She looks down at the floor.

ABBY'S POV

Shards of broken glass lie on the floor.

BACK TO ABBY

She looks up from the floor toward the back door.

ABBY'S POV

The pane of the back-door window closest to the knob has
been shattered from the outside, scattering broken glass
into the office.

BACK TO ABBY

She crosses slowly to the desk, staring at the rotted fish.
She looks up from the desk.

ABBY'S POV

On the standing safe behind the desk lies a white towel.
Abby's hand enters frame ans picks up the towel.

In slow motion a hammer that's been wrapped inside slips out
of the towel, falls end-over-end, hits the floor with a dull
thud.

BACK TO ABBY

Stooping down to pick up the hammer. At eye level as she
stoops down is the combination dial to the safe. The dial
has been battered by the hammer. Abby looks from the hammer
to the floor under the desk chair.

ABBY'S POV

Blood stains.

ABBY

Staring down at the floor. She rises and looks at the desk.
As she rises we hear glass under her feet.

ABBY'S POV

The dead fish. Beyond them, on the floor around the desk,
broken glass.

BACK TO ABBY

Staring.

ABBY'S POV

The dead fish.

BACK TO ABBY

She seems to be falling slowly backwards. The camera falls
with her, keeping her in close shot. Her head hits a pillow.
We pull back slowly to reveal that she is lying on the bed
in her apartment, staring across the room. She lies motionless
on the bad, her eyes wide.

ABBY'S POV

Across the darkened apartment we see the curtainless windows,
and beyond them, across the lamplit street, the facade of
the opposite building.

LONG SHOT ABBY

Lying still. After a moment she gets out of bed, crosses to
the front door of the apartment, locks it, then walks
unsteadily back to the bed.

FADE OUT

FADE IN:

SAME LONG SHOT ABBY IN BED

She opens her eyes, lies still for a moment, coughs. She
gets out of bed and walks across the still dark apartment to
the bathroom. She shuts the bathroom door.

BATHROOM

Abby looks at herself in the mirror above the sink, then
turns on the tap water. From a neighboring apartment we hear
a dull rhythmic thumping on the wall. She pauses, listens
for a moment, then starts to splash water on her face.

From somewhere offscreen we hear the sharp sound of glass
shattering. It reverberates for a moment, then dies. Abby
looks up at the bathroom door. We hear a scraping at the
lock of her apartment door. Abby listens.

Suddenly we hear the lock springing open, and the front door
swinging on its hinges.

CLOSE SHOT ABBY

Startled. She shuts off the water and stands motionless.
Droplets of water are streaming down her face.

We hear the sound of footsteps in the next room, crunching
across broken glass.

ABBY
Ray...?

There is no answer. After a moment we hear bedsprings creak
in the next room. Abby opens the bathroom door and walks
out.

MAIN ROOM

A shaft of light slices across the floor from the open
bathroom door. Broken glass glints on the floor. In the semi-
darkness we can see that someone is sitting on the bed. The
person looks up.

It is Marty.

Abby recoils.

MARTY
Lover-boy oughta lock his door.

Abby looks nervously at Marty. Droplets of water are still
running down her face. She brushes one from her eye.

MARTY
I love you...

He smiles thinly.

MARTY
...That's a stupid thing to say,
right?

Abby takes a step back.

ABBY
I... I love you too.

Still smiling, Marty shakes his head.

MARTY
No. You're just saying that because
you're scared...

He stands. We hear glass under his feet. He unbuttons the
middle button of his coat and reaches inside.

MARTY
...You left your weapon behind.

He withdraws something from an inside pocket and tosses it
to her.

CLOSE SHOT ABBY'S HANDS

As she catches the object. It is her compact.

CLOSE SHOT ABBY

She looks from her hands up to Marty.

MARTY
He'll kill you too.

Marty gags, leans forward, doubles over to vomit--blood.

The blood washes over the floor at his feet.

ABBY

Bolts upright in bead with a muffled groan. Sweat pours down
her face. She brushes a drop of sweat from her eye and looks
around.

ABBY'S POV

Moonlight glints through the windows across the hardwood
floor. Through the windows we can see the facade of the
opposite building. The apartment is dark and still, just as
we left it before she fell asleep.

