THE PAINTING NORMA D’AGUILAR/ROCK HILL SC FADE IN: EXT.

FISHING VILLAGE HARBOR STREET 1935 – DAY Seven wailing WOMEN made their way through the village to the home of a woman named AMBER BROWN. INT.AMBER’S HOME Amber hears loud knocking at her door; she throws her knitting aside and runs to open the door. She goes on the step to meet the women. WOMEN The sea has taken them all. They are all dead at sea. Your husband and all the men are dead. Amber screams and faints on the step. She opens her eyes to cold water being sprayed from a garden hose in her face by one of the screaming women. Amber yells and covers her face with both hands. AMBER It’s my fault. He went away from home angry because I didn’t want to have the baby. Amber walks backward inside the house. The women follow Amber inside her house. They push her to the couch and runs out to the street wailing. Amber sits screaming on her couch. She holds Samuel’s photo at arms length.

2 AMBER (to photo) Why did you do this to me? Is this Amber contd your way of punishing me? Amber gets up from her seat and hugs the photo to her chest. She walks about the house clutching the photo and sobbing. The photo is red hot and Amber drops it to the carpet. AMBER (VO) You never allow me to say a word to you before you walk away out the door. FLASHBACK TO: PREVIOUS DAY SAMUEL, 50, holds AMBER, 35 around the waist as they waltz to music candle lights in the living room. They are now married two months and Samuel takes a break from his many fishing trips. SAMUEL I hate to go back to the evil rough seas and lights that flashes in our eyes from the ghost ships. It’s going to be hard leaving you. AMBER You never mention those ghosts before. What are you telling me? You must be drinking rum with your friends again. Samuel leads his wife to the sofa and hugs her again. He kisses her lips. Amber trembles and clenches her fists under her chin. She moves away. AMBER Stop your ghost tales. They make me nervous. And I really don’t believe you.

3 Samuel walks to the fireplace and picks up the broken painted oar leaning there. Suddenly he throws it away from him as it burns his hands leaving blisters. He hides his hands behind him. SAMUEL You must believe me. It’s true. The seas become rough and bounces the boat all over the sea. The old ships appear and disappear. The men has hot fever as the lights flashes on us. The men can’t talk when it happens and gets dumb. AMBER Why are we talking about ghosts? SAMUEL Because some of my crew refuse to go with me again. I have all new men to teach. The ghosts are near the old lighthouse on the quay. Amber jumps up and walks away. She looks back at her husband. His face is distorted and twitching and his body jerks. Amber runs to his side. AMBER What’s the matter? Why are you doing that? Stop it now! You’re scaring me with that look on your face. Samuel holds both hands to hide his face. Amber sees the big blisters on his hands and backs away. AMBER What is all that? Where did it come from on your hands? Talk to me! SAMUEL What I am doing? Come, let’s talk about making our family. Why are you so jumpy? My hands

4 are fine. Amber stares at Samuel. His face is no longer distorted or twitching. The blisters disappear from his hands. Amber stands several feet away. She trembles and stares at him. AMBER You’re weird! I’m not having children. I sit up enough nights and listen to children as they bawl while my mother works. If you marry me just to get babies it won’t happen... Samuel’s face starts to twitch again. He turns his back. AMBER What’s with your face? It’s all twisted again. You are scaring me! You’re hiding! Samuel is upset and kicks off his shoes. He turns and faces, Amber and reaches for her hand. She pulls away and her arm twitches. She runs to a corner of the room. Samuel follows. SAMUEL It’s not just for children, but you know that I love them and would want even one girl to name Sarah for my mother. You know how mother adores children. And stop staring at my face! Amber runs into a room and locks the door. Samuel stands at outside the door and knocks. Amber didn’t answer. He hears her praying aloud. He walks away. SAMUEL (shouts) I’m going to play dominoes with my friends at the hall. We’ll talk later when you stop your nonsense. TWO MONTHS LATER

5 Amber steps up to Samuel, shoves him and punches him on the chest. Samuel staggers backward. Amber follows and punches his chest repeatedly. SAMUEL What now? Stop it! What did I do to you? AMBER You have me pregnant on purpose. Don’t tell me about your mother Sarah again. You know that I hate her. I hate you too. Samuel smiles and reaches for Amber’s hands. She slaps his face twice and runs to the couch. Samuel follows. SAMUEL (big smile) We’re having a baby? You’re pregnant? AMBER I didn’t say that. Shut up! Samuel drops heavily on the couch and beckons to Amber to move nearer to him. SAMUEL I’ll go back to working the seas tomorrow because we’ll need the funds for our new baby. I love you. Amber walks away from her husband and throws a shoe at him. AMBER Stop talking about babies! I won’t have any! That night they slept in separate beds. Saturday morning, makes breakfast. She shoves the breakfast plate before Samuel and walks away. Samuel jumps up and pushes the plate back at Amber. AMBER Fine, don’t eat, I don’t care. You can go right to hell for all

6 I care. Samuel follows her and hugs her waist. Amber trembles and pushes him away. AMBER Get away from me! Go. I hate you! Stay with your ghosts. He walks toward the door. He hesitates and speaks without looking back at his wife. SAMUEL (angry) I want a child. You’ll have my child. I know you’re pregnant. If you hurt it I’ll find a way to punish you if it’s last thing I do! See you if I come back. Amber throws the plate of food at Samuel. He hurries away. AMBER (yelling) Go to hell and die there too! Amber looks at Samuel as he hurries to the gate. A flock of black crows are flying low behind Samuel but he did not look back. BACK TO PRESENT: INT. AMBER BROWN’S HOME - FIFTEEN YEARS LATER Soft lights glow in the two rooms and in the hallway. The wall clock reads 6:30 and Amber Brown paces back and forth as she awaits SARA, 15, to emerge from her room. AMBER (calling out) Come on, Sara, we’ll miss out on all the good stuff at all the yard sales. Sara remains silent. Amber walks to Sara’s door. Sara is sitting on her bed. AMBER Put your clothes on and meet me

7 by the van in five minutes. We need to get going if I’m to find anything valuable.

INT. VAN Amber waits in the van but Sara didn’t show up. Amber goes back to the house to look for Sara. INT. HOUSE Sara sits on her bed and has both hands over her ears. SARA I’m not going, Mom. I want to sleep. Go without me today. INT. SARA’S ROOM - MORNING Mother pushes the door open and walks to stand by Sara’s bed. On the bed is an old green jump suit. SARA (defiant) I’m too sleepy. I just took my pills. I don’t want to go today. AMBER I’ll be at the van. Get dressed and come along, Sara. And don’t put on that green suit you have on your bed. It is too tight on your bottom and shows too much of your breast. Why do you keep it, it is so old? EXT. SARA’S ROOM - MORNING Amber leaves the room. Sara sighs, stretches and puts on the green jump suit. Pouting she walks through the door. INT. VAN – MORNING Amber sits in the van and waits. Sara walks slowly to the van. Amber looks at her, leans back and sighs.

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AMBER So you put that jump suit on. You’re hoping I’ll send you Amber contd back inside to change. That’s not going to happen, hop in. We’re going just as you are. EXT. MAPLE STREET - DAY Amber and Sara’s first yard sale stop is a tall white mansion. A large CROWD OF SHOPPERS are spread around the mansion’s lawn. A six by six foot oil painting of a lighthouse rests against a tall oak tree and draws much attention. Amber slows down to look. AMBER (to Sara) We need to hurry. Something good is going on there. Amber Brown is in her black van with her daughter Sara, circling the nearby streets for a parking space. Amber stares through the windshield at the white mansion. It looks eerie with drawn blinds and flickering candles at every window. INT. VAN – CONTINUOUS Amber parks her van on the shoulder and turns to look at Sara. AMBER I’m sorry, honey, but we have to get out here. No space to park elsewhere. But her Sara notices the people fleeing from the painting against the tree. Curious, Sara leaps from the van and runs to the tree with the painting. Amber gets out and chases after her daughter. EXT. MANSION- CONTINUOUS

9 Sara kneels besides the painting. She stares at it and then hugs it. She is smiling. SARA Mom, I want this painting. Sara contd You must buy this for me. I hear the little people in the lighthouse talking. I see them dancing too. They say this is mine to have. Can’t you hear them? AMBER Stop it, Sara. SARA Mom, listen you’ll hear them talking to me. It’s true! Amber rubs her face and trembles. She holds Sara by her shirt sleeve and tugs at her. AMBER Come away, Sara, that thing is evil. We must go now. Can’t you see how scared everyone is of this thing? They touch it and screams in pain. Sara stretches both arms toward her mother and sobs. SARA No, mom, I won’t leave the the little people and the painting here. They’ll be angry with me. My Dad will be upset too. He just walked away. Amber grabs her daughter’s arm and pulls her to her feet. A dried limb from the tree drops grazing Amber’s arm and mother and daughter are separated. Amber groans. AMBER Now Sara, let’s go home. Enough nonsense already. It’s evil here. SARA

10 No! I’m not leaving them. A YOUNG MAN carries two boxes and walks to stand next to Sara. He stares at the painting. YOUNG MAN (to Sara) Something is funny with this painting. They just toss sea shells at me and says something nasty. Did you hear them too? Before Sara had a chance to reply he steps backward and his boxes drop from his hands. Dishes break at his feet. He pushes the crowd out of his path and runs screaming. YOUNG MAN It’s a lie, you’re lying. I didn’t rape anyone. Leave me alone. Don’t kill me! A car door slams and the tires screech as the young man departs. Sara looks down the street as the car speeds away. AMBER That’s enough Sara, we go right now! Did you see that? The boy can’t get away fast enough. You must move too! A loud crash is heard in the distance. Sirens of fire trucks and an ambulance go by. Sara looks up at Amber with tears running down her face. SARA Please, Mom, I’ll be good. I promise to take my pills. I won’t hide them again. I’ll not leave the painting. My Dad just says you can’t make me go without them. Amber drags Sara to her feet and trembles her eyes bulging. She staggers and draws Sara to her side. She places both arms around her daughter. AMBER (begging) Please Sara, we must go

11 now. Your Dad is dead. He can’t talk to you. SARA No he’s not, he is with the Sara contd dwarves in the painting. I saw him there. Someone taps Amber on the shoulder twice. Amber jumps and turns holding her daughter tighter. AMBER Come away, Sara. Amber looks facing her. in bold red touches his up at FELIX JONES the fat silver-haired old man On his chest is a white tag, his name written letters. He stares with beady eyes at Amber and name tag. FELIX Pretty child you have and good taste too. I can help you with all your needs. I see she likes the painting. AMBER Get away from us, we’re leaving. Amber lets go of Sara for just a minute. Sara drops to her knees. Amber looks down as she feels her daughter’s tight grip on her legs. SARA (pleading) Buy the painting first. Please, Mom, I love you, Mom and I’ll be good. Amber pulls the weeping Sara to her feet and wipes her face with tissue from her pocket. She turns to leave. Sara hides in her pocket the doll she takes from a box of toys. AMBER Let’s go now, Sara.

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Felix grabs Amber’s arm and moves closer to her and her daughter. He pats Sara’s pocket with the doll and winks at her. FELIX Your daughter loves the painting. This is a classic and expensive piece of artwork. You can have it for twenty dollars. And the child can have any toy she wants free. Felix blocks Amber’s path. AMBER We don’t have a place for it. I don’t want it! Let go of my arm. Get out of my way! FELIX Ten dollars and it is yours. Sara hugs her mother’s waist and turns to look at the painting. She points to dwarves in the painting. SARA My Daddy is sitting right there! He says his picture must come down from the fireplace and that the painting is put there. Amber looks at Felix but addresses Sara, her voice stern. AMBER The answer is still no! Your daddy is dead. Stop imagining things. Come away Sara, let’s go. I don’t want that thing in the house with us. Amber jumps at the sound of her husband’s voice next to her ear. SAMUEL (V.O)

13 You do as my child asks. You take the painting home for her. Amber groans trembles and hugs her arms to her chest. Felix moves closer to Amber. FELIX Give me five dollars and you can have this classic painting, that’s a bargain. I’ll even give the child all the dolls she can collect. Amber kicks at Felix’s legs and pulls her arm, but his grip tightens. Sara holds her stomach and groans. SARA My belly hurts so badly, Mom. Just buy the painting so we can go home. Daddy said my belly won’t hurt if I take the painting and the dwarves home with me. Amber sighs, trembles and closes her eyes for a moment. FLASHBACK TO: EXT. DAY – VILLAGE OF MAYHILL - 1950 Amber rubs her two-month pregnant belly. She looks at Samuel’s picture on the mantle and walks toward the door and looks around. The photo leaps from the mantle and drops at her feet. Amber kicks it aside. AMBER Samuel, you’re not the one who will hear a baby bawl all night. I’m not going through this all over again. You’re dead, stay dead and get out my way! Amber walks eight miles to the old midwife’s house. It is raining heavily. She hesitates at the door and then knocks repeatedly. The door opens just a crack and Amber peeps inside.

