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Article

Unfinished screenplay

Hits 2957 | Created 2007-05-23 | Modified 2007-05-23

Untitled, Unfinished screenplay written about a year ago.



    FADE IN

    EXT. LAKE.  TWILIGHT.

    Distant view of darkened lake at twilight.
    A small ROWBOAT floats gently.
    The water is calm, reflecting distant purple mountains.
    The boat drifts slowly towards us revealing a NAKED MAN.
    The NAKED MAN is lying in the bottom of the boat.
    He is unconscious.

    INT. ROWBOAT

    Faint sounds of creaking wood and lapping water.
    The NAKED MAN shifts slightly, becoming slowly conscious.
    His eyes snap open suddenly.
    Fear, confusion.
    He sits up with difficulty, aching all over.
    Looks around, completely lost.
    Realises he is naked.
    Glances around boat quickly, there are no clothes.

    EXT. ROWBOAT

    We circle around the boat, the NAKED MAN's fear mounting.

    INT. ROWBOAT

    	Splash! (O.C.)

    		NAKED MAN
    	(Sharp intake of breath)

    Looks to the source of noise.
    Slowly peers over the edge of the boat.

    HIS POV

    Staring at the darkened water.
    Swirling, indistinct shapes.
    Suddenly an ENOURMOUS EYE looms into view.

    INT. ROWBOAT

    		NAKED MAN
    	(Frantically moving backwards)
    	Aaaargh!  Jesus!

    EXT. LAKE

    We see the man, huddled in fear, drifting in the centre of
    The huge lake.

    INT. ROWBOAT.  SOMETIME LATER.  STILL TWILIGHT.

    NAKED MAN is huddled in middle of boat.
    Shivering in the cool evening breeze.
    There is a jolt.
    The man looks up.

    HIS POV

    Land.
    A sickly looking shoreline with dirty coloured sand.
    ROCKS and DRIFTWOOD clutter the shore.
    Slippery CLIFFS rise to heights in both directions.
    He can see a DARK MASS in the distance.
    The DARK MASS is like a pool of BLOOD, moving his way.
    He watches, transfixed as the DARK MASS grows closer.

    EXT ROWBOAT.  THE SHORE.

    The DARK MASS approaches the boat, covering all the land.
    It appears to be made up of INSECTS of some kind.
    A noise of swarming insects grows.
    The INSECTS reach the boat and begin to spread up the front.
    The NAKED MAN starts to walk backwards in the boat.
    Horror.
    He turns and looks back into the DARKENING LAKE.

    HIS POV

    A LARGE SHAPE rolls out of the murky water some feet away.
    The LARGE SHAPE sinks beneath the surface.

    INT ROWBOAT.

    The INSECTS are close now.
    Inches from his feet.
    He backs to the stern of the boat.
    Nowhere to go.
    Panics.
    Stamps his feet on the INSECTS.
    The INSECTS begin to crawl up his FOOT and LEG.

    		NAKED MAN
    	(Screams)

    EXT. ROWBOAT.  SHORELINE.

    We see the NAKED MAN writhing and screaming.
    The INSECTS swarm all over his body.
    He falls down into the boat.
    Muffled noises of struggle.
    He passes out.

    INT. ROWBOAT.

    The NAKED MAN regains consciousness again.
    He is completely covered with the DARK INSECTS.
    We cannot see his skin, only his EYES and MOUTH.
    He jumps up, clawing at his face and body.

    		NAKED MAN
    	(Screams some more)

    HIS POV

    Looks at the INSECTS closely.
    He cannot remove them, they are stuck firm.
    They are linked together.
    The flutter LITTLE WINGS occasionally and CHIRRUP softly.

    EXT. ROWBOAT.

    He gets unsteadily to his feet.
    Shakes an arm experimentally, trying to shake off INSECTS.
    No luck.
    He exits the boat and walks onto the shore.

    HIS POV

    Looks both directions.
    Both look similarly bleak.

    EXT. SHORELINE.

    NAKED MAN Begins to walk, tiredly, right.

    EXT. SHORELINE. DARK. LATER.

    The NAKED MAN trudges along, head down, covered in INSECTS.
    The INSECTS keep him warm in the cold night.
    He cannot see very well, it is quite dark.
    He stumbles noisily.
    There is a SLAPPING, SLITHERING NOISE from the lake.

    HIS POV

    Stares hard towards the noise.
    Only the sound of gentle waves lapping the shore.
    Waits for a moment, listening.

    EXT. SHORELINE.  DARK.