BACK TO ABBY

She slumps back onto the bed. One hand gropes down out of
frame and comes up holding an illuminated alarm clock. She
looks at it, drops it back to the floor.

She turns on her side and stares across the room toward the
window.

ABBY'S POV

The window.

DISSOLVE THROUGH TO:

SAME WINDOW SAME ANGLE PRE-DAWN

It is still not quite light. The few lights that shined in
the windows of the opposite building before are now off; the
facade of the building is a flat, undetailed gray.

CLOSE SHOT ABBY

Still lying on her side on the bed, her eyes open, staring
at the window.

BACK TO LONG SHOT WINDOW

After a moment Abby enters frame. She picks her coat off a
chair and puts it on.

We hear a car door slam.

EXT. RAY'S BUNGALOW PRE-DAWN

Abby has just gotten out of her car in the foreground and is
crossing the lawn to the house. Down the road the street
lights are still on. One light burns in the house, in the
window of Ray's bedroom. Abby approaches it.

THROUGH THE WINDOW

Over Abby's shoulder, as she leans against the sill of the
open window and looks inside.

Ray sits on the bed in the empty room, smoking a cigarette,
his profile to the window, gazing fixedly at the wall.

ABBY
Ray.

Ray starts and looks toward the window, squinting.

INT. RAY'S BUNGALOW

WIDE SHOT LIVING ROOM

Abby is coming through the screen door. The room is strikingly
bare of everything except furniture. All personal effects
have been removed.

Abby looks around, bewildered, as Ray enters from the hallway.

ABBY
...Where is everything?

RAY
In the trunk.

Abby, still standing in front of the door, looks at him
uncomprehendingly. Ray walks over to a couple of cardboard
boxes stacked in the corner.

RAY
...In the car.

He ties a knot around the top carton with a piece of cord,
then cuts the cord with a collapsible fishing knife.

ABBY
...You leaving?

RAY
Isn't that what you want?

She slowly shakes her head.

RAY
Wanna come with me?

He leans back against the boxes, watching her.

ABBY
...But first I gotta know what
happened.

RAY
What do you want to know?

ABBY
You broke into the bar. You wanted
to get your money. You and Marty had
a fight. Something happened...

Ray shakes his head, smiling. Abby squints at him, looking
for help.

ABBY
...I don't know, wasn't it you? Maybe
a burglar broke in, and you found--

RAY
With your gun?...

He puts the knife in his pocket and walks over to the door.
As he approaches her:

RAY
...Nobody broke in, Abby. I'll tell
you the truth...

Ray faces Abby in front of the door.

RAY
...Truth is, I've felt sick the last
couple of days. Can't eat... Can't
sleep... When I try to I... Abby...

It's difficult to bring out. Ray's hand gropes for the cross-
slat on the screen door. Finally:

RAY
...The truth is... he was alive when
I buried him.

Abby stares.

An object materializes in the sky beyond them. It is flipping
end-over-end in slow motion, moving toward Abby and Ray and
the screen door. Abby and Ray, each staring at the other,
fail to notice until--

THWACK--it bounces off the screen.

Abby starts; Ray doesn't.

The spell is broken, Abby pushes hesitantly at the screen
door. Ray's hand slides off the cross-slat; he makes no move
to stop her.

CLOSE SHOT THE FRONT STOOP

As Abby steps over the rolled-up newspaper that hit the screen
door.

TRACKING SHOT ON ABBY

Hurrying down the driveway to get to her car. A low rumble
is building on the soundtrack. Abby glances at Ray's car as
she passes it.

ABBY'S POV TRACKING FORWARD THE CAR

More blood has seeped into and dried on the dropsheet covering
the back seat. The bass rumble grows louder, punctuated by a
rhythmic thumping.

EXT. MEURICE'S APARTMENT DAY

OVER ABBY'S SHOULDER

As she pounds frantically on the door--the sound continuing
over the cut. After a moment the door edges open.

Meurice is standing in the doorway in a long bathrobe. A
sleeper's blindfold is pushed up over his forehead.

MEURICE
Abby. What's the matter?

ABBY
I... I'm sorry, Meurice. I gotta
talk to you... Can I come in?

He looks at her hard.

MEURICE
Yeah... yeah, come in...

He steps aside to let her pass.

MEURICE
...but I gotta tell ya...

