EXT. HILLY COUNTRY ROAD -- DAY
A large, black, powerful-looking motorcycle waits propped up
on its center stand on the gravel shoulder of a deserted
country road. The gold lettering on its tank and side covers
identifies it as a Norton Commando 850.
Two white Bell full-coverage helmets sit on its saddle, like
medieval jousting helmets.
Beyond the motorcycle, stretched out on a grassy rise, lie
Hart Read, twenty-six, and his long-time girlfriend Rose,
who is the kind of eighteen that often seems more like
fifteen, and once in a while like twelve.
At the moment Rose is definitely eighteen and in control of
things, producing tuna sandwiches with lettuce and mayonnaise
out of a string bag and pouring coffee, pre-mixed with sugar
and milk, from a small thermos flask. Read watches her play
housewife with vast amusement. Rose holds out a sandwich.
What've we got, Rose? Steak on a
Tuna with lettuce and mayo. You gonna
Yeah. Big trouble.
He grabs Rose's wrist and pulls her close. He looks her deep
in the eyes.
I want steak.
Read kisses her full on the mouth. Rose drops the sandwich
into the grass.
They kiss passionately.
EXT. HILLY COUNTRY ROAD -- DAY -- ONE HOUR LATER
Read kicks the big Norton into life. Rose puts on her helmet,
does up the chin strap, and gets on the machine behind Read.
Read waits for her to get settled, blips the throttle, then
accelerates off the shoulder of the road, fishtailing slightly
in the gravel.
EXT. HILLY COUNTRY ROAD -- DAY
The Norton booms along the twisty two-lane road. The road is
clear and Read feels good. He opens the throttle even more,
almost becoming airborne over the crest of a steep rise, and
leaning the bike over in the corners until he scrapes rubber
off the footpegs.
Rose rides loose, completely at ease behind Read. She clasps
her arms around him loosely, always going with the motion of
the machine, closing her eyes in pleasure.
EXT. HILLY COUNTRY ROAD -- DAY
Further up the road, a neat white VW pop-top camper trundles
along in the opposite direction carrying a middle-aged man,
his wife, and their twelve-year-old daughter. They are city
slickers out for an autumn camping jaunt, and things are not
going well for them.
We passed it.
We didn't pass it. I remember that
We passed it. That farm comes after
concession road 12 and we were
supposed to turn at concession road
I don't remember that farm, Dad.
We didn't pass it. I very distinctly
remember that farm.
If you would just stop this vehicle
long enough to take a look at the
map I will prove to you beyond any
shadow of a doubt that we...
(losing his temper)
The man swings the camper across both lanes in one furious
motion and slams on the brakes just before they go over the
edge of the road into a ditch bordering an open field.
You're both right and I'm all wrong.
He slams the camper into reverse and backs up as far as he
can, then slams it into first and lurches forward, trying
vainly to make a clean three-point turn on the narrow road.
We'll turn around and go all the way
When the camper is stretched completely across both lanes of
the highway, it stalls. The man twists the key viciously but
it won't restart.
Goddamn thing! Shoulda never sold
the goddamn station wagon.
The station wagon used to use too
much gas, remember, Dad?
You keep quiet when your dad's in a
(still trying to start
Goddamn thing. Shoulda never sold
Without warning, Read's bike suddenly appears over the crest
of the hill just beyond the camper. The bike is nearing 100
miles an hour. The wife sees it first.
Oh, Christ, Bob!
Huh? Oh, Christ!
There is no place for Read to go except off the road. The
bike shoots over the drainage ditch beside the road two feet
from the nose of the camper. The man and his wife sit with
their mouths open, watching through their front windshield
the bike fly through the air into an overgrown field, as
though it were happening on TV.
EXT. FIELD -- DAY
When the bike finally lands in the field, it hits down front
wheel first. The impact slams Read over the handlebars into
the trunk of a small but solid tree. Rose stays with the
machine for one complete cartwheel. The motorcycle ends up
on top of her, the tank across her belly. Before she can
move, the tank explodes into flames. The flames begin to
melt the plastic visor of her helmet.
EXT. EDGE OF THE FIELD -- DAY
The camper driver turns around in his seat and starts to
rummage around, looking for something to put out the fire.
His wife gets hysterical. She can see Rose trying vainly to
get out from under the bike.
Oh, my God! She's gonna burn! She's
Where's the kid's blanket? Where's
the kid's goddamn blanket!?
EXT. TERRACE OF KELOID CLINIC -- DAY
Jackie, a cool blonde English woman in her early forties,
has been bird-watching from the clinic's terrace. Something
startling attracts her attention.
I don't believe it.
Lloyd Walsh, an actor in his late thirties in the Keloid
Clinic of Cosmetic Surgery for his second facial touch-up,
pauses in the middle of a sit-up which he is performing on
an exercise mat a few yards away. Walsh is wearing a blue
jogging outfit whose top bears the words 'JOGGING KILLS.'
His head is bandaged.
What is it? You spot a rare tufted
tit-mouse or somethin'?
Jackie turns away from her binoculars. She has thin surgical
wires attached to the upper and lower eyelids of both eyes.
There's a motorcycle burning in the
middle of a field. I think there's
somebody under it.
Walsh jumps to his feet with exaggerated athletic vigor.
Yeah? Lemme have a look.
Jackie hands Walsh her binoculars and points him in the right
See that column of smoke? Just follow
it down to its source.
We look through the binoculars with him as he does so. Sure
enough, there is a bike burning in a field with someone
trapped beneath it.
Wow. Lookit that!
He turns and begins to sprint for the stairway at the end of
Where are you going?
Gonna tell the boys downstairs. It's
right up their alley.
(calling after the
Careful with my binoculars! They're
INT. CLINIC BOARDROOM -- DAY
The three partners who own and operate the Keloid Clinic are
holding an informal meeting in the posh boardroom of the
clinic, with cigars (Cypher), cigarettes, coffee, and full
ashtrays much in evidence.
Involved are Dr. Daniel Keloid, a youthful forty-five, low-
key but forceful, founder of the Keloid Clinic and extremely
successful society plastic surgeon; Keloid's wife, Roxanne,
who is herself an MD and who was once a student of Keloid's;
and Murray Cypher, the clinic's accountant. Cypher is forty-
eight, dapper, generally enthusiastic, and believes
passionately in creative accounting.
It has apparently been a long and tiring session. Cypher in
particular shows signs of strain. His end of the table is
littered with pages of scratch pad covered with hastily
scrawled notes and figures.
As far as I'm concerned these guys
are completely legit. The bank is
just as convinced as I am. They told
me they're willing to go all the way
with us. I'm telling you, Danny -- a
franchise operation for plastic
surgery resorts is one of those
magnificent, inevitable ideas.
Banks are always quick to say that
when everything's rolling easy. But
you can take it from me -- first
sign of heat from the medical
association, first cries of
professional outrage, and the bank'll
call back its note and leave us
hanging by our thumbs.
It's not the financing that's
bothering you, Dan. Your voice has
that edge to it.
I've never denied it. I sure as hell
don't want to become the Colonel
Sanders of plastic surgery.
Why not? Sounds great to me.
I'll tell you why not. Because it's
unprofessional, unmedical, and
You thought of it.
I was only kidding.
You were not. Besides, you want me
to go back and tell three of the
largest investment groups in North
America, 'Forget it. He was only
(in only partially
Oh, God. It's all gotten out of hand.
I can see it now: fifty enfranchised
Keloid's Cosmetic Surgery Clinics
flung across the face of North America
like Holiday Inns. Next thing you
know, Do-It-Yourself Facelift Kits.
I like it. We could call it... we
could call it Suture Self.
(starts to scribble
No, I'm serious. I like that. There's
got to be a way.
All right, boys. I think we're getting
a bit silly...
The office intercom on the table chimes and the voice of
Steve, an orderly, fills the room.
Is Dr. Keloid there? It's urgent.
Yeah, what is it, Steve?
There's been a motorcycle accident a
few minutes down the highway here.
Looks like a couple of people have
been hurt. Should I take the van and
go get 'em?
Hey, wait a minute. Steve? You still
Hang on till I get there, OK? I'm
coming with you. Meet you at the
The intercom chimes off as Keloid stands up to leave. Cypher
throws his pen on the table.
Oh, now, Dan. We've got a lot of
decisions to make...
You and Murray work it out, hon.
Just make the pill easy for me to
He closes the door behind him, leaving Cypher and Roxanne to
their own devices.
Well, what do you think about facelift
kits, Roxy? I mean, they've got
Let's just forget that anybody ever
mentioned the idea, OK, Murray?
Cypher shrugs. It still sounds great to him.
EXT. CLINIC DRIVEWAY -- DAY
In the middle of a landscaped triangle of lawn stands a large
light-box-style sign which reads KELOID CLINIC OF COSMETIC
SURGERY. Along one side of the triangle runs a crushed-gravel
driveway at the end of which is a long, low garage just behind
the main building, which looks as though it might once have
been a small stable.
One of the three doors of the garage slides up and a van
peels rubber out of the garage, sliding a bit once it hits
the gravel. The van is set up inside and out exactly like a
standard big-city ambulance, but without any ambulance
markings. Instead, sedate white lettering on the doors reads
KELOID CLINIC, LTD.
EXT. FIELD -- DAY
Read lies crumpled at the base of the tree. The end of his
right collarbone is sticking out at a bizarre angle and his
right shoulder is hanging too low. Read has regained enough
consciousness to feebly undo his helmet with his left hand.
Beyond him, clouds of oily black smoke curl skywards from
the fallen Norton. Read can hardly focus his eyes on the
figures running toward them from the camper at the edge of
the field. He slips dreamily into unconsciousness.
INT. VAN -- DAY
The clinic van turns off a secondary road on to the two-lane
highway and accelerates furiously, tossing its occupants
around as it momentarily slews sideways.
In the back of the van are Steve, who is busily preparing
stretchers and oxygen, and Dr. Keloid.
Keloid prepares several hypodermic syringes while expertly
bracing himself against the motion of the van.
Steve finishes attaching a hose to a small cylinder of oxygen
and turns the release valve to test the oxygen flow through
Well, we've got oxygen now, Dr.
Keloid watches the thin column of black smoke looming larger
through the windshield of the van. He reaches for a small
fire extinguisher affixed to the frame of the van and begins
to undo the clamps holding it there.
I think we're going to have to use
this before we get close enough for
the oxygen, Steve.
EXT. FIELD -- DAY
Rose has stopped moving under the flaming machine. The man
from the camper, running and stumbling over the uneven ground,
finally arrives, followed by his older son (who is about
thirteen). The man tries vainly to smother the flames with
his younger son's blanket, but the heat is too intense for
him to get really close.
The man is almost in tears with horror and frustration. His
son just stares wide-eyed.
EXT. EDGE OF FIELD -- DAY
The clinic van bounces to a halt by the edge of the field
and the driver, the most junior of the clinic's four
orderlies, jumps out and runs around to the back of the van.
The back doors swing open and Keloid jumps out with the fire
extinguisher in one hand and a small leather bag in the other.
He heads for the flames as the wife and her kid watch from
the front seats of the camper. The wife sticks her head out
of the window and points at the flames.
They're over there, Doctor! They
Keloid is soon followed by the two orderlies carrying a large
wheeled stretcher, which they have hauled from the back of
EXT. FIELD -- DAY
The man who was driving the camper is still making sporadic
attempts to beat out the flames with the blanket when Keloid
arrives and opens up the valve of the fire extinguisher. The
white powdery foam covers everything in a few seconds, killing
the flames easily.
I tried to put it out. I couldn't
get near it.
Keloid kneels beside Rose. He takes a pair of scissors from
his bag and cuts the helmet strap under her chin. He slips
the helmet off her head with great care. Her long blonde
hair falls into a pool around her face, which seems remarkably
at peace and untouched: only a rectangle of black soot where
her helmet's visor melted away and admitted smoke gives any
indication of what she's gone through.
When the orderlies arrive, the man points out Read for them.
There's another one over there. I
saw him movin' around a minute ago.
Might as well go get him. We won't
be ready to move her for a few
The orderlies trot off toward Read with their stretcher. The
man watches them leave, then turns back to look at Rose. He
shakes his head as Keloid gives her an injection.
Christ. I didn't know it was a girl.
Is she dead?
This isn't embalming fluid I'm
shooting into her. See if you can
lift the machine off her. Use the
blanket around your hands. It's hot.
The man wraps the blanket around his hands and begins to
half-pull, half-slide the Norton off Rose by the handlebars.
The orderlies go by on their way to the van with Read
unconscious on the stretcher.
As the bike slides away to reveal Rose's abdomen, the man
recoils in horror.
EXT. COUNTRY ROAD -- DAY
The clinic van speeds along the road toward the clinic.
INT. VAN -- DAY
Rose is on the stretcher with intravenous tubes in her arms,
bottles hanging over her head, an oxygen mask over her mouth
and nose, and several layers of blood-soaked bandages and
surgical gauze over her abdomen. The senior orderly monitors
the oxygen flow, the IV levels, and Rose's pulse, while Keloid
speaks to someone at the clinic over the van's CB radio,
which has a telephone-style speaker/ receiver.
Read sits jammed into a small seat behind the driver, his
head back against the van wall, completely dazed. He is
conscious enough to wince in pain with every bump the van
hits, but he obviously doesn't know where he is or why he's
Roxanne? Yeah, listen. We're going
to have to throw in everything we've
got. I know, but let me tell you
what we're looking at. The gas tank
exploded over the girl's abdomen and
I don't know what she's got left in
there. The man's got a broken hand,
separated shoulder, concussion, the
usual. We can send him to the General.
But it's definitely major surgery
for her, and right now. I know we're
not, but we've got no choice. I'd
say she's got a half hour to live
and it's three hours to the nearest
serious hospital. It's us or nobody.
Yeah. I hope I can remember too.
Well, they say it's like riding a
EXT. CLINIC DRIVEWAY -- DAY
The van stops in front of the clinic and the orderlies jump
out. Keloid holds the bottles and the oxygen as the orderlies
unload the stretcher and roll it up the front walk of the
clinic, which is a spectacularly renovated old farmhouse --
all sandblasted auburn brick, pine, and cedar planking, white
paint and Vista Vision windows.
A group composed of patients and staff cluster around the
main doors of the clinic to watch as the stretcher approaches.
Nobody seems to notice Read, who has been left sitting in
INT. CLINIC ENTRANCE -- DAY
Lloyd Walsh holds open one of the main glass doors while a
nurse opens the other one. The secretary -- receptionist
abandons her phones and her sleek plastic desk/filing cabinet
module to work her way through the group at the doors in
order to take a look.
Walsh makes room for the secretary -- Sheila -- beside him.
