アフターライフ(2009年)

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AFTER.LIFE

BLINDING WHITENESS
We hear a MAN GASPING softly. Rhythmically.
A LUMINOUS PALE SHAPE slowly forms out of the searing
whiteness. Gradually we realize we’re moving across the
ALABASTER BODY of a WOMAN. Her skin translucent.

ON THE WOMAN’S FACE
Ethereal. Her eyes closed. Her face lifeless. Then…
…her eyes open. She looks straight at us with unseeing
pale blue eyes. This is ANNA (late 20s).
We pull back. PAUL (30s) makes love to Anna. Their
movements perfunctory. Passionless. He turns to look at
her. Realizes she’s not there. He suddenly stops.
Rolls off her. Sits on the edge of the bed.

PAUL
What’s wrong?

ANNA
Nothing.
Anna leans down and picks up her RED SLIP from the floor.

PAUL

(SIGHS WEARILY)
You used to enjoy it. Now it’s…
He shakes his head. Frustrated. Lights a cigarette.

PAUL
…it’s like fucking a corpse.
Paul immediately realizes he’s gone too far. Turns to Anna.

PAUL
Shit. I’m sorry. That was–
Anna gets out of bed. Walks towards the bathroom. Paul
puts his head in his hands.



INT. PAUL’S APARTMENT. BATHROOM – MOMENTS LATER

Through the fogged shower partition we see the blurred
ghostly figure of Anna. Paul walks in.

PAUL
Anna. I’m sorry. That was a stupid
thing to say. But you know sometimes…
sometimes it’s like you’re not here
anymore. Like you’re somewhere else.

2.




Anna doesn’t reply.

PAUL
Is this about us?

ON ANNA
her head bowed as she lets the water wash over her.

ANNA
It’s not about us.

PAUL (O.C.)
Then what is it?

ANNA
I don’t know.

PAUL (O.C.)
I just want us to be happy.
Anna doesn’t move. We sense the emptiness inside her.

PAUL (O.C.)
Are you happy?
She closes her eyes. Forces herself to reply.

ANNA
I’m happy.

A DROP OF BLOOD
falls into the water. Then another drop.

ON ANNA
her nose is bleeding. She touches her lips. Looks
impassively at the blood on her fingertips. The SOUND OF
WATER carries into the next scene…

FADE TO WHITE.



A STREAM OF CRYSTAL BLUE WATER
A MAN’S HANDS penetrate the water. Thin and elegant.
Perfectly manicured. Turning slowly as he washes them
meticulously. He picks up a crisply folded white towel.
Dries his hands carefully. Snaps on white latex gloves.



EXT. CEMETERY – MORNING

A beautiful morning. We move through a tranquil cemetery.
Pastoral and idyllic. Dappled light falls through old
trees onto statues of grieving angels.

3.







EXT. FUNERAL HOME – CONTINUOUS

A path leads to an old well-kept house. Amongst a blaze of
violet tulips we see a sign: Eliot Deane. Funeral Home.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. CASKET DISPLAY ROOM – MORNING

Sun streams into an elegant wood-panelled room. The
Funeral Director, ELIOT DEANE (40s) guides MRS. AYRES
(70s) past caskets tastefully arranged on faux-marble
pedestals. He’s a serene man. Quiet and professional.

ELIOT
The Antique Carlisle. Solid cherry.
(strokes the wood lovingly)
Hand rubbed satin finish. Tufted
sovereign interior. Eternal-Rest
adjustable mattress with matching pillow.
He gestures to a metal casket.

ELIOT
Or perhaps the Aegean? Solid bronze
exterior. Hand brushed finish with
Grecian bronze highlights.

MRS. AYRES
The Antique Carlisle. Definitely the
Antique Carlisle.

ELIOT
(writes in his notebook)
Excellent choice.
Mrs. Ayres caresses the soft velvet trimming.

MRS. AYRES
An antique coffin for an antique lady.
We suit each other.

ELIOT

(SMILES)
You’ll look beautiful.

(BEAT)
Now about the service. Would you like a
private visitation?
Mrs. Ayres is miles away.

ELIOT
Mrs. Ayres?

MRS. AYRES
I’m sorry. Yes. A private visitation.

(HESITATES)
Mr. Deane? What happens when we die?

4.




Eliot chooses his words carefully.

ELIOT
It’s different every time. Each person
dies in their own way.



INT/EXT. ANNA’S CAR – MORNING

Anna drives past the strip malls of a small suburban town
in a GREEN TOYOTA. On the dashboard a KITSCHY BOBBLEHEAD
DOLL nods its head from side to side. Anna pulls up to a
red light. Glances across at the other cars. We see the
vacant faces of COMMUTERS staring blankly into space.
The light changes. Anna hasn’t noticed. The car behind
her HONKS in frustration. She quickly pulls out…
… just as a SUV turns in front of her. She slams on
her brakes. Hard. Missing the SUV by inches. The
DRIVER screams at her. His face contorted in ugly rage.



EXT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. PARKING LOT – MORNING

Anna locks her car. Heads towards the main building.



INT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. CORRIDOR – MORNING

Classes have started. JACK (11), a serious looking boy,
walks through a silent corridor. Up ahead two OLDER
BOYS, a TALL KID and a KID with ACNE, push a GEEKY BOY
against a locker. Jack tries to pass by unnoticed.

TALL KID
Hey. Jack-off!
Jack walks faster. The two Older Boys set off after him.
He darts into a corridor. Ducks into an empty classroom.



INT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. BIOLOGY CLASSROOM – MOMENTS LATER

Jack waits anxiously by the door. It looks like he’s
lost the bullies. Then a sudden rustling noise makes him
jump. He turns. TINY CHICKS huddle in a plastic
incubator on a table. Jack moves over to them.

TALL KID (O.C.)
Didn’t you hear me Jack-off?
Jack swivels round. The Tall Kid walks towards him as
the Acne Kid guards the door. Jack doesn’t reply.

ACNE KID
He must be deaf.

5.





TALL KID
You deaf Jack-off?
Jack ignores them. Irritating the Tall Kid even more.

TALL KID
Can’t fucking speak either.
He pushes Jack against the table, toppling the incubator.
Panicked, the CHICKS scatter across the surface. Just
then the door opens. Anna walks in.

ANNA
What’s going on?
She glances at the Older Boys then at Jack.

ANNA
Jack?

JACK
Nothing Miss Bryant.

ANNA
Nothing? The incubator didn’t just
fall by itself.
The Older Boys stare at Jack. Waiting for his reaction.

JACK
I tripped. It was an accident.
Anna looks at Jack carefully. She knows he’s lying.

ANNA
(to the Older Boys)
Show’s over. Get to your classes.

(TO JACK)
Jack. Help me clear up.
Jack doesn’t hear her. He’s mesmerized by a SOLITARY
CHICK standing motionless in the corner of the incubator.

JACK
I think it’s dead.
Anna reaches in. Tenderly picks up the chick.

ANNA
No. The poor thing’s just scared.



INT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. TEACHERS’ COMMON ROOM – DAY

School’s over. Anna listlessly corrects a stack of
exercise books. She can’t focus. Pulls out a BOTTLE OF
PILLS. Shakes a pill into her hand. Swallows it dry.

6.







INT. LAW OFFICE. CONFERENCE ROOM – DAY

Paul works with half a dozen COLLEAGUES around a large
conference table covered with documents and thick files.
He reaches across to a pizza box. It’s empty.

PAUL
OK. Who took the last pepperoni?
A PREPPY GUY slides across another pizza box.

PAUL
Great. Broccoli.
(lifts out a slice)
Who the fuck ordered broccoli?
NEAL, a thin pallid guy, looks up.

NEAL
Oh that’s just disgusting.

PREPPY GUY
What’s wrong with vegetarian pizza? It’s
healthy.

NEAL
Pizza isn’t supposed to be healthy.
Paul glances at his watch. Suddenly realizes the time.
He quickly picks up his cell phone. Heads for the door.

NEAL
You ordering in another pizza?

PAUL
Yeah. With wheatgrass and alfalfa sprouts.
Everyone laughs.

PREPPY GUY

(MUTTERS)
Yeah. Yeah. Smart asses.



INT. LAW OFFICE. CORRIDOR – MOMENTS LATER

Paul walks into the corridor dialling his cell phone.



INT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. TEACHERS’ COMMON ROOM – SAME TIME

Anna’s cell phone rings as she closes her locker. She
fishes it out from her bag as she heads to the door.
Checks the ID. Hesitates. Then takes the call.

7.







INT. LAW OFFICE. CORRIDOR – SAME TIME

Paul cups his cell. Worried he’ll be overheard.

PAUL
Hi baby. I’m really sorry about this
morning. I fucked up. I know.



INT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. CORRIDOR – SAME TIME

Anna steps into an empty corridor.

PAUL (O.S.)

(FILTERED)
We still on for tonight?

(BEAT)
Anna?

ANNA
I don’t know Paul.



INT. LAW OFFICE. CORRIDOR – SAME TIME

Paul’s anxious. We sense he’s hiding something.

PAUL
Please Anna. It took me weeks to get the
table.

ANNA (O.S.)

(FILTERED)
Maybe we can change it to Thursday–

PAUL
No. It has to be tonight.

ANNA (O.S.)

(FILTERED)
Paul? What’s the matter?
Paul tries hard to cover his nervousness. Forces a smile.

PAUL
Nothing. Don’t worry. I just need… I
just want us to have dinner tonight.



INT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. CORRIDOR – SAME TIME

Despite Paul’s reassurances Anna is clearly worried now.

ANNA

(HESITATES)

OK.

8.





PAUL (O.S.)

(FILTERED)
Great.



INT. LAW OFFICE. CORRIDOR – SAME TIME

Paul hesitates. Lowers his voice.

PAUL
And Anna. Everything’s going to be fine.

ANNA (O.S.)

(FILTERED)
Promise?

PAUL
I promise.



INT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. CORRIDOR – MOMENTS LATER

Anna slips her phone back into her bag as she walks
through the deserted corridor. Her high heels echo
loudly in the eerie quietness.
Suddenly one of the fluorescent ceiling lights behind her
blows out with a loud WHUMPH. Anna starts. Turns.
WHUMPH. The next light dies. Anna quickens her step.
The lights go off one by one. The darkness quickly
creeping up behind her. There’s only one light still on
as she reaches the exit. She looks up. The light
flickers. But then strangely stays on. Bathing her in a
cold pool of light.
Anna’s unsettled. She turns and frantically pushes the
door. It doesn’t open. She pushes hard with both hands.
Nothing. It’s locked. She turns back slowly. The
darkness around her impenetrable. Almost viscous. She
reaches out…
… her hand DISAPPEARS into the thick blackness. Anna
snatches her hand back. Stares at it.
Then we hear the sound of SLOW FOOTSTEPS. Moving
deliberately towards her.

ANNA

(NERVOUSLY)
Hello?
Her voice echoes down the silent corridor. She glimpses
something move in the blackness.

ANNA
Is someone there?

9.




A BLACK SHAPE materializes inside the darkness. Silent.
Brooding. Anna can’t move. Terrified. Suddenly the
corridor’s flooded with a BLINDING WHITE LIGHT.
Anna’s dazzled. Shades her eyes with her hand. As she
tentatively pulls her hand away…
…it’s only Jack. His hand on the light switch.

ANNA
Jack!

JACK
Did I scare you Miss Bryant?
Jack moves over to the door.

ANNA
It’s locked.
He gently pushes against the door. The door slowly opens.



EXT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL – MOMENTS LATER

Anna, still shaken, walks with Jack towards the parking lot.

ANNA
Shouldn’t you be home?

JACK
My mom’s picking me up.

(BEAT)
It’s my birthday. We’re going to
MacDonald’s. Then on Saturday my mom’s
taking me to Busch Gardens. We’re
going to ride the Alpengeist.

(EARNESTLY)
Continually voted one of the top ten roller
coaster rides in America, the Alpengeist is
a breathtaking avalanche of adventure.

ANNA
(tries to keep a straight-face)
I didn’t know the park was open yet.

JACK
My mom’s friends with the manager.
They’re opening it specially for me.
She knows he’s lying again. Smiles sadly.

ANNA
Sounds like fun.

JACK
Yes. It will be fun.

10.




They reach Anna’s car. Stand in silence for a moment.

ANNA
Jack. Those boys. Do they bother you
a lot?
Jack hesitates. Then slowly nods his head.

ANNA
You know you can always talk to me about
it if you want to.
He nods. Anna’s clearly worried about him.

ANNA
You sure you don’t need a ride?
Jack shakes his head. Anna glances at her watch.

ANNA
Well. I better run.

JACK
Where are you going?

ANNA

(HESITATES)
I have to go to a funeral. My old piano
teacher.

JACK
(with sudden interest)
Can I come?

ANNA
No Jack. Funerals are very private
affairs.

JACK
I’ve never been to a funeral.

ANNA
It wouldn’t be appropriate Jack. Anyway
wouldn’t your mom worry about you?

JACK

(SHRUGS)
Not really.

ANNA
I’m sure she would. I’ll see you
tomorrow in class. Have a wonderful
birthday.
Jack nods disappointed. Anna watches him walk away then
gets in her car.

11.







INT. ANNA’S CAR – MOMENTS LATER

Anna slips her key into the ignition. Loud music suddenly
blares from the car radio. She switches it off. Squeezes
the bridge of her nose. She pulls out a bottle of pills
from her bag. It’s empty. She rummages in the glove
compartment. Finds another bottle. Empty. She sighs.



EXT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL – MOMENTS LATER

Jack sits on the bench. Watches Anna drive away. Then
unzips his backpack. Something moves inside. A strange
jerky movement. Jack closes the backpack. Glances up
and down the empty street. Then walks away on his own.



EXT. STRIP MALL. PHARMACY – DAY

Anna steps out of the Pharmacy. As she washes down a pill
with a bottle of water she notices a small Hair Salon.
Looks critically at herself in the Pharmacy window.
Anna moves over to the Salon. Reaches for the door
handle… then hesitates. She’s about to walk away when
the Salon door suddenly opens. Anna smiles shyly as a
freshly COIFFURED WOMAN politely holds the door for her.



INT. HAIR SALON – DAY

Anna leans back against a washbasin. Her neck tightly
cradled against the white porcelain. The light’s harsh
and not particularly flattering. She closes her eyes.
Behind her the HANDS of a HAIRDRESSER in latex gloves
begin to rinse dye from Anna’s hair.

ON SINK
Startling white. A stream of water flows into the sink.
Then after a moment the spiralling clear water gradually
turns a deep crimson red.



INT. MOTHER’S HOUSE. HALLWAY – DAY

Anna closes the front door behind her. She smiles as
she catches her reflection in the hallway mirror. Her
hair a dark vibrant red. Just then, from another room,
we hear an OLD WOMAN’S hacking cough.

OLD WOMAN (O.S.)
Anna? Is that you?

ANNA
Yes Mother.

12.







INT. MOTHER’S HOUSE. BEDROOM – MOMENTS LATER

Anna’s mother, BEATRICE (50s), sits in bed, knitting with
swift, violent precision. The bedside table’s stacked
with medication. She’s clearly been bed-ridden for some
time. An electric wheelchair in the corner of the room.
Anna appears at the door. Beatrice scrutinizes her for a
second. Then returns to her knitting.

BEATRICE
Terrible color.
Anna moves to the beside table. Picks up a dirty plate.

ANNA
Can I get you something to eat?

BEATRICE
I’m not hungry.

ANNA
You have to eat.

BEATRICE
I don’t have to do anything.

ANNA
The doctor said–

BEATRICE
The doctor’s an idiot. He doesn’t know
what he’s talking about.
Anna sighs. Trying hard not to let her Mother provoke
her. Beatrice glances up. Anna avoids her look.

BEATRICE
Why did you do it? Today of all days.

ANNA
What have I done wrong this time?
Anna goes to the window. Draws back the curtains.

BEATRICE
You’ve forgotten haven’t you?

ANNA
No I haven’t forgotten. The service
isn’t till six.

BEATRICE
Then you’ve got plenty of time to wash it
out.

13.





ANNA
It’s permanent. You can’t wash it out.

BEATRICE
Then dye it back. You can’t show up at
the funeral looking like that. Like some
prostitute.

ANNA
I don’t look–

BEATRICE
Don’t argue with me. Why are you
constantly arguing with me?
Anna bites her tongue. Heads to the door.

BEATRICE
Where are you going?