INT. MEURICE'S APARTMENT

As Abby enters.

MEURICE
...I'm retired.

Meurice switches on a table lamp; the curtains are drawn
against the sun. Abby follows Meurice over to the bar.

MEURICE
Jesus, I got a hangover. Want a drink?

ABBY
No, I--

MEURICE
Well I do...

He pours himself a drink.

MEURICE
...For you I answer the door. If you
wanna stay here, that's fine. But
I'm retired.

ABBY
Something happened with Marty and
Ray--

MEURICE
(sharply)
Abby...

He glares at her.

MEURICE
...Let me ask you one question...

He slams back the drink.

MEURICE
...Why do you think I'm retired.

He grimaces.

MEURICE
...Ray stole a shitload of money
from Marty. Until both of 'em calm
down I'm not getting involved.

ABBY
No Meurice, it's worse than that.
Something really happened, I think
Marty's dead--

MEURICE
What?! Did Ray tell you that?

ABBY
Sort of...

Meurice sits her down on the sofa.

MEURICE
That's total bullshit. Marty called
me after he was jacked up...

He tries to coax her into lying down.

MEURICE
...I mean, I don't know where he is,
but he ain't dead.

ABBY
Meurice--

MEURICE
You don't look too good. You sleep
last night?

Her head meets an end cushion.

ABBY
Meurice, you gotta help me...

Meurice rises from the sofa, sighs.

MEURICE
All right. Just sit tight. Try to
get some sleep...

He leans down to the table next to the sofa.

MEURICE
...I'll find Marty, find out what's
going on.

CLOSE SHOT ABBY

Her head on the cushion. We hear engine rumble. Abby twists
her head back, following Meurice. As we hear the table lamp
being switched off we:

CUT TO:

EXT. HIGHWAY NIGHT

POV FROM A CAR

The engine rumble continues over the cut. There is no other
traffic on the highway. A light fog covers the road. A green
highway sign says: "San Antonio 73 mi." We hear a car radio
playing softly.

CLOSE SHOT RAY

Driving. He is gently lit by the light from the dashboard.
He reaches forward to turn off the radio. The only sound now
is the hum of the engine and the rhythmic clomping of tires
on pavement. The look and sound of the scene are close to
those of the first scene of the movie.

Ray takes a cigarette out of his pocket and puts it in his
mouth, but leaves it unlit.

RAY'S POV

The headlights of an approaching car materialize in the fog.
The car passes with a roar.

Up ahead a traffic light is turning amber.

BACK TO RAY

The engine hum drops as he slows. We hear the low engine
rumble and the squeaking brakes of another car. Ray is now
stopped in front of the deserted intersection. He looks up
in his rearview mirror.

RAY'S POV

Another car is stopped just behind him, the fog floating up
past its headlights. The headlights halate in the fog; none
of the rest of the car is visible.

BACK TO RAY

The unlit cigarette still in his mouth. He looks down from
the rearview mirror to the intersection ahead of him. There
is a long pause, during which we hear only the steady purr
of Ray's car and the knocking rumble of the car behind him.

Ray looks up at the traffic light.

RAY'S POV

The light is just turning from red to green.

CLOSE SHOT RAY'S FOOT ON BRAKE

He takes his foot off the brake, hesitates for a moment, the
replaces it on the brake.

CLOSE SHOT RAY

He looks up in his rearview mirror.

RAY'S POV

The headlights of the other car remain motionless behind
him. The car makes no move to pass.

BACK TO RAY

He slowly takes the cigarette from his mouth and drops it
onto the seat next to him. His eyes shift from the rearview
mirror to the traffic light.

RAY'S POV

Green fog floats past the green light.

BACK TO RAY

His face frozen. He turns slowly to look behind.

RAY'S POV

The other car is still motionless. We hear the muted rumble
of its engine.

BACK TO RAY

His eyes shift back to the mirror. He gropes for his window
handle and slowly rolls it down. He sticks out his left arm,
eyes still on the rearview mirror, and waves for the other
car to go around him.

RAY'S POV

The other car remains still for a moment. White fog floats
up beyond the red fog created by Ray's brake lights.

Finally the car pulls out slowly to the left to pass.

BACK TO RAY

Watching the car pass.