Rose is wheeled through the doors. Her condition is so
obviously serious and so different from the usual 'touch-up'
jobs done at the Keloid Clinic, which has a carefully
calculated country resort atmosphere about it, that everyone
becomes completely silent as she enters.
(to nurse at door)
Get the guy in the van into
observation and check him out. But
take it easy -- concussion, separated
shoulder, broken hand. OK, Louise?
Maybe some Demerol when he becomes
OK, Dr. Keloid.
Louise leaves the door once the stretcher has gone by and
heads out to the van. Walsh lets go of his door and jogs
Jackie, still wearing sunglasses, shakes her head as she
watches the stretcher go off down the hall and turns to the
middle-aged lady standing next to her.
What a waste. She doesn't even need
a nose job.
INT. CLINIC HALLWAY -- DAY
The orderlies wheel the stretcher down a hallway which was
patently never meant to be used as a hospital corridor: Rose
is getting a very rough ride. As they move along they pass
various patients who react with shock and horror when they
see Rose. The Keloid Clinic is usually more discreet about
blood than a normal hospital.
(as Rose passes)
Jesus wept! What's that all about?
Somebody said something about an
Couldn't they throw a sheet over it
or something? I'm starting to feel
like I'm in a hospital.
The fastidious man and his companion go through some doors
which, according to an elegantly lettered sign on a wall,
lead to a squash court.
The orderlies stop in front of another set of doors. Keloid
hands one of them the bottles he has been holding as a second
nurse, Rita, comes out to meet them. Rita is a very solid,
square-bodied, fortyish lady.
OK, boys. Take her into pre-op and
tell Dr. Karl to set her up for the
INT. SURGICAL WASH-UP -- DAY
Keloid and Roxanne wash with disinfectant in preparation for
Rose's operation, aided by a third orderly whom we have not
Roxanne is short, dark, intense, and ambitious beyond her
present practice. She does not wear her thirty-seven years
particularly well, so the age difference between her and her
husband seems more theoretical than anything else. She is
very particular about being called by her maiden name and is
known as Dr. Rushton to all the clinic's patients. At the
moment, Keloid and Roxanne are having a very controlled, low-
key argument which Roxanne tries to keep the orderly from
I don't buy it, Dan.
You haven't seen her.
I don't have to see her. Neutral
field grafts have never been used
internally. We could end up with a
terminal cancer patient on our hands.
Aw, c'mon. We can monitor, Roxy.
She's got nothing to lose. Literally.
She doesn't have enough small
intestine left to absorb nutrient.
If we just close her up she'll have
to be fed intravenously for the rest
of her life, which will be a short
and a dismal one. But if we graft
neutral field tissue cones into the
abdominal cavity, there's a chance
that they'll read her condition by
post-embryonic induction and develop
into a new set of intestines.
Or run wild and make some very
creative malignant tumors. Dan, the
clinic doesn't need this. Let's play
Keloid doesn't respond. He finishes snapping on his surgical
gloves and turns to the scrub-nurse, who helps him on with
his sterilized operating tunic.
INT. OBSERVATION ROOM -- DAY
Read has regained full consciousness in the clinic's
observation room and is watching Louise cut away his well-
worn leather motorcycle jacket with a pair of snub-nosed
surgical scissors. She cuts her way up the right sleeve to
the shoulder, then across the shoulder to the collar. She is
then able to slip the jacket easily away from Read's right
shoulder, which is still very obviously not where it should
be. She now starts in on his Norton T-shirt, which is all he
was wearing underneath his jacket.
Oh, no. Not the T-shirt. Rose gave
me the T-shirt.
I think you'd find it pretty painful
trying to take if off the standard
Read makes an attempt to slip his arm out of his T-shirt but
immediately gives up, grimacing in pain.
No, look. I think I can... Ow! Oh!
You're right. Cut the thing off.
I'll put it up on the wall of my
Louise continues snipping off the T-shirt.
So when do I get to see Rose?
Not for a while.
Louise doesn't answer.
Read pulls away from Louise and tries to stand up. He can't
keep his balance and falls back against the wall, banging
his wrecked shoulder.
I want to see her right now! Ow! Oh,
God. I didn't kill her, did I?
Louise reaches for a syringe of Demerol.
She's not dead.
What is that stuff? I don't want you
to put me out.
It's just Demerol. It'll ease the
pain. All right?
Read lets Louise take his good arm. She swabs him down and
sinks the needle in.
Sure. Wonderful. Anything to ease
INT. OPERATING ROOM -- DAY
Keloid and Roxanne are well into their operation on Rose,
assisted by a team of five which includes Dr. William Karl,
the clinic's anesthetist. Keloid and Roxanne are in the
process of cutting large squares of skin from Rose's thighs.
Now, I know everyone here is familiar
with the standard techniques of skin
grafting, but what we're going to do
is a little out of the ordinary.
I'll explain it as we go. We're
removing full-thickness skin grafting
material from the patient's thighs
as per normal graft acquisition
procedure. However, before these
grafts are applied to the damaged
areas of the patient's breasts,
abdomen, and so on, they will be
treated so that they become
morphogenetically neutral. They are
then called neutral field grafts.
Can we treat the graft material here,
No, Dr. Karl. The graft tissue will
be frozen and sent to the Sperling
Institute. We'll have to keep the
patient in an operation-ready state
until it comes back to us. That's
going to be a bit trying for all of
us, but it can't be helped.
As Keloid speaks, the sections of thigh skin are placed in
spun aluminum cylinders of the same general type as those
used in eye banks. The cylinders are then sealed and placed
in a medical freezer.
I don't understand the functional
difference between neutral field and
normal graft tissue, Doctor.
Well, when the thigh skin tissue is
treated, Nurse Benedetto, it'll lose
its specificity as both thigh tissue
and skin tissue. For example, if it
were grafted to a burned cheek, it
wouldn't just be thigh skin with the
color and texture of thigh skin --
it would actually develop as facial
tissue. In other words, neutral field
tissue has the same ability to form
any part of the human body that the
tissue of a human embryo has.
Doctor, this patient has lost most
of her absorptive intestinal mucosa.
Could neutral field tissue reconstruct
an organ as complex as the small
Yes, Dr. Karl. I think that under
the right circumstances it could.
I've done it myself using lab animals
at the Sperling Institute.
Keloid and Roxanne exchange glances, then Keloid looks away.
Let me add that there is always a
possibility that carcinomas will
form when neutral field grafts are
used internally. In this case, we're
using a radical plastic-surgery
technique to compensate for our lack
of heavy medical hardware. We're
doing it to save a life. It's the
only trick we've got.
EXT. KELOID CLINIC -- DAY
Wide shot of exterior front of the Keloid Clinic in late
SLOW DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. KELOID CLINIC -- ONE MONTH LATER -- DAY
Same shot as previous scene, one month later. Snow is on the
ground and the trees are bare.
SLOW DISSOLVE TO:
INT. ROSE'S ROOM AT THE KELOID CLINIC -- DAY
Read stands over Rose's bed, which is a very well-disguised
hospital bed (everything possible is done to keep the clinic
from feeling like a hospital). Read's left hand is encased
in a wire cage which supports all his fingers. He is watching
Rose intently, who is still in a coma and is attached to a
battery of intravenous bottles connected to her by clear
vinyl tubes and IV needles. Read is particularly fascinated
by Rose's eyes, which he can see moving around wildly behind
He bends close, then kisses her gently on her pale, dry lips.
INT. CLINIC HALLWAY -- DAY
Nurse Louise walks briskly down a hall toward Rose's room.
On her way she passes Judy Glasberg clutching a pocket edition
of The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud and strolling
thoughtfully in the opposite direction.
Hi, Judy Glasberg. You back again?
Daddy didn't think the new nose was
different enough, so I'm in for more
alterations. I keep telling him it
looks just like his, and he keeps
saying, 'That's why I want you to
change it.' I'm terrified to find
out what it all means.
They both laugh.
The two women part and go their separate ways. We follow
Louise as she opens the door to Rose's room, which bears a
printed sign saying: INTENSIVE CARE, QUALIFIED PERSONNEL
INT. ROSE'S ROOM -- DAY
Louise enters the room in time to surprise Read in the act
of pulling back the sheet covering Rose.
Didn't you see the sign on the door,
Mr Read? You're supposed to register
with me before you come in here.
I saw it. I guess I consider myself
Louise edges Read away from the bed and covers Rose up again.
Her entire body is heavily bandaged, and almost every inch
of exposed skin has an IV needle taped to it. Louise begins
to moisten Rose's eyelids and lips with various gels.
What are you trying to do, give her
I'm trying to ease my guilt feelings
by telling myself that Rose is getting
I see. Is it working?
Is she getting better?
You've been here often enough in the
past two months to know as much as I
When do I get to see Dr. Keloid?
You never tell me in advance when
you're coming. How can I make an
appointment for you?
I never know in advance when the
next wave of guilt will hit me. I
want to see him right now.
He's in a meeting.
Tell him I forced you.
(leaving the room)
All right. But please... no touching
until she's conscious.
Louise makes a face and leaves.
INT. KELOID'S OFFICE -- DAY
Read sits across from Keloid's desk in Keloid's office, which
seems more like a successful PR executive's office than a
doctor's. While they talk, Keloid toys with Rose's file, not
really ever looking at it: he is obviously very familiar
with its contents, and also in a very distracted frame of
Well, as you've seen, Rose is still
in some kind of coma, sort of half
real coma, half normal deep sleep.
Could be weeks before she's lucid.
You don't know for sure?
No. Her body is still in a state of
total shock. She can't possibly be
moved to a city hospital yet. Her
grafts seem to be healing well. We've
been monitoring the internal grafts
electronically and there is definitely
new tissue growth happening in the
abdominal cavity. Whether this growth
will mature into functioning
intestinal mucosa we won't know for
quite a while.
You mean if your grafts or whatever
they are don't work, she'll never
eat like a normal human being again.
She'll have to be fed intravenously.
That's right. At the moment, she has
only enough small intestine to digest
the most basic nutrient material.
See -- the longer the small intestine,
the more complex the food that can
be broken down and absorbed by the
body as food. Cows have lots and
lots of intestines so they can eat
grass and other vegetable matter. We
have medium-length intestines, so we
can eat meat and a limited variety
of vegetable matter. Vampire bats --
the real ones, I mean -- have short
intestines, so they eat whole blood,
which is very easy to break down and
assimilate. Your girlfriend's in the
What about her brain?
Her helmet probably saved her from
brain damage, but until she's fully
You won't know that either.
(throwing up his hands)
Hart, what can I tell you? There's
no magic. Look, I've done my best.
You're welcome to come here and keep
your vigil by Rose's bedside any
time the mood takes you, but please
believe me, I will personally
telephone you the instant Rose shows
even the slightest signs of regaining
Read sighs, then shrugs with his good shoulder.
EXT. CLINIC DRIVEWAY -- DAY
Lloyd Walsh and Read stand in the driveway watching as two
orderlies load the burned and smashed hulk of Read's Norton
into the back of Murray Cypher's Ford station wagon.
Jeez, when I saw that thing burning,
I never figured I'd be standing here
talking to you a month later. How's
They're taking the cage off this
afternoon. That's when I'll find
out. The pin stays in my shoulder
for another month, though. Doesn't
seem to bother me except when it
Cypher comes hurriedly out of the front door, putting on a
suit jacket and stuffing papers into his attaché case at the
same time. He walks over to Read and Walsh and opens the
door of his car.
Hi, Lloyd. How ya doin'?
Cypher gets into his car, slams the door, and pops the
passenger door open for Read.
C'mon, Hart. I got a pack of hungry
investors waiting for me.
Read gets into the station wagon as the orderlies slam the
rear door shut on the Norton. Walsh waves goodbye to Read,
who smiles weakly.
I hope you've got some friends who'll
help you unload that pile of junk.
I've got a bad back. What're you
going to do with it? Use it for an
He turns the ignition key and starts the station wagon.
Giving it to a friend for parts. I
can hardly stand to look at it. Think
I'll get back into go-karts.
Cypher laughs, waves to Walsh, and pulls away from the
driveway. Walsh smiles at them and turns back to the clinic,
patting himself absently under the chin as he goes.
EXT. CLINIC -- DAY
Wide-angle shot of the front of the clinic as Walsh goes
SLOW DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. CLINIC -- NIGHT
Same shot as previous scene, but late at night. There are
only one or two lights on inside.
INT. CLINIC HALL/NIGHT NURSE'S STATION -- NIGHT
The night nurse checks her watch at her station, which is
little more than a desk, chair, and lamp placed at the end
of a hall. It's time for her to make her rounds. She puts
down her magazine -- People -- and walks down the hall. At
the end of it, she disappears down a stairwell.
INT. ANOTHER HALL -- NIGHT
The night nurse walks past Rose's room, pausing only for a
moment to glance in at Rose's sleeping form. She then
continues on down the hall.
INT. ANOTHER HALL -- NIGHT
The night nurse walks past Lloyd Walsh's door. There is a
PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB sign hanging from his doorknob. The
nurse notices that Walsh's light is on and diffusing out
through the crack under the door, but she continues on down
INT. WALSH'S ROOM -- NIGHT
Walsh is lying in bed reading The Life and Work of Sigmund
Freud, which he has borrowed from Judy Glasberg. His room,
like all the private rooms at the clinic, is furnished in
the style of the plushest, most modern jet-set ski lodges.
It's easy to understand why patients extend their stays beyond
what is medically necessary, and just as obvious that the
Keloid Clinic management makes no attempt to discourage this
'home away from home' attitude toward the place.
Walsh can't get comfortable with the book, which he has just
started to read. He checks his watch. It's 1.13 a.m. He's a
little nervous about his operation tomorrow morning. He puts
down his book, gets out of bed, puts on his bathrobe, slips
into his slippers, and leaves his room to go for a stroll
through the deserted clinic.
INT. CLINIC HALLWAY -- NIGHT
Hands in pockets, Walsh strolls through the clinic, past the
lounge, the ping-pong table, the breakfast nook.
INT. ANOTHER HALLWAY -- NIGHT
Walsh rounds a corner that leads him past Rose's door, which
still bears its INTENSIVE CARE sign. As he passes by her
door, he hears a muffled scream followed by a series of moans
and indistinct, angry shouts. Walsh opens her door without
INT. ROSE'S ROOM -- NIGHT
By the light of the full moon and the hallway, Walsh can see
Rose thrashing around violently in her bed, getting twisted
up in her sheets and ripping out her IV needles. As he
watches, one of her IV bottles, pulled off its stand by its
feed tube, falls to the floor and smashes to pieces, spilling
blood plasma everywhere.
Walsh now sees that the floor is littered with shredded bits
and pieces of surgical gauze and bandages, which Rose has
torn from her various wounds and grafts. The plasma begins
to soak into the debris surrounding the bed. Her torso is
still covered only by bandages, making her look like a mummy
jerking to life in the half-light of her tomb.
