Episode 1

Twinsburg - Episode 1



FADE IN:

INT. COLLINS HOME -- MILLICENT’S BEDROOM -- SATURDAY NIGHT

MILLICENT COLLINS puts the final touches on her makeup as she gets ready for the high school winter formal dance. She is wearing a formal gown. She hears a car pull into the driveway and cranes her neck to look out the window.

EXT. MILLICENT’S P.O.V. OF FRONT YARD AND DRIVEWAY -- NIGHT

Bradley’s pickup truck pulls into the driveway.

BACK TO SHOT

Millicent frowns to herself in the mirror, then gets up to look for her shoes. She hears the front door open and her mother, Tuppence, chatting with her date, Bradley. Millicent finds one shoe beside her bureau.
TUPPENCE (O.S.)
Millicent!

MILLICENT
Coming!
NEW ANGLE

Under the bed. Millicent lifts the sheet and finds her other shoe.

BACK TO SHOT

Millicent slips her shoes on and, glancing at herself in the mirror, leaves the room.

CUT TO:
INT. COLLINS HOME -- FOYER -- NIGHT

Pan up MILLICENT’s body as she descends the staircase. TUPPENCE COLLINS and BRADLEY THOMAS stand near the front door. Bradley is wearing a tuxedo under a winter coat.
TUPPENCE
Here she comes.

MILLICENT
Hi.

BRADLEY
You look great.

MILLICENT
Thanks.
Bradley pins a corsage on Millicent’s gown. Tuppence is smiling, a tear in her eye.
TUPPENCE
Such a sweet couple. You look so grown up.

MILLICENT
(embarrassed)
Mom!

BRADLEY
Ready?

MILLICENT
Yep.
Millicent puts on her winter coat, then hugs Tuppence.
MILLICENT
Bye. Don’t wait up.

BRADLEY
Good night, Mrs. Collins.

TUPPENCE
Drive carefully, Bradley. You two have a good time.
CUT TO:
EXT. COLLINS HOME -- NIGHT

MILLICENT and BRADLEY come out the front door and get in the pickup truck. TUPPENCE stands at the door smiling and waving. The pickup pulls out of the driveway. Tuppence keeps waving.

CU -- TUPPENCE stops waving. Her smile abruptly vanishes. She closes the front door.

CUT TO:
EXT. WOODS -- NIGHT

The crescent moon shines over the woods. A dog barks in the distance.

CUT TO:
INT. CORBETT HOME -- WAYNE’S ROOM -- SUNDAY MORNING

WAYNE CORBETT, a 9-year-old boy, shakes a jar containing dead butterflies. The lid was airtight, but he does not understand this. Wayne puts the jar down as he looks out the window. He pulls on his winter boots and throws on a coat.

CUT TO:
EXT. CORBETT HOME -- MORNING

WAYNE comes out of the back door, and the screen door closes with a bang. It is a gray, drizzly day, and he splashes through puddles in his backyard as he heads into the woods.

CUT TO:
EXT. WOODS -- MORNING

Humming to himself, WAYNE picks up a stick and uses it as a laser gun, hiding behind the barren trees like a commando. He attacks a tree as if it were the enemy and whacks it with the stick, knocking off a piece of bark. He examines the bare wood, then continues on. Wayne comes over a ridge and stops short. Wayne sees Millicent’s body face down in a small stream, bobbing against a log. He goes in for a closer look, then runs back to the house.

CU -- MILLICENT’s body floats in the water.

CUT TO:
EXT. WOODS -- MORNING

Long shot pan of the woods.

CUT TO:
EXT. WOODS -- MORNING

WAYNE comes back over the ridge, then turns around and motions to the people he’s brought. SHERIFF ROBERT ARMSTRONG, Deputy LYNDON PFIFFER, and Doctor LYLE TERRENCE come over the ridge and see the body.
TERRENCE
Oh, no.

SHERIFF
Stay here, Wayne.
The three adults move down to the body. Lyndon has a camera and begins taking photos. Sheriff and Terrence drag the body onto the embankment.

CU -- MILLICENT as Terrence turns the body over.

BACK TO SHOT
SHERIFF
It’s Millicent Collins!

TERRENCE
Millicent! Good Lord...

SHERIFF
What is it?

TERRENCE
She’s covered with puncture and slash wounds. She was murdered, Bob. And whoever did it enjoyed their work.
CU -- SHERIFF squints.

CUT TO:
EXT. CITY PARK -- MORNING

BRADLEY is leaning against his pickup truck, waiting. NICHOLAS GREY rides up on his ten-speed bicycle. He is wearing cyclist clothing.
BRADLEY
‘Bout time you got here, chump.

NICHOLAS
What do you want?

BRADLEY
You’ve been seeing Millicent behind my back!

NICHOLAS
So what if I am?

BRADLEY
So you better knock it off before I knock you off! Millicent is my girl, and anybody who gets in my way gets run over, clear?

NICHOLAS
I’m not afraid of you.

BRADLEY
Hey, man, that’s your problem!

NICHOLAS
Millicent can make up her own mind about who she sees. If you think you can hang onto her one minute longer than she wants you, you’re wrong. Dead wrong.

BRADLEY
And you’ll just be plain dead if you don’t listen, man -- dead! And about Millicent making up her mind, well, I’ve fixed that!
CU -- NICHOLAS squints at him.

CUT TO:
EXT. COLLINS HOME -- MORNING

SHERIFF knocks on the front door. TUPPENCE opens the door, smiling.
TUPPENCE
Sheriff Armstrong. Good morning.

SHERIFF
Mrs. Collins, I need to have a word with you.

TUPPENCE
Come in.
CUT TO:
INT. COLLINS HOME -- KITCHEN -- MORNING

SHERIFF and TUPPENCE enter.
TUPPENCE
I was just cleaning up the breakfast things. Can I offer you a bagel? I have some lovely cream cheese.

SHERIFF
I’m afraid I have some bad news, Mrs. Collins. About your daughter.

TUPPENCE
Don’t tell me, I know.

SHERIFF
You do?

TUPPENCE
She got into some kind of trouble last night, and you had to arrest her. Right? She was drinking, I suppose.

SHERIFF
Actually...

TUPPENCE
I suppose a night in a cell might put some sense into her. It’s those boys she hangs around with...

SHERIFF
Mrs. Collins, your daughter died last night. I’m sorry.

TUPPENCE
Died--

SHERIFF
Her body was found this morning. In the woods. It looks like murder. I’m sorry.

TUPPENCE
But...

SHERIFF
I’ve already requested assistance from the FBI. They’re sending a man out this afternoon. I know this is a terrible shock, Mrs. Collins, but we’ll do everything we can to find out what happened to your daughter.

TUPPENCE
Millicent...

SHERIFF
I’ll stop back later today to ask a few basic questions.

TUPPENCE
Yes. Yes. Thank you.

SHERIFF
I’ll contact Albert. You don’t have to worry.