RAY'S POV

As the car pulls out into the light from the intersection
and Ray's headlights, we see that it is a battered green
Volkswagon. First the car itself, and then its red tail
lights, disappear into the fog.

BACK TO RAY

Watching, for a long moment.

Finally he takes his foot off the brake, turns the steering
wheel hard left and hangs a U-turn.

MARTY'S LIVING ROOM WIDE

A light is switched on in the expensively appointed room.
Meurice enters, walking silently on the carpet, looking around
the room. He throws the light off at the far end and leaves.

MARTY'S BEDROOM WIDE

The door swings open. Meurice throws the switch near the
door and the room is bathed in light. We are once again in
the bedroom where we earlier saw Abby looking through her
purses.

We start to hear the faint buzzing of a fly.

Meurice glances around, throws off the light, and shuts the
door. Black.

MARTY'S OFFICE

Somewhere offscreen a light is switched on and we are looking
in close shot at the dead fish.

The sound of the fly is louder with the cut.

CLOSE SHOT RAY

Standing in the doorway from the bar, staring down at the
fish.

WIDE SHOT THE OFFICE

Ray glances around at the broken glass lying on the floor.
His gaze shifts to the safe and the hammer in front of it.
He walks over to the safe and stoops down.

CLOSE SHOT RAY AT SAFE

He works its battered dial and it swings open. He shuffles
through the contents and brings out a small pile of
photographs.

RAY'S POV

As he flips through the photographs. The first four are Ray
and Abby in the motel room bed. The last is a mounted 8 x
10: Abby and Marty on a Gulf beach.

BACK TO RAY

Looking.

HIS POV PICTURE DETAIL

Marty is still laughing.

BACK TO RAY

He scowls at the shots Visser took, then puts them back in
the safe. When his hand comes out he is holding another
photograph--this one folded twice. He unfolds it.

RAY'S POV

His and Abby's corpses.

BACK TO RAY FROM ACROSS THE DESK

As he straightens slowly from the safe in the background.

At desk level, we again see the glint of Visser's lighter
under the dead fish.

Ray crosses slowly around the desk into the foreground and
lays the picture flat on the desktop. For a moment he stares
down at it, then wheels abruptly and leaves frame.

INT. RAY'S CAR

CLOSE SHOT RAY

Driving. He glances up in the rearview mirror.

MARTY'S KITCHEN

As Meurice enters and throws an overhead light. The white
room is bathed in bright, shadowless light. As Meurice steps
into the kitchen his foot strikes something on the floor
below frame, which clatters hollowly away.

CLOSE SHOT PLASTIC DOG-FOOD BOWL

The empty bowl skids into a wall, bounces back, and wobbles,
spinning on its bottom rim.

MARTY'S BILLIARD ROOM

DUTCH-TILT

TRACKING SHOT TOWARD MOUNTED MOOSE HEAD

On a low skewed axis the camera is tracking in toward the
impassive trophy head on Marty's billiard-room wall.

The moose still has Ray's cigarette protruding from its mouth.

REVERSE TRACKING SHOT MEURICE

As he walks toward the moose, head cocked to one side,
frowning quizzically up.

He hears something, and looks through the door to his left.

MEURICE'S POV

The long shadowy hall. We hear panting.

CLOSE SHOT MEURICE

Squinting.

MEURICE
...Opal?

THE HALLWAY

A form starts to materialize in the shadows.

MEURICE

Taking a step back.

HIS POV

The dog bounding down the hallway. Its panting has become a
low growl.

FROM BEHIND MEURICE

He wrenches a cue stick from the rack and squares.

HIS POV

Opal snarling, leaping.

INT. MEURICE'S APARTMENT

CLOSE SHOT TOP OF A COFFEE TABLE

The splintered top half of the pool cue is slammed down to
rest on top of the coffee table.

MEURICE (O.S.)
Even the fucking dog's gone crazy...

MED SHOT ABBY

Sitting on the sofa, looking down out of frame. Behind her
Meurice agitatedly paces back and forth, waving the splintered
bottom half of the cue stick. His voice is unnaturally loud.

MEURICE
...Something pretty fucking weird is
going on. Put your coat on and I'll
drop you at home. But don't talk to
either of 'em until I do. And don't
worry. Believe me. These things always
have a logical explanation. Usually.