    He moves on.
    Another SLITHERING NOISE from the lake.

    HIS POV

    He stops and again stares hard towards the lake.
    Sees large indistinct THING.
    Snakelike body, little waving tentacles, feeling the air.
    It moves towards him.

    		NAKED MAN
    	Jesus!

    EXT. SHORELINE. DARK.

    Begins to run towards the cliffs.
    Stumbles in the dark.
    Slithering noises behind him.
    Getting closer.
    Glances back.

    HIS POV

    Lumbering THING moving with surprising speed.

    CLIFF POV

    He reaches the cliff and stops, looking up.
    The THING pursues in the background.

    HIS POV

    The cliffs are very steep and slippery.

    EXT. SHORELINE. CLIFFS.

    NAKED MAN is climbing the cliffs, slowly.
    He is ten feet from the ground as the THING arrives.

    HIS POV

    He looks down.
    The THING raises its body towards him.
    Small tentacles reach out.
    He looks up.
    Reaches for a handhold as his FOOT SLIPS.

    EXT. SHORELINE. CLIFFS.

    He is dangling from one hand momentarily.
    Recovers and scrambles upwards.
    Tentacle just inches from his foot.
    Furious slithering noises from below.

    EXT. TOP OF CLIFFS.

    We see an INSECT COVERED hand reach the top.
    Another hand follows.
    The NAKED MAN hauls himself to the top.
    Collapses, exhausted.

    EXT. GREEN HILLSIDE. NEXT DAY.

    NAKED MAN walks up a lush green hillside, heading up.
    Reaches the top.
    Looks around strangely.
    Surroundings seem oddly familiar.

    HIS POV

    Looks around in a full circle, slowly.
    Green hills, rocky outcrops, a distant forest.
    A TRAIL winding through the hills.
    A MAN on the trail.

    EXT. GREEN HILLSIDE.

    NAKED MAN ducks down behind a LARGE ROCK.
    Breathes heavily.
    Waits for a moment.
    Slowly peers over the top of the LARGE ROCK.

    HIS POV

    The MAN on the TRAIL has vanished.
    Breathing heavily, the NAKED MAN looks up and down the trail.
    Nothing.
    He scans the hilltops and ridges.
    Spins in a circle, looking.
    Nothing.

    EXT. GREEN HILLSIDE.

    Beads of sweat appear on his forehead.
    The INSECTS greedily slurp at the liquid.
    They CHIRRUP gently and FLAP their WINGS.
    He shudders.

    EXT. SCREE SLOPE. MINUTES LATER.

    NAKED MAN is scrambling down a SCREE SLOPE.
    It is very noisy.
    He finds it noisier that he imagined.
    He looks around constantly, like a HUNTED ANIMAL.
    He looks back up the slope.

    HIS POV

    Nothing.
    He looks down the slope.
    Sees the man from the trail, at the bottom of the slope.
    Makes a choking noise.
    The STRANGER seems to be larger than life, ten feet tall.
    He is dressed in LEATHER and CLOTH.
    He carries a LARGE SWORD, which he waves MENACINGLY.
    He GNASHES his TEETH and SNARLS.
    The STRANGER lets out a SCREAMING BELLOW.
    It echoes off the hillsides.

    EXT. SCREE SLOPE.

    NAKED MAN is struggling to change direction.
    The STRANGER is advancing up the slope.
    NAKED MAN slips and slides five feet back down the slope.
    Struggles, but the STRANGER is upon him.
    The STRANGER raises his SWORD.
    And then stops.
    He looks the NAKED MAN up and down, sees the INSECTS.
    Begins to laugh gently, then louder.
    Lowers his sword.

    		STRANGER
    	Greetings, Stranger, I suppose you speak
    	English?

    The STRANGER seems to be of normal stature now.

    EXT. CAMPFIRE. LATER. NIGHT.

    A merry CAMP FIRE burns brightly, crackling.
    The two men sit close together.
    The STRANGER is prising INSECTS from the NAKED MAN's body.
    Using a knife.  Tossing them into the FIRE.
    The INSECTS make a little SQUEAL as they burn.
    We can see patches of SKIN now.

    		NAKED MAN
    	Oh god, that's better.
    	(Regards his arm)
    	Nasty, stinking little creatures.

    		STRANGER
    	Yes, over the period of a month they will
    	kill a man, slowly drinking his blood
    	whenever they get hungry, slowly sucking
    	him dry. Like a lot of tics, or leeches...

