BRICK ブリック(2006年)

ads
字幕を見る
[amazonjs asin=”B000VKNMGI” locale=”JP” title=”BRICK‐ブリック‐ DVD”]SUPER MAIN TITLES

Over a grimy concrete wall creeping by. We emerge from…

EXT. RUNOFF TUNNEL – EARLY MORNING

A gaping hole in the concrete side of a freeway. On the
embankment beside the hole BRENDAN FRYE squats, shoulders
hunched. His dark eyes behind thin glasses watch the
shallow stream of water which flows into the tunnel.

THE WATER

not more than six inches deep. Just beneath the surface a
young woman’s pale blue arm in gaudy bracelets bats against
the edge of her body like a docked boat. A pebble plinks
into the water beside it.1

TITLE CARD OVER BLACK: “2 DAYS PREVIOUS”
INT. LOCKER CAGE – DAY

A single locker. That same arm, bracelets and all, slips a
note through the slats, then leaves quickly.

As the cage empties a lone figure slumps to the locker.
Opens it. The note falls to his feet.

The figure is Brendan. He unfolds the note (folded in a
triangle) — “12:30 PICO & ALEXANDER”.

A STREET SIGN

Pico and Alexander.2

A WRIST WATCH
12:43. Brendan looks up from the watch.

EXT. STREET CORNER – DAY

He sits on the curb of a wide suburban street, eats lunch
from a brown bag and watches a phone booth on the corner. He
shows no surprise when it begins to ring. Brendan goes to
the phone and puts the receiver to his ear. Silence for a
moment, then a thin female voice from the phone.


1
Originally Dode was later revealed to have been hiding above the tunnel.
2
The street names were changed in production to match existing streets (we couldn’t
afford to create custom street signs.)

2


VOICE
(over phone)
Brendan?

BRENDAN
Emily?

EMILY
(weakly)
Yeah. How’s things?

BRENDAN
(slow, deliberate)
Status quo.

EMILY
Yeah?

BRENDAN
Uh huh.

EMILY
That’s good.

Her voice thins to a high, strained breath. She is crying.

BRENDAN
What’s going on, Em?

EMILY
(through strained crying)
It’s good to see you, Brendan.

Brendan’s eyes glance around the surrounding street. Emily
is crying again.

EMILY (CONT’D) (cont’d)
It’s been some time.

BRENDAN
Two months.

EMILY
Yeah. I didn’t even know your locker. I
had to ask Brain.

More crying noises.

BRENDAN
Em, why don’t we meet somewhere?

EMILY
I can’t.

3


BRENDAN
Why not?

EMILY
I screwed up real bad. I really screwed
up.

BRENDAN
Screwed up how?

EMILY
(blubbering, fast and
incoherent)
I did what she said with the brick, I
didn’t know it was bad, but the pin’s on
it now for poor Frisco and they’re
playing it all on me-

BRENDAN
Slow down now, what?

EMILY
You gotta help me Brendan I think tug-
Oh!

With a sharp breath the line clicks dead just as a black
mustang roars by. Brendan drops the receiver and spins out
of the booth.

There, another pay phone up the hill — empty.

Brendan turns to the black mustang, far down the street. A
man’s hand drops a cigarette butt from the driver side
window.1

The mustang turns the corner, gone.

Brendan walks after it, finds the cigarette butt on the
street. Still smoking.
A pale blue arrow is printed on the filter.

In the distance the class bell rings.

EXT. SCHOOL HALLWAY – DAY

The high school is open air – the hallways are alleyways
between buildings. A short kid with eyeglasses the size of

1
Because of the orientation of the street, this was all flipped when we shot it, and the
hand came from the passenger window. The dialogue in the ending field scene was
changed to match, causing mass confusion for about half an hour on set.

4


Volkswagen headlights sits against the wall. Brendan enters,
leans on the wall beside him.

BRENDAN
Brain.

THE BRAIN
Hey Brendan. It’s been awhile. Where you
been eating?

BRENDAN
Back of school.

THE BRAIN
Huh. Yeah, no one’s seen you. What’s it
been, a couple months?

BRENDAN
Yeah, it’s been awhile. You gave Emily
my locker number?

THE BRAIN
A few days ago. Was I wrong?

BRENDAN
What?

THE BRAIN
To give it?

BRENDAN
No.

THE BRAIN
It’s been so long, I don’t know you
two’s stats.

BRENDAN
It has been awhile. Who’s she been
eating with?
THE BRAIN
(uncomfortable)
I dunno. It’s hard to keep track.

BRENDAN
Is it?

THE BRAIN
(shrugs)
Can be.

The Brain avoids Brendan’s gaze.

5


BRENDAN
Uh huh.

A beat.

THE BRAIN
She hasn’t been doing too good.

BRENDAN
Yeah well. I’m not looking for a patch
up. Em’s life is her own. But she
asked for my help.

THE BRAIN
Help with what?

BRENDAN
I don’t know. I don’t even care, it’s
not my business. I just want to know
she’s ok, so I’ve got to find her.
That’s all this is.

THE BRAIN
Well. I know she was poking in with the
Ivy-bound cheerleading elite. Laura
Dannon’s crowd.

Across the parking lot a beautiful girl with dark long hair
kisses an football player.

BRENDAN
Laura Dannon there with the Rabbit?

THE BRAIN
Yeah. Brad Bramish with her. Cream on
the upper crust.

Brad laughs heartily.

BRENDAN
(softly)
He’s a sap.

THE BRAIN
Know him?

BRENDAN
By sight.

THE BRAIN
I won’t argue then. Anyway Em tagged
after them for a bit, but it didn’t
work. So she picked her way down the
food chain. Last I seen she was with
whasshername, that drama vamp. Small
time dealer, augh, the evil one, the one
you dated-

BRENDAN
Kara.

THE BRAIN
That’s my bus.

BRENDAN
You know her locker number?