ABBY'S POV

The splintered top half of the cue stick on the coffee table.

INT. ABBY'S HALLWAY

Abby approaches her door in the foreground and lets herself
in.

INT. ABBY'S APARTMENT

Looking toward the window. The room is dark. Through the
window we see the facade of the building across the street.
Abby enters frame in the foreground, in silhouette against
the window, and throws an overhead light switch. The bright
light reveals Ray standing by the window, looking out.

RAY
(abruptly)
Turn it off.

Abby jumps, startled.

ABBY
Ray...

EXT. ROOF OF FACING APARTMENT BUILDING

From the roof of the building across the street we are looking
down on the facade of Abby's building. Most of its windows
are dark, but in a brightly lit fourth-floor window we can
clearly see Abby and Ray.

A man is on the roof in the foreground, hitching a rifle to
his shoulder.

INT. ABBY'S APARTMENT

Ray turns from the window which, with the switching on of
the overhead light, has become a mirror of the interior of
the apartment.

RAY
Just turn it off.

EXT. FACING ROOF

The light goes out in the apartment across the street; its
window goes opaque.

INT. ABBY'S APARTMENT

Dark now. Ray still stands by the window, looking out. Abby
still stands by the light switch.

RAY
(answering a question)
No curtains on the windows.

Abby is clearly apprehensive--about Ray, not about anything
outside.

ABBY
...So?

RAY
I think someone's watching.

Abby doesn't understand, and has had enough. As she throws
the light back on:

ABBY
So what'll they see?

Ray turns angrily from the window.

RAY
Just leave it off. He can see in.

EXT. FACING ROOF

Ray and Abby are once again clearly visible. Ray is starting
across the room.

INT. ABBY'S APARTMENT

Abby takes a fearful step back as Ray strides toward the
light switch, next to her.

ABBY
(abruptly)
--If you do anything the neighbors'll
hear.

This brings Ray up short. He stares at Abby. It registers
that it is him she's afraid of.

RAY
You think...

He shakes his head.

RAY
...Abby. I meant it... when I
called...

Abby takes another step back. Her voice comes out, after a
pause, half-strangled:

ABBY
...I love you too.

Ray winces. He slowly shakes his head with a pained half-
smile.

RAY
Because you're scared.

We hear the dull report of a rifle and the deafening sound
of shattering glass. The gun shot hits Ray in the back,
knocking him to the floor. He lies still.

CLOSE SHOT ABBY

She stares dumbly down at Ray. She looks slowly up to the
window.

THE WINDOW

It has a gaping black hole. The sound of shattering glass
still reverberates in the apartment. Small shards of glass
chink down from the window and shatter on the floor.

BACK TO ABBY

Staring at the window, paralyzed--almost in a trance. Quiet
except for the chinking of glass.

EXT. FACING ROOF

We are looking through the telescopic sight of a high-powered
rifle. The rifle sweeps up from Ray's body across the brightly
lit room, and centers Abby, still staring at the window, in
the cross hairs.

INT. ABBY'S APARTMENT

We are looking past Abby toward the shattered window at the
far end of the room. A brass lamp stands in the foreground,
between Abby and the camera. Abby still stands paralyzed.

Glass has stopped chinking from the window to the floor;
there is a painful silence.

Suddenly Abby dives to the floor just as CRASH the rest of
the window falls away and PING the brass lamp somersaults
toward us from the impact of the bullet.

The window is now completely gone--just a black hole in the
brightly lit wall.

ABBY

Scrambles into a corner at the window end of the room. The
only sound is her heavy breathing. She looks over at Ray,
then up at the bulb on the ceiling.

ABBY'S POV CEILING BULB

BACK TO ABBY

Breathing heavily, almost hysterical. She looks down at the
floor.

ABBY'S POV

Ray is sprawled on the floor in a pool of blood and broken
glass.

BACK TO ABBY

She reaches down and pulls off one of her shoes. She throws
it at the ceiling bulb.

We hear the bulb shatter and the room goes black.

Abby rises and makes her way cautiously across the glass-
littered floor toward Ray. She stoops over him.

LOW SHOT THE DARK APARTMENT

Its front door in background. Abby rises into frame and backs
toward the doorway, staring down at the floor. One of her
hands is covered with blood.

