SUPER MAIN TITLES
Over a grimy concrete wall creeping by. We emerge from...
EXT. RUNOFF TUNNEL - EARLY MORNING
A gaping hole in the concrete side of a freeway. On the
embankment beside the hole BRENDAN FRYE squats, shoulders
hunched. His dark eyes behind thin glasses watch the
shallow stream of water which flows into the tunnel.
not more than six inches deep. Just beneath the surface a
young woman's pale blue arm in gaudy bracelets bats against
the edge of her body like a docked boat. A pebble plinks
into the water beside it.1
TITLE CARD OVER BLACK: "2 DAYS PREVIOUS"
INT. LOCKER CAGE - DAY
A single locker. That same arm, bracelets and all, slips a
note through the slats, then leaves quickly.
As the cage empties a lone figure slumps to the locker.
Opens it. The note falls to his feet.
The figure is Brendan. He unfolds the note (folded in a
triangle) -- "12:30 PICO & ALEXANDER".
A STREET SIGN
Pico and Alexander.2
A WRIST WATCH
12:43. Brendan looks up from the watch.
EXT. STREET CORNER - DAY
He sits on the curb of a wide suburban street, eats lunch
from a brown bag and watches a phone booth on the corner. He
shows no surprise when it begins to ring. Brendan goes to
the phone and puts the receiver to his ear. Silence for a
moment, then a thin female voice from the phone.
Originally Dode was later revealed to have been hiding above the tunnel.
The street names were changed in production to match existing streets (we couldn't
afford to create custom street signs.)
Yeah. How's things?
Her voice thins to a high, strained breath. She is crying.
What's going on, Em?
(through strained crying)
It's good to see you, Brendan.
Brendan's eyes glance around the surrounding street. Emily
is crying again.
EMILY (CONT'D) (cont'd)
It's been some time.
Yeah. I didn't even know your locker. I
had to ask Brain.
More crying noises.
Em, why don't we meet somewhere?
I screwed up real bad. I really screwed
Screwed up how?
(blubbering, fast and
I did what she said with the brick, I
didn't know it was bad, but the pin's on
it now for poor Frisco and they're
playing it all on me-
Slow down now, what?
You gotta help me Brendan I think tug-
With a sharp breath the line clicks dead just as a black
mustang roars by. Brendan drops the receiver and spins out
of the booth.
There, another pay phone up the hill -- empty.
Brendan turns to the black mustang, far down the street. A
man's hand drops a cigarette butt from the driver side
The mustang turns the corner, gone.
Brendan walks after it, finds the cigarette butt on the
street. Still smoking.
A pale blue arrow is printed on the filter.
In the distance the class bell rings.
EXT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY
The high school is open air - the hallways are alleyways
between buildings. A short kid with eyeglasses the size of
Because of the orientation of the street, this was all flipped when we shot it, and the
hand came from the passenger window. The dialogue in the ending field scene was
changed to match, causing mass confusion for about half an hour on set.
Volkswagen headlights sits against the wall. Brendan enters,
leans on the wall beside him.
Hey Brendan. It's been awhile. Where you
Back of school.
Huh. Yeah, no one's seen you. What's it
been, a couple months?
Yeah, it's been awhile. You gave Emily
my locker number?
A few days ago. Was I wrong?
To give it?
It's been so long, I don't know you
It has been awhile. Who's she been
I dunno. It's hard to keep track.
The Brain avoids Brendan's gaze.
She hasn't been doing too good.
Yeah well. I'm not looking for a patch
up. Em's life is her own. But she
asked for my help.
Help with what?
I don't know. I don't even care, it's
not my business. I just want to know
she's ok, so I've got to find her.
That's all this is.
Well. I know she was poking in with the
Ivy-bound cheerleading elite. Laura
Across the parking lot a beautiful girl with dark long hair
kisses an football player.
Laura Dannon there with the Rabbit?
Yeah. Brad Bramish with her. Cream on
the upper crust.
Brad laughs heartily.
He's a sap.
I won't argue then. Anyway Em tagged
after them for a bit, but it didn't
work. So she picked her way down the
food chain. Last I seen she was with
whasshername, that drama vamp. Small
time dealer, augh, the evil one, the one
That's my bus.
You know her locker number?
Thanks Brain. Keep your specs on, find
me if she shows.
The Brain trots off. In the distance Brad and Laura laugh,
and he kisses her. Her hair blows in the wind.
EXT. LOCKER CAGE - DAY
Empty. Locker 239 is open, its door swinging gently in the
EXT. BACK OF GYM - DAY
Brendan sits against the massive building, flipping through
loose papers. He finds two photographs, one of Emily hugging
him, the other of Emily with a beautiful sharp-eyed girl at
a party, drinks in hand.
Sorting more papers, he finds a red card with a sequined
mask on the front. The bottom edge has been torn off.
EXT. PARKING LOT - DAY
Sixth period has broke. Masses of students pile into busses.
EXT. SCHOOL THEATER - DAY
A huge chunk of brown building. Brendan strides towards it.
INT. SCHOOL THEATER - CONTINUOUS
Drama people sit on the floor facing the stage. Brendan
steps behind one, the sharp-eyed girl from the picture. She
holds a freshman boy's head in her lap. Pets it like a dog.
She looks back at Brendan, her face in shadow.
(through a mocking smile)
Come to see the show?
Kisses the freshman's forehead, purring.
No, I didn't.
(nudges the freshman with his
The freshman sits up, looks to Kara like a spooked puppy.
(to the lapdog)
Don't be mean.
I'm all friendly.
(to the lapdog)
Watch your head, kid - that thing bites.
The dog pops up again. Kara pulls him down and nuzzles his
BRENDAN (CONT'D) (cont'd)
I need words.
About Emily Kostich.
She stops nuzzling a little too quickly.
(to the dog)
Get me my purse.
He breaks into a trot. Kara smiles at Brendan.
Still picking your teeth with freshmen?
You were a freshman once.
She slides her fingers up his arm. He growls and pushes them
Way once, sister. You and Em were tight
for a bit. Who's she eating with now?
Eating with. Lunch. Who.
You're a cutie.
You gonna tell me?
Guess you're up from the underneath
then. The whole Jerr thing blown over.
Lucky strikes, you and your partner get
bulled, you come up clean. But I guess
you were always the brains of the
One of many instances of an allusion to the Jerr backstory, most of which were
trimmed back in the editing process for clarity. The author has threatened to write it as
a stand alone short story, but probably never will, so in a nutshell: when Brendan and
Emily were still an item she started hanging out with Jerr, a small time dealer. Brendan
didn't approve, so he partnered up with Jerr then ratted him out to Trueman. Emily
found out, and that led to their breakup on the field, which we see in a flashback.
Sometimes I wonder why I dumped you.
(standing to go)
I don't know where she's at, Brendan.
I know you do, so why don't you want me
to find her?
Maybe I'm looking out for you.
Well I appreciate that.
Brendan... you looking to get back into
things? I could use you.
He is gone. Behind Kara, the play goes on.
INT. BACKSTAGE OF THEATER - CONTINUOUS
The play is seen in shadow-play through the backdrop.
Brendan slips in through an exit door, crosses the backstage
area and enters the dressing rooms.
INT. DRESSING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
Cramped and empty. Pictures of Kara with friends are stuck
in the mirror. Brendan roughly searches drawers, bags,
pockets... nothing. He stops. A red edge behind one of the
photos - the same red card with a mask on it, but whole.
Across the bottom in small print: "Halloween in January -
Call for DETAILS - 555-2394"
INT. BRENDAN'S ROOM - NIGHT
Brendan pulls a phone across his desk and dials the number
on the flyer.
Hello, ma'am, this is Tom, I'm a friend
from school. Could I speak to...
He trails off.
Oh, hi Tom. Laura's here, hold on.
I'm calling for details.
Details about the party.
Who is this?
I don't think we've met.
Well then I don't think you're invited
to my party. It's a rather exclusive
I can imagine.
(she starts to speak, he cuts
You should really work on your invite
management. That might be a personal
'room for improvement' area in your
life. But discretion of your invite
sending aside, I have procured a certain
someone's invitation, and would like
A beat of silence.
You think you're cute, whoever you are.
Wait'll you get a load of my felt fedora
Who are you? Or I'll hang up.
You don't know me - I'll save you some
I know everyone and I've got all the
time in the world.
Folly of youth. Ask whose invitation
What you said.
15 Bush street, up in Stockton Cove.
Buzz 42 at the gate. Nine o'clock. But
Brendan hangs up. He folds his hands under his chin and
stares at the phone, perfectly still. The clock on his desk
Brendan at his desk, tapping away at Tetris.
The desk is empty, Tetris paused. A shower runs behind an
ajar door in the background.
EXT. STOCKTON COVE GATE - NIGHT
An imposing private community gate. Brendan coasts up on his
bike and ditches it in the bushes. He checks the call box
directory: "42 -- DANNON"
Using the call box as a hand hold he hops the gate and walks
briskly up the street.
EXT. STOCKTON COVE STREET - NIGHT
Shiny cars line the curb. Party noises come from an upscale
two story house. Brendan takes a short breath, then strides
up to the front door.
INT. LIVING ROOM
Large and clean, with a two story ceiling and a railed
staircase at one end. Fifteen or twenty clean people, some
in costumes, mill about in cliques. Brendan comes in as if
he doesn't mind who sees him coming in. He gets a couple odd
stares, but no one stops him.
With non obtrusive confidence he cuts through the crowd to
the beer keg in back and draws half a cup.
INT. PARLOUR - SAME
Richly adorned, crowded, lit with bright pools of light.
Brendan drifts in and stands in the back, deep in shadow.
The music comes from a baby grand piano set against one
wall. Laura Dannon leans against it. She wears a red
kimono, and is striking against the velvet black piano.
Laura's kid sister, 11 years old with glasses, sits at the
piano playing "All I do is Dream of You".
Laura sings, lovely and soft but with strength.1
Brendan watches from the back, his face obscured in shadow,
but his eyes gleam. Through the darkened window behind him
a match flares up, and someone standing outside lights a
Laura finishes the song. The room applauds, and she ruffles
her kid sister's hair.
Brendan ducks out, and into
By the time we got around to production this had changed to "Someone to Watch Over
Me," but the publishing rights proved too expensive (i.e. not free.) We chose the Gilbert
& Sullivan song, which besides being lovely was also in the public domain (i.e. free.)
INT. LIVING ROOM - SAME
Brad Bramish, the jock who was kissing Laura in the parking
lot, sits slouched on the couch in a dense crowd. He holds a
cup and speaks much too loudly to a guy named Biff at his
If the coach wants to play me I'll play,
but I can't put my best game in if I've
got to worry about whether I'm going to
be in there. Halftime last game, coach
is pissed I ran it on a pass play, out
on the field he says to me 'you gotta
think about the team and you gotta' you
know and 'if you run that ball again
you're out', and I said to him you gotta
let me play! I'm out there, let me play,
and he's saying 'no you're out' and I
kept saying 'Let me play! Let me play!
Let me play!', just right in his face-
Just 'Let me play! Let me play! Let me
play!' 'No you gotta' 'No, let me play!
Let me play! Let me play!'
Brad hunches forward, his face swollen purple, yelling that
over and over. Tom steps in front of Brendan, blocking his
line of sight.
Brendan scans the rest of the room. His eyes catch on Laura,
leaning against a divan. Her bright, sharp eyes cut through
the room, straight into Brendan.
He wags his eyebrows at her.
She looks away quickly. Brendan turns back to Brad, still
shouting 'let me play'. Tom stands between them.
Brad falls silent. Most of the room follows suit. Tom turns
around. Brendan smiles good naturedly.
Could you step aside, please? I'm
trying to follow Brad's story, and it's
difficult when I can't see his face.
The room watches Brendan. Tom mumbles something and steps
aside. Brad stares at Brendan stupidly. Brendan flashes a
dopey grin and tips his glass.
He doesn't give me a play to make, what
can I do, you know?
He falls into awkward silence. Biff starts babbling.
Brendan looks at Brad, who is staring back at him.
Brendan then slowly drags his gaze over to Laura, staring at
him too, her eyes slightly amused. Brendan cocks an eyebrow.
The slightest hint of a smile takes the corner of her mouth,
and she wags her eyebrows once at him.
Brendan glances back at Brad, looking at Laura now, not
amused at all.
Brendan stands to go. Biff chatters on. Brad cuts him off.