THE BRAIN
Kara’s?

BRENDAN
Em’s.

THE BRAIN
239.

BRENDAN
Thanks Brain. Keep your specs on, find
me if she shows.

THE BRAIN
Sure.

The Brain trots off. In the distance Brad and Laura laugh,
and he kisses her. Her hair blows in the wind.

EXT. LOCKER CAGE – DAY

Empty. Locker 239 is open, its door swinging gently in the
wind.

EXT. BACK OF GYM – DAY

Brendan sits against the massive building, flipping through
loose papers. He finds two photographs, one of Emily hugging
him, the other of Emily with a beautiful sharp-eyed girl at
a party, drinks in hand.

Sorting more papers, he finds a red card with a sequined
mask on the front. The bottom edge has been torn off.

EXT. PARKING LOT – DAY
Sixth period has broke. Masses of students pile into busses.

7


EXT. SCHOOL THEATER – DAY

A huge chunk of brown building. Brendan strides towards it.

INT. SCHOOL THEATER – CONTINUOUS

Drama people sit on the floor facing the stage. Brendan
steps behind one, the sharp-eyed girl from the picture. She
holds a freshman boy’s head in her lap. Pets it like a dog.

She looks back at Brendan, her face in shadow.

GIRL
(through a mocking smile)
Hello, Brendan.

BRENDAN
Kara.

KARA
Come to see the show?
Kisses the freshman’s forehead, purring.

BRENDAN
No, I didn’t.
(nudges the freshman with his
toe)
Lapdog, blow.

The freshman sits up, looks to Kara like a spooked puppy.

KARA
(to the lapdog)
Stay.
(to Brendan)
Don’t be mean.

BRENDAN
I’m all friendly.
(to the lapdog)
Watch your head, kid – that thing bites.

The dog pops up again. Kara pulls him down and nuzzles his
ear.

BRENDAN (CONT’D) (cont’d)
I need words.
KARA
I’m listening.

8


BRENDAN
About Emily Kostich.

She stops nuzzling a little too quickly.

KARA
(to the dog)
Get me my purse.
(he goes)
Hurry!

He breaks into a trot. Kara smiles at Brendan.

BRENDAN
Still picking your teeth with freshmen?

KARA
You were a freshman once.

She slides her fingers up his arm. He growls and pushes them
away.

BRENDAN
Way once, sister. You and Em were tight
for a bit. Who’s she eating with now?

KARA
Eating with?

BRENDAN
Eating with. Lunch. Who.

KARA
You’re a cutie.

BRENDAN
You gonna tell me?

KARA
Guess you’re up from the underneath
then. The whole Jerr thing blown over.
Lucky strikes, you and your partner get
bulled, you come up clean. But I guess
you were always the brains of the
outfit.1

1
One of many instances of an allusion to the Jerr backstory, most of which were
trimmed back in the editing process for clarity. The author has threatened to write it as
a stand alone short story, but probably never will, so in a nutshell: when Brendan and
Emily were still an item she started hanging out with Jerr, a small time dealer. Brendan
didn’t approve, so he partnered up with Jerr then ratted him out to Trueman. Emily
found out, and that led to their breakup on the field, which we see in a flashback.

9


BRENDAN
Where’s Emily?

KARA
Sometimes I wonder why I dumped you.

BRENDAN
(standing to go)
God.

KARA
I don’t know where she’s at, Brendan.

BRENDAN
I know you do, so why don’t you want me
to find her?

KARA
Maybe I’m looking out for you.

BRENDAN
(going)
Well I appreciate that.

KARA
Brendan… you looking to get back into
things? I could use you.

He is gone. Behind Kara, the play goes on.

INT. BACKSTAGE OF THEATER – CONTINUOUS

The play is seen in shadow-play through the backdrop.

Brendan slips in through an exit door, crosses the backstage
area and enters the dressing rooms.

INT. DRESSING ROOM – CONTINUOUS

Cramped and empty. Pictures of Kara with friends are stuck
in the mirror. Brendan roughly searches drawers, bags,
pockets… nothing. He stops. A red edge behind one of the
photos – the same red card with a mask on it, but whole.
Across the bottom in small print: “Halloween in January –
Call for DETAILS – 555-2394″

INT. BRENDAN’S ROOM – NIGHT

Brendan pulls a phone across his desk and dials the number
on the flyer.

10


WOMAN’S VOICE
(over phone)
Hello?

Brendan hesitates.

BRENDAN
Hello, ma’am, this is Tom, I’m a friend
from school. Could I speak to…

He trails off.

WOMAN’S VOICE
(over phone)
Oh, hi Tom. Laura’s here, hold on.

LAURA’S VOICE
(over phone)
Yes?

BRENDAN
I’m calling for details.

LAURA’S VOICE
For what?

BRENDAN
Details about the party.

LAURA’S VOICE
Who is this?

BRENDAN
I don’t think we’ve met.

LAURA’S VOICE
Well then I don’t think you’re invited
to my party. It’s a rather exclusive
gathering.
BRENDAN
I can imagine.
(she starts to speak, he cuts
her off)
You should really work on your invite
management. That might be a personal
‘room for improvement’ area in your
life. But discretion of your invite
sending aside, I have procured a certain
someone’s invitation, and would like
details.
A beat of silence.

11


LAURA’S VOICE
You think you’re cute, whoever you are.

BRENDAN
Wait’ll you get a load of my felt fedora
and spats.

LAURA’S VOICE
Who are you? Or I’ll hang up.

BRENDAN
You don’t know me – I’ll save you some
time.

LAURA’S VOICE
I know everyone and I’ve got all the
time in the world.

BRENDAN
Folly of youth. Ask whose invitation
I’ve got.

LAURA’S VOICE
(slightly)
What you said.

BRENDAN
Emily Kostich.

A beat.