TUPPENCE
Thank you.

SHERIFF
I’m sorry. I’ll let myself out.
CU -- TUPPENCE closes her eyes, trying to be strong.

CUT TO:
EXT. NEIGHBORHOOD STREET -- MORNING

ALAN CARTWRIGHT and ALBERT COLLINS are jogging.
ALAN
It’s those soccer fields, Albert. Acres of wasted land. I see the new wing of my mall there, major expansion.

ALBERT
I don’t know, Alan. Community backlash, that’s what we have to watch out for. Those soccer fields mean a lot to the school kids and their families.

ALAN
Retail, that’s the backbone of this town!

ALBERT
Maybe if we aim at the junior market, get them on our side...
SHERIFF pulls up in his cruiser.
SHERIFF
Albert! We need to talk.
Alan and Albert stop, but jog in place. Sheriff gets out of the car.
ALBERT
What is it, Bob?

SHERIFF
Albert, I have some bad news. You’d better prepare yourself for a shock.

ALBERT
(stops jogging)
Go ahead.

SHERIFF
Your daughter’s body was found this morning. She’s dead, Albert. She was murdered.

ALBERT
Murdered? Are you sure? When?

SHERIFF
Last night, between one and three.

ALBERT
Last night... I can’t believe it.

SHERIFF
I’m sorry.

ALAN
Sheriff, may I ask where the body was found?

SHERIFF
Shadygrove woods, about half a mile in.

ALAN
Not my property. Good. I mean, it’s a relief.

SHERIFF
Albert, listen, I’m sorry you had to find out like this, but I thought you’d want to know right away.

ALBERT
Yes. Thank you, Bob. Thank you. Tuppence -- does she know?

SHERIFF
Yes.

ALBERT
Yes, of course. I’d better go over there, make sure she’s all right.
Alan is impressed that Albert takes it so well.
SHERIFF
I’m sure she’d appreciate it.

ALAN
I know my ex wouldn’t.
The two men jog on. Sheriff watches them go and squints.

CUT TO:
INT. THOMAS HOME -- KITCHEN -- MORNING

MEGAN THOMAS is eating her breakfast, fruit salad and a bagel with cream cheese. BRADLEY comes in the back door.
MEGAN
You’re out and about early this morning.

BRADLEY
I had some business to take care of, Red.

MEGAN
How was the dance last night?

BRADLEY
That James Clapsaddle was there. He asked me how you were. I think he’s got his eyes on the prize, a shiny red ribbon to pin to his chest.

MEGAN
James and I are just friends.

BRADLEY
I’m glad to hear it, because he is a total geek.

MEGAN
He’s nice. I think Millicent is a total geek.
Bradley smiles oddly and leaves the room. Megan squints at him.

CUT TO:
INT. COLLINS HOME -- LIVING ROOM -- MORNING

SHERIFF is talking to TUPPENCE and ALBERT. A deputy takes notes. Albert is standing. Tuppence is seated on the couch. Sheriff is on the edge of his chair.
SHERIFF
Mrs. Collins, can you tell us where Millicent was last night? When did you last see her?

TUPPENCE
Yes, of course. She went to the winter formal -- at the high school. She’d been so looking forward to it. Her boyfriend, Bradley -- Bradley Thomas -- picked her up at six. Yes, six o’clock, and that was the last I -- the last time I...

ALBERT
It’s all right.

SHERIFF
Did you notice if there was anything unusual about her behavior during the day?

TUPPENCE
No, I don’t think so. She was just nervous about the dance. I don’t know... Everything else seemed all right.

ALBERT
This Bradley Thomas, who is he?

TUPPENCE
Well, if you’d show a little interest in your daughter, you’d know, wouldn’t you?

ALBERT
Now, Tuppence! She never mentioned him to me. How long have they been going out?

TUPPENCE
You only see her four days a month! And that’s when you can’t get out of it with some business trip!

ALBERT
Now, just a minute--!

SHERIFF
Whoa, now, folks... let’s have a ceasefire. I know this is a difficult time for you.

ALBERT
Yes, of course, Bob. I apologize. Tuppence?

TUPPENCE
I’m sorry.

SHERIFF
You folks need a little time to cool off. I want you to know that I’ll do everything I can to find out what happened to your daughter, and to bring her killer to justice.

TUPPENCE
Thank you, Sheriff.
Albert puts him arm around the Sheriff’s shoulder.
ALBERT
I know we can count on you, Bob.
CUT TO:
EXT. RURAL ROAD -- SUNDAY AFTERNOON

SPECIAL AGENT MARTIN GALE makes an audio recording while driving through the countryside.
GALE
Rosanne, it’s 12:42 P.M. on January 25th, and I will be reaching Twinsburg shortly. I stopped for lunch at a small restaurant called the Cornucopia. The bill was $3.18 plus a fifteen percent tip for the very motherly waitress. The weather is gray and drizzly, lending a definite aura of melancholy to the day, a fitting backdrop to the grim work that lies ahead: untangling the dark and twisted web of a murdered girl’s last hours.
He checks some papers in a manila folder.
GALE
The local sheriff is a Robert Armstrong. I sincerely hope we can forge a suitable working relationship. Unfamiliar as I am with the territory, I can only hope for the best.
CUT TO:
EXT. SHERIFF STATION -- AFTERNOON

CUT TO:
INT. SHERIFF STATION -- LOBBY -- AFTERNOON

SHERIFF comes out of his office and is met by LYNDON.
LYNDON
Sheriff, we’ve brought in Bradley Thomas, you know, the victim’s boyfriend? He was at home.

SHERIFF
Good work, Lyndon.
GALE comes in the front door.
GALE
Excuse me, I’m looking for Sheriff Robert Armstrong.

SHERIFF
You found him.

GALE
Sheriff, Special Agent Martin Gale, Federal Bureau of Investigation. I understand you’ve got a murder on your hands.

SHERIFF
(shakes hands)
I sure do. Glad you’re here, Agent Gale. This is Deputy Pfiffer.

GALE
(shakes hands)
Deputy.

SHERIFF
The girl was found early this morning. She was at the high school dance last night. We were just about to talk with her date.

GALE
The sooner we begin, the better.
CUT TO:
INT. SHERIFF STATION -- CONFERENCE ROOM -- AFTERNOON

GALE and SHERIFF enter. BRADLEY is seated at the table.
BRADLEY
Sheriff, so, what’s up? I haven’t done anything.

SHERIFF
Bradley, we’d like to ask you a few questions about Millicent Collins.

BRADLEY
Millicent? Was she arrested?

SHERIFF
She’s been murdered.

BRADLEY
What? No way... Murdered? Wait a minute -- you think I did it? You think I killed her?

SHERIFF
Calm down, Bradley. We just want you to tell us everything that happened last night.

BRADLEY
Who’s this guy?

SHERIFF
This is Agent Gale, from the FBI.