Walsh rushes over to the bed and quickly lowers the safety
railing. He then tries to hold Rose down by the shoulders to
keep her from pulling out the last of her IV tubes. When he
grabs her by the wrists, he notices that she is oozing blood
from where the IV needles have been pulled out.
Rosie, Rosie, sweetie, take it easy!
You need that juice, sweetie. It's
keeping you alive. Hey, easy, there.
Easy. That's it. That's a girl.
Under the pressure of Walsh's body, Rose begins to calm down.
Her eyes, which have been open but staring and unseeing, now
begin to fill with consciousness.
Hart? What are you... what are you
doing, Hart? Are we all right? Are
I'm not Hart, Rosie. Hart's back in
Montreal waiting for you. I'm Lloyd.
I'm a friend of yours.
Back in Montreal. Waiting for you.
He's fine. He's OK. I was just talking
to him this afternoon.
Oh. I... I guess I was dreaming.
Walsh lets go of Rose's wrists.
I don't think you were just dreaming.
You and Hart were in a really
spectacular motorcycle crash.
A crash? Was there fire? Was there...
Yeah. Plenty of both. You're bleeding
I'd better get Dr. Keloid.
Rose grabs Walsh by the arm and pulls him back down on the
No! Not yet. I'm all right. But I'm
freezing cold, and you're so warm.
Look, I think I'd better...
Please hold me. I'm dying of the
Rose puts her arms around Walsh, who hesitates for a moment,
then puts his arms around her and hugs her for a moment.
Oh, God, that feels so good.
Behind Walsh's back, Rose pulls the last remaining IV needle
out of her left wrist.
(a bit nervous)
Ah, look... you don't even know where
you are, do you?
Rose pulls Walsh's face down to hers, then slips her arms
under his and locks her hands behind his back.
Sure I do. I'm here with you.
Look, this is really weird. Are you
sure you know what you're... Ow!
Feeling a sudden sharp pain, Walsh tries to pull away. Rose
won't let him get up.
Hey, I think I... I think I cut myself
or something. You got something sharp
in there with you? Ow! Oh, that hurts!
He makes a huge effort to lift himself off the bed, but Rose
hangs on to him and comes up with him. Blood is soaking
through Walsh's bathrobe around the right armpit, like dark
He is moaning and sobbing as he strains to get away.
Finally, Walsh collapses on top of Rose, quivering and
whimpering. Rose sighs deeply and begins to stroke his head
INT. MISS OWEN'S ROOM AT THE CLINIC -- EARLY MORNING
Miss Beatrice Owen, a tough-looking maiden lady in her
fifties, sits on the edge of her bed pulling on a pair of
white gloves. She is wearing an immaculate morning outfit
which looks vaguely '40s and probably is. One of her hands
has been twisted by arthritis and puts up quite a struggle
before allowing itself to be encased in its glove. She then
begins to use her teeth to pull on the other glove.
The second glove is only half-way on when Miss Owen hears a
desperate scratching and bumping at her door. She stops what
Who is it?
After a pause comes more scratching, followed by the sound
of a hand feebly slapping on the door. With her second glove
still only half on, Miss Owen gets up, goes to the door, and
The instant the door is opened, a ghastly pale Lloyd Walsh
slumps heavily across Miss Owen's shoulders. The force drives
her back several steps and she screams with fear.
Oh, God save us!
I'm sick. I'm sick. Help me.
When she realizes she's not being attacked, Miss Owen steps
back from Walsh, but, unsupported, he starts to fall to the
floor. Miss Owen slips her hands up under his arms and guides
him unsteadily to the bed.
Mr Walsh! What on earth has happened
Miss Owen sits Walsh on the bed, where he crumples into an
awkward lying position. When she withdraws her hands from
under his arms, Miss Owen finds that her right glove is
soaking through with very watery blood.
I don't know. I can't remember a
INT. EXAMINATION ROOM -- MORNING
Keloid and Louise examine Walsh, who lies half-naked on his
left side, his right arm stretched out over his head to expose
a deep, round, and still-bleeding puncture in his right
Like everything else at the clinic, the examination room has
been designed and furnished with luxury and style in mind as
much as pure function. Even the cantilevered examination
light which Keloid is playing on Walsh's wound is color-
coordinated with the drapes, the chairs, the coat-rack, and
the enamel finish of the examination table itself.
Were you sleepwalking? Could you
have fallen against something outside
and then come back in without waking
(voice still shaky)
I doubt it. Never done anything like
Get me some stuffing, maybe a sponge
or two as well. This wound isn't
clotting at all. I think we're going
to have to shoot in some coagulants
to get a scab to form.
She leaves, closing the door behind her. Keloid takes a closer
look at the wound through a large, illuminated magnifying
From what I can see, it's a very,
very clean and precise wound. You
haven't leaned on any picket fences,
have you? Kind with those little
(unable to respond to
Keloid's attempt at
Keloid grunts, takes out a tongue depressor, and begins to
probe Walsh's wound with it.
Does this hurt?
Can't feel a thing.
My whole right side has no feeling
in it. Just this aching kind of
Louise comes in carrying wads of surgical gauze, sponges,
etc. She puts them down and takes Keloid aside.
Dr Keloid? Kenny Kwong would like to
He says it's very important. He's
waiting in the hall.
OK. Listen... our friend here may
have had a stroke. I think the
General's the best place for him.
But before you plug him up I want 10
cc of blood drawn directly from that
wound for tests. Then get Steve to
drive him into the city in the
ambulance. Tell him to take lots of
plasma with him. We're going to have
to forget about the coagulants until
the General has a chance to do an
ECG on him.
Will do, Doctor.
INT. HALLWAY -- DAY
Keloid steps out into the hall and joins Kenny Kwong, the
clinic's senior orderly, a concerned-looking, graying Chinese
man of about fifty-five.
Can you come with me, please, Dr.
Sure, Kenny. What's up?
They begin to walk briskly down the hall, Kenny leading.
You told me to check around the
grounds to see if I could find out
how Mr. Walsh got hurt?
I couldn't find nothing outside. No
blood, nothing. Then Nurse Rita call
me. She find something. She tell me
go get Dr. Keloid. You see it, then
you tell us what happened.
They round the corner taking them into the hallway that goes
past Rose's room. Kenny walks up to Rose's door and knocks
Nurse Rita waiting for you in here.
After a short pause, Rita opens the door and ushers them
inside, closing the door behind them.
INT. ROSE'S ROOM -- DAY
Once inside the door, Keloid is shocked at the state of Rose's
room. It is basically as we last saw it, except that Rita
has reattached Rose, who seems to be in a coma once again,
to her IV bottles.
The area of the wall next to the doorhandle side of the door
is smeared with bloody handprints -- Walsh apparently used
the doorknob to pull himself to his feet, then supported
himself by holding on to the wall and door moulding.
Rita leads Keloid over to the bed, while Kwong hangs back to
watch that nobody enters inadvertently.
Watch your feet, Doctor. The police
will probably want every little piece
of glass and strip of gauze exactly
the way we found it.
Keloid finds a place to stand next to the bed, checks Rose's
eyes, then her pulse.
Why do you think the police would be
interested in this, Rita?
Why, it's perfectly obvious that
that Walsh fellow attempted to molest
the poor girl while she was still in
a coma. I've seen things like that
happen before. Maybe he was drunk.
(drawing back the
Hm. Her grafts have taken amazing
well. Probably won't even have to
rebandage. Hm. I can't even see any
He lifts Rose's left arm and presses around her armpit.
Wow. I'll have to have a closer look
Keloid lowers her arm and covers her with the sheet again.
Don't think so. Seems to be an extreme
swelling of the lymph nodes under
the arm. Could just be a local
infection that's under attack, but
it's quite a bump. And there's some
kind of lesion there. Doesn't seen
to be gangrenous, but...
He walks thoughtfully toward the door. Kwong stands waiting.
Want me to clean up the mess now,
(snapping out of his
train of thought)
What? Oh, yes. But save all the pieces
and scrape some of the dried blood
on to a slide. Maybe we'll find
But Dr. Keloid... Mr. Walsh, he may
(turning to Rita)
Rita, Lloyd Walsh wouldn't do
something like that. He just wouldn't.
And none of this explains how he got
his wound. I think a quiet, thorough,
and very private investigation is in
order. Don't you?
Rita lowers her eyes.
EXT. CLINIC DRIVEWAY -- NIGHT
Wide-angle shot of the clinic in the dead of night. The moon
INT. ROSE'S ROOM -- NIGHT
In the darkness of her room, Rose's eyes are open and staring.
She begins to pull the IV needles out of her wrists and
INT. WHIRLPOOL ROOM -- NIGHT
In the whirlpool room, which contains three full-size
whirlpool baths, a bar, and a lounge, Judy Glasberg is taking
a midnight whirlpool bath to calm herself down. The room is
deserted except for Judy, but she seems to have no trouble
adjusting the controls of the bath to get it just right.
As Judy plays with the temperature controls, the door behind
her opens and someone enters, closing the door behind her.
Judy looks up, startled. Rose stands at the door in her fresh
clinic gown. For some reason, Judy suddenly feels vulnerable
in her skimpy bikini.
Rose? Is that you? I thought everyone
was asleep. They told me you were
still in a coma.
(approaching the edge
of the bath)
Oh, no. I'm doing much better now,
She seems to be completely normal, and as childlike as ever
save for the hollows under her eyes. Judy positions her body
so that her nakedness is hidden by the swirling bubbles of
It... it's really weird to meet you
this way. I mean, I've never really
talked to you before. But I sort of
feel I know you, you've been around
here for so long. And I saw them
bring you in right after the accident.
Do you mind if I get in with you?
I've been lying in bed for such a
long time, my body aches all over.
Ah, well, I... does anybody know
you're here? I mean, does Dr. Keloid
know you... you've regained
Rose climbs into the bath with Judy, gown and all.
I don't think so. Everybody seemed
to be asleep. It was a bit spooky
waking up and finding myself all
alone. I'm so glad I ran into you.
Hey, know what? I think I can feel
the warmth of your body radiating
out to me through the water. I've
never felt anything like that before.
Judy starts to grope for her towel by the side of the pool.
I think I'd better get out now. I'm
getting all wrinkly.
Rose floats over to Judy and takes her by the arm, interfering
with Judy's attempt to get her towel.
Oh, no. Not yet. You haven't even
told me your name.
Judy Glasberg. Nice to meet you.
Rose slips her arms up under Judy's arms and hugs her tightly.
Mm. It's nice to meet you too.
Judy tries to gently disengage herself from Rose's embrace.
Oh, now, c'mon. You're embarrassing
me. Let me put some clothes on and
we'll have a few drinks or something,
When she realizes that Rose isn't going to let her go, Judy
starts to struggle more seriously.
Let me go, please! I want to get
dressed. Listen, to tell you the
truth, I think there's still something
wrong with you. I think you ought to
let... Ow! Oh! Something's cutting
me! Oh! It hurts!
She starts to thrash about madly in the water, still locked
in Rose's embrace. They dip under the water, then come up
again, Judy gasping for air. Rose lets her move wherever she
wants, but keeps her arms locked about Judy, her hands now
digging into Judy's shoulders from behind.
In tight close-up we see something joining the two bodies
under the arms, from Rose's left to Judy's right. Even closer,
we see something fleshy slipping in and out of some kind of
sheath, barbs cutting through flesh, blood beginning to draw
along a fleshy translucent tube. From small glands at the
base of the tube, dark green fluid, almost black, begins to
flow into the blood drawn up the tube. The mixture of blood
and green fluid pumps back and forth in the tube.
Judy is now moaning in spasms, her head arched back as far
away from Rose as possible, her hair floating in the water
behind her and forming spirals in the whirlpool.
Rose holds on to Judy for dear life, her eyes closed in
ecstasy, her cheeks unnaturally flushed. She doesn't notice
that Judy's head is beginning to slip beneath the surface of
the water. Judy's body is wracked by one final spasm, then
she relaxes completely, her head going under completely. The
last bubbles of air from her lungs mix with the bubbles spewed
out by the whirlpool oxygenator. After a few moments, Rose
releases Judy. We see a close-up of the translucent fleshy
tube, now empty of blood, sliding back into its sheath.
It is only after she has backed away and taken several soul-
deep breaths that Rose notices Judy's face is two inches
below the surface of the water, the tip of her nose almost
breaking through to the air but not quite. Rose frantically
grabs Judy by the hair and pulls her out of the water. Judy
Rose manages to drag Judy to the edge of the pool, clambers
out on to the side, then pulls Judy out on to the pool siding
with her, Judy trailing a thin trickle of blood in the water
Rose holds Judy's mouth open and tries to revive her using
mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but it's no good. Judy is dead.
Rose shakes her head and starts to cry.
Oh, no! No!
Rose shakes Judy's corpse hysterically, then collapses across
it, sobbing. After a moment, she gets up, visibly fighting
for control. She sets her jaw and begins to drag Judy's body
out of the whirlpool room.
INT. READ'S GARAGE IN MONTREAL -- NIGHT
In the ramshackle garage behind the small house he has rented
in Montreal, Hart Read has finally gotten around to trying
to put his demolished Norton back together again. The engine
has been removed from its frame and sits before him on a
metal-topped work table, and Read is in the process of
completely dismantling it. Small cardboard cartons of various
sizes sit on the table, waiting to receive individual pieces
of the engine.
The radio hung above the table is tuned to an FM rock station
which is on full blast, even though it is about 1 a.m.
INT. READ'S KITCHEN -- NIGHT
In Read's kitchen, the telephone is ringing, but Read has no
chance of hearing it. Next to the phone, pinned to a cork
message board with colored plastic drafting pins, are several
photos of Read and Rose enjoying happier times.
INT. CLINIC LOUNGE -- NIGHT
Rose listens to the phone ring at Read's from the telephone
in the deserted main lounge. Her hair is wet and matted and
she is shivering uncontrollably. She lets it ring, huddling
in her chair.
INT. OBSERVATION WARD AT GENERAL -- NIGHT
Lloyd Walsh is in the process of pulling on his pants in the
observation ward of the General, which he shares with a
thirtyish traffic-accident victim. Walsh's Lufthansa flight
bag is already packed and ready to go, sitting on his bed in
the shadow of an IV blood plasma bottle.
Hey, you can't leave yet, Lloyd.
They haven't figured out how come
you're bleeding all over the place.
Aw, it's slowed down to a trickle.
How's your arm?
He picks up his bag and opens the door without hesitation.
If the night nurse comes around,
I'll tell her you're in the can,
Terrific. Take care of yourself.
He leaves, closing the door behind him.
