"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 ]

"MISERY"

by

William Goldman

Based on the Novel by

Stephen King



FADE IN ON:

A SINGLE CIGARETTE. A MATCH. A HOTEL ICE BUCKET that holds a
bottle of champagne. The cigarette is unlit. The match is of
the kitchen variety. The champagne, unopened, is Dom Perignon.
There is only one sound at first: a strong WIND--

--now another sound, sharper--a sudden burst of TYPING as we

PULL BACK TO REVEAL

PAUL SHELDON typing at a table in his hotel suite. It's really
a cabin that's part of a lodge. Not an ornate place. Western
themed.

He is framed by a window looking out at some gorgeous
mountains. It's afternoon. The sky is grey. Snow is scattered
along the ground. We're out west somewhere. The WIND grows
stronger--there could be a storm.

PAUL pays no attention to what's going on outside as he
continues to type.

He's the hero of what follows. Forty-two, he's got a good
face, one with a certain mileage to it. We are not, in other
words, looking at a virgin. He's been a novelist for eighteen
years and for half that time, the most recent half, a
remarkably successful one.

He pauses for a moment, intently, as if trying to stare a
hole in the paper. Now his fingers fly, and there's another
burst of TYPING. He studies what he's written, then--

CUT TO:

THE PAPER, as he rolls it out of the machine, puts it on the
table, prints, in almost childlike letters, these words:

THE END

CUT TO:

A PILE OF MANUSCRIPT at the rear of the table. He puts this
last page on, gets it straight and in order, hoists it up,
folds it to his chest, the entire manuscript--hundreds of
pages.

CUT TO:

PAUL, as he holds his book to him. He is, just for a brief
moment, moved.

CUT TO:

A SUITCASE across the room. PAUL goes to it, opens it and
pulls something out from inside: a battered red leather
briefcase. Now he takes his manuscript, carefully opens the
briefcase, gently puts the manuscript inside. He closes it,
and the way he handles it, he might almost be handling a
child. Now he crosses over, opens the champagne, pours himself
a single glass, lights the one cigarette with the lone match--
there is a distinct feeling of ritual about this. He inhales
deeply, makes a toasting gesture, then drinks, smokes, smiles.

HOLD BRIEFLY, then--

CUT TO:

LODGE - DAY

PAUL--exiting his cabin. He stops, makes a snowball, throws
it, hitting a sign.

PAUL
Still got it.

He throws a suitcase into the trunk of his '65 MUSTANG and,
holding his leather case, he hops into the car and drives
away.

CUT TO:

A SIGN that reads "Silver Creek Lodge." Behind the sign is
the hotel itself--old, desolate. Now the '65 Mustang comes
out of the garage, guns ahead toward the sign. As "Shotgun"
by Jr. Walker and the Allstars starts, he heads off into the
mountains.

CUT TO:

THE SKY. Gun-metal grey. The clouds seem pregnant with snow.

CUT TO:

PAUL, driving the Mustang, the battered briefcase on the
seat beside him.

CUT TO:

THE ROAD AHEAD. Little dainty flakes of snow are suddenly
visible.

CUT TO:

THE CAR, going into a curve and

CUT TO:

PAUL, driving, and as he comes out of the curve, a stunned
look hits his face as we

CUT TO:

THE ROAD AHEAD--and here it comes--a mountain storm; it's as
if the top has been pulled off the sky and with no warning
whatsoever, we're into a blizzard and

CUT TO:

THE MUSTANG, slowing, driving deeper into the mountains.

CUT TO:

PAUL, squinting ahead, windshield wipers on now.

CUT TO:

THE MUSTANG, rounding another curve, losing traction--

CUT TO:

PAUL, a skilled driver, bringing the car easily under control.

CUT TO:

THE ROAD

Snow is piling up.

CUT TO:

PAUL driving confidently, carefully. Now he reaches out,
ejects the tape, expertly turns it over, pushes it in and,
as the MUSIC continues, he hums along with it.

CUT TO:

THE SKY. Only you can't see it.

There's nothing to see but the unending snow, nothing to
hear but the wind which keeps getting wilder.

CUT TO:

THE ROAD. Inches of snow on the ground now. This is desolate
and dangerous.

CUT TO:

PAUL, driving.

CUT TO:

THE SNOW. Worse.

CUT TO:

THE ROAD, curving sharply, drop ping. A sign reads: "Curved
Road, Next 13 Miles."

CUT TO:

THE MUSTANG, coming into view, hitting the curve--no problem--
no problem at all--and then suddenly, there is a very serious
problem and as the car skids out of control--

CUT TO:

PAUL, doing his best, fighting the conditions and just as it
looks like he's got things going his way--

CUT TO:

THE ROAD, swerving down and

CUT TO:

THE MUSTANG, all traction gone and

CUT TO:

PAUL, helpless and

CUT TO:

THE MUSTANG, skidding, skidding and

CUT TO:

THE ROAD as it drops more steeply away and the wind whips
the snow across and

CUT TO:

THE MUSTANG starting to spin and

CUT TO:

THE MOUNTAINSIDE as the car skids off the road, careens down,
slams into a tree, bounces off, flips, lands upside down,
skids, stops finally, dead.

HOLD ON THE CAR A MOMENT

There is still the sound of the WIND, and there is still the
music coming from the tape, perhaps the only part of the car
left undamaged. Nothing moves inside. There is only the WIND
and the TAPE. The wind gets louder.

CUT TO:

THE WRECK looked at from a distance. The MUSIC sounds are
only faintly heard.

CUT TO:

THE AREA WHERE THE WRECK IS--AS SEEN FROM THE ROAD. The car
is barely visible as the snow begins to cover it.

CUT TO:

THE WRECK from outside, and we're close to it now, with the
snow coming down ever harder--already bits of the car are
covered in white.

CAMERA MOVES IN TO

PAUL. He's inside and doing his best to fight is, but his
consciousness is going. He tries to keep his eyes open but
they're slits.

Slowly, he manages to reach out with his left arm for his
briefcase--

--and he clutches it to his battered body. The MUSIC continues
on.

But PAUL is far from listening. His eyes flutter, flutter
again. Now they're starting to close.

The man is dying.

Motionless, he still clutches the battered briefcase.

HOLD ON THE CASE. Then--

DISSOLVE TO:

The BRIEFCASE in Paul's hands as he sits at a desk.

SINDELL (O.S.)
What's that?

PULL BACK TO REVEAL

We are in New York City in the office of Paul's literary
agent, MARCIA SINDELL. The walls of the large room are
absolutely crammed with book and movie posters, in English
and all other kinds of other languages, all of them featuring
the character of MISERY CHASTAIN, a perfectly beautiful woman.
Misery's Challenge, Misery's Triumph--eight of them. All
written by Paul Sheldon.

CUT TO:

PAUL, lifting up the battered briefcase--maybe when new it
cost two bucks, but he treats it like gold.

PAUL
An old friend. I was rummaging through
a closet and it was just sitting
there. Like it was waiting for me.

CUT TO:

SINDELL
(searching for a
compliment)
It's... it's nice, Paul. It's got...
character.

CUT TO:

THE TWO OF THEM

PAUL
When I wrote my first book, I used
to carry it around in this while I
was looking for a publisher. That
was a good book, Marcia. I was a
writer then.

SINDELL
You're still a writer.

PAUL
I haven't been a writer since I got
into the Misery business--

SINDELL
(holding up the cover
art of MISERY'S CHILD)
Not a bad business. This thing would
still be growing, too. The first
printing order on Misery's Child was
the most ever--over a million.

PAUL
Marcia, please.

SINDELL
No, no. Misery Chastain put braces
on your daughter's teeth and is
putting her through college, bought
you two houses and floor seats to
the Knick games and what thanks does
she get? You go and kill her.

PAUL
Marcia, you know I started "Misery"
on a lark. Do I look like a guy who
writes romance novels? Do I sound
like Danielle Steel? It was a one-
time shot and we got lucky. I never
meant it to become my life. And if I
hadn't gotten rid of her now, I'd
have ended up writing her forever.
(touches his briefcase)
For the first time in fifteen years,
I think I'm really onto something
here.

SINDELL
I'm glad to hear that, Paul, I really
am. But you have to know--when your
fans find out that you killed off
their favorite heroine, they're not
going to say, "Ooh, good, Paul Sheldon
can finally write what we've always
wanted: An esoteric, semi-
autobiographical character study.

PAUL
(passionately)
Marcia, why are you doing this to
me? Don't you know I'm scared enough?
Don't you think I remember how nobody
gave a shit about my first books?
You think I'm dying to go back to
shouting in the wilderness?
(beat)
I'm doing this because I have to.
(Marcia is stopped)
Now, I'm leaving for Colorado to try
to finish this and I want your good
thoughts--because if I can make it
work ...
(beat)
I might just have something that I
want on my tombstone.

On the word "tombstone"

CUT TO:

PAUL'S TOMBSTONE--the upside down car with the blizzard coming
gale-force and his motionless body trapped inside the car.

The WIND screams. PAUL'S EYES flutter, then close.

Hold

Keep holding as--

Suddenly there's a new sound as a crowbar SCRATCHES at the
door--

-- nd now the door is ripped open as we

PULL BACK TO REVEAL

A BUNDLED-UP FIGURE gently beginning to pull PAUL and the
case from the car. For a moment, it's hard to tell if it's a
man or woman--

--not to let the cat out of the bag or anything, but it is,
very much, a woman. Her name is ANNIE WILKES and she is close
to Paul's age. She is in many ways a remarkable creature.
Strong, self-sufficient, passionate in her likes and dislikes,
loves and hates.

CUT TO:

PAUL AND ANNIE as she cradles him in her arms. Once he's
clear of the car, she lays him carefully in the snow

CUT TO:

PAUL AND ANNIE: CLOSE UP. She slowly brings her mouth down
close to his. Then their lips touch as she forces air inside
him.

ANNIE
(Their lips touch
again. Then--)
You hear me--Breathe! I said
breathe!!!

CUT TO:

PAUL, as he starts to breathe--

--in a moment his eyes suddenly open wide, but he's in shock,
the eyes see nothing--

CUT TO:

ANNIE--the moment she sees him come to life, she goes into
action, lifting PAUL in a fireman's carry, starting the
difficult climb back up the steep hill.

As she moves away, she and Paul are obliterated by the white
falling snow.

DISSOLVE TO:

THE WHITE OF WHAT SEEMS LIKE A HOSPITAL. Everything is bled
of color. It's all vague--

--we are looking at this from Paul's blurred vision.

And throughout this next sequence, there are these SOUNDS,
words really, but they make no sense.

"...no... worry...

...be... fine...

...good care... you...

...I'm your number one fan..."

The first thing we see during this is something all white.
It takes a moment before we realize it's a ceiling.

Now, a white wall.

An I.V. bottle is next, the medicine dripping down a tube
into PAUL'S LEFT ARM. The other arm is bandaged and in a
sling.

ANNIE is standing beside the bed. She wears off-white and
seems very much like a nurse. A good nurse. She has pills in
her hands.

CUT TO:

PAUL. Motionless, dead pale. He has a little beard now. Eyes
barely open, he's shaking with fever.

PAUL
(hardly able to whisper)
...where... am I...?

ANNIE is quickly by his side.

ANNIE
(so gently)
Shhh... we're just outside Silver
Creek.

PAUL
How long...?

ANNIE
You've been here two days. You're
gonna be okay.
(relieved)
My name is Annie Wilkes and I'm--

PAUL
--my number one fan.

And now the gibberish words make sense.

ANNIE
That's right. I'm also a nurse. Here.
(Now, as she brings
the pills close)
Take these.

She helps him to swallow, as Paul's eyes close.

DISSOLVE TO:

AN EXTERIOR OF THE PLACE. It's a farmhouse--we 're in a
desolate area with mountains in the background.

THE HOUSE is set on a knoll so that Paul's room, although on
the first floor, is ten feet off the ground.

CUT TO:

PAUL, in the room. He's not on the I.V. anymore. His fever
has broken. Annie enters, pills in her hand.

ANNIE
Here.

PAUL
What are they...?

ANNIE
They're called Novril--they're for
your pain.
(helps him take them)

ANNIE applies a cool rag to his forehead.

PAUL
Shouldn't I be in a hospital?

ANNIE
The blizzard was too strong. I
couldn't risk trying to get you there.
I tried calling, but the phone lines
are down.

PAUL tries to test his left arm.

ANNIE
(Gently, her fingers
go to his eyelids,
close them)
Now you mustn't tire yourself. You've
got to rest, you almost died.

CUT TO:

ANNIE: CLOSE UP. Sometimes her face shows the most remarkable
compassion. It does now.

HOLD ON IT briefly.

DISSOLVE TO:

CLOSE UP ON PILLS IN ANNIE'S HAND

ANNIE (O.S.)
Open wide.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM

He lies in bed. His fever is gone, but he's terribly weak.

CUT TO:

ANNIE. As she lays the pills on PAUL'S TONGUE, she gives him
a glass of water from the nearby bed table.

CUT TO:

PAUL, swallowing eagerly.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, watching him, sympathetically.

ANNIE
Your legs just sing grand opera when
you move, don't they?
(Paul says nothing,
but his pain is clear)
It's not going to hurt forever, Paul,
I promise you.

PAUL
Will I be able to walk?

ANNIE
Of course you will. And your arm
will be fine, too. Your shoulder was
dislocated pretty badly, but I finally
popped it back in there.
(proudly)
But what I'm most proud of is the
work I did on those legs. Considering
what I had around the house, I don't
think there's a doctor who could
have done any better.

And now suddenly she flicks off the blankets, uncovering his
body.

CUT TO:

PAUL, staring, stunned at the bottom half of his body as we

CUT TO:

PAUL'S LEGS. From the knees down he resembles an Egyptian
mummy--she's splinted them with slim steel rods that look
like the hacksawed remains of aluminum crutches and there's
taping circling around.

From the kness up they're all swollen and throbbing and
horribly bruised and discolored.

CUT TO:

PAUL, lying back, stunned with disbelief.

ANNIE
It's not nearly as bad as it looks.
You have a compound fracture of the
tibia in both legs, and the fibula
in the left leg is fractured too. I
could hear the bones moving, so it's
best for your legs to remain immobile.
And as soon as the roads open, I'll
take you to a hospital.

CUT TO:

ANNIE: CLOSE UP

ANNIE
In the meantime, you've got a lot of
recovering to do, and I consider it
an honor that you'll do it in my
home.

HOLD on her ecstatic face.

Then--

CUT TO:

MISERY'S PERFECT FACE. We're back in SINDELL's office in New
York. The office looks just the same, posters and manuscripts
all over. But she doesn't.

She holds the phone and she is fidgety, insecure.

SINDELL
This is Marcia Sindell calling from
New York City. I'd like to speak to
the Silver Creek Chief of Police or
the Sheriff.

MALE VOICE (O.S.)
Which one do you want?

SINDELL
Whichever one's not busy.

CUT TO:

SMALL OFFICE IN SILVER CREEK

...with a view of the mountains.

A MARVELOUS LOOKING MAN sits at a desk, by himself, holding
the phone. In his sixties, he's still as bright, fast and
sassy as he was half-a-lifetime ago. Never mind what his
name is, everyone calls him BUSTER.