14 EXT. DAY – IN FRONT OF OLD BROKEN DOOR A chair squeaks and a trembling voice answers from within. THE MIDWIFE (O.C) Go away, I don’t do that kind of service again. AMBER You must help me. I don’t want this baby. My husband is dead. He died in the storm at sea three weeks ago. I must get rid of it. Please help me. MIDWIFE (O.C) Go away. I won’t do it. Amber knocks rapidly and waits. She moves restlessly and looks through the peep hole in the door. The door squeaks. EXT. DAY - MINUTES LATER The door squeaks and opens, Amber hurries inside. The old midwife leads Amber to the kitchen table. Amber begins to sob. AMBER I don’t want the baby. I don’t want to have it. MIDWIFE Didn’t you hear me? I won’t do it. Go home. I want no part of this. Amber’s purse suddenly opens as the clasp become undone. She stares at a picture of her husband in the purse. Amber tosses the purse to the floor. The photo falls out. She puts her shoe over it. AMBER Please, madam, don’t fight me too, help me.

15 The Midwife pushes her silver hair back and with face close to Amber’s she stares in her eyes and at the shoe over the photo. MIDWIFE I warn you to stop and go home. AMBER Please! Do it for me. The midwife takes several bottles of herbs and a bottle of liquid from a closet. MIDWIFE Are you sure about what you want to do? If the baby stays in you it maybe born sick as a result of what you’re trying to do. It’s all on your head. AMBER So make it come out. That’s why I’m here. Yes I’m sure I don’t want it. Make it come out, (beat) please. I’ll pay you good. MIDWIFE You keep your money. The midwife murmurs as she blends the herbs and liquid and gives Amber a tumbler full of green liquid to drink. She hands her the rest in a gallon bottle. The midwife turns to hide the smile on her face. MIDWIFE Go now. Take a glass full everyday. If this fails the stronger force is your man and the child he has inside of your belly. I hope your baby stays. Don’t come here again. EXT. DAY – AMBER’S HOME TOWN

16 Amber walks slowly home in the rain. She sits on her step in the pouring rain She hears Samuel angry VOICE next to her ears. SAMUEL’S VOICE You listen to me Amber. You’ll give me my child. You’ll never get rid of our baby. Never! I won’t Samuel’s Voice contd let you do it. Amber shivers; she looks over her shoulders and yells. AMBER You want a child just for your witch mother Sarah to to spoil like she did to you. It’s not a child to love, it is a child for her to spoil. Don’t get mad at me for not wanting to have a brat like you. SAMUEL’S VOICE Our baby, You’ll have it! Name her... Sarah. Amber takes her husband’s picture from her purse and stares at it. She holds the picture against her belly then rips it and throws it on the ground. She steps on the pieces of the photo and walks inside the house. INT. NIGHT – BEDROOM Amber fluffs her pillow and tosses and turns. She looks up at the ceiling as the light dims on and off constantly. AMBER (VO) Leave the lights alone. You were never here when I need you. Always out playing the fool! Amber jumps from the bed and runs to the bathroom. INT. BATHROOM

17 She runs to the bathroom and vomits. She goes back and forth to the bathroom all night. INT. BEDROOM She tosses and turns during the night dreaming of Samuel standing over her bed. She jumps from her sleep and sees a shadow runs into the living room. AMBER Damn you, Samuel. Stop fighting me. I won’t have the child, I won’t. VOICE (V.O) You will have her. You will have our child. EXT. GARDEN BACK OF HOUSE - MORNING Amber walks to the back of the house. She leans the ladder against the wall and climbs up five steps and then jumps to the ground. She sits on the ground and waits. She holds her belly. AMBER Why don’t you come out?! You’re as stubborn as Samuel but I’m not done trying yet. She climbs the five steps to the balcony by her bedroom window and jumps off but does not abort. She rubs the bruise on her knees. She feels her belly and curse. AMBER Damn you, Samuel. get away from me. I hate you! I hate your mother too. SEVEN MONTHS LATER A DOCTOR puts the baby girl in Amber’s arms. He sits facing Amber. THE DOCTOR Your baby has a rare abdominal tumor. She will have a big abdomen and pains in joints and abdomen.

18 Her life span will be short. She must be given her medicines exactly as I order. BACK TO PRESENT: Felix shakes Amber’s shoulders and calls out to her. FELIX Lady, are you alright? Amber looks at him and shakes her head, and wipes her eyes with the back of her hands. FELIX I’ll give it to you for two dollars and fifty cents. If you have no money the child can still have it. Amber shakes her fist at Felix’s face as tears dribble down her cheeks. She looks at Sara and wipes her own eyes with her sleeves. Amber staggers as she walks toward the painting. AMBER You wish to get rid of the evil thing. You’re practically forcing it on me and playing on the child’s fantasies. I hate you (beat) I’ll take the damn thing! Amber’s hands shakes as she gives Felix the cash. Felix staggers to the painting and picks it up, holding it against his body. Amber sees his face twitch and becomes distorted. AMBER Hell, what’s this? Samuel had the same thing happen to his face and then would deny it as I look at him.

19 Amber puts her hands on her chest and her body and jerks. Felix stutters as his lips twitch. FELIX Where’s your car? I’ll load the painting for you. Amber stares at Felix’s distorted face and jumps backward. AMBER Get the hell away from us. We can do it ourselves. Amber lifts the painting and suddenly throws it away from her to the ground. She jumps backward knocking a table over. She rubs her hands and examines them. SARA Mom? Why did you try to hurt them? AMBER Come, Sara, let’s go home. Something was crawling on my hands. My imagination! EXT.VAN Amber takes off her jacket and uses it to hold the painting and moves it to her van. INT. VAN FELIX’S GATE They enter the van for the trip home. Amber makes a U-turn, an arriving shopper skids and smashes the back lights of Amber’s van. They exchanges papers and Amber drives away. EXT. ROAD TO AMBER’S HOUSE Sara kisses Amber’s cheek as they wait at the red light at Jupiter Avenue. As the light changes a six year old BOY chases his dog and ball in front of the van. AMBER (screaming) Oh no, no.

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Amber applies the brakes and the van hits the dog. Sara screams and covers her face. EXT. VAN A CROWD gathers, Amber gets out of the van and leaves the door open. She stoops, looks at the dog and tries to pick it up. The boy screams. BOY My dog, he’s dead. She kills him. I hate you, I hate you. The MOTHER of the BOY lifts her child and screams. A man shoves Amber out of the away and picks up the dog. MOTHER It’s your fault, you crazy broad. You didn’t wait on the light change. You should’ve seen my child and his dog too. I see you speeding. I’m going to trash you. Amber steps back and stretch out her hands before her as one woman walks up to her. AMBER I’m sorry, madam, the light turns green and the child bolts from your open gate across the street. I’m really sorry I hurt his dog. The mob moves closer to Amber. She walks backward and feels for her van door, hops in and drives off. The crowd throws stones at the van. Amber turns to look at Sara. AMBER I know it has to do with that evil painting in the back. I just want to get home and move it from the van before something worse happens.

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EXT. DRIVEWAY – AMBER’S HOME MORNING Amber parks the van on the driveway and lifts the painting out. She leans it against the van and stares at it. She wrinkles her brow. Her palms have huge blisters on them. She hides her hands from Sara behind her back. AMBER Sara, did you notice Amber contd anything strange in the painting just now? (Beat) No, Sara, forget it, I must be exhausted. SARA You’re talking about the little people dancing about. I did see them. I hear them say they are happy to be home. Amber shivers and sighs and her fingers become contracted momentarily. She staggers and places her head against the van for several minutes. She then wraps her hands in the jacket stoops and lifts the painting. SARA I want to help you take them inside. AMBER I said forget it, Sara! Now let’s go inside and rest. It’s time for your dinner and pills. I don’t want you to hold it just yet. INT. LIVING ROOM AMBER’S HOME - MORNING Amber leans the painting against the fireplace and covers it with a thick blanket. She reaches up and picks up her husband’s picture and puts the face to the wall. AMBER Some of this has to with you. Each time something

22 weird happens I see a glow on your photo. My child swears that she sees you in that damn painting. SAMUEL’S VOICE My child, she’s my child. You didn’t want her. Amber turns and sees Sara watching her. She walks to sit with her daughter on the couch and plays with Sara’s hair. AMBER We’ll put that thing up sometime next week. I’m a little tired now. FOUR HOURS LATER Mother and daughter fall asleep on the couch. When Amber opens her eyes the blanket is off the painting and at her feet neatly folded. Amber covers her mouth to stifle the scream. AMBER What the hell?! She places a hand at her ear. She moves Sara’s head from her lap and walks to the fireplace and closes the vents. The sound of sea waves bashes in the fireplace. The painting is flashing red and green lights. She looks at Samuels’s picture. AMBER (VO) I need the fireplace to save on heat or I’d seal it to be rid of the awful roaring of the sea, you and the seaweed smell in here. She carries her husband’s picture and walks to sit next to Sara. She looks at the picture and frowns. Amber hears the sound of the waves from the sea all over the house. Samuel photo glows, she frowns at it. AMBER

23 How did this blanket get over here by me? Amber stands up, hugs her husband’s picture to her chest and then lays it face down on the table. The picture rotates rapidly in circles. AMBER When your face is up and Amber contd I look at you things happen. I’ll toss you away with the painting if this continues. EXT. BACKDOOR TO AMBER’S GARDEN - AFTERNOON Amber lifts the painting and takes it out the back door. The little people are dancing, giggling and pointing fingers at Amber. The frame is red and hot. She leans it against the trashcan, runs inside and locks the door. Her fingers become stiff and deformed. AMBER Now there, you are the cause of my hearing things. I’ll put you out with the trash on Monday. Don’t play on my fingers, let then go. Let go of my fingers. Amber’s fingers remain deformed. She examines her hands and walks to stand near her husband’s photo. AMBER Samuel I swear, I toss your photo next the damn thing. Her fingers return to normal again. INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT Amber covers Sara with the child’s favorite blanket; she leaves the room when Sara falls asleep. INT. AMBER’S BEDROOM

24 Amber goes to her own room and falls sleep. Later she walks into the living room to check on Sara. She glances at the fireplace. The painting is there, lights flashing in multiple colors over the room. She walks up to the painting. AMBER Why in hell did I agree to carry you evil bastard home? I allowed, Sara to talk Amber contd me into he fantasy world. Amber stares and sees the little people dancing in the lights that flash on and off. She sits beside Sara and waits for her to wake up. AMBER Sara, did you move the painting back inside? SARA No, mom, it is in here from when I came home. Can we put them up now before I go to school? AMBER I need to buy nails and hammer first. Beside the sofa Amber sees a hammer and nails. She hugs Sara and with her foot pushes the hammer and nails under the couch. AMBER When you get home from school we’ll do it. Where did you get the hammer and nails? SARA They are there since we put my painting inside. I love my painting, Mom. I’m not scared of it. Are you, Mom?

25 Amber glances at Sara’s face and turns away to look at the painting. The little people are dancing in a circle. Amber hears their giggles next to her ears. AMBER Yes, Sara... I’m afraid for you. But we’ll put it up soon. Just give me time to see what happens next. INT. LIVING ROOM – MORNING Sara puts on her blue school uniform and walks outside. EXT. AMBER’S GATE BUS STOP - MORNING Sara boards the school bus and waves to Amber. Amber sighs and kicks at the leaves. INT. KITCHEN - MORNING Amber mixes herself a glass of brandy and sips it. She hears the sound of waves again. She frowns and tosses some of the liquid toward the painting. She drinks another glass of brandy and falls asleep. HOURS LATER INT. LIVING ROOM - EVENING Amber jumps up as Sara leans over her shaking her shoulders. Amber looks at the clock; it’s 4:30 pm. SARA We can hang my painting now? You said we would. I’ll take off my uniform. Amber sighs, picks up the glass and puts it beside the couch. She looks into the glass as a quick image of Samuel’s face appears and disappears. AMBER I fall asleep and forget to toss that thing before Sara returns. Now she’s here I can’t.