    The NAKED stares into the fire.  Thoughtful.

    		STRANGER
    	You must have a lot of questions...
    	The first of which should be to ask my
    	name.

    		NAKED MAN
    	Oh, sorry, yes... I'm Joseph.

    Holds out his HAND.
    The STRANGER grasps it and shakes hands.

    		STRANGER
    	Grazio.	Welcome to England, or,
    	something like it anyway.

    		JOSEPH
    	England?	I don't think I understand.

    		GRAZIO
    	Ah, so many questions, so much confusion.
    	I was the same, everyone is... as long as
    	they last... Anyway, you can begin to
    	answer some of your questions yourself -
    	what's the last thing you remember before
    	waking up here?

    		JOSEPH
    	Um, I was... um..
    	(Struggles, then recalls)
    	I was coming home from my local shop with
    	a bag of shopping... I was crossing the
    	road... and then...
    	(Stops and stares into fire)

    		GRAZIO
    	You don't remember.

    		JOSEPH
    	No.

    GRAZIO puts a hand on JOSEPH'S SHOULDER.

    		GRAZIO
    	Now Joseph, this is important... You must
    	listen to what I have to tell you without
    	becoming too upset, or panicking, or taking
    	it too seriously... Imagine what I'm about
    	to tell you is just a story.... It is the
    	truth, but try and think of it as a story.
    	(Pauses, looks at Joseph hard)
    	I don't expect you to understand, but you
    	must try to do it anyway... Okay?

    JOSEPH nods.

    		GRAZIO
    	I'll tell you a story then...
    	There was once a man who went out to do his
    	shopping and was hit by a bus on his way
    	home... He died almost at once, without
    	knowing what hit him, so to speak, and
    	then woke up here, in this strange world.

    		JOSEPH
    	(Excited)
    	What?   So I'm...

    		GRAZIO
    	(Shouts)
    	Stop!
    	(Calmer)
    	Don't say it. Think of it as a story, okay?
    	Listen, this world is like a world of
    	thoughts - if you convince yourself that
    	you are dead, then you'll become a ghost,
    	which is not a good fate my friend...
    	Get you're alive, okay? Feel your arm, feel
    	your leg, pinch your skin - you're alive...
    	Believe it.

    JOSPEH pinches the SKIN on his arm.
    Winces.
    Wiggles his TOES.

    		GRAZIO
    	(Continuing)
     	Here it isn't what you think exactly, but
    	what you believe, which is a little
    	different. A lot of people arrive here,
    	aware that they just died in the other
    	world, some even have, say, a gunshot
    	wound in their chest... They arrive and
    	look around, look at their chest, then start
    	screaming in agony, and then they die
    	again, either becoming a ghost, or simply
    	vanishing... The people that arrive but
    	don't know that they died, say after being
    	hit by a bus...
    	(Meaningful look at JOSEPH)
    	...they didn't see coming, have a hard time
    	accepting that they are dead, so tend to
    	stick around a lot longer. But, if you dwell
    	on it too much, then you can still talk
    	yourself into dying again... Best to
    	concentrate on being alive.

    JOSEPH stares into the fire, digesting this information.

    		JOSEPH
    	You said welcome to England?

    		GRAZIO
    	Hmmm.
    	(Pauses)
    	Hmm, yes, this world seems to be vaguely
    	mapped around the other world, or, as we
    	say here, the old world... This is the
    	north west of England somewhere - a pretty
    	quiet place generally.

    		JOSEPH
    	So... this is like heaven then?

    		GRAZIO
    	(Laughing)
    	Not exactly my idea of heaven my friend,
    	(Then gravely - a shadow passes over him)
    	No indeed not.
    	(Lightening up)
    	But, it's not a bad old place, once you get
    	used to it, and...
    	(Looks at JOSEPH with a twinkle in his eye)
    	...here you can live forever.

    EXT. THE CITY. STILL DISTANT.

    GRAZIO and JOSEPH walk together, talking.
    JOSEPH wears a long shirt that GRAZIO has given him.
    It barely covers his rear.

    		JOSEPH
    	...but when I saw you on the scree you
    	seemed to be ten feet tall, like some kind
    	of monster...  But now, well, you're big,
    	of course...

    GRAZIO eyes JOSEPH, amused.

    		JOSEPH
    	(Continues)
    	...But not that big.  How did you do it?

    		GRAZIO
    	Ah, my friend, if you believe you are ten
    	feet tall, then you will be ten feet tall.
    	It is what you believe that counts here...
    	(Smiling)
    	Believe me.