Hey. Hey! What are you doing here?
Uh huh. Unless your anecdote's got a 2nd
Why don't you leave?
That's what I was doing.
INT. DARK ROOM
With a lit wet bar at one end. Brendan goes to the bar, puts
ice in a glass and cracks it with liquor.
Brendan pauses, glass touching his lips.
He downs half of it.
I like a man who knows what he's
That's a pretty sick thing to be
Brad's not a good guy to get on the
wrong side of.
They stare at each other in silence. She studies his face.
The broken light of the bar makes her features seem liquid.
Fearless flyer. Quit your yappin and fix
and slips out a sliding glass door.
He fills another glass with whiskey and cuts his with water.
EXT. BACK PATIO - NIGHT
Brendan joins Laura, hands her a drink. Suburban lights fill
the valley below. Laura sips her drink.
I'll never get through all this.
She sips more.
I knew your old partner Jerr since grade
school. Tough break. How long were you
two joined up before your operation got
A few months. Could have helped himself
out by turning me in, but he took the
heat. He was a good guy. Solid.
You knew him.
Yeah I did. So why are you here tonight?
I'm looking for Emily.
She wasn't invited.
She had an invitation.
Well like you said, I've got to work on
that. Em's been AWOL for a good month,
nobody's seen her.
I saw her yesterday.
Nearly nobody's seen her. So what did
she tell you?
Score 0 for finesse.
Listen, you're scratching at the wrong
door. I wasn't with Emily enough to know
details of what she was in, I just got
wind of the downfall, and I didn't get
any details of that, except that it was
bad. So now that we're showing some
If you haven't got a finger in Em's
troubles, why'd her name get me into
your rather exclusive party?
Keep up with me now. I don't know, but
it sounded like you did, and a body's
got a right to be curious. Now I'm not
Well I'll put that body to bed. I don't
know a damn thing about whatever
troubles, and that works for me. I just
want to find her.
A long beat. Laura studies Brendan's face, then seems to
come to a decision.
Coffee and pie.
The words hang in the air a moment. A look of recognition
Coffee and pie oh my?
And you didn't hear it from me.
He sips his drink. A voice calls from the glass door.
Another girl. Laura flashes Brendan a look and goes to her.
They have quick, quiet words and the girl leaves. Laura
turns back to Brendan.
LAURA (CONT'D) (cont'd)
Will you wait here for me?
You'll stay right here and wait -- I'll
be five minutes.
The moment she leaves Brendan runs across the lawn and hops
the fence, into the neighbor's yard.
EXT. SIDE OF HOUSE
Brendan runs to the edge of the neighboring house and peeks
around. Laura comes out the front door, cuts across the
lawn and sidewalk and trots out into the street. Brendan
begins to follow, but a noise from behind the fence stops
him - a match being struck.
Brendan creeps towards the fence and peers through a
BRENDAN'S POV - THROUGH THE FENCE
A brightly lit window in the side of Brad's house, and
through the window the party.
A dark figure wearing a long coat and broad rimmed hat, all
inky black. The figure smokes a cigarette and watches the
party, absently stroking his cheek.
Brendan steps back - SNAP! A twig.
The figure freezes. Then, making no noise at all, it spins
to face Brendan, a towering black form against the window.
The glowing cigarette falls to the grass.
A metallic glint, and a clicking sound not unlike a gun.
Brendan throws himself backwards onto the grass. A beat.
Through the hole the black of the figure's cloak whips away.
Brendan hesitates, then hops the fence.
EXT. SIDE OF BRAD'S HOUSE - SAME
Brendan lands on his feet. No black figure to be found.
The cigarette still smolders on the ground. Hand rolled,
Brendan gazes through the window, catching his breath. Then
he breaks the trance and creeps towards the street.
EXT. FRONT LAWN - NIGHT
Peeking around the house, Brendan sees Laura cut across the
lawn and trot into the street. Using parked cars as cover,
Between cars, Brendan sees a lanky kid in baggy jeans and
engineer boots with a clean shaven head leaning against a
black Mustang. Laura goes to him and speaks quickly.
The dark figure in the hat emerges from the shadows. Laura
says something to him. Grunting something angrily, he gets
in the car with the bald kid and peels off.
Laura turns and slowly walks towards the house.
When she is gone Brendan stands, throws a look back at the
house and walks off down the street, towards the guard gate.
EXT. BACK PATIO
The two drinks, where Brendan left them. Laura takes hers
and drains it. The suburban lights twinkle like stars.
EXT. CARROWS PARKING LOT - DAY
The sun rises over Carrows family restaurant, a squat
structure backed against the weedy edge of the runoff tunnel
A banner from 1973 in the window - "Coffee and Pie oh my!"
A pack of six pale stoners slump against the rear dumpster.
Their beady eyes follow Brendan in sync as he approaches.
He goes to the nearest one.
Silence and blank stares. Brendan calmly moves to the next
Brendan moves to the next one.
A thin head pokes from around the dumpster.
Hey Brendan. Maybe you shouldn't be
Brendan steps around the dumpster. Dode slumps against the
wall, thin and delicate in dusty black. Slivery eyes, pale
lips, muffled intelligence.
Kara told me you know where Em's at.
Uh huh. And why are you looking for Em?
She asked for my help.
Uh huh. Listen man, I've got plenty on
my plate without dealing with some
It's not about that.
Whatever it's about, act smarter than
you look and drop it.
Where is she?
She's with me, and right now that's the
best place for her. Leave the low life
to the low lifers and dangle.
You're on the bright side of dim, Dode,
but if I thought you had this half-
handled I'd be eating lunch. Where's
Better get while it's good.
Heel it now, dig?
The 5 big stoners appear behind Brendan, threatening. Dode
turns his head away to light a joint.
Brendan's fist slams into his face, sending the joint
spinning. Brendan slams Dode's frail frame against the
The 5 stoners stand in the exact same position, deer in the
headlights. One makes a half hearted motion to intervene.
Throw one at me if you want, hash head.
I've got all five senses and I slept
last night, that puts me six up on the
lot of you.
Brendan slams Dode into the wall.
She's with me. She was tight when she
called you, man. Came to and freaked.
She told me to shake you if you came by.
Said you'd only make things worse.
Brendan covers how shaken he is by this statement fairly
well. He drops Dode.
STONER 1 (O.S.)
Put him down, man!
Deal with whatever this ain't about and
Nothing more here, bra.
Tell Emily I want to see her. Tell her
if she still wants my help or not that's
her business, but I want to hear it
straight from her.
She don't -
Brendan walks away.
Today. She knows where I eat lunch.
When Brendan is a safe distance away the biggest stoner
shouts with conviction
And stay out, punk!
EXT. SIDEWALK - CONTINUOUS
Brendan hides behind a tall clump of bushes.
A moment later Dode hustles away from Carrows. Brendan
EXT. STREET - EARLY MORNING
The sun is rising as Brendan tails Dode through the twisty
Brendan takes cover as Dode stops by a white hatchback.
A girl gets out of the car and embraces Dode. Her wrist is
adorned with the same cheap plastic bracelets as the dead
girl's arm. Dode speaks quickly to her, she nods and speaks
back. He hands her a slip of paper, which she tucks into a
brightly colored address book and slips in her jacket
pocket. They embrace again, Dode walks off and the girl gets
in her car.
Brendan stumbles after the car, but it is quickly gone. He
watches it go, then follows Dode back towards school.
EXT. SCHOOL THEATER - MORNING
Dode slumps into the front door of the brown building.
Brendan watches him from a distance, eyes thoughtful. After
a beat he turns and walks off into the thickening crowds of
EXT. BACK OF SCHOOL - MIDDAY
Brendan eats lunch alone on a concrete wall beside a long,
empty utility road behind the school.
Reclining on the wall, reading "Lord of the Flies". He
raises his eyes, and sits up suddenly.
Off in the distance on the utility road a tiny figure
approaches, stumbling. Brendan jumps and hits the ground
running towards the figure.
Meet the girl with cheap bracelets, the girl Dode spoke to,
the dead girl, Emily. He catches her just as she stumbles
and falls and carries her into the shade of a covered
EXT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS
Emily and Brendan sit in silence. She is very pretty, but
she looks bad. Too much makeup, not enough sleep. She
sniffles, speaks to her shoes.
I must have sounded pretty crazy on the
She taps her shoes together lightly, eyes fixed on them.
It was dumb, I got paranoid over a
really stupid thing. I was high, I went
crazy for a little bit, but now you have
to forget about it. Please. That's how
you can help me now, forget about it.
She turns her weak eyes to Brendan for the first time. His
stare is unwavering, searching. She pushes on.
Brendan, I know you're mad at all these
people, cause you think I went away from
you and went to them. But you've got to
start seeing it as my decision, stop
being angry because where I want to be
at's different from where you wanna be
Who fed you that line, Em?
She looks back at her shoes.
And stop picking on Dode. He's a good
The Carrows rat?
He's a good friend.
So what am I?
Yeah, what are you? Eating back here,
not liking anybody, how are you judging
anyone? I loved you alot but I couldn't
stand it, I had to get with people. I
couldn't heckle life with you, I had to
see what was what.
A beat. She taps her clogs. One has a hole worn through the
sole. Her face contorts, seizes up, and she is sobbing.
I'm sorry Brendan.
She buries her face in his shoulder. He has a hard time
You've got to come back to me, Em.
No. No. Never. I'm sorry. Never. I can't
love on your terms, Brendan. I can't do
that, I'm not like you.
You're in a spot, I can get you out of
it. Come back to me, and whatever heat
follows you I'll deal with.
No. You're not hearing me, no. I don't
want to be put away and protected. No.
Tell me about the trouble, the brick and
the pin -
You gonna fix things like you did with
Jerr? No. I came to say goodbye, for
good. Whatever you have to do to let me
go, do it. I'm gonna let you go, I've
decided that. Make sure that, you've got
to, promise you won't torture yourself,
that you'll let me go.
She embraces him, enveloping him in her jacket. His face is
a frozen mask.
Let me go.
As she pulls away he mechanically slips an address book from
her jacket pocket.
He watches her as she walks away.
Brendan sits in the back, flipping through the address book.
The teacher drones on about the significance of the pig's
head in "Lord of the Flies".1
THE ADDRESS BOOK
Illegible scribbles, names, numbers, nothing that stops his
search - then the note Dode gave her, a corner of loose-leaf
paper which looks like this:
Brendan studies the paper intently.
EXT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY
The Brain studies the paper. Busses pull into the parking
lot behind them. Brendan is distant, lost in thought.
Hm. Do you know anything else about
Our one and only scene in a classroom was moved to Brendan's lunch spot to save us
a location change. The degree to which the lack of classroom time in the film has been
commented on has always bemused the author, who cannot for the life of him
remember a single interesting thing that happened in a classroom in high school.
(shakes his head)
Slim pickings. Why'd you let Dode fly
when he came back to whose-her-name, at
Kara. It's their turf, I couldn't hear
them without being seen, and that would
only biff their play. Best to know it's
there, let it ride and see what comes of
(touches the paper)
Hm. Well, if this is what I think it is,
it didn't come straight from Dode, less
he's playing out of his league.
I can only give you my best guess.
When the upper crust does shady deeds
they do them in different spots around
town. I know under the pier's one, down
by the bike trails in the state park's
another. There's alot of them. The pitch
is they've got little symbols for each
one, and that's how they tell each other
the place, so word won't get around. So
this might be that.
But Dode wouldn't know it?
This is upper crust. Dode's pie pan
Brendan studies the symbol.
Call anything up?
How many places start with 'A'? Or if
it's a shape, or just a random symbol.
Anyway, even if you figured it out, what
good could you do? She's smart, she
knows the play, she's gunning to square
You said her business was none of yours,
so she's alright, forget it now. Go
INT. BRENDAN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Sparsely furnished. Brendan plays Tetris on his computer,
staring off into space. His mom's voice calls "Good night"
and the hallway light turns off.
10:30 by the clock radio on Brendan's nightstand. The slip
of paper rests beside it. Brendan lies in bed, staring at
the symbol on the paper. His eyes tense.
Growing larger, burning with a searing intensity, then
folding into darkness. Water rushes overhead, over concrete,
concrete with a hole in it -- the runoff tunnel, just for an
instant, then back underwater, screaming. Brendan choking,
screaming, plunging upwards. A woman with no face falls from
the darkness and kisses him, her long hair sweeping around
him then pulling away. As the last strands slide off his
face he wakes up with a start.