INT. CORRIDOR AT GENERAL -- NIGHT
Walsh walks briskly down a corridor which leads to the main
entrance of the Montreal General Hospital, flight bag in
hand. Nobody stops him.
EXT. GENERAL ENTRANCE -- NIGHT
Walsh leaves the General and walks around the circular
driveway to the street, where he is just in time to pick up
a cab being paid off by a night orderly arriving for work.
Walsh gets in the cab and it pulls away from the curb.
INT. CAB -- NIGHT
Walsh leans his head back against the back seat as the cab
pulls away. He rolls his head from side to side, as though
trying to shake off a headache.
EXT. MONTREAL STREETS -- NIGHT
The cab moves through the streets of Montreal and enters a
ramp leading eventually to the Decarie Expressway. The cab
accelerates to the speed limit.
INT. CAB -- NIGHT
The nasal, wailing voice of a popular singer blares from all
four speakers in the cab. Walsh is now sitting quite still
in the back seat, head resting against the seat back.
Hey, Mister, you wanna sleep? I can
turn the radio off. It's a long way
Walsh doesn't answer. The driver looks in his rear-view
mirror. Walsh is slumped in the shadows of the back-seat
Hey, Mister. You want me to turn the
radio off? Or maybe if you want I
can turn off the back speakers and
just leave on the front ones...
He turns around in his seat to look at Walsh. His words die
on his lips. Walsh is staring at him with eyes that have
completely clouded over so that the whites of his eyes are
indistinguishable from the irises and pupils. Dark green
foam is drooling from the corners of Walsh's mouth.
The cab driver doesn't have a chance to react any further
before Walsh attacks him viciously, grabbing him by the
shoulders and biting the cab driver on the cheek.
EXT. EXPRESSWAY -- NIGHT
The cab carrying Walsh veers crazily across three lanes of
the nearly deserted expressway.
INT. CAB -- NIGHT
The cab driver tries madly to pull himself around in his
seat so that he can see where he's going, screaming in pain
all the while. With one tremendous jerk he frees his face
from Walsh's locked jaws.
EXT. EXPRESSWAY -- NIGHT
The cab finally slews completely out of control, smashes
into the low concrete railing lining the expressway,
cartwheels over the railing, and falls on to the expressway
ramp some twenty feet below, where it is rammed by an immense
diesel truck delivering furniture to a sub-urban warehouse.
The cab is pushed fifty yards along the rampway, shedding
pieces of bodywork and glass all the way, before the truck
manages to stop.
INT. THE KELOIDS' BEDROOM AT THE CLINIC -- NIGHT
The telephone on the night table beside the Keloids' double
bed starts to ring. Dan Keloid rolls over, fumbles for the
receiver, and finally gets it off the hook and up to his
ear. Roxanne stirs beside him in bed.
Yeah. Yeah. No. No, you're kidding.
Dead? Yeah. No, I would have
absolutely no objections to an
autopsy. It's definitely indicated.
No, I've got nothing to add to my
telephoned report. We never came up
with anything else. Yeah. Right. OK.
He hangs up the phone in a state of drowsy excitement. Roxanne
rolls over and puts her arm around him. Keloid picks up his
wrist-watch to check the time. It's 3.07 a. m.
What is it, Dan?
Lloyd Walsh is dead.
Roxanne starts to snap out of her sleep.
He left the General about an hour
ago. Told another patient he felt
all right. He took a cab and the cab
crashed on a highway. Both occupants
Oh, God. Poor Lloyd. But you said
something about an autopsy? Was the
cab driver drinking?
No, it's Walsh. They're not happy
with his corpse.
Something about the eyes... I'm going
to have to go over Walsh's file again.
It just doesn't add up.
EXT. COUNTRY ROAD -- NIGHT (APPROX. 4 A.M.)
By the light of a full moon, Rose walks purposefully down a
dirt country road, a borrowed windbreaker pulled tightly
around her over her clinic gown and hospital slippers starting
to come apart on her feet. She is determined to get as far
away from the clinic as she can by morning light.
EXT. COUNTRY ROAD -- NIGHT (APPROX. 4 A.M.)
Rose finds herself walking beside a moonlit field with a
ramshackle barn at one end. She pauses beside the barn for a
moment, then slips under the fence surrounding the field and
makes her way gingerly across the muddy barnyard toward the
door of the barn. The house nearest the barn is dark. Rose
gently edges open the door of the barn.
INT. BARN -- NIGHT
Once inside the barn, Rose feels around for a light switch.
She finds it without much trouble and flicks it on. The barn
is low and full of cobwebs, and houses only two solemn cows
and a scraggly chicken.
Rose heads for the nest of straw that the two cows have made,
and gradually snuggles her way in between them.
She starts to stroke the side of one of the cows, getting
the animal accustomed to her touch, at the same time carefully
slipping out of her windbreaker. She then raises her left
arm and presses her left armpit flat against the cow's side.
After a pause, she gives a short, sharp push with her left
side, as though she's pushing something into the cow with
her body. The cow responds by lifting up its head and turning
to look at her. Satisfied that nothing too threatening is
happening, it turns back and lowers its head again.
Rose stretches out over the cow in ecstasy. Her eyes are
closed. Blood begins to flow in a rapid, one-way stream from
the cow into Rose.
She is breathing rapidly and heavily. Suddenly, she pulls
away from the cow, giving us a chance to see a flash of some
kind of elongated, tube-like organ retracting under her left
arm, dripping blood from its tip. As Rose lurches to her
feet, we can see a small, deep wound leaking blood and green,
bile-like fluid in the cow's side where Rose's armpit had
been pressed. The cows stir in reaction to Rose's violent
She staggers away from the cows, dizzy and nauseous. She
manages to reach the stalls, which she leans on for support,
before she begins to vomit.
Suddenly, the door bangs open and a drunken old farmer
stumbles into the barn, a whisky bottle in his hand.
All right, you! Hold it right there!
Oh. Whatta we got here? Hello, sweet
honey pie. What're ya drinkin'? You
come in to get outta the cold?
He waves the bottle at Rose as he approaches her, then puts
his arm around her so that the bottle rests on her chest.
I got something ya can take a drink
off of, an'it ain't no whisky,
He laughs coarsely and kisses Rose on the neck. When she
fails to resist him, he drops his nearly empty whisky bottle
and starts to nuzzle her collarbone. Rose wearily slips her
hand up behind the farmer's head and pulls it down toward
her left armpit.
Hey, that's real nice, honey pie.
You like me, don't ya? I kin tell ya
The farmer is slobbering happily around Rose's shoulder when
she suddenly grabs his head by the hair with both her hands
and pulls him viciously down on the cutting points of her
The farmer screams in agony. Rose holds the farmer's head
down until he stops screaming and starts breathing heavily,
spasmodically. Then she lets him go.
The farmer straightens up. He is holding his hand over his
right eye. Rose is terrified at what she's done. With a
horrified sob, she backs away, then turns and runs, stumbling,
out the door, leaving the farmer to stand swaying in a semi-
anesthetized stupor in the middle of the barn.
INT. READ'S KITCHEN -- NIGHT (5.14 A.M.)
Read has fallen asleep at his kitchen table while working on
the engine of his Norton. The partially dismantled engine
sits on a section of newspaper on the kitchen table next to
a half-empty cup of coffee and an open, grease-smeared Norton
He is awakened out of his deep sleep by the sound of the
kitchen phone ringing. Read jumps up, still half asleep,
almost knocking over his chair in the process. It takes him
a second or two to realize that he is in fact at home.
Read grabs for the phone, somehow terrified that the person
on the other end will hang up before he answers.
(suddenly very excited)
Rose? Is it really you? How come
you're... I mean, the last time I
saw you... Oh, God. Rose, are you
INT. CLINIC LOUNGE -- NIGHT
In the main lounge of the clinic, Rose kneels beside the
table on which the lounge phone rests, cradling the receiver
in her hands. She is covered with blood, her gown has been
ripped, and she is close to hysteria. Her feet are covered
with dirt and she's tracked mud inside, marking her trail
from the clinic's back door clearly.
Hart? Oh, Hart.
No, no, I'm not all right. I'm in
terrible trouble. I want you to help
What are you talking about? Rosie,
calm down, I can hardly understand
what you're saying.
Hart, can you hear me?
I can hear you, Rosie.
Hart, you've got to come and get me.
You've got to come and get me as
fast as you can.
She suddenly becomes aware of someone else's presence in the
lounge. She turns with a start. Rita, who is acting as night
nurse, is standing right behind her, a shocked and unbelieving
look on her face.
INT. READ'S KITCHEN -- NIGHT
Rose, don't panic. Whatever's wrong
I'll be able to help you, understand?
Now, I can be at the clinic first
thing in the morning, OK? I'll get a
lift from somebody, I'll take a cab
if I have to. Rose? You still there?
I'm still here.
Rose, tell me what's wrong. Please.
I'm going crazy here.
I can't talk now. See you soon.
Read is suddenly left holding a receiver humming a dial tone.
He waits only a second or two before he starts to look
frantically for the phone number of the Keloid Clinic in the
small book hanging from a nail by the phone.
(thumbing through the
Christ! What was the number of that
INT. KELOID'S OFFICE -- NIGHT (5.30 A.M.)
Keloid is sitting at his desk in his bath-robe and slippers,
looking into a microscope holding a dry slide of Walsh's
blood. There is a knock at his door. Keloid looks up as Rita
enters, closing the door behind her.
Hi, Rita. I couldn't sleep. I've
been trying to figure out what there
could possibly be in Walsh's blood
that would cause...
Doctor, I think you'd better come
INT. CYPHER'S LIVING ROOM IN DORVAL -- NIGHT
A groggy Murray Cypher sits on a sofa in front of the TV set
in his living room, trying to get his four-month-old son to
drink his 6 a.m. bottle. The images of the early morning
show -- the sound has been turned off -- seem to attract the
baby more than the bottle does.
To Cypher's complete surprise, the telephone starts to ring.
Oh, no. I just don't believe it. OK,
Jeffrey -- you're on your own for a
Cypher tries to prop the kid up between two cushions, but he
starts to cry the instant Cypher lets go of him. Cypher picks
him up and takes him over to the phone, which is on a shelf
at the other end of the room.
No? You want in on the action? OK,
Cypher picks up the phone.
What could you possibly want at this
hour of the morning?
INT. READ'S KITCHEN -- NIGHT
Murray, it's Hart Read. I hate like
hell having to bother you like this,
but I'm going out of my skull. It
has to do with the clinic.
Yeah, OK. I was up anyway with the
baby. So what gives?
I got this phone call from the clinic.
From Rose. She's supposed to be in a
coma. Keloid promised me he'd tell
me the second she showed signs of
consciousness and here I am getting
a call from her at five in the
INT. CYPHER'S LIVING ROOM -- NIGHT
Cypher is having trouble juggling the phone, the bottle, and
his baby, who is gumming the receiver and drooling into the
little holes at the speaking end.
That is pretty weird. But maybe she
came to in the middle of the night
and didn't know where she was. Those
things can happen. Jeffrey, don't
eat the phone. You'll get indigestion.
INT. READ'S KITCHEN -- NIGHT
But she said she was in trouble,
Murray. She wants me to come and get
her right now.
Look, Hart -- she's confused and
she's scared. Did you phone the clinic
back and try to talk to Danny?
I did. I got to talk to a tape
recorder. I left a message.
INT. CYPHER'S LIVING ROOM -- NIGHT
OK. I'll phone Danny right now at
his private number, and I'll make
sure that he knows that your Rosie
is making phone calls in the middle
of the night. Then I'll pick you up
at your place in an hour and we'll
go up to the clinic together. How's
that grab ya?
Great. Phone me right back if there's
INT. READ'S KITCHEN -- NIGHT
OK, Murray. Thanks a hell of a lot.
Read hangs up the phone. He takes a close look at one of the
pictures of himself and Rose on the Norton.
INT. ROSE'S ROOM AT THE CLINIC -- NIGHT
Rose sits quietly on the edge of her bed, her feet dangling
over the side not quite touching the floor. She keeps her
head down and does not look at Keloid, who is conferring
with Rita at the door. Rita has given Rose a new gown and
cleaned her up a bit for Keloid.
Rita leaves and Keloid closes the door behind her. He turns
to Rose and approaches the bed, tapping his stethoscope
against the palm of one hand. He doesn't say anything until
he sits down on the bed beside her.
Rose... I'm Dr. Keloid. Dan Keloid.
I'm here to help you, sweetheart.
Rose lifts her head to look at Keloid for the first time.
Tears are streaming down her cheeks. She throws her arms
around Keloid and begins to sob on his shoulder. Keloid hugs
her gently and pets her on the head as though she were a
After one or two moments, Keloid detaches himself from Rose
and lies her back down on her bed.
Rose, we won't talk about anything
right now except how you're feeling,
Rose nods, still snuffling slightly.
Good. First thing I want to do is to
check out some of the skin grafts we
did for you. Now, could you please
just slip your arm out of your left
shoulder strap and raise your arm
over your head?
Instead of doing as Keloid asks, Rose puts her hands over
her face and shakes her head. Keloid is baffled.
What's the matter, Rose? Are you in
pain? Talk to me, Rose. It's the
only way I can understand what's
(from behind her hands)
I'm hideous, Doctor. I'm crazy and
I'm a monster.
C'mon, Rose. There's just about
nothing we can't fix if we know what's
wrong. Now, I don't want any more
games. Do what I tell you.
Rose reluctantly takes her hands away from her face and slips
her left arm out of its shoulder strap. A pause, and then
she raises her left arm above her head on the pillow.
Keloid can barely suppress his surprise at what he sees.
Nestled in Rose's left armpit is a fleshy, tubular lump with
an opening at the upper end of it. Keloid reaches over and
presses it gently with his fingertips.
Does that hurt?
No. It doesn't hurt.
Keloid takes a closer look at the fleshy pouch. The opening
at the upper end seems to be surrounded by sphincter muscles.
Keloid gently spreads the opening with his thumb. Deep within
the pouch, something an angry pink color, something
glistening, seems to be pulsating. When he removes his thumb,
the muscles pull the opening closed again the way a drawstring
closes a bag.
Keloid sits up on the side of the bed again, trying to regain
(after a pause)
As far as I can tell now, it'll take
just a very minor operation to remove
that growth from under your arm. It
may be some kind of external
intestinal tissue. The neutral field
tissue graft we did has been trying
to find a way to get food that you
can digest into your body. I was
hoping it would do that by providing
you with a regular set of small
intestines but it seems to have had
something different in mind.
Rose shakes her head. A baffled expression comes over Keloid's
How long have you been conscious,
Rose? Do you know?
Couple of days.
Do you feel weak?
I feel strong. I feel very strong.
Rita tells me you refused to let her
attach you to your intravenous
nutrient bottles. Why?