    		JOSEPH
    	So, kind of like the Matrix then?

    		GRAZIO
    	(Confused)
    	What?

    		JOSEPH
    	Never mind, it's a movie.

    JOSEPH tries to imagine he is ten feet tall.
    Nothing happens.
    He screws up his eyes in concentration.
    GRAZIO looks at him, amused.

    		GRAZIO
    	(Laughing)
    	I think it's working...  I think you're
    	Beginning to shrink!

    JOSEPH looks annoyed, then breaks into a smile.

    EXT. THE CITY GATES.

    GRAZIO and JOSEPH approach and then stop.
    The look up at the GATES, and then through into the city.
    Through the gates, the city has a MEDIEVAL look to it.

    		JOSEPH
    	Why belief?  Why should that have any
    	bearing on the world around me?

    		GRAZIO
    	You should take to Dakyug, he'll be able
    	To answer your questions better than I...
    	But, simply, it is because what survives
    	from the Old World is only what we would
    	call thought, or spirit...  It stays with
    	our body through our lives, and it uses our
    	body to interact with the world.  When we
    	die, only then are we free to perceive
    	this world - when we are free of our bodies.

    		JOSEPH
    	But...

    		GAZIO
    	(Interrupting)
    	No more questions for now... Come, welcome
    	to Conlyn City.

    They walk into CONLYN CITY.

    EXT. CONLYN CITY. MUDDY ROAD.

    MARKET STALLS line the MUDDY street.
    For sale are ANIMALS, CLOTHES, WEAPONS, FOOD.
    Men and Women are dressed in simple attire.
    Leather boots and shoes, thick cloth pants and skirts.
    Cloth shirts, leather or thick cloth jackets.
    Many people carry daggers or swords tucked into belts.

    		GRAZIO
    	Ours is a basic world Joseph, we have
    	little technology to speak of..  for
    	various reasons...  Although look...
    	(points O.C.)

    GRAZIO'S POV.

    CLOSE UP of light on wall.
    An electrical light.

    		GRAZIO
    	(V.O.) ...we do have at least electricity.

    EXT. CONLYN CITY. MUDDY ROAD.

    		JOSEPH
    	Very impressive.

    They walk on.

    		GRAZIO
    	Come on, my home isn't far from here.  You
    	can stay with me until you get settled.

    INT. GRAZIO'S HOUSE.

    We see the door open and GRAZIO and JOSEPH enter.
    The room is simple, WOODEN TABLE, CHAIRS.
    LARGE WINDOW with WOODEN SHUTTERS.
    A FIREPLACE with stone CHIMNEY.
    No fire.

    		JOSEPH
    	(Looking around)
    	Nice.

    		GRAZIO
    	(Grunts)
    	Don't get comfortable, I'll just talk to
    	Silfi and then I'll take you to see
    	Dakyug.

    		JOSEPH
    	Who's Dakyug?

    		GRAZIO
    	He runs Conlyn City...  For longer than I've
    	been here.
    	(Shouts)
    	Silfi?

    		JOSEPH
    	Who's Silfi?

    SILFI Enters.
    She is in her early twenties, light brown skin, black hair.
    She is very beautiful.
    Close up of SILFI.

    		SILFI
    	I'm Silfi.

    JOSPEH and GRAZIO turn to greet her.
    JOSEPH looks like he's already in love.
    Grins stupidly.
    GRAZIO sees the look.
    Frowns.

    		JOSPEH
    	(Walking forward)
    	Hello, I'm...

    		GRAZIO
    	(Cutting in-between them)
    	...This is Joseph, newly arrived.  I'm
    	taking him to see Dakyug, then he'll
    	be staying with us for a while.
    	(Grabs JOSEPH by the arm)
    	Come on JOSEPH, we'd better get going.

    The two leave through the front door.

    		JOSEPH
    	(Shouts O.C)
    	Bye!

    EXT. CONLYN CITY. MUDDY STREET.

    JOSEPH and GRAZIO walk together.

    		JOSEPH
    	Couldn't I have gotten some pants?

    		GRAZIO
    	(Looking at JOSEPH, suppressing a smile)
    	You Look fine.

    Joseph looks unhappy and pulls down his short shirt.

    		JOSEPH
    	So, anyway, she's your...?