The clock says 3:46. Brendan drips with sweat, breathing
raggedly. He takes the paper and a pencil from the
nightstand and shades the symbol to look like this:
FLASH CUT - The runoff tunnel, lining up perfectly with the
now shaded symbol.
BACK TO BRENDAN
His eyes turn uneasy as he removes his glasses and clicks
off the light.
EXT. BRENDAN'S HOUSE - DAWN
Brendan walks off into the hazy pre-dawn light.
EXT. EDGE OF RAVINE
Brendan stops at a high wall of weeds, listening to the low
gurgle of moving water. Slowly, robotically he pushes
Face down, bobbing gently in shallow water. Bluish white.
Red foam clings to her.
EXT. RUNOFF TUNNEL
Silently, as if lowered by a string Brendan sinks down,
squatting in the mud. His lungs empty in one choppy breath.
He pulls his glasses off sluggishly.
A contorted, frozen mask, eyes wet.
Stringy, flowing gently in the water.
Dazed, drifting... then suddenly snapping to attention.
A noise. From the tunnel.
Brendan freezes. The inky blackness of the tunnel mouth
opens like a vacuum... silent, but then -
The scrape of a shoe against concrete, then echoing
footsteps running away.
Brendan springs like a cat, sprinting into the tunnel.
Nearly pitch black. 2 sets of running footfalls. Brendan is
chasing, running full speed into the blackness, heart
pounding - we almost don't notice that Brendan's are now the
Brendan notices. He stops. Silence in the darkness, except
for Brendan's breath... and someone near...
SLAM! Brendan takes a fist in the cheek and goes down. An
inky black figure steps from the shadows and kicks him in
the stomach. Brendan curls on the ground, the figure over
Your little Em.
The figure runs off. Brendan raises his head painfully - the
figure is silhouetted briefly against the distant bright end
of the tunnel, then is gone.
EXT. RUNOFF TUNNEL - EARLY MORNING
Emily's body is still there. Brendan crawls out of the
tunnel and collapses in the shallow water, beside the body.
He rests his head on his arm, eyes on Em's hair.
EXT. CAMPUS - EARLY MORNING
Cold and barren, nearly empty. Brendan limps across the
EXT. PHONE BOOTHS
A line of phone booths on campus. Brendan nearly collapses
against one. He dials, still in a stupor.
VOICE ON PHONE
Saint Clement police.
Brendan stares into space, eyes burning
VOICE ON PHONE (cont'd)
Saint Clement police, hello? Hello?
Brendan hangs up.
EXT. LIBRARY - CONTINUOUS
Early morning mist below a squat brick building.
Warmly lit, sheltering the few souls scattered here and
there at tables. The Brain sits at one of them reading an
impossibly large book. He watches curiously as Brendan
Brendan falls into a chair. The Brain looks him over.
THE BRAIN (cont'd)
You're up early.
I couldn't sleep.
(nods, back to his book)
Brendan breathes out softly.
THE BRAIN (cont'd)
Yeah. What, are you here for zero?
Nah, I gotta take the early bus, cause
the others don't run by my street.
Eh. Time to read's nice. So what's the
word with Em?
Can't raise her?
No, I can't.
So what now?
Now. I don't know. I guess it's... I
Brendan takes a long moment. He stares down at his glasses,
wet with condensation.
Brain, I can't let her go. I was set to
but I can't. I don't think I can.
You think you can help her?
You think you can get the straight,
maybe break some deserving teeth?
Yeah. I think I could.
Brendan rubs his forehead.
Kara tried to rope me. She came right
out and asked. She was scared. Tell me
to walk from this, Brain. Tell me to
Walk from it. Drop it.
You're thick as what-all, Brendan.
Yes I am.
Brendan cleans his glasses. He looks Brain in the eye, and
his mannerisms come back into focus.
I'd need you to Op. Like on Jerr, but
that was cake to this. And unlike Jerr,
there's not much chance we'll come out
clean. Twenty four seven on this one.
You okay to op for me again?
The Brain barely smiles.
What first, tip the bulls?
Brendan puts on his glasses, stands to go.
No, bulls would gum it. They'd flash
their dusty standards at the wide-eyes
and probably find some yegg to pin,
probably even the right one. But they'd
trample the real tracks and scare the
real players back into their holes, and
if we're doing this I want the whole
story. No cops, not for a bit.
So what first?
I don't know. Your mom still have the
In her car.
Borrow it for a few days, get me the
(stands to go)
Wait for my word, and cover for me first
period. I'm going to be a little late.
EXT. BASKETBALL FIELD - DAY
A vast field of asphalt segmented by a dozen basketball
courts outlined in cracked paint.1 Brendan trudges across
it, his steps heavy. He stops and stands very still, staring
at the ground for a beat then raising his eyes to
Flat, gray, pin straight. Brendan's voice starts speaking
rapidly, confident and clear.
This describes the location at my school that the "showdown" scenes were originally
written for. Between when I wrote the script and when we shot it, however, the school
expanded and built portable classrooms on the basketball field, and so we reluctantly
moved these scenes to the football field.
Yeah it was personal. Jerr spooked some
decent gees and ran around some what was
straight with him, but I'm nobody's bull
runner. This wasn't a business sit. But
yeah. I bulled him. Got in tight,
partnered up and sent him over.
PAN AROUND to reveal BRENDAN. He looks different, edgier,
more alive, wearing different clothes and a thin goatee1. He
keeps talking directly at us.
I'd bull the lot of them, Em, I'd burn
down the whole party if they tried to
play you again. Jerr and whoever's next.
I want to keep you safe.
An ARM swings into frame, wearing cheap plastic bracelets
and pale blue fingernail polish. It slaps Brendan hard in
the face. He catches it. Emily wrenches her arm away and
stumbles backwards onto the pavement.
Brendan grabs her sleeve. She twists away. He grabs her
shoulder, grabs her waist, she resists, and suddenly they
are struggling with violent pent up intensity until with a
shout she breaks away and falls to the ground.
A beat. Gulls cry in the distance.
You can't keep me safe, Brendan. I'm in
a bigger world now, and you can't hide
me from it, and you can't beat it. Not
if I don't want you to.
Brendan's face looks lumpish, while Emily's is strong. She
stands and walks off into the distance across the barren
Watching her go. It is back to present day, pale, clean
shaven, sullen. His eyes are cold with resolve.
EXT. RUNOFF TUNNEL - EARLY MORNING
Brendan sloshes down into the water. Without delicacy he
lifts Emily's body and pulls her back into the tunnel.
INT. RUNOFF TUNNEL
Which Joe would not even consider, thank god.
Pitch back. Brendan lays the body down. Two beady eyes peer
at him from the darkness - he freezes. The eyes hop forward
- a gull. The two watch each other for a moment, then the
gull squawks and flutters out the bright mouth of the
tunnel. Brendan follows it without looking back at the
EXT. CROWDED HALLWAY - DAY
Brendan and the Brain lean against a wall. The Brain slips
him a piece of paper.
There's the cell number.
Keep it on vibrate.
(pats his jacket pocket)
Better stop meeting me in the open too.
I'm going to start getting visible, and
I need you on the underneath. I'll call.
Trueman asked for you. Wants words in
I bet. Keep him off me - stonewall him,
he won't bite, just keep him away from
I'll try. So what's first?
Make Em's troubles mine. I'm going to
throw a few words at you, tell me if
they catch. Brick.
A very early draft held on the tunnel after Brendan left, and revealed a dark figure
(Dode) creeping away from the top of the tunnel, causing the pebble described on page
1 to plink into the water.
Or bad brick.
Tug... that might be a drink.
Vodka and milk or something, or maybe
Frisco. Frisco Farr1 was a sophomore
last year, I think. Real trash, maybe
hit a class a week. Didn't know him
then, and haven't seen him around.
Pin... the Pin?
The Pin, yeah.
The Pin's kind of a local spook story.
You know the Kingpin?
I've heard it.
Same thing. Supposed to be old, like 26,
lives in town.
All apologies to Frisco Farr, who the author did actually go to school with, and who
was neither a druggie nor `real trash', but was a great guy who simply had a very cool
sounding name. He is now (the author was horrified to learn) practicing law.
Jake1 runner, right?
Big time... maybe. Ask any dope rat
where their junk sprang they'll say they
scraped it from that who scored it from
this who bought it off so, and after
four or five connections the list'll
always end with the Pin. But I'll becha
you got every rat in town together and
said 'show your hands' if any of them've
actually seen the Pin, you'd get a crowd
of full pockets.
You think the Pin's just a tale to take
But what's first?
A show of hands.
INT. BACKSTAGE OF THEATER
Brendan strides past forest scenery and drama geeks, through
another door and into sunlight.
EXT. BACK OF THEATER - DAY
Kara smokes a cigarette. Brendan leans beside her.
Hey Brendan. Here for the show?
Would you go then, honey, cause I've got
Try smoking like a chimney, I've heard
In an admittedly paltry concession to clarity, this was changed to `Dope runner' in post
Brendan grabs the pack of cigarettes.
Isn't this Dode's brand?
Kara snaps her head towards him, a flash of anger. She
catches herself and smiles cooly.
You don't know Dode's brand.
Oh I do now.
Angry again, Kara snatches the pack from him.
I'm going to start shaking things up.
Give me the story and you might miss the
The story about what?
He turns and walks away.
The story about what?
I don't want to play games if you've got
a headache. Get me if you want to spill
it, but I can't guarantee safe passage
I don't know what-
At the stage door, not slowing.
Tell the Pin that Brad was my calling
card, and I need words.
Through the door and into the theater.
INT. BACKSTAGE OF THEATER - CONTINUOUS
He spins to see Kara's face just before the door closes.
EXT. CROWDED SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY
The Brain walks out of a classroom and Brendan swings behind
(fast and low)
Tail Kara through lunch. She's got
rehearsal but she'll blow early. She
goes home, drop her, else wait for my
The Brain turns and Brendan's gone.
EXT. PARKING LOT - LUNCH
Brendan wanders through the thick lunchtime crowd towards a
cluster of 3 or 4 flashy luxury cars set aside at the far
end of the lot.
Brad Bramish sits slouched in the front seat of his
convertible, front door open. A small crowd hangs about
Brad, his crony Biff at his elbow.
That's all I'm saying, is put me in the
game and I'll do what needs to be done,
but they don't put me in, what needs
doing don't get done and don't come
crying to me, man. Get off my grill man,
you didn't put me in, don't come to me
if you didn't let me play.
Brendan scans the rest of the cars. His eyes catch on Laura
Dannon sitting in another convertible, off to the side. Her
bright eyes cut through the crowd, straight into Brendan.
He wags his eyebrows at her. She looks away. Brendan walks
into Brad's direct line of view and obviously leans against
one of the cars.
Hey! What are you doing here?
Alright, you got me. I'm a scout for the
Of all things, yeah. Been watching your
game for a month, but that story just
now clenched it. You've got heart, kid.
How soon can you move to Minneapolis?
A few snickers around the crowd, but nowhere near Brad.
(flat with anger)
Cold winters, but they've got a great
public transit system.
There's a thesaurus in the library.
'Yeah's under 'Y'. Go ahead, I'll wait.
Who invited you?
To the parking lot? Well gee I kind of
I think you'd better leave then.
No, I'm having too good a time.
Just the same.
Brendan smiles slightly, and very deliberately crosses his
legs. Brad's face tenses.
Maybe you want to go someplace more
Brad says 'who else?' by lifting his arms.
(as if he's been asked to the
Brendan stands and walks off. Brad follows and the rest of
the crowd trails after him.
He leads them behind a parked VW van and turns to face Brad.
People gather around in a wide circle.
Brendan pulls his jacket off as Brad hangs back, mumbling.
You know what's good for you you'll just
beat it. Beating a small frye won't win
me anything and it's not going to do you
Laura pulls up in her convertible, behind Brad, watching.
In the next moment Brendan cuts Brad off by putting his fist
in his face.
Brad grunts but doesn't lose ground. Brendan throws his
short stocky frame into Brad's larger one and tenderizes his
midsection with jabs.
Brad tags Brendan in the ribs, then smacks the palm of his
hand into Brendan's face, shoving him back onto the
He comes at Brendan with his big fists clenched.
Brendan kicks Brad full force in the shins.