GALE
Just tell us about last night, Bradley.

BRADLEY
Right. We went to the dance, the winter formal. I picked Millicent up at her house at six, and we went straight to the dance. I mean, anybody could vouch for that. We stayed till about midnight, then we left.

GALE
You took her straight home?

BRADLEY
No. We went to the park, to look at the stars, but we had a fight. It wasn’t violent or anything. She wanted to break up with me, and I tried to talk her out of it. She got mad, and decided to walk home. She wouldn’t let me drive her. She just walked off. I didn’t see her after that and I didn’t kill her. She was my girlfriend.

GALE
Why did she want to break up with you?

BRADLEY
I’ll tell you why. She wanted to go out with that loser Nicholas Grey. He’s the one you should be questioning.
Sheriff looks at Gale.
SHERIFF
Okay, Bradley. You can go.

BRADLEY
Later!
Bradley exits.
GALE
Sheriff, we need to have a good long talk about Millicent Collins. I need to know the logistics of her life as well as you are aware of them.

SHERIFF
Right, we can talk over dinner.

GALE
Good. First things first, Sheriff. There’s something I want to say up front. I’ve learned from experience that it’s best to get this out in the open right away. When the Bureau gets called in, the Bureau’s in charge. Now, you’re going to be working for me. Sometimes local law-enforcement has a problem with that.

SHERIFF
Like I said, I’m glad you’re here. I’ve never had a murder on my hands before. Things are generally pretty quiet around here.

GALE
It’s refreshing, Sheriff, believe me. Now, I wonder if you can recommend an inexpensive yet comfortable hotel. I don’t need anything extravagant, just a place to lay my head that’s inexpensive yet comfortable.

SHERIFF
Got the perfect place. The Twinsburg Inn. We’ll get you settled in.

GALE
Perfect.
CUT TO:
INT. COLLINS HOME -- FOYER -- AFTERNOON

TUPPENCE opens the front door. On the doorstep is PENNY GARDNER.
PENNY
Hello, Mrs. Collins.

TUPPENCE
Penny, come in.

PENNY
Thank you. Is Millicent up yet?
Tuppence says nothing.
PENNY
Mrs. Collins?
Tuppence starts to cry.
PENNY
What’s wrong? What is it?

TUPPENCE
Millicent... was found -- she’s dead. She’s dead. The sheriff says she was murdered. Last night...

PENNY
She’s dead? But she can’t be... she can’t be dead, I saw her at the dance, everything was fine. She was so happy. She can’t be... just gone.

TUPPENCE
Yes. She’s gone...
Penny embraces Tuppence. They both cry.

CUT TO:
INT. ROSEMARY’S PASTRY SHOP -- AFTERNOON

ROSEMARY CLAPSADDLE is behind the counter, arranging pastries in the display case. Her son, KENT CLAPSADDLE, is leaning against the counter, on the opposite side.
ROSEMARY
Oh, by the way, I meant to tell you. A friend of mine from high school is coming to visit for a week. Janet Flynn.

KENT
Janet Flynn. Do I know her?

ROSEMARY
No, she’s been living in England since college. She’s just now back in the states.

KENT
Is she going to be staying with us?

ROSEMARY
Well, I haven’t talked to Aunt Elspeth about it yet. I was going to do that tonight.

KENT
She could always stay with Kimmy, couldn’t she?

ROSEMARY
My sister and I are not speaking to each other.

KENT
(mumbles)
Again?

ROSEMARY
What?

KENT
Nothing.
Kent takes two éclairs and goes to a table where JAMES CLAPSADDLE is reading the Sunday funnies. James laughs out loud as he finishes each strip.
KENT
Guess what?

JAMES
What? No, don’t tell me... There weren’t any éclairs because your mother ate them all.

KENT
No.

JAMES
Um... Your mother and Kimmy aren’t speaking to each other.

KENT
You got it.

JAMES
Ah, my wonderful sisters. I don’t even need the comics.
James puts down the paper and takes an éclair. He looks out the window as PENNY walks by outside, looking upset.
JAMES
I know her! She goes to my church. Her name’s Penny Gardner. She’s the best friend of Millicent Collins, whose boyfriend, King Jerk Bradley Thomas, is the brother of Megan Thomas, whom I also know from church.

KENT
Wait, you lost me.

JAMES
When?

KENT
After “I know her!”
They laugh.

At another table across the shop are NICHOLAS and DUANE CARTWRIGHT. They did not see Penny go by, and pay no attention to James and Kent.
NICHOLAS
Listen, Duane. Bradley Thomas found out I’ve been seeing Millicent.

DUANE
How?

NICHOLAS
I don’t know, maybe she told him. You know how she is. Anyway, I saw him this morning, and he threatened to make trouble.

DUANE
He did, did he? Well, we can’t have any of that. You leave Thomas to me, I’ll make sure he minds his own business.

NICHOLAS
I don’t want anybody getting hurt...

DUANE
Listen, Nicholas, we can’t afford to take any risks right now. Things are at a very delicate stage. We can’t let some jealous jock screw everything up. Did Millicent break up with him last night like she was supposed to?

NICHOLAS
I don’t know, man. It didn’t sound like it, the way Bradley was talking this morning.

DUANE
That’s bad. That would be very bad. I’m going to have to have a talk with Millicent about that.

NICHOLAS
Take it easy, Duane. I’ll talk to her about it.

DUANE
Have you heard from Millicent today?

NICHOLAS
Penny was going over there this afternoon.

DUANE
Good. Now you listen to me. My neck’s on the line here, and if you and Penny can’t talk some sense into Millicent, then I will.
Duane cracks his knuckles. Nicholas squints at him.
NICHOLAS
If anybody can talk sense into Millicent, it’s Penny and me.
CUT TO:
EXT. GREY’S BIKE SHOP -- AFTERNOON

CUT TO:
INT. GREY’S BIKE SHOP -- AFTERNOON

PENNY comes in. The shop seems deserted. She knocks on the counter.
PENNY
Hello? Elliott? Anyone here?
ELLIOTT GREY comes out of the back, wiping his greasy hands on a rag.
ELLIOTT
Why, hello there, Penny. What can I do for you?

PENNY
Is Nicholas here?

ELLIOTT
Sorry, honey. No, he’s not. I haven’t seen him since this morning. Say, is something wrong?

PENNY
I have to find Nicholas.

ELLIOTT
Well, if he comes in, I’ll have him call you.

PENNY
Tell him to meet me at our table, will you?

ELLIOTT
Your table?

PENNY
He’ll understand.

ELLIOTT
Okay, honey. I’ll do that.

PENNY
Thanks, Elliott.

ELLIOTT
You bet.
Penny leaves quickly. Elliott squints at her.