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EXT. BACK GARDEN - FIVE MINUTES LATER Amber walks outside and finds the ladder leaning on the fence.

INT. LIVING ROOM Amber climbs the ladder and is at the third rung when she slips with one leg between the rungs. A long gash appears on her right leg. Blood runs down her leg and spills on the carpet. AMBER Damn. Damn you. Amber pulls her torn skirt free and hops to the carpet. She holds the gash as blood runs through her fingers and down her leg to the carpet. Sara screams. SARA Mom, Mom, what must I do? AMBER Run; get me a towel, quick. Amber takes off her skirt and grabs the towel to put over the gash on her leg. The cut is not there but the pool of blood is the carpet and her hands are dripping with blood. SARA (voice trembling) Mom, where is the cut? What is happening Mom? Mom? I’m scared. I’m scared. AMBER I don’t know, Sara. I don’t know My hands are still bloody and so is the carpet. I’m scared too, sweetheart. Amber turns and stares at the painting and bites her lower lip. The painting flashes lights of multiple colors, a light beam directs itself to Amber’s body.

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AMBER I swear that I see the little people in that painting dancing and laughing they are staring at me. I think they’re mocking me. I see a huge star flickers on the steeple, it disappears inside. Amber screams, she faints and falls heavily to the floor. MINUTES LATER Amber opens her eyes. Her head is on Sara’s lap as Sara sobs and trembles. She looks at the bloody carpet, sits up and hugs Sara to her breast. AMBER I had a brandy like I usually do. I wasn’t drunk. It is the strange smell of the sea and the bashing waves that puts me to sleep.(beat) Come, Sara, eat so I can give you your medicine. Sara swallows her pills and doesn’t resist. Sara trembles and looks at the blood on the carpet. Amber leads her to the couch and gives her a pillow and blanket. AMBER Stay here while I clean up the mess. I’ll take you to bed when I’m done. Sara falls asleep. Amber looks across and sees Sara kicks and tosses about. Amber walks to stand over Sara. The restlessness stops. She moves away and Sara begins her restlessness again. CORNER OF LIVING ROOM - MINUTES LATER Amber walks to the table in the corner and starts to read a book. She doses off and hears a loud thud. She drops the

28 book and runs to the couch. She hears loud laughter from the painting. AMBER You leave, Sara, alone whoever you are. Sara is tangled in her blanket on the carpet. Amber shakes her awake and picks her up in her arms. SARA (angry) I walk into the lighthouse and the little people massages my body. You should’ve let me sleep. They rub my body hard and dips me in the sea and my body has salt water all over. I was happy there. AMBER Cut the nonsense, Sara. You’re making me nervous. Sara points to the painting and giggles. The red light at the tip of the lighthouse flashes on and off. Amber stomps her feet. She hears the waves bashing. AMBER Shut up, Sara. I heard enough nonsense in one day. Sara jumps from Amber’s lap and hops from foot to foot hugging her arms to her chest. SARA I look behind me and a big red eye comes from the tower of the lighthouse. It chases after me and I could hear big waves bashing under a cellar door. The big eye stares at me and I fall on the steps. AMBER It is just a dream, Sara, just a bad dream. Can’t you see

29 there is no step or cellar? Let’s go and clean you up now. Amber shakes her fists angrily at the painting. Lights of multiple colors flashes on and off from the lighthouse. Trembling, Amber hugs Sara and walks her to the shower.

INT. BATHROOM – HOT TUB Amber helps Sara bathe and dress. Sara groans and Amber reaches into the closet and gives her the pain pills. They return to the living room. INT. LIVING ROOM - COUCH Amber picks up two of Sara’s dolls from a wicker basket and hands them to her. AMBER I’ll help you to bed now. SARA No, Mom, I want to sleep here on the couch where I can see Dad and my friends.(beat) Mom, why is my belly so hard and why does it hurt so much? I hate the pills. AMBER Stop hiding your medicine and you won’t have pain. Go to sleep and you’ll feel better soon. Sara props her head on the pillows and stares at the painting. She watches as the light flashes and the little people dance about holding hands. Sara giggles and claps her hands. SARA Can you see them dancing, Mom? Look, Mom, look. They are reaching for you.

30 Amber sees smallest of the little people moves to the lighthouse door, waves a hand and calls in a sing-song voice. LITTLE PEOPLE Sara, Sara, come over here and play with us. Come, come. The bright star at the steeple changes from being a star to a big red eye. It bounces up and down. Sara laughs louder and claps her hands. AMBER Sara, what is it? What are you giggling about? SARA We’re just playing a game. My friends are teaching me new tricks. Trembling, Amber walks to sit beside Sara. She rubs Sara’s temple until she falls asleep. The glow from the painting lights up the room. Amber hears the bashing waves around her and near the painting. She shivers and hugs her husband’s picture to her chest. AMBER (VO) The sea is a hundred miles away. I’m getting out of my mind now. Amber walks near the mantle. She stands a few feet away and looks at the painting. AMBER Funny, every time I move my eyes things on the painting are at a different angle. Is it just my imagination? I swear I see the people staring at me and laughing a moment ago. Amber sits on the carpet and hangs her head. She closes her eyes and rubs her temple. She feels the touch of hands on

31 her shoulders. She looks around and sees no one. She calls out. AMBER Who are you? What do you want with us? She looks toward the painting and sees the huge waves bashing against the lighthouse as the people dance in the waves. A boat capsizes near the waves. AMBER (VO) I..., I..., what the hell? She covers her mouth and stifles a scream. She sits up and grabs her husband’s picture and rubs her hand on his face, the eyes move and Amber leaps backward. AMBER (VO) Samuel, are you a party to this haunting in my home? I look at the thing over there and something evil takes place. I touch you and worse happen. She looks across to the sleeping Sara and back at the painting. There is no more movement. Amber crawls closer to the painting. AMBER (VO) I know it, I know you are evil from I first set eyes on you. You are eerie, you are the devil. No wonder that old man wants you gone. Somehow I’m taking you back to that damn Felix as soon as Sara leaves for school in the morning. Amber looks at the painting and shakes her fists at it. The little people dance and shake their fists at Amber. A SQUEAKY VOICE speaks. VOICE No, you don’t, we belong here. We stay with Sara in her house. We won’t go away from her.

32

Screaming, Amber runs and kneels beside the sleeping Sara. She looks at the painting. AMBER I’ll never let you hurt her. I’ll take care of you! I will! TUESDAY MORNING EXT. AMBER’S GATE - BUS STOP Amber stands with Sara and awaits the school bus. She hands her the lunch box and waits until the bus rounds the corner. INT. AMBER’S GARAGE Amber enters the van and backs unto the driveway and returns to the living room to get the painting. INT. LIVING ROOM – MORNING Amber tries to lift the painting. She groans, because the painting is heavier than before. She drags it on the ground to her van. AMBER (VO) You seem to gain weight so you can stay here, but you’ll go. I swear I’ll be rid of you. EXT. DRIVEWAY LATER Amber loads the painting in the van and rubs her numb hands together. She covers the painting with a blanket but the light flashes through. INT.VAN DRIVEWAY Amber sits for several minutes rubbing her hands together then leaves with the painting. EXT. SUPERMARKET - MORNING

33 Amber looks around and then drags the painting from the van and leaves it before two large dumpsters behind the supermarket. She walks away whistling. AMBER Good riddance. Sara will sulk and cry but she’ll get over you. INT. SUPERMARKET Amber goes to the supermarket. She picks up Sara’s favorite ice-cream and cookies. EXT. VAN – ONE HOUR LATER Amber loads the shopping bags in the van. She peeps behind the dumpsters. The painting is there glowing blue lights. She runs to the van and climbs in. INT. VAN – MOMENTS LATER Amber pops in a religious CD and turns up the volume. AMBER (VO) This will drown the sound of the damn waves. EXT. AMBER’S DRIVEWAY TWO HOURS LATER Whistling joyfully, Amber exits the van and unloads her bags on the steps leaving the van on the driveway. INT. GARAGE – MORNING Amber opens the garage door and walks through to the kitchen with her groceries. INT. KITCHEN - MORNING As she unpacks her bags, Amber hears the waves bashing near the fireplace in the living room and she smells the seaweed. She walks into the living room. INT. LIVING ROOM

34 Against the fireplace is the painting glowing and flashing lights of multiple colors. Amber screams and drops heavily on the couch. She points to the painting and yells. AMBER How the hell did you get back in here? Who is doing this? Who? Amber looks at the painting and waits. The movements cease on the painting and the sound of the waves stop then starts again. The house shakes. AMBER You will not torment me. You’re going, I promise, and before Sara gets home too. EXT. DRIVEWAY Amber lifts the painting. It weighs down her arms and is heavier than before. She places it on the ground and drags it. She loads it in the trunk of the van. INT. VAN - MORNING Amber enters the van and backs out. She drives to the Church of God seven blocks away. EXT. VAN - MORNING Amber lifts out the painting and puts it behind the column at the church gate. She stands and listens to the clapping of hands and the singing of praises coming from the church. AMBER Someone will pick you up when church is over. I hope. INT. VAN - MORNING

35 Amber drives slowly home. She turns up the radio to drown out the sound of the waves around her. She hits the dash board with her fist. AMBER (shouts) Stop following me!

EXT. VAN - MORNING Amber leaves the van on the driveway and opens the garage door. She hears the gush of water behind her and runs inside. INT. GARAGE - MORNING Amber enters the garage and runs to the kitchen. INT. KITCHEN AMBER (VO) I feel just a tot happier now that the evil thing is not here. I’ll take a nap until Sara gets home. Whistling she unpacks the grocery. She pours a glass of brandy and walks into the living room. INT. LIVING - ROOM The painting is by the fireplace with the sound of the waves in the house. She stares as the little people jump over oars at the door of the lighthouse. Her chimney rattles. Amber cries out. AMBER Dear God, what is happening?! I have to get out. Amber packs Samuel’s photo in a tote bag and runs from the house panting and looking over her shoulders.

36 AMBER (VO) Errol was Samuel’s buddy in drinking, fishing and all else. He can tell me what evil they did together and why the painting haunts me. It is my enemy for some reason.