ANNA
To do the washing up.

BEATRICE
The sheets need changing. They haven’t
been changed in months.

ANNA
I changed them Monday.
Anna goes to the cupboard. Takes out clean sheets.

BEATRICE
You weren’t here Monday. You never sleep
at home anymore. What if something
happened to me in the middle of the night?

ANNA
Nothing is going to happen to you.

ANYWAY DIANE–

BEATRICE

(SNORTS)
Fat lot of good she is. I wouldn’t have
to pay for a Nurse if my only daughter
wasn’t living in sin with that lawyer of
hers. Doing God knows what. They always
leave you in the end. You’ll see. Just
like your father–

ANNA
That’s enough Mother!
Anna dumps the sheets on the bed. As she turns to leave
Beatrice’s hand darts out and grabs Anna’s wrist.

BEATRICE
That’s it. Go and cry to Paul.

14.




Anna pulls herself free. Moves to the door.

BEATRICE
Go and bitch to Paul about your mean old
mother.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. VIEWING ROOM – DAY

A warm intimate room. Peaceful. Rows of chairs filled
with ELDERLY MOURNERS. Eliot stands respectfully beside
a casket. FATHER GRAHAM (50s) reads at a lectern.

FATHER GRAHAM
We have entrusted our brother James
Hutton to God’s mercy in sure and…



EXT. FUNERAL HOME. DRIVEWAY – CONTINUOUS

Anna, in a black dress, walks quickly along the gravel
driveway. She stops. Stares out over the cemetery.

FATHER GRAHAM (O.S.)
…certain hope of the resurrection to
eternal life through our Lord Jesus
Christ, who died and rose again for us.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. VIEWING ROOM – MOMENTS LATER

Anna slips into the back of the room. Eliot leads MRS.
HUTTON (60s) to the body of her husband, JAMES HUTTON
(70S), lying in the casket. Mrs. Hutton touches a
bouquet of white roses by the casket.

MRS. HUTTON
White roses. They were his favorite.
How did you know?

ELIOT
They just seemed appropriate somehow.

MRS. HUTTON
He looks so peaceful. As if he’s only
sleeping.
Anna approaches Mrs. Hutton. She doesn’t notice Eliot
watching her carefully.

ANNA
Mrs. Hutton. I’m so sorry.

MRS. HUTTON
Thank you Anna. You were always his
favorite student.

15.




Anna smiles awkwardly. Uncomfortable.

MRS. HUTTON
How’s your mother?

ANNA
Fine. She sends her condolences.

MRS. HUTTON
You look tired dear.

ANNA
No. I’m fine. Everything’s fine.
But we can see in her eyes that everything’s not fine.
Mrs. Hutton nods, then turns to greet another MOURNER.
Anna steps nervously up to the coffin.

ANNA’S POV
James Hutton lies peacefully amongst the velvet trimming.
Suddenly his LIPS PART… as he GASPS SOFTLY.

VIEWING ROOM
Anna steps back terrified. Stares at Hutton. His face
serene again. It must have been her imagination. She
glances up quickly. Embarrassed.
Eliot’s still observing her. He nods to her cordially.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. ELIOT’S ROOM – DAY

A spartan room at the top of the house. Eliot carefully
pins a POLAROID of Hutton lying in a coffin to the wall.
Next to Hutton’s photograph, we briefly glimpse the edge
of ANOTHER POLAROID.
Eliot stares intently at Hutton’s image for a moment,
then takes off his jacket and moves to the window.

ELIOT’S POV
Anna’s by her car rummaging in a bag for her keys.
Getting increasingly frustrated.



EXT. FUNERAL HOME. DRIVEWAY – DAY

Anna suddenly looses it. Angrily dumps the contents of
her bag onto the driveway. She kneels down. Grabs the
keys. Throws the rest of her things back into the bag.
She stands. Leans against the car. She looks weary.
She glances up at the sky desperately trying to hold back
her tears. Black storm clouds gather on the horizon.

16.


Anna brusquely wipes away her eyes with the back of her
hand. Pulls herself together. Angry with herself.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. ELIOT’S ROOM – DAY

Eliot watches intently as Anna drives away.



INT. RESTAURANT – EVENING

Paul sits at a window table. It’s raining hard outside.
He glances at his watch then nervously checks his
pockets. Pulls out a RING BOX. He looks at it for a
moment then slips it back into his pocket.
As he refills his glass, Anna appears outside holding her
raincoat above her head. She stares at Paul for a moment
through the window marbled with rain.
Paul suddenly notices Anna at the window. He starts.
Spills some of his red wine on his shirt.
CLOSE on the red stain. It unfurls like a flower.
Spreading out over the white material.

ANNA (O.C.)
Sorry about that.
Paul dabs the stain with a napkin.

PAUL
You scared the life out of me.
Anna laughs as she sits down. Paul looks up at her.

PAUL
Your hair.

ANNA
You don’t like it.

PAUL
I didn’t say that. It’s just very…
red. I mean it’s not really you is it?
A WAITER appears at the table before Anna can reply.

WAITER
Are you ready to order?

PAUL
Yes. We’ll have the duck.

ANNA
Paul.

17.





PAUL
What? You always have the duck here.

ANNA
(picks up the menu)
I don’t always have the duck.
Paul shrugs. Pours Anna some wine as she looks through
the menu. The Waiter taps his pen on his pad
impatiently. Anna sighs. Puts the menu aside.

ANNA
I’ll have the duck.
Paul smiles as the Waiter leaves. Anna tries to ignore
him. But after a second she can’t help smiling back.

PAUL
The duck is very good.
Anna’s smile broadens. The tension between them broken
for the moment. Paul reaches across. Touches her hand.

PAUL
Let’s not argue tonight. OK?

ANNA

OK.
Anna takes a sip of wine.

ANNA
This is good.
She picks up the bottle. Checks the label.

ANNA
And looks very expensive…

(SMILES QUESTIONINGLY)
What’s the special occasion?
Paul’s momentarily thrown. He tries to cover it by
rearranging his napkin. Anna notices.

PAUL
(suddenly very serious)
Actually there is something I need to
talk to you about.
Now Anna’s nervous.

PAUL
I’ve been offered a transfer to head
office in Chicago.
Anna looks down. Stares at her hands on the table.

18.





PAUL
It’ll mean more work of course. More
responsibility. A lot of changes. But
it’s an incredible opportunity. I’d be
crazy to turn it down. And…

(NERVOUS)
…well I’ve been thinking. Maybe it’s
time for us to…
Paul pauses as he reaches inside his jacket.

ANNA
(without looking up)
You’re going to leave me.
Paul’s stunned. Speechless. Before he can say anything–

ANNA
You could’ve just told me this morning.
You didn’t need to buy me off with an
expensive meal.
Paul reaches for her hand. Anna gets up to leave.

PAUL
Anna wait.

ANNA
Why did you lie to me? You promised
everything was going to be OK.

PAUL

(INCREASINGLY FRUSTRATED)
Don’t be ridiculous. Anna. You’ve got
it all wrong.

ANNA
I’m not being ridiculous. Why do you
always talk to me like I’m a small child?

PAUL
(as if talking to a small child)
Anna.

ANNA
See? There you go again. Do you know
how irritating that is?

PAUL

(LOSES IT)
Jesus. Can’t we just have one fucking
meal without arguing–

ANNA
Fuck you!
The other DINERS turn and stare at them. Paul glances at
them embarrassed. Anna doesn’t notice. Upset.

19.





PAUL
Keep your voice down, everyone’s watching.

ANNA

FUCK YOU!

PAUL
You’re crazy. You know that? Just like
your mother.

ANNA
I’m nothing like my mother!
Anna grabs her coat. Pushes her way through the restaurant.

PAUL

(STANDS)
I’m not running after you this time Anna.

ANNA
Good.
Paul’s suddenly aware that everyone’s looking at him. He
quickly sits down. Drains his glass of wine. Furious.



INT/EXT. ANNA’S CAR – NIGHT

Anna closes the car door. It’s still raining hard outside.
Her hair, perfect minutes ago, is now bedraggled. Her make-
up’s running. She places her hands on the steering wheel.
Trying desperately to pull herself together.
Suddenly. THUMP. Anna jumps. Turns. Paul’s at the car
window. He thumps the glass again. Anna hits the locks.



EXT. RESTAURANT. PARKING LOT – CONTINUOUS

Paul grabs the door handle.

PAUL
Anna. Open the door. Please. I want
you to come with me. I want to…



INT/EXT. ANNA’S CAR – CONTINUOUS

Anna can’t hear him above the sound of the RAIN HAMMERING
onto the car. She shakes her head. Puts the car in drive.



EXT. RESTAURANT. PARKING LOT – CONTINUOUS

Paul stumbles aside as Anna’s car pulls away. She stops
at the parking lot exit a short distance away.

20.







INT/EXT. ANNA’S CAR – CONTINUOUS

Anna looks up into the rearview mirror.

ON REARVIEW MIRROR
Paul stands forlornly in the rain. Their eyes meet.

ANNA’S CAR
She hesitates. For a moment we think she might go back
to him…



EXT. RESTAURANT. PARKING LOT – CONTINUOUS

… but then Anna pulls out and drives away. Leaving Paul
alone in the parking lot. The rain pounding the asphalt.



INT/EXT. ANNA’S CAR. HIGHWAY – NIGHT

Anna peers through the blurred windshield as the wipers
battle with the TORRENTIAL DOWNPOUR. A LARGE TRUCK plows
past menacingly on the rain-slicked highway.
Anna’s still upset. She wipes away her tears. On the
dashboard the kitschy doll bobs its head from side to
side. Anna picks up her cell phone. Glances down as she
dials a number. She looks up…
a WHITE VAN with black tinted windows cuts in front of her.

ANNA
Shit!
Anna swerves into the next lane. We hear the blaring
horn from the car behind her.

ANNA
(into rear-view mirror)
OK. OK. I saw you.

(MUTTERING)
Jerk.
The cell phone connects. We hear Paul’s answering machine.

ANNA
Paul? You home yet? Can you pick up? I
just don’t want it to end like this.
Anna drops the phone into her bag on the passenger seat.
Wipes away the mist on the inside of the glass.
A TRACTOR TRAILER shudders past loaded with metal pipes.

21.





ON METAL PIPES
The badly loaded pipes BANG OMINOUSLY against each other.

CUT TO BLACK.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. ELIOT’S ROOM – EARLY MORNING

Darkness. A bright light comes on.
CLOSE ON a MAN’S HANDS. Turning slowly under a stream of
crystal blue water. We pull back. Eliot dries his hands.
Opens a cabinet. Takes out a pair of latex gloves.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – EARLY MORNING

A large room. Tall vaulted ceilings. White tiles. Soft
morning light seeps in from a small round window set high
on one wall. The room is silent. Still. Like a chapel.
In the semi-darkness we see a BODY on a porcelain slab
covered with a white sheet.
We hear a key turn in a lock. Then another lock. The
room’s suddenly flooded with a harsh white light.
Eliot steps inside the room. He takes off his jacket.
Carefully places it on a coat-hanger. Puts on a pale
blue smock then snaps on the latex gloves. His every
move meticulous. Measured. Like a ritual.
Eliot walks over to the slab, his surgery clogs softly
clacking against the tiled floor. He looks at the slab
for a moment then slowly pulls the sheet away
revealing…
ANNA’S BODY. Pale and lifeless. An ugly gash above her
eyebrow. Cracked violet lips. A rip in her black dress
soaked with a dark stain. She’s only wearing one shoe.
Eliot gently takes off the watch from her stiff wrist.
Places it inside a brown paper bag. Eases off the shoe.
Picks up a scalpel from a tray of instruments on a steel
trolley. Delicately slices open her dress. Peels it off.
He’s about to cut the straps of her RED SLIP when…
Anna OPENS HER EYES.
She looks straight at us with unseeing pale blue eyes.
Strangely Eliot’s not surprised. He calmly steps back.
Watches her carefully.
Anna’s eyes slowly focus on Eliot. She’s groggy. Confused.

22.





ANNA
Where am I?
She talks with difficulty. Her breathe labored.

ELIOT
You’re in a funeral home.

(BEAT)
You’re dead.
Anna’s vacant eyes widen in shock. She struggles to sit
up but she can’t even raise her head. Her body stiff.
Rigid. Eliot speaks to her calmly. Soothingly.

ELIOT
You had a car accident. It was raining.
You hit a truck loaded with metal pipes.
She looks fearfully at the bloodied dress in Eliot’s hand.

ANNA
I’m not dead.

ELIOT
You were pronounced dead eight hours ago.
Your blood no longer circulates through
your body. Your brain cells are slowly
dying. Your body’s already decomposing.

ANNA
I’m not dead.
Eliot looks at her sadly for a moment. He places the
bloodied dress on the trolley. Then picks up a document.
Holds it up for her.

ON DOCUMENT
It’s Anna’s death certificate.

ELIOT (O.C.)
This is your death certificate. Cause of
death. Massive internal trauma. Time of
death. 8.23PM.

PREP ROOM

ELIOT
You were dead on arrival. The attending
physician signed here…
(points to document)
…at 9.45 last night. I picked up your
body from the hospital morgue at 12.10
this morning.
Anna stares with horror at her death certificate, then at
Eliot. He looks away. It pains him to see her so
distressed.

23.





ELIOT
I’m sorry.
Eliot picks up a sponge from the trolley. Wets it.

ANNA
Who are you?
Eliot delicately washes Anna’s face. She doesn’t flinch
as he dabs the wound above her eye brow.

ANNA
Don’t touch me! Why are you touching me?

ELIOT
I’m preparing your body. You have to
look beautiful for your funeral.

ANNA
I’m not dead.
Eliot sighs wearily. As if he’d had this conversation
many times before.

ELIOT
You all say the same thing.

(BEAT)
I’m sorry. Maybe you should rest now.
Eliot peels off his latex gloves and heads for the door.
As he hangs his pale blue smock on the peg he turns and
looks at Anna for a moment.

ON ANNA
The lights go off. O.S. the door clicks shut as it locks
automatically behind Eliot.

ANNA

(SOFTLY)
I can’t be dead. It’s just a nightmare.
I’ll wake up soon. Wake up.



INT. PAUL’S APARTMENT. BEDROOM – MORNING

Paul wakes up. Badly hung-over. Still in his clothes.
Sunlight streams into the room. Blinding him. He
reaches across. The bed’s empty. He’s surprised for a
moment then remembers the argument the night before.
He gets up. Sits on the edge of the bed. Lights a
cigarette. He notices his jacket on the floor. Leans
down. As he pulls out the BlackBerry from his jacket, the
RING BOX falls onto the floor. Paul doesn’t notice.

24.







INT. PAUL’S APARTMENT. KITCHEN – LATER

Paul steps into the kitchen. Nervously checking his
BlackBerry. Nothing. Just then he sees the red light
blinking on his answer machine. He presses play.

ANNA
Paul? You home yet? Can you pick up? I
just don’t want it to end like this.
Paul’s relieved. He picks up the phone. Dials. We hear
the ringing on the other end.



INT. HOSPITAL MORGUE – SAME TIME

Two technicians, an OLD GUY and his YOUNG PALE ASSISTANT,
push a NAKED BODY wrapped in plastic through the morgue.
They jump as they hear the MUFFLED sound of a cell phone.
The ringing comes from a bag speckled with blood lying on
a table (we recognize it as Anna’s bag). The Assistant
walks over. Takes out the cell phone.

ASSISTANT
It’s the schoolteacher’s. From the car
crash. Should I answer it?
The ringing stops abruptly. It’s suddenly very silent.

ASSISTANT
Someone’s in for a surprise.

OLD GUY
How many times do I have to tell you? You
can’t leave their stuff laying around. It
should’ve been returned to the family.

ASSISTANT
I’ve been busy, OK.

(MUTTERING)
Like she’s really going to need her
rollover minutes now.
As the Assistant reaches for the bag, he notices a
solitary shoe on the table. He picks it up.

ASSISTANT
What shall I do with this?

OLD GUY
Where’s the other one?
The Assistant looks round. He can’t see the other shoe
anywhere. He turns to the Old Guy and shrugs.

25.





OLD GUY
Just burn it. You can’t send them back
one shoe. It’s not respectful.



INT. PAUL’S APARTMENT. KITCHEN – SAME TIME

We hear a BEEP.

PAUL

(ON PHONE)
You got it all wrong baby. I want you to
come to Chicago with me. Look. I’ll
swing by your place on my way to the
office. You know I love you.