LAURA’S VOICE
15 Bush street, up in Stockton Cove.
Buzz 42 at the gate. Nine o’clock. But
who-

Brendan hangs up. He folds his hands under his chin and
stares at the phone, perfectly still. The clock on his desk
says 4:53.
DISSOLVE TO:

7:37

Brendan at his desk, tapping away at Tetris.

DISSOLVE TO:

8:30
The desk is empty, Tetris paused. A shower runs behind an
ajar door in the background.

12


EXT. STOCKTON COVE GATE – NIGHT

An imposing private community gate. Brendan coasts up on his
bike and ditches it in the bushes. He checks the call box
directory: “42 — DANNON”

Using the call box as a hand hold he hops the gate and walks
briskly up the street.

EXT. STOCKTON COVE STREET – NIGHT

Shiny cars line the curb. Party noises come from an upscale
two story house. Brendan takes a short breath, then strides
up to the front door.

INT. LIVING ROOM

Large and clean, with a two story ceiling and a railed
staircase at one end. Fifteen or twenty clean people, some
in costumes, mill about in cliques. Brendan comes in as if
he doesn’t mind who sees him coming in. He gets a couple odd
stares, but no one stops him.

With non obtrusive confidence he cuts through the crowd to
the beer keg in back and draws half a cup.

INT. PARLOUR – SAME

Richly adorned, crowded, lit with bright pools of light.
Brendan drifts in and stands in the back, deep in shadow.

The music comes from a baby grand piano set against one
wall. Laura Dannon leans against it. She wears a red
kimono, and is striking against the velvet black piano.
Laura’s kid sister, 11 years old with glasses, sits at the
piano playing “All I do is Dream of You”.

Laura sings, lovely and soft but with strength.1

Brendan watches from the back, his face obscured in shadow,
but his eyes gleam. Through the darkened window behind him
a match flares up, and someone standing outside lights a
cigarette.

Laura finishes the song. The room applauds, and she ruffles
her kid sister’s hair.

Brendan ducks out, and into

1
By the time we got around to production this had changed to “Someone to Watch Over
Me,” but the publishing rights proved too expensive (i.e. not free.) We chose the Gilbert
& Sullivan song, which besides being lovely was also in the public domain (i.e. free.)

13


INT. LIVING ROOM – SAME

Brad Bramish, the jock who was kissing Laura in the parking
lot, sits slouched on the couch in a dense crowd. He holds a
cup and speaks much too loudly to a guy named Biff at his
elbow.

BRAD
If the coach wants to play me I’ll play,
but I can’t put my best game in if I’ve
got to worry about whether I’m going to
be in there. Halftime last game, coach
is pissed I ran it on a pass play, out
on the field he says to me ‘you gotta
think about the team and you gotta’ you
know and ‘if you run that ball again
you’re out’, and I said to him you gotta
let me play! I’m out there, let me play,
and he’s saying ‘no you’re out’ and I
kept saying ‘Let me play! Let me play!
Let me play!’, just right in his face-

BIFF
He was!

BRAD
Just ‘Let me play! Let me play! Let me
play!’ ‘No you gotta’ ‘No, let me play!
Let me play! Let me play!’

Brad hunches forward, his face swollen purple, yelling that
over and over. Tom steps in front of Brendan, blocking his
line of sight.

Brendan scans the rest of the room. His eyes catch on Laura,
leaning against a divan. Her bright, sharp eyes cut through
the room, straight into Brendan.
He wags his eyebrows at her.

She looks away quickly. Brendan turns back to Brad, still
shouting ‘let me play’. Tom stands between them.

BRENDAN
Tom!

Brad falls silent. Most of the room follows suit. Tom turns
around. Brendan smiles good naturedly.

BRENDAN (cont’d)
Could you step aside, please? I’m
trying to follow Brad’s story, and it’s
difficult when I can’t see his face.

14


The room watches Brendan. Tom mumbles something and steps
aside. Brad stares at Brendan stupidly. Brendan flashes a
dopey grin and tips his glass.

BRAD
(stumbles)
He doesn’t give me a play to make, what
can I do, you know?

He falls into awkward silence. Biff starts babbling.

Brendan looks at Brad, who is staring back at him.

Brendan then slowly drags his gaze over to Laura, staring at
him too, her eyes slightly amused. Brendan cocks an eyebrow.
The slightest hint of a smile takes the corner of her mouth,
and she wags her eyebrows once at him.

Brendan glances back at Brad, looking at Laura now, not
amused at all.

Brendan stands to go. Biff chatters on. Brad cuts him off.

BRAD (cont’d)
Hey. Hey! What are you doing here?

BRENDAN
Leaving.

BRAD
Oh yeah?

BRENDAN
Uh huh. Unless your anecdote’s got a 2nd
act.

BRAD
Why don’t you leave?

BRENDAN
(leaving)
That’s what I was doing.

INT. DARK ROOM

With a lit wet bar at one end. Brendan goes to the bar, puts
ice in a glass and cracks it with liquor.

LAURA
(O.S.)
Whiskey?

Brendan pauses, glass touching his lips.

15


BRENDAN
Jameson.

He downs half of it.

LAURA
I like a man who knows what he’s
drinking.

BRENDAN
That’s a pretty sick thing to be
attracted to.

LAURA
Brad’s not a good guy to get on the
wrong side of.

BRENDAN
Uh huh.

They stare at each other in silence. She studies his face.
The broken light of the bar makes her features seem liquid.

LAURA
Fearless flyer. Quit your yappin and fix
me one.

and slips out a sliding glass door.

He fills another glass with whiskey and cuts his with water.

EXT. BACK PATIO – NIGHT

Brendan joins Laura, hands her a drink. Suburban lights fill
the valley below. Laura sips her drink.

LAURA
I’ll never get through all this.

BRENDAN
Uh huh.

She sips more.

LAURA
I knew your old partner Jerr since grade
school. Tough break. How long were you
two joined up before your operation got
the sting?