EXT. HOUSE - MORNING Amber runs three blocks with her husband’s photo in the bag to Samuel’s long time friend ERROL GREEN. She sits a few minutes on the sidewalk panting then slowly walks on. EXT. ERROL GREEN’S HOME - MORNING Errol is sitting on the porch in a wicker rocking chair amid broken oars, sea shells and a torn sail on a pole. He wears a black felt hat partially covering his face. INT. ERROL GREEN’S PORCH - MORNING Amber sits beside Errol on a broken bench green with moss. Amber pushes his hat back. He stares at her with open mouth. He throws his hat to the floor. AMBER Errol? Errol, it is Amber. Don’t you remember me? Errol? He stares at her. Amber takes Samuel’s photo from the bag and holds it before him. His face twitches and becomes distorted. Amber trembles. AMBER Do you remember him? This is Samuel, your old buddy. Errol pushes his chair backward. He jumps from the chair and pulls at his matted beard and hair. His hands tremble and his voice shakes. ERROL I use to be in his boat long

37 before the accident. I stop going because he scares them. He scares me. Damn near kill us all with his ghost around us. Amber moves closer to him, he knocks the photo from her hands. Amber picks it up and holds it before him again. Her hands shake. AMBER My Samuel scares you? Why? Why Amber contd would your best friend scare you? Errol turns his head aside. He stomps on the floor at Amber’s feet. The floor squeaks. Amber moves backward. ERROL Samuel talks of floating old ships and things at the old lighthouse on the quay. When he talks the water gets rough and bounces boats our boats about. AMBER Did you see the ship at the old lighthouse too? Tell me about the lighthouse. What did it look like? Errol tugs at his loose torn pants waist and shivers. His face is distorted. His teeth chatter. ERROL I see it once only, lady. The sailor’s fever gets hot. The sea tries to swallow us up. We have to dump our catch and sail for the safety on shore. Big waves roar behind following us to shore. Amber is suspicious; she frowns and trembles but leans toward Errol. AMBER

38 Tell me what the lighthouse looks like and what is near it on the quay. Do you know Felix? Was he there in your boat too? Was he part of Samuel’s crew? Errol feels behind him for the door. He walks backward and trips on the broken oar. He grabs the chair. ERROL Near that terrible place our pots catch the best fishes and full too. But what’s the use? We have to dump it and run. The sea lights up when the ship comes to the surface. It stirs up the water and we run for shore. Amber takes a step closer to Errol and looks up at his face. His face is distorted and twitching. His hands are like claws. AMBER (voice trembling) Do you know Felix? Was he there too? Answer me, answer me, please. You’re hiding form the answers! Errol steps inside and slams the squeaky door leaving Amber standing there frustrated. Amber looks up and sees hundreds of little black swallows screeching and circling over the house. She picks up the photo and runs toward the gate. EMPTY FIELD - DAY Amber sits on a tree stump and looks up at the swallows and listens to the fluttering wings and screeching sounds as they circle Errol’s house. AMBER (VO) Something awful is about to happen again. I know it. My body feels the same way as the day Samuel

39 left for his fishing trip. The day he never returns home. EXT. STREET Amber hears the waves in the distance and the fluttering of wings. She stands and runs all the way home. The birds are over her head and follow her all the way to her door. AMBER (VO) Scary like a grave yard Amber contd everywhere. And Errol seem mad too. And what is it with his face? Why the distorted faces? INT.AMBER’S HOME - MINUTES LATER Amber throws Samuel’s photo face down on the corner table. She sits on the couch hugging her arms to her chest. Her body trembling. AMBER (VO) Damn you, Samuel and you, too Errol! Amber walks to the painting and pokes at it. A beam of light shoots at her arms and legs. Her body jerks. She tries to run but can’t move. Her feet are stuck to the carpet. She points to the painting. AMBER Let go of me! Let go of my feet. No good has come to us since we take you in here. Stop holding me down! You’re the devil, I know it! Amber sees the little people in the painting holding hands. They dance a line. The windows of the lighthouse flash brilliant yellow lights. Her body jerks. AMBER (VO) Tomorrow when Sara leaves I’m going in the village to that Felix. I’ll let him

40 tell me where he gets you and what Samuel has to with it. He’s into it too. Amber holds her pants and tries to lift her legs but stays stuck to the carpet. She looks at the painting. AMBER (shouting) Let go of my feet. I know it is your doing. Let me go I tell you. Bastards! Sara walks inside and hugs her mother. Amber is able to move. SARA Mom, why are you yelling? Amber frowns and walks with Sara to the table. Sara picks up her father’s photo and touches his face. SARA My belly doesn’t hurt so much anymore and it is getting soft. Feel it for yourself. Amber feels Sara’s stomach. It is soft and Sara didn’t wince in pain as usual. AMBER Take off your uniform. I’ll go fix you some food. That belly of yours really feels softer. Amber pats her daughter’s head. SARA It’s the massage from them. They promise to take me into the hotter water next time. They promise to show me a big prize. They say I’ll be really better then. Amber looks at Sara’s smiling face and back at the painting flashing lights. She walks to the kitchen with her hands on her head.

41

INT. KITCHEN Amber wipes away tears with her blouse. She makes a sandwich and orange juice for Sara. She looks out the window. A black crow sits on the window sill looking at her. She hears Samuel’s voice again. SAMUEL’S VOICE I’ll let you pay for the child’s pain. Amber covers her face in both hands. She slams the window. AMBER Samuel, you and ghosts are everywhere. Sara is confused and I’m going mad...I think. What else could it be? INT. LIVING ROOM Amber walks to the table and place the tray before Sara. Sara is looking at her father’s photo and nodding her head. SARA I’m not hungry anymore. Do you know that dad’s eyes move when I look in them? See? You look in them now. Amber groans and jumps up. Her knees hit the table spilling the juice on the tablecloth and floor. AMBER Now see what you’ve done? Stop your nonsense talk. Sara walks to the painting. She’s holding her father’s photo. She stoops and places it next to the painting. She laughs aloud and walks back to the table. SARA My Dad says to take him over

42 there to rest by the painting. Amber grips the edge of the table to steady her trembling hands. SARA Mom, what’s wrong? You’re shaking. Did I say anything bad? Amber turns aside and removes the tablecloth. She uses it to wipe the table and looks at Sara. AMBER Nothing is the matter, Sara. Nothing I can’t fix tomorrow. You didn’t say anything wrong. Amber glances at the painting as she speaks to Sara. An ice cold disembodied hand rubs Amber’s face and neck. Amber shivers as the voice speaks again. VOICE Home, we’re home to stay. Not leaving, not going away. AMBER Did you say something, Sara? SARA No Mom. But I’m going to dance with my friends. Can you see them dancing on the waves? They are calling me to play again. INT. LIVING ROOM Amber moves to sit on the couch. Sara hops in a circle singing in an unknown language with the little people. dances around the room. Amber watches, astonished then hears the singing and is completely bewildered. She

Sara stretches her arms above her head and yawns, she walks her room.

43

AMBER Want me to help you, Sara? SARA No, Mom, not tonight.

INT. SARA’S BEDROOM Sara picks up the doll in sailor’s clothing from her collection in a wicker basket. She hugs it then places it next to her pillow. SARA You are like my dad but I won’t tell mom. She’ll be sad and cry again. I hope Felix didn’t see me take you away. Sara sings to the doll in the strange language. The doll’s eyes winks. Sara falls asleep. INT. LIVING ROOM - MORNING

Amber goes to the living room and stands before the painting. There is no movement or lights flashing. Amber smiles. AMBER(VO) Yes, I hope this means what I ‘m thinking. I’ve finally shut you up for good. LATER Sara is ready for school. Amber packs Sara a lunch bag and walks with Sara outside; she waits until Sara boards the school bus. EXT. FRONT YARD - MORNING

44 Amber sits on the step and looks after the bus until it is beyond the hill. She sees the low black clouds and flashes of lightning. AMBER (VO) Don’t try and stop me. A sudden gush of wind picks up the leaves and dumps them at Amber’s feet. She jumps up, rubs the dust from her eyes and runs inside the house. INT. HOUSE LIVING - ROOM Amber looks out the window. The trees bend back and forth in the wind and lightning flashes. She closes the drapes. AMBER You’re playing me again but you can’t stop me. I’ll go find the cheating bastard who dumps you on me. Amber walks near the mantle and stands looking at the painting and her husband’s photo. The light flashes and Samuel’s face glows. AMBER Samuel, stop helping them. I know you’re helping them. Amber reaches down to pick up Samuel’s picture, her arm twitches. The light flickers on and off. Amber grabs a towel and throws it over Samuel’s photo. AMBER I have our child, damn you. I love her. What else do you want of me? You left me to care for her alone. Amber puts on white jeans and red tee-shirt. She rubs the camphor mixture on her arms again and walks out the door on her way to Felix’s home. EXT. AMBERS HOUSE - MORNING

45

Amber stands on the step and looks up at the low black clouds. The wind howls and shakes the trees. Amber turns to close her front door. The loud laughter and voice of Samuel startled her. SAMUEL’S VOICE Ha, ha, ha. You won’t get too far. I see that you don’t. AMBER Yes, make as much storm as Amber contd want. It won’t stop me. You can’t stop me. Evil bastard! The telephone rings inside the house. She runs back inside being bushed from behind by unseen hands. INT. HOUSE - MORNING Amber picks up the telephone receiver and stands listening to Sara sobbing. SARA I’m sick, Mom. I’m very sick. I have to come home now. I have a fever. I’m hot. Amber looks at the little people in the painting. They are dancing in circles laughing, and clapping hands. The beacon light flashes on and off. AMBER I’ll come and get you, Sara. Amber puts the receiver down and drags two blankets from the couch. She throws them over the painting and steps on Samuel’s photo. She hears the sound of broken glass and walks outside. EXT. HOUSE - MINUTES LATER Amber sighs as the gusty wind howls and blows the leaves in a whirl over the van. INT. VAN - MORNING

46

Amber sits and listens to the wind as it howls and rocks the van. Slowly she backs down the driveway to the street. EXT. STREET - MINUTES LATER As Amber drives fifty miles an hour along the highway, she sobs and wipes her eyes. AMBER (VO) I’ll find that old bastard. No wind, rain or ghost will Amber contd get in my way. Samuel and those little runts in the painting want Sara home. I’ll get her home but this won’t stop me. I’ll show you. EXT. SARA’S SCHOOL - MORNING Amber parks the van under an oak tree and looks around. She hears the waves again. A group of black birds make a series of caws and flies from the tree. EXT. VAN Amber waits as the birds circle in the air above the school. She runs into the building hands on her head. Amber stumbles against the NURSE at the sick bay door. NURSE Sara has a fever of 101. Her teacher says she was okay then suddenly she shouts that she is hot, can’t see, and must get home to them. She is sobbing that she is unable to see something or other. She sobs that her Dad and her friends are calling her name. The nurse holds Amber’s hand and runs with her to the sick bay. INT. SICK BAY Sara is on the sick bay couch, her face wet with perspiration. She sobs, hands over her eyes.

47

NURSE Your daughter refuses an aspirin. She says she wants to get home to them. What is she talking about? She won’t move her hands from her eyes. Amber sits on the couch and hugs Sara. AMBER What is it, Sara? A little Amber contd more than one hour ago you left home happy and well. Now look at you, like a sick puppy. Are you in pain? SARA I have to get home now. I can’t see any of them. Something is hiding them from me. They are calling me. My eyes are dark. I can’t see them. I can’t see. The Nurse walks backward and leans against the wall. She makes the sign of the cross. NURSE I have never seen a child this strange and eerie. She scares me. Dear God, what’s this? EXT. SCHOOL YARD - MINUTES LATER Amber leads Sara to the van. Sara is crying arm stretches out feeling in the air before her. She staggers. AMBER What happened to your eyes? Can’t you see where you’re going?

48 Sara rubs her eyes with the back of her hands and falls against Amber. SARA I can’t see them. I can’t see, I can’t. INT. VAN - MORNING Amber helps Sara to the back seat of the van. She covers her with a blanket. Sara mutters the strange language all the way home. EXT. AMBER’S DRIVEWAY The black clouds are low. The wind howls and rocks the van. Amber parks on the driveway. Sara sits upright and calls. Her arms are out in front of her body. INT. HOUSE SARA Take me to my friends at the fireplace. Please, Mom, do it quickly. I have to help them. Sara is groping in the air around her body. Amber holds her arms and pulls her against her body. AMBER You’re ill. I need to get you in bed. SARA Please, Mom, lead me to them now. They are calling me to help them. Amber kicks the couch as Sara pulls her to get to the painting. AMBER Sara, you are at the fireplace and the painting. Why do you want to be here? You need to go to bed. I wish you’d stop this talk.

49

Sara puts her hands out and feels about. She drags the blanket from the painting. She drops the blanket on the floor. She laughs aloud and claps her hands. SARA Yes! Yes! I can see now. I can see you. Why did you hide them, Mom? Why? Amber beckons to Sara with her left hand. In her other hand is a thermometer. AMBER Come, Sara, let me take your temperature. I must get you to the bed now. Sara walks to the couch. Amber feels her skin and takes the temperature. AMBER Sara, your temperature is now normal. But still I want you in bed resting. Amber looks at the painting and shakes her head. SARA I’ll stay here on the couch and rest. I want to watch them from here. They’re are happy and dancing now. Sara falls asleep. Amber watches the clock and every half an hour goes to look at Sara. Amber shakes a finger at the painting. AMBER I know it’s your doing. You let Sara pretend to be sick to stop me from getting the answers I need about you and how to be rid of you.