CUT TO:
EXT. TWINSBURG INN -- SUNDAY EVENING

CUT TO:
INT. INN RESTAURANT -- EVENING

GALE and SHERIFF are eating dinner. A WAITRESS gives Sheriff a chicken dinner with baked potato. Gale has country-fried steak with mashed potatoes.
GALE
This dinner smells incredible.
The waitress smiles at Gale and moves off.
GALE
Now, Sheriff, tell me about Millicent Collins.

SHERIFF
Well, she lived in Twinsburg all her life, born here. She was a senior at the high school. Good student, but her records showed a lot of absences, often unexcused. She was an active member of her church, involved with the youth group there, and she did a lot of community service projects. She always helped out with the police auction and paper drives. We all liked her. She lived with her mother, Tuppence, a librarian. Her father’s Albert Collins, old friend of mine. Albert’s a lawyer here in town. He has a place of his own on the north side. Tuppence and Albert split up a couple of years ago. Nothing out of the ordinary.

GALE
Hmm. And the night she died?

SHERIFF
Tuppence said Millicent had been nervous about the dance yesterday, and then Bradley picked her up at six...

GALE
From there they proceeded to the dance until midnight, when they went to the park, where she broke up with him. They argued and she left on foot.

SHERIFF
She was found this morning by Wayne Corbett, a little boy who lives on the edge of Shadygrove woods.

GALE
Nicholas Grey. The one Bradley Thomas mentioned?

SHERIFF
Another high school senior. Works at his uncle’s bicycle shop. That’s about all I know about him.

GALE
Sheriff, I think it would be a good idea to have a talk with him first thing tomorrow morning.

SHERIFF
That can be arranged.

GALE
Perfect. This country-fried steak is a marvel!
CUT TO:
EXT. CITY PARK -- EVENING

PENNY is sitting at a picnic table, waiting. NICHOLAS rides up on his ten-speed bike.
NICHOLAS
Hi. Did you talk to Millicent?

PENNY
She... I -- She...

NICHOLAS
Hey, what’s wrong?

PENNY
Oh, Nicholas... she’s dead. She was murdered last night.

NICHOLAS
What? No, you’re wrong. I don’t believe it.

PENNY
It’s true. I talked to her mom. They found her body this morning. Somebody killed her after the dance. It’s horrible.
CU -- NICHOLAS
BRADLEY (V.O.)
Anybody who gets in my way gets run over, clear? As for Millicent, well, I fixed her! I’ll kill you!
BACK TO SHOT
PENNY
Hold me, Nicholas. Just...
They embrace, and she holds on to him tightly.

CUT TO:
LONG PAN OF VALLEY

CUT TO:
EXT. VALLEY -- SUNDAY NIGHT

BRADLEY is walking along the edge of the river, deep in thought. He is clearly disturbed. He picks up a stone and hurls it into the water. He turns away from the river and walks back to his pickup truck. Once there, he reaches into his pocket for his keys.
DUANE (O.S)
Thomas...
Bradley turns around. DUANE and TOUGH GUY come up to him.
BRADLEY
What do you want, Cartwright?

DUANE
I’ve got some advice for you, Thomas. You better just forget about being Millicent’s boyfriend, or you’re just asking for trouble.

BRADLEY
Stay out of my way, Cartwright. You can take your advice and choke on it.

DUANE
Just trying to save you a lot of grief. She doesn’t want you, man.

BRADLEY
Oh, yeah? Well, a lot you know! So why don’t you and your bed-buddy here go find a nice men’s room?

DUANE
You’re meat, sucker!
Duane and Tough Guy attack Bradley. Duane hits Bradley in the face and knocks him against the car, then hits him in the stomach. Bradley swings and misses. Tough Guy slams Bradley’s head against the car, then grabs him from behind and turns him around. Duane hits Bradley repeatedly in the stomach. Tough Guy drops him to the ground. Duane kicks him twice.
DUANE
Now, maybe you’ll do as you’re told.

BRADLEY
I’ll kill you, you son of a bitch!
Duane kicks him again, then laughs. Tough Guy laughs, too. They walk off into the darkness.
BRADLEY
I’ll kill you! I’ll kill you!
CUT TO:
EXT. TWINSBURG INN -- NIGHT

CUT TO:
INT. TWINSBURG INN -- GALE’S ROOM -- NIGHT

Ready for bed, GALE makes another audio recording.
GALE
Rosanne, it is now 10:35 P.M. I am settled in my room at the Twinsburg Inn. My dinner with Sheriff Armstrong was both delicious and informative. The sheriff strikes me as a fine man, and I anticipate no problems with our working relationship. His knowledge of the residents and customs of his town will be an invaluable asset to my investigation, which begins in earnest tomorrow. I have thus far been exposed to but a few of the pieces of the puzzle it falls to me to solve. What the ultimate patterns will be I cannot begin to imagine.
CUT TO:
EXT. WOODS -- NIGHT

A dog barks in the distance.

CUT TO:
EXT. COLLINS HOME -- NIGHT

TUPPENCE stares out her bedroom window.

CUT TO:
INT. CORBETT HOME -- LIVING ROOM -- NIGHT

WAYNE, in his pajamas, watches television.

CUT TO:
INT. ALBERT’S APARTMENT -- NIGHT

ALBERT does a crossword puzzle.

CUT TO:
EXT. CITY PARK -- NIGHT

NICHOLAS and PENNY embrace.

CUT TO:
INT. THOMAS HOME -- KITCHEN -- NIGHT

MEGAN looks out the window, waiting for her brother.

CUT TO:
EXT. WOODS -- NIGHT

The crescent moon goes behind a cloud. Fade out.

CUT TO:
EXT. HIGH SCHOOL -- MONDAY MORNING

CUT TO:
INT. FIRST CLASSROOM -- MORNING

NICHOLAS is sitting in homeroom with many other STUDENTS. There is an empty desk where Penny would normally sit. The PRINCIPAL’s voice comes over the P.A. system.
PRINCIPAL (V.O.)
Attention, students. May I have your attention, please. May I have your attention, please. Thank you. I am afraid I have some very terrible news. Something that hits very close to home. One of your fellow students, Millicent Collins, was found dead yesterday morning. The police believe she was killed sometime after the Winter Formal. Millicent was a good student, and a good friend to all. I would ask that we have a moment of silence to remember our lost friend.
The students are shocked and upset. Nicholas looks over at Penny’s empty desk.

CUT TO:
INT. SECOND CLASSROOM -- MORNING

DUANE is disturbed, for his life has suddenly become more complicated.
PRINCIPAL (V.O.)
Classes will be canceled for the remainder of the day. Guidance counselors will be available in the guidance center for students who wish to talk. This is a great tragedy for all of us.
JAMES, across the room, notices Duane’s strange reaction to the news and squints at him.

CUT TO:
INT. FIRST CLASSROOM -- MORNING

As the students begin to leave the room, the TEACHER hands a call slip to NICHOLAS. He looks at it, then steps into the hall.

CUT TO:
INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY -- MORNING

NICHOLAS walks down the hall toward the principal’s office amid the mass of dazed, shocked STUDENTS.