    		GRAZIO
    	My daughter.  Not my real daughter of
    	Course.  When children appear in the world,
    	those of us who have been here for a long
    	time take them in and bring them up as
    	we would our own children.
    	(Pauses)
    	Not many children appear though...
    	We don't know why...  And you can't get
    	someone pregnant in this world either...
    	Which has advantages...
    	(Looks leerily at JOSEPH)
    	...but also means that there aren't many
    	children here.
    	(Stops)
    	Ah, here we are.

    EXT. CATHEDRAL. DAY.

    They have arrived at a large stone building resembling a
    Cathedral very much indeed.

    		JOSEPH
    	Is this a cathedral?

    		GRAZIO
    	Ah, yes.  It's complicated.  Dakyug can
    	explain it to you better than I.

    INT. CATHEDRAL.

    The interior of the cathedral is like that found normally.
    High ARCHES, STAINED GLASS WINDOWS, WOODEN PEWS.
    JOSEPH and GRAZIO walk down the aisle towards DAKYUG.
    DAKYUG sits on a high, ORNATE CHAIR, at the altar point.
    They approach, we see DAKYUG close up.
    He is old, WHITE, LONG HAIR but with YOUTHFUL EYES.
    He wears a LONG WHITE ROBE, simple.

    		DAKYUG
    	Ah, a newcomer!  Welcome to Conlyn.
    	I am Dakyug, head of the city.

    		JOSEPH
    	(Pulling down his shirt)
    	Joseph.  Nice to meet you.
    	(Goes to step forward to shake hands, then
    	thinks better of it and steps back)

    		DAKYUG
    	You must have a lot of questions,
    	Joseph.  I hope I can be of some help.
    	(Looks at GRAZIO significantly)

    		GRAZIO
    	Well then, I'll be off.  Joseph, you
    	think  you can find your own way back?

    		JOSEPH
    	Sure.

    		GRAZIO
    	Okay then, I'll go and get supper ready.
    	Bye.

    GRAZIO turns and leaves.
    DUKUG rises and beckons JOSEPH to walk with him.
    They walk to the back of the cathedral, and then
    through a doorway.

    INT. SMALL ROOM IN CATHEDRAL. DAY.

    Simple TABLE, wooden CHAIRS.
    DAKYUG and JOSEPH sit.
    JOSEPH feels naked.
    Crosses his legs to preserve his modesty.
    Tries to pull down his shirt again.

    		DAKYUG
    	My original name was Arthur, back in the
    	Old World.  People here are encouraged to
    	take new names here, to help forget the
    	past.
    	(Pauses)
    	Would you like some wine?

    		JOSEPH
    	Sure.

    DAKYUG rises and pours WINE from a bottle in the corner
    of the room on another small TABLE.
    Passes glass to JOSEPH and sits back down with his own.
    He sips.
    JOSEPH sniffs his wine and takes a sip.
    Not bad - he pulls an appreciative face.

    		DAKYUG
    	Were you a spiritual man in the Old World
    	Joseph?

    		JOSEPH
    	Spiritual?  Well, I never went to church,
    	if that's what you mean.

    		DAKYUG
    	(Smiling)
    	Not exactly... I will try and explain,
    	stop me if I lose you won't you?

    JOSEPH nods.

    		DAKYUG
    	(Goes on)
    	In the Old World there was more to it
    	than was generally realised.  Our true
    	selves was hidden behind the world that
    	arose through the senses.  There was
    	a whole other world there with us, but
    	we could not see it.  Just as we cannot
    	any longer see the Old World now... You
    	see, we could only perceive the Old World
    	through our body and senses - sight,
    	hearing, smell, touch.  But now all those
    	things have gone and we are only what was
    	in control of those things - the mind, or
    	the soul, if you will.
    	(Pauses)
    	Now, if we are pure thought, then why are
    	We in our bodies now?  In this world, what
    	is believed is true.  Although I may imagine
    	that I am pure energy or thought, in my
    	heart...
    	(Laughs)
    	...I still think I have a body.  It is a
    	condition brought about from the Old World.
    	I believe I have a body, so I have a body.
    	(Looks at JOSEPH carefully)
    	Still with me.

    		JOSEPH
    	Oh yeah.  We're pure thought, but we secretly
    	Still think we have a body, so have one.

    		DAKYUG
    	Quite so.  Good.  Well, this world are the
    	old one are connected in some ways...
    	If you walk around the city, you may see some
    	odd things.  Try to touch them and they will
    	not seem real... They are the dreams of people
    	in the Old World.  They are alongside us now,
    	even now, but we cannot see them, and they
    	cannot see us.  Dreams though, occur in-between
    	both worlds.  If you appear in someone's dream
    	here, then you will appear there too.