I don't need them. They make me feel
I don't understand. They've got to
be your only source of food.
They're not. They haven't been for a
couple of days. Not since that man...
Man? What are you talking about?
I'll show you.
Rose puts her right hand behind Keloid's head and draws it
slowly down toward her left armpit. When Keloid's head is
about a foot and a half away from the organ, Rose grabs Keloid
by the hair with both hands and strains upwards with her
Keloid emits a low, gurgling scream which soon cuts off with
the suddenness of a thrown switch. Exhausted of energy, Keloid
collapses across Rose, who begins to rock him gently from
side to side as she pumps the blood from his body.
EXT. KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN DEPOT -- MORNING (6.45 A.M.)
A battered old Ford pick-up truck pulls into the parking lot
of a Colonel Sanders Kentucky Fried Chicken depot beside the
two-lane highway leading to the Keloid Clinic. The door of
the truck opens and a vaguely familiar mangy dog jumps out:
it belongs to the farmer who was Rose's third victim.
INT. FRIED CHICKEN DEPOT -- MORNING
The farmer enters the take-out depot, which is deserted except
for staff and one lone trucker. The farmer is wearing a pair
of crooked and cracked sunglasses. He is not very steady on
his feet. His dog watches with concern through the glass
(to counter girl)
One bucket of your best for me and
my dog there.
The counter girl conveys the order through the window into
the kitchen, then turns back to write up the farmer's bill.
Yes, and will that be... Oh!
The girl's words trail off as she notices a tear of blood
running down the farmer's cheek from under the right lens of
Hey, Mister. Did you know you're
The farmer dabs at his cheek with a tobacco-stained finger,
smearing the blood.
Musta had a rough night, Buddy.
Think I got in a fight or somethin'.
Can't remember too good.
The man in the kitchen slaps a bucket of chicken down on the
One bucket ready to go.
The counter girl picks up the bucket and carries it over to
the trucker. She has just barely put it down when the farmer
grabs it and starts tearing the lid from it.
Hey, Buddy. I think that one's mine.
The farmer grabs a piece of fried chicken from the bucket
and starts wolfing it down. The trucker puts his hand on the
farmer's shoulder and turns him around so that they face
each other, a piece of chicken skin hanging from the farmer's
I said... I think that one's mine,
The farmer starts shaking uncontrollably.
I gotta eat. I gotta eat. I gotta
Take those glasses off so I can see
who I'm talkin' to.
The trucker reaches out and takes off the farmer's sunglasses.
To his disgust, he is confronted with one closed, swollen,
and bleeding eye, and one eye which has almost completely
clouded over from white of eye to pupil.
What the hell...
Bits of chicken drool from the farmer's mouth, followed by a
froth of dark green foam. Without warning, the farmer lunges
at the trucker and tries to bite his face. The trucker dodges
out of the way, catches the farmer by his jacket and swings
him over the counter, where he crashes into the counter girl.
As the kitchen man comes out of the kitchen with a pot of
boiling oil in his hand, the farmer grabs the girl and manages
to bite her on the arm before she can pull away. Green foam
dribbles into the girl's wound.
Once the girl has pulled loose and backs away, screaming
hysterically, the kitchen man throws the potful of oil on
the farmer as he struggles to his feet. The farmer screams.
As the dog barks madly at the door, the trucker and the
kitchen man jump on the farmer and pound him senseless behind
INT. SURGICAL WASH-UP AT THE KELOID CLINIC -- MORNING
Keloid and Roxanne are preparing to perform an early morning
facelift. They wash their hands and forearms and put on
surgical gloves as the scrub-nurse prepares their masks and
gowns. Keloid has a thick band-aid on his neck.
You're sure you want to do this one,
Dan? Louise and I could handle it
with no trouble.
I'll be fine.
You were pretty groggy this morning.
Cut yourself shaving?
I'll be fine.
Keloid turns away from Roxanne to avoid further discussion.
The orderly begins to help him on with his surgical gown.
Keloid allows a pained, confused expression to take over his
face for a moment, then suppresses it.
EXT. SIX-LANE HIGHWAY -- MORNING
On a six-lane highway leading out of Montreal, Cypher's
station wagon starts out on its journey to the Keloid Clinic.
INT. STATION WAGON -- MORNING
Inside, Cypher and Read sit bleary-eyed, both drinking coffee
from styrofoam cups with slits in their covers and listening
to the car radio in silence. The 8 a.m. news is in progress.
...but there can be little doubt
that the issue of police brutality
will still be with us for some time
to come. And speaking of brutality --
an incident of violence that took
place over a Highway 11 fried chicken
take-out counter ended in the death
of one man and the wounding of an
eighteen-year-old girl. We'll give
you further details on that story as
they become available.
Read and Cypher drive on to the sounds of a Radio Shack
INT. CLINIC OPERATING ROOM -- MORNING
Keloid, Roxanne, Karl, Louise, and the scrub-nurse are in
the process of performing a routine facelift on a middle-
Roxanne watches Keloid closely for signs of fatigue as he
makes the first cut under the woman's chin with a scalpel.
Keloid's hand is rock steady. He makes two more cuts and
rolls back a flap of skin. Everything seems to be under
INT. STATION WAGON -- MORNING
Cypher and Read drive on, listening to the rest of the news
The man, later identified as forty-
three-year-old Fred Atkins of
Camelford, went berserk this morning
during an argument over who was to
be served his bucket of chicken first
and bit the counter girl on the arm.
The man was subdued by an unidentified
truck driver and the chicken place's
cook, but died of unknown causes
before police arrived. Local health
authorities suspect that rabies might
be involved and have vaccinated
everyone concerned. The dead man's
dog was destroyed on the spot. And
now, a brief pause for station
identification, after which we'll
talk to a scientist who says that
earthquakes may one day become a
thing of the past...
While they listen to a variation of the Radio Shack
commercial, Cypher notices that they're passing by the
Kentucky Fried Chicken depot. There are still two police
cars parked in the parking lot.
Hey, we're right there.
The place they were talking about on
Wanna stop off for some fried chicken?
(not reacting to the
Not hungry, thanks.
Cypher is about to say something further, but realizes that
Read is too preoccupied with Rose to banter with. He decides
to let it drop. They drive off to the sounds of easy-listening
INT. CLINIC OPERATING ROOM -- MORNING
Keloid is now stitching up the flap of skin under his
patient's chin. Roxanne notices that his hand is no longer
as steady as it was earlier on in the operation. He is having
trouble placing his stitches properly. His mask is soaking
through at the mouth.
Do you want me to complete the
stitching, Dr. Keloid?
I need... I need something to cut
with, Dr. Rushton.
You want the scissors now, Doctor?
Yes. The scissors now.
Roxanne's brow is furrowed as she reaches for the scissors
on her instrument tray and hands them to Keloid.
Instead of simply allowing the scissors to be placed in his
hand, Keloid grabs Roxanne by the wrist with one hand and
takes the scissors with the other. He turns to look at her.
She is shocked to see that his eyes have completely clouded
over. Looking into them is like looking down two dark holes.
Without hesitation, Keloid takes the scissors and cuts the
tip of Roxanne's index finger off. Roxanne stares down at
her bleeding finger, an unvoiced scream rising in her throat.
Keloid lets the scissors drop to the floor and pulls down
his mask. Dark green fluid foams from his mouth. He falls to
his knees and puts Roxanne's index finger in his mouth,
sucking on it like a straw. Roxanne screams.
Louise, who turned to look at Keloid at the sound of the
falling scissors, screams in unison, backing away in terror
and disbelief. The operating room explodes in confusion and
panic as Keloid and Roxanne start to thrash about, knocking
instruments and various surgical appliances to the floor.
The patient slumbers on, oblivious.
Dr. Karl, the anesthetist, leaves his post behind the
patient's head and tries to pull Keloid off Roxanne.
Dan, don't be stupid! What's the
matter with you? Are you crazy or
something? Stop it! Stop it!
Keloid lets go of Roxanne and sinks his teeth into Karl's
shoulder. Karl screams in pain but doesn't let go. Louise
finally regains enough presence of mind to run out of the
operating room. Roxanne writhes in pain and shock on the
I'm getting the police! I'm going to
call the police!
INT. PATIENTS' LOUNGE -- MORNING
Rose is sitting in the patients' lounge with one or two other
patients, watching TV. Next to Rose is a mobile intravenous
cart, to whose three bottles she is attached by several IV
tubes. A young nurse we have not seen previously sits beside
her, obviously instructed to keep a close watch on Rose, who
wears a clinic dressing-gown over her nightgown.
Suddenly Louise comes flying past the lounge in hysterics,
half crying, half screaming.
He's gone crazy, he's gone crazy!
He's killing everybody! There's blood
everywhere! We've got to do something!
We've got to get the police!
She picks up a stream of staff members and patients who trail
after her trying to get some sense out of the completely
distracted woman. The nurse watching Rose immediately gets
up and runs after Louise, as does one of the two patients
watching TV in the lounge. The other patient, terrified by
the panic in Louise's voice, shrinks into a corner and tries
to look inconspicuous.
The instant everyone rounds the corner at the end of the
lounge, Rose stands up and pushes her IV cart down a hall
that goes in the opposite direction.
INT. SIDE HALLWAY -- MORNING
Once she is out of sight, Rose quickly begins to detach
herself from her IV tubes. Shouts and sounds of struggle
rise and fall in the distance as she pulls the needles out
of her wrists.
INT. JUDY GLASBERG'S ROOM -- MORNING
Rose enters Judy Glasberg's room and closes the door behind
her. She pauses only for a moment to glance at the photos of
Judy tacked up on the wall showing her before and after her
proposed nose job, then opens Judy's closet and starts
rummaging through the clothes hanging there.
INT. CYPHER'S STATION WAGON -- LATE MORNING
Cypher and Read are on the last stretch of highway before
the curve which reveals the driveway of the Keloid Clinic.
Read has not warmed up too much, his anxiety increasing as
they've gotten closer to the clinic.
(looking through the
Hey, look. What's going on there?
The place is crawling with police.
What? Hey, you're right.
Oh, Christ, no! It's Rose. It's got
to be. Something's happened to Rose!
Take it easy, Hart. They wouldn't
need three cruisers for that. It's
something else for sure.
EXT. CLINIC DRIVEWAY -- LATE MORNING
Cypher's car pulls up the driveway, with Read hanging half-
way out of the passenger door. Read jumps out before the car
has come to a full stop.
There are indeed three Quebec Provincial Police cruisers
parked at various strategic spots around the front of the
clinic. There is also a paddy wagon parked right next to a
Quebec Bureau of Health van. Cypher and Read walk up to the
front doors and enter the clinic.
INT. CLINIC -- LATE MORNING
Several police officers and a police photographer are moving
through the building with Dr. Karl, who is describing what
happened to the officer in charge. Karl looks harried,
confused, and very unhappy.
Read and Cypher meet Karl and the head officer as they talk
in the reception area. Karl's operating tunic is bloodstained
at the shoulder.
Where's Dr. Keloid? What's happening?
Who are you?
Murray, thank God you're here. It's
been a nightmare.
This is Murray Cypher. He's one of
the owners of the clinic.
What's the story, Bill?
It's Danny. He went berserk in the
middle of an operation. I was there.
He tried to kill Roxanne. He cut
her. They had to take her away.
He chokes up.
Danny? You've got to be kidding.
Oh, God. Have you seen Rose? Has
anything happened to her? Is she all
Rose? You mean... no, no, this has
nothing to do with her. She should
be around somewhere.
OK, let's see if I've got this
straight. You were in the middle of
an operation, a routine facelift,
did you say?
That's right. That's what we do here.
The operation was just about over...
it was Dr. Keloid who was performing
it, you see... This is so bizarre...
Read turns away from the main doors and walks through the
reception area looking anxiously for Rose. There he encounters
two patients, Miss Owen and a slightly younger woman, sitting
in lawn chairs discussing the events of the morning.
(to woman patient)
...certainly they took her away. She
was bleeding and she was completely
hysterical. Couldn't make out a word
she was saying.
Have you seen Rose? The young girl
who was in the motorcycle accident?
Do you mean the girl who was in here
to have her nose fixed two times in
INT. CLINIC ENTRANCE -- LATE MORNING
The chief cop, Cypher, and Karl are still talking.
So you are in fact Dr. Keloid's
Come with me, please.
The cop walks toward the main doors. Cypher turns to see if
Karl is going to follow. Karl shakes his head and looks down
at his shoes.
I can't, Murray. You go. I've seen
Baffled, Cypher follows the cop out the front door.
EXT. CLINIC -- LATE MORNING
Cypher and the head cop leave the clinic and walk out to the
parking lot. As they pass the Bureau of Health van and the
Keloid Clinic ambulance, Cypher sees a man in a medical
uniform giving a police officer an injection straight into
his stomach muscles in the ambulance. The officer's hand is
Couple of my men got bitten. Those
rabies shots are killers. Think I'd
rather take my chances on getting
Bitten? By what?
They arrive at the back of the paddy wagon. The cop points
to the mesh windows in the wagon's rear doors.
Cypher looks through the mesh. Without warning, Keloid throws
himself against the mesh from the inside, frothing green at
the mouth, smeared with blood and moaning like a creature
from hell. He tries savagely to bite Cypher through the wire,
which cuts his lips and scrapes the enamel from his teeth.
Cypher jumps back.
Can you confirm the identification
of this man as Dr. Daniel Keloid?
Oh, my God. My God.
INT. ENTRANCE OF CLINIC -- LATE MORNING
Read approaches one of two police officers who stand talking
to the police photographer.
Look... I'm trying to find my
girlfriend. She's a patient here.
She was here last night but nobody
seems to have seen her.
We got a young girl downstairs. You
wanna take a look at her?
Is her name Rose?
The two cops look at each other, then turn back to Read.
We don't know. We didn't ask her.
(to third cop)
Tell the chief I'm downstairs gettin'
an ID. Be back in a flash.
The third cop nods. Read follows the second cop down a
INT. CLINIC BASEMENT -- LATE MORNING
Read follows the second cop down the stairs leading to the
clinic's basement, which still shows traces of the clinic's
origins as an old farmhouse.
The second cop walks over to a bank of three huge upright
freezers used to store the frozen food supplies for the
clinic's staff and patients. Read hangs back and glances
around the immense basement. The cop walks over to the
farthest freezer and swings open the door.
C'mere. Can't see anything from there.
Read approaches slowly, certain his worst fears are going to
(gesturing toward the
interior of the
Is that Rose?
Read forces himself to look. There, frozen into a block of
ice that takes up the entire bottom of the freezer, is the
hunched-over, naked body of Judy Glasberg, her eyes staring,
her lashes frosted, her mouth twisted horribly.