Brad tumbles, and Brendan comes up fast, connecting hard
with the point of Brad's chin. Brad gets his balance fast,
and before Brendan can throw another he throws one himself,
then another, both into Brendan's stomach. Brendan pulls
back and kicks Brad's shin where he had kicked it before.
Brad roars and hits Brendan very hard in the face.
Brendan bounces back like a rubber ball and throws his
weight into a square punch right into Brad's nose.
The sound of eggs breaking, and Brad falls backwards like a
He stays down, holding his face.
Brendan staggers back, breathing hard, and looks up at the
small crowd. Some stare at Brendan, some at Brad, but nobody
seems about to do anything. Brendan runs his sleeve over his
face and walks unsteadily off, pushing past the last few
people rushing over.
Hey, is there a fight?
He throws a last look at Laura, who meets his gaze and
EXT. SCHOOL PARKING LOT SIDEWALK - CONTINUOUS
Brendan walks away from the lot, towards the school. Laura
pulls up beside him in her car.
Brendan ignores her and b-lines for the school. Laura brakes
hard, parking by the curb.
EXT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS
Brendan limps down the hallway. Laura appears behind him,
trotting to catch up.
You're quite a pill.
Where are you going?
Why did you take a powder the other
Same reason I'm taking one now.
(he keeps walking)
I don't get you. That's a chilly heel to
be giving a girl who's where you want to
I'll get where I'm going just fine.
I want to help you.
Silence behind him. He stops, turns wearily. She looks
BRENDAN (CONT'D) (cont'd)
Look, I can't trust you. You ought to be
smart enough to know that. I didn't
shake the party up to get your
attention, and I'm not heeling you to
hook you. Your connections could help
me, but the bad baggage they bring could
make it zero sum game or even hurt me,
so I'm better off coming at it clean.
I wouldn't have to lead you in by the
I can't trust you. Brad was a sap, you
weren't, you were with him and so you
were playing him, so you're a player.
With you behind me I'd have to tie one
eye up watching both your hands, and I
can't spare it.
You're not Brad.
No, I'm not.
He turns and walks away. She doesn't follow.
EXT. SCHOOL PAYPHONE - AFTERNOON
Brendan slumps against it, receiver to his ear, licking a
bruised lip. He wears dark glasses.
(on the phone)
You didn't call.
Sorry. Kara went home though, didn't
Yeah, but she stopped at a payphone and
made two calls that she didn't want on
her phone bill.
Get the numbers?
S'alright. Are me and Brad front page
All the buzz. You really do that?
Why? Is Brad the Pin?
Brad's a sap. I downed him on his field
and his crew didn't bite. So now I know
he's a sap and anyone who acts like he
isn't is profiting by it. That's not why
I roughed him, though.
Economics. Brad's the school's biggest
jake buyer, so if this Pin is behind all
the selling, I just got his attention.
Anyway, now's just shaking things out.
Look, you know a kid around the burgh,
lanky, short, shaved head, turns a black
I told you before I don't know the car.
Those types are a nickel a pound, but
nobody I know that you don't. And
Keep him off. And keep your specs on - I
need to find that kid.
Brendan hangs up and turns sluggishly.
A lanky kid with a short shaved head and engineer boots
punches him in the face.
Brendan hits the pavement. The lanky kid is over him in a
split second, beating his face and body with short, heavy
Flashes of the lanky kid - a shiny scar shaped like a thin
triangle runs down the side of his face.
After a brief silent thrashing the kid walks off with
several other blurry figures. A car peels out and roars off
Brendan lies still. The class bell rings, very distant. Legs
criss cross before his eyes, each blurring the world a bit
more until it is completely smeared.
Brendan sits with an ice pack against his head in a tiny
office. A man in his early thirties behind a wood colored
desk and name plate, "GARY TRUEMAN, ASSISTANT VICE
PRINCIPAL" plays with a pencil.
You didn't know this boy?
No sir, never seen him.
And he just hit you?
Like I said, he asked for my lunch money
first. Good thing I brown bagged it.
Trueman trains a good natured dubious eye on Brendan.
Alright Brendan. I've been looking to
talk to you.
Brendan doesn't react.
You've helped this office out before.
No. I gave you Jerr to see him eaten,
not to see you fed.
Fine, and well put.
Accelerated English, Mrs. Kasprzyk.
Tough but fair.
Mm. Anyway then, we know you're clean,
and you've, despite your motives, you've
been an asset to us. I think you're a
I want to run a couple names by you.
Brendan stands to go.
We're not done here.
I was done here three months ago. I told
you then I'd give you Jerr and that was
that, I'm not your inside line and I'm
not your boy.
That's not a very helpful-
You know what I'm in if the wrong yeg
saw me pulled in here?
What are you in?
No. And no more of these informal chats
- if you've got a discipline issue with
me write me up or suspend me and I'll
see you at the parent conference.
Hold it, I could - hold it - could write
you up for talking back to a VP. For
looking at me in a threatening way. I'd
exercise a little more tact, Mr. Frye.
You can't pull a play like that unless I
need you for something. So do I?
So maybe you're gonna need me too.
Maybe. Alright, I need you off my back
completely for a few weeks. There might
be some heat soon.
If it's something I can't cover, I won't
go to bat for you.
If I get caught like that it's curtains
anyway - I couldn't have brass cutting
me favors in public. I'm just saying now
so you don't come kicking in my homeroom
door once trouble starts.
Trueman bites a thumbnail.
Okay, here's what I can do. I won't pin
you for anything you aren't caught at.
I'll ride it a little while, as long as
it doesn't get too rough. But if
anything comes up with your fingerprints
on it, I can't help you. Also, if I get
to the end of whatever this is and it
gets hot and you don't deliver, The Veep
will need someone to hand over, police-
wise. And I'll have you. There better be
some meat at the end of this like you
say, or at least a fall guy, or you're
Sure I am. Got one more favor to ask.
EXT. ADMINISTRATION BUILDING - AFTERNOON
Gary Trueman throws Brendan out.
Get the hell off my campus, punk!
Brendan glances around, and limps off.
EXT. CARROWS PARKING LOT - AFTERNOON
No stoners, no Dode. Brendan breathes uneasily.
EXT. PAYPHONE BY CARROWS - AFTERNOON
Brendan leans against it.
No, Dode's MIA all around.
I'm 9 of 10 that Kara's got him, but who
knows where. I shook but she's not
No more job offers? So she's got a play.
And I know enough about Kara to let that
worry me. Alright, keep your specs on
for him. Any other news?
Some. Laura Dannon came to me looking
She did, huh?
Fourth period, nearly shook me upside
down. Can't say I didn't enjoy it, but
why'd she come to me?
She's tapping Kara, and Kara knows you
Yeah, well. She's some piece of work. If
I had known where you were I might have
That's the spirit. Ask around for Dode,
tail Kara again at lunch. I got knives
in my eyes, I'm going home sick. I'll
call you tonight.
EXT. SIDEWALK - LATE AFTERNOON
Bordering a supermarket. Brendan trudges along. Suddenly he
stops. Parked in the supermarket parking lot is a black
EXT. PARKING LOT - LATE AFTERNOON
The sun hangs low. Brendan approaches the car and walks
around it slowly. He peers inside. A tuft of paper pokes out
from under the seat. He pulls the door handle, locked.
Brendan picks up a broken chunk of concrete from the ground,
waddles over to the car and holds the chunk above his head,
ready to drop it through the window.
He stops. His eyes catch something in the distance.
The lanky shaved-head kid, whose name is Tugger. Coming
towards him fast.
Brendan stands there for a moment, then lets the chunk fall
to the ground. He casually leans against the car, removes
his glasses, puts them in a hard case and puts the hard case
in his pocket.
Tugger hits him like a train and throws him across the
pavement. Tug turns back to the car and takes out his keys.
Brendan gets up and comes towards Tug, his face stiff. Tug
turns and pops him once squarely in the mouth. Brendan falls
to his knees.
While Tug unlocks the door Brendan stands up woozily.
Grunting, Tug spins and grabs Brendan's jacket, pushing him
back while he slaps him hard in the face, back and forth,
three times. When Tug lets go Brendan drops like a stone,
catching himself on his hands and knees. The car door slams.
The mustang drives about a hundred yards out into the
parking lot, spins around and stops, facing Brendan. Its
motor purrs deeply. Brendan begins to limp towards it
doggedly, head up, eyes fixed.
A crackling roar and short squeal of tires spit the mustang
forward. It comes straight at Brendan, rumbling like a tank.
Brendan stops walking and stands very still, eyes steady.
The gap between him and the car closes in no time at all.
It speeds past him not six inches to his left, brushing the
edge of his jacket. Brakes squeal behind him. Brendan turns
and lopes towards the mustang, idling about fifty feet away.
He stops at the window. Tugger eyes him curiously, with
I want to see the Pin.
Yeah, I guess you do.
Twisty and narrow. The black mustang flies through them at
impossible speeds, roaring past like a bullet.
Loud engine noise, jostling, grunting. Then a metallic
jangle, some scraping, and a CLINK!
EXT. REAR OF FAST MOVING MUSTANG - LATE AFTERNOON
The trunk pops open, revealing Brendan holding a jack rod.
INT. MOVING MUSTANG - CONTINUOUS
Tug is putting a tape in the deck, eyes down. Behind him
the trunk pops open, then pulls down out of sight just as he
looks back up.
INT. TRUNK OF MOVING MUSTANG
Brendan holds the trunk about three inches open, just enough
to see which street signs pass by. Loud music plays from the
car -- "Sweet Baby James" by James Taylor.1
The car zooms on.
Through the ajar trunk. The mustang slides to a stop beside
an elaborate wooden mailbox carved as an eagle's head.
Brendan closes the trunk.
EXT. FRONT OF HOUSE - LATE AFTERNOON
A small one story house, slightly run down. Tugger opens the
trunk and drags Brendan out, covering his eyes with a palm,
slams the trunk and goes inside.
When they are gone the broken trunk drifts open.
INT. BASEMENT HALLWAY
A very dim narrow hall with a steep stairway at one end,
dark doors down the length of it and a lit door at the other
end. Tugger drags Brendan down the stairway, drops him and
goes into the lit room.
Unfortunately Mr. Taylor flatly refused, which, given the context, was probably wise.
Brendan lifts his head painfully. Surrounding him in the
darkened doorways are dozens of boys, some dressed like
Tugger, others dressed in black.
Tug pokes his head out.
Arms pop out of the darkness and drag Brendan towards the
INT. KINGPIN'S DEN
A small room, amazingly messy. Clothes strewn about, groves
of empty bottles, precarious piles of books. The overall
impression though is not of jumbled chaos, but of a nest,
comfortably woven and very worn in.
A slim figure with wispy hair sits facing the wall at a
small desk, writing under a green bookkeeper's lamp.
Brendan is shoved into the center of the room. Tug and his
clones slump against the surrounding walls. Brendan watches
the thin figure's back. For a beat the only noise is the
scratching of the thin man's pencil. Then he sighs and
Mid to late twenties. Sallow features, tired eyes. His
clothes are so richly black it is difficult to make out
specific items -- he is just one inky black mass from the
neck down and eyebrows up.
You the Pin?
(beat of silence)
So now I'm very very curious what you're
going to say next.
Maybe I'll just sit and bleed at you.
The Pin shifts in his seat, bored.
Helled if you're gonna go breaking my
best clients' noses and expect me to
play sandbag. Anyway you've been
sniffing me out before then, sniffing
for me like a vampire bat for a horse
with a nick on its ear he can suck on.
They do that.
So now you got Tugger to bring you here,
which he never does, and you got me
listening, so I'm curious what you've
got to say that better be really, really
Call Ms. Dannon in from the hall first;
she oughta hear this.
No dice, soldier. Would have been a neat
(shrugs, then slowly)
I was going to make up some bit of
information or set up some phony deal,
anything so you'd let me walk. Then I
was going to go to the vice principal
and spill him the street address of the
biggest dope port in the burgh.
The Pin's eyes shoot to Tugger, who doesn't flinch.
He knows zippo.
1250 Vista Blanca, the ink blotter at
the desk in the den in the basement of
the house with the tacky mailbox.
The world turns on its side as Tugger pushes Brendan's head
down into the carpet.
You gonna do what now?!
The Pin walks towards them. One of his shoes is twice the
size of the other.
No good, soldier.
The cronies around the room begin cackling. Tug's face is a
mask of rage. Brendan can't breath. His face swells.
Alright, let up.