16


BRENDAN
A few months. Could have helped himself
out by turning me in, but he took the
heat. He was a good guy. Solid.

LAURA
Was he?

BRENDAN
You knew him.

LAURA
Yeah I did. So why are you here tonight?

BRENDAN
I’m looking for Emily.

LAURA
She wasn’t invited.

BRENDAN
She had an invitation.

LAURA
Well like you said, I’ve got to work on
that. Em’s been AWOL for a good month,
nobody’s seen her.

BRENDAN
I saw her yesterday.

LAURA
Nearly nobody’s seen her. So what did
she tell you?

BRENDAN
(winces)
Score 0 for finesse.

LAURA
Listen, you’re scratching at the wrong
door. I wasn’t with Emily enough to know
details of what she was in, I just got
wind of the downfall, and I didn’t get
any details of that, except that it was
bad. So now that we’re showing some
cards…

BRENDAN
If you haven’t got a finger in Em’s
troubles, why’d her name get me into
your rather exclusive party?

17


LAURA
Keep up with me now. I don’t know, but
it sounded like you did, and a body’s
got a right to be curious. Now I’m not
so sure.

BRENDAN
Well I’ll put that body to bed. I don’t
know a damn thing about whatever
troubles, and that works for me. I just
want to find her.

A long beat. Laura studies Brendan’s face, then seems to
come to a decision.

LAURA
Coffee and pie.

The words hang in the air a moment. A look of recognition
from Brendan.

BRENDAN
Coffee and pie oh my?

LAURA
And you didn’t hear it from me.

He sips his drink. A voice calls from the glass door.
Another girl. Laura flashes Brendan a look and goes to her.
They have quick, quiet words and the girl leaves. Laura
turns back to Brendan.

LAURA (CONT’D) (cont’d)
Will you wait here for me?

BRENDAN
Sure.

LAURA
You’ll stay right here and wait — I’ll
be five minutes.

BRENDAN
Yes.

The moment she leaves Brendan runs across the lawn and hops
the fence, into the neighbor’s yard.

EXT. SIDE OF HOUSE

Brendan runs to the edge of the neighboring house and peeks
around. Laura comes out the front door, cuts across the
lawn and sidewalk and trots out into the street. Brendan

18


begins to follow, but a noise from behind the fence stops
him – a match being struck.

Brendan creeps towards the fence and peers through a
splintered hole.

BRENDAN’S POV – THROUGH THE FENCE

A brightly lit window in the side of Brad’s house, and
through the window the party.

A dark figure wearing a long coat and broad rimmed hat, all
inky black. The figure smokes a cigarette and watches the
party, absently stroking his cheek.

Brendan steps back – SNAP! A twig.

The figure freezes. Then, making no noise at all, it spins
to face Brendan, a towering black form against the window.

The glowing cigarette falls to the grass.
A metallic glint, and a clicking sound not unlike a gun.

Brendan throws himself backwards onto the grass. A beat.

Through the hole the black of the figure’s cloak whips away.

Brendan hesitates, then hops the fence.

EXT. SIDE OF BRAD’S HOUSE – SAME

Brendan lands on his feet. No black figure to be found.

The cigarette still smolders on the ground. Hand rolled,
plain paper.

Brendan gazes through the window, catching his breath. Then
he breaks the trance and creeps towards the street.

EXT. FRONT LAWN – NIGHT

Peeking around the house, Brendan sees Laura cut across the
lawn and trot into the street. Using parked cars as cover,
Brendan follows.

EXT. STREET

Between cars, Brendan sees a lanky kid in baggy jeans and
engineer boots with a clean shaven head leaning against a
black Mustang. Laura goes to him and speaks quickly.

19


The dark figure in the hat emerges from the shadows. Laura
says something to him. Grunting something angrily, he gets
in the car with the bald kid and peels off.

Laura turns and slowly walks towards the house.

When she is gone Brendan stands, throws a look back at the
house and walks off down the street, towards the guard gate.

EXT. BACK PATIO

The two drinks, where Brendan left them. Laura takes hers
and drains it. The suburban lights twinkle like stars.

EXT. CARROWS PARKING LOT – DAY

The sun rises over Carrows family restaurant, a squat
structure backed against the weedy edge of the runoff tunnel
ravine.

A banner from 1973 in the window – “Coffee and Pie oh my!”
A pack of six pale stoners slump against the rear dumpster.
Their beady eyes follow Brendan in sync as he approaches.

He goes to the nearest one.

BRENDAN
Where’s Dode?

STONER 1
Dunno, bra.

Silence and blank stares. Brendan calmly moves to the next
stoner.

BRENDAN
Dode?

STONER 2
Uh uh.

Brendan moves to the next one.

A thin head pokes from around the dumpster.

DODE
Hey Brendan. Maybe you shouldn’t be
here.

Brendan steps around the dumpster. Dode slumps against the
wall, thin and delicate in dusty black. Slivery eyes, pale
lips, muffled intelligence.

20


BRENDAN
Kara told me you know where Em’s at.

DODE
Uh huh. And why are you looking for Em?

BRENDAN
She asked for my help.

DODE
Uh huh. Listen man, I’ve got plenty on
my plate without dealing with some
jilted ex.

BRENDAN
It’s not about that.

DODE
Whatever it’s about, act smarter than
you look and drop it.

BRENDAN
Where is she?

DODE
She’s with me, and right now that’s the
best place for her. Leave the low life
to the low lifers and dangle.

BRENDAN
You’re on the bright side of dim, Dode,
but if I thought you had this half-
handled I’d be eating lunch. Where’s
she at?

DODE
Better get while it’s good.

Brendan doesn’t.
DODE (cont’d)
Heel it now, dig?

The 5 big stoners appear behind Brendan, threatening. Dode
turns his head away to light a joint.

Brendan’s fist slams into his face, sending the joint
spinning. Brendan slams Dode’s frail frame against the
dumpster.