CUT TO:
INT. PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE -- MORNING

From the outer office, NICHOLAS sees the PRINCIPAL talking to GALE and SHERIFF. The Principal motions for Nicholas to come in. He does so.
SHERIFF
Nicholas, have a seat.
Nicholas sits.
PRINCIPAL
Well, gentlemen, I’ll leave you to your business.

GALE
Thank you.
The principal leaves, shutting the door on the way out. Gale gestures for Sheriff to sit behind the desk. Gale remains standing.
NICHOLAS
I can guess what this is about.

SHERIFF
Nicholas, where were you after midnight on Saturday?

NICHOLAS
I took Penny home from the dance at midnight -- Penny Gardner. At about 12:30, I got home, changed into my cycling gear, and went for a ride.

GALE
You always go for rides that late, Nicholas?

NICHOLAS
Sometimes.

GALE
Why did you go for a ride?

NICHOLAS
To clear my head. Look, I didn’t see Millicent after we left the dance.

SHERIFF
Nicholas, were you dating Millicent?

NICHOLAS
How did you know that?

SHERIFF
We talked to Bradley Thomas yesterday. You know who he is?

NICHOLAS
Of course I know who he is.

SHERIFF
He told us Millicent wanted to break up with him so she could go out with you.

NICHOLAS
Yeah, she said she was going to, but I wasn’t sure if she actually would. She was like that. She often didn’t do what she said she would.

GALE
How well do you know Bradley Thomas?

NICHOLAS
Only in passing. We weren’t what you’d call friends. But, you know, I got a call from him early yesterday morning. He told me to meet him at the park, something about Millicent. I figured she had told him, and he was ticked off at me. Well, I went and met him. He told me he knew I was seeing Millicent behind his back, and he threatened to kill me. I told him Millicent could make her own decisions, but he kept saying he’d fixed her, he fixed her. At first, I just blew it off as tough talk, but now...

GALE
Thank you, Nicholas. You can go.
Nicholas gets up.
NICHOLAS
I didn’t kill her. I loved her.

SHERIFF
No one’s disputing that, Nicholas.
Gale opens the door and Nicholas leaves. Gale closes it again.
SHERIFF
Bradley Thomas didn’t come to school today. What do you think?

GALE
Nicholas is innocent.

SHERIFF
And Bradley’s threats?

GALE
Bradley was hiding something, but he isn’t a murderer, either.

SHERIFF
How do you know all that?

GALE
Body language.
CUT TO:
INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY -- MORNING

NICHOLAS comes out of the office. DUANE is waiting for him.
DUANE
What happened in there?

NICHOLAS
They just asked a lot of questions.
They walk down the hall.
DUANE
This stinks. We’ve got a truckload of work to do now, to deal with this situation...

NICHOLAS
This is more than a “situation” -- Millicent is dead! She was murdered!

DUANE
Hey, take it easy! Where’s Penny, anyway?

NICHOLAS
She was too upset to come to school today. She found out from Millicent’s mother yesterday.

DUANE
Yesterday? She knew about this yesterday and she didn’t tell anybody?

NICHOLAS
She told me.

DUANE
Well, that’s just great. We lose a partner and you don’t even tell me? Do you realize how much time we’ve lost already? I don’t know about you, Grey, but I am not going to let this ruin all our plans. We’ve worked too hard for this, and we’re too close to let anything wreck it now.
Nicholas is irritated by Duane’s attitude. They turn a corner, revealing JAMES, who has been walking behind them, eavesdropping. James stops, looking at them with a raised eyebrow. He is joined by KENT.
KENT
James, what’s up?

JAMES
Kent, those two are definitely up to something.
CUT TO:
EXT. TWINSBURG HOSPITAL -- MORNING

CUT TO:
INT. TERRENCE’S OFFICE -- MORNING

GALE and SHERIFF have come to see TERRENCE.
TERRENCE
Well, I have the report on the post mortem. She died between one and three A.M., at the site her body was found. The cause of death was mainly loss of blood from the slash and puncture wounds to her back, chest, and abdomen. There were scratches on her arms and face, presumably from running through the woods.

SHERIFF
What a way to die.

TERRENCE
The strange bit is that the wounds appear to have been made by a sword.

SHERIFF
A sword? You mean like a fencing foil?

TERRENCE
No, I’d say it was more like a broadsword.

SHERIFF
That’s crazy.

GALE
Doctor, was there any evidence of sexual assault?

TERRENCE
Well, there were no signs of rape, but I did find a lot of bruising on her breasts and buttocks.

GALE
I see.

TERRENCE
I’d taken care of Millicent Collins since she was a little girl. She always had a smile, never seemed afraid of shots. Never cried. And now, to look at her lying on that examining table -- so still and cold...

GALE
Doctor, I’d like to take a look at the body myself.

TERRENCE
Certainly, Agent Gale.
CUT TO:
INT. HOSPITAL HALLWAY -- MORNING

GALE, SHERIFF, and TERRENCE head for the morgue.
SHERIFF
What do you think you’ll find?

GALE
If we’re lucky, Sheriff, nothing.

SALTARES (O.S.)
Excuse me?
GABRIEL SALTARES stops the three men.
SALTARES
Sheriff, I’m Gabriel Saltares, professor of medieval literature over at Huron College. I heard about the murder. You know, Millicent often came to talk to me, to learn about the Dark Ages. She just couldn’t get enough.

SHERIFF
That’s really interesting, Professor, but I’m afraid we’re in kind of a hurry. If you’d like, you can come down to the station later and give a statement...

SALTARES
Are you going to see the body?

SHERIFF
Yes.

SALTARES
Would you mind if I sort of tagged along?

GALE
Yes, I would. Why would you want to?

SALTARES
Well, er... it’s just that I...
Gale and Sheriff exchange glances.
SHERIFF
Maybe some other time, Professor.
The three men leave Saltares and continue down the hall. Saltares squints at them.

CUT TO:
INT. MORGUE

MILLICENT’s body is laid out on an examining table. GALE, SHERIFF, and TERRENCE enter.
TERRENCE
You can see the scratches on her face. And here, the major wounds were to the upper...
Gale is poking about Millicent’s toes. Sheriff and Terrence exchange glances.
SHERIFF
Agent Gale?

GALE
Sheriff, take a look at this.
Gale is examining the underside of the fourth toe of her right foot. Sheriff leans in close.

CU -- TOE. Burned into Millicent’s flesh is a letter Y.
SHERIFF (O.S.)
A “y.”
BACK TO SHOT
SHERIFF
What does it mean?

GALE
It means something evil has come to your town, Sheriff. Something dark, twisted, and deadly.

TERRENCE
How did you know that would be there?