EXT. MOTHER’S HOUSE – DAY

Paul pulls up to a suburban house. Walks quickly to the
door, a supermarket bouquet of flowers wrapped in
cellophane in his hand. He rings the bell. No-one
answers. He rings again. Knocks hard on the door.

PAUL
Anna!
Still no answer. Paul looks around. Notices the
driveway’s empty. He heads back to his car.



INT/EXT. PAUL’S CAR – MOMENTS LATER

Paul’s on his cell phone as he drives. He gets Anna’s
voice mail again.

PAUL

(INTO PHONE)
It’s me again. I must have just missed you
at home. Call me when you get this. OK?



INT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. CORRIDOR – DAY

Paul strides down an empty corridor. The flowers in his
hand. Searching for Anna’s classroom.



INT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. BIOLOGY CLASSROOM – MOMENTS LATER

A TEACHER stands in front of the class holding a shell.

TEACHER
… the shell grows slowly…
The door opens. Paul steps into the classroom. His
smile fades as he realizes it’s not Anna.

26.





PAUL
Oh hi. I’m looking for Anna Bryant.
The Teacher quickly moves over. Hustles Paul to the door.

TEACHER

(INDIGNANT)
I’m sorry but you just can’t–

PAUL
I’m Anna’s… fiancée. Paul Conran. I
thought this was her class.
The Teacher glances suspiciously at the flowers in his hand.

PAUL
We had a little misunderstanding last
night.

TEACHER

(HESITATES)
She didn’t come in today.
Jack’s in the front row. Following the conversation.

PAUL
Did she call in sick?

TEACHER
She hasn’t called in at all. It’s not
like her. She always calls in.
Paul’s worried now. Something’s wrong.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – DAY

Anna lies rigidly on the slab. Her head turned to one
side. Staring blankly at the wall. Her eyes glazed.
Suddenly classical music fills the room. Anna frowns.
Disoriented. She moves her head with difficulty.
Nervously looks around.
For a moment she doesn’t know where she is. Then she
sees Eliot by a CD player. She watches with trepidation
as he approaches her.

ANNA
Please don’t hurt me.

ELIOT

(SMILES)
How can I hurt you? You’re already dead.

ANNA
But I’m not dead.

27.





ELIOT
Then why are you here?
Anna doesn’t know what to say. She turns her head away.
A tear falls down her cheek.

ANNA
Please. Just let me go. I won’t go to
the police. I won’t tell anyone.
Eliot moves her head back. Gently wipes away her tear.

ELIOT
You’re still in denial. You have to
trust me. I’m only here to help you.
Eliot slides a wooden head-rest under her neck and studies
her wounds, touching them delicately. Thinking about how
to conceal them. He turns to a tray of instruments.
Picks up a needle. Leans over Anna.
The needle pierces her brow. Sliding cleanly through her
skin. She doesn’t feel any pain as Eliot carefully sews
the wound. He’s meticulous. Clearly very good at his job.
Eliot glances at his watch. Picks up a SYRINGE and an
AMPOULE OF AMBER LIQUID. Draws up the amber liquid.
Anna’s alarmed. She tries to pull back.

ELIOT
Don’t be scared.

ANNA
What are you doing?

ELIOT
This will relax your muscles. Stop the
rigor mortis setting in so I can work on
your body.
He INJECTS Anna in the neck. Just then we hear a car
pull up on the gravel driveway outside.

ELIOT

(TO HIMSELF)
Your mother’s early.
Anna’s eyelids feel very heavy. Slowly her eyes close.
Eliot pulls the white sheet over her body.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. HALLWAY – MOMENTS LATER

A Nurse, DIANE (30s) follows Beatrice in her wheelchair
as Eliot leads them through the hallway.

28.





ELIOT
I’m so very sorry Mrs. Bryant. It’s
always so tragic when you lose a child.

BEATRICE
I lost her years ago.
He glances at her curiously. Then gestures to his office.

ELIOT
If you’d care to come to my office we can
discuss the arrangements.

BEATRICE
I want to see her.

ELIOT
But she hasn’t been–

BEATRICE
I don’t care. I want to see her.
It takes him a second to respond.

ELIOT
Of course.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – DAY

Beatrice leans against the slab staring at Anna’s covered
body. Eliot stands respectfully to one side. In the b.g.
Diane shivers. The room’s cold. Beatrice touches Anna’s
hand through the white sheet. Then uncovers Anna’s face.
The needle’s still embedded in her eyebrow.

ELIOT
Ah. Forgive me.
Eliot quickly steps forward. Pulls out the needle. Cuts
the thread with a pair of large scissors.

ELIOT
As I said. I’ve only just started
preparing her.

BEATRICE
What’s the point of preserving the body
if the soul’s already left?

ELIOT
(quietly to himself)
No. The soul never leaves.
Beatrice stares at Anna.

29.





BEATRICE
It’s us who are left behind. It’s us who
suffer.

(TO ANNA)
Who’s going to look after me now? Did
you think about that?
She nods to Diane. Diane helps her into the wheelchair.

ELIOT
I’ll confirm the date with Father Graham
this afternoon. Friday as you requested.

BEATRICE
Just do what you think’s best. It’s just
details.
Beatrice whirs towards the door. She suddenly stops.
Turns to Eliot.

BEATRICE
Oh there is one thing.

ELIOT
Yes?

BEATRICE
Her hair. She was a brunette. I’d like
it back to that color.



EXT. FUNERAL HOME. DRIVEWAY – DAY

Eliot watches Beatrice’s car drive away.



INT/EXT. PAUL’S CAR – DAY

Paul waits in his car outside the Mother’s house. The
wilting flowers on the passenger seat beside him.

PAUL’S POV
Beatrice’s car pulls up. Diane gets out. Pulls the
wheelchair out of the car.

PAUL’S CAR
Paul grabs the flowers.



EXT. MOTHER’S HOUSE – MOMENTS LATER

Paul strides over as Diane helps Beatrice into her
wheelchair.

30.





PAUL
Mrs. Bryant.
Beatrice doesn’t acknowledge him. Paul turns to Diane.

PAUL
Hi Diane. I need to talk to Anna.
Diane can’t look him in the eye.

PAUL
What’s wrong?

DIANE
I think you better come in.



INT. MOTHER’S HOUSE. BEDROOM – MOMENTS LATER

Beatrice sits in her wheelchair with her back to the
door. Paul stops a short distance away.

PAUL
What happened? Where’s Anna?

BEATRICE

(WITHOUT TURNING)
Anna was in a car accident last night.
My daughter’s dead. That’s what
happened.
Paul stares at Beatrice’s back in disbelief.

PAUL
A car crash? When?
Beatrice turns her wheelchair round to face Paul.

BEATRICE

(IRRITABLY)
I don’t know.

DIANE
They said it happened just before 8.30.

PAUL
But… we were at the restaurant…
Beatrice glares at him. She clearly blames him for
Anna’s death.

BEATRICE
You shouldn’t have let her drive in that
weather.
Paul looks down guiltily at the flowers in his hand.

31.





PAUL
No. She can’t be dead. There must be
some mistake.

BEATRICE
There’s no mistake. We just got back
from the funeral home.
Beatrice pushes a joystick on her wheelchair. As she
whirs past Paul she notices the flowers.

BEATRICE

(DRYLY)
Flowers? How appropriate.
Paul’s not listening anymore. Stunned.

PAUL
Why didn’t you call me?

BEATRICE
You took her away from me. I don’t want
you anywhere near her.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. KITCHEN – DAY

Eliot turns on the taps. Fills a copper kettle.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – SAME TIME

Silence. O.S. a shuddering pipe bangs ominously. Anna
opens her eyes abruptly as if waking from a deep sleep.
She stares at us. Numb.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. KITCHEN – MOMENTS LATER

CLOSE ON an exploding BLUE FLAME from a gas ring.
We pull back. Eliot places a kettle on the ring. Then
measures out exactly two spoons of tea from an ornate tin
into a teapot. Meticulous in everything he does.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – SAME TIME

CLOSE ON Anna’s hand. Her fingers FLEX slightly. She
pushes herself up awkwardly. Suddenly realizes
something. She touches her wrist. Desperately searching
for her pulse. Then frantically checks her neck.
Panicking. She can’t find her heartbeat.
She stares at her hand. Then abruptly SLAMS it against
the slab. Hard. She feels no pain. She does it again.
Harder. Still nothing.

32.





ANNA
I must be in shock. That’s all. It’s
just shock.
She struggles to her feet. Stumbles groggily to the door.
Tries the door handle. It’s locked. She bangs on the
door feebly. Then she hears something. She cocks her
head. Follows the sound of Eliot’s footsteps upstairs.

ANNA

(HOARSE)
Let me out!



INT. FUNERAL HOME. ELIOT’S OFFICE – DAY

Eliot’s by his desk. Checking his appointment book.
Whistling softly to himself. We can’t hear Anna’s cries.
He pours a cup of tea. Adds a drop of milk. As he stirs
his tea, he hears the sound of feet CRUNCHING on the
gravel outside. He glances out the window.

ELIOT’S POV
Paul stands in the middle of the driveway staring blankly
at the Funeral Home.



EXT. FUNERAL HOME. DRIVEWAY – MOMENTS LATER

Eliot steps out of the Funeral Home. Heads towards Paul.

ELIOT
Can I help you?
Paul turns to him. Pulled away from his thoughts.

PAUL
Mr. Deane?

ELIOT
Yes.

PAUL
My name’s Conran. Paul Conran.
Eliot smiles. Holds out his hand.

ELIOT
Of course. The lawyer.
(off Paul’s surprised look)
It’s a small town. In my line of work
you get to know everyone eventually.
As they shake, Eliot looks at Paul’s hand strangely. As
if he senses something.

33.





PAUL
I’m Anna Bryant’s fiancée.

ELIOT
That’s strange. She wasn’t wearing an
engagement ring.

PAUL
Well not quite fiancée…

ELIOT
I’m very sorry for your loss Mr. Conran.

PAUL
I’d like to see her.

ELIOT
I’m afraid the viewing isn’t until–

PAUL
I’d need to see her now. If that’s
possible.

ELIOT
I’m sorry. It’s not possible. You’re
not family and–

PAUL
Please. It’d only take a minute.

ELIOT
I understand. But–

PAUL

NO. YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!



INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – SAME TIME

Anna suddenly hears Paul’s loud voice outside.

ANNA

(WEAKLY)
Paul! I’m here! Paul!
She frantically beats her fists against the door.



EXT. FUNERAL HOME. DRIVEWAY – SAME TIME

Paul quickly controls his anger. His eyes smart with tears.

PAUL
I tried to stop her. She didn’t hear me.
Paul’s voice breaks with emotion. He can’t go on. Eliot
gently takes him by the elbow. Leads him back to his car.

34.





ELIOT
Mr. Conran. There really is nothing I
can do. I’m so sorry.
Paul looks defeated. He simply nods his head. Eliot
watches him get into his car and drive away.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – LATER

Anna sits by the door in the darkness. Suddenly the
room’s flooded with light. Eliot walks in. Looks at
Anna for a moment. She just stares back at him coldly.
He heads over to the sink.

ANNA
Who was that?

ELIOT
No one.

ANNA
No one?
A long beat.

ELIOT
It was Paul.

ANNA

(CALMLY)
I know. I heard you talking to him.
Why didn’t you let him see me?
Eliot smiles. Amused she caught him out. He continues
washing his hands.

ELIOT
Did you love him?
Anna looks up sharply. Eliot’s clearly hit a nerve.

ANNA
That’s none of your business.
Eliot shrugs. Dries his hands on a white towel.

ANNA
You weren’t going to tell me Paul was
here, were you?

ELIOT
No.

ANNA
Why not?

35.





ELIOT
Because it would only hurt you. You have
to let go of the living. Just like they
have to let go of you.

ANNA
I don’t believe you. Why are you doing
this to me?
He shakes his head as he drops the towel into a small bin.

ELIOT
You’re all the same. You all blame me
for your death. As if it were my fault.

ANNA
No. You drugged me. So my mother

WOULDN’T–

ELIOT
The others. They just see you as a dead
body on a slab. Only I can see you as
you really are.

ANNA
You’re crazy!
Eliot’s taken aback. Hurt.

ELIOT
I’m a busy man. I don’t have time for this.
He heads to the door. Pulls out his keys and unlocks it.
Just then he remembers something. Turns to her.

ELIOT
Oh I nearly forgot. How tall are you?

ANNA
What!?
He looks her up and down. Gauging her height.

ELIOT
Five seven.

ANNA
Why..?

ELIOT
I need to know how tall you are. For
your coffin.
Anna’s stunned. Eliot looks at her for a moment. Then
switches off the main lights.

36.





ANNA
Wait!
He ignores her. The door CLICKS shut behind him.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. HALLWAY – MOMENTS LATER

Eliot steps into the hallway. Stops by a vase of
flowers. He plucks a dead petal. Crushes it. Curiously
sniffs his fingers. Then heads to the casket room.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – DAY

CLOSE ON Anna’s face. She looks empty. Dispirited.
Just then something catches her attention…
The light from the window glints off a pair of LARGE
SCISSORS on the steel trolley. Anna stumbles to the
trolley. Feeling her way through the semi-darkness.
Grabs the scissors.
Just then she notices a BODY, covered with a white sheet,
lying on a gurney in the corner. She turns away.
Scared. But then, almost against her will, she
approaches the gurney. As if drawn to the body. She
slowly pulls the sheet away…
The dead body of an OLD WOMAN. Staring blindly at Anna
with cloudy opaque eyes. Long greasy gray hair. Shaken,
Anna pushes herself against the wall.

ANNA
Oh God. Please. I don’t want to die.



INT. JACK’S HOUSE. KITCHEN – DAY

Jack carefully cuts something out of a local newspaper.
The loud sounds of a TV blare from another room.

ON NEWSPAPER
Schoolteacher Dies in Tragic Car Crash.



INT. JACK’S HOUSE. LIVING ROOM – MOMENTS LATER

The curtains are drawn. JACK’S MOTHER sits in an
armchair with her back to us watching TV. Jack walks in.

JACK
You were supposed to pick me up from
school yesterday.
His mother doesn’t reply. Jack moves in front of the TV.

37.





JACK
I waited.
His mother doesn’t respond.



EXT. STREETS – DAY

Jack furiously cycles through empty streets. Past
identical suburban houses with identical prim lawns. He
stops suddenly. Considering something. Then turns and
cycles away purposely.



EXT. FUNERAL HOME – DAY

Eliot walks out of the funeral home. We pull back. Jack
stands by his bicycle in the bushes watching him. Eliot
looks up. As if sensing someone was spying on him. Jack
steps back quickly behind a tree.



INT. POLICE STATION – DAY

A POLICE OFFICER talks on the phone as Paul walks in.

POLICE OFFICER

(INTO PHONE)
Hang on a sec.

(TO PAUL)
Mr. Conran. Heard about your girlfriend.
I’m sorry.
Paul nods. Clearly doesn’t want to talk about it.

PAUL
Is Tom in?

POLICE OFFICER
The captain just stepped out. He won’t
be long. You can wait in his office if
you want.

PAUL
Thanks. I’ll just go and grab a coffee.
As Paul walks away, the Officer returns to the phone.

POLICE OFFICER

(INTO PHONE)
A buddy of the captain’s. Poor guy…



INT. POLICE STATION. CORRIDOR – MOMENTS LATER

Paul slides a dollar bill into a coffee machine. Presses
his selection. Nothing.

38.





PAUL
Come on.
He pushes the button repeatedly. Then angrily slams the
side of the machine. Nothing.

PAUL
You piece of shit.
As Paul turns away, he notices a door with a sign on it:
AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY. Paul glances around. Then
quickly walks over to the door.



INT. POLICE STATION. GARAGE – MOMENTS LATER

A dozen wrecked cars. Twisted metal. Paul’s footsteps
echo through the empty garage. It’s dark. Out the
corner of his eye Paul glimpses a SHAPE move quickly
around a pillar. He stops. Unsettled.
Just then we hear a WOMAN’S FOOTSTEPS. Her high-heels
clicking on the concrete floor. There’s something
strange about the sound. UNNATURAL. Paul listens
nervously. The footsteps grow fainter. Then fade away.
The garage is silent again. Too quiet.
Paul moves apprehensively over to Anna’s GREEN TOYOTA.
The car’s a mess. One side’s completely caved in. He
touches the car. Pulls open the door. Squeezes into
the driver’s seat.