ABBY
Ray--

She winces and almost loses her balance as we hear a piece
of glass crunching under her bare floor. She turns and moves
to the front door, favoring one foot, and throws the door
open.

HALLWAY

Abby lurches from her apartment and pounds on the neighboring
door. No answer. She pounds on the door across the hall.

OLD WOMAN'S VOICE
(frightened, in Spanish)
Get away! I'll call my son-in-law!

ABBY
(groping for the words,
in Spanish)
No no--you don't understand--

OLD WOMAN'S VOICE
(in Spanish)
He has a gun!

Abby heads for the stairway at the far end of the hall. The
heel of her shod foot is throwing her weight onto her bad
foot; she kicks off the shoe.

CLOSE SHOT ABBY

As she reaches the top of the stairs. She takes one step
down, then brings herself up short. She looks over the railing
down the stairwell. It is quiet. An innocent-sounding cough
echoes somewhere in the building.

We hear the sound of footsteps from somewhere below.

Abby turns and hobbles back to her apartment. The bareness
of the hallway sets off her abandoned shoe.

ABBY'S APARTMENT

As she enters and slams the door behind her. She scrabbles
at the lock, finally manages to get it shut, then turns and
looks frantically around.

ABBY'S POV

Ray is lying still in the darkness.

We can hear footsteps approaching up the hallway.

Abby enters frame and kneels down next to Ray. She fumbles
around him briefly in the darkness.

The doorknob rattles. Abby freezes, listening, trying to
control her breath. After a moment we hear a scraping at the
lock.

Abby moves to the bathroom adjoining the main room and shuts
the door behind her.

BATHROOM

It is very small. Abby presses her palms against the door
and slowly eases her ear against the door to listen. The
scraping in the apartment door lock continues. Sweat streams
down Abby's face. She brushes a drop from her eye.

We hear the snap of the lock springing open, and the front
door swinging on its hinges.

CLOSER ON ABBY

Her ear pressed to the door. From the next room we hear the
sound of footsteps crunching across broken glass.

Abby backs away from the door, stares at it, then turns and
moves to the bathroom window. She looks out.

ABBY'S POV

A sheer drop to the narrow backyard of the building four
stories below. Next to Abby's window is another window,
separated from hers only by the breadth of the wall, that
separates the two apartments.

ABBY'S APARTMENT

Visser hunches, hands on knees, over Ray, who lies on the
floor out of frame.

VISSER
(grimly)
All right...

He hunkers down closer to Ray.

VISSER
...You got some of my personal
property.

He is rummaging through Ray's pockets but comes up empty-
handed.

VISSER
...One of you does.

Visser looks down at Ray, glances around the room, looks
back down at Ray.

VISSER
...I don't know what the hell you
two thought you were gonna pull.

His hand, gripping something, flashes down out of frame. We
hear a dull crunch.

BATHROOM

Abby has drawn her head back from the bathroom window. She
moves back to the door and braces herself against it.

ABBY'S APARTMENT

Visser straightens up from Ray's body. He drops something to
the floor, out of frame, that lands with a thud.

He goes over to the light switch on the wall and flips it
back and forth. No light.

He goes over to the brass lamp, sets it upright, tries its
switch. Again nothing.

He disappears into the kitchenette as we hold on its open
doorway. After a moment we hear a refrigerator hum as a cold
blue light plays in the doorway. There is the rattle of a
can being pulled off the refrigerator rack, and the snap of
its pull-tab being opened. After a couple of audible slurps
we hear the can go back on the rack and, as the blue light
disappears, we hear the refrigerator door close.

Visser reappears in the doorway. He surveys the room, fixes
on the bathroom door, goes over, turns the knob. The door
swings open.

He walks in.

BATHROOM

Visser looks around the cramped space. The shower curtain is
drawn. He casually draws it back. The shower is empty.

He goes to the window and leans out.

VISSER'S POV

The sheer drop below; the other window to one side.

BACK TO VISSER

He draws his head back in, presses his palms against the
adjacent wall, and eases his ear to the wall to listen.

Perfect quiet.

After a moment he goes back to the window, braces himself
against the sash, and sticks his arm out--groping for the
window of the adjacent apartment.