The 5 stoners stand in the exact same position, deer in the
headlights. One makes a half hearted motion to intervene.

21


BIG STONER
Back off.

BRENDAN
Throw one at me if you want, hash head.
I’ve got all five senses and I slept
last night, that puts me six up on the
lot of you.

BIG STONER
Just easy-

Brendan slams Dode into the wall.

BRENDAN
(to Dode)
Where’s Em?

DODE
(deliberate)
She’s with me. She was tight when she
called you, man. Came to and freaked.
She told me to shake you if you came by.
Said you’d only make things worse.

Brendan covers how shaken he is by this statement fairly
well. He drops Dode.

STONER 1 (O.S.)
Put him down, man!

DODE
Deal with whatever this ain’t about and
drop it.

BIG STONER
(to Brendan)
Nothing more here, bra.

BRENDAN
Tell Emily I want to see her. Tell her
if she still wants my help or not that’s
her business, but I want to hear it
straight from her.

DODE
She don’t –

Brendan walks away.

BRENDAN
Today. She knows where I eat lunch.

22


When Brendan is a safe distance away the biggest stoner
shouts with conviction

BIG STONER
And stay out, punk!

EXT. SIDEWALK – CONTINUOUS

Brendan hides behind a tall clump of bushes.

A moment later Dode hustles away from Carrows. Brendan
follows.

EXT. STREET – EARLY MORNING

The sun is rising as Brendan tails Dode through the twisty
suburban streets.

Brendan takes cover as Dode stops by a white hatchback.

A girl gets out of the car and embraces Dode. Her wrist is
adorned with the same cheap plastic bracelets as the dead
girl’s arm. Dode speaks quickly to her, she nods and speaks
back. He hands her a slip of paper, which she tucks into a
brightly colored address book and slips in her jacket
pocket. They embrace again, Dode walks off and the girl gets
in her car.

Brendan stumbles after the car, but it is quickly gone. He
watches it go, then follows Dode back towards school.

EXT. SCHOOL THEATER – MORNING

Dode slumps into the front door of the brown building.
Brendan watches him from a distance, eyes thoughtful. After
a beat he turns and walks off into the thickening crowds of
students.

FADE OUT:

FADE UP

EXT. BACK OF SCHOOL – MIDDAY

Brendan eats lunch alone on a concrete wall beside a long,
empty utility road behind the school.

LATER

Reclining on the wall, reading “Lord of the Flies”. He
raises his eyes, and sits up suddenly.

23


Off in the distance on the utility road a tiny figure
approaches, stumbling. Brendan jumps and hits the ground
running towards the figure.

Meet the girl with cheap bracelets, the girl Dode spoke to,
the dead girl, Emily. He catches her just as she stumbles
and falls and carries her into the shade of a covered
hallway.

EXT. SCHOOL HALLWAY – CONTINUOUS

Emily and Brendan sit in silence. She is very pretty, but
she looks bad. Too much makeup, not enough sleep. She
sniffles, speaks to her shoes.

EMILY
I must have sounded pretty crazy on the
phone. Yesterday.

She taps her shoes together lightly, eyes fixed on them.

EMILY (cont’d)
It was dumb, I got paranoid over a
really stupid thing. I was high, I went
crazy for a little bit, but now you have
to forget about it. Please. That’s how
you can help me now, forget about it.

She turns her weak eyes to Brendan for the first time. His
stare is unwavering, searching. She pushes on.

EMILY (cont’d)
Brendan, I know you’re mad at all these
people, cause you think I went away from
you and went to them. But you’ve got to
start seeing it as my decision, stop
being angry because where I want to be
at’s different from where you wanna be
at.

BRENDAN
(angry)
Who fed you that line, Em?

She looks back at her shoes.

EMILY
And stop picking on Dode. He’s a good
guy.

BRENDAN
The Carrows rat?

24


EMILY
He’s a good friend.

BRENDAN
So what am I?

EMILY
(strained anger)
Yeah, what are you? Eating back here,
not liking anybody, how are you judging
anyone? I loved you alot but I couldn’t
stand it, I had to get with people. I
couldn’t heckle life with you, I had to
see what was what.

A beat. She taps her clogs. One has a hole worn through the
sole. Her face contorts, seizes up, and she is sobbing.

EMILY (cont’d)
I’m sorry Brendan.

She buries her face in his shoulder. He has a hard time
speaking.

BRENDAN
You’ve got to come back to me, Em.

EMILY
No. No. Never. I’m sorry. Never. I can’t
love on your terms, Brendan. I can’t do
that, I’m not like you.

BRENDAN
You’re in a spot, I can get you out of
it. Come back to me, and whatever heat
follows you I’ll deal with.

EMILY
No. You’re not hearing me, no. I don’t
want to be put away and protected. No.

EMILY (cont’d)
No.

BRENDAN
Tell me about the trouble, the brick and
the pin –

EMILY
You gonna fix things like you did with
Jerr? No. I came to say goodbye, for
good. Whatever you have to do to let me
go, do it. I’m gonna let you go, I’ve

25


decided that. Make sure that, you’ve got
to, promise you won’t torture yourself,
that you’ll let me go.

She embraces him, enveloping him in her jacket. His face is
a frozen mask.

EMILY (cont’d)
Let me go.

As she pulls away he mechanically slips an address book from
her jacket pocket.

He watches her as she walks away.

INT. CLASSROOM

Brendan sits in the back, flipping through the address book.
The teacher drones on about the significance of the pig’s
head in “Lord of the Flies”.1
THE ADDRESS BOOK

Illegible scribbles, names, numbers, nothing that stops his
search – then the note Dode gave her, a corner of loose-leaf
paper which looks like this:




Brendan studies the paper intently.

EXT. SCHOOL HALLWAY – DAY

The Brain studies the paper. Busses pull into the parking
lot behind them. Brendan is distant, lost in thought.

THE BRAIN
Hm. Do you know anything else about
this?