But Tug doesn't let up. Brendan's world grows hazy, the
cackling laughter reverberates, then a clean voice pierces
Tug's face breaks for a moment, and he lets go. Brendan's
head lolls to the side. Laura stands in the dark doorway.
Brendan sees Tug's knuckles and a flash of white for a split
moment as Tug hits him in the face. The Pin's black body
spills out across the frame, leaving us in black.
SMALL DARK ROOM
Brendan wakes up curled on a mattress on the floor. A bare
light bulb hangs from the ceiling. Tugger sits five feet
away, watching him like a hungry dog. Brendan stares back at
him through thick, glazed eyes.
Where are my glasses?
Hell with ya then. Which wall's the door
Tug points, amused. Brendan heaves himself up, and Tug
shoves him back down.
Brendan winks at him, stands and lurches towards the door
Tugger grabs his shirt and slams him into the wall, but
freezes when he hears a door latch click. Sneering, he drops
Brendan back onto the mattress and sits against the opposite
Sounds of a door opening and closing come from the darkness.
Light footsteps clack on the cement floor. Suddenly Tug
vanishes -- the room's darkness just seems to swallow him.
The thin whispery voice of the Pin speaks softly.
Sorry about this kid, but what the hell
with what you said before.
His disembodied face appears a few feet about where Tug had
Where you were at, with all of us and
the Tug a fist away, you've got to use
your nut. Allay the situation, So yeah,
you're not scared of me, I got it, but
I'm also thinking you're a little nuts
now, so you've got that trade off with
your standing. But nuts isn't all bad,
so maybe it was a good play. I don't
He is standing in front of Tug. His black clothes and broad
rimmed black hat blend perfectly with the dark room, such
that his face seems to bob about in space. Brendan stifles a
So, Laura talked me down. Let's get you
upstairs, back with the living.
INT. KITCHEN - DAY
Brendan sits at a breakfast table eating cornflakes. The
kitchen is on the first floor of the Pin's house, or rather
the Pin's mother's house. She is a soft old lady in a pastel
cotton dress, currently bent over the fridge mumbling.
I thought we had orange juice, Brendan,
I'm sorry. How about Tang, or that's
more like soda isn't it, or not soda but
it hasn't got any juice in it, it can't
be very fortifying.
Water's fine, ma'am, thanks.
Now just a moment, we have apple juice
here, if you'd like that, or milk,
though you've got that in your
cornflakes, I don't know if drinking it
as well might be too much.
Apple juice sounds terrific.
It's country style.
She shuts the fridge. Tugger and the Pin sit behind her,
looking comfortably bored. The Pin, a sharp black hole
against the soft yellow kitchen, eats oatmeal cookies with
small delicate bites.
I'll even give it to you in a country
glass, how'd that be? Boys?
I'm fine, Mrs. M.
The Pin kisses her on the cheek.
Okay, well I'm going to go, um, do
something in the other room now...
She shuffles out.
So hows bout we take another snap at
hearing your tale?
I don't know. It starts out same as
before, and this floor ain't carpeted.
We're cooled off.
Yeah well, your muscle seemed plenty
cool putting his fist in my head. I want
The Pin grins thinly, uncomfortable.
The ape blows or I clam.
So clam! What've you got I can't beat
out of you back in the basement?
The Pin and Brendan are perfectly still, watching each
Give us a few minutes, Tug.
Tug turns to him, but Pin keeps his eyes on Brendan.
I'll call you if whatever.
Beat. Tug stomps off, slamming the narrow door hard behind
him. The Pin goes back to gnawing his cookie.
Brendan sets down his spoon.
About a year ago I had a small time
dealing partnership with Jerr Madison.
Till he took the fall for you.
Yeah well. I didn't ask him to, but he
was a straight player. I got out clean -
almost. Nothing on my official record,
but the VPs play it like I owe them one.
When I made it clear I wasn't playing
their hound dog, well they didn't like
it. They keep calling me in, badgering
Gee that's tough.
I don't like being told whose side I'm
on. So now they think I'm on your trail,
I'm in a nice spot to know their
movements and feed them yours.
You haven't got me yet.
Considering the benefits my services
could yield, I don't think that's
And what are your services exactly, just
so I can be specific on the invoice?
Whatever serves your interests.
The Pin stands.
Fair enough. I'll have my boys check
your tale, and seeing how it stretches
we'll either rub or hire you. You'll
know which by end of the day tomorrow.
Brendan stands but doesn't follow as the Pin opens the
narrow door Tugger went through and descends the dark stairs
The moment the Pin vanishes into the basement's murk Laura
comes up out of it. She takes Brendan's hand.
I'll drive you back.
INT. LAURA'S CONVERTIBLE MOVING - SUNSET
They zig zag though the twisty suburban streets. Brendan
stares sullenly into space.
Just drop me at school.
(they take a hard turn)
How long was I out?
Half an hour. It took all of it for me
to cool the Pin down.
(flatly, but sincerely)
They drive on in silence.
EXT. SCHOOL PARKING LOT - DUSK
Laura's convertible stops, and Brendan climbs out painfully.
He studies her face for a moment.
You trust me now?
Less than when I didn't trust you
before. If you can tell me your angle in
this, maybe I can.
Brendan leans on the car, his face close to hers.
LAURA (CONT'D) (cont'd)
I'm on the in, top level of the tower
and I know everyone, but I don't know
all what goes on. I knew Em when she
tried to get with me and Brad, and I
liked her. She was smart. But she wasn't
us, and it didn't work. When she left
she took some souvenirs, dirty habits
she wasn't strong enough to control and
a connection to the Pin to keep them
going. With me?
A few months go by, and the next I hear
the Pin's raging over a situation with
some certain junk Em was partial to, and
the downfall's coming on Em's head.
You think Em scraped the junk off the
Not to weasel in a plug, but the original version of this scene (shot as written) is on the
deleted scenes section of the DVD. Available at fine retailers everywhere.
I don't know, but whether she scraped or
copped or just ran her tab around the
world and into her own back, it must
have been grand. I've never seen the Pin
This all helps but it's not what I
asked. What's your angle in all this?
I don't know. I'm usually pretty sharp,
but... maybe I see what you're doing for
Emily, trying to help her. And I don't
know anyone who would do that for me.
Now you are dangerous.
Throwing the car in gear, she peels out and leaves him
standing alone in the fading evening light.
Brendan pushes through the gloom, past forest scenery,
deeper and deeper until he comes to a door.
INT. WOMAN'S DRESSING ROOM
Hazy and cramped. Everything blends into the color of flesh.
No walls are visible; it is all billowy piles of costumes.
Brendan pushes in. Kara sits at the mirror, putting on
Brendan Brendan Brendan!
Where's Dode flopped?
(she makes a face)
I know you two are cozed up, so you'll
tell me or you won't.
Oooh, getting feisty.
Last time we talked you were giving
It worked. You went to Laura, didn't
you? Told her my tale.
All part of your plan?
Turned out to be.
I feel so cheap and used.
Gol, I must seem a real cad. Sometimes I
just hate myself.
Kara grins dreamily.
Whatever happened to us, Brendan?
Where's Dode flopped?
She turns to face him.
We were a pair and a half for a few
months, weren't we? Sometimes I miss
having someone I can talk to. You ever
miss having someone? I guess you must.
Brendan's face is a mask.
I need to hear Dode's tale about Emily.
You better be sure you wanna know
whatcha wanna know.
Brendan stands, coughing.
Uh huh. Laura's working with me now, and
I'll have the Pin and Tug in my corner
soon. The sooner I get the truth from
Dode or the truth about Dode from you,
the safer you'll both be. No? Pass it on
to Dode anyway. Maybe he'll have the
sense to get out from under you before
he gets hurt.
You didn't, did you?
Brendan leaves without looking back.
INT. BRENDAN'S ROOM - NIGHT
Brendan's at his desk, on the phone.
(on the phone)
So what happens now?
Now we wait for the Pin's answer. Unless
his crew spotted VP Truman's social call
this morning, it'll be yes. I'd give us
70/30. If we're in I get under his skin
and see what's what. You stick to Kara,
keep your specs peeled for Dode and stay
away from Laura.
The Brain is quiet for a beat.
I think she's with us, Brendan.
I'll let you know when she is.
A beat of silence.
Brendan gently replaces the receiver and sits for a moment
EXT. LOCKER CAGE - MORNING
The class bell rings, and the cage quickly empties. Brendan
limps in, opens his locker. A note falls to his feet. It is
folded into a star. He pulls it open. "TWELVE THIRTY PICO &
He fishes the old note out and compares them - different
The locker cage is now empty and silent, except for the
steady sound of heavy footfalls. Brendan looks up from the
A lug with a lumpish face is coming towards him. He wears a
black trenchcoat over bulbous shoulders, and his black hair
comes down over his eyes like a sheepdog's.
You the Pin's?
No answer. The lug keeps coming.
So what's his answer?
Closer, not slowing. Brendan tightens his hand into a fist.
Then CLICK! and a long slender switchblade gleams in the
lug's right paw.
Brendan jumps back as the lug swipes the blade at his torso.
Before the lug winds up for another slash Brendan is
EXT. CAMPUS SQUARE - DAY
Brendan runs through the empty campus square, the lug
EXT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY
Wind rushing, sweating, the lug very close. Their footsteps
clatter on the cement. Brendan swings around a corner,
doubles back and stops with his back to a wall - he's lost
sight of him.
Brendan sweats, listening. The lug's footsteps echo through
the hallways, coming from all directions at once. Then it
seems clear - he's down the hall on Brendan's right.
Brendan dashes left. Wrong. The lug looms over him, his
knife hand flashing. Brendan's jacket shoulder tears open,
and the white filling inside turns red. He stumbles back
blindly, gets his footing and scrambles out of reach.
Brendan sprints away, down the hall, gaining about thirty
feet on the lug before turning the corner.
Brendan drops to a sitting position.
THE LUG AROUND THE CORNER
Kicks his shoes off and clambers to his feet. The lug's
footsteps are impossibly loud.
Just about to round the corner.
On his socked feet running silently back towards the corner.
The lug's footsteps crash like symbols as they both come
around the same corner in opposite directions at full speed.
Brendan slides like a baseball player, tangling his legs
into the lug's. The lug pitches forward with frightening
momentum. He hits the hall's metal handrail with his arms
and head. A hollow gong reverberates through the hallway,
and the lug falls like a puppet with his strings cut.
A wallet with a couple of twenties and a student ID (CHUCK
BURNS), three hash pipes, fifteen joints, a baggie of weed
and a large brownie in another baggie.
Brendan leaves it all on him and staggers off.
EXT. CAMPUS PAYPHONE - DAY
Brendan breathes heavily into the phone.
Chuck Burns, big lug with hair like a
(on the phone)
Yeah I know him, I just can't pin him to
any crowd. He's definitely not muscle
for anyone. He taps the Carrows crowd
but doesn't hang with them. If you've
got a guess I could check it out-
The Pin. If he's with the Pin
everything's kablooie and I gotta blow
I'll check it. I'm in third now-
Brendan spots the Pin's Cady pulling into the parking lot.
Never mind. If I don't call by three
call in the bulls.
Brendan hangs up and begins walking at a normal pace along
The cady pulls up beside him, and he stops walking. The door
swings open and a voice comes from inside.
With no perceivable hesitation, he does.
INT. CADILAC - DAY
Brendan sits beside the Pin. The windows are tinted and the
car is very dark. The seats are pink vinyl. The car lurches
Brendan and the Pin are silent for a beat, not looking at
A stocky kid in the front seat turns, and reaches into his
jacket. For a moment he stays like that, hand in his jacket,
eyes on Brendan. Brendan's face is placid.
Tangles pulls out an envelope and drops it in Brendan's lap.
That's what you'll get every week for
your services. Less of course there's a
specific job involved, in where you get
sliced in with my crew. Square?
Silence. The Pin holds his hat in his hands, fingering the
We're doing a thing down at the Hole
tonight. Know it?
South of T Street, yeah.
It's sort of a welcome you in thing.
The car stops.
EXT. CAMPUS PAYPHONE - DAY
Brendan climbs out of the car on the exact spot they picked
him up. The Cady drives off. Brendan checks his watch.
12:32. A phone begins to ring.
EXT. PICO & ALEXANDER - DAY
Brendan looks up from his watch and answers the payphone,
holding the receiver to his ear in silence.
(on the phone)
I know what you did. I saw what you
The voice is low and garbled, filtered through something.