GALE
Sheriff, Doctor Terrence, I came to Twinsburg hoping to find that the murder of Millicent Collins was an isolated incident, but I am afraid it is something far more sinister. Her murder follows the exact pattern of another murder that occurred in the southern part of the state last year. A young, pretty runaway girl named Theresa Chavez was found dead in a wooded area. She died from wounds inflicted with a broadsword, and during the autopsy, a letter was found in this same position. The letter W.

SHERIFF
A serial killer.

GALE
So it would seem.

SHERIFF
And he’s in my town... but where?
CUT TO:
INT. THOMAS HOME -- BRADLEY’S ROOM -- MORNING

BRADLEY is in bed, battered and bruised from the fight. MEGAN comes in with a bowl of soup.
MEGAN
Good morning.

BRADLEY
Yeah.

MEGAN
What happened to you? You came staggering in last night, and we put you to bed, but you were out like a light. You were just babbling. I mean, it was obvious you were beat up. Who did it?

BRADLEY
It was just some jerks from school. Don’t worry about it.

MEGAN
Mom wants to call the police and file a report.

BRADLEY
No! I’ll handle this myself.

MEGAN
You know, I had a dream about you last night.

BRADLEY
Oh, yeah?

MEGAN
It was weird. I dreamed you had been nailed to the wall of a rotating room, and blood was running out of you and making a pool on the floor. But the room was turning over and over, and the blood was making the most awful sloshing sound.

BRADLEY
You’re weird, Megan.
CUT TO:
INT. CORBETT HOME -- KITCHEN -- MORNING

WAYNE and his frumpy mother, EMMA CORBETT, are seated at the kitchen table. Wayne is looking through his baseball cards. Emma is buttering a slice of bread.
WAYNE
What’s for lunch?
No answer. Emma keeps on carefully buttering.
WAYNE
It’s lunchtime. I’m hungry.
Emma looks at him with annoyance, but it is very brief. She places her slice of bread on the table and gets up. She goes to the refrigerator and gets out a sandwich in a molded plastic container and sets it in front of him. She sits down. An ant is crawling across her buttered bread, and she squishes the ant with her fingers. She puts the piece of bread in the garbage, gets out another slice, and begins lovingly buttering it.

CUT TO:
INT. COLLINS HOME -- LIVING ROOM -- MORNING

TUPPENCE is seated on the couch. GALE and SHERIFF are standing.
SHERIFF
The wounds that Millicent died from were made with a sword.

TUPPENCE
A sword?

SHERIFF
Dr. Terrence says it was a broadsword.

GALE
Mrs. Collins, was you daughter interested in the Middle Ages?

TUPPENCE
Well, she does have several books on medieval history. I found them on her desk. She wrote a research paper on the Middle Ages for her composition class. She talked to a Professor Saltares, I think, about it. He teaches at the college. She met him at her church.

GALE
Do you know if she belonged to any sort of group that is interested in that time period?

TUPPENCE
Group? No... not that I know of.

GALE
Thank you, Mrs. Collins. You’ve been a great help.

TUPPENCE
Thank you, Agent Gale. Thank you for being here. You will find him, won’t you? The one who took my daughter away from me?

GALE
Ma’am, I’ll do my best. Sheriff?

SHERIFF
Thank you, Mrs. Collins.
CUT TO:
EXT. COLLINS HOME -- MORNING

GALE and SHERIFF come out the front door.
GALE
Poor woman. It’s a crushing loss.

SHERIFF
Yeah.

GALE
Sheriff, I think I’d like to talk to Professor Saltares.
Suddenly, ZEKE CHOMSKI, an elderly mailman, comes by. After putting mail in the box, he waves at Gale and smiles broadly.
SHERIFF
Zeke.
Zeke continues on without a word. Gale is struck by the greeting.

CUT TO:
EXT. VALLEY -- MONDAY NOON

DUANE and NICHOLAS are seated at a picnic table surrounded by trees, behind which the ground drops away several feet. A car pulls up and PENNY gets out.
DUANE
Where have you been? We’ve been waiting almost twenty minutes.

PENNY
Look, I haven’t been feeling well, with all that’s happened. I’m sorry.

DUANE
Don’t you start getting soft on me, Penny. We’ve gotta keep cool heads and figure out what we’re gonna do.

PENNY
Is that all you can think about? How can you be so insensitive? Millicent is dead! Doesn’t that mean anything to you?

DUANE
We’ve got a lot more to worry about than Millicent being dead, and you better just make sure you pull your own weight!

NICHOLAS
Back off, Duane!

DUANE
Now, you listen to me, both of you! We’re all in this up to our necks, and if we’re gonna make this work, we’ve got to stick together!

NICHOLAS
This whole thing is getting out of control.

PENNY
I hate it! I wish I never got involved!
Penny begins to cry, and Nicholas comforts her.
DUANE
Oh, for crying out loud! Just give me a break, will you? Nobody twisted your arms. You were all gung-ho when Millicent was around. Well, she’s gone, all right?! And you can either fall apart or stand on your own feet for once!
NEW ANGLE

Behind the trees, JAMES and KENT are spying on the trio, hidden by the embankment.
KENT
What are they going on about?

JAMES
It’s hard to tell. I can’t hear everything they’re saying. But one thing’s for sure. They’re involved in some kind of trouble. Big trouble.
BACK TO SHOT
NICHOLAS
Bradley Thomas wasn’t in school this morning. The sheriff said they talked to him yesterday.

DUANE
Yeah, I talked to him yesterday, too. We taught him a lesson he won’t forget anytime soon, if he knows what’s good for him.

NICHOLAS
What are you talking about?

DUANE
Let’s just say it was a refresher course in remedial pain.

NICHOLAS
You beat him up?

DUANE
Grey, you are so quick, it’s amazing.

NICHOLAS
Yeah, well, I don’t know that that was such a great idea. I mean, he was the last person seen with Millicent, wasn’t he? And who knows?

PENNY
Do you think that he--?

NICHOLAS
I saw Bradley yesterday morning. He told me he’d fixed Millicent, and threatened to kill me if I didn’t stay out of his way.

PENNY
Do you think the shock of losing her made him go crazy? I mean, crazy enough to kill her?

NICHOLAS
I’m not so sure she did break up with him. It sure didn’t sound like it, and you know how she was.
CU -- DUANE reconsiders Bradley’s threats against his life.

CUT TO:
INT. SALTARES’ OFFICE -- NOON

GALE and SHERIFF enter. SALTARES is seated behind his desk, eating a brown bag lunch.
SALTARES
Ah, gentlemen, come in, please.

GALE
Professor, thank you for taking time out of your schedule to see us.

SALTARES
Not at all, it’s my pleasure, really. Please, sit down.
They look down at the chairs, which have stacks of papers sitting on them, and remain standing.
GALE
Professor, when did Millicent Collins first come to see you?

SALTARES
Let me see. It was about three years ago, now. Yes, shortly after her parents separated, I remember. She was quite upset about it, poor girl.

GALE
How often did she come in?