1
Our one and only scene in a classroom was moved to Brendan’s lunch spot to save us
a location change. The degree to which the lack of classroom time in the film has been
commented on has always bemused the author, who cannot for the life of him
remember a single interesting thing that happened in a classroom in high school.

26


BRENDAN
(shakes his head)
Mm.

THE BRAIN
Slim pickings. Why’d you let Dode fly
when he came back to whose-her-name, at
the theater?

BRENDAN
(shrugs dismissively)
Kara. It’s their turf, I couldn’t hear
them without being seen, and that would
only biff their play. Best to know it’s
there, let it ride and see what comes of
it.
(touches the paper)
But anyway.

THE BRAIN
Hm. Well, if this is what I think it is,
it didn’t come straight from Dode, less
he’s playing out of his league.
(beat)
I can only give you my best guess.

BRENDAN
Yeah.

THE BRAIN
When the upper crust does shady deeds
they do them in different spots around
town. I know under the pier’s one, down
by the bike trails in the state park’s
another. There’s alot of them. The pitch
is they’ve got little symbols for each
one, and that’s how they tell each other
the place, so word won’t get around. So
this might be that.

BRENDAN
But Dode wouldn’t know it?

THE BRAIN
This is upper crust. Dode’s pie pan
grease.

Brendan studies the symbol.

BRENDAN
Call anything up?

27


THE BRAIN
How many places start with ‘A’? Or if
it’s a shape, or just a random symbol.
Anyway, even if you figured it out, what
good could you do? She’s smart, she
knows the play, she’s gunning to square
things.

BRENDAN
Yeah.

THE BRAIN
You said her business was none of yours,
so she’s alright, forget it now. Go
home, sleep.

INT. BRENDAN’S BEDROOM – NIGHT

Sparsely furnished. Brendan plays Tetris on his computer,
staring off into space. His mom’s voice calls “Good night”
and the hallway light turns off.

LATER

10:30 by the clock radio on Brendan’s nightstand. The slip
of paper rests beside it. Brendan lies in bed, staring at
the symbol on the paper. His eyes tense.

THE SYMBOL

Growing larger, burning with a searing intensity, then
folding into darkness. Water rushes overhead, over concrete,
concrete with a hole in it — the runoff tunnel, just for an
instant, then back underwater, screaming. Brendan choking,
screaming, plunging upwards. A woman with no face falls from
the darkness and kisses him, her long hair sweeping around
him then pulling away. As the last strands slide off his
face he wakes up with a start.

The clock says 3:46. Brendan drips with sweat, breathing
raggedly. He takes the paper and a pencil from the
nightstand and shades the symbol to look like this:




FLASH CUT – The runoff tunnel, lining up perfectly with the
now shaded symbol.

BACK TO BRENDAN

28


His eyes turn uneasy as he removes his glasses and clicks
off the light.

EXT. BRENDAN’S HOUSE – DAWN

Brendan walks off into the hazy pre-dawn light.

EXT. EDGE OF RAVINE

Brendan stops at a high wall of weeds, listening to the low
gurgle of moving water. Slowly, robotically he pushes
through.

EMILY’S BODY

Face down, bobbing gently in shallow water. Bluish white.
Red foam clings to her.

EXT. RUNOFF TUNNEL

Silently, as if lowered by a string Brendan sinks down,
squatting in the mud. His lungs empty in one choppy breath.
He pulls his glasses off sluggishly.

EMILY’S ARM

Lifeless, pale.

BRENDAN’S FACE

A contorted, frozen mask, eyes wet.

EMILY’S HAIR

Stringy, flowing gently in the water.

BRENDAN’S EYES

Dazed, drifting… then suddenly snapping to attention.

A noise. From the tunnel.

Brendan freezes. The inky blackness of the tunnel mouth
opens like a vacuum… silent, but then –

The scrape of a shoe against concrete, then echoing
footsteps running away.

Brendan springs like a cat, sprinting into the tunnel.

29


INT. TUNNEL

Nearly pitch black. 2 sets of running footfalls. Brendan is
chasing, running full speed into the blackness, heart
pounding – we almost don’t notice that Brendan’s are now the
only footfalls.

Brendan notices. He stops. Silence in the darkness, except
for Brendan’s breath… and someone near…

SLAM! Brendan takes a fist in the cheek and goes down. An
inky black figure steps from the shadows and kicks him in
the stomach. Brendan curls on the ground, the figure over
him.

FIGURE
(low whisper)
Your little Em.

The figure runs off. Brendan raises his head painfully – the
figure is silhouetted briefly against the distant bright end
of the tunnel, then is gone.

EXT. RUNOFF TUNNEL – EARLY MORNING

Emily’s body is still there. Brendan crawls out of the
tunnel and collapses in the shallow water, beside the body.
He rests his head on his arm, eyes on Em’s hair.

EXT. CAMPUS – EARLY MORNING

Cold and barren, nearly empty. Brendan limps across the
barren lawns.

EXT. PHONE BOOTHS

A line of phone booths on campus. Brendan nearly collapses
against one. He dials, still in a stupor.

VOICE ON PHONE
Saint Clement police.

Brendan stares into space, eyes burning

VOICE ON PHONE (cont’d)
Saint Clement police, hello? Hello?

Brendan hangs up.
EXT. LIBRARY – CONTINUOUS

Early morning mist below a squat brick building.

30


INT. LIBRARY

Warmly lit, sheltering the few souls scattered here and
there at tables. The Brain sits at one of them reading an
impossibly large book. He watches curiously as Brendan
approaches him.

THE BRAIN
Hey, Brendan.

Brendan falls into a chair. The Brain looks him over.

THE BRAIN (cont’d)
You’re up early.

BRENDAN
(thick, distant)
I couldn’t sleep.

THE BRAIN
(nods, back to his book)
Find Emily?

Brendan breathes out softly.

THE BRAIN (cont’d)
You alright?