Anyone I tell, it would ruin you some
way. And I'm going to tell someone.
Are you making an offer?
Maybe. Or maybe I'll just do you in.
Hire another hash head to blade me?
Originally the source of this call was supposed to be a mystery, but during post
production we decided it was one layer too many, and identified the caller as Dode.
Brendan's first line was overdubbed in post to say `Dode?" instead of "So?"
Don't need no blades, shamus. I just
What do you want?
Just to see you sweat.
CLICK. Brendan replaces the receiver and stands still for a
moment. Then he inserts a coin and dials.
(on the phone)
Yeah, I'm fine. Keep digging on the
Burns lug, but the main thing is to find
Dode. He set up whatever Emily walked
into, it's getting more and more urgent
Alright. Trueman was looking for you.
Trueman and the VP?
No, just Trueman.
Asked for me?
No, but looked.
That's not good. Alright, keep me
Brendan hangs up.
EXT. BEACH - NIGHT1
A bonfire burns about a hundred feet off. Figures jump
through the blaze to thrash music. The Pin and Brendan
wander towards us on the dark beach.
So I'm going to start you on the dope
circles, cleaning up the Turkish dues,
pulling in the strags.
Yeah, well. Just to see how you handle.
Anyway there isn't much else doing. I'm
tailing out this big deal, but that's
Oh yeah? What was it?
Big time. Biggest I ever done, and there
was a snag in it, but it's almost done
What was it?
Almost, you said.
It's over enough. You're gonna make me
curious, being so curious.
They sit in the sand, facing the breakers.
I gotta lay something out. You're coming
into a certain situation, and I'm
bringing you in sort of because of it.
If ever you want to witness a look of pure horror, shoot a micro budget feature film and
tell your cinematographer that there will be an extended scene on a beach at night.
Turns out it's difficult to light up a beach without very large and expensive equipment.
Who knew. Shooting at sunset proved a fortunate and less horror inducing solution.
I didn't tell Tugger to hit you for the
Brad Bramish thing. Laura and I, I
decided I oughta hear what you were
gunning for before I made an enemy. Tug
just did it, though. He was hot, and he
just hit you. He's been doing that.
He's got my best interests, I know, he's
loyal, he just gets hot.
Muscle you can't control's no good at
You're working for me, not Tug, that's
A moment of silence. The breakers crash.
Things can get, you know, it's tough
sometimes. Twisted, complicated,
watching all the, I don't know.
Everyone's got their thing.
You read Tolkien?
Tolkien, the Hobbit books?
His descriptions of things are really
He makes you want to be there.
The waves crash. Behind them, with no warning at all, a
train shoots by. Tug stands with his hands jammed in his
pockets, flashing lights and gleaming metal streaking and
squealing behind him.
INT. BRENDAN'S ROOM - EARLY MORNING
The clock radio blinks 5:34. The phone is ringing. Brendan
half wakes and puts it to his ear.
(on the phone)
Don't go to class.
Fifth period Trueman and the VP come in
asking for you.
Did they call your mom?
Probably. I got home late.
Get out of there too, then. Meet me
behind the library. I've got some stuff.
EXT. BACK OF LIBRARY - EARLY MORNING
A cold gray morning. The Brain hands Brendan a photocopy of
a newspaper clipping, "LOCAL YOUTH HOSPITALIZED"
Frisco Farr was found on a sidewalk
outside Pinkerton's Deli three weeks
ago. He was in a coma, his stomach
contained a sausage sandwich, a horse
dose of Heroin and traces of Choleric
Tricemate, a poisonous chemical found in
laundry detergent. Frisco's still under
and nobody's talking, so nothing's come
No, the chem the junk must have been cut
with put him down.
Huh. Bad junk. Bad brick... could that
form of Heroin be called 'Brick'?
No -- it was a concentrated powder, its
street handle's 'whip' or 'rock' or
(fishes a note from his
Here. From Laura.
I told you to stay clear of Laura.
You tell her to stay clear of me?
He gives the note to Brendan, who unfolds it roughly.
I gotta get voicemail.
The note reads "Meet me at the southeast corner of the
school at 9:30." Brendan crumples it into a ball.
No. Tell her I'll be at the Pin's at
one. Any luck with the lug?
The Brain lays out a local newspaper with Emily's picture -
"LOCAL GIRL MISSING". Uncomfortable silence.
This isn't good.
The Brain looks hard at him. Brendan stares off into space
for a beat, then takes the Brain's cell phone and dials.
Mr. Trueman please.
Brendan compares the two notes from his pocket with Laura's
- distinct handwriting on each.
(on the phone)
This is Trueman.
What the hell are you doing asking for
me in class?
What the hell are you doing out of
The VP and I needed to ask you a few
questions about Emily Kostich, who you
might have heard is missing. It's a very
serious thing. The police are involved.
The VP and I knew you two were close, so
the VP and I came to ask you questions,
but you were truant. If you don't have a
Brendan hangs up.
I've been cut loose. I'm not safe here.
We shouldn't have met in the open.
Alright, lay low, but ask on the
underneath for Dode. That's all that
matters now, find Dode, but do it on the
underneath, got it?
What are you going to do?
I'd like to have played it safe, but
there's no time. The Pin's not letting
anything drop, so I gotta push things a
I don't know. Just find Dode.
EXT. THE PIN'S HOUSE - DAY
The bird of prey mailbox looms ominously. Brendan knocks on
the front door. No answer. He presses lightly on the screen
door, and it gives.
INT. KITCHEN - SAME
Empty. Brendan crosses the warped linoleum and gently opens
the narrow basement door. He descends into inky gloom.
INT. BASEMENT HALLWAY - SAME
Deathly still and silent. Barely breathing, Brendan goes to
the lit doorway at the end of the hall.
INT. PIN'S DEN - SAME
Empty. Brendan floats through the room like a ghost, to the
Slowly, then with greater confidence he rifles through it -
papers and trinkets, meaningless.
He reaches beneath the desk, knocking it gently with his
knuckles. Quickly he removes the top drawer and reaches down
into the desk frame.
Brendan draws out a stack of hundred dollar bills two inches
thick. He pulls out another. Another. Another. Thumbing the
stacks -- pure hundreds.
Something creaks in the hallway.
Brendan freezes. Silently he replaces the money and drawer,
his eyes on the doorway. He creeps towards the door on the
balls of his feet.
INT. BASEMENT HALLWAY - SAME
Still empty. Brendan creeps towards the stairs, passing
other doorways, all open but for one. He stops for a moment,
listening - silence.
INT. STORAGE ROOM - SAME
Brendan enters the room - pitch black but for a small high
window. Brendan pulls the curtains aside. A beam of sunlight
spills just enough light to reveal a figure in the dark.
Brendan jumps back, and his reflection in the large mirror
jumps as well.
A white bird nesting in the window flutters into the dark
Brendan walks the large mirror into the beam of light,
reflecting it around the room like a flashlight. More junk,
a mattress, then a strangely bare corner with a single white
lump in it. The white bird stands behind the lump, its dark
eyes caught in the bare light.
The bird flies out the window.
Brendan goes to the white lump, a small brick of white
powder. White chalky residue patterns the floor -- there
were other bricks there before.
Behind Brendan, in the mirror, something moves. Someone
else, in the room.
Tugger. He throws Brendan across the room, then heaves him
into a wall.
What with the poking, genius?! Maybe
you're poking for your bull friends!
Don't be a sap. I can't even face up at
school, the VP's so hot for me.
Yeah well. Maybe you're looking to make
I'm looking to find this big game the
Pin's played, not to gum it, but just so
when its tail jams in my back I'll know
who to bill for the embalming.
You oughta ask him what you wanna know.
I did. He didn't tell me.
Tug loosens his grip. Brendan gasps for air.
When a gee I'm paid to side with won't
give me the straight that makes me
nervous. Makes me angry.
Tug draws back a bit.
Yeah, well. That's understandable.
INT. KITCHEN - DAY
Tug sets a country glass of orange juice in front of
Brendan. He paces.
There was ten of them. I don't know
where he picked them, he didn't tell me.
So we get ten kils of brock, there aint
enough marks in the whole burgh to eat
that. So he unloads eight of em up way
north, even up to the docks. I don't
Didn't tell you.
Yeah. That was eight. So that's the
tenth in there. We gotta break it into
doses, sell em off round the high, maybe
some by Shorecliffs.
What about the ninth brick?
Ah yeah. There were problems with that.
He stops, thinking harder than he's used to. His scar
reddens slightly, then he jerks out of his trance.
It disappeared. Someone skimmed it. We
started raising hell with all the likely
suspects, and whatayaknow, it came back.
But it came back bad. One of ours took a
dose off the top, and it laid him out.
Yeah, poor Frisco. You heard about that.
We'll track down the rat. Just takes
I heard something fell with Emily
Don't know her.
A quiet pause. Tug's scar reddens a bit more.
Has the Pin talked about her?
Not to me.
Yeah, he might know something. Ask him.
Tell me what he says, cause if you heard
something, you know, I wanna check.
The screen door swings open -- enter the Pin. If he's
surprised he doesn't show it.
Just shooting the shat.
Yeah, just shooting it.
His big foot clunks on the linoleum. He eyes a very sick
You alright, soldier?
Brendan moves a hand dismissively, sniffling.
So, Tug, I got a call. Someone who says
they know something about Emily.
Emily Kostich. Where she's at now. Says
we'd want to know. Wants to meet.
So we'll meet him. Four o'clock.
Emily was Tug's girl for awhile. You
know Emily, didn't you?
A while back.
You've heard she's missing?
Yeah, I heard that.
So maybe you want to come along too.
What has Emily got to do with you?
(looks at Tugger)
Show, maybe we'll find out.
He gives a slip of paper to Tugger.
Tugger glances at the slip, then slides it to Brendan. It
has the symbol drawn in pencil:
A horn honks outside.
That's my ride.
The Pin calls after him as he leaves.
EXT. FRONT OF PIN'S HOUSE - SAME
Brendan falls into Laura's idling car.
A payphone, anywhere.
Brendan throws the car into drive, and they jerk forward.
EXT. STREET CORNER - DAY
The mobile customer you have called is
away from the phone-
Brendan slams the phone down violently and walks back
towards the car. His legs quiver, and a coughing fit hits.
Hacking and spluttering he falls to his knees. Laura's arms
wrap around him, except it isn't Laura, it's Emily. Brendan
spins backwards into
Emily kissing his mouth, her hair around him, but it isn't
her hair, it's Laura's. Brendan shoots upwards
INT. LAURA'S CAR STATIONARY - DAY
and sits up with a jolt. Laid out in the back seat, Laura
dabbing his head with a wet napkin.
What time is it?
Lie down, Brendan-
You've got a fever, you've got to go to
the hospital or-
What time is it?
Three forty. You've got to rest, you're
He throws himself out of the car.
EXT. SCHOOL PARKING LOT - SAME
Brendan falls to his knees, coughing. Laura follows.
Get back in the car, I'm taking you
home, you're sick, you need-
Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!
He keeps yelling that until she does. His head spins.
Okay, you've got to, what you've got to
do is drive around to the Carrows lot.
I'll be up on the, the blacktop, the
basketball field. So you've got to go by
you or me to get down there. If you see
anyone but the Pin or Tugger or their
crew go down into the ravine, honk four
times, long short long short. But don't
Get back in the car.
Do it! Will you do it? I need you to do
this. I need you, here. Please.
He holds her shoulders. A beat, then her face registers
EXT. BASKETBALL FIELD - DAY
A flat plane of pebbly asphalt with a dozen basketball
courts faintly outlined across its surface. Brendan stands
crooked, watching the barren horizon. The wind blows
bitterly, and the sky is dark.
Then, a speck. Coming towards Brendan, across the field.
Brendan slumps towards it. Closer. Still a dark dot. Closer.
Brendan's face snaps into recognition.
What are you doing, Dode?
Dode grins. He holds a newspaper.
You gonna stop me?
What do you think you're doing, Dode?
I saw you. I saw what you did.
What'd you see?
I saw you.
What'd you see me?
You were with her, dead, and you took
Yeah, I did. That's all you saw? What
Did you see who killed her before I got
You killed her.
I found the body, Dode.
You, I thought you didn't, but we
figured out, I got the news on ya, cause
you hid the body, why wouldn't-
Shut up! You're always talking, always
this and that smartso, you're gonna shut
I didn't kill her, Dode.
You're not going to talk this!
