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Misery - by William Goldman



                                     William Goldman

                                  Based on the Novel by

                                       Stephen King


               FADE IN ON:

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

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

               PULL BACK TO REVEAL

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                         THE END

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

               HOLD BRIEFLY, then--

                                                                    CUT TO:

               LODGE - DAY

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

                         Still got it.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE ROAD AHEAD. Little dainty flakes of snow are suddenly 

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE CAR, going into a curve and

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE MUSTANG, slowing, driving deeper into the mountains.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, squinting ahead, windshield wipers on now.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE MUSTANG, rounding another curve, losing traction--

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE ROAD

               Snow is piling up.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE SKY. Only you can't see it.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, driving.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE SNOW. Worse.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE ROAD, swerving down and

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE MUSTANG, all traction gone and

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, helpless and

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE MUSTANG, skidding, skidding and

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE MUSTANG starting to spin and

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

               HOLD ON THE CAR A MOMENT

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               is barely visible as the snow begins to cover it.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

               CAMERA MOVES IN TO

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

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

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

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

               The man is dying.

               Motionless, he still clutches the battered briefcase.

               HOLD ON THE CASE. Then--

                                                               DISSOLVE TO:

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

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

               PULL BACK TO REVEAL

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

                              (searching for a 
                         It's... it's nice, Paul. It's got... 

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE TWO OF THEM

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

                         You're still a writer.

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

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

                         Marcia, please.

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

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

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

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

               On the word "tombstone"

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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


               Keep holding as--

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

               -- nd now the door is ripped open as we

               PULL BACK TO REVEAL

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, as he starts to breathe--

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

                                                               DISSOLVE TO:

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

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

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

               " worry...


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

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

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

               Now, a white wall.

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

               ANNIE is quickly by his side.

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

                         How long...?

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

                         --my number one fan.

               And now the gibberish words make sense.

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

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

                                                               DISSOLVE TO:

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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


                         What are they...?

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

               ANNIE applies a cool rag to his forehead.

                         Shouldn't I be in a hospital?

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

               PAUL tries to test his left arm.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

               HOLD ON IT briefly.

                                                               DISSOLVE TO:


                                     ANNIE (O.S.)
                         Open wide.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL'S ROOM

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, swallowing eagerly.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE, watching him, sympathetically.

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

                         Will I be able to walk?

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

               And now suddenly she flicks off the blankets, uncovering his 

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, lying back, stunned with disbelief.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE: CLOSE UP

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

               HOLD on her ecstatic face.


                                                                    CUT TO:

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

               She holds the phone and she is fidgety, insecure.

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

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

                         Whichever one's not busy.

                                                                    CUT TO:


               ...with a view of the mountains.

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

                         Paul Sheldon? You mean Paul Sheldon 
                         the writer?


                         He's your client, huh?

                         Yes, he is.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               BUSTER'S OFFICE

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

                         People sure like those Misery books.

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

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

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               SINDELL, really embarrassed now.

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

                         You think he might be missing?

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               SINDELL. She smiles, a genuine sense of relief.

                         I appreciate that. Thanks a lot.

                                                                    CUT TO:


                         G'bye, Ms. Sindell.

               As he hangs up--

                         We actually got a phone call. Busy 

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

                         Four or five days ago. Why?

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                              (a beat)

               HOLD ON BUSTER for a moment.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL'S ROOM

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

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

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

                         Following me?

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE: CLOSE UP

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                         You're very kind...

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

               ANNIE starts cleaning up.

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

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

                         You want to read it?

                         If you wouldn't mind.

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL. His eyes close briefly, he grimaces.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

               She turns and goes out of the room.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, watching her.

                         What's your new book called?

                         I don't have a title yet.

                         What's it about?

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:


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

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

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

                         Maybe you can, Libby.

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

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

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

                         So do I...

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

                         I'm sure you're right.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:


                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL'S ROOM.

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

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

               She stops, fills the spoon up again.

                         But what?


                         No, what is it?

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

                         I can take it, go ahead.

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

                         Pretty rough so far.

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

                         The profanity bothers you?

                         It has no nobility.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

               PAUL is amused by this.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE SOUP, almost spilling as she gets more agitated.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, almost laughing as some soup hits the coverlet.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL--his smile disappears.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE, and she is just totally embarrassed.

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

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

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

               Flustered, she turns away as we--

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INSIDE THE CAR

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

                         This sure is fun.

               She puts her hand on his leg.

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INSIDE THE CAR

                         Stop--stop right here.

                         What? What is it?

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                         Look at that broken branch there...

                                                                    CUT TO:

               VIRGINIA, seeing it, unconvinced.