BRENDAN
Yeah. What, are you here for zero?

THE BRAIN
Nah, I gotta take the early bus, cause
the others don’t run by my street.

BRENDAN
Bad break.

THE BRAIN
Eh. Time to read’s nice. So what’s the
word with Em?

BRENDAN
She’s gone.

THE BRAIN
Can’t raise her?

BRENDAN
No, I can’t.

THE BRAIN
So what now?

31


BRENDAN
Now. I don’t know. I guess it’s… I
don’t know.

Brendan takes a long moment. He stares down at his glasses,
wet with condensation.

BRENDAN (cont’d)
Brain, I can’t let her go. I was set to
but I can’t. I don’t think I can.

THE BRAIN
You think you can help her?

BRENDAN
No.

THE BRAIN
You think you can get the straight,
maybe break some deserving teeth?

BRENDAN
Yeah. I think I could.

THE BRAIN
Well.

Brendan rubs his forehead.

BRENDAN
Kara tried to rope me. She came right
out and asked. She was scared. Tell me
to walk from this, Brain. Tell me to
drop it.

THE BRAIN
Walk from it. Drop it.
(grins)
You’re thick as what-all, Brendan.
BRENDAN
Yes I am.

Brendan cleans his glasses. He looks Brain in the eye, and
his mannerisms come back into focus.

BRENDAN (cont’d)
I’d need you to Op. Like on Jerr, but
that was cake to this. And unlike Jerr,
there’s not much chance we’ll come out
clean. Twenty four seven on this one.
You okay to op for me again?

32


The Brain barely smiles.

THE BRAIN
What first, tip the bulls?

Brendan puts on his glasses, stands to go.

BRENDAN
No, bulls would gum it. They’d flash
their dusty standards at the wide-eyes
and probably find some yegg to pin,
probably even the right one. But they’d
trample the real tracks and scare the
real players back into their holes, and
if we’re doing this I want the whole
story. No cops, not for a bit.

THE BRAIN
So what first?

BRENDAN
I don’t know. Your mom still have the
cell?

THE BRAIN
In her car.

BRENDAN
Borrow it for a few days, get me the
number.
(stands to go)
Wait for my word, and cover for me first
period. I’m going to be a little late.

EXT. BASKETBALL FIELD – DAY

A vast field of asphalt segmented by a dozen basketball
courts outlined in cracked paint.1 Brendan trudges across
it, his steps heavy. He stops and stands very still, staring
at the ground for a beat then raising his eyes to

THE HORIZON

Flat, gray, pin straight. Brendan’s voice starts speaking
rapidly, confident and clear.



1
This describes the location at my school that the “showdown” scenes were originally
written for. Between when I wrote the script and when we shot it, however, the school
expanded and built portable classrooms on the basketball field, and so we reluctantly
moved these scenes to the football field.

33


BRENDAN (O.S.)
Yeah it was personal. Jerr spooked some
decent gees and ran around some what was
straight with him, but I’m nobody’s bull
runner. This wasn’t a business sit. But
yeah. I bulled him. Got in tight,
partnered up and sent him over.

PAN AROUND to reveal BRENDAN. He looks different, edgier,
more alive, wearing different clothes and a thin goatee1. He
keeps talking directly at us.

BRENDAN (cont’d)
I’d bull the lot of them, Em, I’d burn
down the whole party if they tried to
play you again. Jerr and whoever’s next.
I want to keep you safe.

An ARM swings into frame, wearing cheap plastic bracelets
and pale blue fingernail polish. It slaps Brendan hard in
the face. He catches it. Emily wrenches her arm away and
stumbles backwards onto the pavement.

Brendan grabs her sleeve. She twists away. He grabs her
shoulder, grabs her waist, she resists, and suddenly they
are struggling with violent pent up intensity until with a
shout she breaks away and falls to the ground.

A beat. Gulls cry in the distance.

EMILY
You can’t keep me safe, Brendan. I’m in
a bigger world now, and you can’t hide
me from it, and you can’t beat it. Not
if I don’t want you to.

Brendan’s face looks lumpish, while Emily’s is strong. She
stands and walks off into the distance across the barren
field.

BRENDAN’S FACE

Watching her go. It is back to present day, pale, clean
shaven, sullen. His eyes are cold with resolve.

EXT. RUNOFF TUNNEL – EARLY MORNING

Brendan sloshes down into the water. Without delicacy he
lifts Emily’s body and pulls her back into the tunnel.

INT. RUNOFF TUNNEL

1
Which Joe would not even consider, thank god.

34


Pitch back. Brendan lays the body down. Two beady eyes peer
at him from the darkness – he freezes. The eyes hop forward
– a gull. The two watch each other for a moment, then the
gull squawks and flutters out the bright mouth of the
tunnel. Brendan follows it without looking back at the
body.1

EXT. CROWDED HALLWAY – DAY

Brendan and the Brain lean against a wall. The Brain slips
him a piece of paper.

THE BRAIN
There’s the cell number.

BRENDAN
Keep it on vibrate.

THE BRAIN
(pats his jacket pocket)
Yeah.

BRENDAN
Better stop meeting me in the open too.
I’m going to start getting visible, and
I need you on the underneath. I’ll call.

THE BRAIN
Trueman asked for you. Wants words in
his office.

BRENDAN
I bet. Keep him off me – stonewall him,
he won’t bite, just keep him away from
me.

THE BRAIN
I’ll try. So what’s first?

BRENDAN
Make Em’s troubles mine. I’m going to
throw a few words at you, tell me if
they catch. Brick.

THE BRAIN
No.



1
A very early draft held on the tunnel after Brendan left, and revealed a dark figure
(Dode) creeping away from the top of the tunnel, causing the pebble described on page
1 to plink into the water.

35


BRENDAN
Or bad brick.

THE BRAIN
No.

BRENDAN
Tug.

THE BRAIN
Tug… that might be a drink.