    		JOSEPH
    	So...

    		DAKYUG
    	(Interrupts)
    	But, we cannot know whose dream we are in...
    	So we cannot try and communicate with loved
    	ones, I'm afraid.  You had better forget
    	anyone that you left behind.
    	(Drinks wine and pauses)
    	It seems that the thoughts of the Old World
    	shape this world.  But only the thoughts of
    	thousands, and over hundreds of years.
    	Likewise, this cathedral has been in the Old
    	World for hundreds of years, and now seems
    	as solid here as in the Old World.  Look
    	around the city and you'll see various
    	buildings, some like shadows and some like
    	rock.  We build in-between them generally,
    	or just wait for a building to become solid
    	enough and then move in.

    		JOSEPH
    	Handy.

    		DAKYUG
    	Yes, indeed...  There are mysteries here
    	though too, like why children do not appear
    	here, and why more adults do not appear - for
    	there are only very few that do appear Joseph.
    	Where the rest of the dead go, we do not know.
    	(Looks thoughtful)
    	And there is magic of a kind here too...
    	Look.

    As JOSEPH watches, DAKYUG begins to age.
    His face wrinkles over, his hair grows and curls.
    His fingernails lengthen.
    His face begins to thin and hollow out, his flesh to desiccate.
    JOSEPH jumps up.

    		JOSEPH
    	Christ!
    	(Looks around for help)

    When we look back at DAKYUG, he is once again as he was.

    		JOSEPH
    	What the hell was that?

    		DAKYUG
    	(Smiling)
    	It is very easy for me to believe that I
    	am very old Joseph.  I have been here for
    	more than a hundred years.  But I also
    	know that one does not have to age here.
    	By keeping both truths in mind, I can
    	believe either at will, and my body
    	changes accordingly.

    JOSEPH sits back down and drinks deeply of his wine.

    		JOSEPH
    	Nice trick.

    		DAKYUG
    	Many tricks Joseph... A strange world,
    	this.

    EXT. STRANGE CASTLE.  DISTANT.

    A large CASTLE, DARK and EERIE.
    DARK CLOUDS overhead, a STRONG WIND blows.
    There is only one LIGHT in the castle, in a high TOWER.

    EXT. STRANGE CASTLE.  CLOSER.

    Through the LIT WINDOW we can see a FIGURE, his back to us.
    We can hear LOW CHANTING from within.

    EXT. STRANGE CASTLE.  JUST OUTSIDE THE WINDOW.

    We see the FIGURE more closely now, but only his back.
    The figure wears a BLUE ROBE, has LONG, BLACK HAIR.
    His name is IVO.

    		IVO
    	He has arrived then?

    A SHADOW on the wall appears to move by itself.

    		SHADOW
    	(Whisper)
    	He has.

    		IVO
    	When shall he be delivered?

    		SHADOW
    	(Whisper)
    	Before the next moon.

    		IVO
    	And what has he been told?

    		SHADOW
    	(Whisper)
    	Nothing of consequence.

    		IVO
    	Good, good.  I shall look forward to
    	it... him...

    FADE OUT

    INT. GRAZIO'S HOUSE.

    GRAZIO and SIFLI sit around the TABLE, silently.
    There is a sharp knock at the DOOR.
    GRAZIO rises and opens it, JOSEPH enters.
    GRAZIO disappears for a moment out of the room.
    Then reappears, throwing some pants at JOSEPH.
    JOSEPH pulls on the pants, eyeing SIFLI.

    		GRAZIO
    	How was your meeting with Dakyug?

    		JOSEPH
    	Oh, um, good, I think.  He became old and
    	scared me half to death... Had a nice glass
    	of wine though.

    		SIFLI
    	Well have another, won't you?
    	(Pours wine from container on table, passes
    	it to JOSEPH)
    	Here's to your new life, Joseph.

    		JOSEPH
    	(Clinking glasses, murmurs)
    	My new life.

    					(***) // LATER SCENE

    EXT. OLD FOREST. NIGHT.

    JOSEPH walks cautiously through the DENSE FORST.
    He struggles with BRACHES and ROOTS.
    He looks around, obviously lost and nervous.
    There is a loud HOWL.
    JOSEPH freezes, wide eyed, looks around.
    Turns slowly.

    JOSEPH'S POV.

    A dim shadow of a WOLF, some distance away.
    The WOLF'S eyes gleam like a cat.
    They stare at each other for a moment.

    EXT. OLD FOREST. NIGHT.