                         Could be the weight of the snow.

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

               He steps off the road, starts down.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                         Anything down there?

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE MOUND OF SNOW with the Mustang inside.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               BUSTER, angry, frustrated, turning around and around and

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

               CUT TO:

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

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

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

               As they get in the car--

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL'S ROOM

               The door opens and ANNIE enters.

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

                         It's fine.

               PULL BACK TO REVEAL

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

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

                         Then the roads are open...

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

                         The phones are working?

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

                         My daughter must be going nuts.

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

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

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

               She starts to leave, stops at the door.

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

               As she leaves--

                                                               DISSOLVE TO:

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

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

                         I guess that means it's okay.

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

                         I can live with "great."

               He starts, with effort, to eat.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:


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

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

               As PAUL signs the book:

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

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

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

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

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

                         Thank you so much.

                         My pleasure.

                                                               DISSOLVE TO:


                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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


                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE PIG, snorting around the room.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL AND ANNIE, watching it.

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

                         I'm getting to believe you.

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

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

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

                         The Sistine Chapel?

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

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

                         Woink! Whoink! Whuh-Whuh-WHOINK!

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE WINDOW. DUSK.

               ANNIE'S VOICE is heard softly.

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

               PULL BACK TO REVEAL

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

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

                         For a while I thought I might go 

                         I know how that can be.

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

               There is a peeing sound.

                         Yeah, well...

               He is embarrassed.

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


                              (She turns around, 
                              moves to the bed)

                         Yeah, thanks.

                         No problem.

               As she takes the bedpan...

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

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

                         Well, I hope you like it.

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

               With that, she exits.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE WINDOW. MOONLIGHT.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL. Hard to see. He squints up as we

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE. CLOSE UP: her face is ashen pale.

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

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

                         I DON'T WANT HER SPIRIT! I want HER!
                         And you MURDERED her!

                         I DIDN'T...

                         Then who did?

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

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

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE, getting in her Cherokee and gunning away.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE ROOM

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

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

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

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

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

                                                               DISSOLVE TO:

               BUSTER'S OFFICE. DAY.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:


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

               BUSTER is on the phone with Marcia Sindell.

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

               VIRGINIA enters, carrying some files.

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

                         Just from his agent.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

               HOLD FOR A MOMENT, then--

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

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

                              (in pain)

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

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

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

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

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

                         Show me the way?


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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE, looking at him.

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

               She hands him the box of kitchen matches.

                         You want me to burn my book?

                              (she nods)

                         You want me to burn my book?

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE, watching him.

                         Then light the match, Paul.

                         No big deal.

                         So you've indicated. Do it.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                         Please let me help you.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                         You're doing the right thing, Paul.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                              (crying out)

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE, watching, as more bits of paper rise.

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

               And she starts trying to catch them.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                         Well, isn't that an oogy mess?

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, head turning toward the window.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               A HELICOPTER flying along.

                                                                    CUT TO:


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

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

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:


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

               As the pilot starts to change direction

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, listening as the MOTOR sound recedes.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE, staring out the window.

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

                         I don't know.

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


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

                                                               DISSOLVE TO:

               PAUL'S ROOM. NIGHT.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE'S ROOM. NIGHT.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                               DISSOLVE TO:


               Coming up to dawn.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL'S DOOR slowly opening.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, staring at  the door.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                         See, isn't this nice?

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

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

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

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

               ANNIE exits.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, quickly shoving the Novril into the mattress.

                         Set what up?

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

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL. Stunned.

                              (after a beat)
                         Misery's Return?

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE: CLOSE UP. In an almost religious fervor.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:


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

                         I expect nothing less than your 

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

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE WINDOW, as the wheelchair approaches it.

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

                         You just inhale that. I'll be right 

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, staring out the window.

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

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


                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                         I got you this expensive paper to 
                         type on.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

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

                              (embarrassed, blushing)
                              (turns, grabs up pens, 
                              pencils, paper)
                         Did I do good?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                         No, just the paper will be fine.

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

                         Annie, what's the matter?

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               BOBBY PIN on the floor.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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


                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

               No luck.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL. In wild frustration.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE KEYHOLE. There is a loud CLICKING sound.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                         What do you know, it actually works.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                         What a surprise.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE TELEPHONE

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

               The windows have bars on them.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                              (wildly frustrated)

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

                         You crazy bitch...