BUSTER
I'm pretty sure they 're both not
busy, Ms. Sindell, since they're
both me. I also happen to be President
of the Policeman's Benefit
Association, Chairman of the
Patrolman's Retirement Fund, and if
you need a good fishing guide, you
could do a lot worse; call me Buster,
everybody does, what can I do for
you?

CUT TO:

SINDELL in her office. She pushes the speakerphone, gets up,
paces; she's very hesitant when she speaks about Paul. Almost
embarrassed--

SINDELL
I'm a literary agent, and I feel
like a fool calling you, but I think
one of my clients, Paul Sheldon,
might be in some kind of trouble.

BUSTER
Paul Sheldon? You mean Paul Sheldon
the writer?

SINDELL
Yes.

BUSTER
He's your client, huh?

SINDELL
Yes, he is.

CUT TO:

BUSTER'S OFFICE

He rolls a penny across the back of one hand--he's very good
at it, doesn't even look while he does it.

BUSTER
People sure like those Misery books.

SINDELL
I'm sure you know Paul's been going
to the Silver Creek Lodge for years
to finish his books.

BUSTER
Yeah, I understand he's been up here
the last six weeks.

SINDELL
Not quite. I just called, and they
said he checked out five days ago.
Isn't that a little strange?

BUSTER
I don't know. Does he always phone
you when he checks out of hotels?

CUT TO:

SINDELL, really embarrassed now.

SINDELL
No, no, of course not. It's just
that his daughter hasn't heard from
him, and when he's got a book coming
out, he usually keeps in touch. So
when there was no word from him...

BUSTER
You think he might be missing?

SINDELL
(shakes her head)
I hate that I made this call--tell
me I'm being silly.

CUT TO:

BUSTER. He nods as a WOMAN enters, carrying lunch. It's his
wife, VIRGINIA. She begins putting the food down on a table
for the both of them.

BUSTER
Just a little over-protective, maybe.
(beat)
Tell you what--nothing's been reported
out here--
(he puts Paul Sheldon's
name with a ? on a 3
x 5 CARD)
--but I'll put his name through our
system.
(he tacks the card to
a bulletin board)
And if anything turns up, I'll call
you right away.

CUT TO:

SINDELL. She smiles, a genuine sense of relief.

SINDELL
I appreciate that. Thanks a lot.

CUT TO:

BUSTER

BUSTER
G'bye, Ms. Sindell.

As he hangs up--

VIRGINIA
We actually got a phone call. Busy
morning.

BUSTER
(smiles)
Work, work, work.
(gives her a hug)
Virginia? When was that blizzard?

VIRGINIA
Four or five days ago. Why?

CUT TO:

BUSTER. The penny flies across the back of his hand. He
doesn't look at it, stares instead out the window at the
mountains.

BUSTER
(a beat)
...no reason...

HOLD ON BUSTER for a moment.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM

PAUL'S VOICE
(soft)
I guess it was kind of a miracle...
you finding me...

ANNIE's soft, sweet laughter is heard. She stands over him,
finishing shaving him with a very sharp straight razor. She
wears what we will come to know as her regular costume--plain
wool skirts, grey cardigan sweaters.

ANNIE
No, it wasn't a miracle at all... in
a way, I was following you.

PAUL
Following me?

ANNIE concentrates on shaving him with great care; she has
wonderful, strong hands.

ANNIE
(explaining, normally)
Well, it wasn't any secret to me
that you were staying at the Silver
Creek, seeing as how I'm your number-
one fan and all. Some nights I'd
just tool on down there, sit outside
and look up at the light in your
cabin--
(gently moves his
head back, exposing
his neck; this next
is said with total
sincerity, almost
awe)
and I'd try to imagine what was going
on in the room of the world's greatest
writer.

PAUL
Say that last part again, I didn't
quite hear--

ANNIE
(smiles)
Don't move now--wouldn't want to
hurt this neck--
(shaving away)
Well, the other afternoon I was on
my way home, and there you were,
leaving the Lodge, and I wondered
why a literary genius would go for a
drive when there was a big storm
coming.

PAUL
I didn't know it was going to be a
big storm.

ANNIE
Lucky for you, I did.
(pauses)
Lucky for me too. Because now you're
alive and you can write more books.
Oh, Paul, I've read everything of
Yours, but the Misery novels...

CUT TO:

ANNIE: CLOSE UP

ANNIE
I know them all by heart, Paul, all
eight of them. I love them so.

CUT TO:

PAUL, looking at her. There's something terribly touching
about her now.

PAUL
You're very kind...

ANNIE
And you're very brilliant, and you
must be a good man, or you could
never have created such a wondrous,
loving creature as Misery Chastain.
(runs her fingers
over his cheek)
Like a baby.
(smiles)
All done.
(starts to dab away
the last bits of
soap)

ANNIE starts cleaning up.

PAUL
When do you think the phone lines'll
be back up? I have to call my
daughter, and I should call New York
and let my agent know I'm breathing.

ANNIE
It shouldn't be too much longer.
(gently)
Once the roads are open, the lines'll
be up in no time. If you give me
their numbers, I'll keep trying them
for you.
(suddenly almost
embarrassed)
Could I ask you a favor?
(Paul nods)
I noticed in your case there was a
new Paul Sheldon book and...
(hesitant)
and I wondered if maybe...
(her voice trails off)

PAUL
You want to read it?

ANNIE
(quietly)
If you wouldn't mind.

PAUL
I have a hard and fast rule about
who can read my stuff at this early
stage--only my editor, my agent, and
anyone who saves me from freezing to
death in a car wreck.

ANNIE
(genuinely thrilled)
You'll never realize what a rare
treat you've given me.

CUT TO:

PAUL. His eyes close briefly, he grimaces.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, watching him, concerned. She glances at her watch.

ANNIE
Boy, it's like clockwork, the way
your pain comes--I'll get you your
Novril, Paul. Forgive me for prattling
away and making you feel all oogy.

She turns and goes out of the room.

CUT TO:

PAUL, watching her.

ANNIE
What's your new book called?

PAUL
I don't have a title yet.

ANNIE
What's it about?

PAUL
(fast)
It's crazy, but I don't really know,
I mean I haven't written anything
but "Misery" for so long that--you
read it you can tell me what you
think it's about. Maybe you can come
up with a title.

ANNIE
(in the doorway)
Oh, like I could do that?

CUT TO:

THE MANAGER'S OFFICE AT THE SILVER CREEK LODGE

Small, neat, one window--outside, snow covers all.

BUSTER AND LIBBY, THE MANAGER, are going over books and
records. Libby is an old guy, walks with a cane.

LIBBY
Nothing unusual about Mr. Sheldon's
leaving, Buster--you can tell by the
champagne.

BUSTER
Maybe you can, Libby.

LIBBY
No, see, he always ordered a bottle
of Dom Perignon when he was ready to
go. Then he'd pay up and be out the
door.

BUSTER
No long-distance phone calls, Federal
Express packages--anything at all
out of the ordinary?

LIBBY
(head shake)
I don't think Mr. Sheldon likes for
things to be out of the ordinary.
Considering who he is and all, famous
and all, he doesn't have airs. Drives
the same car out from New York each
time--'65 Mustang--said it helps him
think. He was always a good guest,
never made a noise, never bothered a
soul. Sure hope nothing happened to
him.

BUSTER
So do I...

LIBBY
I'll bet that old Mustang's pulling
into New York right now.

BUSTER
I'm sure you're right.

But you can tell he's not sure at all as we

CUT TO:

A SPOON FILLED TO THE BRIM WITH BEEF BARLEY SOUP

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM.

He lies in bed. Sun comes in the lone window. ANNIE sits on
the bed, a large bowl of soup in her hands, feeding him.

ANNIE
(almost shy about
this)
I know I'm only forty pages into
your book, but...

She stops, fills the spoon up again.

PAUL
But what?

ANNIE
Nothing.

PAUL
No, what is it?

ANNIE
Oh, it's ridiculous, who am I to
make a criticism to someone like
you?

PAUL
I can take it, go ahead.

ANNIE
Well, it's brilliantly written, but
then everything you write is
brilliant.

PAUL
Pretty rough so far.

ANNIE
(a burst)
The swearing, Paul.
(beat)
There, I said it.

PAUL
The profanity bothers you?

ANNIE
It has no nobility.

PAUL
Well, these are slum kids, I was a
slum kid, everybody talks like that.

CUT TO:

ANNIE. She holds the soup bowl in one hand, the muddy-colored
beef barley soup close to spilling.

ANNIE
They do not. What do you think I say
when I go to the feed store in town?
"Now, Wally, give me a bag of that
effing pigfeed and ten pounds of
that bitchly cow-corn"--

PAUL is amused by this.

CUT TO:

THE SOUP, almost spilling as she gets more agitated.

ANNIE
--and in the bank do I tell Mrs.
Bollinger, "Here's one big bastard
of a check, give me some of your
Christing money."

CUT TO:

PAUL, almost laughing as some soup hits the coverlet.

ANNIE
(seeing the spill,
suddenly upset)
There! Look there! See what you made
me do!

CUT TO:

PAUL--his smile disappears.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, and she is just totally embarrassed.

ANNIE
Oh, Paul, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.
Sometimes I get so worked up. Can
you ever forgive me? Here...

She hands him his pills and starts to clean the soup off the
coverlet. Then she makes the sweetest smile.

ANNIE
I love you, Paul.
(more embarrassed
than ever)
Your mind. Your creativity--that's
all I meant.

Flustered, she turns away as we--

CUT TO:

A ROAD IN THE MOUNTAINS. Piles of snow all around but it's
been ploughed enough so it's driveable.

CUT TO:

A CAR coming into view. Up ahead is the sign we've already
seen: "Curved Road, Next 13 Miles."

CUT TO:

INSIDE THE CAR

BUSTER AND HIS WIFE VIRGINIA: Virginia is driving while Buster
intently studies the terrain. He reaches for a large thermos,
pours some coffee, offers it to her. She shakes her head. He
begins to sip it.

VIRGINIA
This sure is fun.

She puts her hand on his leg.

BUSTER
(removing it)
Virginia, when you're in this car,
you're not my wife, you're my deputy.

VIRGINIA
Well, this deputy would rather be
home under the covers with the
Sheriff.

CUT TO:

THE CAR. Suddenly, it goes into a little icy spin--she fights
it back under control.

CUT TO:

INSIDE THE CAR

BUSTER
(suddenly)
Stop--stop right here.

VIRGINIA
What? What is it?

CUT TO:

THE CAR, skidding, slowing, stopping. BOTH OF THEM get out,
go to the edge of the road. Mountains of snow. Nothing much
else visible. Then Buster points.

BUSTER
Look at that broken branch there...

CUT TO:

VIRGINIA, seeing it, unconvinced.

VIRGINIA
Could be the weight of the snow.

BUSTER
Could be--or a rotten branch or a
mountain lion could have landed on
it. Could be a lot of things.

He steps off the road, starts down.

CUT TO:

VIRGINIA, watching him, worried--it's very slippery.

CUT TO:

BUSTER, graceful, in great shape, navigating down easily.

CUT TO:

THE TREE that the car ran into. BUSTER reaches it, studies
it.

CUT TO:

VIRGINIA, staring out after him--she can't see him because
the drop is both too steep and covered with trees and mounds
of snow.

VIRGINIA
Anything down there?

BUSTER'S VOICE (O.S.)
Yeah. An enormous amount of snow.

CUT TO:

BUSTER. He's moved away from the tree now, going toward where
the Mustang is buried.

CUT TO:

THE MOUND OF SNOW with the Mustang inside.

CUT TO:

BUSTER, making his way closer to it, closer, staring around.

CUT TO:

THE AREA. Nothing to be seen--everything is covered with
mountains of snow. You could have a house down there and not
be able to see it. Just glaring white.

CUT TO:

BUSTER, angry, frustrated, turning around and around and

CUT TO:

BUSTER from another angle, from behind the mound with the
Mustang inside--and out of his sight, glistening in the sun,
a bit of the door protrudes. But, of course, Buster can't
see it.

HOLD ON BUSTER, in a sour mood, staring around as the edge
of the door continues to glisten.

CUT TO:

VIRGINIA, on the road as Buster makes his way back up, still
ticked.

VIRGINIA
(they move to the car)
You really think Sheldon's out there?

BUSTER
Hope not--if he is, he's dead. Let's
go to the newspaper office.

As they get in the car--

ANOTHER CAR DRIVING BY--it's Annie in her Jeep--neither she
nor Buster notice each other.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM

The door opens and ANNIE enters.

ANNIE
Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to wake
you.

PAUL
It's fine.

PULL BACK TO REVEAL

Paul's eyes fluttering awake to see the hardback copy of his
novel, Misery's Child, in Annie's hands. She's never been
more excited--

ANNIE
They had it at the store, Paul, there
was a whole batch of them there. As
soon as I saw it, I slammed my money
down. I got the first copy.

PAUL
Then the roads are open...

ANNIE
The one to town is, but that's about
it. I called the hospital and talked
to the head orthopedic surgeon. I
told him who you were and what had
happened. He said as long as there's
no infection, you're not in any
danger, and as soon as the road to
the hospital is open, they'll send
an ambulance for you.

PAUL
The phones are working?

ANNIE
Well, mine's still out. But the ones
in town were working just fine. I
called that agent of yours.
(soft now)
Oh, Paul, I peeked at the very
beginning.
(looks at him)
What a wonderful first page--just to
read the name Misery Chastain...

PAUL
My daughter must be going nuts.

ANNIE
...it's like a visit from my oldest,
dearest friend.

PAUL
I was supposed to be home for her
birthday three days ago.

ANNIE
Your agent said she would tell her
you were okay. But I'm afraid you'll
have to wait until tomorrow if you
want to speak to her yourself.

She starts to leave, stops at the door.

ANNIE
(She looks at him now
with almost a look
of amazement)
Oh, Paul, what a poet you are...

As she leaves--

DISSOLVE TO:

PAUL, watching as she enters, moves to him, carrying a tray.

ANNIE
I made you my speciality--scrambled
eggs a la Wilkes. And I'm on page
75.

PAUL
I guess that means it's okay.

ANNIE
No. No, it isn't, it's--
(halts)
--oh pooh, I can't think of any words.
Would "great" be insulting?

PAUL
I can live with "great."

He starts, with effort, to eat.

ANNIE
(as she turns, goes)
No, it's not just great, it's perfect,
a perfect, perfect thing.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM. MID-AFTERNOON

ANNIE is clearing Paul's tray. She hands him his Novril; he
quickly swallows them.

ANNIE
I'm up to page 185. I always get sad
when I pass the halfway point. Will
you do me a favor? I'd love it if
you would autograph my copy. I already
have your autograph on a picture,
but it would mean so much to me to
get it in person. I know you're right-
handed, so don't worry if it's not
so legible. I'll cherish it anyway.

As PAUL signs the book:

ANNIE
I don't mean to pry, but I've read
in two magazines now where you were
seeing this model who does those
disgusting jeans commercials. And I
said it can't be true. Paul Sheldon
would never waste his time with a
trampy woman like that.