Dode, I know you're thinking of Em, I
know you tried to help her-
Shut up! You're gonna shut your
Brendan staggers, the world blurs out for a moment, then
put it over real nice-
-so I'm telling you now you're in over
your head, you don't want to put your
hand in this-
Dode shakes the newspaper at him.
Shut up! She's dead, you-
Why was she scared, Dode? She came to
me, who was she scared of? I think I
know why, I just gotta know who!
Dode throws the paper, which scatters in the wind.
You're trying to confuse me.
You couldn't stand it. Your little Em.
She was gonna keep it, it was mine, and
you couldn't stand that.
What was yours?
I had you pegged.
What was yours?
I loved her. And I woulda loved the kid.
I'm gonna bury you.
Brendan's face is empty. Dode walks stiffly away. Brendan
puts a hand on his shoulder, but shrinks back in a coughing
spasm. Dode grabs Brendan's wrist and hits him in the face.
Brendan hits the pavement.
EXT. HEAVEN - DAY
Bright clouds, sharp light. Emily flies towards us, glowing,
then dimmer, her wings splutter out, the clouds turn gray,
and we are looking at Emily's picture in the newspaper
EXT. BASKETBALL FIELD - DAY
Brendan pulls the newspaper off his face, lying in a fetal
position. Dode is nowhere to be seen.
Slowly, painfully, Brendan hoists himself up. He coughs and
splutters, barely able to keep his footing.
He limps across the field. Every step is agony. The wind
blows against him. The black field seems impossibly long,
still he keeps limping forward, towards the ravine.
EXT. RUNOFF TUNNEL - DAY
Brendan slides down the embankment, landing on his feet.
Gathered around the drain tunnel entrance are Tugger, the
Pin, five of Tugger's flunkies and Dode in the middle.
Everyone looks at Brendan.
A long silence. Brendan clears his throat.
What'd I miss?
Dode here says Emily Kostich is dead.
Nobody reacts to that. Brendan's face is placid.
Yeah. He says he knows who did it. He
says he knows where the body's at.
(beat of silence)
And he says he wants more money than I
think the information's worth.
That so, Dode?
(to the Pin)
So walk. What's the info have to do with
Plenty, he says.
Uh huh. And he wants cash on the nail.
He's a pot skulled reef worm with more
hop in his head than blood. Why pay for
dirt you can't believe?
You'll believe this.
Maybe you will.
You'll believe it, cause it's someone
close to you. Real close.
The Pin looks up at Brendan, whose face is loose and
Maybe it's hot, but it's Dode, you can't
Tugger's eyes are locked on Dode, his scar the color of raw
liver. Brendan laughs and turns away.
I'm getting my shoes wet for this. Let
him milk you if you want.
It's still too much.
No it's not. You won't complain when you
Tugger twists a stick in his hands. Brendan watches him,
So maybe you should.
You had her against the wall with the
I know my business. It's still too much.
(with growing confidence)
It's not, cause that's not why she was
killed, and it's real important to you,
cause the person who killed her's real
close, and cause he's got a lot to lose,
and he knows if I don't bury him by
spilling to you I spill to the bulls and
bury him for real, and he's really
really scared - she had a kid in her and
he couldn't stand -
Tugger springs like a cat. He grabs Dode's hair and knees
Brendan stumbles towards them.
Tug, it's alright!
Tug has Dode on the ground, kicking his stomach and chest.
Tug backs off. Dode raises his head.
Tug pulls the gun from his jacket.
Brendan yells, slips and falls into the shallow water.
Tug levels the gun at Dode's head and fires one shot. The
back of Dode's skull comes off.
The rapport reverberates through the black tunnel behind
them, and birds fly out. Dode remains upright for a moment,
then falls limp into the water.
The Pin's face is stupid, lifeless. Tug turns to him, gun in
Tugger fires - dirt kicks up, and the Pin scrambles back.
Brendan crawls towards Tug, yelling for him to stop.
Tug fires twice more, both misses, and the Pin is away.
Brendan's vision blurs. He stumbles and falls into the
A CEILING FAN
Spinning gently. Brendan's eyes open, watch it sleepily,
INT. TUGGER'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Brendan sits up in the bed. Tugger sits in a chair bedside,
smoking. Brendan watches him for a long moment in the room's
She sprung it on me, just. That's a hell
of a thing to spring on a guy. I don't
remember much. Laura talked me down
after, said whatever, she knew her, said
it wasn't true, but I still think
sometimes. I think bout it being true.
Bout it being mine. And maybe I did it
cause I thought it was true. A hell of a
Brendan stares at him through cold, empty eyes.
You up? You weren't doing too good there
for awhile. Laura said take you, you
know, hospital, but I couldn't.
What's the stats?
Everyone's just laying low. You're here
with us, at my folks place. They're
gone. The bulls got Dode fore the tide
took his body.
Yeah, strong tide, would've taken the
body, like out to sea. It can do that.
But the fuzz got there first.
So everyone's assuming it's war, but no
one's said it yet. Everyone's lying low.
You're with us.
The hell I am.
Brendan swings his legs over the bed. Tug steps in front of
him, staring him down.
Alright, I'm with you.
So just lie low. Sleep some more. Laura,
she said you should sleep.
Tugger exits. Brendan runs his fingers through his hair,
steps into his shoes and hobbles out of the room.
INT. TUGGER'S LIVING ROOM - SAME
About ten more kids dressed like Tug are cleaning guns.
Brendan nods to them.
They nod back, not paying much attention as he goes out the
EXT. STREET - NIGHT
On a lamplit street corner Brendan leans against a payphone.
Are you - what, man, have you heard
I was there.
Where were you yesterday? I called.
Kasprzyk took my phone, turned it off. I
just now got it back.
Are you okay?
Just listen. Is my name in the papers
with the story?
Alright. Is it just Dode in the papers?
Yeah. What do you mean?
Listen, I'm going to be calling you
tonight, probably late. Sleep with your
phone on. Could you get a car if you
If it's late enough I could take my
Be ready then. I'll call.
INT. DRESSING ROOM - NIGHT
Brendan kicks in the door. Kara sits in front of the mirror
in a soft pink robe, a boy on the floor beside her. She
Brendan. Did you hear about Dode?
You scheming tramp. You set that poor
kid up, you hid him, fed him your tale.
You got info from Laura and held Dode
like a card till you could play him. For
Brendan throws a chair. The boy stands.
I don't know what you're talking about.
You'd bury me at the same time, but it
was mostly for the money. You got Dode
thinking Em had his kid, thinking I did
it, and that was enough for him, but he
stuck to the money cause you had your
claws in him, cause he couldn't come
away from the deal without it and make
Sit down, you're a mess. Russ, go get my
shoes from the wardrobe locker, would
He goes, trying to look mean at Brendan. Brendan and Kara
watch each other like caged rats.
Still wish you knew what you wanted to
know? If it's any consolation, it
probably wasn't Dode's kid. It might
have been Tug's, but frankly I wouldn't
bet a horse - it was a crowded field
there at the end.
Brendan grabs a clock and throws it. Kara's mirror shatters,
revealing a grimy dark wall behind.
Meany. You want my tale, Brendan? I
still know what Dode was selling, but
I'd play it smart. A quick call from a
payphone to copland, they drag the
tunnel and you're through.
She comes very close to him. Her robe falls open slightly.
Five thousand. Cash. I know you can get
it from the Pin, but even if you can't I
want it by first period tomorrow, or I
play my hand and bury you.
She turns away, lets her robe fall.1
Now get out.
Brendan's eyes burn. He lunges at her.
EXT. BACKSTAGE - SAME
Drama geeks sit in groups. The dressing room door flies open
and Kara flies out, stark naked. Brendan flies out after
What are you doing?
Showing your ace.
Brendan storms out.
Also on the DVD. Fine retailers everywhere.
EXT. PIN'S HOUSE - NIGHT
Brendan walks past the bird of prey mailbox. A voice from
the screen door -
Everyone's paying social calls.
Beat of silence.
So what are the stats?
The stats are war, soon as the press
heat dies. And if you're with him,
you're with him.
Tug got hot. He panicked.
Tug's been after my digs from the get
No. He's been anxious cause he thought
if you found out he killed Emily you'd
turn him over.
He was right.
I told him to get the straight, no
roughing. I wasn't even there.
Alright. So he's a hot head. So you
don't want him on your side, at least
let's have a pow wow fore we start
digging trenches. Maybe we can all walk
away amiable enemies. What would it
I don't know. We'd have to square
everything between us. He owes me some
Alright, but we can talk.
Tonight. Let's clear it all before it
boils up again.
Four tonight. You'll be here?
Brendan turns away.
She comes out of the house with her purse.
I'll drive you back.
INT. LAURA'S CAR - MOVING - NIGHT
Laura drives, Brendan stares at the passing lights.
What's going to happen?
Do you feel better?
I don't know.
INT. TUGGER'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Brendan stumbles in. Tug's hands grab him roughly.
For a smart guy you aint too smart. I
said lay low.
He drops Brendan. Laura kneels beside Brendan, feeling his
She was at the Pin's.
Yeah, she's our go-between.
Uh huh. So here's the sit. You and the
Pin are going to pow wow, four o'clock
tonight, his place. Take all the muscle
you want, you won't need it. He wants to
talk straight, and you're going to work
with him for whatever he needs, cause
you don't want war.
Hell I don't.
The Pin's sitting on the brick profits -
hitting him now would be post. Make
peace and wait for your chance.
He's right, Tug. Smooth it out.
Besides, he's got you on the Dode thing.
War'll mean you vs. him and every bull
in the burgh.
Tugger turns away, thinking.
Yeah, we'll talk.
She nods. Brendan stumbles into the bedroom.
INT. TUGGER'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Brendan lies on his back. Sweat stands on his forehead.
Spinning dizzily from Brendan's POV. Then the fan is still
and the room is spinning, then the fan, then the room.
Brendan clamps his eyes shut. A door creaks open.
Laura floats across the room to him. Her hair falls around
him. Brendan shrinks back. She puts a pale hand on his
clammy forehead. Brendan tries to speak, but cannot.
He fingers slide over his face. She pulls off his glasses.
Her hands all over his face. Brendan's throat contorts in a
hard swallow. His eyes are wet.
Her hair, her hands all warm and gentle, touching him.
I'm sorry Brendan.
Brendan breaks. In silent sobs first, then shivering with an
almighty release he cries like a baby in her arms.
Spinning above them.
Laura lights a cigarette. They lie beside each other.
Don't go tonight.
I've got to make sure it plays out
It'll play however it plays without you
I've got to make sure.
Cause if there's war, I'm in it too.
Well let's just, I mean why not just run
away. Go somewhere. I've got a car.
(Brendan gives a wry look)
I've got an aunt in New Orleans, she
Yeah, it's a stupid thing, but think
about it, why not? What, school? C'mon.
Her smoke drifts into the fan.
I wasn't serious, but we could go for
awhile. Just until everything clears.
Brendan watches the smoke. She stubs the butt out in an ash
tray on the table and curls against his chest.
Stretching his arm across the table, he nonchalantly spins
the ash tray around with his finger.
His glasses lay on the table. Through the left lens the
cigarette is magnified. Pale blue arrow on the filter.
Laura's arm stretches across his chest. He looks at it, then
up at the fan, spinning.
Brendan slips out of bed. A glowing clock radio reads
INT. TUGGER'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
A swarm of silent activity. Tug's flunkies prepare various
weapons. Brendan goes to Tug.
Tell your boys no knuckle business.
They're just ready.
Your folks left a car here?
Take it and Laura's.
(Brendan tosses Tug the keys)
I'll go first in yours.
I'll take the scenic route to draw off
any tailers. They'll think it's you,
they might even radio back that you're
alone. Get it?
He tosses Brendan his keys.
Alright. Got a cigarette?
No. I don't smoke.
I've seen you smoke.
I don't smoke cigarettes.
Give me fifteen minutes, then go.
EXT. TUGGER'S HOUSE - NIGHT
Brendan slides into the black mustang and gutters off into
EXT. STREET - NIGHT
Overlooking a twinkling valley of suburban lights. Brendan
talks at a payphone beside the curbed mustang.
Alright, I warned you. Can you get the
Go to 2014 Clancy, off Pico west of La
Grange. Park outside and wait. Laura's
inside. She hasn't got a car, but if she
blows on foot or gets a pick, tail her.
I'll call you when it gets light.
CLICK, Brain hangs up.