               He puts the phone back on the table.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE GENERAL STORE. DAY.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE STUDY, as PAUL enters. He looks around.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE HALLWAY.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE KITCHEN

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

               He backs up slightly, wheels forward again--

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, staring at the kitchen door--

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

               gently to the floor--

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

               He closes his eyes, gathering strength--

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE KITCHEN DOOR. Closer now.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE KITCHEN DOOR. Locked solid.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

               PULL BACK TO REVEAL

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE ROAD

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE KITCHEN

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               OUTSIDE ANNIE'S

               ANNIE, driving up to the house.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE KITCHEN

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               OUTSIDE ANNIE'S

               ANNIE, getting out of her Jeep and

                                                                    CUT TO:


               PAUL, crawling, crawling and

                                                                    CUT TO:

               OUTSIDE ANNIE'S

               ANNIE, walking around to the back of the Jeep and

                                                                    CUT TO:


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

                                                                    CUT TO:


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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

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

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

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

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

               -- he drops one of the packages of paper.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE, unlocking the front door of the house and

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE BEDROOM DOOR, as it locks and

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE FRONT DOOR, unlocking and

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, soaked.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                         Just the kind you asked for.

               And as the door opens--

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

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

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

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

                         It'll only take a second.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                         It just breaks my heart to see you
                         like this...

               CUT TO:

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                         My genius needs his rest before he

               She hands him a pad and pencil.

                         Here, in case you think of any ideas.

                         Yeah, well I wouldn't expect too 

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE DOORWAY, as ANNIE starts to it.

                         I have faith in you...

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

                         Catch this--
                              (she throws him a 
                              kiss--it's grotesque)

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:


                                                                    CUT TO:


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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               SOMETHING SHINY reflecting the sun.

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

                              (to Pilot)
                         Walter, we could be skipping lunch 

                                                                    CUT TO:

               CRASH SITE

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

               PULL BACK TO REVEAL

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               BUSTER AND VIRGINIA, close together, walking toward their 

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

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

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

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

               As they drive off...

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL'S ROOM. NIGHT.

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

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE TYPEWRITER. DAY.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               OUTSIDE THE WINDOW

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

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE TYPEWRITER

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                    "Misery's Retur ."

                                      By Paul Sheldo

                                    for A  ie Wilkes.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE MACHINE as the new sheet is rolled in.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE BLANK PAGE

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE PAPER and these words: "fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck."

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                               DISSOLVE TO:

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

               PULL BACK TO REVEAL

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

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

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

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

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

                         Paul, what you've written just isn't 

                         --not fair?

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

                              (it just comes out)

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

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

                         "HE DIDN'T GET OUT OF THE COCKADOODIE 

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

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

               As she goes--

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

               PAUL slumps, staring barefully at the typewriter.

                                                               DISSOLVE TO:


                                                               DISSOLVE TO:


                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL'S ROOM. DAY.

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

               ANNIE enters to remove the tray.

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

                         I can't write this anymore.

                         Don't be silly. Of course you can.

                         I'm telling you, I can't.

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

                         The what?

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

                         I said that?

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL: CLOSE UP. Blinking.

                         What about a bee...?



                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                               DISSOLVE TO:

               THE WINDOW. It's late afternoon.

               PULL BACK TO REVEAL

               PAUL in the wheelchair watching as ANNIE finishes reading.

                         Well, is it fair? Should I keep going?

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE, in a fervor.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

                              (mumbling  to himself)
                         Yeah, yeah...

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

                         ...have to wait.

                         Will she still love him with that 
                         special perfect love?

                         Have to wait.

                              (plead ing)
                         Not even a hint?

               Paul shakes his head.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE, spinning around the room like a happy child.

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

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

                         I'm going to play my records all day

                         --to inspire you--he's my all-time 

               And with that, she starts to leave.


               She stops at the door.

                         Would you have dinner with me tonight?

               She can't speak.

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

                         Oh, Paul. It would be an honor.

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

                         Jesus Christ.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               BUSTER'S OFFICE. DUSK.

               VIRGINIA is on the phone.

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

               BUSTER enters carrying a bagful of books.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               STUDY. NIGHT.

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

                         I hope you like it.

                         It looks wonderful. And so do you.


               They eat in awkward silence. Finally:

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

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

                         You can't get this in a restaurant 
                         in New York.

               After another pause:

                         Annie, I think we should have a toast.

                         A toast?

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

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

                         To Misery.

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

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

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

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

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

                         Well, it certainly says you.

                         You really think so?

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

               ANNIE re-enters with a candle.

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

                         It's perfect.

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

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

               ANNIE raises her glass.

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

               They clink glasses.

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

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

                         To Misery.

               So they drink their wine.

                                                                    CUT TO:


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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL'S ROOM

               PAUL, working at his typewriter.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE MANUSCRIPT. Growing.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE'S BEDROOM. DUSK.