PAUL
Well, you can't believe everything
you read in magazines.

ANNIE
I knew it. I knew it wasn't true.
Boy, how do they get away with
printing stuff like that?

PAUL
You'd be amazed at what some people
will believe.

He finishes the autograph, hands the book back to her.

ANNIE
Thank you so much.

PAUL
My pleasure.

DISSOLVE TO:

THE WINDOW - LATE - AFTERNOON SUNLIGHT

CUT TO:

THE DOOR. IT opens and guess what--a sow lumbers in.

CUT TO:

PAUL, kind of stunned as this female pig skitters its way
around the room, excited, confused, slipping and sliding.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, all smiles and happiness, laughing in the doorway.

ANNIE
I thought it was time you two should
meet. Paul, say hello to my favorite
beast in all the world, my sow,
Misery.

PAUL
Misery?

CUT TO:

THE PIG, snorting around the room.

CUT TO:

PAUL AND ANNIE, watching it.

ANNIE
Yes. I told you I was your number-
one fan.

PAUL
I'm getting to believe you.

ANNIE
This farm was getting kind of dreary,
what with just the few cows and
chickens and me--
(happy)
But when I got Misery here, everything
Changed--she just makes me smile so.

PAUL
She's a fine... uh... pig is what
she is...

ANNIE
(scooping up the pig,
holding it tight as
she stands by Paul)
I'm on page three-hundred now, Paul,
and it's better than perfect--it's
divine. What's the ceiling that dago
painted?

PAUL
The Sistine Chapel?

ANNIE
Yeah, that and Misery's Child--those
are the only two divine things ever
in this world...

PAUL watches as the pig skitters out of the room with ANNIE
in pursuit, happily imitating the pig.

ANNIE
Woink! Whoink! Whuh-Whuh-WHOINK!

CUT TO:

PAUL staring after them--what the hell was that?

CUT TO:

THE WINDOW. DUSK.

ANNIE'S VOICE is heard softly.

ANNIE
When my husband left me... I wasn't
prepared, it wasn't an easy time...

PULL BACK TO REVEAL

ANNIE, standing at the window, her back to the room.

In bed, PAUL is dealing with a bedpan, peeing.

ANNIE
For a while I thought I might go
crazy.

PAUL
I know how that can be.

ANNIE
I don't know about you, but what I
did to get through it was I dove
into work--days, nights--night shifts
can be lonely at a hospital. I did a
lot of reading. That was hen I first
discovered Misery. She made me so
happy. She made me forget all my
problems.
(She smiles now)
'Course, I suppose you had a little
something to do with that too.

There is a peeing sound.

PAUL
Yeah, well...

He is embarrassed.

ANNIE
(She isn't)
I just kept reading them over and
over. I know when I finish this one--
and I've only got two chapters to go--
I'll just turn right to the front
page and start reading it again.

PAUL
I'm...

ANNIE
(She turns around,
moves to the bed)
Done?

PAUL
Yeah, thanks.

ANNIE
No problem.

As she takes the bedpan...

ANNIE
Don't get me wrong. I'm not against
marriage per se. But it would take a
pretty special guy to make me want
to go down the aisle again.

PAUL
Well, it's not something you should
enter into lightly.

ANNIE
It boils down to respect. People
just don't respect the institution
of marriage any more. They have no
sense of real commitment.

CUT TO:

PAUL, attempting to smile. There is not much he can say to
this.

ANNIE
I'd love to stay here and chat, but
I'm right at the end and I gotta
find out what happens.

PAUL
Well, I hope you like it.

ANNIE
Of course I'll like it. Misery's
about to have her child. What's it
gonna be, a boy or a girl? Ooh, don't
tell me.

With that, she exits.

CUT TO:

THE WINDOW. MOONLIGHT.

CUT TO:

PAUL. He's been dozing but now his eyes flutter awake as we

CUT TO:

THE DOOR. It opens and ANNIE enters, comes to his bedside.

CUT TO:

PAUL. Hard to see. He squints up as we

CUT TO:

ANNIE. CLOSE UP: her face is ashen pale.

ANNIE
You...you dirty bird. She can't be
dead. Misery Chastain cannot be dead!
How could you?

PAUL
Annie, in 1871, women often died in
childbirth, but her spirit is the
important thing, and Misery's spirit
is still alive--

ANNIE
(screaming)
I DON'T WANT HER SPIRIT! I want HER!
And you MURDERED her!

PAUL
I DIDN'T...

ANNIE
Then who did?

PAUL
No one--she just died--she slipped
away, that's all.

ANNIE
(screaming)
She slipped away? She slipped away?
She didn't just slip away. You did
it. You did it. You did it. You did
it. You murdered my Misery.

And now she has lifted a chair--it's heavy but she's very
strong--and she raises it and turns on Paul, and it's high
above her head, and PAUL realizes that this might be it, she
might shatter him with it, crunch his skull--and that's just
what she seems she's about to do--and then she swings it,
not against him but against the wall, and it shatters and
she's panting from the effort as she turns on him again, her
voice surprisingly soft.

ANNIE
I thought you were good, Paul, but
you're not good, you're just another
lying old dirty birdie and I don't
think I better be around you for
awhile.
(she crosses to the
door, then stops)
And don't even think about anybody
coming for you, not the doctors, not
your agent, not your family--because
I never called them. Nobody knows
you're here. And you better hope
nothing happens to me because if I
die, you die.

CUT TO:

PAUL, watching as she closes the door behind her. Then there
is a RATTLE OF A KEY and the sound of the door to his room
LOCKING.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, getting in her Cherokee and gunning away.

CUT TO:

THE ROOM

PAUL lies still. He looks around the room and listens for
sounds. All he hears are the SOUNDS OF A WINTER NIGHT in the
mountains. After a few beats, he takes a deep breath and
then begins his greatest effort of all: to force his body
out of bed, to make it move.

He's still weak from what he's endured, but that's not the
main thing: it's the pain. Any attempt at movement and his
legs scream. He sags back, lies there still a moment. Slowly
he tries to maneuver his body off the bed. He rolls over
onto his stomach, then tries to lower himself onto the floor
by moving down head first. His good arm hits the floor, and
he is able to hold himself up but, realizing there is no way
to get out of bed without causing tremendous pain, he girds
himself and flings himself out of bed and comes crashing to
the floor.

The pain is excruciating. After he regains his composure, he
slowly crawls toward the door.

He reaches up and tries the handle. It is, in fact, locked.
He awkwardly tries to slam up against the door, but it is
much too painful and to no avail. He crawls back over to the
bed, realizes there's no way to climb back in, then grabs

the blanket from the bed, wraps it around himself, and closes
his eyes.

DISSOLVE TO:

BUSTER'S OFFICE. DAY.

He sits alone at his desk on the telephone, staring at the
Rocky Mountain Gazette spread in front of him.

CUT TO:

THE NEWSPAPER'S FRONT PAGE

In a prominent spot on the top is what is most likely a book-
jacket photo of Paul. Above the picture is the following:
"HAVE YOU SEEN PAUL SHELDON?"

BUSTER is on the phone with Marcia Sindell.

BUSTER
No, Ms. Sindell, there's no point in
coming up here now. Everything that
can be done is... Yes, we're working
closely with the state police, and
the FBI has been informed. Right...
Right... As soon as we know anything
we'll let you know. No, it's no
bother. Call anytime. Bye, Ms.
Sindell.

VIRGINIA enters, carrying some files.

VIRGINIA
Here's the list of all Sheldon's
credit charges. Nothing after the
Silver Creek.
(With a glance at his
dour face, she
indicates the photo)
Any calls?

BUSTER
Just from his agent.

CUT TO:

BUSTER. His eyes flick up to her. An almost imperceptible
shake of the head.

HOLD FOR A MOMENT, then--

FACES. They are distorted, and they come into view but
briefly, then change into the next distorted face. All kinds--
there is no order to them

--young, Oriental, female, male, pretty, sad, black, not so
pretty, happy, white, old--what we HEAR is this:

"...You've changed my life..."

"...I'm your number one fan..."

"...I'm a really big fan of yours..."

"...I'm your biggest fan..."

"...Don't ever stop writing those Misery books..."

"...I've read all your books, but the Misery's... well..."

"...I'm your number one fan..."

"...You've given me such pleasure..."

"...I feel like you're writing just for me..."

And now, it gets kicked up in speed and all goes faster,
many times overlapping.

"...I love you... I'm your number one fan... I'm your biggest
fan... We love you... number one... love you... biggest...
love you... number one... number one... you poor dear
thing..."

This last was said by Annie, out of focus, and for a moment,
she stays that way--

CUT TO:

THE ROOM, AS IT SNAPS BACK INTO FOCUS--ANNIE is standing by
the bed. It is dusk.

She wears a dark blue dress and a hat with a sprig of flowers.
Her eyes are bright and vivacious--the fact is, this is the
prettiest ANNIE WILKES has ever looked.

ANNIE
What are you doing on the floor?
(crossing to the bed)
It's my fault. If I'd had a proper
hospital bed, this never would have
happened. Here, let me help you back
in.
(She lifts him back
into the bed, which
causes considerable
pain)
I know this hurts, but it'll only
take a few seconds. There you go.
Comfy?

PAUL
(in pain)
Perfect.

ANNIE
You're such a kidder. I have a big
surprise for you. But first there's
something you must do.

PAUL
I don't suppose I could have a little
snack while I wait for the
surprise?

ANNIE
I'll get you everything you want,
but you must listen first. Sometimes
my thinking is a little muddy, I
accept that. It's why I couldn't
remember all those things they were
asking me on the witness stand in
Denver.

Now she turns, goes to the doorway, keeping on talking. She
is never out of sight.

ANNIE
But this time I thought clearly. I
asked God about you and God said "I
delivered him unto you so that you
may show him the way."

PAUL
Show me the way?

ANNIE
Yes.

She exits and re-enters wheeling something toward his bed.
It's a charcoal barbecue, the kind you use in summer for
cooking hamburgers. She holds several items in her arms: a
box of Diamond Blue Tip wooden matches, a can of lighter
fluid. And most noticeably, Paul's manuscript.

CUT TO:

ANNIE AND PAUL. He watches, mute, as she takes off the grill,
puts the manuscript into the barbecue itself where the
charcoal goes, spritzes it with lighter fluid. The grill is
close enough to the bed for him to reach out and drop a match.

PAUL
When I mentioned a snack, I was
thinking more along the lines of a
cheese and crackers kind of thing.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, looking at him.

ANNIE
Paul, this is no time for jokes. You
must rid the world of this filth.

She hands him the box of kitchen matches.

PAUL
You want me to burn my book?

ANNIE
(she nods)
Yes.

PAUL
You want me to burn my book?

ANNIE
I know this may be difficult for
you, but it's for the best.

PAUL
This isn't difficult, my agent's
made dozens of copies. There's gonna
be an auction on this, and every
publishing house in New York is
reading it now. So if you want me to
burn it, fine. You're not ridding
the world of anything.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, watching him.

ANNIE
(quietly)
Then light the match, Paul.

PAUL
No big deal.

ANNIE
So you've indicated. Do it.

CUT TO:

THE MATCHES. PAUL'S HANDS are starting to tremble now. He
can't do it.

ANNIE
I know this is the only copy, Paul.
When you were twenty-four you wrote
your first book and you didn't make
a copy, because you didn't think
anybody would take it seriously. But
they did. And ever since you've never
made any copies because you're
superstitious--it's why you always
come back to the Silver Creek Lodge.
You told that story to Merv Griffin
eleven years ago.

PAUL
You know, Annie, this book never
would have survived without you.
When it gets to new York, there will
be a big auction, and whatever it
brings we can split.
(pause)
God knows you're entitled to it.

ANNIE
Oh, Paul. This isn't about money.
It's about decency and purity. It's
about God's values.

PAUL
You're right. You're right. I don't
know what I was thinking. I'll tell
you what. It doesn't have to be
published. Nobody ever has to see
it. I'll just keep it for myself. No
one will ever have to know it exists.

ANNIE
As long as it does exist, your mind
won't ever be free. I think you should
light the match, Paul.

There is a long silence. PAUL doesn't move.

ANNIE
Can't you see it's what God wants?

She's holding the can of lighter fluid in her hand as she
speaks and absentmindedly flicks a few drops of the fluid on
the bed.

ANNIE
You're so brilliant. I would think
you'd certainly be able to see that.
(More drops fall on
the bed)
We're put on this earth to help
people, Paul. Like I'm trying to
help you.

PAUL watches as the fluid continues to drop on the bed.

ANNIE
Please let me help you.

CUT TO:

PAUL. His hands shaking. Almost robot-like, he strikes one.
It flames.

ANNIE
You're doing the right thing, Paul.

CUT TO:

THE BARBECUE, as Paul's hand appears, drops the match on the
fluid-soaked manuscript. For a moment--nothing--

--and then, KABOOM, the goddamn thing practically explodes
and

CUT TO:

PAUL, staring, dazed, and as the flames leap higher,

CUT TO:

ANNIE, suddenly scared and startled at the heat and the size
of the flames and the full baking heat and

ANNIE
(crying out)
Goodness!

CUT TO:

THE BARBECUE. The sound is LOUDER as the flames leap up and
now charred bits of paper begin floating upward and

CUT TO:

ANNIE, watching, as more bits of paper rise.

ANNIE
Goodness--Goodness--Oh, my gracious--

And she starts trying to catch them.

CUT TO:

A PIECE OF BURNING PAPER in midair, floating against the
gauzy curtain, and for a moment it looks like the curtain
will catch fire and

CUT TO:

ANNIE, panicked, racing out of the room, going "Goodness,
heavens to Betsy"--

CUT TO:

THE BARBECUE, and what's left of the book.

CUT TO:

PAUL, and he cannot take his eyes off the disaster.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, hurrying back in, carrying a big bucket, slopping
water as she lifts the bucket.

CUT TO:

THE LAST of the manuscript as the bucket of water is tossed
onto it--there's hissing and steam and as the steam clears
it all looks now like a log in a brackish pond.

ANNIE
Well, isn't that an oogy mess?

As she starts to wheel the barbecue out, suddenly there is a
new and different sound as we

CUT TO:

PAUL, head turning toward the window.

CUT TO:

ANNIE taking a step toward the window, stopping for a moment.
The sound we're hearing is a motor. A HELICOPTER MOTOR. And
it's getting louder. Annie goes to the window now, looks
toward the sky as we

CUT TO:

A HELICOPTER flying along.

CUT TO:

INSIDE THE HELICOPTER

BUSTER and a PILOT are in the machine. Buster has a pair of
binoculars looped around his neck, a map rumpled in his lap.

BUSTER
(pointing out)
That's the Steadman place up there.
(The pilot nods. Buster
points again)
The only other place up here is the
Wilkes farm.

Another nod. The PILOT points down. BUSTER stares through
the binoculars.

WHAT HE SEES: ANNIE'S JEEP parked in front of her house.

CUT TO:

INSIDE THE HELICOPTER

BUSTER
That's no '65 Mustang. There's nothing
else out this way--circle on back.

As the pilot starts to change direction

CUT TO:

ANNIE at the window, watching, as the helicopter turns, starts
off.