EXT. FRONT OF PIN'S HOUSE - NIGHT
Brendan pulls the mustang into the driveway, limps up to the
front door and knocks. One of the Pin's boys lets him in.
INT. KITCHEN - SAME
Crowded with tense looking punks, half dressed like the Pin
and half like Tugger. The Pin's mom is shuffling about,
pouring them milk.
INT. BASEMENT HALLWAY - SAME
Several more punks from both camps crowd the hall, and more
lean in the darkened doorways. Brendan passes through
INT. PIN'S DEN - SAME
The Pin at his desk, flanked by two of his boys. Tug sits in
the center of the room, two of his punks beside him. Brendan
saunters between them and leans against the dresser.
I want full assurance that any heat from
Emily and Dode is gonna be on just you.
I don't even want my name pulled in the
shindig. Second, you owe me six Cs, no
rush, but I want your shake that it'll
come home in not too much time.
Tug's eyes burn, his scar reddens.
That's square. You did them after all.
Lay low it'll blow over. Stick on this,
one of you'll dish it to bury the other
and you'll both get the rap. As to the
six, did you borrow it?
Then you owe it. Shouldn't need a shake
Tug looks at the Pin.
Alright to both.
Good. Let's seal it up and blow for
Third thing. The last brick.
Brendan looks up sharply, taken off guard.
That aint the point. I'm gonna start
selling it. How do I know it aint bad?
Why would it be?
Why was the last one? Cause someone got
greedy. Tug here's had the means to
swipe half and cut it bad for a long
time. Now we're splits my loss of
Did you, Tug?
(eyes hot on the Pin)
Alright, so let's shake and blow.
Not good enough.
Tug shoots to his feet, kicking away his chair.
What would be good enough?
I wanna see him dose it. Just to prove
it. Then we're square.
Hell for that! I didn't touch your junk,
I wanna see it.
Your not wanting to dose it's telling me
something right here.
Yeah, it better be! It's telling that
I'm out from your thumb, that I aint
playing lapdog to no gothed up cripple
Everyone in the room is on their feet. Brendan steps
I'll dose it.
All eyes to him, unbelieving.
If it'll shut you two apes up I'll take
the dose, and if I don't die we're all
right as rain, and if I do die you two
have your war, so long as you keep it
off my grave. Deal?
Johnny, go with him.
Tug just stares at Brendan, then tosses his hands up
slightly and turns away.
They all wait.
CRASH! from the next room. Everyone freezes. More breaking,
then scuffling and shouting.
The two punks look at their bosses, then run out. Tug starts
to follow, but Brendan holds him back.
The noise through the wall grows tremendous, a full brawl.
The ceiling pounds and shudders with footfalls and bodies
hitting the ground.
Then, from not too far away, a gunshot.
The Pin stands and goes towards the door, but Brendan shouts
and slams it shut. A few tense seconds.
Another gunshot. Footfalls, then Tangles falls through the
door, his chest red. The Pin bends over him.
The brick, it's gone. The brick's gone.
Tangles stops gasping.
The Pin stands, eyes blazing at Tug.
Make peace, huh? Talk it out? Get your
boys in my den soes you could snag it
under my nose?
Tug's scar is fiery red. He coils his body, snarling.
No, that's not-
Was it bad, Tug? Snag it so I don't
know, or sell it off to flat the war
Pin, think about it-
Alright, I did all that!
Tug blows past Brendan like a train and slams the Pin into
the ground with his fist. He punctuates his words with hard
straight blows into the Pin's face.
I cut the brick, I stole the money, I
faked a peace, I snagged your junk, I
did it all!
He pulls the gun.
Brendan shouts and throws himself on Tug's arm, wrenching it
sideways. The gun clunks onto the carpet.
The Pin flips Tug over and for a moment Brendan is caught
between them, hit and torn, rolling over the gun. Tug grabs
it, Brendan grabs his wrist and the gun goes off, firing
into the ceiling. Plaster sprays.
Brendan screams, thrashing wildly, and manages to slip out
of his bloodied jacket and out from between the two.
The Pin is on top, pinning Tug's gun hand to the carpet,
straining to keep it there.
Brendan leaps to his feet, staggers, then winds up and kicks
Tug in the wrist with all his strength.
A terrible crunching popping sound. Tug roars. Brendan takes
the gun from his limp hand.
Brendan backs off a few steps. The Pin strains to keep Tug
Do him now!
Brendan stumbles back. Tug roars, flips the Pin over and
beats his face mercilessly.
Brendan stumbles out into the hall.
INT. BASEMENT HALLWAY - SAME
Empty. From the darkened doorways and the thin ceiling
relentless sounds of fighting.
Brendan walks backwards as if in a trance, eyes glued to the
Pin's door. Inside wild shadows splay across the walls, and
the Pin shouts Brendan's name.
Light flashes from another darkened doorway and the wall
beside Brendan splinters. Brendan spins on his heel and
fires three shots into the darkness, which falls silent.
He turns the gun back on the Pin's doorway.
With a spray of sparks the doorway turns dark. They broke
The dark doorway looms up before Brendan, inky black.
Horrible sounds come from it, blows, breaking bone, screams.
The Pin screams Brendan's name over and over, calling for
help. Pleading. Brendan steps back.
Time slows down. Brendan drops the gun.
It thunks on the carpet.
In one motion Brendan kicks the gun down the hall into the
Pin's doorway, turns and runs into the room where he found
INT. STORAGE ROOM
Dark. Brendan runs through, clawing past dark fighting
shapes, running like a man possessed. He breaks through the
darkness and heaves himself up through the small window.
EXT. FRONT OF PIN'S HOUSE - NIGHT
Brendan scrambles out, slips on the grass and hits the
Two sharp gunshots come from the house.
Everything is suddenly still. Brendan stands slowly.
He notices a light from the Mustang - the trunk has drifted
Inside, a pale blue arm lies tangled in black plastic. Blue
fingernails. Cheap plastic bracelets.
Brendan shuts the trunk solidly, then walks off down the
street and vanishes into the inky night.
A moment later police cars pull up, sirens blaring, lights
turning the dark streets bright as day.
EXT. SCHOOL PAYPHONE - EARLY MORNING
The morning is cold and clammy. Brendan slumps against the
Hey. Where are you?
Library. Where are you?
Did she blow last night?
No. Stayed there till six thirty, then
walked to school.
You didn't give her a ride, did you?
But she came straight to school from
She there now?
Yeah. Not with me, but here.
Alright. Tell her I wanna meet up on the
basketball field in half an hour, then
go home and get some sleep.
Brendan hangs up, then pauses, lost in thought.
EXT. SIDE OF GYM - LATER
Brendan sits against the massive gym building, writing on a
piece of looseleaf paper.
EXT. ADMINISTRATION BUILDING - LATER
Brendan slips the paper under a door stenciled "VP Offices".
EXT. BASKETBALL FIELD - LATER
Cold, barren. Wind whistles softly and jangles the metal
mesh basketball nets like windchimes.
Brendan stands crookedly, hands in pockets, eyes trained on
the cold black horizon. A speck appears. Brendan waits for
it, bracing himself against the wind.
Laura. She puts her arms around him, a warm embrace. Brendan
Did you see it all? With Tug and the
Brendan looks at her a moment.
No. I took your advice and didn't go.
Laura looks at him strangely, a little uneasy.
The papers say six dead, three around
the house, one girl in the trunk of
Tug's car, and the Pin and Tug.
Brendan's face is frozen in an ambiguous frown.
Tug tried to shoot his way out when the
police got there. They tied him to Dode,
too. Same gun. And the girl.
Well good thing you weren't there.
Laura's face softens a bit.
You think the girl was Emily?
Laura embraces him again, and doesn't let go.
You loved her.
Yeah I did.
You did all this cause you loved her.
And now it's finished.
(tightens her embrace)
I love you.
Laura pulls back, looks at his face. It is a mask.
No, it's not finished. Tug pulled the
trigger on Em and he got the fall, but
the bulls coulda found that out without
Laura pulls back more.
I set out to know who put her in the
spot, who put her in front of the gun.
That was you, angel.
(drifting back further)
What are you talking about?
It was you. What, you want the whole
tale? You want me to tell it to you?
Tell it to me.
Alright, from the top. You had your
fingers in Brad Bramish for appearances
and to keep him buying from the Pin, who
you were hooked with. Emily came to you
and Brad, you saw her for what she was,
an insecure little girl trying to get
in. She goes on the backburner.
Meanwhile maybe you're getting bored,
maybe just greedy, so when the Pin
scores big with the bricks you take your
shot. You hook one, take half, and cut
it back to size, but you cut it bad.
Maybe accidentally, maybe to down the
Pin's operation, doesn't matter. You put
it back, but poor Frisco doses off it
and lands in a coma.
So now the Pin's fuming, maybe he's
jealous of Brad, so he comes to Brad's
crowd looking for blood, or at least a
scape. You know trouble. There's going
to be a war over this. And there's
Emily. She trusts you. She wants in.
It's duck soup.
You frame her for the bad brick, then
you cut her loose. You turn on your heel
and bite her in the throat. Last week on
the payphone, Pico and Alexander, she
saw something she was scared of. Tug's
car driving by, the Pin driving, but she
wouldn't have seen the Pin. No, she was
across the street, angel. She saw the
passenger side. She saw you. She saw you
and ran like she saw some devil.
Laura's face is very still, quivering.
Brendan, why are you-
And she took the hit. Dode hid her away,
but the Pin was on to her, tracked her
down, told her to meet him, that they
would make good. Gave her a time, and a
place. And sent Tug. Just to get the
straight. But maybe you had talked Tug
up, or maybe he just blew a fuse, but Em
sprung it on him that she had her kid,
and he did what anyone could count on
Tug doing - he hit her. She took the hit
for you. You let her take it.
That's the tale.
You're going to tell me it's not?
Look at me.
She crumples against him, looking him straight in the eye.
You know me. I've only helped you. How
can you - It isn't true!
She sobs through a tensed, straight face. Brendan holds her
stare, but his eyes are distant.
I hope it isn't. I want you to have been
on my side all along, not just trying to
get me under your thumb like Brad and
the Pin and Tug.
But I think you knew that meeting was
going to blow up. I think that was your
final play. But I hope I'm wrong. I hope
everything I wrote in the note I dropped
at Gary Trueman's office this morning is
wrong. About your and Brad's involvement
in the Pin's runnings. I hope you didn't
steal the brick last night. In your
That's good. That means you didn't let
me walk into a slaughterhouse. You
didn't lead Tug and the Pin and their
crews to the slaughter. And when Trueman
reads the note, takes my cue and
searches your locker, he won't find a
Something changes in Laura's eyes.
EXT. LOCKER CAGE - INSERT
Trueman and several other men force Laura's locker open.
From its dark interior the chalky white brick falls out,
spins through the air, and shatters silently on the locker
EXT. BASKETBALL FIELD - SAME
A moment of silence between them. The basketball nets
Laura steps back. She looks as if she has been punched in
Her face does strange things, subtle contortions.
She watches his eyes. He doesn't look at her. Her voice
Done. Well. That's most of it. 9 out of
10. I told Em to tell Tug it was his.
Told her it would soften him up. She
said she wished she could keep it, but
she didn't love the father. I was going
to drive her down the next day, we'd
found a doctor. Most wouldn't. She was
starting to show. 3 months. You know
whose kid that makes it, or have you
known all along?
Slowly, steadily, she straightens up. Her figure takes back
some dignity. She steps towards him deliberately. Closer.
Right up against him.
She brings her head to his, puts her lips to his ear,
breathes warm breath, and says two words. The first is
the second is low, guttural and lost to the whistling wind.
She turns and walks briskly away.
Brendan watches her go across the dark, barren field of
Metal jangles. Brendan turns to see the Brain hopping a
chain link fence. Brendan turns his eyes back on Laura.
You get your straight?
Yeah. I wouldn't have-
Yeah, well. Chuck Burns came to. The
knife guy. Spilled it all to the bulls,
guess Brad Bramish hired him. On his
own, just a grudge thing.
Fits. You did good, Brain. Go sleep.
Yeah, you too.
The Brain starts to walk away, but turns back.
THE BRAIN (cont'd)
What'd she whisper to you?
She called me a dirty word.
Alright, you don't have to tell me.
Brendan stands alone on the asphalt field, watching
Laura until she reaches the end of the field and walks
off behind a twisted chain linked fence.
The first period bell rings, and Brendan walks back