               ANNIE, in her room. Reading and loving it.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               BUSTER'S DEN. NIGHT.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL'S ROOM. DAY.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

                         I think you're right.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE PILE OF PAPER. Bigger.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               OUTSIDE THE BARN

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL'S ROOM. NIGHT.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE KITCHEN

               ANNIE, cooking happily away, reading a chapter.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL'S ROOM

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL'S ROOM. LATER.

               ANNIE, bringing a tray of food.

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

               Paul hands her some new pages. As she exits,

                                                                    CUT TO:

               BUSTER'S OFFICE

               BUSTER, in his office reading. He is alone.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE'S LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL'S ROOM. DAY.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL'S ROOM. NIGHT.

               Paul, staring and

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE PILE, growing, growing and

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL'S FINGERS

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL'S ROOM

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL'S ROOM. DUSK.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                             INTERCUT WITH:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE'S FARMHOUSE. NIGHT.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL'S ROOM. NIGHT.

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, looking outside breifly.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                         Here's your pills.

               She drops them on the table.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                         Annie, what is it?

                                                                    CUT TO:


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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

                         Why would you lose me?

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

                         Why would I want to leave? I like it

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

                         It is.

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

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

               She is absentmindedly clicking the empty gun.

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, stunned, listening, waiting--

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

               --then footsteps on the outside walk--

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

               Now comes the GUNNING of the motor.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:


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

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


                         They're hauling Misery into court.

                         That's nice.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE'S KITCHEN.

               The kitchen KNIVES on the counter.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE STUDY

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE SHELF OF PAUL SHELDON BOOKS. As before--

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, glancing around--

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE LIVING ROOM

               PAUL, opening the book.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

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

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

               Paul turns the page.

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

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

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

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

               "After Long Illness."

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

                         Holy shit.

               Then a headline which reads:


               Next page: "MISS WILKES RELEASED."

               Next page: "THREE MORE INFANTS DIE."

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

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

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


               PAUL just sits there, shaking his head in bewilderment.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE BOOK, as Paul turns the LAST page.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                               DISSOLVE TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

               HEADLIGHTS can be seen flashing through the window. PAUL 
               grips the knife and hides it under the covers. The sound of 

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

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

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

                                                               DISSOLVE TO:


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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE ROOM. EARLY MORNING.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

               She comes to the foot of his bed.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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


                         You've been out of your room.

                         No, I haven't.

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

                         I don't know what you're talking 

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, staring at her; waiting.

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

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                         Now don't fuss, Paul.

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

               ANNIE picks up a sledgehammer.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

               She takes the sledgehammer back.

                         Annie, for God's sake, please.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL: CLOSE UP, shrieking.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE, moving to the other side of the bed.

                         Almost done, just one more.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE: CLOSE UP.

                         God, I love you...

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL'S FACE. He is beyond agony.

                                                             FADE TO BLACK:

               For a long moment, nothing.

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

               FADE IN ON:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

               PULL BACK TO REVEAL

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                         Just leave it, all right?

                         Oh, I like that tone.

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

                         What thing?

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

                         What is it?

                         I'm not sure. Maybe nothing.

                         It's good you found it.

                         There's that spice again.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               LIBRARY STACKS

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN GAZETTE, as the pages turn.

               --only now they stop moving.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               BUSTER, tense, adjusting his bifocals.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               A SERIES OF HEADLINES pertaining to Annie Wilkes' murder 

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               BUSTER, sitting there, staring at the quote.


               HOLD ON HIS FACE, then--

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                         Hi, Punkin.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, staring out at her.

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

               As she exits our view--

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:


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

                         Hey, Pete.


                         Answer me a couple things?

                         If I can.

                         Do you have any of those new Paul 
                         Sheldon books?

                         We had a batch. Sold 'em all in three 

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

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

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

                         Has she been buying any odd things 

                         Miz Wilkes? Same old stuff.
                         --Lest you call paper odd.


                              (mimes typing)
                         No, the typing kind.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               BUSTER: CLOSE UP

                         Oh. That kind. Nothing odd about 

               He cannot hide his excitement now as we--

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

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

                         Don't talk to me like that.

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

                              (taken aback)
                         Why are you so mean, Mister you'd-be-

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

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

                              (He spreads his legs)
                         Be my guest.

                              (after a beat)
                         That's disgusting.

               As she exits.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE CAR. BUSTER is driving fast.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE KITCHEN

               ANNIE, busily making cocoa.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               BUSTER heading up the steps to the front door.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                         Oh, my!

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

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

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

                         What do you want to know?