CUT TO:

PAUL, listening as the MOTOR sound recedes.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, staring out the window.

ANNIE
I do believe the winters are getting
shorter and shorter every year. People
say it has something to do with the
ozone layer. What do you think?

PAUL
I don't know.

ANNIE
Yeah, well, it's a theory. Here's
your Novril.
(she wheels the
barbecue to the door;
stops)
How does tuna casserole sound for
dinner?

PAUL
Great.

She exits. PAUL takes the two Novril, stares at them, then
deliberately tucks them under his mattress.

DISSOLVE TO:

PAUL'S ROOM. NIGHT.

As PAUL is finishing the last of his tuna casserole. There
are two Novrils on his tray. We hear strains of TV GAME SHOW
THEME MUSIC. These sounds are not surprising. Paul has heard
them before.

CUT TO:

ANNIE'S ROOM. NIGHT.

It is much smaller than Paul's and filled with religious
bric-a-brac, pictures of Paul Sheldon, and a TV on a portable
stand. Annie lies in bed, with an open bag of Cheetos resting
on her stomach and a big quart-sized plastic bottle of Coke
on the nightstand. As she munches away, she is heavily
engrossed in her favorite TV show, "The Love Connection." As
Chuck Woolery extracts the embarrassing details of a couple's
romantic interlude, we

CUT TO:

Paul faintly hearing the sounds of the TV. He has now finished
eating. He takes the two Novril from under the mattress. He
then undoes the sheet, takes his fork and delicately pokes a
hole in the mattress, then stuffs all four pills back into
the hole.

DISSOLVE TO:

FARMHOUSE

Coming up to dawn.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S DOOR slowly opening.

CUT TO:

PAUL, staring at the door.

CUT TO:

WHEELS, seen from underneath the bed, being rolled around
the foot of the bed. We realize PAUL is in a wheelchair with
ANNIE pushing him.

ANNIE
See, isn't this nice?

PAUL
Great. I've always wanted to visit
the other side of the room.

ANNIE
And look what I've got for you. An
electric razor so you can shave
yourself now.

PAUL
If I knew this was gonna be the
surprise, you could've gotten me to
burn all my books.

ANNIE
(She hands him some
Novril)
Now don't josh. This is a very big
day for you, Paul. Here. You just
sit tight, and I'll set everything
up.

ANNIE exits.

CUT TO:

PAUL, quickly shoving the Novril into the mattress.

PAUL
Set what up?

ANNIE
That's the big surprise. Your new
studio--after all, writers do need a
place to work.

PAUL
Work? You mean write? What in the
world do you think I'd write?

ANNIE
Oh, but Paul!
(flushed)
I don't think, I know! Now that you've
gotten rid of that nasty manuscript,
you can go back to doing what you're
great at--
(beat)
--you're going to write a new novel--
your greatest achievement ever--
Misery's Return.

CUT TO:

PAUL. Stunned.

PAUL
(after a beat)
Misery's Return?

ANNIE
I know you didn't mean it when you
killed her, and now you'll make it
right.

CUT TO:

ANNIE: CLOSE UP. In an almost religious fervor.

ANNIE
Yes. It will be a book in my honor.
For saving your life and nursing you
back to health. I'll be the first
one to read it.
(beat)
Oh, Paul, you're going to make me
the envy of the whole world...

CUT TO:

PAUL

PAUL
You just expect me to whip something
off, that it?

ANNIE
(nods)
I expect nothing less than your
masterpiece.

PAUL
You do understand that this isn't
the ordinary way books get written--
I mean, some people might actually
consider this an oddball situation.

She rolls him over to a table she has set up by the window.

ANNIE
I have total confidence in your
brilliance--besides, the view will
inspire you.

CUT TO:

THE WINDOW, as the wheelchair approaches it.

The sky is innocent of clouds. There's a green forest climbing
the flank of the nearest mountain. A plot of open ground
between the house and the mountain. A neat red barn where
the livestock stay. A Jeep Cherokee, maybe five years old. A
Fisher plow. And no neighbors in sight. This is a desolate
place.

ANNIE
You just inhale that. I'll be right
back.

CUT TO:

PAUL, staring out the window.

PAUL
(calling out)
I guess you don't get bothered by
neighbors much.

ANNIE
Don't worry about that. You'll have
total solitude so you can concentrate
on your work.

PAUL
Great.

CUT TO:

ANNIE in the doorway, carrying reams of typing paper, pencils,
pens and sharpener.

CUT TO:

PAUL, watching her--it's all kind of amazing. She hands him
a box of typing paper.

ANNIE
I got you this expensive paper to
type on.

CUT TO:

PAUL, looking at the paper. It's Corrasable Bond. An idea
hits him; he masks it as best he can.

ANNIE
(putting the rest of
the paper on the
table)
And I got a great deal on this fifty-
pound clunker--on account of it's
missing an "n." I told the saleslady
"n" was one of the letters in my
favorite writer's name.

PAUL
It's two of the letters in my favorite
nurse's name, Annie.

ANNIE
(embarrassed, blushing)
You--fooler...!
(turns, grabs up pens,
pencils, paper)
Did I do good?

PAUL
(gesturing to the box
of paper)
You did great, except there's just
one little thing--I can't work with
this paper. It's Corrasable Bond, it
smudges. Maybe you could go back
into town and bring me some white,
long-grained mimeo.

ANNIE
But mine cost the most so I don't
see how it could smudge.

PAUL
(quickly taking a
sheet of paper, making
a pencil mark on it)
C'mere, I'll show you.

As she approaches, he rubs his thumb over the pencil mark.

ANNIE
(looking at it)
Well, it does smudge after all--isn't
that fascinating?

PAUL
I thought you'd be interested. I'd
like you to be in on everything,
Annie. Not just the finished book,
but how it's written.

ANNIE
Thank you for thinking of me.
(She can be so charming
when she wants)
Anything else I can get while I'm in
town? Any other crucial requirements
that need satisfying? Would you like
a tiny tape recorder? Or maybe a
handmade set of writing slippers?

PAUL
No, just the paper will be fine.

ANNIE
(suddenly very agitated)
Are you sure? 'Cause if you want,
I'll bring back the whole store for
you.

PAUL
Annie, what's the matter?

ANNIE
What's the matter? I'll tell you
what's the matter. I go out of my
way for you. I do everything to try
and make you happy. I feed you, I
clean you, I dress you. And what
thanks do I get? "You bought the
wrong paper, Annie. I can't write on
this paper, Annie." Well, I'll get
your stupid paper, but you just better
start showing me a little more
appreciation around here, Mister
Man.

With that, she throws the ream of paper in PAUL'S LAP, causing
considerable pain.

CUT TO:

THE DOOR as she slams it shut, locks it, stomps off and

CUT TO:

THE WINDOW. Annie, in a parka, can be seen storming out in
the direction where her Cherokee was parked. She gets in and
drives off.

CUT TO:

PAUL. He heaves a sigh, reaches out toward his tortured knees,
then drops his head. He sees something.

CUT TO:

BOBBY PIN on the floor.

CUT TO:

PAUL, as he moves toward the bobby pin. Or tries to. It's
brutally hard for him. The chair moves half a foot. Stops.
Paul strains again. Another half foot. Another.

CUT TO:

The BOBBY PIN. The wheelchair is beside it now. PAUL reaches
down for it. Can't make it. Tries again. Can't. He takes a
deep breath, forces himself to bend, ignoring the pain. The
bobby pin is in his hands.

CUT TO:

PAUL, inserting the bobby pin into the keyhole, beginning to
jimmy the lock.

CUT TO:

THE LOCK--it makes a SOUND--something has caught.

CUT TO:

PAUL, excited, trying to force the bobby pin and he's doing
great--until it slips from his hands, falls to the floor
again.

PAUL
(furious)
Shit...

CUT TO:

THE BOBBY PIN. Paul reaches for it. The pain has him. He
reaches again, involuntarily cries out. But he grabs it,
clutches it tight.

CUT TO:

THE KEYHOLE. Paul is trying to jimmy the lock a second time.

No luck.

CUT TO:

PAUL. In wild frustration.

PAUL
You've written how to do this--now
do it!

CUT TO:

THE KEYHOLE. There is a loud CLICKING sound.

CUT TO:

THE DOOR as Paul turns the knob. The door opens a crack.

PAUL
(amazed)
What do you know, it actually works.

CUT TO:

PAUL, trying to get out of the room--but it's a bitch because
in order to get to the lock he had to move the wheelchair up
to the door and in order to get out, he's got to maneuver it
out of the way of the door and every turn of the chair's
wheels is an effort for him. He works at it and works at it,
but his energy is failing him. He's pale, perspiring. Finally
he succeeds, barely forces his way into the hall.

CUT TO:

PAUL, in the hallway outside. He looks around for a phone.
Doesn't see one. He wheels himself over to the front door,
tries it. It's locked from the outside.

PAUL
What a surprise.

He looks off into the living room, and...

CUT TO:

THE TELEPHONE

CUT TO:

PAUL, wheeling into the living room. Dark red predominates.
It's a musty room. Over the mantel, a photograph of a six-
year-old ANNIE, with her mother and father in front of the
family car--a new 1952 Buick. These were happier times.

The windows have bars on them.

As PAUL begins to wheel as fast as he can toward the phone--

CUT TO:

THE PHONE as PAUL at last grabs for it, gets it, punches the
"operator" button--

PAUL
Operator...
(nothing)
...OPERATOR...
(wildly frustrated)
...Shit!

He shakes the phone. It's terribly light. He picks it up,
turns it over--it's hollow, just a shell of a telephone. He
stares at it for a long moment, shaking his head, the
disappointment plain.

PAUL
You crazy bitch...

He puts the phone back on the table.

CUT TO:

THE GENERAL STORE. DAY.

Annie exits the store, carrying new paper, hops into her
Cherokee and drives off.

CUT TO:

THE STUDY, as PAUL enters. He looks around.

It's stuffed with heavy, graceless furniture as well as lots
of coffee tables covered with knickknacks. As he, with effort,
wheels across it--

CUT TO:

A shelf of BOOKS. PAUL SHELDON books. EVERY Paul Sheldon
book.

CUT TO:

PAUL, pausing, looking at her collection. The only book on
the shelf that isn't his is a large scrapbook. The title on
the back reads "My Life."

He glances back at the shelf as he forces his wheelchair
across the study, and we

CUT TO:

A SMALL TABLE with little ceramic doodads on top. The
wheelchair his it, one of the doodads topples--it's a penguin,
fragile looking, and as it's about to fall to the floor and
shatter--

CUT TO:

PAUL, grabbing for it, catching it, putting it back where it
was. He continues his slow way across the room and

CUT TO:

THE HALLWAY.

Out in the hallway, on his way toward the kitchen, PAUL
notices a door to his right. He wheels over and surprisingly
it opens. However, this is not a door to the outside of the
house, only a storage pantry. He looks around--nothing but
canned goods, potato chips, cereals and large plastic Coke
containers, etc. Just as he is about to close the door, he
notices an open cardboard box. He opens the flap and sees
all kinds of prescription drugs. Among them are a couple of
strips of Novril encapsulated in blisters. He grabs them and
stuffs them into his sweatpants. Now he closes the pantry
door and heads to the kitchen.

CUT TO:

THE KITCHEN

As PAUL approaches it. He starts to wheel his way in, but he
has trouble.

He backs up slightly, wheels forward again--

--but the door is too narrow for the chair to fit through.
He pounds his fists on the chair arm, staring as we

CUT TO:

THE BACK DOOR. It's at the far end of the kitchen leading to
the outside. It seems somehow less formidable than the front
door did. The windows around the kitchen are barred.

CUT TO:

PAUL, staring at the kitchen door--

--then without warning, he makes his move, starting to lower
himself out of the chair

gently to the floor--

--only it doesn't work that way. It's too awkward, he doesn't
have the strength to maneuver properly--

--and his body tilts awkwardly out of the chair, slams hard
against the hard floor.

CUT TO:

PAUL, crying out in pain as he lands. He lies there for a
moment. Little droplets of sweat are on his forehead now. He
is hurting.

He closes his eyes, gathering strength--

--and then slowly, very slowly, inch by inch, he moves his
body across the floor toward the kitchen door.

CUT TO:

THE KITCHEN DOOR. It's still a long way away.

CUT TO:

PAUL, ignoring his pain, his awkwardness, making his body
move.

CUT TO:

THE KITCHEN DOOR. Closer now.

CUT TO:

PAUL, growing pale, but he won't stop, and now the door is
just ahead of him, and with his good arm he reaches out and
up and grabs the doorknob--

CUT TO:

THE KITCHEN DOOR. Locked solid.

CUT TO:

PAUL: CLOSE UP. The disappointment and anger is plain on his
face. His arm drops. He lies still for a moment, panting
from his effort. Then--

CUT TO:

PAUL, and his eyes are wide for a moment. You can feel his
wild excitement, as we

PULL BACK TO REVEAL

Sitting on the counter: A SET OF CARVING KNIVES sticking out
of a slotted wooden block.

They seem to be out of reach, but that doesn't stop him. He
starts to crawl over to the counter.

CUT TO:

THE ROAD

ANNIE is driving along in her Cherokee. She is heading home.

CUT TO:

THE KITCHEN

Now at the counter, PAUL tries to pull himself up with his
one good arm, but even though he is able to chin himself up
to the top of the counter, he is still unable to reach the
knives. He makes a desperate attempt which sends him crashing
to the floor.

As he starts to force his way up again--from outside there
comes a sound--the motor of a car.

CUT TO:

OUTSIDE ANNIE'S

ANNIE, driving up to the house.

CUT TO:

THE KITCHEN

PAUL, throwing himself back to the floor, starting a wild
crawl back across the kitchen toward the wheelchair and

CUT TO:

OUTSIDE ANNIE'S

ANNIE, getting out of her Jeep and

CUT TO:

KITCHEN

PAUL, crawling, crawling and

CUT TO:

OUTSIDE ANNIE'S

ANNIE, walking around to the back of the Jeep and

CUT TO:

KITCHEN

PAUL, scrambling wildly up into his wheelchair, starting to
get it turned and

CUT TO:

ANNIE'S

ANNIE, opening the back of the Jeep and lifting out several
rectangular boxes of paper and

CUT TO:

PAUL, straightened out now, forcing the wheelchair to move,
and now we're into a race, a crazed life-and-death race and
the cuts go fast--

--and ANNIE closes the door of the car--

--and PAUL is suddenly stuck, there's no traction on the rug--

-- ow ANNIE, purchases in hand, starts away from the car for
the house--

--and now PAUL is finally moving toward the bedroom.

--and ANNIE is moving swiftly toward the front door.

-- he drops one of the packages of paper.

CUT TO:

PAUL, still biting down, churning his arms with all the
strength he has left. PAUL'S ARMS, aching, start to turn to
rubber.