ANNA’S CAR
Glass everywhere. Paul glances at the KITSCHY BOBBLEHEAD
DOLL on the dashboard flecked with blood. He places his
hands on the steering wheel. Suddenly he hears a strange
noise. He looks up…
The KITSCHY DOLL. Its head NODDING SLOWLY. Its smiling
face now unnaturally sinister. Turning towards us until
it abruptly stops. Staring straight at us.
Paul looks at the doll transfixed. Just then a PALE
WOMAN’S HAND slowly reaches through the window… and
touches Paul’s shoulder. He jumps. Turns.
ANNA stands by the car. Staring blankly at him. The
color drains from Paul’s face.

MAN’S VOICE (O.C.)
Paul?
The Police Captain, Tom Peterson, stands by the car where
Anna was a second ago. He pulls his hand away from
Paul’s shoulder. Looks at him with concern.

39.




Paul gathers his composure. He must have just imagined
Anna was there. He shoves the door open. He’s about to
step out when he turns back and grabs the Kitschy Doll.

GARAGE
Paul gets out awkwardly. He can’t look Tom in the eye.

TOM
You OK?

PAUL

(UNCONVINCING)
I’m fine.

TOM
I just found out. I’m so sorry Paul. If
you need anything–

PAUL
I need to see Anna.

TOM

(PUZZLED)
What do you mean?

PAUL
The funeral director won’t let me see her
Tom. He says I’m not family. Can you
talk to him? Put some pressure on him.

TOM
I can’t do that.

PAUL
Tom. You’re my friend.

TOM
Paul. I can’t do it.
Paul nods slowly. Tom notices the Kitschy Doll.

TOM
You sure you’re OK?

PAUL
I fucked up.

TOM
Paul. It was an accident. You should
get some rest. Let me drive you home.

PAUL
I always fuck everything up.

40.







INT. FUNERAL HOME. BASEMENT CORRIDOR – DAY

Eliot stops by a thermostat. Studies it for a moment.
Turns it lower. He glances at his watch. Takes out his
keys from his jacket and moves over to the Prep Room door.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – MOMENTS LATER

Anna sits on the slab. Her hands behind her back. She
carefully watches Eliot as he pulls on his pale blue
smock then walks over to a cabinet.

BEHIND ANNA’S BACK
her hands clutch the large scissors.

PREP ROOM
Eliot opens a cabinet full of boxes of hair dye with
photographs of smiling women. As he prepares the dye he
looks across at Anna. She’s staring at something behind
him. Eliot turns. Sees the uncovered body of the Old
Woman on the gurney. He quickly walks over. Carefully
pulls the white sheet over the Old Woman.

ANNA
Who is she?

ELIOT
Mrs. Whitehall.
He mixes the dye in a bowl as he moves over to Anna.

ELIOT
You shouldn’t be afraid of her. The dead
can’t harm the dead.

ANNA

(FORCEFULLY)
But I’m not dead!
Anna’s hand suddenly FLIES UP… she slashes at Eliot’s
face with the SCISSORS.
The sharp edge misses his cheek by inches. Eliot drops
the bowl. Stumbles back against the steel trolley.
Instruments crash to the floor.
Anna staggers to the door. Her legs weak. Her long lank
hair falling over her eyes. She frantically wrenches at
the door handle but it’s locked. Eliot gets up. Slowly
moves towards Anna. She turns. Raises the scissors.

ANNA
Stay where you are.

41.





ELIOT
(holds out his hand)
Give me the scissors. I only want to
help you.

ANNA
Don’t come any closer. I swear to God
I’ll kill you.
Eliot walks right up to her. His face now inches from hers.

ELIOT

(CALMLY)
Go ahead.
Anna doesn’t move. Eliot looks her steadily in the eye.
He reaches for her hand. Slowly. Deliberately. He brings
the scissors to his cheek. Then lets go of Anna’s hand.

CLOSE ON ELIOT’S FACE
The sharp tip pushes into his skin.

ELIOT
Go on.

PREP ROOM
For a moment we think she might do it. But then she wavers.

ELIOT
What are you waiting for?
Anna’s confidence falters. She slowly lowers her hand.
The scissors fall onto the floor. Anna looks down
defeated. Her breath labored. Suddenly she realizes…

ANNA
I’m breathing!
(raises her head)
Look. I’m still alive!

ELIOT
You think you’re still alive because
you’re still attached to life. It’s
normal. You’re just imagining you still
have symptoms of life.
She’s not listening. Eliot takes a roll of paper towels.
Kneels down, picks up the bowl of dye and mops up the mess.

ANNA
Maybe I was in some kind of coma. The
doctors made a mistake. They’re always
making mistakes.

ELIOT
You died. Everyone dies.

42.





ANNA
How can I be dead if we’re talking?
He stands up. Sighs wearily.

ELIOT
We’re talking not because you’re alive.
But because I have a gift.

(BEAT)
I can talk to those between life and death.

ANNA
Why?

ELIOT
To help them make the transition.
Anna’s stunned. For the first time we sense a seed of
doubt in her mind.

ANNA
Is this what happens when you die?

ELIOT
It depends on how you lived your life.

ANNA
What do you mean?

ELIOT
Not everyone needs my help. Some let
go as soon as their body dies. Others
don’t let go until long after they’re
in the grave.

ANNA
Am I a ghost? Is that why I’m here?

ELIOT
You’re here so I can bury you.
Anna’s silent. Trying to make sense of what she’s just
heard. Eliot takes her arm. Leads her to the slab.

ELIOT
Come. We’ve wasted enough time already.
She lies down submissively. Suddenly very tired. Eliot
leans over her to apply what’s left of the dye.

ANNA

(WHISPERS)
No. Please. I don’t want–

ELIOT
You’re a corpse. Your opinion doesn’t
count anymore.

43.





ANNA
But I can breathe. I must be alive.
She weakly pushes him away. Anger flashes across Eliot’s
face, but just as quickly he controls it.

ELIOT
You people. You all think that if you
breathe, shit, piss you’re alive.
Anna doesn’t know what to say.

ELIOT
You clutch onto life as if your life was
worth clutching onto. Was your life
worth clutching onto Anna?
Anna turns her head away. Clearly he’s struck a chord.

ELIOT
Was it? Maybe you died a long time ago.
Eliot rips off his latex gloves. Tosses them into a bin.

ELIOT
I have to tell you I’m surprised you’re
still arguing with me. You don’t have
much time left.
(gestures to the Old Women)
Look. She’s accepted her death. Her
life has been examined. She has no more
regrets. And now she’s at peace. She
used her time well. You still have so
much to learn.

ANNA
I have nothing to learn!

ELIOT
Are you sure?
Eliot stands in the doorway. He switches off the light.
His body silhouetted by the light from the hallway.

ELIOT
Your funeral’s in three days. Soon
you’ll be enclosed in a coffin. Then
buried in the ground. No-one will hear
you then. No-one will talk to you there.
The door clicks shut behind him. Anna doesn’t move.
Clearly unsettled by Eliot’s words. After a moment she
looks at the Old Woman. She moves over. Hesitantly
pulls away the white sheet. Stares at the Old Woman
curiously. Then tentatively touches her cheek.

ANNA
Are you cold?

44.




She takes the Old Woman’s hand. Strokes her paper-thin skin.

ANNA
I’m so cold.
Anna notices the Old Woman’s plastic ankle tag.

ON PLASTIC ANKLE TAG
Name: Carol Whitehall. Sex: F. DOB: 11.02.30.

PREP ROOM

ANNA
You had a long life.
Anna turns back. Studies the Old Woman’s serene face.

ANNA
You look so peaceful.

(BEAT)
Aren’t you scared?
Anna’s eyes fill with tears.

ANNA
I’m scared. I’m so scared.



INT. JACK’S HOUSE. BEDROOM – NIGHT

Jack lies in bed staring at the ceiling. On his bedside
table an alarm clock reads 2.38AM. He looks across at an
Anglepoise lamp in the corner of the room bent over an open
shoebox. He gets up. Walks towards the muted light.
The SMALL CHICK huddles in the shoebox. It looks dead even
though it’s eyes are open. Jack’s about to reach into the
box. Then changes his mind. He looks at the lamp. Switches
it off. After a moment he switches it back on again.



INT. PAUL’S APARTMENT. LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

Paul stands motionless in the middle of the room. Staring
blankly into space. The room feels empty and depressing.
He suddenly looks around. Not quite sure why he came into
the room in the first place. He moves over to a CD player.
Mechanically switches it on. Music fills the room. He
turns the volume higher. Then all the way up. The music’s
unbearably loud but Paul just stands there. Numb.

ON PAUL
The music’s strangely distorted now. Almost silent. As
if we were inside Paul’s head.

45.







INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – NIGHT

Anna lies on the slab. Curled in a fetal position. O.S.
we hear the UNNATURALLY LOUD metallic drip of a faulty
faucet. Slow. Rhythmical. Anna opens her eyes. Stares
at us. Terrified. Then she turns her head.
The Old Woman sits on the other slab. Slowly brushing
her tangled gray hair with a silver backed brush.
Anna looks around anxiously. The room is strangely
larger. The perspective not quite right. Certain
objects look absurdly small or abnormally large. She
notices a TINY DOOR. Half hidden by a steel trolley.
The door’s slightly ajar. Anna’s surprised.
The Old Woman shakes her head. Staring blindly at Anna
with opaque eyes. Anna ignores her. Moves quickly to
the tiny door. As she approaches, the door seems to grow
to normal size.
Then we realize it’s Anna who has shrunk. The steel
trolley now towers high above her. The massive
instruments on the trolley look like menacing insects
cast in surgical steel. She opens the door. Revealing a
solid wall of DARKNESS.

FROM INSIDE THE DARKNESS
the small shape of Anna in the doorway. The huge dark
space engulfs her. The only light comes from the Prep
Room behind her.

PREP ROOM
Anna reaches forward. Her hand disappears into the thick
blackness. She snatches her hand back. Scared. Then…
…a CHILD’S HAND darts out of the darkness. Grabs Anna’s
wrist. Pulling her in with surprising strength. Anna
struggles to free herself. But the hand drags her deeper
into the darkness. The door slams shut behind her.



INT. DARKNESS

Anna stands in the black empty space.

GIRL’S VOICE (O.S.)
I’m disappointed with you.
An innocent looking YOUNG GIRL (6) materializes out of
the blackness. She looks like a young Anna.

ANNA
Who are you?

46.




The Young Girl walks slowly towards Anna.

GIRL
You promised me so many things.

(AMUSED)
You don’t recognize me?
Anna shakes her head.

GIRL
I am you. I’ve been waiting for you.
You shouldn’t have disappointed me.
The Girl now looks strangely malevolent. Anna steps back
terrified. Turns. But there’s no door anymore.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – SAME TIME

The Old Woman stands alone in the middle of the room.
Braiding her long hair.

OLD WOMAN
You’re not ready.

CUT TO A SEARING WHITENESS.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. VIEWING ROOM – DAY

A small congregation of MOURNERS sit in the white chairs.
“AVE MARIA” plays quietly in the b.g. A MAN leans over
the casket paying his respects.

ON CASKET
The Old Woman. Her long hair braided. She looks serene.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – SAME TIME

“AVE MARIA” filters into the room. Anna opens her eyes.
She’s confused. She gets up awkwardly. Looks around the
room. The other slab’s empty. The Old Woman’s gone.
Anna stumbles over to the trolley. Pushes it aside.
Desperately searching for the tiny door. She touches the
wall. There’s nothing there. Frustrated she turns to a
counter crowded with instruments. She sweeps her arm
across the counter top in rage. Sending everything
crashing to the floor.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. VIEWING ROOM – DAY

The funeral’s over. Eliot takes out a wilted bouquet of
flowers from a vase.

47.




In the b.g. Jack stands half-hidden in the doorway.
Glancing around in fascination. A flower in his hand.

ELIOT
(to Jack without looking up)
Can I help you?
Jack steps back timidly. Eliot looks up. Smiles.

ELIOT
Then perhaps you can help me.
(holds up the withered flowers)
Could you throw these away for me?
Jack nods hesitantly. Moves over and takes the flowers.

ELIOT
Thank-you.
Eliot turns and arranges fresh flowers in the vase.

ON JACK
as he looks at the wilted flowers. He crushes a petal
then sniffs his fingers.

ELIOT (O.C.)
There’s no life left in them.

VIEWING ROOM
Jack looks up. Eliot’s watching him carefully.

ELIOT
They belong in the garbage.
Jack turns to leave.

ELIOT
I’ve seen you round here before.
Jack’s suddenly nervous.

ELIOT
Did you know Mrs. Whitehall?

JACK
I thought it was Miss Bryant’s funeral.

ELIOT
Ah. Miss Bryant. No. Her funeral’s not
until Friday.

JACK
Where is she now?
Eliot considers the question for a moment.

48.





ELIOT
She’s downstairs.

JACK
Why?

ELIOT
Why? Because she’s not ready.

(BEAT)
Is the flower for her?

JACK

(NODS)
She was my teacher.

ELIOT
And you are?

JACK
Jack.
Jack holds out his hand. A serious look on his face.
Eliot’s amused. He shakes Jack’s hand.

ELIOT
Well Jack. What did you think?

JACK
About what?

ELIOT
Mrs. Whitehall’s funeral. Did you find
it interesting?

JACK

(SHRUGS)
It was OK I guess.

ELIOT
Oh. I see.

JACK
Are all funerals the same?

ELIOT
No Jack. They’re never the same. Each
one is special. The dead always speak to
us in different ways.

JACK

(CURIOUS NOW)
What do you mean?
Eliot finished arranging the flowers. He glances at his
watch. Smiles at Jack.

ELIOT
It was a pleasure talking to you Jack.

49.




Jack’s intrigued. He watches Eliot walk out of the room.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. BASEMENT CORRIDOR – MOMENTS LATER

As Eliot heads to the Prep Room, we hear a MUFFLED CRASH
from inside. Eliot quickly pulls out his keys. Moves to
the door. Just then Eliot hears a creaking sound behind
him. He turns. Jack’s at the top of the stairs.
Staring down curiously at the Prep Room door.
Eliot observes him cautiously. Did Jack hear the sound
as well? Jack looks back at Eliot. Smiles. Then
without a word, turns and heads back up the stairs.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – MOMENTS LATER

Anna sits on the floor in the middle of the room.
Hugging her legs to her chest. Rocking to and fro.
Surrounded by broken glass, torn papers and instruments.
Eliot enters the room. Coldly surveys the destruction.

ELIOT

(ANGRY)
Why did you do this?
Anna ignores him. Eliot strides over to her.

ELIOT

WHY DID YOU DO THIS?
Anna stares at him blankly.

ANNA
Is this the afterlife? Am I in heaven?
Or am I in hell?
Strangely Eliot’s not surprised. He nods his head. His
anger gone now.

ANNA
The door…

(POINTS DISTRACTEDLY)
There was a door. Just there.

ELIOT

(GENTLY)
It won’t be long now.

ANNA
I used to believe in God. I thought I’d
see him when I died. Instead I saw you.
Eliot softly strokes her hair. Comforting her.

50.





ANNA

(WHISPERS)
Maybe you are God.

ELIOT
You’ll be at peace soon. I promise.
For a moment we see a deep sadness in Eliot’s eyes. He’s
conflicted. But then abruptly he pulls himself together.
Moves away and starts clearing up. Anna closes her eyes.
Hugs her legs closer to her chest.

ANNA
Paul.
She lets out a DESPONDENT SIGH. The SIGH carries into
the next scene…



EXT. CEMETERY – DAY

The tall trees stand motionless amongst the graves. A
sudden GUST OF WIND bends the dense foliage. Their
leaves ripple. Languid and fluid like a wave. RUSTLING
EERILY. The sound almost malevolent.



INT. PAUL’S APARTMENT. BEDROOM – DAY

Paul’s red-rimmed eyes snap open. He lies on his bed
fully clothed. An empty bottle of bourbon on the bedside
table. Behind him the curtains stir.
The KITSCHY DOLL’S head begins to slowly nod. Turning
towards us. We hear the eerie rustling sound again.
Like a MURMURING WHISPER…

ANNA (O.S.)