50 The painting flashes lights and the waves bash the lighthouse. Amber puts a blanket over Sara and waits until she is asleep. AMBER I’ve had enough of your evil ways. Amber drags the painting out the back door, kicks holes in the canvas, and cuts it off the frame with a knife. She steps on the frame and snaps it in two. She tosses the pieces out the back door in the rain. As each piece drops in the muddy water Stomps her foot AMBER I’m so sick of you and your tricks. Well there. You’re done for now. I’ve smashed you up for good. Now go to hell! Good riddance. INT. AMBER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT Amber goes to her bed leaving Sara on the couch. Sara sleeps. The house shakes and Amber’s bed jerks, Amber falls on the floor. Amber sleeps in a chair the rest of the night. INT. LIVING ROOM - DAWN Amber rubs her eyes and staggers to the living room. She sees the painting by the fireplace. It is intact and dry with lights glowing. She covers her open mouth with both hands. AMBER What the hell?! The painting flashes red and yellow lights. The little people walk in a circle shaking their fingers at Amber. She looks at Sara stretched out and rubbing her sleepy eyes. Amber turns away and runs toward the kitchen. AMBER (to Sara) I’ll go get us something to eat.

51 Sara sits on the couch, her wet clothes clings to her body. Sara yells at Amber. SARA Mom, stop right there and tell me you didn’t put them in the pouring rain? Amber stands at the kitchen door, her hands on her hips. AMBER What if I did, Sara? I’m sick of the antics around here. Look what’s happening to you. SARA Please, don’t hurt them. I had to take them out of the rain. I hear them groan and call to me by the front door. You’re the one making mischief. Amber walks back, stands before Sara and stomps her feet. Sara walks up to Amber and stomps her feet back at her and runs away. AMBER (VO) It was at the front door? I tossed the wretched thing out after destroying it. A stupid painting groans and calls according to Sara? When will this stop? The little people in the painting are dancing in circles, laughing and shaking their fists at Amber. INT. SARA’S BEDROOM - MORNING Sara puts on her uniform and collects her books. She waves at the painting. She pushes against Amber and goes out the door. AMBER (to painting) Somehow, I’ll stop you. EXT. HOUSE – MORNING

52

Amber walks behind Sara to the gate. Sara looks back at Amber and bangs the gate then runs to the bus. EXT. DRIVEWAY - MORNING Sara boards the bus. Amber walks back and sits on the step. Amber waits until the bus is in the distance. A lone blackbird sits on the fence. It looks at Amber chirps, and flop its wings. AMBER Go away! Shoo. Felix lied about his evil painting I want to know why I was selected for it. The bird flies up and hovers in the air above the driveway. Amber throws a stick. The bird dives down at Amber’s head and then flies in a tree fluttering its wings. INT. VAN - LATER Amber gets in the van and back onto the street. A gust of wind rocks the van. She looks in the rearview mirror. The bird is now in a flock of black birds flying behind the van. EXT. FELIX’S HOME - MORNING Amber parks behind the overgrown hedge and sits looking through the windshield. The drapes are drawn and candles flicker in every window. The bird flies into the oak tree. INT. VAN - MORNING Amber takes two vials from her purse. Hands trembling, she pours the contents together and shakes it. She pulls out a zip bag with cotton balls and wets them and puts them in her shoes and brassiere.

AMBER(VO) My mother use to tell me that no evil can penetrate a camphor and brandy mixture. Hope it works.

53 EXT. FELIX’S DOOR - MORNING Amber walks to the red front door and uses the knocker repeatedly. A shadow of someone is against a window on the second floor. AMBER Come down here. I won’t go away so come down. Amber knocks again and again and waits. The shadow doesn’t move. Amber shakes the door knob. AMBER Okay, I’ll go to the back Amber contd door. I’ll knock every door until you come out. Amber moves off the step and trips on an old bingo cage filled with bingo balls. She grips a shrub to steady herself. A black cat sits on the upper step looking down. Behind her the feeble sing-song voice of a WOMAN speaks. WOMAN (OC) Who are you? What do you want here? Go away, go away. Amber turns to face the SILVER-HAIRED OLD WOMAN. The woman is brushing her hair rapidly. Amber clenches her trembling hands in a fist at her side. The cat jumps down and sits beside the woman. AMBER Where in hell did you appear from? You are as creepy as the old bastard Felix. The woman kicks gravel and dirt at Amber’s shoes. Amber kicks it back at her. The cat arches its back. AMBER You are the same woman with the black cat on your lap the day of the yard sale. I remember you in a wheelchair.

54 Amber steps back just as the woman moves toward her. WOMAN I don’t know what you are talking about. Amber steps up to her and shake a finger in front of her face. A big silver coin forming a pendant on a black cord is around the woman’s neck. AMBER With all the uproar over that evil painting you didn’t move, speak or show interest. What is it with you? The woman continues to brush her hair. She takes a step back from Amber. Her upper lip twitches showing her broken teeth. Amber looks away. AMBER Call Felix. I want to see him now. And Making faces at me won’t help you or him. The woman hobbles nearer to Amber, her body rocks side to side. She pokes the hair brush at Amber’s stomach. OLD WOMAN I can’t do it. Leave me alone go away from here now. AMBER No. I won’t go. I have to speak with Felix. I won’t leave, so get him out here. And don’t touch me. The woman stuffs the brush in her skirt pocket. Her squeaky voice is loud and sassy. OLD WOMAN What do you want him for? Go away I tell you.

55 The woman pushes at Amber with her elbow and tries to pass. Amber steps in front of her and places her hands on her hips. She moves her face close to the old woman’s face. AMBER I’m not going anywhere. He forces his evil painting on my child. Get him out here. I won’t let this evil continue to hurt my child. The old woman sits on the broken step. She trembles and kicks off her shoes and tosses them at Amber. WOMAN Get away now or you’ll regret Woman contd coming here to bother us. Amber picks up the shoes and throws them at the woman’s feet. AMBER Throwing objects and threats won’t drive me away. The Woman hangs her head, covers her face with both hands and sobs. Amber puts her mouth to the woman’s ear and yells. AMBER Stop that! Neither you nor that Felix shows us any mercy. He pushes his painting on us. You sit and pretend that you couldn’t move. My life is a living hell because of him. The woman falls against the wall and her sobs stop. There is no movement from her body. Amber runs to her side and shakes her. Amber puts her ear to the woman’s chest and listens. AMBER I didn’t come here to see you die, old woman! Get up! Stop pretending.

56 The woman gives Amber a feeble push and sits up. She sobs and her wrinkled face is wet with tears. The woman speaks through her clenched teeth. OLD WOMAN He’s gone. Because of all the uproar around us he’s gone. Don’t talk of the painting. I know nothing I tell you. Amber sits next to her on the step. She stares at Amber and shakes her head. The wind picks up the leaves and whirls them in a circle above the women. Dust and leaves shower down on both women. AMBER Go get Felix. Or you tell me what you know, you do know about it too! Amber hears sound of waves at the back of the house and under the house. The old woman trembles. OLD WOMAN Did you hear them? Did you hear them coming? Go away I tell you. I don’t want to talk anymore. Amber shivers and grabs the woman’s hands. AMBER Get Felix now, I want to go. Why are you so afraid here? What’s coming? Why don’t you want to talk about the painting? The woman knocks Amber’s hands away. The woman’s face is distorted and her body jerks. Amber trembles and clenches her fists behind her back. WOMAN My Felix is dying, he is. He knows only torment for years. Restless, and sleepless, because of what? Yes, I’m afraid for him, for you, me and everything.

57

Amber moves her face close to the woman’s forehead and grips the woman’s shoulders. She hits Amber’s hand and knocks it from her shoulders. AMBER Why is Felix in torment? Talk to me woman. What are you two hiding? Say it, talk now. You’re scared of something. The woman wobbles near to Amber kicks the dirt at her. Amber steps back and waits. The woman picks up a handful of trash and throws it at Amber’s feet. Amber throws trash back at her. OLD WOMAN The ambulance moves him to Brown’s Town Hospital. A life like hell he suffers. And now he falls down the stairs. He tries to close out the voices and waves. It was “them” who shove him from behind. He broke his hip. Ambers trembles and hugs her arms to her chest. The wind begins to howl louder. A flock of noisy crows are in the oak tree, wings fluttering. AMBER “They who” shove Felix? What are you talking about? The woman looks up at the crows and stretches her arms in the air. The woman steps backward and shivers. She clutches the pendant made from the coin in both hands. OLD WOMAN My Felix utters the same words he says in his sleep for years. He says them as he bends up in pain at the foot of the steps. It’s those things down below that are responsible for it all. Amber kneels before the woman and stares at her distorted face.

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AMBER What words did Felix utter? Tell me. Please, tell me. I have to know. And what things below are you talking about? I must get rid of the painting. It could hurt my child. The woman’s fingers become twisted and claw-like; she stretches her deformed hands toward Amber. The woman’s voice trembles and she stutters. OLD WOMAN (eyes shut) He talks of big red eyes, lighthouse and old ships that appear and the Old woman contd disappear. Of dancing stars and little people. He tells me about rough waves and howling winds. Felix often talks in strange languages I don’t understand. He goes there for hours. Amber grabs the woman’s wrists. The woman pulls away and staggers without opening her eyes. AMBER There where? Where does Felix go? Stop making riddles. Tell me what you know about the painting and how to be rid of that evil. The woman opens her eyes and looks over her shoulder. She picks at her clothes and groans. WOMAN To “them”, Felix goes to “them”. He comes back and sleeps, tosses about and mutters all day long. The woman has hick-ups, sobs. She drags her hair with her claws. Her face becomes more twisted. The coin shines and flickers on the woman’s chest. Her wide open eyes are fixed. WOMAN Go, go, late, too late to stop them now. Run, get away from here now.

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Amber screams and runs. She trips on the old bingo cage and falls. She jumps up and runs to the van. She guns the engine as the birds fly from the trees and perch on the roof, with loud screeching and wings fluttering. INT. VAN Amber stops several blocks from Felix’s house. She puts her head on the steering wheel and screams louder. A flock of birds circle over her van.

AMBER (VO) What or who is she? What is she talking about that Felix visits daily? She pounds the dashboard several times with her fists and blare the horn. The birds flop their wings their wings and caws. EXT. FELIX’S GATE - NOON Amber drives away, glancing up at the restless birds. AMBER I must see Felix for answers. I’ll get to that hospital and find him. Amber drives to BROWN’S TOWN and parks in the lot facing the hospital. She sits and watches the visitors going in and out the revolving doors. EXT. VAN - MINUTES LATER Amber stands and stares at the black lettering “BROWN’S TOWN GENERAL HOSPITAL.” She makes the sign of the cross and walks in the lobby. INT. HOSPITAL LOBBY Amber hesitates and looks down the long corridor with staff rushing back and forth. She goes to the CLERK’S window.

60 AMBER I want to see Felix Jones. He’s here with a broken hip. The clerk taps a pencil on her desk and looks at Amber. She gives Amber a visitor’s book to sign then points across the hall. CLERK Room number thirteen. Visiting is up in thirty minutes.

INT. FELIX’S ROOM Amber pulls a chair and sits at the bedside. She shouts his name twice. AMBER Felix, you sold me a painting at your yard sale sometime ago. I want to know where you got it. What I have to do to be rig of it? It’s evil! Felix opens his eyes wide and stares at Amber. Beads of perspiration appear on his forehead. He shakes his head from side to side. AMBER Talk to me, damn you. I have to know what to do with the thing before I go totally mad. I won’t let it kill my child. Amber leans over the padded rails and pulls at the hair on Felix’s chest. He mutters incoherently. His body jerks. AMBER Say something! I know you can hear me. Say something. Tears stream down his cheeks. Amber tries to lift his arm. Both hands have restraints tied to the bed. Amber shakes the rail.