CUT TO:

ANNIE'S FEET, walking quickly across the snow-covered area
in front of the house and

CUT TO:

THE BEDROOM DOOR as Paul gets through it, shuts it, and
attacks the bedroom lock with the bobby pin and

CUT TO:

ANNIE, unlocking the front door of the house and

CUT TO:

THE BEDROOM DOOR, as it locks and

CUT TO:

THE FRONT DOOR, unlocking and

CUT TO:

ANNIE balancing the bundles under her chin as she jiggles
the key out of the front door lock and

CUT TO:

PAUL, soaked.

ANNIE (V.O.)
(her voice from the
hallway, close and
growing closer)
Paul, I've got your paper.

CUT TO:

PAUL. He wheels to exactly where he was when she left him.
He at last allows himself a sigh of relief.

CUT TO:

THE DOOR as the sound of a lock CLICKING is heard.

ANNIE
Just the kind you asked for.

And as the door opens--

CUT TO:

PAUL--looking down. Paul's waistband--a half a dozen strips
of Novril ominously stick out.

As the door swings open, he quickly covers the Novril with
this hands.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, in the doorway, a strange look on her face.

ANNIE
Paul, you're dripping with
perspiration, your color is very
hectic--what have you been doing?

PAUL
You know goddamn well what I've been
doing--I'VE BEEN SITTING HERE
SUFFERING. I need my pills.

ANNIE
(tenderly, as she
starts toward him)
Poor dear... Let's get you back in
bed and I'll get them for you.

PAUL
(exploding--a real
child's tantrum)
I want my pills NOW!

ANNIE
It'll only take a second.

PAUL
I want my pain to go 'way, Annie--
make it go 'way, please Annie--
(She looks at him--
you can't tell if
she's buying it or
not)
--please...

CUT TO:

ANNIE. She stares a moment more, then turns, starts for the
door.

ANNIE
(upset)
It just breaks my heart to see you
like this...

CUT TO:

PAUL watching, and the instant she is out the door in the
hallway, he stuffs the Novril into his pants.

ANNIE (O.S.)
(coming closer)
I've done a lot of thinking on the
drive...

CUT TO:

ANNIE, entering the room, the Novril in her hand. She is
genuinely contrite.

ANNIE
...and I'm absolutely convinced that
the main reason I've never been more
popular is because of my temper. You
must be so mad at me. The truth now.

She hands him the pills. And rolls him over to the bed.

PAUL
Well, I don't hold grudges. After
all, who doesn't let off a little
steam once in a while.

CUT TO:

PAUL putting the pills in his mouth, as she picks him up
from the chair and puts him gently down in bed.

ANNIE
My genius needs his rest before he
writes.

She hands him a pad and pencil.

ANNIE
Here, in case you think of any ideas.

PAUL
Yeah, well I wouldn't expect too
much.

ANNIE
Don't be silly. You'll be brilliant.
Think of me as your inspiration.

CUT TO:

THE DOORWAY, as ANNIE starts to it.

ANNIE
I have faith in you...
(beat)
...my darling...

On that she turns--for the first time, a coquettish look
comes to her face.

ANNIE
Catch this--
(she throws him a
kiss--it's grotesque)
--ummmm-wahhhh.

CUT TO:

PAUL, summoning up all his courage, as he mimes catching it
and forces a smile on. She waves, closes the door.

HOLD ON PAUL. The smile dies. He reaches in and pulls the
two Novril capsules out of his mouth. Now--

CUT TO:

THE SOUND OF A HELICOPTER

CUT TO:

INSIDE THE HELICOPTER

BUSTER AND PILOT flying along. Buster is all bundled up as
he stares out, using the binoculars...

CUT TO:

SOMETHING SHINY reflecting the sun.

HOLD AS IT ALMOST BLINDS US--we're looking at the part of
Paul's Mustang that was revealed by the snow when Buster
almost found the car.

BUSTER
(to Pilot)
Walter, we could be skipping lunch
today.

CUT TO:

CRASH SITE

Paul's car being hoisted by chains from the ground and, as
it starts to rise up into the afternoon air...

PULL BACK TO REVEAL

THE AREA BY THE CAR--BUSTER is there and a bunch of STATE
POLICEMEN and various MEDIA PEOPLE are there--Buster stands
with the STATE POLICE CHIEF watching as the car is hoisted
via derrick; the sound of the powerful MOTOR lifting the car
is enormous and as the car keeps rising higher and higher
and PEOPLE take pictures and stare and

CUT TO:

THE STATE POLICE CHIEF is addressing maybe a dozen REPORTERS.
It's very cold. BUSTER stands slightly away from the group.

STATE POLICE CHIEF
The presumption must now be that
Paul Sheldon is dead. We know he
somehow crawled out of his car. But
we have been unable to locate his
body in the vicinity of the crash.
We also know if anyone had found
him, they would have taken him to an
area hospital. His body is undoubtedly
out there buried somewhere in the
snow. We'll find him after the first
thaw--unless the animals have gotten
to him first.
(beat)
I'll take questions.

After the first sentence, a very cold and very unhappy BUSTER
leaves the gathering.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S CAR as Buster studies it, especially the area by the
driver's side where there are still dents visible from Annie's
crowbar.

VIRGINIA moves to him now. They exchange a glance, start
walking together toward their car.

CUT TO:

THE CHIEF, surrounded--people are asking questions, raising
hands for attention, and as he answers them--

CUT TO:

BUSTER AND VIRGINIA, close together, walking toward their
car.

VIRGINIA
You don't think he's dead, do you?

BUSTER
He might well be. But not the way
they say. He didn't crawl out of
that car by himself. You saw those
dents on the door--someone pulled
him out.

VIRGINIA
It was an old car--those dents could
have been there forever.

BUSTER
There's two kinds of people that
drive around in old cars: the ones
that can't afford new ones, and the
ones who wouldn't give 'em up for
anything in the world. That second
bunch don't drive around with twenty-
five-year-old dents.

As they drive off...

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM. NIGHT.

PAUL lies in bed listening to the strains of "The Love
Connection," coming from upstairs. As Chuck Woolery drones
on, Paul is intently involved in folding a piece of paper
from his pad. He is making a container of some sort. He
finishes, then reaches down and grabs the Novril capsules
that he has been stashing in the mattress.

Carefully, he opens one and pours it into the palm of his
hand. First he smells it--no odor--then he takes a tiny bit
on a finger and tastes it--no taste. Then, he takes his paper
container and empties the contents of all the pills into it,
then places it under the mattress.

Now, what to do with the empty capsules. He thinks for a
second, then--what the hell--he swallows them. He then places
the packet back in the mattress.

CUT TO:

THE TYPEWRITER. DAY.

The window is visible behind it. From this angle, it almost
seems to be staring at PAUL, broken "n" and all. PAUL tests
his wounded arm. He's able to raise it a few inches, but
that's it.

CUT TO:

OUTSIDE THE WINDOW

ANNIE is visible heading for the barn, followed by MISERY,
the pig. For a moment, she stops, turns to look back.

ANNIE
(calling out)
Don't be nervous--
(beat)
--just remember, I'll treasure
whatever you do.

Now, as she turns again, moves quickly away--

CUT TO:

THE TYPEWRITER

CUT TO:

PAUL. He rolls in a piece of paper, types briefly.

CUT TO:

WHAT HE'S WRITTEN, AND IT'S THIS:

"Misery's Retur ."

By Paul Sheldo

for A ie Wilkes.

CUT TO:

PAUL, studying the paper. He takes it out, starts to roll in
a new sheet.

CUT TO:

THE MACHINE as the new sheet is rolled in.

CUT TO:

PAUL, staring at the blank page. He takes a deep breath,
glances outside, then back to the paper.

CUT TO:

THE BLANK PAGE

CUT TO:

PAUL, and now there's a brief light behind his eyes and
suddenly he types a burst, stares at what he's written.

CUT TO:

THE PAPER and these words: "fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck."

CUT TO:

PAUL. He closes his eyes briefly, mutters something, kind of
nods, opens his eyes, grabs for another piece of paper, rolls
it in and starts mechanically to type.

DISSOLVE TO:

A NEW PIECE OF PAPER with the words "Chapter Two" and a half
paragraph of writing as we

PULL BACK TO REVEAL

PAUL WORKING in his room. ANNIE enters, the first pages of
manuscript in her hands. It's dusk.

ANNIE
I'm sorry, Paul. This is all wrong,
you'll have to do it over again.

PAUL
(totally stunned)
What? What happened to "I'll treasure
whatever you do?"

ANNIE
Paul, it's not worthy of you. Throw
it all out except for the part of
naming that gravedigger after me.
You can leave that in.

PAUL
I really value your criticism, but
maybe you're being a little hasty
here.

ANNIE
Paul, what you've written just isn't
fair.

PAUL
--not fair?

ANNIE
That's right--when I was growing up
in Bakersfield, my favorite thing in
all the world was to go to the movies
on Saturday afternoons for the chapter
plays...

PAUL
(it just comes out)
--cliff-hangers--

ANNIE
(suddenly angry)
I know that, Mister Man--they also
call them serials. I'm not stupid,
you know.
(and she's a child
again)
Anyway, my favorite was Rocket Man,
and once it was a no-brakes chapter,
the bad guys stuck him in a car on a
mountain road and knocked him out
and welded the doors shut and tore
out the brakes and started him to
his death and he woke up and tried
to steer and tried to get out, but
the car went off a cliff before he
could escape and it crashed and burned
and--I was so upset and excited and
the next week you better believe I
was first in line and they always
start with the end of the last week
and there was Rocket Man trying to
get out, and here came the cliff and
JUST BEFORE the car went off he jumped
free and all the kids cheered--
(standing up now)
--but I didn't cheer, I stood right
up and started shouting, "This isn't
what happened last week--have you
all got amnesia?--THEY JUST CHEATED
US--THIS WASN'T FAIR--"

ANNIE: CLOSE UP. Still in her childhood reverie. Shouting:

ANNIE
"HE DIDN'T GET OUT OF THE COCKADOODIE
CAR!"

PAUL
They always cheated like that in
cliff--
(stops himself)
--chapter plays.

ANNIE
But not you. Not with my Misery.
Remember, Ian did ride for Dr. Cleary
at the end of the last book, but his
horse fell jumping that fence and
Ian broke his shoulder and his ribs
and lay there all night in the ditch
so he never reached the doctor, so
there couldn't have been any
"experimental blood transfusion"
that saved her life. Misery was buried
in the ground at the end, Paul, so
you'll have to start there.

As she goes--

PAUL
Look at this, I've got Lizzie Borden
for an editor, here.

PAUL slumps, staring barefully at the typewriter.

DISSOLVE TO:

OUTSIDE THE FARMHOUSE. NIGHT.

DISSOLVE TO:

OUTSIDE THE FARMHOUSE. NEXT MORNING.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM. DAY.

PAUL is at the table. He takes the Novril off his breakfast
tray, wheels over to the bed, and stuffs them into the
mattress. He hears FOOTSTEPS coming down the hall. He smoothly
wheels back to the table. A pause.

ANNIE enters to remove the tray.

ANNIE
What's the matter, Paul? You haven't
written a word.

PAUL
I can't write this anymore.

ANNIE
Don't be silly. Of course you can.

PAUL
I'm telling you, I can't.

ANNIE
You can--you have the "gotta"--

PAUL
The what?

ANNIE
The "gotta." Remember, you talked
about it in Playboy magazine. You
said there's a million things you
can't do in this world; you can't
hit a curve ball, you can't fix a
leaky faucet or make a marriage work--
but there's one thing you always
have, and that's the power of the
"gotta."

PAUL
I said that?

ANNIE
You said you can make it so they
gotta turn the page. You know, "I
'gotta' know will she live," "I
'gotta' know will he catch the
killer." "I gotta see how this chapter
ends." You said it. I don't usually
buy that magazine. I only got it,
'cause they were interviewing you.

CUT TO:

PAUL: CLOSE UP. Blinking.

PAUL
(quietly)
What about a bee...?

ANNIE
What?

PAUL
Nothing.

CUT TO:

THE KEYBOARD as the piece of paper slides in and the keys
start to move. Annie stands there for a moment, then quietly
backs out of the room.

DISSOLVE TO:

THE WINDOW. It's late afternoon.

PULL BACK TO REVEAL

PAUL in the wheelchair watching as ANNIE finishes reading.

PAUL
Well, is it fair? Should I keep going?

ANNIE
You better. Oh, Paul, when Ian
realized that the reason they'd buried
Misery alive was because the bee
sting had put her in that temporary
coma--

CUT TO:

ANNIE, in a fervor.

ANNIE
--and when Gravedigger Wilkes
remembered how thirty years earlier,
the same thing had happened to Lady
Evelyn-Hyde--
(hands clasped)
--and then old Dr. Cleary deduced
that Misery must be Lady Evelyn-Hyde's
long-lost daughter because of the
rarity of deadly bee-stings--my heart
just leapt.

CUT TO:

PAUL, watching her. It's as if he had nothing to do with
anything she's read as she goes on.

ANNIE
I've known from the very first book
that Misery had to be born of nobility
and I was right!

PAUL
(mumbling to himself)
Yeah, yeah...

CUT TO:

THE TWO OF THEM; she touches the pages as if they were gold,
rubbing gently with the tips of her fingers.

ANNIE
Oh, Paul, can I read each chapter
when you finish? I can fill in the
"n"s.
(Paul nods, and she's
off again)
Will she be her old self, now that
Ian has dug her out, or will she
have amnesia...?

PAUL
...have to wait.

ANNIE
Will she still love him with that
special perfect love?

PAUL
Have to wait.

ANNIE
(plead ing)
Not even a hint?

Paul shakes his head.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, spinning around the room like a happy child.

ANNIE
Misery's alive! Misery's alive. Oh,
it's so romantic--this whole house
is going to be filled with romance.
I'm going to put on my Liberace
records--
(Stops, looks at Paul)
--you do like Liberace, don't you?

PAUL
(quickly)
Whenever he played Radio City, who
do you think was right there in the
front row?

ANNIE
I'm going to play my records all day

LONG
--to inspire you--he's my all-time
favorite.

And with that, she starts to leave.

PAUL
Annie?

She stops at the door.

PAUL
Would you have dinner with me tonight?

She can't speak.

PAUL
To celebrate Misery's return. I
couldn't have done it without you.

ANNIE
Oh, Paul. It would be an honor.

ANNIE dashes excitedly out of the room. PAUL wheels over to
the bed, pulls the packet of Novril powder out from the
mattress and stuffs it in his pants. The sound of Liberace
playing "Tammy" with orchestra and chorus booms in from beyond
the door.

PAUL
Jesus Christ.

CUT TO:

BUSTER'S OFFICE. DUSK.

VIRGINIA is on the phone.

VIRGINIA
(into phone)
No, he's not here. I don't know where
he went. He never tells me anything
anymore. He's probably out having an
affair somewhere. Wait a minute. I
think I hear him coming.

BUSTER enters carrying a bagful of books.

VIRGINIA
(to Buster)
It's Jim Taylor. He wants to know
who you've been having an affair
with.

CUT TO:

BUSTER. He puts the bag down, shoots Virginia a look and
grabs the phone. VIRGINIA looks in the bag.

BUSTER
Hey, Jim, what's doing? Uh-huh... uh-
huh... Jim, we've been over this. If
you're gonna have benches in front
of your store, people are gonna sit
on them. I don't like him either,
but I'm not going to come over there
and tell him to move. Give my best
to Denise. Bye.