    We see numerous EYES in the shadows all around JOSEPH.
    He sees them too.
    Begins to walk backwards, the turns and...
    RUNS.
    The WOLVES begin chase.
    JOSEPH is frantically running through the forest.
    Stumbles, but doesn't fall.
    WOLVES easily run behind him, catching up.
    Branches are whipping JOSEPH'S FACE, it starts to BLEED.
    Heavy breathing.
    The WOLVES close in.
    At his ankles.
    He glances round and FALLS forward.
    The nearest WOLF leaps and... 
    There is a loud YELP.
    JOSPEH looks up, slowly, peers between his hands.
    Silence.
    Pulls himself to a sitting position and looks around.
    All the WOLVES have gone.
    Silence.
    Stands up and turns around.
    Sees HIDEOUS WITCH standing in front of him.

    	JOSEPH
    	Aaaaaargh!

    		WITCH
    	(Throws back head)
    	(Cackles with laughter)

    The WITCH is WARTY with GREYISH / GREEN SKIN.
    She looks like a HALLOWE'EN WITCH.
    She wears a long black ROBE, DIRTY and TATTERED.
    Underneath we catch a glimpse of her DIRTY FLESH.

    		WITCH
    	(Begins to chant under her breath)

    JOSEPH, speechless, begins to back away from her.
    We see VINES, BRANCHES, ROOTS coming to life and moving.
    They wrap around his ankles, arms, legs.
    He struggles, YELLS, but is quickly BOUND LIKE A PIG.

    FADE OUT

    FADE IN

    INT. WITCH'S COTTAGE. NIGHT.

    An old, shack-like room.  Walls filled with jars of animals,
    Plants, undefined things.  A fire in one corner with a crude 
    stone stove built obve the top.  Wooden floor, dirty with
    bones, insects, old straw, mud.  Shadows flicker around.
    JOSPEH comes to, tries to jump up, but can't.
    He is tied to an OLD CHAIR.
    The WITCH, hearing the noise, turns and GLIDES over to him.

    		WITCH
    	Ahhhh, my pretty, you're awake.
    	(Cackles)

    		JOSEPH
    	Are you for real?  Who are you?  Why am
    	I tied up?

    The smile drops from the face of the WITCH.
    She looks EVIL.

    		WITCH
    	Ah yes, you'll not be long in this world
    	now, don't you worry.  I'll eat you up
    	and you can move on to the next one...
    	That'll be nice, won't it?

    		JOSPEH
    	Eat me?  Jesus.  (Struggles)
    	You're not serious.

    		WITCH
    	(Attending to a frying pan over a fire)
    	Oh, I'm afraid it will take quite a long
    	Time to eat you though.  I only like to 
    	take a little bit each day.  I don't need
    	more really.  It may take a few months.
    	(Adds some herbs, spices to the pan)

    		JOSPEH
    	(Under breath) Jesus!
    	(Aloud) Why eat me?  There's lots of animals
    	in the woods.  Why not eat rabbit or wolf?

    		WITCH
    	Ah, JOSEPH, I'm a witch you see, and 
    	witches are evil, don't you know.
    	(Now sharpening a knife)
    	It wasn't always like that...  Once I 
    	was prettier than I am now, a lovely face
    	I had then...  But the thoughts of the Old
    	World shape me now, as they always have...
    	They made me ugly and evil.  I wasn't always
    	like that... But I am now...
    	(Tests knife on finger, seems happy)
    	I'm an elemental JOSEPH...  I sprang into 
    	being in this world, born from the thoughts
    	of thousands.  I've been here for hundreds
    	of years, and will be here for as long as 
    	the Old World think of me...  Ah, and I
    	can't pass on, as your kind can...
    	(Smiles)
    	Could.

    		JOSPEH
    	Pass on?  What do you mean?  Do...

    WITCH walks towards JOSEPH with knife in hand.

    		JOSPEH
    	Woah now, wait a minute, can't we talk
    	Some more?
    	(Struggling)

    Stands next to JOSEPH.
    JOSEPH still talking, babbling, staring at the knife.
    The WITCH takes hold of JOSEPH'S left hand.
    Lowers the knife.
    JOSEPH stuggles, screams, nothing he can do.
    WITCH cuts off LITTLE FINGER.
    Blood gushes.
    JOSEPH screams in agony.
    WITCH stoops and picks up a handful of ASHES from fireplace.
    Smears ash onto wound.

    		WITCH
    	Oh shut up you baby.  Wait until I chop
    	off your manhood, then you can scream.