61 AMBER Okay, I’ll take it back to your wife if you won’t tell me. So talk to me now. Talk to me, you old bastard! A NURSE hurries in the room and stands facing Amber. NURSE He’s unable to speak due to his stroke. He needs to rest and you have upset him greatly. I must insist that you leave now. Amber stands and looks at Felix as he stares blankly at her. His distorted face twitches and his body jerks. Amber holds the bed rail and shakes it. NURSE Don’t do that. Go now Amber moves her hand from the bed rail and stares at the nurse then back at Felix. She leans over the bed rails. AMBER (to Felix) If any thing happens to my daughter I swear, I’ll come back and kill you! EXT. HOSPITAL Amber walks from the hospital with the wind howling and leaves blowing in a circle in the air. Heavy black clouds loom over head and flashes of lightning rip down the clouds. INT. VAN Amber sits in the van and hits the dash board with her fists. She looks at the stormy sky and starts the van. She drives to the hole in the wall bingo house a mile from Felix’s home. AMBER (VO) That old basket of bingo balls at Felix’s home mean only one one thing. His wife comes to the bingo place to play. I’ll follow my

62 instincts and go in there to ask about those two. It’s near enough for her to walk here. EXT. VAN – NOON Amber parks at the front door of the old house. She hesitates and then steps out of the van. The lightning flashes around her. She hears the sound of laughter beside her. AMBER (VO) Samuel again! INT. BINGO HOUSE Amber walks into the room. There are women at four tables in the corners playing to the call of numbers. She walks toward a table. The lights go on and off and the room becomes dark. AMBER I’ll be damned! She steps backward as she sees dozens of apparitions in long white robes floating in the air toward her in the flashes of light. She screams and runs for the door. AMBER Aaaaaaah, help me, help me. Smoke forms a cone like mass and blocks the exit. Amber moves her arms in a sweeping motion and bursts through the barrier of smoke. She chokes and coughs. EXT. BINGO HOUSE She leans against the cracked up wall for a moment, coughing and choking. Catching her breath she runs to the van panting. INT. VAN Amber enters the van and turns up the volume to religious music on a CD. She enters the ramp for the highway. She drives to the popular recreation hall on Main Street.

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AMBER (VO) When Samuel was late coming home he told me he was here at this hall playing dominoes and having beers with his buddies. I’ll see how much they know about Felix and his evil secrets. Amber hears birds screeching and looks up into the trees but did not see them. EXT.VAN – EVENING Amber parks and walks to the door with the sound of the waves bashing behind her. She hears Samuel’s voice and his laughter again, she looks behind. SAMUEL’S VOICE Ha, ha, ha, digging again. Don’t know when to stop? Enter, they’ll give you what you deserve. The wind picks up leaves and dust and twirls them in the air above Amber’s head, she runs to the door of the building with the voice at her ear. INT.RECREATION HALL Amber hurries inside and glances around. She smells stale beer. The players are shouting as they throw dice and slam dominoes. Amber sits on a bar stool and watches the crowd. The BARTENDER touches her hand. Amber moves her hand away. AMBER My husband Samuel Brown use to here all the time. I think his partner Felix Jones comes here you know Felix? I want to talk Felix Jones. Who should I talk in here?

come fishing too. Do about with

64 The bartender shakes his head. He looks toward the corner table where the woman in a red blouse sits. BARTENDER That’s a bad name around here lady. It throws fear in everyone even when mentioned by chance. The crowd will maul you if you call that name here. I think you’d better leave. AMBER I’ll take my chances. Something I must know to help me protect my child. What can you tell me about Amber contd Felix? Why are you so nervous? BARTENDER I’m not here that long. But I watch the crowd becomes rowdy at the mention of that name. Let me see who can help. The bartender looks around the room. He then points to one of the tables in a far corner where six women sat rolling dice and drinking beer. BARTENDER See that woman, the fattest one in red? She is more scared of the name than the others. She’s the one to talk with. But you’ll need a stiff drink to approach these ladies. They are a rough crowd. What can I get for you? Amber stares at the table with several WOMEN. She hears them cursing as they roll the dice. In another corner The MEN are slamming dominoes. Amber turns to the bartender. AMBER Brandy... please. Amber picks up the drink and walks to sit at the table with the woman in red. She sips the drink and taps her shoe’s heels on the floor. The OBESE woman in red speaks. OBESE WOMAN Do you wish to play with us,

65 sister? Amber shakes her head and sips her drink. WOMAN I didn’t think so. No one comes here in a dress like yours. What the hell do you want... Speak up and don’t tap your heels here, it annoys me. Amber shuffles in her seat. OBESE WOMAN Can’t you see that the bitch is just a trouble maker? Most likely her fault I can’t win a game. AMBER I’m not here to make trouble. I only need your help. There’s a white mansion up the road. The old man is Felix Jones. What can you tell me about him and his wife? Silence, several seconds go by and Amber waits. The women jump up and slam their beer mugs on the table. Beer flashes in Amber’s face. She wipes it away with the back of a hand. WOMAN What name did you just say? Amber trembles but keeps her seat. The fattest of the women circles Amber, grabs her hair and shakes her head back and forth. WOMAN Get the hell out of here, go. Now! Don’t let us have to throw you out. Two of the women jumps up and moves toward Amber. The glass drops from Amber’s hand and shatters on the floor. Amber grips the side of the table with both hands.

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AMBER This means yes, you know Felix. I won’t go. I need your help. This means a lot to me. The woman grabs the back of Amber’s chair and yanks it backward. Amber still holds the edge of the table. The obese woman calls to the other women. OBESE WOMAN Come on, girls. Help me to throw this bitch out the door. AMBER Please tell what you know about Felix. I see that you know him. Amber hears squeaking chairs behind her back and dominoes being scattered on the floor. WOMAN Did you hear her? Men, did you hear what the wench said? She keeps calling that evil name in here. Heavy footsteps walk up behind Amber and stop. Amber jumps to her feet and looks at the men’s angry faces. AMBER All I want here is answers about someone you obviously know. Felix Jones. She is blinded by mugs of beer thrown in her face and hair. The men now join the women in a circle around her. A woman slaps Amber in the face. Amber slaps her back. AMBER What the hell did you do that for? I only asked you a question. The beer trickles into her eyes. Amber wipes her face with her blouse. A man pokes a finger on Amber’s forehead and pushes. He puts his forehead on Amber’s forehead and yells.

67 MAN Get the hell out and go home, woman. Don’t you ever call that name around us. We’ll trump your ass if you say it one more time. Amber pushes his head away and tries to run. CLARENCE, 50, blocks her path. Amber looks up at Clarence in torn blue jeans and long scars on both sides of his face. He stands with legs apart. CLARENCE So you wish to run after you disturbs us? You will stay! Sit Clarence contd down, down everyone. I want to hear why she walks in here and disturbs us. Clarence holds Amber’s shoulders and forces her down on the chair. CLARENCE Woman, you sit right here! Everyone sit. We get this woman out of here with as little violence as possible. But we’ll make her talk. TONY,38, kicks a chair across the room. He throws his mug of beer smashing it against a wall. He tosses his cigar to the floor and grinds it under his boot. He turns to face Clarence. TONY You go right to hell, Clarence, and take the bitch with you. Clarence steps toward Tony. More mugs hit the walls from the other men. CLARENCE Do as I ask, and that means everyone. The CROWD screams at Clarence. Some kick beer cans across the room. Others smash them against the walls. The crowd hurls profanities at Amber.

68 CROWD Bitch! Nosey broad! Damn intruder! CLARENCE We will put out the ghost that Felix carries to our village years ago. This hour is as good as any. The crowd moves closer and forms a circle around Clarence. Clarence slams his beer mug on the table and climbs to the center of the table. CLARENCE We are all captive to the lying old seadog. Hiding at the sound of his name since the day he and his ghosts enter the village. We’ve been hiding for years. Do you want to continue like that? Do you? Fists hit the table and the group walks around Clarence cursing and kicking at beer cans on the floor. TONY What the hell do you want of us? You are not in control here. You are boss only when we play domino games. Only when we play. Get the stupid wench out. CLARENCE You can either sit with tail between your legs trembling like this wretched woman before you. I say she has more guts than all of us coming here to face Felix’s ghosts. He looks down at Amber. CLARENCE (To Amber) Begin to talk, woman. What is it that you want of us? We’ve never seen you in these parts before. Make it

69 snappy, whatever you have to say. Amber stares up at Clarence’s face. AMBER Felix sells me a painting of a lighthouse. He practically forces it on my child the day of his yard sale. It is eerie, evil weird anything you can call it. It is intimidating me. I’m afraid and I can’t get rid of it. A man hands a mug of beer to Amber, she knocks it away. AMBER I put the painting on the street. I cut it up. I throw it in the trash and finds it back in my house. The people in the painting speaks to my child. I hear them speak too and I see the dwarfs dancing. It mocks me, giggles and plays with my child. TONY You ask for this by not being a good mother and giving in to a child’s whims and fancies. That is what happens to fools like you and your child. AMBER I try to give it back to Felix and he is in the hospital. He can’t talk anymore. The men yell and pound the table with their fists JED That wicked old painting again. Felix is evil. He sells that painting many time before and go home to find it in his house. You stupid woman...Why did you take it from him? AMBER It speaks to me and strange

70 disembodied hands touch my body. I smell and hear things around me. The painting flashes all kinds of strange lights. I hear sea waves around me everywhere I go. Clarence hops off the table and drags his chair closer to Amber. He leans forward and places his hands on Amber’s head. He pushes her head back and stares into her eyes. He speaks through clenched teeth. CLARENCE That darn painting is meant for you. As I hear it, the painting walks back Clarence contd to Felix no matter where he sells it. It walks back to you that tell us it’s yours now. The old seadog tells a thousand tales of where he gets it. A FAT WOMAN in the group walks to stand behind Amber’s chair. She leans over, digging her elbow in Amber’s shoulder. With her mouth to Amber’s ear she yells. FAT WOMAN Felix is a crook. He could easily have robbed a crypt or a rich mausoleum somewhere. That wife of his is no better. Clarence points and shakes a finger at the woman. She moves back to her chair and slaps her palm on the table. FAT WOMAN Why do we entertain this stupid idiotic bitch? Give me five seconds to fix her face. Clarence slaps his open palm on the table. The woman jumps backward and Clarence continues. CLARENCE A fishing boat overturns on Crab Quay several years ago. The lone survivor is Felix. He tells how little dwarfs drag him ashore and pumps life back in his chest.

71 Felix comes to our village from God knows where. He never leaves that mansion of his. Where did he get that kind of money to buy this great house? Did anyone here ever wonder about that? Amber holds her stomach, retches and screams. AMBER Why was Felix the only one saved by the dwarfs? Why did everyone else die? CLARENCE No one knows that answer. From the day of his supposed rescue on the beach he talks of ghost ships and lighthouses sinking their boat. A woman walks to the bar and returns with a glass of water and hands it to Amber. Amber sips the water. Another woman hands Amber tissue and Amber wipes her face. CLARENCE Felix says he finds the painting in an old monastery he helps to demolish years ago. Its stolen goods, we all know it. Tony moves to sit next to Amber and rests a hand on her shoulder. Two of the women join Tony beside Amber and rubs Amber’s head. Amber is nervous at the sudden change in attitude of the group. She stares at Tony’s face. TONY Pardon our rough ways, madam. We’ve all had Felix’s evil reaching us in some way or other. That’s why no one talks about him or that painting of his. WOMAN Most of us here lost my husbands the day that evil Felix says he was rescued on a beach. I’m glad I’ve never see Felix. I’d most likely kill

72 him. Lady, did your husband dies that day too? Before Amber could reply Jed speaks. JED Felix didn’t demolish anything, and even so, others would be there too. He says it’s part of a cache among other stuff he finds in the sealed wall. He works only as a fisherman. A liar and thief he is. We want to know if your husband died in the boating accident too. Tell, us please. Amber jumps to her feet facing the group. She pushes at the ones nearest her. AMBER I have to go now. You’re all crazy just like Felix. You talk and talk but it’s not telling me how to get rid of the damn painting. Two men hold Amber’s chair down while the women forced Amber to sit. She kicks out and the women kicks back at her. Clarence holds Amber’s hair and shakes her head back and forth. Amber screams. CLARENCE You listen to it all. That is why you walk in here and put an end to our tournament, isn’t it? Isn’t it? You come here for this didn’t you? You will listen to it ‘til we’re done talking. Clarence lets go of Amber’s hair and gives her head a push with the back of his hand. JED That thief Felix never leaves his house since his rescue from the wreck. Wherever he gets that evil artwork it holds him like a sick prisoner in his home. Yes, he unloads it on a doting stupid mother. You’ll never be rid of evil. Never! Never!