VIRGINIA
(looking through the
books; all paperback
Misery novels)
Well, whoever she is, she sure likes
to read a lot.

BUSTER
Virginia, I'm flattered you think I
got that much energy. I just figured
if I can't find Paul Sheldon, at
least I can find out what he wrote
about.

VIRGINIA
What do you expect to find? A story
about a guy who drove his car off a
cliff in a snowstorm?

BUSTER
Now, you see, it's that kind of
sarcasm that's given our marriage
real spice.

CUT TO:

STUDY. NIGHT.

PAUL is sitting at a table that Annie has set up with her
best china and silverware. It is as romantic as Annie Wilkes
gets. ANNIE enters, carrying a basket of rolls. She sits and
serves Paul.

ANNIE
I hope you like it.

PAUL
It looks wonderful. And so do you.

ANNIE
Oh...

They eat in awkward silence. Finally:

PAUL
I've never had meatloaf this good,
what do you do to it?

ANNIE
My secret is I only use fresh
tomatoes, never canned. And to give
it that little extra zip, I mix in
some Spam with the ground beef.

PAUL
Oh.
(pause)
You can't get this in a restaurant
in New York.

After another pause:

PAUL
Annie, I think we should have a toast.

ANNIE
A toast?

PAUL
Yes, to Misery. Let me pour you some
more wine.

Paul pours more of the Gallo wine, then raises his glass.

ANNIE
To Misery.

PAUL
Wait, let's do this right. Do you
have any candles?

ANNIE
Oh, I don't know. I think so. I'll
go look.

She exits into the kitchen. PAUL quickly pulls the packet
filled with Novril powder from his pants. He empties it into
her glass of wine, stuffs the empty packet back into his
pants, talking the whole time:

PAUL
Did you study decorating, or do you
just have a flair?

ANNIE
Oh, you. I just picked things up
over the years.

PAUL
Well, it certainly says you.

ANNIE
You really think so?

PAUL
Absolutely. Listen, if you can't
find any, it's okay. I just thought
it might be nice.

ANNIE re-enters with a candle.

ANNIE
Are you kidding? If anyone ever told
me that one day I'd be having a
candlelit dinner with Paul Sheldon
in my own house, I woulda checked
both legs to see which one was being
pulled. Will this do?

PAUL
It's perfect.

She places the candle on the table. With a slight tremor in
her hand, she lights the candle. PAUL raises his glass.

PAUL
To Misery and Annie Wilkes, who
brought her back to life.

ANNIE raises her glass.

ANNIE
Oh, Paul, every time I think about
it, I get goosebumps.

They clink glasses.

And with that, her emotions having gotten the best of her,
she knocks over the candle. In trying to right the situation,
she places her glass back down, and as she reaches for the
candle, she knocks over her glass, spilling the wine.

ANNIE
(wiping up the spilled
wine with her napkin)
Oh, God, what have I done? I'm so
sorry, Paul. I ruined your beautiful
toast. Will you ever forgive me?
Here, let me pour another one.
(she does)
Can we pretend this never happened?
To Misery?

PAUL
To Misery.

So they drink their wine.

CUT TO:

OUTSIDE THE FARMHOUSE. DAY.

The snow, although still present, has melted somewhat. And
starting now and continuing throughout is this: the sound of
typing.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM

PAUL, working at his typewriter.

CUT TO:

THE MANUSCRIPT. Growing.

CUT TO:

ANNIE'S BEDROOM. DUSK.

ANNIE, in her room. Reading and loving it.

CUT TO:

BUSTER'S DEN. NIGHT.

BUSTER sitting in his den reading a Misery novel by the fire.
VIRGINIA brings him a cup of tea.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM. DAY.

PAUL, the sling off, moving his injured arm. It's more mobile
than before. Testing his strength, he uses his arm to remove
the page and place it on the pile. He puts in another page
and continues to type.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, entering Paul's room, carrying a chapter. Handing him
a cup of tea.

ANNIE
Paul, this is positively the best
Misery you've ever written.

PAUL
I think you're right.

CUT TO:

THE PILE OF PAPER. Bigger.

CUT TO:

OUTSIDE THE BARN

ANNIE, out by the barn. She stares in at the house. Framed
in the window is PAUL, working. She smiles, enters the barn.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM. NIGHT.

He stretches but only briefly, then back to his typing.

CUT TO:

THE KITCHEN

ANNIE, cooking happily away, reading a chapter.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM

PAUL, arm out of the sling. He manages to lift the typewriter
once, sets it back down, puts the sling back on.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM. LATER.

ANNIE, bringing a tray of food.

ANNIE
I think it's so wonderful that Misery
would sacrifice her title to take up
the cause of her people. That's true
nobility.

Paul hands her some new pages. As she exits,

CUT TO:

BUSTER'S OFFICE

BUSTER, in his office reading. He is alone.

CUT TO:

ANNIE'S LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.

Annie is reading by the fire. Her pig Misery sits beside
her, staring at the pages.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM. DAY.

His fingers just fly, faster than he's ever typed and

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM. NIGHT.

Paul, staring and

CUT TO:

THE PILE, growing, growing and

CUT TO:

PAUL'S FINGERS

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM

PAUL, ripping open a new ream of paper...

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM. DUSK.

His lips move silently. He's not even aware of it as he nods
and...

CUT TO:

THE PAPER IN THE TYPEWRITER, line after line being written.

INTERCUT WITH:

Paul's face at DAY, NIGHT, and DUSK in rapid succession,
ending with

CUT TO:

ANNIE'S FARMHOUSE. NIGHT.

Lightning! Giant deep rolls of THUNDER as RAIN begins...

CUT TO:

TYPEWRITER being lifted out of frame, then back in, then out
again.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM. NIGHT.

The pile of manuscript has doubled. Maybe two hundred pages.

PAUL, with some effort, is pumping the typewriter up and
down. Finally, he places it back down and puts his arm back
in the sling.

CUT TO:

PAUL, looking outside breifly.

CUT TO:

THE RAIN. Worse. The SOUND hit s the roof of the house, hits
the window.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, lumbering in--she's never looked like this: She's
wearing her slippers and her pink quilted housecoat. Her
eyes are without life. Her hair, loose and straggly, hangs
around her face. Slowly, like a robot, she goes to PAUL,
who looks silently up at her.

ANNIE
Here's your pills.

She drops them on the table.

CUT TO:

PAUL, as the pills hit his chest and bounce into his lap.

PAUL
Annie, what is it?

CUT TO:

ANNIE

ANNIE
(half turns away,
turns back, gestures
outside)
The rain... sometimes it gives me
the blues.

CUT TO:

ANNIE: CLOSE UP. And suddenly it's as if she's been turned
off, gone lifeless.

CUT TO:

PAUL, staring at her. No sound but the rain.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, seen straight on. No light in her eyes.

ANNIE
When you first came here, I only
loved the writer part of Paul Sheldon.
But now I know I love the rest of
him too. As much as Misery loves
Ian.
(beat)
I know you don't love me--don't say
you do--you're a beautiful, brilliant,
famous man of the world; and I'm...not
a movie star type. You'll never know
the fear of losing someone like you
if you're someone like me.

PAUL
Why would you lose me?

ANNIE
The book is almost finished. Your
legs are getting better. Soon you'll
be able to walk. You'll be wanting
to leave.

PAUL
Why would I want to leave? I like it
here.

ANNIE
That's very kind of you, but I'll
bet it's not altogether true.

PAUL
It is.

She slowly reaches into the pocket of her bathrobe and pulls
out a .38 Special.

ANNIE
I have this gun, and sometimes I
think about using it.

She is absentmindedly clicking the empty gun.

ANNIE
I better go now. I might put bullets
in it.

Robot-like, she crosses to the door and leaves. As she closes
and locks the door--

CUT TO:

PAUL, stunned, listening, waiting--

--here is the sound of the front door closing--

--then footsteps on the outside walk--

--the sound of a car door opening and slamming shut.

Now comes the GUNNING of the motor.

CUT TO:

THE WINDOW as ANNIE drives by, hunched over the wheel. The
MOTOR sound grows fainter, faint...

CUT TO:

BUSTER AND VIRGINIA'S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

BUSTER AND VIRGINIA are lying in bed. Buster is reading yet
another Misery novel, Misery's Trial. Virginia is also
reading.

BUSTER
"There is a justice higher than that
of man. I will be judged by Him."

VIRGINIA
What?

BUSTER
They're hauling Misery into court.

VIRGINIA
That's nice.

BUSTER
(mutters under his
breath)
"There is a justice higher than that
of man--I will be judged by Him."

CUT TO:

ANNIE'S KITCHEN.

The kitchen KNIVES on the counter.

CUT TO:

PAUL, now using both arms, forcing his body up toward them.

This isn't easy, it was a bitch the first time he tried it,
but nothing's going to stop him now. He's leaning against
the cupboard, using it for balance--

--his balance starts to go but he won't let it as we

CUT TO:

THE KNIVES, AS HIS HAND grabs the largest one, a fat-handled
sharp beauty and

CUT TO:

PAUL, and you can sense the relief as he begins to lower
himself to the floor.

CUT TO:

THE STUDY

PAUL, back in his wheelchair, knife in his lap, carefully
opening drawers of little tables, looking inside. He closes
them, moves on, unmindful of the rain. Now--

CUT TO:

THE SHELF OF PAUL SHELDON BOOKS. As before--

--except the "My Life" scrapbook is gone.

CUT TO:

PAUL, glancing around--

--and there it is, on a coffee table in the living room.
Also on the table are a roll of Scotch tape, a pair of
scissors, and a copy of Newsweek. Paul wheels toward the
table and the book, which is as big as a folio Shakespeare
play and as thick as a family Bible.

CUT TO:

THE LIVING ROOM

PAUL, opening the book.

CUT TO:

THE FIRST PAGE OF THE BOOK, as Paul opens it. It's a newspaper
clipping as is almost all of what follows. A small article:
simply a birth announcement for Anne Marie Wilkes.

PAUL turns the page. This headline reads: "Investment Banker
Carl Wilkes Dies in Freak Fall."

"USC Nursing Student Dies in Freak Fall." That's the headline
on the next page.

Now: "Miss Wilkes is Nursing School Honors Graduate."

Paul turns the page.

Manchester, New Hampshire, Union Leader: "Ernest Gonyar, 79,
Dies After Long Illness."

Now that phrase seems to be what catches our eye--"after
long illness" is from the next article. "Long illness" from
the one after that. Then, on the next page, a variation:
"Short Illness."

Now we're in Pennsylvania: "New Hospital Staff Announced."

And here come those phrases again on page after page--"After
Long Illness." "After Long Illness."

"After Long Illness."

CUT TO:

PAUL, transfixed; he keeps on turning the pages--the states
keep changing, moving west. Pennsylvania to Minnesota,
Minnesota to North Dakota. And always the clippings reporting
deaths and deaths and--

--and now we're in Colorado. "NEW HEAD MATERNITY NURSE NAMED."
And now the dead are young and helpless; babies. More and
more of them.

PAUL
(stunned)
Holy shit.

Then a headline which reads:

"HEAD MATERNITY NURSE QUESTIONED ON INFANT DEATHS"

Next page: "MISS WILKES RELEASED."

Next page: "THREE MORE INFANTS DIE."

Next page, at last: "DRAGON LADY ARRESTED."

Then a photo: the front page of the Rocky Mountain Gazette.
Annie on the courthouse steps. "DRAGON LADY CLAIMS INNOCENCE,"
under which there is a statement by Annie Wilkes.

Paul turns quickly to the next page and a very large headline:

"DRAGON LADY FOUND NOT GUILTY"

PAUL just sits there, shaking his head in bewilderment.

CUT TO:

THE BOOK, as Paul turns the LAST page.

CUT TO:

PAUL, stunned and now we find out why, as we

CUT TO:

THE PAGE IN THE BOOK. It's an article from Newsweek magazine,
a picture of Paul's car being hauled up out of the snow.
Above it this caption: "Presumed Dead--Paul Sheldon."

CUT TO:

PAUL. Slamming the book shut, putting it back on the coffee
table, then quickly turning his wheelchair as we

CUT TO:

PAUL, steering his wheelchair toward the front door. He tries
to position himself for a surprise attack of ANNIE, but he
can't find a way to get close enough. The wheelchair is too
cumbersome. He looks around and decides to head back to his
room. He is faced with the same problem there--so he struggles
into bed and, lying on his back, he rests the knife on his
chest and stares up at the ceiling.

DISSOLVE TO:

PAUL'S WINDOW, hours later. The rain has stopped.

CUT TO:

PAUL--trying to stay awake. After a few beats, he hears
something. It's the sound of a CAR PULLING UP.

HEADLIGHTS can be seen flashing through the window. PAUL
grips the knife and hides it under the covers. The sound of
a CAR DOOR OPENING AND CLOSING, then FOOTSTEPS.

As the FRONT DOOR OPENS, PAUL girds himself for attack. THE
FRONT DOOR CLOSES, then a couple of FOOTSTEPS. Then silence.
Then the FOOTSTEPS continue down the hall and up the stairs.

After a beat, we hear the TELEVISION. Someone is explaining
how you can buy millions of dollars of prime real estate
with no money down.

PAUL, allowing himself to relax, slips the knife under the
mattress. As the TV DRONES ON, Paul lies staring up at the
ceiling.

DISSOLVE TO:

OUTSIDE THE FARMHOUSE. NIGHT.

We hear a clap of THUNDER and once again the rain pours down.

CUT TO:

CLOSE UP: PAUL--eyes closed. There is another loud THUNDERCLAP
which causes Paul to stir and open his eyes.

He turns his head and another CLAP OF THUNDER is heard,
LIGHTNING flashes and reveals ANNIE standing over his bed.

Before he can react, she jabs a needle into his arm, pulls
it out and starts out of the room.

PAUL tries to raise himself, but the power of the drug causes
him to collapse, unconscious.

CUT TO:

THE ROOM. EARLY MORNING.

It's stopped raining, PAUL lies asleep. Now, surprisingly,
we hear a VOICE we've never heard in the movie before--loud--
for an instant we don't recognize the voice, then we do:
It's LIBERACE talking to his audience on a record going,
"Thank you, thank you, what a wonderful thing it is for me
to be back with you in Paris..." PAUL stirs and awakens to
discover that he is strapped to his bed. He can move his
arms, but that's it.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, standing in the room, and she looks very together;
her eyes are bright. Too bright. Way too bright.

She comes to the foot of his bed.

CUT TO:

PAUL, groggy from being drugged, tries to clear the cobwebs.

ANNIE
(in a soft voice)
Paul, I know you've been out.

PAUL
What?

ANNIE
You've been out of your room.

PAUL
No, I haven't.

ANNIE
Paul, my little ceramic penguin in
the study always faces due south.

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

PAUL looks up at her--he is totally honest and sincere. As
he talks, his hand surreptitiously begins moving toward the
mattress edge.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, as she brings the fat-hand led knife out of her skirt
pocket.