(WHISPERS)
Paul.
Paul turns quickly. Sees the open window. It’s only the
wind. He shivers. It suddenly got very cold. He gets
up and closes the window. The WHISPERING starts again.
This time from the bathroom.
Paul walks over to the bathroom door. As he touches the
door handle… the whispering STOPS. Paul hesitates.
The room’s strangely silent. He slowly opens the door…



INT. PAUL’S APARTMENT. BATHROOM – CONTINUOUS

Nothing. The bathroom’s empty. Paul looks around
nervously. He catches the reflection of his pallid face
in the mirror. Leans wearily against the washbasin.

51.




Water DRIPS from a leaky pipe. The fluorescent bulb over
the mirror CRACKLES softly. Paul turns on the taps.
Splashes cold water on his face. He’s about to reach for
a towel when he senses something. He cocks his head
slightly. A feeling.
He turns and checks out the bathroom. Nothing. Paul
dries his face. As he replaces the towel… the sound of
dripping water ABRUPTLY STOPS. Silence.
Suddenly the SHOWER STARTS RUNNING.
Paul’s paralyzed with fear. Steam wreathes the room in a
cloud of vapor. He turns slowly towards the shower.

PAUL’S POV
Anna stands in front of the shower with her back to him.
She slips off her bathrobe and hangs it on a hook. Then
her hand moves to her chest. There’s a STRANGE WET
SUCKING sound…
…as Anna rips out her heart and hangs it casually on
the hook next to her bathrobe.

ON THE STILL BEATING HEART
dripping crimson blood onto the bone white tiles.

BATHROOM

PAUL

(WHISPERS)
Anna.
Anna turns slowly. Her skin’s like alabaster. Unnaturally
translucent. A bloody gash where her heart used to be.
The steam from the shower curls around her like a mist.
She looks hauntingly beautiful. Mesmerizing. A line of
thick black fluid trickles from her nose. Paul turns
away. Horrified. When he turns back a second later
Anna’s not there. The bathroom’s empty. The shower’s
not even running.



INT. JACK’S HOUSE. KITCHEN – EVENING

Jack opens the fridge. It’s almost empty. He takes out
a carton of milk. Sniffs it. Recoils from the smell.
From the living room we hear the LOUD sound of a TV.

JACK

(SHOUTS)
Mom! We’re out of milk.
There’s no reply. Jack grabs his jacket.

52.







INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – EVENING

Anna’s still sitting on the floor. The place is clean
and ordered again. She watches Eliot unzip a garment
bag. He lifts out a plain black dress.

ANNA
What’s that?

ELIOT
It’s your dress. For your funeral. Your
mother brought it round this morning.
As Eliot takes out a pair of shiny black shoes from a
plastic bag, Anna moves haltingly over to the dress. She
touches the material puzzled.

ANNA
This isn’t my dress.
(realizes with shock)
This is my mother’s dress! It was
supposed to be for her funeral. Why has
she given it to me?
Eliot starts folding the plastic bag. He notices
something else inside. He opens the bag. Hesitates then
takes something out.

ON ELIOT’S HAND
An old-fashioned wooden rosary.

PREP ROOM
Eliot looks at it for a moment. Then glances over at
Anna. She’s still staring at the dress. He opens a
drawer beneath the counter. It’s full of rosaries and
printed Holy cards. He quickly drops the rosary into the
drawer. Closes it. Then turns back to Anna.

ANNA
It should have been her not me.
(turns to Eliot)
She was the one dying. Not me.
Eliot unlocks the door. Jams it open with a door stop.
Slips his keys back into his jacket pocket. Takes off
his jacket and hangs it up. He moves over to a
collapsible gurney folded on the floor. Bends down and
snaps open the side-rails. Anna looks at the open door.

ANNA
I’m not ready to die.
Eliot looks up at Anna sadly.

53.





ELIOT
Why are you still struggling?

ANNA

(PLAINTIVELY)
I’m not ready to die. Not yet.
She glances at the open door again. Eliot follows her look.

ELIOT
There’s nothing out there for you
anymore.
As Eliot turns back to the gurney, Anna notices Eliot’s
jacket hanging beside her. Realizes the KEYS are in the
pocket. She quickly glances back at Eliot. He’s still
busy adjusting the gurney. She leans over to his jacket.

ON ELIOT
as he gets up and turns to Anna.

PREP ROOM
Anna looks at him calmly. We can’t tell if she managed to
get his keys or not. Eliot pulls on his jacket and wheels
the gurney through the door. He steps back into the room.
Nudges the door stop away with his foot.

ELIOT
I’ll be back soon.
The door locks behind him with a CLICK.



EXT. FUNERAL HOME. DRIVEWAY – MOMENTS LATER

Eliot pushes the gurney to a WHITE VAN with black tinted
windows (Note: The same kind of van that cut in front of
Anna just before the accident).



INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – SAME TIME

Anna listens anxiously to the CRUNCH of Eliot’s feet on
the gravel outside. After a moment she hears the van
drive away. She unfurls her fist revealing Eliot’s keys.



INT/EXT. ELIOT’S VAN. STREETS – MOMENTS LATER

As Eliot slides in a CD he notices the fuel gauge. He’s
low on gas. He glances into his rear-view mirror and
makes a left turn.

54.







INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – SAME TIME

Anna staggers to the door. There’s at least a dozen keys.
She frantically chooses one and shoves it into the lock.

ANNA
(begging the door to open)
Please.
It doesn’t fit. She’s panicking. She fumbles for
another key. It almost fits. She forces it. The key
SNAPS OFF LOUDLY in the lock.

ANNA
No!
Anna looks around desperately. Sees a tray of instruments
on the steel trolley. She scrambles over. Finds a pair of
surgical pliers. She moves back to the door.



EXT. GAS STATION – LATER

Eliot replaces the pump nozzle. Walks over to the cashier.

CASHIER
Thirty-four fifty.
In the b.g. Jack, a carton of milk in his hand, steps out
of the gas station. Eliot doesn’t notice him as he pulls
out a roll of notes. Hands over two twenties. Then he
frowns. Something’s wrong. He checks his pockets again.
He can’t find his keys. He walks quickly away.

CASHIER
Sir. Your change.
Eliot ignores him. Scrambles into his van. Intrigued,
Jack watches Eliot drive away. Then unlocks his bicycle.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – SAME TIME

Anna’s still trying to pry out the broken key.

ANNA

(DESPERATELY)
Come on. Come on.



INT/EXT. ELIOT’S VAN. STREETS – SAME TIME

Eliot’s at a red light. Drumming his fingers in
frustration as he waits for the light to change.

55.







INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – MOMENTS LATER

Finally Anna pulls out the broken key. Quickly chooses
another. Turns it gently. Again it doesn’t fit. Anna’s
hysterical now. She tries the next key. It fits! She’s
stunned for a second. Then pulls open the door.



INT/EXT. ELIOT’S VAN. STREETS – SAME TIME

Eliot turns sharply into a small road by the cemetery.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. ENTRANCE HALL – NIGHT

Anna staggers to the front door. She pulls at the door.
It won’t open. Frantically she finds the key. Unlocks the
door, leaving the keys in the lock. As she opens the door,
HEADLIGHTS sweep across the hallway.

ANNA’S POV
Eliot’s van pulls up in front of the house.

ENTRANCE HALL
Anna’s trapped. We hear the CRUNCH of Eliot’s footsteps
on the gravel outside. Anna looks round desperately.



EXT. FUNERAL HOME. DRIVEWAY – NIGHT

Eliot reaches the front door. It’s slightly ajar. He
pushes it open. Steps warily inside.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. ENTRANCE HALL – CONTINUOUS

Eliot looks around. The entrance hall’s empty. Then he
notices the keys in the lock.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. KITCHEN – MOMENTS LATER

It’s dark. Anna pulls at the back door. It won’t budge.
She panics. Sees a kitchen knife on the counter.
Quickly grabs it. As she steps back, she knocks over a
metal bucket. The sound’s DEAFENING in the silent house.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. ENTRANCE HALL – CONTINUOUS

Eliot hears the NOISE. Smiles. He calmly locks the door
and puts the keys into his pocket. Moves down the
hallway towards the kitchen.

56.







INT. FUNERAL HOME. KITCHEN – MOMENTS LATER

Eliot switches on the light. The kitchen’s empty. He
steps back into the hallway.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. HALLWAY – CONTINUOUS

He stands very still. Watching. Waiting. We pull back.

JUST AROUND THE CORNER
Anna pushes herself against the wall clutching the knife.

HALLWAY
Eliot turns towards her… then at the last moment
changes his mind. Heads in the opposite direction
towards the viewing room.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. VIEWING ROOM – MOMENTS LATER

Eliot steps carefully into the viewing room. Looks
around. Just then we hear the sound of bare feet
STAMPING along the hallway behind him.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. ENTRANCE HALL – SAME TIME

Anna runs to the front door. It’s locked. She glances
around anxiously. Sees a staircase leading upstairs.
She weakly stumbles up the stairs.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. UPSTAIRS CORRIDOR – MOMENTS LATER

Anna walks along the corridor. She peers into a room.
Notices a TELEPHONE on a table. She moves over to the
telephone. The door CREAKS closed behind her.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. ENTRANCE HALL – SAME TIME

Eliot hears the CREAKING DOOR upstairs. He cocks his
head upwards. Straining to listen.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. UPSTAIRS ROOM – MOMENTS LATER

Anna frantically punches the buttons on the phone.



INT. PAUL’S APARTMENT. KITCHEN – SAME TIME

A telephone RINGS in the empty kitchen.

57.







INT. FUNERAL HOME. UPSTAIRS ROOM – SAME TIME

Anna rocks back and forth as she anxiously listens to the
RINGING on the other end.

ANNA

(DESPERATELY)
Please pick up. Please pick up.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. STAIRS – SAME TIME

Eliot slowly climbs the stairs.



INT. PAUL’S APARTMENT. KITCHEN – SAME TIME

The phone continues to RING. We pull back. Paul stares
at the phone blankly. A drink in his hand. He looks
worse than before. Dark circles under his eyes.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. UPSTAIRS ROOM – SAME TIME

Anna glances back to the door in panic.

ANNA
Paul. Please pick up.



INT. PAUL’S APARTMENT. KITCHEN – SAME TIME

Finally Paul reaches across and picks up the phone.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. UPSTAIRS ROOM – SAME TIME

Anna cups her hand around the mouthpiece.

ANNA

(FRENZIED WHISPER)
Paul. I’m here.



INT. PAUL’S APARTMENT. KITCHEN – SAME TIME


ANNA (O.S.)

(FILTERED)
Help me Paul.
Anna’s HOARSE DISTORTED VOICE sounds almost malevolent.
Paul’s stunned. He stares at the phone as if it was
possessed. Then slowly puts it down.

PAUL
Leave me alone.

58.







INT. FUNERAL HOME. UPSTAIRS ROOM – SAME TIME

Anna looks at the phone in disbelief. The MONOTONOUS
TONE DRONES in the ear piece. She doesn’t notice Eliot
appear in the doorway.

ANNA
Paul.
Suddenly the light comes on.

ELIOT
I’m the only one who can hear you now.
Anna drops the phone. Backs away towards a window. Eliot
walks over and calmly replaces the phone.

ELIOT
I’d be very careful if I were you. The
dead have such a hold over the living.

ANNA
What do you mean?

ELIOT
(nods to the phone)
He still feels your presence. You’re
only causing him more pain. If you
really loved him, you’d accept your death
and let him go.

ANNA
Then prove to me I’m really dead.

ELIOT
You people. You always need proof.
Eliot places his hands on her shoulders. Turns her
towards a tall mirror.

ON MIRROR
A PALE CADAVEROUS WOMAN. Sunken eyes. A blood-stained
tear in the side of her RED SLIP.

UPSTAIRS ROOM
Anna’s stunned. She moves closer to the mirror. Touches
her reflection through a thin layer of dust.

ANNA
Why do I look like a corpse?

ELIOT
Because you are a corpse.

59.





ON MIRROR
Anna stares blankly at her image in the mirror.

ELIOT (O.C.)
It’s time you finally accepted the truth.
You are dead. You will never live again.

ANNA
I am dead.

UPSTAIRS ROOM
Eliot smiles. Like a father proud of his child’s first
step. Just then he notices something outside. We see a
brief flicker of unease in Eliot’s eyes.

ELIOT’S POV
Jack stands in the driveway holding his bicycle. Looking
up at the Funeral Home. Transfixed.



EXT. FUNERAL HOME. DRIVEWAY


JACK’S POV
Anna in her RED SLIP by the mirror. She looks frightening
in the harsh light. Deathly pale. Like a ghost.

DRIVEWAY
Strangely Jack isn’t scared. He continues staring up at
the window. Calmly. Curiously.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. UPSTAIRS ROOM – SAME TIME

Eliot coolly turns back to Anna. She hasn’t noticed
Jack. Still staring at her reflection in the mirror.



INT. PAUL’S APARTMENT. KITCHEN – MOMENTS LATER

Paul stares at the telephone. After a moment he slowly
pulls the telephone plug out of the wall. Mechanically
grabs a plastic bin liner from underneath the sink.



INT. PAUL’S APARTMENT. BEDROOM – MOMENTS LATER

Paul opens the wardrobe. Pulls out Anna’s clothes. Stuffs
them into the bin liner. He notices the Kitschy Doll.
Shoves it in with Anna’s clothes.

60.







INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – DAY

Anna lies on the slab. She stares at us blankly. Her
face emotionless. Resigned. Eliot rinses her hair now
dyed back to brown. She slowly closes her eyes.
CLOSE ON RED DYE draining into the sink.
Eliot picks up the scissors. Carefully slices open
Anna’s red slip. Delicately peels the slip off her body.
Anna doesn’t react.
CLOSE ON Anna. She opens her eyes. Confused. She turns
her head… she’s in PAUL’S BEDROOM.



INT. PAUL’S APARTMENT. BEDROOM – CONTINUOUS

Paul lies in bed next to her watching her intently. He
looks different. Clean shaven. Sober.

ANNA

(RELIEVED)
Oh God.

PAUL
Bad dream?

ANNA
I was dead. I had a car accident. Did
you ever dream you were dead?
Paul doesn’t reply. She turns… the bed’s empty.

ANNA
Paul?

PAUL (O.C.)
Yes?
Anna looks up. Paul’s in the doorway. She gets up.
Suddenly the light goes off.

ANNA
Paul.
The light comes back on. Paul stands by the light switch.

ANNA
What are you doing?

PAUL
(puts his finger to his lips)
Ssh. Don’t talk so loud. You’ll wake
the neighbors.

61.




Anna’s getting nervous. Something’s not right.

ANNA
What neighbors? You don’t have any
neighbors.
Suddenly he looks at her reproachfully.

PAUL
Did you ever love me Anna?
CLOSE ON Anna’s face. She looks away guiltily.

PAUL (O.C.)
Did you?
Anna closes her eyes. Unable to answer.

PAUL (O.C.)
Say it. Say you love me.
Suddenly we hear the strident ringing of a phone.

ANNA
Aren’t you going to pick it up?

PAUL (O.C.)
Me? No. It’s probably for Eliot.
Anna’s eyes snap open in shock…



INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – CONTINUOUS

Eliot stands over her. We’re back in the PREP ROOM. We
hear the faint ringing of a phone from upstairs.

ANNA
Is it always like this?

ELIOT
What do you mean?

ANNA
I thought when you died you wouldn’t
feel anything. You wouldn’t feel any
more pain. You wouldn’t have to
struggle anymore.

(BEAT)
But it just doesn’t stop does it?
Upstairs the phone keeps on ringing.

62.







INT. FUNERAL HOME. ELIOT’S OFFICE – MOMENTS LATER

Eliot takes notes as he talks on the phone. He looks at
a day calendar on his desk. Idly flips over the page
from Tuesday to Wednesday.

ELIOT
No. It’s no problem at all.
He glances at his watch.

ELIOT
I’ll pick up the deceased from the
hospital. Yes. This afternoon? That’ll
be fine. It’s my pleasure Mr. Merano.



INT. HOSPITAL MORGUE – DAY

GRAY BODIES lie on steel tables. Eliot moves over to one
of the CORPSES. Examines it with professional interest.
Just then the Old Guy walks in with the Pale Assistant
pushing a gurney with a BODY wrapped in plastic sheeting.

OLD GUY
Well here he is. Frank Merano.
The Old Guy hands Eliot a clipboard. The Assistant
unties the rope. Pulls the plastic sheeting away.

ON BODY
FRANK (40s), the top half of his head has been flattened.
His head split open. Grotesquely distorting his face.