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Amber wiggles and kicks out. Jed shoves Amber’s chair backward. Amber jumps to her feet screaming. She lifts her chair and swings it at the group as she runs for the door. A woman grabs Amber’s blouse. JED Let the wretched fool go. Let her go back to the evil she has in her house. Amber’s blouse rips as she pulls away. She holds the torn blouse together and runs screaming from the building. EXT. BUILDING Amber looks over her shoulder as she runs. The men and women are at the door watching her and laughing. Amber jumps in the van and locks the doors. INT. VAN The wind howls and the bashing waves are heard around Amber. The lightning rips down the black clouds and the thunder blasts. She hits the gas and speeds as lightning pings off the metals of her van. EXT. HIGHWAY Amber enters the highway and speeds in and out of traffic tooting her horn at anyone blocking her. LATER Amber turns off on the road near Errol’s house and stops at the gate. EXT. VAN Amber stands beside her van and stares at the house green with moss and overgrown watt shrubs. AMBER (VO) I’m damned if I let you get away and not me about the secrets you

74 share with Samuel and Felix. EXT. ERROL’S HOUSE Amber runs up the steps and stand facing Errol in his rocking chair on the porch. AMBER What did my Samuel have to do with the painting? What did he know about Felix and his secrets? What are you hiding about Samuel and Felix? What is it?! Talk to Amber contd me! Damn you Errol! Stop playing stupid with me! Errol stares blankly in space unaware of Amber’s presence as rocks his creaky chair back and forth. Amber leans over Errol and shouts. Errol’s eyes remains fixed as he rocks. AMBER Errol! Idiot! You damn fool! INT.VAN Amber runs to her van lightning hitting the clap of thunder boom. road. Amber rides the and speeds home with flashes of ground around the van even as the A lightening bolt hits a hole in the shoulder and continues to speed away.

AMBER (VO) What happened to Errol? What is happening to me? EXT. VAN AMBER’S DRIVEWAY Amber gets out and runs up the steps in the rain. She hears the sounds of laughter and a cat that meows behind her. She looks around and sees Felix’ wife’s cat. AMBER Get away from me. Leave me alone.

75 Amber places her fingers in her ears as the laughter gets louder and the sound of the cat comes nearer to her. The rain water runs down her face. Amber runs inside. INT. GARAGE Amber runs through the garage, the wet clothes cling to her body. She hurries to her room and removes the wet clothing. INT. LIVING ROOM Amber rushes, trembling into the room. She sits and looks at Sara as she sleeps. Sara thrashes about and mutters a strange language and tosses about. AMBER (VO) The child is usually lifeless after her pills. Now she moves about and mutters and talks like when she faces the damn painting. And those words, I’ve never heard them before. Amber walks to the couch. She place pillows and blankets on the carpet next to the couch. She makes fists and stares at the painting. The painting flashes lights continuously. Sara talks in her sleep. SARA Wait, wait for me, I’m coming. The water is hot. The waves are too strong. Hold me, hold me. Amber runs over to the painting and points with both hands. The little people shake their fingers at Amber. AMBER (VO) You took Samuel from me. You killed him. I know now that you did. You stay the hell away from, Sara. I’ll set fire to you if I have to. Sara jumps and sits upright. She waves her hands over her head and shouts in her sleep. SARA

76 No, no, no. get away, get away. Leave them alone. Amber stands over Sara, but looks at the flashing lights on the painting. SARA Don’t let me fall in the holes. Wait. I am here, I am coming. Hold my hands. I’m getting in. It’s hot. Sara falls backward on the couch and trashes about. Amber shakes Sara. AMBER Sara, Sara, wake up, open your Amber contd eyes. Please. Sara tumbles head first on the cushion on the carpet. She kicks and talks. SARA It is dark in here, its dark. I’m dropping down too fast. The water is too hot. I’m falling on my head, hold me. Amber removes her shoes and throws one at the painting and growls. AMBER Leave my child alone! Leave her alone now! The painting flashes on and off rapidly. The sound of the waves becomes louder. Amber sees the little people as they exchange positions, hands stretch outward. SARA Help me stand on my feet. The water is hot. My belly hurts. Amber shakes Sara harder but Sara stays asleep and talks. Amber hears the little voices again. She looks about the house as the light flashes from the painting and stops. AMBER

77 Sara, Sara, wake up, Sara. Please! The house suddenly becomes dark and the sea waves bounce. Amber hears the walls, windows, and ceiling shakes and rattles. A SQUEAKY VOICE echoes throughout the house. SQUEAKY VOICE Relax, Sara, relax. We’ve got you now. We’ve got you. Sara makes swimming motions with arms and legs. The beacon light on the lighthouse blinks on and off six times. The squeaky voice fills the room. SQUEAKY VOICE Move faster, put child on the seaweed below. Show child how to find the others. The house shakes and remains dark. The sound of laughter fills the house. Amber trembles and screams. Sara talks back to the voice. SARA Where am I? I can’t see anything. The cobweb and the slimy seaweed is on my belly and face. I want my dad now. Amber looks at the painting. The waves bash, seashells move, oars paddle against boats. An old ship rises and sinks. Amber walks over to the painting. AMBER You’re done, as soon as I feel I can safely leave Sara, you’re done. Sara kicks and picks at her clothes. Amber hugs Sara to her breast as the house shakes. SQUEAKY VOICE We’re almost there, Sara. Almost done. AMBER

78 Get away from us, get away from us now. Stop doing it! Amber stares at the painting. The little people hold hands and dances in a circle. A rusty old ship appears and disappears again beside the lighthouse. SQUEAKY VOICE Wipe child, wipe clean. Wipe, child, clean. Last rub to belly, last to rub to belly. Throw child to top now. Done, we’re done. Sara opens her eyes and leaps to a sitting position. She looks at the painting her mouth hangs open. She lifts her blouse, feels her belly and laughs. AMBER What is it, Sara? What is it? Sara wipes her face and hands with the blanket. She grips and shakes Amber’s shoulder. SARA Mom, I had the sweetest of all dreams. I had green stuff all over. The little people rubs and tickles my belly hard. They said I’m well now. They said it won’t hurt again...ever. Dad was there too. Dad was helping them. Sara giggles and picks up a photo of her father. INT.LIVING ROOM - DAY Amber walks to the kitchen. She is trembling. She clenches her fists and hits the stove top. A pot falls to the floor. AMBER (VO) Haunting, they are haunting my child more and more. INT. KITCHEN

79 Amber walks to the cabinet. She gets cookies and lemonade for Sara. She puts one of Sara’s pain pills in the lemonade. She walks about the kitchen talking. AMBER (VO) This will help the child sleep. Sara is talking wild stuff. I’m hearing voices all about me. I must get Sara to bed and sleeping. I’ve got to rid of the thing before it destroys us.

INT. LIVING ROOM Amber hesitates at the entrance to the living room and sighs. She grips the tray as her hands tremble. INT. LIVING ROOM - LATER Amber walks to the living. Sara sits before the painting. A pillow is on her lap. Her father’s picture is in her hand. She hides it under the pillow when Amber enters. SARA Did the man at the yard sale know my dad? Is that why Dad is in his painting? The glass rattles on the tray and Amber holds the tray against her body to steady her hands. AMBER (groans) Have your snack, Sara. When you’re done we can go watch movies in your room. The little people dance around in circles. The beacon light flashes on and off. The painting slides back and forth across the hearth before the fireplace. Amber runs to the couch. SARA I’ll take him to my room tonight. He says he’ll like it there with me better, right Dad?

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AMBER Shut up, Sara! No more. SARA I don’t want to watch movies. I want to stay and talk with him and them here. Sara drinks the lemonade and pushes the cookies aside. She walks to the painting.

AMBER Him who, Sara? Who are you talking about now? That painting will not go to your room. It is stays where it is. SARA My father, I mean. I’ll put him in my room. The little people say it’s okay. Dad wants to go to my room too. Amber trembles as she hands Sara the other pill. Amber picks up a book and goes toward the table. Sara throws the pill behind the couch, she giggles and whispers. SARA I don’t need any pills. Do I? You are my friends, you told me so. I’ll find the man in the mansion. He’ll tell me about my dad. AMBER Stop talking to yourself, Sara. SARA No, Mom, I’m talking to him and them, not to myself. Amber takes Sara by her hands and they walk to the bathroom. AMBER I’ll set your bath. I have

81 things to do that I must do and they can’t wait. INT. BATHROOM Amber helps Sara ready the warm bath. She adds bath oils. Amber looks down in the bath; it looks bottomless and black. She jumps backward and grips the towel rack, it breaks off the wall. SARA What is it, Mom? AMBER My imagination, Sara. SARA Will you make my bath real hot? Hot like the bath in my black pool. Put some salt in it too, Mom. Amber hands Sara the towels. She peeps in the bathtub again. It’s deeper and blacker than before. She groans AMBER Sara, let’s not take that tonight. We can do it early morning. SARA I’m going to bathe Mom! Dad is going in the tub with me too Mom. Sara grabs the doll that resembles her father and throws it in the water. Amber peeps in the tub at the floating doll. The water is clear once again and the tub normal. AMBER(VO) Another of Samuel’s dirty tricks to frighten me. INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT AMBER runs out the door to the living room. Amber hits a wall with her fists. She calls to Sara.

82 AMBER Let me know when you’re done. I’ll help you to bed. Black pools? What in heaven is Sara talking about now?... What just happened in that bathtub? EXT. SARA’S BATHROOM – NIGHT Amber walks back and forth in the living room and waits for Sara to call. INT. LIVING - ROOM NIGHT Amber paces the room and hears the wind in the trees and dogs howling under the window. She walks to the painting. AMBER (VO) You won’t have much longer to do this. Howl, scream, whatever, I don’t care. Amber peeps out the window at the pack of black dogs. She latches the window and knocks on the panes of glass as the howling of the dogs become louder. SARA (OC) I’m ready now, mom! INT. SARA’S BEDROOM – NIGHT Amber walks into Sara’s room. Sara is dressed and sits at the edge of her bed. Amber tucks Sara under the cover and gives her two dolls. AMBER Sleep well, Sara. Amber sits in Sara’s room and listens as Sara sings her strange songs to the dolls until Sara falls asleep. EXT. BACKYARD LATER

83 Amber drags the painting to the backyard and puts it on a pile of trash and old newspaper. She sprinkles lighter fluid and sets fire to the heap. AMBER You can burn in hell. Yes, burn, you bastard. A spiral of smoke twirls high in the air. Amber hears shrill screams from the fire and smoke, she runs inside. INT. AMBER’S BEDROOM - NIGHT Lights flash from the bedroom ceiling. Amber’s bed shakes. She grips the bed post and watches the fire. AMBER (VO) Good riddance. I know that I’m now free of you. Die, yes, die you evil bastard. Amber looks out her window. A second smoke spiral stretches from the fire heap to the back door. In the spiral of smoke are flashes of blue lights. Amber hears a loud thud of falling object. She runs out her room. AMBER Sara! Oh no, Sara! Amber runs to Sara’s room. The room is dark and she can’t see inside. She grabs a flashlight. INT. SARA’S ROOM Amber tiptoes into Sara’s room. Sara is still on the bed. Sara sleeps, tosses, and turns. Sara sobs moans and talks in her sleep. SARA What’s wrong? What’s wrong? Sara contd She’s hurting you again. Is mom being mean?

84 Amber hears a voice from the ceiling and shines the light up in a circular motion. A shadow in white robe darts out the door. VOICE Sleep, Sara. All is well. INT. LIVING ROOM Amber runs to the living room to the sound of laughter. The painting leans against the fireplace. It is unscathed. AMBER Impossible! It can’t be! The room shakes and the electricity goes on and off. Smoke now forms a golden arch over the fireplace. Amber trembles and clenches her fists. AMBER What kind of devil are you?! Amber kicks Samuel’s photo under the couch and sits sleepless all night. INT. LIVING ROOM - DAWN Sara shakes her mother’s shoulder. SARA Mom, did anything unusual happen last night? I keep hearing cries night. I tried to get up but my friends said they fix something. Didn’t you hear all the screams around the house? Amber picks up Samuel’s photo and puts it on the couch. She covers it with a towel. A bright light shines under the towel. AMBER You just had another bad dream, Sara. Don’t worry about it.

85 Sara walks and kneels by the painting. She reaches out and rubs her hands on the frame. She turns and makes faces at Amber. SARA (to painting) Mom was bad again. I can feel it. I know that she’s hiding something. On my way home from school I’ll find the mansion. I’ll find Felix to tell me about my Dad. INT. – SCHOOL ROOM -DAY Sara sits in school drawing old ships, dwarfs and old boots in her scrap book. The teacher looks over Sara’s shoulder. Sara hides the book in her desk. INT. SCHOOL BUS - EVENING Sara takes an old green raincoat from her book bag and puts it on but there is no rain. She sits near the door of the bus. She slips out with the children getting off at Maple Street. EXT. FELIX’S MANSION - EVENING Sara walks to the gate and looks through the grills. She rubs her fingers over the number 1313 Maple Street on the column. She wipes off the dust with her hands. She opens the gate and walks in. SARA (VO) This is the house. It is. There is no candle here now but it is. I remember it. Sara steps over the pile of leaves and newspapers. The paper is brown with age. Sara uses the knocker repeatedly. No one answers. SARA (calling out) You are in there. I hear the rumbling but can’t see you. Sara hops from foot to foot and waits. She climbs the tree next to the window and peeps at the bed with sheets falling half-way to the floor.