    WITCH drops finger into hot pan and we hear SIZZLING.
    JOSEPH moans as the WITCH SNIFFS appreciatively.
    WITCH hums a tune as she fries the finger.
    We watch her move the finger around the pan with the knife.
    The finger begins to BROWN.
    Time passes, frying.
    Finally she is content that the finger is ready.

    		WITCH
    	I like it a little raw.

    Skewers the finger with the knife and walks over to JOSEPH.
    Puts finger under his nose.

    		WITCH
    	Smells good eh?

    JOSEPH reacts accordingly.
    WITCH slowly chews and EATS finger in front of him.
    SPITS out NAIL.
    JOSEPH, once again, passes out.


    INT. WITCH'S COTTAGE. DAY.

    JOSEPH is still tied to the chair.  Comes to slowly.
    Realises where he is, looks to his finger.
    Begins to HYPERVENTILATE.  Panic.
    With an effort brings himself under control.
    Looks around the room.
    The WITCH is sleeping nearby, on a FILTHY COT.
    She snorts and turns.  
    Her robe falls open, we can see her dirt smeared naked body.
    As if sensing that JOSEPH is awake, her eyes flick open.

    		WITCH
    	Good morning my pretty!
    	(Stretching)
    	Oh, you did sleep well, like a little rock
    	you did.  Pleasant dreams?

    JOSEPH says nothing.

    		WITCH
    	Well, well, grumpy this morning are we?
    	Oh dear.
    	(Looks mock pityingly at JOSPEH)
    	(Stands)
    	I'm going out for a little while, so you'll
    	have a chance to escape.  That alright?

    JOSEPH looks up suddenly.

    		WITCH
    	(Laughing hard)
    	Only joking dear!  Oh, your face!
    	(Calms down)
    	No, I am going out, but you won't have a
    	chance to escape.
    	(Walks to door, stops)
    	Then we'll have a nice bit of breakfast 
    	when I get back eh?
    	(Lick her lips nastily)

    WITCH exits.
    JOSPEH struggles with his bonds frantically, noisly.

    EXT. WITCH'S COTTAGE.

    WITCH sits on steps of cottage, humming a tune.

    FADE OUT

    FADE IN

    INT. WITCH'S COTTAGE. DAY. A LITTLE LATER.

    We see WITCH enter the room.
    JOSEPH sits, still bound, his head hanging down.

    		WITCH
    	Aaaaah.  No escape then pretty Joseph?
    	Never mind, now how about that breakfast?
    	(Busies herself with the stove fire)
    	(Talking over her shoulder)
    	What do you think we should have this 
    	morning eh?  Another nice finger, or
    	perhaps a toe?
    	(Pauses and looks thoughtful)
    	I never really liked toes though...
    	(Continues)
    	Not like fingers and noses.  Mmmmm.
    	Mind you I think I'll keep your nose for
    	a while, it's a treat indeed.
    	(Fire is blazing now)
    	(Puts frying pan in place, starts adding 
    	spices and herbs as before)
    	What about an eye?  Or an ear?
    	(Looks thoughtful as she takes the knife)

    JOSEPH'S POV.

    		WITCH
    	(Approaching JOSEPH)
    	I think I'll just have another finger...

    CUT TO VIEW OF OPEN WINDOW

    A small bird appears.
    CHEEPS.

    CUT BACK TO VIEW OF WITCH AND JOSEPH

    Both WITCH and JOSEPH stop and stare at the BIRD.

    		BIRD
    	I bring a message from Ivo, foul creature...
    	This man here is of value to Ivo, and he
    	commands that you set him free without...
    	(Pauses and cocks head to one side)
    	Eating any more of him.

    WITCH looks at the bird then at JOSPEH, then back again.
    She looks amazed.  Confused.
    She sighs and slowly lowers the knife to her side.

    		WITCH
    	(Sighing)
    	Wretch.  You're fate with Ivo will be
    	worse than the one I had planned for you.

    WITCH unties JOSEPH, who leaps to his feet and makes
    for the door.

    		JOSEPH
    	(As he is retreating out of the door)
    	You...  you...  Bitch!

    		WITCH
    	(Watches the door close, smiles)
    	(Turns back to BIRD)
    	What's so special about this one then eh?

    BIRD is silent.

    		WITCH
    	Eh?  You can tell me, little bird.

    BIRD is silent.
    CHEEPS.

    		WITCH
    	What?
    	(Shouting now)
    	What?  A trick?




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