ANNIE
Is this what you're looking for? I
know you've been out twice, Paul. At
first, I couldn't figure out how you
did it, but last night I found your
key.
(She holds up the
bobby pin)
I know I left my scrapbook out, and
I can imagine what you might be
thinking of me. But you see, Paul,
it's all okay.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, as she walks slowly back to the foot of the bed.

And now a THUMP comes from the foot of the bed. Something is
out of sight.

CUT TO:

PAUL, staring at her; waiting.

ANNIE
Last night it came so clear. I realize
you just need more time. Eventually,
you'll come to accept the idea of
being here. Paul, do you know about
the early days at the Kimberly Diamond
Mine? Do you know what they did to
the native workers who stole diamonds?
Don't worry, they didn't kill them.
That would be like junking a Mercedes
just because it had a broken spring--
no, if they caught them they had to
make sure they could go on working,
but they also had to make sure they
could never run away. The operation
was called hobbling.

And with that, she reaches down out of sight and comes up
holding a 16-inch piece of 4 x 4 wood.

PAUL
Annie, whatever you're thinking about,
don't do it.

CUT TO:

ANNIE. She wedges the 4 x 4 firmly between his legs, just
above the ankles, secures it and adjusts his feet.

ANNIE
Now don't fuss, Paul.

PAUL
Why would I run away? I'm a writer,
Annie--it's all I am--and I've never
written this well--even you said
that this is my best, didn't you?

ANNIE picks up a sledgehammer.

PAUL
Didn't you? Why would I leave a place
where I'm doing my best work? It
doesn't make any sense.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, positioning herself to the side of his right ankle.

ANNIE
Shh, darling, trust me--
(taking aim at his
ankle)
It's for the best.

She takes the sledgehammer back.

PAUL
Annie, for God's sake, please.

As ANNIE swings, the sledgehammer makes contact with the
ankle. It breaks with a sharp CRACK.

CUT TO:

PAUL: CLOSE UP, shrieking.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, moving to the other side of the bed.

ANNIE
Almost done, just one more.

And as she breaks the other ankle, PAUL shrieks even louder.

CUT TO:

ANNIE: CLOSE UP.

ANNIE
God, I love you...

CUT TO:

PAUL'S FACE. He is beyond agony.

FADE TO BLACK:

For a long moment, nothing.

Then... a FAINT SOUND. After a moment, it begins to become
more intrusive and we can tell what it is: a car horn HONKING.

FADE IN ON:

SILVER CREEK and ANNIE in her Cherokee, HONKING for another
car to get a move on.

CUT TO:

A HAND AND A COIN MOVING ACROSS IT, from finger to finger.

PULL BACK TO REVEAL

BUSTER, sitting by the front window of his office, reading
The Rocky Mountain Gazette.

He watches idly as ANNIE yells out the window to the car in
front of her. THE DRIVER of the car yells back. Annie yells
louder. The Driver guns off, and Annie pulls into the parking
space next to the General Store.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, getting out, shaking a fist at the other car, calling
out, "You poop!" She enters the store.

CUT TO:

BUSTER, staring straight ahead. Something is gnawing at him.

CUT TO:

VIRGINIA, in his office, tidying the desk. BUSTER enters,
looks angry.

BUSTER
Just leave it, all right?

VIRGINIA
Oh, I like that tone.

BUSTER
How many times do I have to tell you--
I have a system here.
(rooting through a
pile of papers)
Where the hell is that thing?

VIRGINIA
What thing?

BUSTER
That thing.
(finding what he's
looking for, a 3 x 5
card)
Here it is. Right where it's supposed
to be.

VIRGINIA
What is it?

BUSTER
I'm not sure. Maybe nothing.

VIRGINIA
It's good you found it.

BUSTER
There's that spice again.

As BUSTER leaves, VIRGINIA goes back to tidying the desk.

CUT TO:

A LARGE LIBRARY as Buster leaves his car, hurries inside and

CUT TO:

LIBRARY STACKS

BUSTER, wearing bifocals, sits poring over bound volumes of
The Rocky Mountain Gazette.

CUT TO:

BUSTER, frustrated, puts one set of volumes down, picks up
another, starts through it, as we

CUT TO:

THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN GAZETTE, as the pages turn.

--only now they stop moving.

CUT TO:

BUSTER, tense, adjusting his bifocals.

CUT TO:

A SERIES OF HEADLINES pertaining to Annie Wilkes' murder
trial.

CUT TO:

A HEADLINE which reads, "DRAGON LADY CLAIMS INNOCENCE."

Under a PICTURE OF ANNIE on the courthouse steps, we see a
CAPTION: "Wilkes told reporters on the courthouse steps,
'There is a higher justice than that of man; I will be judged
by Him.'"

CUT TO:

BUSTER. He takes the 3 x 5 card out of his pocket.

CUT TO:

The CARD--on it is printed the exact quote we just saw in
the paper.

CUT TO:

BUSTER, sitting there, staring at the quote.

BUSTER
Interesting.

HOLD ON HIS FACE, then--

CUT TO:

ANNIE, carrying a bag of feed, followed by MISERY, the sow,
comes into view. She slows, smiles, waves--

ANNIE
Hi, Punkin.

CUT TO:

PAUL, staring out at her.

ANNIE
Give us a smile?
(Paul gives her the
finger. She laughs)
Such a kidder.

As she exits our view--

CUT TO:

PAUL, lifting the typewriter and repeatedly raising it over
his head, this time without any difficulty.

CUT TO:

THE GENERAL STORE IN SILVER CREEK. EARLY AFTERNOON.

BUSTER enters. The place is empty. It's one of those wonderful
spots that stocks pretty much everything in what seems like
complete disarray. Buster goes to the coffee urn behind the
counter, helps himself. He speaks to the guy who sits behind
the counter nearby; these two have known each other forever.

BUSTER
Hey, Pete.

PETE
Buster.

BUSTER
Answer me a couple things?

PETE
If I can.

BUSTER
Do you have any of those new Paul
Sheldon books?

PETE
We had a batch. Sold 'em all in three
days.

BUSTER
You wouldn't happen to remember if
Miz Wilkes bought one, would you?

PETE
Are you kidding? Every time that
fella writes a book, she makes me
set aside the first copy.

BUSTER opens the cash register, drops his coffee money inside,
closes the register.

BUSTER
Has she been buying any odd things
lately?

PETE
Miz Wilkes? Same old stuff.
(beat)
--Lest you call paper odd.

BUSTER
Newspapers?

PETE
(mimes typing)
No, the typing kind.

CUT TO:

BUSTER: CLOSE UP

BUSTER
Oh. That kind. Nothing odd about
that.

He cannot hide his excitement now as we--

CUT TO:

ANNIE, entering Paul's room. He lies back in the wheelchair,
eyes closed. Liberace music playing in the background. From
the start, PAUL'S TONE is different--strong, he's in control.

ANNIE
Paul, don't you think it's time for
you to start writing again? It's
been over a week.

PAUL
I don't know, it's weird, but a couple
of broken bones hasn't done a lot
for my creative juices. Get the fuck
out of here.

ANNIE
Don't talk to me like that.

PAUL
(staring at her now)
Why, what are you going to do?
(spreading his arms
wide)
Kill me? Take your best shot.

ANNIE
(taken aback)
Why are you so mean, Mister you'd-be-
dead-in-the-snow-if-it-wasn't-for-
me?

PAUL
Oh, no reason, you keep me prisoner,
you make me burn my book, you drive
a sledgehammer into my ankles...

ANNIE
I'll drive a sledgehammer into your
man-gland if you're not nicer--

PAUL
(He spreads his legs)
Be my guest.

ANNIE
(after a beat)
That's disgusting.

As she exits.

CUT TO:

A ROAD. Empty. Hold for a moment--now a car appears around a
curve.

CUT TO:

THE CAR. BUSTER is driving fast.

CUT TO:

PAUL in his room. He sits as before, by the window. He doesn't
move. Now he closes his eyes, stretches, sighs as we

CUT TO:

THE KITCHEN

ANNIE, busily making cocoa.

CUT TO:

BUSTER IN HIS CAR. He stops at a mailbox. The name on the
box is WILKES. Buster turns his car slowly into the driveway
by the mailbox.

CUT TO:

PAUL. He yawns, opens his eyes briefly. Closes them. In the
distance now, growing more and more visible is Buster's car--

--and now PAUL'S EYES go open wide, and he's staring out the
window at the car as it keeps on coming, closer, closer and

CUT TO:

BUSTER, looking around. He's driving very slowly, carefully.

CUT TO:

PAUL. Fixating on the window and now it's all going to be
all right, everything's going to be all right--

--and then ANNIE is on him, hypodermic needle in hand, jabbing
it into his arm. He desperately tries to fight her off, but
the drug starts to take hold. He tries to grab her by the
neck, but she fights him off as she wheels him out of the
room, down the hall and towards the cellar door.

ANNIE
I don't think I'll ever understand
you. I cook your meals, I tend to
you practically twenty-four hours a
day, and you continue to fight me.
When are we going to develop a sense
of trust?

ANNIE opens the cellar door. PAUL is all but limp by now. As
she picks him up and starts to carry him down the steps--

CUT TO:

BUSTER pulling up in front of the house. As he gets out of
his car--

CUT TO:

ANNIE placing Paul on the cellar floor and heading up the
stairs. PAUL is out.

CUT TO:

BUSTER heading up the steps to the front door.

CUT TO:

ANNIE stashing the wheelchair in the hall closet. She crosses
to the front door, opens it, revealing BUSTER.

ANNIE
(Gasping)
Oh, my!

BUSTER
Sorry, didn't mean to startle you.
You didn't give me a chance to knock.

ANNIE
(all charm)
Guess you can tell from my reaction,
I'm not all that used to visitors
out here. What can I do for you?

BUSTER
I was just wondering if you happen
to know anything about Paul Sheldon.

ANNIE
(stammering)
What do you want to know?

BUSTER
Anything you can tell me might help.

CUT TO:

ANNIE. The words pour out--

ANNIE
Well, he was born in Worcester,
Massachusetts, forty-two years ago,
the only child of Franklin and Helene
Sheldon, mediocre student, majored
in history...

CUT TO:

BUSTER, watching her, surprised.

BUSTER
(cutting in)
Excuse me, that's not exactly the
kind of information I was after. You
see, he's been missing for quite
some time now, and...

ANNIE
I know. It's so upsetting. I'm his
number-one fan...I've got all his
books, every sentence he ever put
down. I'm so proud of my Paul Sheldon
collection...
(stops suddenly, almost
embarrassed)
...here I am, prattling on and my
manners have just flown away. I
haven't invited you in. Please.

BUSTER
Thank you.

ANNIE lets BUSTER in, closes the door. They linger in front
of Paul's door. Buster idly checks out the hallway.

ANNIE
'Course you must know about that
horrible accident.

BUSTER nods and wanders into the living room. ANNIE follows.
He crosses into the study and checks out a bookcase that
contains the complete works of Paul Sheldon. One shelf below
contains Annie's infamous scrapbook.

ANNIE
Almost killed me, too. I prayed when
I heard the news. I got down on my
knees and begged for it not to be
true.

CUT TO:

ANNIE. She's so moved. Buster wanders into the kitchen.

ANNIE
You're going to laugh at what I'm
about to say, but go ahead, I don't
care...
(beat)
...when I was praying, God told me
to get ready.

CUT TO:

BUSTER, watching her. This isn't at all what he expected.

BUSTER
Get ready for what?

CUT TO:

PAUL, trying to fight the drug; just his eyes flutter.

CUT TO:

ANNIE and BUSTER heading back down the hallway toward Paul's
room.

ANNIE
To try and be his replacement--he
gave so much pleasure to so many
people and there's a shortage of
pleasure on this planet these days,
in case you hadn't noticed.

BUSTER enters Paul's room. ANNIE follows.

ANNIE
God told me, since I was his number-
one fan, that I should make up new
stories as if I was Paul Sheldon.
So, went to town. And I bought a
typewriter. And paper to type on.
The same kind Paul Sheldon used. And
I turned the guest bedroom into a
writing studio. Would you like to
see it?

BUSTER
Sure.

ANNIE
It's right this way.

BUSTER takes a look in the bathroom. ANNIE waits for him.

ANNIE
It's right here. I knew how he wrote,
the kinds of words he used, the
wonderful stories he told--
(moved)
--I've spent the last four weeks
trying to write like Paul Sheldon.
(sad shake of the
head)
But I can't do it right. I try and I
try and I know all the words--
(eyes closed in despair)
--but it's just not the same.

CUT TO:

BUSTER. He just stands there, watches her.

BUSTER
Well...
(long pause)
...maybe it takes time to get the
hang of it.

ANNIE
(holding up pages
from the manuscript)
I could give you a couple of hundred
pages of mine, and you could tell me
what you think.

BUSTER
I'm not much of a critic.

ANNIE
Well, I just thought--oh, look at
me. You'd think I'd never had a house
guest before. Would you like something
to drink?

BUSTER
Sure.

ANNIE
How does a nice cup of cocoa sound?

BUSTER
Sounds good.

As she exits into the kitchen.

ANNIE
There's some already made.

BUSTER lingers in Paul's room for a beat, then goes into the
hallway.

BUSTER
Must get lonely, living out here all
by yourself.

ANNIE
I always say if you can't enjoy your
own company, you're not fit company
for anyone else.

BUSTER
You got a point there...

As Buster moves up the stairs--

CUT TO:

PAUL, still fighting the drug. His arm twitches almost
involuntarily, grazing the barbecue.

CUT TO:

BUSTER opening the door to Annie's room. He looks around and
just as he is about to turn to leave--

CUT TO:

ANNIE, standing right in front of him.

ANNIE
Here you are.

BUSTER heads down the stairs, ANNIE follows.

BUSTER
Thanks, Miz Wilkes, but I don't want
to take up any more of your time. I
best be going.

ANNIE
But you didn't even taste your cocoa.

They cross to the front door.

BUSTER
I'm sure it's wonderful, but really
should be getting back.

BUSTER opens the door.

CUT TO:

PAUL stirring.

CUT TO:

BUSTER and ANNIE at the door.

BUSTER
If you don't mind, perhaps I could
pay you another visit sometime.

ANNIE
I'd be delighted. Now that you know
the way...

With that, she closes the door. We stay with BUSTER. He stands
on the front porch for a beat, thinking, then starts heading
down the porch steps. Just as he reaches about halfway down,
we HEAR A LOUD CRASH coming from inside the house.

CUT TO:

PAUL--he has managed to partially fight his way through the
drug, and in waking has accidentally knocked over the
barbecue. He fights to clear the cobwebs.

CUT TO:

BUSTER
Miz Wilkes, are you all right?

There is no answer. He quietly moves into the house.

BUSTER
Miz Wilkes?

Again, no answer.

CUT TO:

PAUL, still fighting to gain complete consciousness.

PAUL
(weakly)
Here. I'm down here. Down here.

CUT TO:

BUSTER. Hearing Paul's muffled call for help, he tracks the
sound to the cellar door. As PAUL continues to call out,
Buster looks around, sees no one, and opens the cellar door.
The shaft of light from the open door pours down on Paul,
who is still lying on the floor.

BUSTER
Mr. Sheldon?