Read exhales sharply, almost sobbing with a combination of
horror and relief.
No. No, that's not Rose.
EXT. TWO-LANE HIGHWAY -- DAY
Rose is in the process of hitch-hiking her way into Montreal.
She doesn't have to wait too long before an immense diesel
truck snorts and squeals to a stop on the gravel shoulder of
the road. Rose is wearing Judy Glasberg's jeans, boots,
flannel shirt, and jacket.
As Rose runs toward the truck, the passenger door swings
open for her.
INT. TRUCK CAB -- DAY
Rose sits in the passenger seat, her bare feet up on the
dash tapping in time to the country-and-western music coming
from a tiny transistor radio hanging by a leather thong from
the rear-view mirror. Rose is flushed and excited, almost
delirious to find herself alive, healthy, and free.
Beside her, the trucker eats a steak on a bun with great
enthusiasm. He's in his forties, graying at the temples,
gentlemanly. He's just about to start in on the second half
of his sandwich when he pauses and glances over at Rose, who
is happily watching the countryside rush by. The trucker
holds out the second half of his sandwich to Rose, taking
care to hold it in its tinfoil wrapper and not to touch it
with his fingers.
Want this, Rose? Steak on a bun.
Um... wouldn't mind just one bite.
She takes the sandwich, carefully peels back the tinfoil
from one end, and bites into it. She chews and swallows.
You're right. It's fabulous.
EXT. TWO-LANE HIGHWAY -- DAY
The diesel truck pulls on to the dirt shoulder of the road
and comes to a halt. The passenger door swings open and Rose
jumps down, stumbling as she hits the ground. She starts to
vomit before she even has a chance to get off her knees.
The trucker comes around from the other side of the cab and
squats down beside her. He puts his arms around her and holds
her while she finishes being sick.
Last time I ever patronize that greasy
spoon, I can promise you that. C'mon
sweetheart. There's a girl. Get it
Rose wipes her mouth with the sleeve of her shirt and tries
to stand up. She's still wobbly.
You just put your arms around me and
I'll lift you back in. We'll get you
some coffee or some soup or something
at the next stop, OK?
Rose nods weakly and puts her arms around the trucker. As he
lifts her up she holds him close and closes her eyes. A tear
runs down each cheek.
EXT. TWO-LANE HIGHWAY -- DAY
Rose walks along the side of the road, hitch-hiking once
again. After two cars pass her without stopping, an American
sedan pulls off the road slightly ahead of her and then backs
up to meet her. Rose gets in and the car pulls back on to
the highway. She is flushed and invigorated.
INT. SEDAN -- DAY
Rose finds herself sitting next to a plump, pleasant-looking
lady in her late thirties who smokes a cigarette furiously
as she drives.
Hi. Where are you going?
Montreal. Where are you going?
Rose settles back in her seat and allows herself a smile.
Her cheeks are flushed and glowing.
That's wonderful. Thanks. I was
beginning to think I'd never get
back home again.
EXT. TWO-LANE HIGHWAY -- DAY
A Camelford police cruiser is on its way down the highway
going in the direction opposite to Rose.
We follow the cruiser down the road a few hundred yards until
the diesel truck that stopped to pick up Rose comes into
view, still stopped by the side of the road, its passenger
The cruiser pulls over and parks behind the truck. One of
the QPP officers gets out and walks over to the cab of the
truck. When he gets close to the cab, the officer finds the
driver of the truck sitting sideways on the passenger seat,
his legs out of the cab, feet resting on the running board.
The driver seems to be in some kind of daze and he is very
Huh? Uh, no... nothing really wrong.
I... I guess I musta dozed off. Yeah.
That's it, I guess. Pulled over to
have a nap.
Well, that's good. We find too many
of you boys taking pills to keep
yourselves going all day and all
night. Next time, though, try to
pick a better spot to pull over.
This road's kind of narrow.
Oh, yeah. Right. Will do, Officer.
OK. Have a nice day.
As the trucker turns to watch the cop leave, we see blood
trickling from a wound at the back of his neck which the
trucker is obviously unaware of himself. The officer walks
back to his car and waits until the truck pulls off the
shoulder and heads back down the road toward the city.
EXT. CAMELFORD STATION OFF TWO-LANE HIGHWAY -- DAY
The cruiser pulls into the parking lot of the local station,
which is just off the two-lane highway between the clinic
and the spot where the diesel truck stopped by the side of
In the parking lot, mixed in with various police vehicles,
are several familiar vehicles, including Cypher's station
wagon and the clinic van.
As the two officers get out of their car, they're met by a
Health Bureau official dressed in white who shows them his
Claude Lapointe, Quebec Bureau of
Health, official business. Sorry,
boys. You can't go in unless you're
willing to stay. The whole station's
under quarantine. We think we've got
INT. CAMELFORD POLICE STATION -- DAY
Inside the station, Cypher sits on one side of a desk
explaining things to the head cop, who's trying to keep up
with him on an old typewriter. Phones are ringing everywhere,
typewriters are clacking away.
In one corner we find Read glued to the receiver of a
payphone, a finger in his free ear, trying desperately to
hear what's being said at the other end of the line.
Hey, Mindy? You still there? Yeah,
it's crazy here. I can hardly hear a
thing. Yeah. Listen, I thought that
Rose might try to get in touch with
you. Yeah. She what? She called you?
Oh, that's great. She's on her way
over? That's incredible. You wouldn't
believe what's been happening. It's
crazy time. Yeah. Totally. Well,
listen. When she gets there, tell
her I'll be stuck in the Camelford
cop shop for at least forty-eight
hours. Camelford. It's a town you go
through on the way to the clinic.
That's right. The whole clinic was
hit with rabies or something, they're
not sure exactly. Yeah, the whole
clinic. She might have to come in
for tests or something. I'll find
out. Yeah. You keep her there for
me. As soon as I get out I'll come
and get her. Yeah. OK, Mindy. Ciao.
Read hangs up. He discovers that he's actually smiling.
EXT. MONTREAL TRUCK DEPOT -- NIGHT
At a Montreal truck depot, crates are being unloaded from a
warehouse and on to a series of trucks. A dispatcher works
his way through the crowd of loaders looking for a missing
Hey, anybody here seen Eddy? He's
got the lead truck and I can't find
the son of a bitch. Hey, you seen
I seen him climb into the box of his
truck half an hour ago. He didn't
look too good.
Whaddya mean he didn't look too good?
Smooth Eddy always looks good.
Naw, I mean he looked sick. Like,
What the fuck we runnin' here, a
The dispatcher, a short, dark, mustachioed man, works his
way up to the lead truck.
Eddy... Hey, Eddy, you in there?
EXT. DEPOT -- NIGHT
The dispatcher shoves his way to the sliding side door of
Eddy's trailer and grabs the handle.
You in there, Eddy? We gotta get
this rig movin'.
The dispatcher slides the door open. Eddy screams the second
the light hits him and jumps out at the dispatcher, eyes
clouded over, foaming mouth wide open. The dispatcher is
bowled over by the force of the impact and he falls backwards
to the concrete, Eddy all over him, screaming and biting the
dispatcher's face and arms.
In an instant five loaders are trying to pull Eddy away.
Eddy immediately turns on them, managing to inflict several
bites before he disappears beneath the ever-increasing mass
of loaders and truckers trying to get at him.
INT. MINDY'S APARTMENT -- NIGHT
Mindy is watching TV in her cramped one-bedroom downtown
high-rise apartment. Mindy is twenty-one, has lived on her
own for years, is on the plump side of voluptuous, and works
for IBM selling office equipment.
As she watches her color portable, Mindy idly turns the pages
of Vogue magazine, smokes a cigarette, and alternately sips
a cognac and a black coffee. There is a special newscast
concerning the alleged rabies outbreak in the clinic region,
complete with documentary footage shot outside the quarantined
...and health officials have said
they consider the outbreak of the
new strain of rabies as being
potentially 'the worst of this
century.' At the police station in
Camelford, Kathy Draper talked to
Quebec Bureau of Health official
The news camera pans across the front of 52 station and ends
up in a close-up of Mr Lapointe, standing in front of his
Certainly this is serious. This is
not just a question of swine flu or
something like that. We have already
several deaths on our hands in this
one small area alone, and the main
problem is... we don't know what
we're up against.
Are you saying that this is not an
outbreak of rabies?
I'm not saying that. I'm not saying
that, exactly. But it must be a new
strain of rabies, because there are
symptoms involved which we and even
the world health community do not
seem to be familiar with.
What are these symptoms?
Well, the period of incubation of
this disease is very brief, maybe
six to eight hours at the most. Now,
that's quick, much quicker than normal
rabies. Then the victim begins to
sweat, to shake, to foam at the mouth.
That's not so rare. What is rare is
that the victim always with this new
disease becomes violent and wants to
bite somebody new. And this crazy
phase is followed by a coma and then,
in every case we know, by death.
It's very strange.
What advice would you give to our
The disease spreads through the saliva
of the victim... the saliva is very
contagious. It dribbles into open
wounds and cuts and causes immediate
So... don't let anybody bite you.
And if somebody does, find a doctor
who can give you rabies shots
immediately. We are already setting
up vaccination centers beginning
right here and spreading out toward
Montreal. If we don't keep the disease
localized and out of large centers
of population, well... I wouldn't
like to say what it could be like.
I heard you mention the Black Plague
of London just before we went on the
air. Is that what you mean by...?
We sometimes like to be dramatic
about these things. It's more
interesting than the usual paperwork
and we get... you know... we get
excited. It's a real challenge...
There is a knock at the door. Mindy gets up and opens it.
Standing in the corridor is Rose.
Surprise. I'm amongst the living.
Mindy throws her arms around Rose, hugs her, and pulls her
inside the door. They separate, then hug again, both of them
on the verge of tears.
INT. CAMELFORD STATION CELL -- NIGHT
Cypher and Read are sharing an open cell at the QPP station,
which has been made as homely as possibly by the addition of
two chairs and a small table, which Cypher is using as a
desk. Read lies back on the lower half of one of the cell's
three double bunk beds, arms behind his head, watching Cypher
sift through a maze of papers of all sizes and shapes.
Got anything in there I might want
to read? I'm starting to go stir
It's actually pretty exciting stuff
if you know how to interpret it.
Cypher throws down his Audit Point pen, leans back, and puts
his feet up on the table.
I guess I'm just going on automatic
pilot right now.
(shakes his head)
I can't connect that creature I saw
in the paddy wagon with Danny. I
just can't believe they're all dead...
Read is on the verge of saying something when they are both
startled by the sound of a sudden chase in the main office
at the end of the row of cells. Screams and yells are
punctuated by the crash of overturned furniture and smashing
Read and Cypher barely have time to get to their feet when
they see the head cop backing slowly through the door leading
to the main office, his service revolver drawn.
George, for God's sake! Can't you
understand what I'm saying? Stay
back! Sit on the floor and put your
hands on your head.
When the cop is about a third of the way down the aisle
between the rows of cells, Read steps out behind him. The
cop doesn't take his eyes away from the doorway.
What's going on?
Get into the cell and be ready to
lock yourselves in. Do what I tell
Before Read has a chance to move, a second cop appears,
sweating, staggering, drooling green foam, eyes expressionless
black holes. The infected cop is stalking the head cop.
Somebody shouts from somewhere back in the main office.
Get out of the line of fire, Ted.
We'll take him from here with the
Gimme a count of three, Joe! I'll be
outta your way by three!
The head cop draws even with the door of Read and Cypher's
cell. Cypher has already backed into it and flattened himself
against the wall opposite the aisle. The infected cop comes
closer. Cypher notices the bandage on his hand, then
recognizes him as the cop at the clinic entrance who was
bitten by Keloid and got rabies shots immediately afterwards.
(to Read and Cypher)
Gimme room. I'm coming in quick.
The head cop dives sideways into the cell. The infected cop
lunges forwards after him and is half-way through the cell
door when Read, hanging on to the bars of the cell for
leverage, puts his foot in the cop's stomach and kicks him
back out into the line of fire. Before the infected cop can
regain his balance, he is punched to the floor by several
By the time the guns stop firing, the infected cop's body
has been pushed almost to the end of the aisle. The head cop
steps out to meet the three cops from the main office, who
approach warily through the acrid smoke drifting up from the
barrels of their guns.
(to nobody in
They gave him rabies shots. He got
bitten up at that facelift place and
they gave him his shots right away.
The head cop turns away from the body and looks up at the
three men from the main office.
They didn't do him any damn good,
Read and Cypher exchange glances. It's been a lousy day.
INT. MINDY'S LIVING ROOM -- NIGHT
Mindy and Rose are sitting in Mindy's living room, Rose in
front of the TV on the sofa, Mindy at a small desk in the
corner with papers and some sort of training manual spread
out in front of her. Rose is watching TV with a long ear
plug trailing from the silent TV set across three feet of
rug, up the sofa, and into her left ear.
Rose is watching Shivers, starring Paul Hampton, Joe Silver,
and Barbara Steele, and is getting very restless. She can't
help glancing over at Mindy, who is eating a ham sandwich
while she works. Mindy has her hair pulled back and the pulse
in her neck is somehow very prominent. Rose pulls the plug
out of her ear, turns off the TV set, stands up, and goes to
the closet next to the front door. Mindy looks up from her
work for the first time.
What are you doing, Rose?
(putting on her jacket)
I think I have to go out for a while.
Mindy gets up and joins Rose at the door.
Rosie, I feel so stupid. I haven't
been much of a hostess. Why don't
you stay here? There must be something
in the fridge I can tempt you with.
(opening the door)
Thanks, Mindy, but it's not that. I
just have to get out into the fresh
air again. It's a real experience
for me just to walk down a street.
I'll come with you.
No. You stay here and work. I won't
be gone too long.
OK, Rosie. If you get dizzy or
anything, call me.
Rose laughs, pats Mindy on the cheek, and leaves.
EXT. ST. CATHERINE'S STREET -- NIGHT
Rose walks down the most crowded part of St. Catherine's
Street she can find. She has a new sensitivity to the heat
radiating from the bodies of those close to her, and the
presence of so much warm, jostling flesh full of blood whose
coursing she can almost hear soon makes her eyes shine, her
nostrils flare, her steps quick and precise.
Rose soon finds herself standing in front of an Eve Cinema,
which is showing two soft-core skin flicks, as usual. On an
impulse, Rose digs around in the pockets of Judy Glasberg's
jeans. In the back pocket she finds a five-dollar bill. She
hesitates for only a moment, then buys a ticket and enters
INT. EVE CINEMA -- NIGHT
Rose walks down the center aisle and sits alone in the middle
of an empty row of seats not far from the screen and its
It is not long before a thirtyish, balding man leaves his
seat at the back of the cinema and sits directly behind Rose.