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SARA (VO) I still hear someone in there. I hear movements. EXT.BACK OF HOUSE - EVENING Sara climbs down from the tree and walks to the back of the house brushing the thick shrubs aside. She knocks, and then rattles the door knob. SARA My doll is from here. He looks like dad and his eyes winks at me. I’ll make Felix tell tell me about dad. Sara sits on a pile of gravel and throws them about. Beside her there is a crawl space with rusty latch and door green with moss. She hears sounds and movements in the space. SARA I know it. Someone is in the house. I’ll just look down there. Sara calls again and throws pebbles at the door. The pebbles look like fire flies as the hit the door. SARA You can hear me. Come on out. I know you’re there. I can hear you. Sara shakes and pulls the door. When no one responds, Sara decides to go into the crawl space. INT. CRAWL SPACE She creeps into the opening head first. She rubs her eyes and stops. The space is very dark. SARA (VO) It smells like the seaweed my friends use to rub on me in my dream. I’m going down there. The voice of the little people calls to Sara from the crawl space.

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VOICES Don’t be afraid, Sara, come, we’re waiting. Hurry, Sara. SARA (VO) They are here...Are you down here? I can’t see you. Silence. Sara kneels and crawls deeper under the house. She gropes in the dark and pulls at a pole. She shoves it behind her back and brushes the cobweb from her face. SARA (VO) Ugh, nasty. Sara creeps further under the house. She feels around. A beacon light flashes in a corner. She sees outline of objects in a corner. The ground is wet and slimy. SARA (Calling out) I can’t see you. I can’t see you. Where are you? The beacon light flashes again and two beams of light shoots straight to Sara’s feet and lights a path. Sara drops to her bottom and covers her face. SARA (Calling out) I’m afraid. I’m afraid. I can’t see you. I don’t see you. VOICE Over here, Sara, look. Come, Sara, nearer. We are here, Sara. We’re waiting for you, Sara. Friends, Sara, we’re friends. Sara opens her eyes and look toward the light. In the corner is a pile of paintings, photos, and a pile of coins on the ground. The walls have murals of dueling dwarfs and coins at their feet. SARA Money? Is it real money that I see on the floor? It can’t be.

88 So many coins, are they real? VOICE Come and see, come, Sara. It’s all yours, Sara. It’s yours and ours. Help us get out of her. Sara crawls on hands and knees following the beams of light. Yellow lights flash around her body. VOICE Closer, Sara, come to us. touch us, Sara. Sara crawls in front of the large pile of paintings. She sees an 18” x 18” painting of the lighthouse flashing yellow lights. Besides it is a photo of Samuel in sailor’s clothes. Sara kneels and touches at the photo. SARA (to photo) Dad, (Beat) My doll has your clothes on. It’s the doll I took from Felix’s house. I love you Dad. MALE VOICE Sara? I can hear you, Sara. Sara giggles and then picks up the small painting of the lighthouse and her father’s photo. She holds them to her chest. The piles of coins shine in the corner. VOICES Look at the coins, Sara, the coins. Touch them, Sara. The flashing lights in the corner form images of ships on the walls. Sara giggles and picks up a coin and twirls it back and forth in the flashes of light. As the light flashes she sees the little people dancing. VOICES Go now. Take us to them. Go home. Take us home to the others. They are waiting, Sara. Go and show them the coin. This will give us

89 our rest and peace again. Sara drags herself on her bottom until she reaches the exit. She is hugging the painting and her father’s photo. She drops the coin in her pocket. It glows through her clothing. EXT. FELIX’S CRAWL SPACE - DUSK Sara climbs out and sits with the painting and photo on her lap. She stares as the little people dance in the flashes of lights. Samuel’s eyes blink and stare at her. SARA (to father’s photo) My mom will be angry, she will. How must I get home? How? It’s dark. I’m scared. Sara hears laughter of the little people behind her and looks around. Samuel’s photo lights up and vibrates on her lap. She holds it down. VOICES It’s easy, Sara, easy. We are going home with you. Sara puts her head on the frame of the painting. The door of the crawl space swings back and forth. It bangs and rattles. Sara trembles. SARA I’m afraid. Help me Dad, help. Sara clutches the painting and photo. Sara’s eyes close and her body jerks. She hears the voice beside her. VOICE Sara, all’s well, Sara. No more pain, Sara. No pain. All’s well, Sara, home, going home. Sara bends as tiny hands push her head to test on the frame of the painting. She hears singing in strange language around her.

90 EXT. SARA’S - HOME DUSK Sara opens her eyes. She is sitting on the step in front of her house. The painting and photo are on her lap vibrating and her body jerks. SARA (calls out) Mom? Mom, I have them. They are home too. Mom where are you? I don’t see you, Mom. VOICE Take us in. Go in now, Sara. Stay away from Mom. Mom hates us Sara. Mom will kill us, Sara. Sara looks at Samuel’s photo, rubs her fingers on the eyes. It blinks twice. SARA Dad? Dad, I love you, Dad. Mom loves you too. SAMUEL’S VOICE No, Sara. Mom’s our enemy. You can’t trust her. INT. AMBER’S LIVING ROOM - DUSK Amber paces the house back and forth. She draws the blinds and looks out. She throws a glass of water on the painting. It sparks and pops then flashes green lights. She throws punches at the painting. AMBER What have you done to her? Where is she? I want my child. Saraaaaa! Amber bends her and screams. The house shakes and furniture rattles. The painting glows and the little people giggles. AMBER Saraaaaa, Saraaaaa, where are you?

91 The light flashes multiple colors and Amber hears the sea waves bashing by the fireplace. She yells and kicks the painting. AMBER Damn you, Damn you. Where is my child? What have you done to her? ... Saraaaaa. The front door swings opens and Sara staggers inside. Her clothes are grimy and green. Her face, hands, and feet are covered with green moss. Amber screams. AMBER Oh no, no. What did they do to you? Sara, Sara. Amber runs toward Sara with out stretched arms. A light flashes between the mother and daughter. The blue light becomes a stable barrier. SAMUEL’S VOICE Leave my child, get away from her. Don’t touch her. Sara stares at Amber from beady black eyes and dirty face. Amber hears giggling of little voices behind her back. As a disembodied hand hugs her waist and pulls her backward from Sara. VOICE Hurry, Sara, hurry. Come over, must hurry now. Waiting, we’re waiting. Need to unite and sleep. Put coin on floor. Amber puts her hands on her head, screams and collapses to the floor. Sara steps over Amber’s legs. Sara walks to the fireplace. AMBER (voice feeble) No, Sara, Come back here, Sara. SARA I have to put them there, Mom. By the others, I have to put

92 them there and show coin to them. Mom, where are you, Mom? Sara clutches the photo and the smaller painting to her chest and staggers to the large painting of the lighthouse. The house vibrates violently and is house lit by flashes of light. VOICE Found each other again. Free, free, Sara, you’re free. No pain ever again. Good girl, Sara. Sara tumbles with her head against the biggest painting. The coin falls from her hand to the floor. The coin shines and blends with the flashes of lights. LITTLE VOICES At last, rest, we rest us now. Amber sits up rubs her eyes and looks toward the fireplace. She hears Samuel’s voice coming from the painting. MALE VOICE Wake up, Sarah, no more pain. No more pain. Come, Sarah, Let’s go, Sarah. We must get away from her tonight. Lights of multiple colors flash continuously. The little people in the painting kneel in a huddle staring at the coin at Sara’s feet. SARA Dad, Dad, I can’t see you. Samuel’s photo vibrates glows and makes bumping sounds. SAMUEL’S VOICE I’m beside you, Sara, beside you. Amber sees two disembodied hands reach out and snatch Sara drawing her into the painting. AMBER (shouting) No, Sara, stop. Don’t go in there with them! Wait, stop!

93 Amber sees Sara as she goes in and leans against Samuel inside the painting. Amber grabs the edge of the painting. It burns her hands leaving big blisters up her arms. AMBER (kneels) Get out of there Sara! Come out, Sara...Please. Amber stares at the painting. Samuel and Sara, hugs each other laughs and points at her. Screaming she grabs the phone and calls the POLICE. Police and FIREMEN sirens wailing, rushes on the driveway and then into the house. AMBER (hysterical) Get my child out! She’s in that painting. She’s in there with the dwarves and my husband. POLICE Have you been drinking lady? Are you on any drugs? Amber holds one policeman by the hand and tries to draw him over to the painting. AMBER (screaming) My child, she’s in side that painting. You must believe me can’t you see her standing there beside him? Help her, get her out please! You must get her out of there now! The police and firemen went into corner and talks about the situation even as Amber continues to scream and toss objects at the painting. POLICE (to Amber) You have to come with us, lady. We must get you to a hospital. Amber screams and pulls at her hair. AMBER (to Policemen) No, no, you must get Sara out of there. I can’t leave her in the

94 painting with them. An Ambulance was summoned by the Policemen. Amber is taken away struggling and screaming. The Police car follows the Ambulance. Amber is at the hospital for evaluation. She screams Sara name repeatedly. AMBER (to medical staff) Sara, Sara. You must believe me. My child went into that painting. I couldn’t stop her. The dwarves and her father drags her in to spite me. The MEDICAL STAFF examines the huge blisters on her arms. MEDICAL STAFF How did this happen? AMBER (shouting) I tried to hold Sara, the painting burns my hands. I had to let her go. I lost her. Saraaaa! Amber kicks and screams. She is sedated, restrained and placed in a bed with padded rails. TWO YEARS LATER Amber sits in a rocking chair in the mental hospital. She stares blankly in space. She rocks and sings the same strange songs Sara use to do. Amber’s SISTER visits and talks to her about her house and belongings. Amber stares without a wink oblivious of anything around. SISTER (VO) I have to get rid of her place. It’s too eerie to keep. Amber is too far gone to care. No one knows what took place there. I don’t want that house to fall apart. Amber’s home and belongings are put up for sale. “The house for sale” sign leans against a tall oak tree at the gate. Shoppers are in and out daily. Most of the contents of the house are sold. INT. AMBER’S HOUSE

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A MOTHER walks with her 15 year old DAUGHTER TARA in Amber’s house purchasing several items. The daughter sees the painting and runs to it. She kneels and talks to it by the fireplace. She hugs it with both arms and giggles. TARA (to mother) Mom, I want this painting. Can we buy it?... please? It wants me to take it home with us. It says it belongs with me. The mother runs to the child and holds her by the collar and pulls her to her feet. Tara pulls away and runs back to the painting. MOTHER Come away from there, Tara! You’re making up tales again. I’ve no more money. And there is no place to hang it at home. TARA Put it over the fireplace, Mom. just just beside my Dad’s photo. I won’t leave them here. This house is cold. We must take them home where it is warm. Tara jumps up and down in front of the painting. She’s singing in a song in a strange language. MOTHER What is that song all about? Stop it, you’re not making sense. TARA It’s their song, Mom. I’m singing with them. They’re teaching me new things. They said that they are happy to see us. Amber’s sister trembles. She stoops and tapes shut the box at her feet that contains Amber, Sara and Samuel’s photos. She looks at the painting and back at Tara embracing the painting.

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AMBER’S SISTER (to mother) The painting is the only item left. Your child can have it free. The new owners will take over tomorrow. I must clean up the place. MOTHER Are you sure? It looks like expensive work. Why do you want to give it away? Amber’s sister hides her trembling hands behind her back. AMBERS SISTER I’m sure she can have it. The child is drawn to it. I want her to have it Sister contd because you’ve purchased so much stuff today. Your child is the same age my niece who went away with her Mom. The mother picks up the painting holding the artwork away from her body. She’s unaware of the dancing objects inside the painting. Her daughter follows behind singing her strange song and hopping from foot to foot. FADE OUT:

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