EXT. ABBY'S BUILDING / BATHROOM WINDOW

CLOSE SHOT VISSER'S FACE

Pressing against the glass as he leans against the upper
half of the bathroom window.

CLOSE SHOT VISSER'S HAND

It finds the adjacent window and starts to raise it.

BACK TO VISSER'S FACE

Again we see him through the window. His jaw is set as he
gropes offscreen.

Suddenly his body jerks violently forward, his head smacking
against the glass and cracking it.

QUICK CUT TO:

INT. ADJACENT APARTMENT

CLOSE SHOT VISSER'S HAND

Abby (out of frame) has grabbed it and now THUMP she slams
the window down on his wrist, catching it between the window
sash and sill.

Her other hand flashes across frame to THUNK pin Visser's
hand to the sill with Ray's knife.

QUICK CUT:

BACK TO VISSER

We hear the shatter of glass as the shock causes his head to
break through the window. His hand is nailed into the
apartment next door. He is in pain.

ADJACENT APARTMENT

Abby back slowly from the window, staring at the hand. From
the ground below we hear the faint and echoing sounds of the
shards of glass shattering against pavement.

ABBY'S POV THE WINDOW

Visser's pinned hand is writhing.

As we hear a muffled CRACK, a circle of light opens with a
puff of plaster dust in the wall that separates the two
apartments. A line of light shoots across the dark apartment
from the bright bathroom next door.

BACK TO ABBY

Staring at the wall. We hear a second CRACK.

ABBY'S POV

A second hole has opened in the wall, letting through a second
shaft of light.

Four more sharp reports in rapid succession: With each gun
blast a bright circle opens and a new shaft of light
penetrates the dark apartment.

Finally we hear the CLICK of an empty chamber, and the clatter
of the empty gun being dropped to the floor of the bathroom
next door.

CLOSE SHOT ABBY

Staring at the lines of light that crisscross the apartment.

There is a long moment of silence, then a sudden THUMP.

ABBY'S POV THE WALL

Six circles of light.

The circles go black momentarily as there is another THUMP.
And another. Each time Visser pounds his fist against the
wall, there is a muffled THUMP and his swinging arm strobes
the bullet holes.

BACK TO ABBY

She turns and hobbles toward the door of apartment. The
muffled thumping continues, as in her dream.

HALLWAY

As Abby emerges from the adjacent apartment. She stops and
looks down the hall.

ABBY'S POV

The stairway is at the far end of the hall. The door of her
own darkened apartment stands slightly ajar.

ADJACENT APARTMENT

CLOSE SHOT THE WALL

The bullet holes strobing. The pounding, more purposeful
now, grows louder and more intense.

Finally, with a crash, Visser's fist penetrates the wall in
an explosion of light and dust.

HALLWAY

We pull Abby as she limps hesitantly down the hall.

ADJACENT APARTMENT

CLOSE SHOT VISSER'S HAND

Waving aimlessly through the ambient dust. He is blindly
groping for the sill--and the knife that pins his other hand.

His outstretched middle finger just grazes the handle of the
knife.

ABBY'S HALLWAY / APARTMENT

Pulling Abby as she draws even with the door of her apartment.

ABBY'S POV

Her pearl-handled revolver sits on the shelf just inside the
door, where Ray left it. It catches the light from the hall.

ADJACENT APARTMENT

EXTREME CLOSE SHOT VISSER'S FINGERTIPS

The side of his middle finger rubs against the knife handle;
the tip of his index finger barely touches it. Visser's
fingers are trembling, indicating that his arm is stretched
to its uttermost.

A surge against the wall gives his fingers another inch or
so and they curl around the handle of the knife.

ABBY'S APARTMENT

CLOSE SHOT ABBY

As she steps in from the hallway to pick up the gun. She
looks around the apartment.

ABBY'S POV

The window of the apartment, its glass now completely gone,
lets in streetlight. Ray's corpse is a dark form in the middle
of the floor. A bright shaft of light slices across the room
from offscreen. It glints on the shards of glass that litter
the floor, just as in Abby's dream.

BATHROOM

CLOSE SHOT VISSER

As he slowly, quietly draws his hand in from the hole in the
wall. He is holding the knife.

He turns slowly to face the door, listening.