As he removes his jacket, he brushes against Rose's hair
with his hand as though by accident. Rose turns around to
look at him.
'Scuse me. I didn't mean to touch
Rose gives him a hard look, then turns around to face the
Well, pardon me for existing.
Rose turns around again.
I thought you did it on purpose.
No. Really. I was taking my jacket
off and it brushed against you.
Oh, well, I'm sorry. I like seeing
these movies but men are always
bothering me. I guess I'm a little
Well, look. If I come and sit beside
you everybody will think we're
together and you'll be able to watch
in peace. All I ask is a couple
handfuls of popcorn.
The balding man gets up, moves to the end of his aisle, then
makes his way toward Rose, trying not to blow it by betraying
his excitement. He sits down beside Rose. She offers him
EXT. EVE CINEMA EXIT -- NIGHT
Rose slips out of the side exit of the cinema into an alley,
her cheeks flushed, her breathing heavy. Crowds of people
still throng past the opening at the end of the alley, the
night just beginning. Rose watches them move past as though
still watching a movie, feeling the full weight of her
separation from the ordinary. After a pause, she moves out
to join it.
INT. EVE CINEMA -- NIGHT
Back in the theater, the balding man is still sitting in his
seat three rows from the screen, slumped down, his head on
his chest, one arm thrown out around the edge of the seat
beside him. Blood streams from a small hole in the palm of
the outstretched hand, which is still curved as though
embracing someone's shoulder.
The images reflecting from the screen flicker across his
face, but he sees nothing.
INT. MINDY'S LIVING ROOM -- MORNING
Mindy is preparing and eating her breakfast of bran muffins,
coffee, and orange juice on the run. While she shuffles her
coffee cup and her notebooks, she listens to the radio.
...decide that each municipality
should take on the responsibility
for setting up vaccination centers
in community halls and health clinics.
Police have criticized the City Hall
decision, saying that evidence has
come to light which indicates that
normal rabies vaccine is completely
ineffective against the new strain
of the disease. They are asking
instead for the organization of a
series of militia-and army-controlled
quarantine centers until such time
as an effective vaccine is developed.
Said one police spokesman: 'We are
having trouble containing the known
outbreaks of violence induced by the
disease as it is. Imagine what will
happen if it spreads through the
city like a normal wave of the flu.'
Mindy has finally gotten herself ready to go to work. Just
before she leaves, she knocks on the bathroom door.
I'm going, Rosie. I've left you some
coffee on the stove. Turn it off if
you go out, OK?
Aren't you going to wish me luck?
Are you OK?
Brushing my teeth. Good luck.
Thanks. See you later.
Mindy turns to the front door, opens it, and leaves.
INT. MINDY'S BATHROOM -- MORNING
In the bathroom, Rose is doubled over on the floor clutching
her stomach. Two seconds after she hears the front door slam
closed, she lets out a low, strangled moan and begins to
roll around on the floor.
A sudden spasm forces her to curl into a ball again, her
fingernails sinking into the palms of her hands. After the
spasm passes, she props herself up against the bathroom door.
A thread of blood curls down her wrist. She opens her right
hand. She stares at the four tiny crescents of blood that
her nails have cut into her palm. With slow, trancelike
motions, she licks the blood off her wrist and her palm.
INT. SUBWAY STATION -- MORNING
Mindy stands in a crowded subway station waiting for her
train to come. Every once in a while she glances down at a
marked page in a blue corporation manual she's carrying,
checking her memory against the printed specifications of
various pieces of office equipment.
The train finally comes and Mindy gets crammed in with the
rest of the rush-hour crowd.
INT. SUBWAY CAR -- MORNING
As the subway car pulls out of the station, Mindy leans
against the door and continues to consult her manual. As she
looks up and off into space, trying to grasp the next set of
machine specifications, her eye is caught by the face of a
woman with her back against the opposite door. The woman
seems to be blind -- her eyes are completely black from edge
Then Mindy notices with horror that the woman is trembling
and drooling and foaming green at the mouth. The sea of faces
between them seems indifferent to the woman until she screams
at the top of her lungs and plunges forward with her mouth
wide open, apparently trying to get at Mindy.
The people closest to the woman suddenly start to panic, and
the panic moves out through the car in waves. Everyone starts
to push and shove, and people try to climb over one another.
The infected woman manages to lock her teeth on to the ear
of a man who begins to punch her in the chest and stomach,
himself completely terrified.
The subway car pulls into the next station and its doors
open. Mindy is almost knocked to the platform and trampled
but she manages to stay on her feet and flow with the
The people waiting to get on to the train are greeted with
the spectacle of three men subduing an insane, shrieking
woman on the floor of the car.
EXT. DOWNTOWN CONSTRUCTION SITE -- DAY
Mr. Lapointe, Quebec Health Bureau official, is riding in
the back of a city limousine with an official from the mayor's
office. The limousine is working its way through the rubble
of a deserted construction site.
You'll pardon me, Mr. Stasiuk, but I
think the mayor should be taking
this epidemic more seriously than he
A city is a complex machine, Mr.
Lapointe. Every part needs constant
attention. The mayor will listen to
you, but you're not the only one. It
The limousine has worked its way into a relatively deserted
section of the site, and now slows to a stop.
(to uniformed driver)
Why have we stopped, Clark?
The driver points through the front windshield at the
mannequin of a construction worker waving a flag that has
been placed directly in the middle of the narrow dirt road
they're travelling on.
Well, isn't there anyone around? Do
we have to turn around?
Before anyone can make a move, two construction workers
suddenly emerge from the surrounding rubble and advance on
the car, one of them carrying a pneumatic jackhammer.
Clark... roll down your window and
ask them why the road is blocked. It
may be strike trouble. Be careful.
Clark is in the process of rolling down his window when the
man with the jackhammer turns on the hammer and applies the
chisel to the driver's door. As the chisel point of the hammer
chews up the door, Lapointe can see that the eyes of the two
workers are clouded over and that they are all slavering
green foam from their mouths.
Oh, Christ! Clark, let's get out
quick! Quick, man!
They've got the disease! Look at
their eyes! Report that to your mayor!
Before the driver can slam the limousine into reverse, the
second infected worker has reached through the window and
grabbed him by the hair. The hammer has completely penetrated
the door. The driver screams. They'll kill us!
The two workers begin to drag the screaming driver out of
the car. The official scrambles over the front seatbacks
into the driver's seat, kicks the legs of the driver away
from the foot controls, and slams the gearshift into reverse.
The limousine fishtails backwards madly as the official floors
the accelerator, the crumpled, bloodied driver's door flapping
like a broken wing as the car backs down the road.
In the rapidly receding distance, Lapointe can see the
infected workers hunching over Clark's body.
INT. SHOPPING MALL -- DAY
Rose sits in the middle of a shopping mall full of early
Christmas shoppers. Her hair is matted and straggly and she
watches the people in the mall hungrily. In the background,
children line up to sit on the knee of a huge, enthroned
Santa Claus surrounded by elaborately wrapped presents and
Christmas trees attached to a huge backdrop of crimson and
Two cops, a nervous young cop carrying a submachine-gun, and
an older cop, watch the proceedings tensely. Large crowds
always mean trouble. The two cops patrol the mall separately,
keeping in touch by radio. A pleasant young man stops in
front of Rose's bench, looks her over, then decides to get
Mind if I sit down?
No. I don't mind.
The young man sits down.
Nothing like Christmas, huh?
Rose doesn't answer. The young man is running out of opening
Ah... you smoke? You know...
cigarettes? You smoke?
Great. Have one of mine.
The young man fumbles in his jacket pocket for his pack of
cigarettes, then awkwardly shakes one out of the pack for
Rose. She takes it. The young man puts one in his mouth,
then starts to feel around in his pockets for matches. He
can't find any.
No matches. You got a light?
Rose shakes her head. The young man looks around. He spots a
man with a cigarette in his hand at the end of the adjacent
bench. He gets up.
Just a sec. I'll ask that guy over
there for a light. OK? Be right back.
He walks over to the man on the bench. As he approaches, he
notices that the man's cigarette has burned right down to
the flesh of his fingers.
'Scuse me, Mac. Gotta light?
Without warning, the man on the bench leaps up at the young
man and grabs him by the hair. The man, a powerful, bearded
man of about sixty, has eyes like black holes and is drooling
green foam. He pulls the young man's head back and begins to
tear at his throat with nicotine-stained teeth. The young
The two cops break into a run the instant they locate the
source of the screams. When they arrive at the bench, the
bearded man looks up, his beard and mouth stained with blood.
The young man is quite obviously on the verge of death. The
young cop levels his submachine-gun at the man.
Stand up! Stand up and put your hands
behind your head!
The bearded man jumps up and tears off through the crowd of
incredulous onlookers. The young cop follows him. The bearded
man heads for the Santa Claus display.
Outta the way! Get outta the way.
He'll kill you! That man'll kill
The children around the Santa Claus display scatter as the
bearded man heads for them. The Santa Claus stands up and
grabs at the bearded man just as the young cop opens fire
with his submachine-gun. His bullets rip through both men
and the entire display, scattering bits of Christmas wrapping
and plastic fir trees everywhere.
The older cop arrives on the scene, revolver drawn, just as
post-action shock hits the young cop.
Oh, Christ... I didn't mean to hit
the Santa Claus.
Deep in the gathering crowd, a traumatized Rose pushes her
way through to an exit.
INT. CAMELFORD STATION -- DAY
We are close on a TV set sitting on the admitting sergeant's
desk just inside the station's main entrance. A detailed
analysis of the disease crisis is in the process of being
broadcast, complete with news footage of army and militiamen
jumping off trucks in Place Ville Marie, citizens being
vaccinated at community health centers and at emergency depots
set up in subway stations, etc.
...and the crisis has now been
officially granted epidemic status
by officials of the World Health
Organization. The Prime Minister was
reluctant to officially declare a
state of emergency, but as any citizen
in the streets can tell you, martial
law has come to Montreal. At an
emergency vaccination center set up
in the Atwater Metro Station, we
spoke with a director of the World
Health Organization who had just
arrived from England to take charge
of liaison with Health Bureaus in
Western European countries.
The face of an aristocratic and very tweedy Englishman appears
on the screen with the name Dr. Royce Gentry, Director, WHO,
flashing beneath his face on the screen for a moment or two.
I don't think there's any question
that martial law is needed in the
city of Montreal at this point in
time. It's a necessity. It has already
been established that victims of the
disease -- and it is not rabies,
though it may be related to the rabies
virus -- victims of the disease are
beyond medical help once it has
established itself to the degree of
inducing violent behavior.
What you're saying, then, Dr. Gentry,
What I'm saying is very simple. It
may not be very palatable for your
viewers. Shooting down victims of
the disease is as good a way of
handling them as we've got. If we
lock them up, they immediately go
into a coma and die shortly
afterwards. We've now got a vaccine
that we think will work in a
preventative way, but for those who
are already incubating the disease...
as far as we know, there's no hope
The face of Dr. Gentry is replaced by a close-up of a needle
sinking into an arm.
All those receiving shots of the new
vaccine are being issued plastic ID
cards with a photo of the card holder.
Viewers are urged not to leave their
homes unless absolutely necessary,
and are reminded that if they do
they must carry their vaccine cards
with them. Police, army, and militia
officers may demand to see them.
Here is a list of vaccination centers
in your area and the toll-free
telephone number of our special
emergency information center.
Read and Cypher, rumpled and haggard, are signing forms at
the main desk of the station prior to being released. Both
are wearing plastic vaccination plates on their jackets,
Read toying impatiently with his.
(to desk sergeant)
Goodbye, Sergeant. You've been a
OK, Murray. Take it easy. You sure
you don't want to stay out here with
us? The city doesn't sound like a
very appetizing place to be.
I would, but my wife and kid... you
know how it is.
C'mon, Murray. Rose is waitin' for
OK, kid. Let's go.
EXT. CAMELFORD STATION -- DAY
Cypher and Read get into Cypher's station wagon, a QPP officer
handing Cypher the car keys as he gets in.
Remember to keep your windows up and
your doors locked once you get into
the city. Maybe the bug can't get
you now, but that...
...that won't protect you from the
crazies. Take care now.
Cypher nods and starts his car. They pull out of the parking
lot and on to the highway.
INT. MINDY'S BEDROOM -- LATE DAY
Rose lies curled up in Mindy's double bed, the blankets
twisted up around her, sweating, her shoes still on, her
muscles contracting with waves of spasms that roll over her.
Rose hardly notices the sound of keys jingling, the latch
turning, the front door opening. Mindy's home.
(closing the door and
Rose? Are you home?
We hear the sound of Mindy walking through her living room,
then approaching the bedroom.
Rose? Are you asleep?
Mindy enters the bedroom, a bag of groceries in her arms.
She stops at the door, shocked at Rose's appearance, then
puts the bag down on her night table and sits on the bed
Have you been out? Have you gotten
Rose rolls over to face Mindy. Her lips are pale and parched,
her nose is running, her voice shakes as she speaks.
I... I've been afraid to go out.
And, Mindy, I... I'm starving. I'm
starving to death. And I don't want
to eat. I don't want any more to
She bursts into tears and rolls away from Mindy, who slides
across the bed after her and begins to stroke Rose's forehead.
Rosie, what's been going on? What's
the matter with you? Poor kid. Well,
don't worry any more. We're two tough
ladies, you and me. We can handle
anything we have to.
EXT. EXPRESSWAY RAMP -- DUSK
Read and Cypher descend into the city on a long expressway
ramp which affords them a clear view of other sections of
highway and a large suburban plaza dominated by a huge
Both their ramp and the other sections of highway are strewn
with wrecked and burned-out cars and even the occasional
As the station wagon descends, they can see the line-up of
people moving in and out of the supermarket guarded by
soldiers with light machine-guns. Before anyone is allowed
into the supermarket, he has to present his vaccine card at
a registration desk set up at the entrance.
Cypher and Read plunge on, deeper into the city.
EXT. STREET AT FOOT OF EXIT RAMP -- NIGHT
The station wagon swings off the exit ramp and on to a city
street, narrowly missing a few piles of garbage, which seems
to be everywhere.
The street seems to be deserted, the stores on both sides
closed and dark.
EXT. ANOTHER STREET -- NIGHT
The station wagon turns on to a long, broad, practically
deserted street. The only human activity is centered around
a convoy of heavy white city garbage trucks manned by white-
uniformed, hooded figures. The convoy of twelve is led by a
military jeep whose rider, an army sergeant, orders them to
peel off one by one down specific routes deemed primary for
Armed soldiers ride on the tops of the trucks carrying rifles
with telescopic sights.
INT. STATION WAGON -- NIGHT
I can't believe it. It's like we
were at war.