SALTARES
Well, it varied quite a bit. Sometimes, she’d come in two, maybe three times a week. Then it’d be weeks before I saw her again.

GALE
What did you talk about?

SALTARES
Millicent was fascinated with the Middle Ages, but in a way I’ve never seen before. She always wanted to know about the people of the medieval world, especially warriors. She talked like she was afraid of them, but fascinated at the same time.

GALE
What do you mean she was afraid of them?

SALTARES
It’s hard to say, but it seemed as though she was actually afraid they could harm her, and she had to know how to protect herself. I know it sounds crazy.

GALE
Are there any medieval societies in the area?

SALTARES
Why, yes, as a matter of fact, there is. I often go to their events myself. Sometimes, I take my class for a field trip of sorts. Brings the literature alive, you see.

GALE
What’s the name of the organization?

SALTARES
It’s the Medieval Re-creation Society. The MRS, for short.

GALE
And was Millicent a member?

SALTARES
No.

GALE
Thank you for your time. Sheriff?

SHERIFF
Enjoy your lunch.
Gale and Sheriff exit.

CUT TO:
EXT. RURAL ROAD -- NOON

GALE and SHERIFF drive away from the campus in the sheriff’s cruiser.
SHERIFF
Well, that was sure... interesting. What do you think? Was Millicent killed by a member of the Medieval Re-creation Society?

GALE
That’s what I intend to find out.

SHERIFF
I’m still bothered by that other murder downstate. If he’s killed twice already, he’ll probably kill again.

GALE
I would say that’s a safe assumption. However, we can’t assume that the killer has left town. I must admit the connection between the two killings has been preying on my mind as well. Clearly, they were committed by the same individual. Or group. We mustn’t overlook the possibility of the involvement of some manner of fringe religious organization.

SHERIFF
You mean a cult.

GALE
There is a definite possibility that both Millicent Collins and Theresa Chavez were victims of ritual sacrifice.

SHERIFF
Chilling. You think the MRS may be involved in that kind of thing?

GALE
I don’t know, Sheriff. I just don’t know.
CUT TO:
INT. ROSEMARY’S PASTRY SHOP -- NOON

ROSEMARY is putting a fresh tray of croissants in the display counter. Her sister-in-law, DANI CLAPSADDLE, wearing a business suit, comes in the shop.
DANI
Hello, Rosemary.

ROSEMARY
Hi, Dani! How’s work today?

DANI
Not bad. How are you?

ROSEMARY
Great! A friend of mine is coming to town tomorrow. Janet’s been in England since college. It’ll be good to see her again.

DANI
I can see you’re excited. You have the same excited sparkle in your eye that Patrick gets. Will your friend be staying with you?

ROSEMARY
Yes, I talked to Aunt Elspeth about it last night.
Dani is relieved that she won’t be asked to put Janet up, but Rosemary, busy with the croissants, does not see her reaction.
DANI
Have you heard from Kimmmy lately?

ROSEMARY
My sister and I are not on speaking terms, thank you.

DANI
Oh.

ROSEMARY
So, how is my brother, anyway?

DANI
Oh, he’s... Patrick.

ROSEMARY
Makes sense.

DANI
Did you hear about that poor girl, murdered yesterday? I can’t believe something like that happening here.

ROSEMARY
I know. She went to school with Kent every day, though I don’t think they knew each other.

DANI
How did Kent take the news? I heard they cancelled school for the day.

ROSEMARY
I don’t know. I haven’t seen him since breakfast.
CUT TO:
EXT. VALLEY -- MONDAY AFTERNOON

JAMES and KENT are hanging out at a tree on the riverbank, having given up spying on the trio.
JAMES
So, Bradley Thomas got beat up, did he?

KENT
Yeah, I heard that part, too.

JAMES
It’s too bad, really.

KENT
I didn’t think you even liked him.

JAMES
Well, I don’t, but his getting hurt probably upset Megan.

KENT
You really like her, don’t you?

JAMES
Sure I like her. I wouldn’t talk to her if I didn’t like her.

KENT
Why don’t you ask her out?

JAMES
Let’s change the subject. How’s your love life?

KENT
All quiet on the western front. As usual.

JAMES
Hmm, that’s too bad. Well, I wouldn’t worry. Someone will come along when the time is right.

KENT
Speaking of coming along, a friend of my mom’s is coming over to stay for a while.

JAMES
Really? Is she good-looking?

KENT
I have no idea.

JAMES
Well, if she’s a friend of Rosemary’s. I seriously doubt it. What’s her name, by the way?

KENT
Janet Flynn.
CUT TO:
EXT. SHERIFF’S STATION -- AFTERNOON

CUT TO:
INT. SHERIFF STATION -- LOBBY -- AFTERNOON

GALE and SHERIFF enter. They are met by LYNDON.
LYNDON
Sheriff, you’ve got a visitor. In your office.
Lyndon rolls his eyes meaningfully.
SHERIFF
Thanks, Lyndon.
Lyndon moves off.
SHERIFF
Agent Gale... Twinsburg has its share of eccentrics, but they’re mostly harmless.

GALE
Sheriff, I understand.
CUT TO:
INT. SHERIFF’S OFFICE -- AFTERNOON

GALE and SHERIFF enter the office. Standing at the window with her back to them is the BOX LADY, holding a large cardboard box.
SHERIFF
Hello, ma’am.

GALE
(following his lead)
Hello.
Box Lady says nothing.
SHERIFF
What can I do for you today?
Box Lady turns and looks at Sheriff, then Gale.
GALE
What’s in the box?
Sheriff puts his hand to his brow, indicating that Gale’s question was a bad move. However, the Box Lady calmly opens the lid and looks inside her box. Then she looks at Gale.
BOX LADY
There is a message.

GALE
(squints)
What is the message?

BOX LADY
Time is of the essence. Time is of the essence.

GALE
Time is of the essence.
Box Lady walks out of the office. Gale looks at Sheriff, but Sheriff is also mystified.

CUT TO:
INT. COLLINS HOME -- AFTERNOON

PENNY rings the doorbell, but there is no answer. She knocks on the door and it swings open a bit. She comes in.
PENNY
Mrs. Collins? Mrs. Collins?
Penny walks through the front hallway back into the living room, looking to see if anyone is around. In the family room, she finds some fresh, green maple leaves in the middle of the floor. She is curious.
TUPPENCE (O.S.)
(fiercely)
What are you doing here?
Penny is startled and turns around. TUPPENCE has come out of nowhere behind her.
PENNY
Oh, I’m sorry. The door was open, so I just came in. I’m sorry. I wondered if I could, um, go in Millicent’s room.

TUPPENCE
(sternly)
What for?

PENNY
Well, I just thought it might make me feel better, help me try to come to terms with... what’s happened.

TUPPENCE
(softening abruptly)
Why, of course. That’s fine. Come on, we’ll go up together.
CUT TO:
INT. MILLICENT’S BEDROOM -- AFTERNOON

PENNY and TUPPENCE enter.
PENNY
This doesn’t even seem real, sometimes.