                         Anything you can tell me might help.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE. The words pour out--

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               BUSTER, watching her, surprised.

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

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

                         Thank you.

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

                         'Course you must know about that 
                         horrible accident.

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

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

               CUT TO:

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                         Get ready for what?

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

               BUSTER enters Paul's room. ANNIE follows.

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


                         It's right this way.

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               BUSTER. He just stands there, watches her.

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

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

                         I'm not much of a critic.

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


                         How does a nice cup of cocoa sound?

                         Sounds good.

               As she exits into the kitchen.

                         There's some already made.

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

                         Must get lonely, living out here all 
                         by yourself.

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

                         You got a point there...

               As Buster moves up the stairs--

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE, standing right in front of him.

                         Here you are.

               BUSTER heads down the stairs, ANNIE follows.

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

                         But you didn't even taste your cocoa.

               They cross to the front door.

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

               BUSTER opens the door.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL stirring.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               BUSTER and ANNIE at the door.

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

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

                         Miz Wilkes, are you all right?

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

                         Miz Wilkes?

               Again, no answer.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, still fighting to gain complete consciousness.

                         Here. I'm down here. Down here.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                         Mr. Sheldon?

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

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

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

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

               With that, ANNIE turns and exits the cellar.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE TABLE. One of the cans is LIGHTER FLUID.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                         Now don't be afraid. I love you.

               She starts toward him.

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

                         But the time is now. Soon others 
                         will come.

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

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

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL'S ROOM. NIGHT.

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

               ANNIE enters quietly, holding a few pages.

                         Oh, Paul. It's beautiful.

                         Three more chapters to go.

               She looks at him now, enthralled.

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


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

                         Maybe. Are you ready for the next 

               He taunts her with it.

                              (brimming with 
                         Oh you!

               She takes the pages and goes.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL'S ROOM. LATER.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

                         I'm glad you like it.

                         Paul, this will be our legacy.

                         It will.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL'S ROOM. MUCH LATER.

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

               ANNIE bursts in.

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

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

                         What things?

                         You don't know?

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

                         Dome Pear-igg-non it is.

               AS ANNIE exits.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE WINDOW

               The first light of morning is starting to break through.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, stretching. He makes sure everything is set.

                              (calling out)
                         Annie! Annie!

               With that, she enters.

                         Yes, Paul.

                         I'm almost done.

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

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

                              (dying from the 

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL'S ROOM

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

                         Did I do good?

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

               He takes the last page out of the typewriter.

                         Oh, Paul.

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

               He smiles as we

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE entering with the second glass...

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE MATCH, as he strikes it and

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE screaming--

                         Paul, you can't.

               And as her hands fly out beseechingly--

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                         Why not? I learned it from you...

               And on that--

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

               He drops the last chapter into the soaked manuscript and

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE, transfixed by the sight for a moment,

               --and then she charges.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE TYPEWRITER, crashing into the back of her head.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                         I'm going to kill you, you lying 

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

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

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

               And as he forces more paper into her mouth--

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, falling away --

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, trying to crawl away after her.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, shrieking, and

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE, pulling herself up his body and

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, his grip broken as he turns and

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE, all-powerful, looming over him and

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, hitting up at her and

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               METAL BASED FLOOR LAMP and

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

               Safe, he collapses, exhausted against the wall opposite the 

                                                               DISSOLVE TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE FRONT DOOR smashes open, revealing two cops with guns 

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

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

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

                                     OLDER COP
                         Where's Sheriff McCain?

                         He's in the cellar. She killed him.

                                     OLDER COP
                         Annie Wilkes?

                         Yeah. She's in there.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INSIDE THE BEDROOM

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

               He looks around--

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

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

               He looks at the window--wide open.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL: CLOSE UP. In shock.

                                                               DISSOLVE TO:

               PALM COURT, PLAZA HOTEL

               This legend appears: ONE YEAR LATER

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

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

                         Did they win?

                         Yeah. They're in the semis.

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:


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

                         That'd be a first.

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


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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

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

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

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

                         Now you've hurt me, Paul.

               As Paul glances around...

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, looking past MARCIA.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL AND SINDELL

                         I thought you were over it.

                         I am. Well, maybe not completely--

               He glances toward the trolley.

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL AND SINDELL

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANNIE, with the knife raised.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               PAUL, staring up at ANNIE.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

                         Would you care for anything?

                         Cut me something sinful...

                                                                    CUT TO:

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

               HOLD ON PAUL

                                                            FINAL FADE OUT:

                                         THE END



Writers :   William Goldman
Genres :   Drama  Horror  Thriller

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