ABBY'S APARTMENT

CLOSE SHOT ABBY

She steadies herself against the wall and turns to look toward
the bathroom.

ABBY'S POV

The bathroom door stands slightly ajar. The interior of the
bathroom is a bright band in the shadowy recesses of the
back of the apartment.

BATHROOM

CLOSE SHOT VISSER

Moving quietly toward the door.

ABBY'S APARTMENT

CLOSE SHOT ABBY

Staring, almost transfixed, at the bathroom door. She raises
the gun, trembling, and trains it on the band of light.

ABBY'S POV

Visser's shadow falls across the crack in the doorway.

BACK TO ABBY

She shifts the gun slightly and fires.

ABBY'S POV

With the roar of the gun, a small circle of light opens in
the door. As the door waffles under the impact, we hear Visser
collapsing behind it.

BACK TO ABBY

Leaning against the facing wall. She lowers the gun. She
slides down the wall to finally rest seated on the floor.
She brushes a drop of sweat from her eye.

HER POV

The cracked bathroom door spilling light.

BACK TO ABBY

A pause. After a moment, her voice comes out half-choked:

ABBY
...I ain't afraid of you, Marty.

HER POV

The bathroom door. Quiet for a long moment.

Then, from inside the bathroom, we hear laughter.

BACK TO ABBY

Staring at the door. We hear the laughter subside, to leave
the sound of labored breathing. Finally:

VISSER (O.S.)
...Well ma'am...

BATHROOM

Visser lies on his back, his head underneath the bathroom
sink.

His good hand is pressed against his belly, which rises and
falls with his heavy breathing. Blood seeps out between his
fingers.

He is smiling.

VISSER
...If I see him, I'll sure give him
the message.

HIS POV

The underside of the sink, its convoluted chrome works beading
moisture.

VISSER

Looking, with mild interest.

HIS POV

A condensed droplet trickles down the chrome.

Directly overhead, it hangs for a moment from the lowest
joint of the pipe.

It fattens, wavers, wavers--and falls, spelling...

FINIS.

[DELETED SCENE FROM 1st. DRAFT]

"...In an early draft of the script, Ray, the befuddled
bartender who for want of a more compelling character served
as our story's hero, fled the scene of the tale's protracted
central murder and checked into a motel outside of San
Antonio:"

MOTEL LOBBY DAY

DUSTY RHODES, a lean man with a weathered face and large
Adam's apple, stands behind the Formica check-in counter.
KYLE, a heavyset man of thirty wearing a feed cap, sits in
the lobby's one piece of furniture, a beat-up leatherette
sofa. He sips from a can of soda.

Ray, begrimed and haggard, enters out of the glare of the
noonday sun.

RHODES
Hey there, stranger! What can I do
you for?

RAY
I need a room.

Calling out from the divan:

KYLE
He needs a room, Dusty.

RHODES
I reckon I can hear him...
(to Ray)
...Room rate's eight sixty-six a day
plus sales tax, plus extra for the
TV option.

RAY
How much extra?

KYLE
(calling out)
He wants the TV option, Dusty.

RHODES
I reckon I can hear him. TV option,
that's a dollar twenty, makes nine
eighty-six plus tax.

KYLE
(calling out)
Tell him the channels, Dusty.

RHODES
Channels, we got two and six. Two
don't come in so hot.

RAY
Just a room then.

KYLE
(calling out)
He don't want the option, Dusty.

RHODES
I reckon I heard the man.

RAY
(after shooting Kyle
an irritated glance)
Does he work here?

KYLE
(calling out)
Sure don't.

RHODES
See, Wednesday's the special on RC
Cola. I don't know if I explained
about the TV option. If there's a TV
in the room, you got to pay the
option.

KYLE
(calling out)
And how many room got TV, Dusty?

RHODES
Ever durned one.

RAY
(gamely)
Okay, I'll take the TV option.

RHODES
Well see the thing about that is,
we're booked.

"Looking at this scene now, years later, it strikes us that
revising it out of existence, as we did, constituted too
much rewriting. Indeed, the more prosaic scene we replaced
it with, involving Ray stopped at a traffic light, can be
found in the finished script but not in the finished movie.
It was shot but then deleted in order to more quickly get to
the carnage, which was the picture's raison d'^etre..."

JOEL & ETHAN COEN

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