But before Paul can answer, there's the sound of a LOUD
EXPLOSION. Seemingly from nowhere a hole is ripped through
Buster's chest, knocking him out of frame, revealing Annie,
smoking shotgun in hand, standing at the top of the cellar
steps.

ANNIE
Don't feel bad, Paul. It had to
happen. I've been waiting for this
sign.

ANNIE walks toward BUSTER'S BODY and very casually takes his
gun out of its holster.

ANNIE
I've known for some time why I was
chosen to save you. You and I were
meant to be together forever. But
now our time in this world must end.
But don't worry, Paul. I've already
prepared for what must be done. I
put two bullets in my gun, one for
you and one for me. Oh, darling, it
will be so beautiful.

With that, ANNIE turns and exits the cellar.

Paul's mind races desperately. He looks at the barbecue again.
Next to it is a messy table with a dozen jars and cans on
it.

CUT TO:

THE TABLE. One of the cans is LIGHTER FLUID.

CUT TO:

PAUL. He stares at it for a moment. An idea hits him--

--now, PAUL struggles and crawls over to the table. He grabs
the lighter fluid in his hands, jams it into the rear of his
pants and scrambles back to where ANNIE left him.

CUT TO:

ANNIE returning with her .38 Special and a hypodermic needle.
She stops at the top of the stairs.

ANNIE
Now don't be afraid. I love you.

She starts toward him.

PAUL
I know you do. I love you too, Annie.
(this stops her)
And you're right. We are meant to be
together. And I know we must die.
But it must be so that Misery can
live. We have the power to give Misery
eternal life. We must finish the
book.

ANNIE
But the time is now. Soon others
will come.

PAUL
It's almost done. By dawn we'll be
able to give Misery back to the world.

ANNIE stares at Paul. She could go either way on this. Then,
without a word, she turns and goes back up the stairs.

ANNIE
Here, Paul. I'll fix you something
to eat.

She exits. PAUL hesitates for a moment, then realizes he has
no choice. He starts dragging himself over BUSTER and up the
stairs.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM. NIGHT.

PAUL working. Typing like a madman, totally concentrated on
the white paper. His lips move but he's not even aware of
it.

ANNIE enters quietly, holding a few pages.

ANNIE
Oh, Paul. It's beautiful.

PAUL
Three more chapters to go.

She looks at him now, enthralled.

ANNIE
The stranger staying at the Inn, is
he someone from Misery's past?

PAUL
Maybe.

ANNIE
This is so exciting. It's Windthorne,
her first love, right?

PAUL
Maybe. Are you ready for the next
chapter?

He taunts her with it.

ANNIE
(brimming with
enthusiasm)
Oh you!

She takes the pages and goes.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM. LATER.

PAUL types a moment then rips out the page and starts over.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, putting the coffee down for him, putting the pages
back on the main pile.

ANNIE
(more excited now
than the last time)
It WAS Windthorne. I knew it--what
does that do to her love for Ian?--
(thinks)
--of course, if she hadn't thought
Windthorne was murdered she never
would have fallen in love with Ian
in the first place.
(Paul glares at her,
she turns to the
door)
Sorry, it's just that this is so
wonderful.

PAUL
I'm glad you like it.

ANNIE
Paul, this will be our legacy.

PAUL
It will.

He hands her a few more pages, she starts reading as she
exits.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM. MUCH LATER.

PAUL rubs his eyes. For a moment, he sags, but he fights it.
He puts a clean page into the typewriter.

ANNIE bursts in.

ANNIE
Oh, Paul. I'm dying. Does she wind
up with Ian or Windthorne? You have
to tell me.

PAUL
You'll know very soon. I'm starting
the last chapter. And when I finish,
I want everything to be perfect.
I'll require three things.

ANNIE
What things?

PAUL
You don't know?

ANNIE
(smiling)
I was fooling, silly.
(ticking them off)
You need a cigarette, because you
used to smoke but you quit except
when you finish a book, and you just
have one, and the match is to light
it. And you need one glass of
champagne.
(thinks)
Dome Pear-igg-non.

PAUL
Dome Pear-igg-non it is.

AS ANNIE exits.

CUT TO:

THE WINDOW

The first light of morning is starting to break through.

CUT TO:

PAUL, stretching. He makes sure everything is set.

PAUL
(calling out)
Annie! Annie!

With that, she enters.

ANNIE
Yes, Paul.

PAUL
I'm almost done.

ANNIE
Oh, Paul, this is so romantic. Ian
and Windthorne dueling for the right
to Misery's hand. Does Ian win? Oh,
don't me. It's Windthorne, right?

PAUL
You'll know everything in a minute.
Get the champagne.

ANNIE
(dying from the
suspense)
Ahh!!!

She exits; PAUL adjusts the manuscript on the table and then
types the last line.

CUT TO:

ANNIE IN THE KITCHEN. She takes the bottle of Dom Perignon
out of the icebox, places it on a tray with two glasses--
opens a drawer--takes out the gun--places it in her pocket--
then takes out the hypodermic needle and places it on the
tray.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM

ANNIE enters with the tray. She sets it down on the table.

ANNIE
Did I do good?

PAUL
You did perfect. Except for one thing.
This time we need two glasses.

He takes the last page out of the typewriter.

ANNIE
Oh, Paul.

As soon as she exits, PAUL drops the manuscript to the floor,
pulls the lighter fluid from his pants, and starts dousing
the manuscript with lighter fluid. He grabs the last chapter
and twists the last few pages together torch style. He douses
it with the fluid and holds the match out of sight.

He smiles as we

CUT TO:

ANNIE entering with the second glass...

PAUL
It's all right here, Annie. Remember
how for all those years no one ever
knew who Misery's real father was,
or if they'd ever be reunited? It's
all right here. Will Misery finally
lead her countrymen to freedom? Does
she finally marry Ian or will it be
Windthorne? It's all right here.

CUT TO:

THE MATCH, as he strikes it and

CUT TO:

ANNIE screaming--

ANNIE
Paul, you can't.

And as her hands fly out beseechingly--

CUT TO:

THE CHAMPAGNE BOTTLE--it falls to the floor, explodes like a
torpedo, shards of glass all over, curds of foam everywhere--

PAUL
Why not? I learned it from you...

And on that--

CUT TO:

THE LAST CHAPTER as Paul brings the match close to it and it
bursts into flame. And Paul, holding it like the torch it
is. Annie starts moving forward now.

ANNIE
No, no, NOT MISERY--NOT MY MISERY...!

He drops the last chapter into the soaked manuscript and

CUT TO:

THE MANUSCRIPT, as KABOOM!, it bursts into flame and--

CUT TO:

ANNIE, transfixed by the sight for a moment,

--and then she charges.

CUT TO:

THE FIRE as ANNIE rushes to the book, stoops down, grabs it
with both hands, brings the burning mass up to her body,
both arms across it, trying to smother the flames--

CUT TO:

PAUL, grabbing the typewriter, raising it high above his
head, then throwing it down on her with all his power and

CUT TO:

THE TYPEWRITER, crashing into the back of her head.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, screaming, driven to the floor by the blow, the book
beneath her, and the flames fly up, her sweater is starting
to burn and she's covered with shards of glass from the
shattered bottle of champagne and some of the manuscript is
hissing from the liquid, but she is able to struggle to her
knees--

ANNIE
I'm going to kill you, you lying
cocksucker...

As she struggles to her feet, she pulls out the gun and shoots
at Paul, hitting him in the shoulder. Just as she's about to
shoot again, Paul quickly wheels the chair up to her, throws
himself out of the chair, and tackles her. The gun flies out
of her hand and lands in the hallway, going off as it lands.
They wrestle on the floor.

Flames still around them, PAUL gets on top of her, grabs
some burning pages, stuffs them into her mouth, shouting --

PAUL
Here. Here. You want it? You want
it? You can eat it--eat it--eat it
till you fucking CHOKE--you sick,
twisted fuck.

And as he forces more paper into her mouth--

CUT TO:

ANNIE, and she's hideous--blistered, her hands claw at her
throat. She makes horrible sounds, spitting the charred chunks
of manuscript out of her mouth. Shards of glass are in her
hair. Now a shriek and a tremendous jerk of her body and

CUT TO:

PAUL, falling away --

CUT TO:

ANNIE, still making the sounds as she gets to her feet, and

CUT TO:

PAUL, trying to crawl away after her.

CUT TO:

ANNIE--heading for the door, she takes a step away from Paul,
then another, then

CUT TO:

PAUL, suddenly kicking out with his shattered leg, screaming
in pain as it crashes into her ankle and

CUT TO:

ANNIE, trying to keep her balance, not doing well, her arms
windmilling as she fights for balance one last moment, fights
and loses, and now, as she topples over--

CUT TO:

THE TYPEWRITER as she falls and her head slams into it,
collides with the sharp metal and a great wound opens in her
head. There is one final cry. Blood pours. It's over. All
over. We are looking at a dead body.

CUT TO:

PAUL, exhausted, panting, lying there, trying to gather his
energy. He starts to crawl for the door. Just as he reaches
the doorjamb, an arm grabs his leg, and

CUT TO:

PAUL, shrieking, and

CUT TO:

ANNIE, pulling herself up his body and

CUT TO:

PAUL, trying to buck her off, but he can't and

CUT TO:

ANNIE, the stronger, relentless, moving up on him, and

CUT TO:

PAUL, his grip broken as he turns and

CUT TO:

ANNIE, all-powerful, looming over him and

CUT TO:

PAUL, hitting up at her and

CUT TO:

ANNIE, swelling, and the blood pours down and if she feels
his blows she doesn't show it and

CUT TO:

PAUL, whatever energy he has left he uses now, trying to
twist and strike and as his body moves--

CUT TO:

METAL BASED FLOOR LAMP and

CUT TO:

PAUL, grabbing the thing, suddenly bringing it across his
body, clobbering Annie in the face and

CUT TO:

ANNIE, startled by the power of the blow and for a moment
she is stopped and

CUT TO:

PAUL, as with everything he has left, he crunches her forehead
with the sharp heavy metal base, just creams her as the air
is forced out of her--

CUT TO:

ANNIE. Her eyes roll up into her head. For a moment all we
see are the whites--

--then she collapses on PAUL, a motionless mountain of slack
flesh.

CUT TO:

PAUL, scrambling free, pushing her off him, crawling for the
door--

CUT TO:

--outside the door, as PAUL crawls into view, makes it to
the corridor, reaches back, closes the door, locks it.

Safe, he collapses, exhausted against the wall opposite the
door.

DISSOLVE TO:

PAUL. HOURS LATER. It is dawn. He is awakened by a loud
smashing at the front door. After a couple of heart-stopping
pounds,

CUT TO:

THE FRONT DOOR smashes open, revealing two cops with guns
drawn.

THE POLICEMEN, hurrying to PAUL. The YOUNGER COP kneels beside
Paul.

YOUNGER COP
It's the writer--the dead one--

PAUL
(trying to keep himself
together)
--right! I'm the dead one--

OLDER COP
Where's Sheriff McCain?

PAUL
He's in the cellar. She killed him.

OLDER COP
Annie Wilkes?

PAUL
Yeah. She's in there.

CUT TO:

The OLDER COP, taking the key to the room, unlocks the door,
throws it open, and as he steps inside--

CUT TO:

INSIDE THE BEDROOM

The OLDER COP has his gun ready to fire, but even with it
tight in his hand, he's edgy as hell.

He looks around--

--glass and bloodstains on the floor. The charred remains of
a manuscript.

He kneels quickly, glances under the bed--nothing.

He looks at the window--wide open.

CUT TO:

PAUL and the YOUNGER COP. Pause. The OLDER COP is in the
doorway now.

OLDER COP
Mr. Sheldon? There's no one in there.

CUT TO:

PAUL: CLOSE UP. In shock.

DISSOLVE TO:

PALM COURT, PLAZA HOTEL

This legend appears: ONE YEAR LATER

MARCIA SINDELL is seated at a table. PAUL enters, walking
briskly, and he's never looked this good before. He's gained
his weight back, his color is normal again. He appears to
be, for the first time in the movie, a jaunty, happy figure.

PAUL
Sorry I'm late. Jenny's basketball
game went into overtime. If anybody
ever told me I'd have a daughter
who'd get a triple double, I'd...

SINDELL
Did they win?

PAUL
Yeah. They're in the semis.

SINDELL
Here it is.
(big moment)
Very first copy.

And she hands him a wrapped package. PAUL sits, begins
unwrapping it. It's a book. A new one by Paul Sheldon. The
Higher Education of J. Phillip Stone. Paul turns it over
gently in his hands.

CUT TO:

SINDELL

SINDELL
The word I'm getting is the Times
review is gonna be a love letter.

PAUL
That'd be a first.

SINDELL
And my contacts at Time and Newsweek
tell me they're both raves. And don't
laugh--for the first time, I think
you've got a shot at some prizes.

PAUL
(flatly)
Great.

SINDELL
I thought you'd be thrilled. You're
being taken seriously.

PAUL
I'm delighted the critics are liking
it, and I hope the people like it,
too. But it's not why I wrote the
book.

CUT TO:

PAUL: CLOSE UP. There is a genuine sense of peace about him.
He has been through the fire and survived.

PAUL
I like it. Remember how you once
said I live my whole life as if I'm
in danger of being found out? Well,
I believe I've managed to get that
guy down on paper.
(He touches the book.
Beat.)
Don't think I'm completely nuts, but
in some way, Annie Wilkes, that whole
experience, helped me.

SINDELL
Paul, since you brought her up, I
have to ask you this, or I'd be
drummed out of the agents' union--
what about a non-fiction book? The
truth about what went on in that
house.

PAUL
Gee, Marcia, if I didn't know you
better, I'd think you were suggesting
I dredge up the worst horror of my
life just so we could make a few
bucks.

SINDELL
Now you've hurt me, Paul.

As Paul glances around...

CUT TO:

PAUL, looking past MARCIA.

CUT TO:

DESSERT TROLLEY, some distance away, being pushed by a
waitress. It is ANNIE.

CUT TO:

PAUL AND SINDELL

SINDELL
I thought you were over it.

PAUL
I am. Well, maybe not completely--

He glances toward the trolley.

CUT TO:

THE DESSERT TROLLEY, moving inexorably closer to PAUL. ANNIE
reaches down and pulls out a very sharp knife.

CUT TO:

PAUL AND SINDELL

PAUL
I don't know if you can ever be
totally over something like that--I
just don't think about it as much
anymore, and when I do, it's not so
terrifying.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, with the knife raised.

CUT TO:

PAUL, staring up at ANNIE.

PAUL
I mean, once they found her body, my
nightmares stopped.

CUT TO:

PAUL AND ANNIE--only it isn't Annie, just a WAITRESS. She
stands by the trolley, the knife in her hand, ready to slice
whatever anyone wants.

WAITRESS
Would you care for anything?

PAUL
(smiles)
Cut me something sinful...

CUT TO:

PAUL. The smile holds. In the background now, soft music:
someone might be playing "Liberace."

HOLD ON PAUL

FINAL FADE OUT:

THE END

Contact | Disclaimer
Copyright © WeeklyScript.com | Scripts Copyright © their respective owners