ASSISTANT (O.C.)
Ouch. That had to hurt.

MORGUE
Eliot glances at the Assistant with disdain. Signs the
release form and hands the clipboard back to the Old Guy.



INT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. TEACHERS’ COMMON ROOM – DAY

Paul stands by a PRINCIPAL as they watch a JANITOR snap
off the padlock on Anna’s locker.

PRINCIPAL

(TO PAUL)
I’ll leave you to sort out her things.

PAUL
Thank you.

63.




The Principal and Janitor walk away. Paul reaches inside
the locker. Pulls out a stack of exercise books. An
empty pills bottle. Then he notices something in the
back of the locker. He pulls it out.
It’s a PHOTOGRAPH of Paul and Anna together on vacation.
Smiling. Happy. Paul looks at it for a moment. Trying
hard to hold back his emotions.



INT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. CORRIDOR – LATER

The DEAFENING NOISE of schoolchildren. Paul weaves his
way through the crowded corridor.

JACK (O.C.)
Mr. Conran?

PAUL

(TURNS)
Yes?

JACK
My name’s Jack. Miss Bryant was my
teacher.

(BEAT)
I saw her last night.
Paul looks at Jack coldly for a second. Then walks away.
Jack follows him.

JACK
I was going past the funeral home. Miss
Bryant stood there. In the window. In a
red dress.

PAUL

(IRRITATED)
Anna doesn’t have a red dress.

JACK
You think I’m lying. I’m not lying.
Paul stops. Turns to Jack angrily.

PAUL
Look…
(trying to remember his name)
Jack. I’m in no mood–

JACK
She needs your help.

PAUL

(SHOUTS)
Jack. Anna’s dead.
Paul’s words ECHO loudly. The bustling corridor goes silent.

64.





PAUL
(almost to himself)
I can’t help her anymore.
Paul turns and walks away. Jack grabs his arm.

JACK
Maybe you just don’t love her anymore?
Paul turns and hits Jack with the back of his hand. Jack
falls to the ground. Paul stands over him enraged.

PAUL
You little fuck. You think this is funny?
He’s about to hit Jack again when a STOCKY TEACHER grabs
him. Paul tries to struggle loose.

STOCKY TEACHER
Hey!
The CHILDREN stare at Paul. A SECURITY GUARD runs across
talking into a walkie-talkie. Another TEACHER bends down.

TEACHER
Are you alright sweetie?
Jack nods numbly. Looking up all the time at Paul. The
Security Guard grabs Paul’s arm.

SECURITY GUARD
The police are on their way.
Paul watches Jack stand shakily. Realizes what he’s
done. He reaches out to Jack.

PAUL
Jack… I’m sorry…

SECURITY GUARD
Step back sir.



INT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. SECURITY ROOM – DAY

Paul sits at a table. Staring blankly at a row of CCTV
monitors. The door opens. Tom walks in.

TOM
You’re lucky.

PAUL
Am I?

TOM
They’re not pressing charges.

65.




Paul doesn’t look up. He’s miles away.

TOM
What the hell’s wrong with you?
(holds his fingers close together)
You’re this close to fucking up your
career.

PAUL
(suddenly looks up)
You know what he told me? He told me
Anna’s alive.

TOM
You didn’t believe him did you?

PAUL
No. Of course not.
Tom’s relieved. Paul turns back to the monitors. The
ghostly figure of a YOUNG FEMALE TEACHER drifts
hypnotically across the screen.

PAUL
It’s just… I’m having these…

TOM
What?

PAUL
Nothing. Forget it.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – DAY

Eliot leans over Frank’s body on the slab. Rolling a
ball of wax in his hands to warm it up. He gently moves
Frank’s head to one side. In the b.g. Anna lies on her
slab watching Eliot work.

ANNA’S POV
Frank stares back at her with open dull eyes. His face
partially reconstructed with plaster of Paris.

PREP ROOM
Eliot smooths the wax over the plaster to give Frank’s
face a more natural texture. Then picks up a piece of
wire with a fishhook-like barb at each end.

ANNA (O.C.)
What’s that for?
Eliot looks up surprised. Anna stands beside him. He
leans down. Peels back Frank’s upper lip.

66.





ELIOT
His mouth. To keep it closed.
Eliot imbeds one barb into the upper gum then pries back
Frank’s lower lip. He attaches the other barb into the
lower gum, then twists the wires tightly together. He
picks up two plastic caps covered in small knobs.

ELIOT
Now his eyes.
He inserts the caps into Frank’s eyes. Pulls his eyelids
over them. Glues the eyelids together.

ANNA
Is this how you’ll prepare my body?
Eliot looks at her for a moment. Smiles reassuringly.

ELIOT
No. There’s no need. I had to rebuild
his face. You’re still beautiful.

ANNA
Does he have family?

ELIOT
Yes. A brother. He’s coming in later.
Anna touches the white sheet covering Frank’s body.

ANNA
My mother… She didn’t cry did she?
When she came to see me?

ELIOT
(shakes his head)
I’m sorry.

ANNA
And Paul?

ELIOT
It’s not important anymore.

ANNA
I need to know.

ELIOT

(HESITATES)
No. He didn’t cry.
We see a brief flicker of pain in Anna’s eyes.

67.





ANNA
I knew he wouldn’t. He always got
upset when I cried. He said crying
never helped.
Anna suddenly looks very weary. She leans heavily
against the slab. As if she’s about to fall.

ELIOT
You should rest.
He guides her back to the slab. Helps her lie down.

ELIOT
You’re getting weaker. It’s almost time.
Eliot strokes her hair tenderly. She looks up at him.

ANNA
Can I ask you something?

ELIOT
Yes. Of course.

ANNA
Why do we die?
A long beat.

ELIOT
To make life important.
Anna’s fingers curl around his hand. Like a vulnerable
child. Totally trusting in him. Eliot looks down at Anna
sadly. We sense he’s conflicted. Confused. Wavering.
But then reluctantly he reaches for a SYRINGE filled with
AMBER LIQUID on the steel trolley. He injects her gently
in the neck. Watches over her for a moment. Then moves
to the window. He picks up a window pole. Pulls the
shutter across the window plunging the room into darkness.



INT. FUNERAL HOME – DAY

Eliot moves through the Funeral Home pulling heavy drapes
over the windows and closing doors. It feels like a
ritual. The once airy sunlit rooms are darker now. More
ominous. Claustrophobic.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. ELIOT’S ROOM – DAY

CLOSE ON a stream of crystal blue water. We pull back.
Eliot picks up a white towel. Dries his hands. Deep in
thought. He moves to his desk. Picks up a Polaroid.

68.





ON POLAROID
The Old Woman, Mrs. Whitehall, lying in her casket.

ELIOT (O.C.)
Mrs. Whitehall. Susan. I hope you found
what you were looking for.

ROOM
Suddenly Eliot looks up sharply. As if someone had spoken
to him.

ELIOT
Think nothing of it Mr. Houseman. No
need to apologize.
Eliot moves over to the wall.

ELIOT
I really enjoyed our time together.
We pull back slowly. Eliot’s talking to a POLAROID of an
OLD MAN. We pull back further… the wall’s covered in
HUNDREDS OF POLAROIDS of BODIES in open coffins.
Most of them have closed eyes but we glimpse some with
their eyes wide open. Eerily staring at us. Eliot
touches the Polaroid of a YOUNG MAN. We see the fear in
the Young Man’s eyes.

ELIOT (O.C.)
Anthony. Anthony. Always confused.
Just then we hear the doorbell ringing downstairs. Eliot
moves to the window.

ELIOT’S POV
A POLICE OFFICER stands at the front door. A SQUAD CAR
parked on the driveway.

ELIOT’S ROOM
Eliot steps back. Calmly continues to dry his hands.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. HALLWAY – DAY

Eliot leads the Police Officer through the hallway.

ELIOT
How can I help you Officer?

OFFICER
I’d like to see the body.

69.




Eliot stops. We see a brief flicker of unease in his eyes.

OFFICER
Frank Merano. I’m his brother. Vincent
Merano? I called this morning.

ELIOT
Mr. Merano. Yes. Of course.

VINCENT (OFFICER)
I hope it’s no trouble. I’d just like to
see him before the funeral.
Eliot glances at his watch. Smiles at Vincent.

ELIOT
It’s no trouble at all.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – MOMENTS LATER

Eliot leads Vincent to Frank’s covered body. Vincent
looks over at Anna. The white sheet only comes to her
shoulders, her head facing straight upwards.

ELIOT
Your brother’s here.
Vincent turns back to Eliot. We’re not sure if Eliot was
speaking to Frank or to Vincent. Eliot pulls the sheet
away. Frank’s face is flawless. No sign of any damage.

VINCENT
He looks so peaceful. You’ve done a
beautiful job. Thank-you.

ELIOT
You should remember him as he used to be.
Suddenly we hear a FAINT RUSTLING sound. Vincent glances
again at Anna’s body. Her head is now turned to one side.
Wasn’t she facing upwards a moment ago? Vincent’s puzzled
for a second then shrugs. Must have been his imagination.

VINCENT
That’s the schoolteacher isn’t it?
Eliot pulls the sheet over Anna’s face.

ELIOT

(QUICKLY)
Yes. Very tragic. Now is there anything
else I can help you with?
Vincent frowns. Turns back to Eliot.

70.





VINCENT
Something’s not right here.

ELIOT
(looks up sharply)
Not right?
Vincent nods towards Frank’s body.

VINCENT
His smile. It was a bit more…
Vincent raises his fingers to his mouth, trying to find
the right word.

VINCENT
…smiley.

ELIOT
Smiley.

ON FRANK’S MOUTH
Eliot manipulates Frank’s lips.

VINCENT (O.C.)
A touch more.

PREP ROOM

VINCENT
That’s much better. Thank-you.

ELIOT
I’m glad I could help.

VINCENT
Do you mind if I have a couple of minutes
alone with him?
Eliot hesitates. Then smiles.

ELIOT
No. Not at all. I’ll wait outside.
As Eliot leaves, Vincent looks at Frank’s body. After a
moment he glances at Anna again. Then at the door. He
quickly moves over to Anna. Looks at her curiously then
pulls down the sheet. He reaches over… and CARESSES
HER BREAST. Mesmerized by her naked body.
As Vincent’s hand moves down her body, he bumps against
the trolley. Instruments CRASH to the floor. He pulls
back the sheet just as Eliot enters the room.

VINCENT
I’m sorry. I didn’t see…

71.




Eliot notices the sheet covering Anna’s body is slightly
askew. He reaches over and straightens it. Then looks
coldly at Vincent. There’s an uncomfortable silence.

VINCENT
Well. I guess I should be off then. I’ll
see you at the service. Thanks again.
Vincent glances one last time at Anna then leaves. The
door locking shut behind him. Eliot stares at the door.

ELIOT
I just told you. That was your brother.
(turns to Frank)
You had an accident. You’re dead. Why
do you people never listen to me?
Frank doesn’t move. His mouth still wired shut.

ELIOT
No. It’s not a gift. It’s a curse.
Eliot picks up a compact. Roughly layers Frank’s cheeks
with thick rouge. With every word he gets more agitated.

ELIOT
I take care of each of you as if you were
my children. I wash the shit from your
bodies. I dress you. I do everything to
make you look more beautiful than when
you were alive. And what do you do?
Eliot’s extremely irritated now. He grabs a garish red
lipstick. Smears Frank’s lips.

ELIOT
You argue with me. As if it were my fault
you’re dead. As if I was to blame.
(slams down the lipstick.)
What? You’re not talking to me now? You
don’t want to?

ON FRANK’S FACE
The crudely drawn bright red lips. Clown-like circles of
rouge. Gaudy and macabre.

ELIOT (O.S.)
You don’t talk because you have nothing
to say. And you have nothing to say
because you’re a corpse.

PREP ROOM
From Eliot’s reaction it seems as if Frank has started to
talk again.

72.





ELIOT
No. Now I don’t want to talk to you
anymore.



INT. JACK’S HOUSE. LIVING ROOM – DAY

The curtains are drawn. Jack’s Mother, still motionless,
in front of the blaring TV. Jack stops in the doorway.

JACK
I’m off to school now.
His mother doesn’t reply. Jack leaves. After a moment
she slowly turns her head. Stares at the empty doorway.



EXT. CEMETERY – LATER

Jack cycles through the cemetery. He pulls up by a bush.
Stares at the Funeral Home in the distance.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. VIEWING ROOM – MOMENTS LATER

The service hasn’t started yet. Jack walks nervously
through the empty room to an open casket. He glances
back, then leans over the coffin.

JACK’S POV
Frank Merano lies nestled in the velvet interior. His
face placid. No sign of the gaudy make-up.

VIEWING ROOM
Jack stares in fascination at Frank’s body. He reaches
into the casket. Touches Frank’s cold hand.
In the b.g. Eliot walks into the viewing room. He stops
surprised. Watches Jack intently.

ON JACK

JACK

(TO FRANK)
What’s it like? Are you afraid?

ELIOT (O.C.)
Jack.

VIEWING ROOM
Jack turns quickly. Eliot stands over him.

73.





ELIOT
You have empathy with the dead. You’re
drawn to them. Just as they’re drawn to
you. It’s a rare gift.
Jack can’t look Eliot in the eye.

ELIOT
I know you saw Anna.
Jack hesitates. Then nods his head.

ELIOT
You’re frightened by it. I was scared
too the first time. But you shouldn’t
be. Christ had the same gift. He raised
Lazarus and spoke to the dead.

JACK

(INTRIGUED)
You spoke to Miss Bryant?

ELIOT
Yes.

JACK
You’ve spoken to others?

ELIOT
Yes. Many others.

JACK
Who was the first one you spoke to?
A long beat.

ELIOT
My mother.
Jack looks up sharply. Eliot’s words have clearly struck a
chord.

ELIOT
You shouldn’t be afraid.

(BEAT)
The others. They won’t understand. They
don’t see what we see.

(BEAT)
I can help you. I can teach you.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – DAY

Anna stares vacantly at the ceiling. Eliot places a bunch
of tulips on the trolley. Turns on a CD. CLASSICAL MUSIC
fills the room as before. He moves over to Anna. Gently
Pulls away the sheet.

74.





ANNA
Your fingernails are dirty.
Eliot smiles. Examines his nails.

ANNA
Your hands are normally so clean.

ELIOT
I’ve been gardening.
He walks over to the sink. Scrubs his nails.

ANNA
Is it sunny outside?
Eliot fills a bowl with water. Carries it to the slab.

ELIOT
Yes. The tulips love the sun.

ANNA
I miss the sun.
Anna glances up at the shuttered window. Eliot snaps on
his latex gloves. Picks up a sponge and wets it in the
bowl of water. Anna turns to the tulips.

ANNA
Are they your favorite flower?

ELIOT
Tulips? Yes. I think so.
Eliot raises Anna’s arm. Delicately washes her armpit.
Along the length of her arm. Her skin pale.

ANNA
I thought it’d be lilies. White lilies.
Don’t they symbolize death?

ELIOT
No. They symbolize purity.
He moves to her breasts, following the contours of her
body. Pausing every now and then to rinse the sponge.

ANNA
And tulips?
Eliot hesitates for a second before replying.

ELIOT
Unrequited love.

(BEAT)
What’s your favorite flower?

75.





ANNA
Violets.
Eliot softly washes her legs.

ELIOT
A beautiful flower. They need shade and
lots of water.

ANNA
What do they symbolize?

ELIOT
Faithfulness.

ANNA

(DISTRACTEDLY)
Do they?
Eliot puts down the sponge. Dries her body with a towel.

ANNA
Roses are red, violets are blue…
He reaches over to the CD player to switch it off.

ANNA
No. Leave it on. It’s so peaceful.
Eliot smiles. Leaves the music on.



INT/EXT. PAUL’S CAR. STREETS – DAY

Paul drives aimlessly past strip malls. He stops at a
red light. Lights a cigarette. Just then he notices
something across the street. He looks puzzled.



EXT. STREET/STORE WINDOW – CONTINUOUS

Paul gets out of his car. Quickly walks over to the
store window.

ON STORE WINDOW
A RED-SLIP on a mannequin. Just like ANNA’S RED SLIP.

STREET
The light’s turned green. The DRIVERS HONK angrily.
Paul doesn’t hear them. He places his hand against the
plate glass. Stunned.

76.







EXT. FUNERAL HOME. DRIVEWAY – DAY

Eliot prunes a low hedge by the front door.