Listen, Hart. We're going to my house
first. I'm not going to relax until
I know that everything there's OK.
Once we're there, I'll give you the
keys to the car and you can go get
EXT. LEAFY SUBURBAN STREET -- NIGHT
The station wagon pulls up into the driveway of Cypher's
small but pleasant suburban house. Except for a bit of garbage
strewn about, there are no signs of unrest in the
neighborhood. The odd rifle shot in the distance is fairly
easy to ignore in these surroundings.
INT. STATION WAGON -- NIGHT
Cypher gets out of the car and Read slides over into the
Phone me when you get there, will
you? Maybe you should bring Rose
back here with you until this thing
Yeah. Listen, thanks for the car,
Murray. I'll call you.
Cypher smiles and heads up the driveway toward his front
door. Read waits until Cypher has safely let himself into
his house, then pulls out of the driveway and on to the
INT. CYPHER'S HOUSE, FIRST FLOOR -- NIGHT
Cypher enters his house and closes the door behind him. He
puts his briefcase down on top of the hall radiator and walks
toward the foot of the stairs.
Cecile? It's Murray, honey. I'm home.
Nobody answers. Cypher resists the temptation to panic and
walks through the downstairs rooms. Everything seems
reasonably neat but there is no one there. Cypher returns to
the foot of the stairs and starts the climb to the second
INT. CYPHER'S HOUSE, SECOND FLOOR -- NIGHT
Cypher gets to the top of the stairs and begins to move along
the narrow hall taking him to the front of the house.
Cecile? I'm home, honey. Where are
Cypher stops at the doorway of the baby's room and looks in.
INT. CYPHER'S HOUSE, BABY'S ROOM -- NIGHT
Cypher scans the baby's room, which from its cartoon wallpaper
to its brightly colored broadloom and toy-filled shelves
speaks volumes about the fastidious preparation which preceded
He is about to continue on down the hall to the master bedroom
when he notices that the broadloom beneath the baby's
bathinette is wet. On an impulse he enters the room and lifts
open the top covering the bathinette. The bathinette is half-
filled with bloody bath water, which has been leaking on to
the carpeting, drop by drop, for hours.
Cypher lets the lid drop down with a mixture of fear and
horror suddenly stabbing him in the pit of the stomach. An
insane kind of moaning giggle drifts over to him from the
corner of the room.
He whirls to face the sound. It seems to be coming from the
closet. Drawn inexorably toward the sound, he approaches the
closet, which is not completely closed. He raises his hand
to grasp the doorknob.
Without warning, the closet door explodes open, smashing
Cypher in the face and knocking him to the floor. A crazed,
drooling Cecile lands heavily on top of him and begins to
bite him savagely on the face, her clouded eyes devoid of
all mercy or recognition.
INT. MINDY'S BEDROOM -- NIGHT
Mindy has tucked Rose into bed and is now applying a cold
compress to her feverish forehead. Rose seems to be half
That's it, Rosie. You just get as
much sleep as you need. Don't think
about anything. Let your mind drift.
Mindy gets up and goes into her kitchen, leaving Rose's door
open just a crack.
INT. MINDY'S KITCHEN -- NIGHT
In her kitchen, Mindy continues preparing an elaborate
vegetable stew, somehow convinced that her weeks in the
hospital have induced in Rose an aversion to meat.
The TV set, Mindy's constant companion, has been turned around
so that Mindy can just see it from where she's working,
although the sound has been turned off in deference to Rose.
At the moment there seems to be a detailed analysis of the
difference between rabies and the new strain of disease
holding the city in thrall, complete with microphotography,
INT. MINDY'S BEDROOM -- NIGHT
Rose takes the compress from her forehead and places it
carefully on the night table. She slips out of bed and begins
to rummage around in the closet for her clothes.
EXT. DOWNTOWN STREET -- NIGHT
Read drives Cypher's station wagon along a downtown street
on his way to Mindy's. There are more people on this
particular street than the ones he and Cypher first
encountered. In fact, were it not for the heavily armed
soldiers placed at several strategic points and the single
guarded garbage truck making its rounds, all would seem
normal. The sound of sporadic gunfire in the distance seems
to have been accepted as everyday fare by everybody.
But Read's focus of attention is on the car radio. He has
been listening to an analysis of the possible origins of the
disease and the information he's getting is disturbing him.
The voice on the radio is that of Dr. Royce Gentry.
And so after using some rather
elaborate tracking procedures and
applying them to a map, we find that
the disease does in fact seem to
have a very specific place of origin.
Which is the Keloid Clinic of Cosmetic
Surgery, a few miles outside the
town of Camelford. You can see with
your own eyes how everything has
spread out from there in geometrically
increasing proportions. Now this
pattern, in conjunction with some of
our other statistics, indicates that
there is a strong possibility that
there is a special factor at work in
the spread of the disease.
You mean a carrier.
Well, at the risk of setting off a
futile witch hunt... Yes. Someone
like the infamous Typhoid Mary who
incubates the disease and transmits
it, but is herself immune to it.
What were they doing at the Keloid
Clinic, Dr. Gentry?
We've run into a certain amount of
difficulty ascertaining what exactly
was going on there. We know what it
wasn't. It had nothing to do with
germ warfare or the like... no secret
Read's concentration is suddenly shattered by a movement he
catches in the corner of his rear-view mirror as he waits
for a light to change. A crazy -- a man in his forties wearing
a scarf and gloves but no coat -- breaks out from between
two buildings just behind Read's car and heads for the
clusters of people crossing at the light.
Read watches the man brush by the car as though watching the
scene on television. The people in the crosswalk scatter at
the crazy's approach. The sniper on top of the garbage truck
has him safely in his crosshairs and squeezes off a shot.
The crazy hurtles against the hood of the station wagon as
though falling from a building and bounces off and on to the
Before Read can drive off, two garbage men run toward him
from the garbage truck. One of them holds up his hand for
Read to wait. He produces a spray bottle from under his white
jumpsuit and sprays the crazy's blood that has spattered the
car's hood. Then he waves Read on. Read puts his windshield
INT. MINDY'S APARTMENT -- NIGHT
Rose is dressed and trying to steal out the front door when
Mindy hears her from the kitchen.
Rose? Are you awake?
Rose yanks open the door and has one foot out the door when
Mindy appears around the corner with a dish of sauce in her
Oh, no. Rose! You can't! It's
dangerous out there!
Mindy bangs the plate down on top of a stereo speaker and
runs after Rose. She catches her a few steps out the door
and hauls her back inside, swinging the door shut again with
her foot. The door doesn't lock.
Rose is whimpering and weak. She starts to sink to the floor,
and Mindy, not strong enough to hold her up, goes with her.
Mindy, Mindy. I don't want it to be
Mindy hugs Rose tightly, rocking her back and forth.
Of course it should be me. Who else
but your best friend, Rose? I'll
take care of you.
Oh, Mindy, I ache all over. I'm
hurting from the inside out.
Well then, what you need is a nice,
deep, hot bath. It'll seep in and
relax you from the outside in.
She starts to unbutton Rose's shirt. Rose doesn't resist.
EXT. MINDY'S APARTMENT BUILDING -- NIGHT
Read parks the station wagon in front of Mindy's building
and gets out. He sprints up the front steps.
INT. APARTMENT CORRIDOR -- NIGHT
Read emerges from the elevator at the end of the corridor
and walks purposefully past the row of doors until he reaches
He reaches for the door. He notices that it's ajar and pulls
back his hand at the last minute. He takes a deep breath,
then kicks open the door.
INT. MINDY'S APARTMENT -- NIGHT
As the front door of Mindy's apartment slams open, Read is
confronted by the bizarre spectacle of Rose hunched over
Mindy's prostrate form, sucking blood from the large vein in
one of Mindy's arms.
The instant the door slams open, Rose pulls her blood-sucking
organ out of Mindy's arm and tries to hide it with her right
hand. The organ, still dripping blood, slides back up under
her arm into its sheath. The half-conscious Mindy puts her
hand over the hole in her arm and mumbles incoherently.
As Read approaches, Rose backs away, slipping her left arm
back into her shirt and fumbling with the buttons. Rose now
looks flushed and healthy, excited and alive.
It's not my fault. It's not my fault.
It's you. You're the one. It's been
you all along.
What are you talking about?
You carry the plague. You've killed
hundreds of people.
No... no... you don't know what you're
talking about. I'm still me. I'm
What did they do to you at the clinic?
What did they turn you into?
I have to have blood. It's all I can
eat. And it's your fault, not mine.
It's your fault!
Read takes three quick steps and grabs Rose by the shoulders.
She shrinks away from him as though he were the monster.
There must be some way to fix this...
We'll go to the police... we'll go
to the hospital...
Rose twists out of Read's grasp and runs for the front door.
Read turns and runs after her, almost tripping over Mindy.
Rose makes it out the door before Read can catch her.
INT. APARTMENT CORRIDOR -- NIGHT
Read chases Rose down the corridor.
Rose, I'm sorry... wait! Wait!
INT. STAIRWELL -- NIGHT
Read finally manages to catch Rose at the top of the
stairwell. They struggle.
Rose, listen to me. You're right.
We're in it together. We'll figure
it all out together...
As they struggle, Rose somehow smashes Read in the face with
her elbow and he goes crashing backwards down the flight of
stairs, hitting his head several times on the metal steps as
She watches in horror as Read falls, then stands frozen for
several heartbeats after he has landed in a crumpled heap at
the bottom of the stairs. She runs down after him and kneels
He has a few large bruises on his forehead and temples but
is still breathing. Rose touches his lips with her fingers
briefly, then gets up and continues down the stairs.
EXT. ENTRANCE OF MINDY'S APARTMENT -- NIGHT
Rose opens the front door of the apartment building and steps
out on to the front steps, bewildered. There she sees a man
with a mustache sifting through a handful of letters on the
bottom step. He looks up at the sound of the door opening.
Can I help you? I've seen you around
before, haven't I? I just moved out
of this building. They keep sending
my mail here.
I... yes, I'm a friend of Mindy Kent.
I was supposed to meet her here, but
she must have gone out.
Well, it's not safe to walk the
streets these days, not for a while,
anyway. Can I escort you somewhere?
Have you been vaccinated? No? Me
neither. My brother told me he had
to line up for three hours. Who's
Listen... I need a place to stay
tonight. At least until Mindy shows
up. Could I stay with you? For a
I, ah... guess you could. I'm a single
guy, you know. We'd be alone.
That doesn't bother you?
Rose shakes her head, wide-eyed and innocent.
I'm a nice guy, too. C'mon. My car's
just down the street.
EXT. APARTMENT -- NIGHT
Night has fallen over Mindy's apartment and the streets are
dark and completely deserted.
INT. STAIRWELL -- NIGHT
Read is only now regaining consciousness in the damp apartment
stairwell. He rubs his neck and gradually manages to get to
his feet. The top of the stairs looks as though it's a mile
away. Read begins to climb the stairs, one painful step at a
INT. CORRIDOR -- NIGHT
As Read staggers down the corridor, he hears a telephone
begin to ring in the distance. The ringing gets louder and,
somehow, more persistent as he gets closer to Mindy's door.
INT. MINDY'S APARTMENT -- NIGHT
The telephone is patiently ringing in Mindy's apartment, as
though waiting for Read to answer it. He enters the apartment
and takes a quick look around for signs of Mindy. The place
is empty. He swings the door shut and locks it. Only then
does he turn to the phone.
Read answers the telephone.
INT. MUSTACHE'S APARTMENT -- NIGHT
Rose has locked herself into the single man's apartment and
slid a heavy table across the door. The single man sits
slumped in an old wingback chair, his cheek bloody, his eyes
Rose has turned out all the lights in the apartment except
for a small mood light near the telephone, which sits on an
end table by a Victorian velvet sofa. She speaks quietly
into the receiver, as though not wanting to wake the
It's me, Hart. I'm glad I managed to
get you. Are you all right? Did I
Rose, where are you? We should be
together. Please, tell me where you
Well, what you said to me hurt me.
It scared me. It scared me because I
suddenly knew you might be right.
And if you were right, about my being
a carrier, I mean... then I... I
murdered Mindy. I murdered a lot of
Rose, listen to me... No court of
law would convict you...
So I decided to try a little
experiment to prove that you were
wrong about all that. You see? I'm
being very positive, aren't I?
There's no reason for you to put
yourself through anything like this...
So I found myself a partner for my
experiment, a single guy, real normal
and real healthy, and I took a little
of his blood... just a bit... and
I've locked myself in with him. And
I'm going to stay here with him until
I'm sure he's not going to get sick.
And then I'll know that I'm not the
one who started it all.
INT. MINDY'S APARTMENT -- NIGHT
Rose, you've got to tell me where
you are. You're committing suicide.
Hart, I just want you to be with me
over the phone... just until I find
out one way or the other. We can
live together over the phone for a
while. We can do that, can't we?
Oh, God. Rose, how long ago did you...
take blood from the man you're with?
How long ago?
Six hours. Maybe seven.
Rose, you've got to get out of there.
INT. MUSTACHE'S APARTMENT -- NIGHT
As Read talks, Rose hears a sound behind her. She turns to
see a shadow rising out of the chair behind her. The shadow
Please, Rose, just drop the phone
and walk over to the door and run
outta that place as fast as you can.
You're not giving either of us a
chance to think. We don't need this
pressure... everything's so
confused... We've got to just clear
a space where we can be alone and
sit down and talk about everything
and figure out what to do... Rose?
Get out of there, get out right now!
The shadow approaches Rose, who lies as still as death on
the sofa. The single man is finally caught by the edge of
the mood light's glow, and Rose can see the dead black eyes,
the drooling green saliva, the slack, hungry lips.
Hart... I'm afraid!
The single man lunges for Rose's throat.
INT. MINDY'S APARTMENT -- NIGHT
Read screams into the phone.
He is in agony as he hears the sounds of Rose being torn
apart at the other end of the line, but he is unable to take
the receiver away from his ear, unable to desert Rose in her
final moments. He screams insanely into the phone, this time
incoherently, trying to make it stop, trying to cover it up.
But it doesn't stop.
EXT. DOWNTOWN INTERSECTION -- DAWN
In the chill of early morning, an armed garbage truck moves
through the city collecting bodies left in the aftermath of
the night's anonymous violence.
EXT. MINDY'S STREET -- DAWN
On Mindy's street, just a few blocks away from Mindy's
apartment, a garbage truck stops to collect a body covered
with dried blood that has been dragged out on to the front
steps of an apartment building. Before the garbage men can
get the body, the sniper on the roof has to shoot a dog who
is sniffing at the body.
The garbage men are then able to get to the body, spray it
with disinfectant, spray the dog's body, and drag them back
to the truck's compressor. As the body is dumped into the
back of the truck, we see that it is possibly Rose's.
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