TUPPENCE
Yes, it’s just so hard to accept, to believe that she won’t be coming home.

PENNY
I feel a lot of pain, too. Millicent was my best friend. We were always together, weren’t we?

TUPPENCE
Penny, dear, would you like some hot cocoa?

PENNY
Thank you, I’d like that very much.
Tuppence leaves the room. Penny goes to Millicent’s bureau and takes the bottom drawer out. In the hidden space between the drawer and the floor is a small diary. Penny hesitates, then slips the diary into her purse and puts the drawer back.

CUT TO:
INT. GREY’S BIKE SHOP -- AFTERNOON

ELLIOTT is working on a bicycle. NICHOLAS comes in the back door.
ELLIOTT
Nicholas.

NICHOLAS
Hi.

ELLIOTT
I’m sorry.

NICHOLAS
Yeah.

ELLIOTT
Do you want to talk about it?

NICHOLAS
No, thanks.

ELLIOTT
Will you be home for dinner?

NICHOLAS
No.

ELLIOTT
You’re sure you don’t want to talk?

NICHOLAS
Yeah.
Nicholas goes into the front of the shop. Working behind the counter is MEGAN. In front of the counter is JAMES.
JAMES
I hear your brother got beat up. Is he all right?

MEGAN
Yes, he is, thank you.

JAMES
Good. People can be so violent. It’s a shame.

MEGAN
Yes, it is.

JAMES
Would you like to go out to dinner later this week?

MEGAN
(startled)
We could do that.

JAMES
Friday?

MEGAN
That would be fine.

JAMES
Great. Well, I should get going. I’ll talk to you later.

MEGAN
Yes, all right. Bye.

JAMES
Bye.
CUT TO:
EXT. GREY’S BIKE SHOP -- AFTERNOON

JAMES comes out, pauses, and smiles strangely.

CUT TO:
EXT. VALLEY -- MONDAY EVENING

DUANE is waiting at the picnic table. PENNY pulls up in her car and gets out, carrying a bag of fast food.
DUANE
Great! I’m starving. Give me mine.

PENNY
Wait for Nicholas to get here.

DUANE
Why?
He grabs the bag and starts eating french fries. NICHOLAS rides up on his ten-speed.
PENNY
Hi.

NICHOLAS
Hi.

DUANE
Can we get down to business?

NICHOLAS
All right.
Nicholas and Penny sit down. They begin eating.
DUANE
Did you get the diary?

PENNY
Yes.

DUANE
Give it to me.
Penny takes the diary out of her purse and gives it to Duane.
PENNY
I feel terrible about stealing it. Deceiving Mrs. Collins after what she’s been through. It’s horrible.

DUANE
We’re just doing what we have to do. You can put it back tomorrow.
Duane begins leafing through the pages.
NICHOLAS
(annoyed)
What are you doing?

PENNY
Duane!

DUANE
Relax, will you?

PENNY
I don’t think you should be reading her diary. It’s not right.
Duane tears out several pages.
NICHOLAS
What the hell?!

PENNY
Don’t! What are you doing? Duane!

DUANE
Look, shut up, both of you! I’m getting so sick of your constant whining! “It’s not right!” You make me want to puke! It’s a little late to be worrying about right and wrong now! I’m just trying to save our skins! When the cops find out Millicent kept a diary, they’re going to turn her room upside down until they find it! She talks about us in here. Do you want the police finding out what we’re involved in? We’ve come too far to let Millicent’s death derail all our plans. I’m doing this for all of us. You call me insensitive? You know how Millicent didn’t want anyone to know what we’re doing. How emphatic she was about it!

NICHOLAS
All right, you’ve made your point.

DUANE
I’m doing this for her.
Duane puts the pages in the pocket of his coat, then gives the diary back to Penny.

CUT TO:
INT. TWINSBURG INN -- GALE’S ROOM -- MONDAY NIGHT

GALE makes an audio recording.
GALE
Roseanne, it’s 10:22 P.M. The first day of my assignment is now complete. After a hearty dinner at the inn restaurant and an evening of case-related study, I am ready to lay down my weary head. I look at the long road ahead of me with a certain apprehension. The murder of an innocent young girl is always grisly, and yet, I cannot shake the feeling that there is some evil of unspeakable proportion lurking at the heart of this mystery. I am also troubled by my strange encounter with the woman Sheriff Armstrong calls the Box Lady, and her cryptic message. Somehow I feel that she possesses some vital knowledge just beyond my reach. I also cannot drive from my mind the image of the smiling postal delivery worker. There seemed to be a faint, yet unmistakable glimmer of recognition in the old man’s eyes, yet I am certain we have never met. Twinsburg itself has offered a most pleasant change of scene from the relentless urban landscape to which I have become accustomed. I can only wonder at the possibility of cult-related slayings in such an idyllic setting.
CUT TO:
INT. COLLINS HOME -- LIVING ROOM -- NIGHT

More fresh, green maple leaves are scattered across the floor.

CUT TO:
INT. COLLINS HOME -- HALLWAY -- NIGHT

The house is quiet and dark.

CUT TO:
EXT. COLLINS HOME -- NIGHT

In the shadows, a man looks up at the light from Millicent’s bedroom window. He steps out of the shadow. It is ALBERT. He hears Tuppence in the upstairs room let out a primal scream of either anguish or outrage. Albert lights a cigarette and walks off into the darkness.

FADE OUT



Cast of Characters

Special Agent Martin Gale, 34. FBI agent.
Sheriff Robert Armstrong, 36. Sheriff of Twinsburg.

Megan Thomas, 16. High school sophomore.
Bradley Thomas, 18. High school senior, Megan’s brother.
Alan Cartwright, 50. Real estate developer, mall owner.
Penny Gardner, 17. High school senior.
Duane Cartwright, 18. High school senior, Alan’s son.
Lyle Terrence, 62. Local doctor.
Rosemary Clapsaddle, 40. Owns pastry shop/catering service.
Nicholas Grey, 17. High school senior.
Elliott Grey, 42. Owns bike shop, uncle of Nicholas.
Kent Clapsaddle, 16. High school sophomore, Rosemary’s son.
Tuppence Collins, 46. Librarian.
Dani Clapsaddle, 29. Rosemary’s sister-in-law.

James Clapsaddle, 18. High school senior, Rosemary’s brother.
Wayne Corbett, 9. Local boy.
Lyndon Pfiffer, 26. Deputy.
Millicent Collins, 17. High school senior, daughter of Tuppence.
Gabriel Saltares, 44. College professor.
Albert Collins, 48. Lawyer, father of Millicent.
Emma Corbett, 50. Mother of Wayne.
Box Lady, 53. Local eccentric.
Zeke Chomski, 68. Mailman.

High School Principal
Teacher
Tough Guy
Waitress
High School Students


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