PAUL (O.C.)
Deane.
Eliot turns. Paul’s clearly agitated.

ELIOT
Mr. Conran. A pleasure.
Eliot stands stiffly. Rubs his back.

ELIOT
I love gardening, but I’m not sure
gardening loves me anymore.

PAUL
She’s not dead is she?

ELIOT

(AMUSED)
Mr. Conran.

PAUL
Someone saw her.

ELIOT
I’m sorry?

PAUL
One of Anna’s students.
(nods towards the funeral home)
In the window.

ELIOT
Do you mean Jack?
Paul’s momentarily taken aback.

PAUL
You know him?

ELIOT
Of course I know him. He’s often round
here. He seems to have a strange
fascination with death. He’s eleven
years old Mr. Conran. And like all young
boys has a vivid imagination. Now if
you’ll excuse me–

PAUL
I don’t think he imagined it. I think he
really saw her.

77.





ELIOT
Maybe you just want to believe he saw her.

PAUL
Fuck you.
Paul pushes past Eliot and strides into the Funeral Home.

ELIOT
Mr. Conran!



INT. FUNERAL HOME. HALLWAY – MOMENTS LATER

Paul moves quickly through the hallway.

PAUL

(SHOUTS)
Anna!
Eliot calmly heads towards Paul.

ELIOT
Mr. Conran. I think you should leave
before I call the police.
Paul notices the stairs leading down to the Prep Room.

PAUL
What’s down there?



INT. FUNERAL HOME. BASEMENT CORRIDOR – MOMENTS LATER

Paul runs over to the Prep Room door. He grabs the handle.
It’s locked. Eliot appears behind him. Paul turns.

PAUL
She’s in here isn’t she? Give me the
key.
Eliot stares at Paul with pity.

PAUL
Give me the fucking key.
Paul turns back. POUNDS the door in rage.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – SAME TIME

The POUNDING echoes through the room. Anna awkwardly
sits up. Struggling with her emotions. She wants to
call out but knows she has to let Paul go.

PAUL (O.S.)
Anna!

78.




Anna gets up. Hesitates. Weakly stumbles to the door.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. BASEMENT CORRIDOR – SAME TIME


PAUL
I’m here Anna.

(DESPERATE)
I’m sorry. Please Anna.
He places the palm of his hand against the door.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – SAME TIME

Anna places her palm against the door. As if touching
Paul’s hand. A tear falls down her cheek.

PAUL (O.S.)
We’ll be happy again. I promise.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. BASEMENT CORRIDOR – SAME TIME


PAUL
I can’t live without you.
Eliot looks up at Paul with sudden interest.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – SAME TIME

Anna shakes her head. Takes her hand away from the door.
Walks back to her slab.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. BASEMENT CORRIDOR – SAME TIME


PAUL
Anna!
Eliot gently puts his hand on Paul’s shoulder.

ELIOT
Mr. Conran. She’s dead.
Paul pushes him away.

ELIOT
I know what you’re going through.
Denial’s a natural part of grieving…



INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – SAME TIME

Anna lies down on the slab. Closes her eyes. ELIOT’S
VOICE seems far away now. Receding.

79.





ELIOT (O.S.)
…but you’ve got to accept she’s gone.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. BASEMENT CORRIDOR – CONTINUOUS


PAUL
She needs my help.
Eliot looks at him for a moment.

ELIOT
You can’t help her anymore. Believe me.



INT. POLICE STATION – DAY

An open plan office. Paul weaves quickly through the
rows of desks. He seems unbalanced. Manic. DETECTIVES
cautiously watch Paul approach Tom sitting at his desk,
his head bent over paperwork.

PAUL
I need you to issue a search warrant.
Tom looks up. He’s shocked by Paul’s appearance.

PAUL

(LOUDLY)
I need a fucking search warrant. Now are
you going to help me or what?
JEFF (20s) a Young Detective at a nearby desk stands.
Tom nods to him. It’s under control.

TOM
Paul. Sit down.
Paul hesitates for a second.

TOM

(FIRMLY)
Sit. Down.
Paul sits. Tom leans forward. He’s not amused.

TOM
Just what the hell do you think you’re
doing? I got a call from Eliot Deane.
Are you out of your fucking mind?

PAUL
Anna’s not dead Tom. He won’t let me see
her. He’s keeping her there–

80.





TOM
Anna was in a car accident. Her car was
wrecked Paul. Remember? It’s downstairs.

PAUL
She’s not dead.
Tom calmly gets up. Moves to a filing cabinet. Takes
out a file. Hands it to Paul.

TOM
Here’s the Coroner’s report.
Paul manically rifles through the file.

PAUL
Look.
(shows file to Tom)
The paramedics phoned it in. They only
checked for eye dilation and pulse. The
doctor signed the death certificate
without even seeing her body.

TOM

(IRRITATED)
So? That’s standard procedure.

PAUL
There was no EEG. Nothing. He could
have drugged her to make it look like she
was dead.

TOM
Drugged her? Are you serious?
Jeff looks up eagerly from his desk.

JEFF
There are drugs like that chief.
Hydronium Bromide. Total paralysis
within seconds. The heartbeat slows to
almost nothing.
Tom shoots Jeff a look.

PAUL
See? I’m telling you. She’s not dead.
The boy at school. Jack. He saw her.

VINCENT (O.C.)
I saw her.
Paul turns hopefully. Finally someone believes him.
Vincent Merano stands by Jeff’s desk.

VINCENT
She was on the slab. Dead.

81.





PAUL
No!

VINCENT
I’ve seen dead bodies. Believe me, she
was definitely dead.

PAUL
Tom. Just go down there and check the
place out.

TOM
On what grounds Paul? Do you have any
evidence?

PAUL
No. But–

TOM
Do you have anything?
Paul hesitates. We sense his uncertainty.

PAUL
I think she called me.

TOM
Called you?

PAUL

(WEAKLY)
On the telephone.
Jeff snickers. Paul’s beginning to realize how absurd
this all sounds.

VINCENT
Collect or long distance?
Jeff snorts with laughter.

TOM
First you hit a fucking kid. Then you
attack Deane. And now you’re telling me
your dead girlfriend called you? What the
fuck’s going on? You’re loosing it Paul.
Merano and Jeff shake their heads, looking at Paul as if
he were crazy. Tom’s voice softens.

TOM
I know you feel guilty but you’ve got to
pull yourself together.
Paul slumps in the chair. Rubs his face.

82.





PAUL
Maybe you’re right. But why won’t he let
me see her?
Tom signals to Merano and Jeff. Merano walks back to his
desk. Jeff turns back to his work.

TOM
Look Paul. The funeral’s tomorrow.
You’ll see her then. It’ll help. It
will give you closure. Trust me.



EXT. CEMETERY – LATE AFTERNOON

The sun’s low on the horizon. Eliot whistles softly to
himself as he digs a grave. Working meticulously. Like
everything else he does. Suddenly a SHADOW falls over
Eliot. He calmly looks up. The sun’s behind the figure.
For a moment Eliot can’t tell who it is.

JACK
You said you could teach me.
Eliot smiles. Gestures to Jack to come inside the grave.
Jack steps back. The grave terrifies him.

ELIOT
It’s only a hole in the ground. I’m
digging it for–

JACK
Miss Bryant.

ELIOT
Exactly. For Anna. She belongs here.

JACK
Because she’s dead.

ELIOT
No. Because there’s no life left in her.
Jack carefully considers Eliot’s words.

ELIOT
Don’t you see? I have no choice. I’m
the only one who can see all these
corpses. Wandering the earth
aimlessly. All they do is piss and
shit. Suffocating us with their
stench. Doing nothing with their
lives. Taking the air away from those
who actually want to live. I have to
bury them all. I have no choice.

(BEAT)
Now there’s two of us.

83.




Eliot holds up the shovel. Jack looks at him for a
moment then reaches for the shovel.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – EVENING

Anna watches Eliot brush an invisible speck off her
mother’s black dress.

ELIOT
You did well this morning.

ANNA
This morning?
She talks with difficulty now. Her voice SLURRED and
HOARSE. Her words muddled and rambling. Her eyes even
more sunken. Her skin even more pale.

ELIOT
When Paul came. You did the right thing.
You let him go.

ANNA
He’ll be all right now? Won’t he?
Eliot looks away. Doesn’t reply. He drapes the dress
over his arm, picks up a pair of shiny black shoes and
moves over to her.

ANNA

(CONFUSED)
Why do I have to get dressed?

ELIOT
Tomorrow’s your funeral.
Eliot lifts Anna’s arms and puts them through the sleeves
of the dress. Her body’s stiff and unyielding.

ANNA
Already?

ELIOT
I told you. You only had three days.
He delicately turns her onto her side. Buttons up the dress.

ELIOT
I told you to use your time well.
Anna frowns. As if trying to remember something. Eliot
gently lifts her legs. Pulls on a pair of black tights.

ANNA
I need to… I have so many regrets. I
have nothing but regrets.

84.




She looks up at him. Suddenly realizing.

ANNA
That’s why I’m here isn’t it? To be
judged.
Eliot picks up Anna’s shoes. Slips them onto her stiff feet.

ELIOT
You’re here to understand your life. So
you can finally be at peace.

ANNA
I wanted a different life.
Eliot picks up a nail-clipper. Gently holds Anna’s hand
as he carefully cuts her long nails.

ELIOT
Then why didn’t you do anything about it?

ANNA
No matter what I did everything just
stayed the same. I’d wake up. I’d
shower. Sit in the same traffic
everyday on my way to work. Go home.
Go to sleep. Then wake again.
Eliot stops clipping her nails. Irritated.

ELIOT
What did you really want from life?

ANNA
I just wanted to be happy.

ELIOT

(DERISIVELY)
Happy? You all say you wanted to be happy.
What does it mean Anna? To be happy?

ANNA
I don’t know. Don’t you understand?
That’s the whole point. I don’t know.

ELIOT
Yes you do! You’re just too scared to
admit it to yourself.
Anna turns away ashamed. She knows he’s right.

ANNA
I don’t want to talk about it anymore. I
just want this to be over.

ELIOT
What did you want from life?

85.





ANNA
I don’t fucking know!

ELIOT

WHAT DID YOU WANT ANNA?

ANNA

(SCREAMS BACK)

I WANTED LOVE! OK!
Anna’s stunned. She’s finally admitted it.

ANNA

(QUIETLY)
I wanted love.

ELIOT
You had love. Paul loved you.

ANNA
No. You don’t understand. I was scared.
I wanted to love but I didn’t know how.
I was…

(BEAT)
When I was a child… my mother.
Anna struggles to pull together her thoughts.

ANNA
When I was a child. I learnt that love.
That when you love someone. You get
hurt. So I learned not to love. That
way no one could ever hurt me again.
She looks down at the slab. Touches the cold marble.

ANNA
I was always pushing Paul away. He
thought I didn’t love him.

ELIOT
Did you?

ANNA
He was the only one I ever loved. But I
never told him that. And then he stopped
loving me.
Eliot stares at her intently. Comes to a decision.

ELIOT
What would you do if you had another
chance?
Anna’s puzzled. Eliot goes to the door and unlocks it.
Moonlight floods in from upstairs. Washing it with a cold
light. Anna doesn’t move.

86.





ELIOT
Well? Isn’t this what you wanted?
Eliot holds out his hand. Anna takes it hesitantly and
rises from the slab.



EXT. FUNERAL HOME – NIGHT

Mist drifts through the cemetery. Anna stands in the
driveway. Pale and ghoulish in her black funeral dress
and shiny black shoes. She starts walking.



EXT. MOTHER’S HOUSE – NIGHT

Anna approaches her mother’s house. Paul opens the door.
He’s not surprised to see her.
Beatrice stands just behind him. A black shawl over her
head and arms.



INT. MOTHER’S HOUSE. HALLWAY – NIGHT

In the candlelight we can see the house is full of OLD
WOMEN. Their faces deeply lined. Wearing identical
black shawls. They stare at Anna, whispering in
different rhythms. Unintelligible words undulating like
an ANCIENT PRAYER.



INT. MOTHER’S HOUSE. BEDROOM – NIGHT

Paul and Beatrice lead Anna to the bed. As she lies down
we realize the bed is full of BLACK SOIL. Clouds of ugly
flies hang in the air. BUZZING noisily.
The Old Women surround Anna in a tight circle. Leaning
over her. Making her feel claustrophobic. She can smell
their rotting breath as their prayers grow LOUDER.
Through the chaos of words we begin to make out…

OLD WOMEN
Spit it out.
Anna doesn’t understand. Then she feels something in her
mouth. Growing. Gagging her. The Women are SCREAMING.

OLD WOMEN
Spit it out.
Anna spits out… white maggots. She gags again. Closes
her eyes. Shakes her head.

ANNA
No.

87.







INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – NIGHT

Anna’s eyes snap open. She’s still in the Prep Room.
She steps back from the doorway. Terrified.

ELIOT
I thought you were different. You all
say you’re scared of death. But the
truth is you’re more scared of life.
Eliot switches off the lights.

ANNA (O.C.)
I’m glad I’m dead. I’m glad it’s over.



EXT. ROAD BY FUNERAL HOME – NIGHT

Paul sits in his car. Staring out at the Funeral Home as
he nervously smokes a cigarette. The light in Eliot’s
room goes off. Paul waits for a moment. Then gets out
of his car. Stubs out his cigarette.



EXT. FUNERAL HOME – MOMENTS LATER

Paul treads carefully along the side of the Funeral Home.
It’s a full moon. The trees rustle ominously in the
wind. Casting eerie shadows against the dark house.
He finds a window. Tries to open it. It won’t budge.
Just then he hears a noise in the bushes. He crouches
down quickly. Listens hard. Nothing.

FROM THE BUSHES
Someone watches Paul tentatively move to another window.

FUNERAL HOME
Paul strains to open the window when suddenly… he’s
caught in a circle of bright light. Paul turns quickly.
A DARK FIGURE stands over him. Menacing.

MAN’S VOICE
What the fuck are you doing here?
The Figure lowers the flashlight. It’s Tom.

TOM
I’m taking you home.



EXT. JACK’S HOUSE. GARDEN – NIGHT

CLOSE ON black earth. A trowel digs into the soil.

88.




We pull back. Jack’s just finished digging a hole in the
flower bed. A shoebox beside him. He takes off the lid.
The Chick trembles in the corner of the box. Jack slowly
replaces the lid. Puts the box into the grave. He
pushes the earth over it. The box jerks. We hear the
faint RUSTLING of the Chick inside.

JACK
Don’t be scared. It’s better this way.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. ELIOT’S ROOM – DAWN

Eliot lies on his bed. Dressed in a dark suit. He hasn’t
slept at all. His eyes rimmed red. He checks the clock on
the bedside table. It’s 4.30am. He glances to the
window. Dawn light seeps into the room.



EXT. FUNERAL HOME – DAWN

Eliot walks through the garden. A pair of small secaters
in his hand. He stops by a bed of violets. Still
covered in morning dew. He kneels and starts cutting the
delicate flowers.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – DAWN

Anna lies on the slab in her burial dress. Her eyes closed.
Eliot enters the room. He doesn’t lock the door behind
him. Doesn’t turn the lights on. Doesn’t change into
his mortician smock.
He approaches the slab. The violets in his hand. Pulls
over a chair and sits next to Anna. Places the violets
on the steel trolley beside her.
He looks at her intently. For the first time he seems
uncertain. Vulnerable. As if questioning himself.
After a while he suddenly gets up and heads towards the
door. He’s about to close the door behind him…

ANNA (O.C.)
I don’t even know your name.

ON ANNA
Her eyes still closed.

ON ELIOT
Eliot pauses. Too confused to look back at her.

89.





ELIOT
It’s…

(BEAT)
It’s not important.
He closes the door.



INT. BEATRICE’S HOUSE. BEDROOM – DAY

CLOSE ON Beatrice’s face. Her eyes closed.
A HAND delicately powders her forehead. As if she’s
being prepared for her own funeral. We pull back.
Beatrice, dressed in black, sits in front of a mirror.
Diane applies her make-up. Beatrice opens her eyes.



INT. PAUL’S APARTMENT. BATHROOM – DAY

Paul, badly shaven, leans against the washbasin. Wearing
a crumpled black suit. Staring vacantly in the mirror.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – DAY

Anna lies in a casket as Eliot arranges her hair.

ELIOT

(GENTLY)
It’s time now.
She looks up smiling. Eliot positions her hands,
entwining her fingers.

ELIOT
You have to look beautiful for your
funeral.
He picks up a SYRINGE and an ampoule of AMBER LIQUID.
Fills the syringe.

ON AMPOULE
We glimpse the label: HYDRONIUM BROMIDE.

ELIOT (O.C.)
This will relax your muscles. Make your
skin radiant. As if you were still
alive. Just sleeping.

PREP ROOM

ELIOT
This is how they’ll all remember you.

90.





ANNA
Can I see myself for the last time?
Eliot smiles. Picks up a mirror. Hands it to Anna.

ON MIRROR
Anna looks peaceful. Beautiful. Serene.

ANNA
Is this the end?

ELIOT (O.C.)
The last part is the most difficult.
You’ll have to face it alone. But you’ll
be at peace soon.
Anna nods. SIGHS deeply… her BREATH FOGS the mirror.
She frowns. Touches the SMALL CIRCLE OF CONDENSATION on
the glass. Looks up at Eliot in shock.

PREP ROOM
Eliot glances anxiously at the fogged mirror, then at Anna.

ANNA
You lied to me.

ELIOT
Anna. We’ve been through this before.
You’re just imagining–

ANNA
You lied to me.
Eliot injects her in the side of the neck. Anna tries to
raise her hand to push him away but she’s too weak.

ELIOT (O.C.)
You’re still clutching onto life. Don’t
give in to your fears. You’re so close.
Anna’s fading away. Her hand drops limply to her side.

ANNA

(WHISPERS)
Why did you lie to me?
She stops struggling. Stares blankly at us.
Eliot looks at her for a moment. Sadly. Regretfully.
He picks up a Polaroid camera. The flash explodes in a
blinding white light. He pulls out the Polaroid. Peels
off the front and fans it in the air. Then…

91.





ON ANNA
…delicately closes Anna’s eyelids.

ELIOT (O.C.)
Good bye Anna.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. VIEWING ROOM – LATE AFTERNOON

Anna’s funeral is in progress. Eliot stands by her
casket. Surrounded by wreathes of tulips and lilies.
Beatrice, in her wheelchair, in the front row. Diane
beside her. A SCHOOLTEACHER sits behind them with Jack
and other CHILDREN.

FATHER GRAHAM (O.C.)
I am the resurrection and the life.
Those who believe in me, even though they
die, will live.
Tom and Paul appear at the door. Tom guides Paul to a
seat near the back.

FATHER GRAHAM (O.C.)
They that sleep in the earth will awake
and shout for joy; and the earth will
bring those long dead to birth again.

ON CASKET
Anna lies in an open casket. Her eyes closed. She can
hear the DISTORTED VOICE of the Priest.

FATHER GRAHAM (O.C.)
We have come here today to remember
before God our sister Anna. To give
thanks for her life.

ON ANNA’S FACE
We see an almost imperceptible frown.

VIEWING ROOM
Eliot gestures to Beatrice. Diane wheels her to the casket.
Beatrice looks at Anna for a moment, then touches the
violets in Anna’s hands.

DIANE
Violets. They were her favorite flowers.
(turns to Eliot)
How did you know?

ELIOT
Violets just seemed appropriate somehow.

92.




Next we see Mrs. Hutton at the casket. Then Jack. He
stares at Anna’s body before being moved on by the
Schoolteacher. Finally Paul and Tom approach the coffin.

PAUL’S POV
Anna looks serene.

VIEWING ROOM
Paul takes out the ring box from his pocket. Gently
slides the engagement ring onto Anna’s stiff finger.
Suddenly he looks alarmed. Turns quickly to Tom.

TOM

(WHISPERS)
What is it?

PAUL
She’s so cold.
Paul turns back to Anna. Tears prick his eyes. He
touches her cheek again. Finally accepting her death.

PAUL
I’m sorry Anna.
He kisses her lips. Eliot watches him carefully. It’s
almost as if he’s jealous. Jack notices Eliot’s look
then turns and stares at Paul.
As Paul and Tom walk away Eliot closes the casket.
Begins to screw down the lid.



INT. INSIDE THE CASKET – SAME TIME

It’s dark. We hear the screws TIGHTENING. Anna’s eyes
FLICKER OPEN then close again.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. VIEWING ROOM – SAME TIME

Just then Paul turns back sharply. As if he sensed
Anna’s reaction inside the casket. Tom gently stops him.

TOM
(shakes his head)
She’s at peace now.
Paul glances at the casket again, then reluctantly allows
Tom to lead him away.
Eliot tightens the last screw. His back to the room.
Suddenly the screwdriver slips. Gashes his finger.

93.





ON COFFIN
A drop of blood falls onto the polished wood.

VIEWING ROOM
Eliot stares at the blood for a moment. Takes out a
pristine white handkerchief. Carefully wipes off the
blood. Then places his hand on the coffin.

ELIOT

(SOFTLY)
Don’t be scared. It’s better this way.
Eliot turns. Signals to the PALLBEARERS standing nearby.



EXT. CEMETERY. ANNA’S GRAVE – LATE AFTERNOON

The Pallbearers slowly lower Anna’s casket into the open
grave. The casket lurches as it settles in the grave.



INT. INSIDE THE CASKET – SAME TIME

Anna’s eyes SNAP OPEN in terror. She tries to scream out.
But only a SOFT RATTLING WHISPER escapes from her throat.



EXT. CEMETERY. ANNA’S GRAVE – SAME TIME

The TEACHER throws a handful of earth onto the coffin.
Jack steps up. Looks down curiously. As if he could
sense Anna. Then slowly pours the soil from his hand.

FATHER GRAHAM (O.C.)
We have but a short time to live. Like a
flower we blossom and then wither. In
the midst of life we are in death.



INT. INSIDE THE CASKET – SAME TIME

Blackness. Earth CLATTERS HEAVILY onto the wooden lid.
Anna GASPS softly. Hyperventilating. The earth keeps
falling. The sound becoming SOFTER with each shovelful.
She struggles. Bangs her fists against the wood.



EXT. CEMETERY. ANNA’S GRAVE – LATER

The grave’s covered with a stone slab now. Votive candles
flicker on top. In the b.g. MOURNERS head to their cars.
Paul and Tom stand by the grave.

TOM
You sure you’re going to be OK?

94.





PAUL
Yeah. Thanks Tom.
Tom squeezes Paul’s shoulder then walks away.



INT. FUNERAL HOME. ELIOT’S ROOM – SAME TIME

Eliot carefully pins Anna’s Polaroid to the wall.

ON POLAROIDS
We pan slowly across the other photographs we saw before.
But now we look at them differently. In some faces there
is the glimmer of life. In some a despairing pleading
look. In others passive resignation.

ELIOT’S ROOM
Eliot moves towards the window.

ELIOT’S POV
The dark cemetery. In the distance flickering candles
illuminate Anna’s grave.

ELIOT (O.C.)
Imagine Anna. The whole world, your
mother, your fiancée, your friends.
Everyone has buried you. They’ve placed
a stone above your body.

ELIOT’S ROOM

ELIOT
They’ve said their good byes and gone
back to their TV dinners and shopping
malls. Thinking that this is never going
to happen to them. Until it’s their turn
to be buried. Think about it Anna…
Eliot glances at his watch.

ELIOT
…think about it while you still can.



EXT. FUNERAL HOME. DRIVEWAY – MOMENTS LATER

Paul unlocks his car. He’s about to open the car door
when he feels someone watching him. He turns. Jack’s
observing him carefully.

PAUL
You said she was alive.

95.





JACK
I never said she was alive. I just said
I saw her.
Paul simply nods his head. Too drained of emotion to react.

PAUL
You need a ride?
Jack shakes his head.

PAUL
OK. See you.
Paul opens the car door.

JACK
Mr. Conran?

(PAUL TURNS)
Don’t forget to fasten your seat belt.
Paul nods. Gets in his car. Jack looks up at the
Funeral Home.

JACK’S POV
Eliot stands in the window smiling at him.



INT. MOTHER’S HOUSE. DINING ROOM – NIGHT

We’re at Anna’s wake. PEOPLE talk quietly in small groups.
Paul fills a glass with whiskey. Knocks it back in one.
PEOPLE stare disapprovingly. WHISPERING to each other.

ELIOT (O.C.)
Don’t you think you’ve had enough to
drink?
Paul turns. Eliot stands beside him. Paul pours himself
another drink.

PAUL
Go to hell.
An ELDERLY COUPLE shake their heads and walk away.

ELIOT

(AMUSED)
Mr. Conran. We’re at a wake. You should
show more respect.

PAUL
I know she wasn’t dead.

96.





ELIOT
Wasn’t she?
Eliot’s suddenly tired of Paul’s allegations.

ELIOT
Mr. Conran. You come to my Funeral
Home, making wild accusations. You have
no idea what happens when someone dies.
What happens to their body. What
happens to their soul.

(TAUNTING)
You think Anna was alive after the
accident? Maybe you’re right.
Paul’s stunned.

ELIOT
Maybe she’s still alive. You obviously
don’t believe a word I say. So why don’t
you go and find out for yourself Mr. Conran.
Find out whether she’s alive or dead.
Paul grabs Eliot by his lapels. Shoves him against the wall.

PAUL

(LOUDLY)
You twisted fuck.
The room’s SILENT. Everyone turns towards Paul. Eliot
whispers in Paul’s ear.

ELIOT
You don’t have much time left.
Father Graham puts his hand on Paul’s arm.

FATHER GRAHAM
Please. Paul. You’re not well.
Paul pushes his hand away. Eliot shakes his head sadly.
Everyone looks at Paul with pity as he runs out.



EXT. MOTHER’S HOUSE – NIGHT

Paul sprints across the lawn to his car.



INT. PAUL’S CAR – NIGHT

Paul slips his key into the ignition. His hand’s shaking.



EXT. MOTHER’S HOUSE – NIGHT

Eliot watches Paul’s car ROAR OFF.

97.







INT. INSIDE THE CASKET – SAME TIME

We can’t see a thing. But we can hear Anna’s SHORT
SHALLOW GASPS. And the sound of her nails desperately
SCRATCHING at the coffin lid.



INT/EXT. PAUL’S CAR. ROAD – NIGHT

Paul drives fast. Accelerating then quickly braking as
he weaves through heavy traffic. He comes up behind a
slow Tractor-Trailer. Hits the HORN.

PAUL
Come on. Come on.
He swerves into the middle of the road. There’s a blind
curve ahead… suddenly an SUV comes out of the corner.
A bright white light sweeps through his car. Paul’s
momentarily blinded.

THE SCREEN FLASHES TO WHITE.
Paul opens his eyes. The ROAD’S EMPTY. No sign of any
traffic. He’s confused. The road was busy a moment ago.
Just then flashing red and orange lights illuminate the
car. Paul looks in his rear-view mirror.

ON REARVIEW MIRROR
An AMBULANCE moves quickly towards him. Blasts past.

CAR
Paul looks through the front windshield. Nothing. He
frowns. Where did the ambulance go?

UP AHEAD
We see the Funeral Home. Bone white in the moonlight.
The cemetery next to it.



EXT. ROAD – NIGHT

Eliot’s White Van sits by the side of the road.



EXT. CEMETERY. PARKING LOT – NIGHT

Paul’s car slams to a halt. He jumps out. In the
distance the candles still burn on Anna’s grave.

98.







EXT. CEMETERY. ANNA’S GRAVE – MOMENTS LATER

Paul grabs a shovel by the grave. Starts digging. Then
the shovel clunks against wood. He kneels down. Scrapes
away the earth from the coffin. Then pulls open the lid.
Anna’s eyes are WIDE OPEN. Her fingernails torn and bloody.
Paul grabs her shoulders. Pulls her out of the grave. Her
body slumps limply like a rag doll.

PAUL
Anna. I’m here. Please God. Anna.
He desperately tries to revive her. But there’s no life
left in her. He’s about to give up when…
Anna’s hand TWITCHES. Then after a moment she GASPS.
Her eyes slowly focus on Paul.

ANNA
Paul?

PAUL
Baby. Thank God.
Paul gently helps Anna to her feet. She looks round.
Dazed. Turns back to Paul.

ANNA
You came back for me.

PAUL
I came back for you. You’re safe now.

ANNA
Promise?

PAUL

(SMILES)
Promise.
Just then Paul hears a rustling sound behind him. He
turns. Nothing. He cocks his head slightly. There’s
something unnerving about the silence.
Suddenly a CROW rises noisily into the air. Paul starts.
Then watches, relieved, as the crow disappears into the
dark sky. He turns back to Anna… she’s not there.

PAUL
Anna?
Paul looks round desperately. Runs between the stone
crosses and statues of grieving angels searching for her.

99.





PAUL
Anna!
Just then he glimpses SOMETHING MOVE among the trees.
Runs over. Nothing. The cemetery is empty. The trees
appear to SHIMMER for a moment. Paul shivers. Pulls his
jacket around him. He doesn’t notice the candles on
Anna’s grave behind him suddenly BLOW OUT.



INT/EXT. ELIOT’S VAN. ROAD – NIGHT

We hear the sound of a SIREN. The AMBULANCE blasts past.
Eliot slides a disc into the player. CLASSICAL MUSIC
fills the van. He strums the wheel. Enjoying the music.



EXT. CEMETERY. PARKING LOT – NIGHT

Paul frantically runs into the parking lot. Still
calling out for Anna.

PAUL
Anna!
Suddenly the interior light in his car comes on. Paul
looks at the car nervously.
He heads over to it. Apprehensive. Then… the car door
slowly CLICKS open.
Paul stops. Stares into the car. There’s no one there.



INT. PAUL’S CAR – MOMENTS LATER

Through the windshield we see Paul approach the car.
He peers in nervously. Then cautiously gets in. As he
switches the interior light off, the camera moves slowly
around him revealing…
… ANNA sitting in the passenger seat.

ANNA
Are we going home?
Paul turns sharply. Stunned. Anna moves towards him.

ANNA
Or do you want to make love here?

PAUL
Where did you go?
Anna puts her fingers on Paul’s lips. Clearly turned on.
We hear the sound of something being UNZIPPED.

100.





ANNA

(WHISPERS)
I’ve been waiting for you. I missed you
so much.
A line of BLOOD trickles from his nose. He touches his
lips. Looks blankly at the blood on his fingertips. A
drop of blood falls on Paul’s white shirt. It unfurls
like a flower. Spreading out over the material.

ANNA
I love you. I always did.
Anna hungrily kisses him. He responds passionately.
Suddenly we hear a SHARP METALLIC SOUND.

PAUL

(ALARMED)
What was that?
Anna responds as if it was nothing strange.

ANNA
It’s only the scissors…
We see the growing anxiety in Paul’s eyes. Anna’s just
interested in his lips.

PAUL
Scissors? What scissors?

ANNA
Scissors. For your clothes. Eliot just
put them on the table.
Paul pulls back. Terrified.

ANNA
You’re safe now. We’re finally together.
A strong bright light sweeps across Paul’s face. Like
the headlights of the car on the blind curve earlier.

FADE TO SEARING WHITENESS.
Paul blinks as he gradually gets used to the harsh light.
Slowly the room comes into focus…



INT. FUNERAL HOME. PREP ROOM – NIGHT

Eliot stands over Paul holding a pair of BLOODY SCISSORS.
Paul looks down. His white shirt soaked with blood, the
material sliced open.

PAUL
Where am I?

101.




He talks with difficulty. His breath labored.

ELIOT
You’re in a funeral home.

(BEAT)
You’re dead.

PAUL
I’m not dead.
Jack appears at Eliot’s side.

ELIOT
You had a car accident. You swerved off
the road. On the way to the cemetery.
Hit a tree.

PAUL
I saw Anna. You buried her alive.

ELIOT
I’m sorry Mr. Conran. You never made it
to the cemetery. You never saw Anna.
You’re dead.
Paul’s glazed eyes widen in shock.

PAUL
I’m not dead.
Eliot speaks calmly. Soothingly.

ELIOT
Your skull was crushed. Your spinal cord
pulverized. Your brain cells are slowly
dying. Your body’s already decomposing.

PAUL
I’m not dead.
Eliot sighs wearily. He’s had this conversation many
times before.

ELIOT
You people. You all say the same thing.
Eliot’s voice, with each word, fades further and further
away. Paul closes his eyes.

FADE TO SEARING WHITENESS.

PAUL (O.S.)
I’m not dead.

FADE OUT.




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