BRENDAN
Drink?

THE BRAIN
Vodka and milk or something, or maybe
not.

BRENDAN
Poor Frisco.

THE BRAIN
Frisco. Frisco Farr1 was a sophomore
last year, I think. Real trash, maybe
hit a class a week. Didn’t know him
then, and haven’t seen him around.

BRENDAN
Pin.

THE BRAIN
Pin… the Pin?

BRENDAN
The Pin, yeah.

THE BRAIN
The Pin’s kind of a local spook story.
You know the Kingpin?
BRENDAN
I’ve heard it.

THE BRAIN
Same thing. Supposed to be old, like 26,
lives in town.


1
All apologies to Frisco Farr, who the author did actually go to school with, and who
was neither a druggie nor `real trash’, but was a great guy who simply had a very cool
sounding name. He is now (the author was horrified to learn) practicing law.

36


BRENDAN
Jake1 runner, right?

THE BRAIN
Big time… maybe. Ask any dope rat
where their junk sprang they’ll say they
scraped it from that who scored it from
this who bought it off so, and after
four or five connections the list’ll
always end with the Pin. But I’ll becha
you got every rat in town together and
said ‘show your hands’ if any of them’ve
actually seen the Pin, you’d get a crowd
of full pockets.

BRENDAN
You think the Pin’s just a tale to take
whatever heat?

THE BRAIN
(shrugs. Beat)
But what’s first?

BRENDAN
A show of hands.

INT. BACKSTAGE OF THEATER

Brendan strides past forest scenery and drama geeks, through
another door and into sunlight.

EXT. BACK OF THEATER – DAY

Kara smokes a cigarette. Brendan leans beside her.

KARA
(annoyed)
Hey Brendan. Here for the show?

BRENDAN
No.

KARA
Would you go then, honey, cause I’ve got
this headache.

BRENDAN
Try smoking like a chimney, I’ve heard
that helps.


1
In an admittedly paltry concession to clarity, this was changed to `Dope runner’ in post
production.

37


Brendan grabs the pack of cigarettes.

BRENDAN (cont’d)
Isn’t this Dode’s brand?

Kara snaps her head towards him, a flash of anger. She
catches herself and smiles cooly.

KARA
You don’t know Dode’s brand.

BRENDAN
Oh I do now.

Angry again, Kara snatches the pack from him.

BRENDAN (cont’d)
I’m going to start shaking things up.
Give me the story and you might miss the
bite.
KARA
The story about what?

BRENDAN
Alright.

He turns and walks away.

KARA
The story about what?

BRENDAN
I don’t want to play games if you’ve got
a headache. Get me if you want to spill
it, but I can’t guarantee safe passage
after tonight.

KARA
I don’t know what-
At the stage door, not slowing.

BRENDAN
Tell the Pin that Brad was my calling
card, and I need words.

KARA
Brad Bramish?
Through the door and into the theater.

38


INT. BACKSTAGE OF THEATER – CONTINUOUS

He spins to see Kara’s face just before the door closes.
She’s worried.

EXT. CROWDED SCHOOL HALLWAY – DAY

The Brain walks out of a classroom and Brendan swings behind
him.

BRENDAN
(fast and low)
Tail Kara through lunch. She’s got
rehearsal but she’ll blow early. She
goes home, drop her, else wait for my
call.

The Brain turns and Brendan’s gone.

EXT. PARKING LOT – LUNCH
Brendan wanders through the thick lunchtime crowd towards a
cluster of 3 or 4 flashy luxury cars set aside at the far
end of the lot.

Brad Bramish sits slouched in the front seat of his
convertible, front door open. A small crowd hangs about
Brad, his crony Biff at his elbow.

BRAD
That’s all I’m saying, is put me in the
game and I’ll do what needs to be done,
but they don’t put me in, what needs
doing don’t get done and don’t come
crying to me, man. Get off my grill man,
you didn’t put me in, don’t come to me
if you didn’t let me play.

BIFF
They didn’t!

Brendan scans the rest of the cars. His eyes catch on Laura
Dannon sitting in another convertible, off to the side. Her
bright eyes cut through the crowd, straight into Brendan.

He wags his eyebrows at her. She looks away. Brendan walks
into Brad’s direct line of view and obviously leans against
one of the cars.

BRAD
Hey! What are you doing here?

39


BRENDAN
Listening.

BRAD
Uh huh.

BRENDAN
Alright, you got me. I’m a scout for the
Gophers.

BRAD
(not amused)
Oh yeah?

BRENDAN
Of all things, yeah. Been watching your
game for a month, but that story just
now clenched it. You’ve got heart, kid.
How soon can you move to Minneapolis?

A few snickers around the crowd, but nowhere near Brad.

BRAD
(flat with anger)
Yeah?

BRENDAN
Cold winters, but they’ve got a great
public transit system.

BRAD
Yeah?

BRENDAN
Yeah.

BRAD
Oh yeah?

BRENDAN
There’s a thesaurus in the library.
‘Yeah’s under ‘Y’. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

BRAD
Who invited you?

BRENDAN
To the parking lot? Well gee I kind of
invited myself.

BRAD
I think you’d better leave then.

40


BRENDAN
No, I’m having too good a time.

BRAD
Just the same.

Brendan smiles slightly, and very deliberately crosses his
legs. Brad’s face tenses.

BRAD (cont’d)
Maybe you want to go someplace more
private.

BRENDAN
With you?

Brad says ‘who else?’ by lifting his arms.

BRENDAN (cont’d)
(as if he’s been asked to the
movies)
Sure.

Brendan stands and walks off. Brad follows and the rest of
the crowd trails after him.

He leads them behind a parked VW van and turns to face Brad.
People gather around in a wide circle.

Brendan pulls his jacket off as Brad hangs back, mumbling.

BRAD
You know what’s good for you you’ll just
beat it. Beating a small frye won’t win
me anything and it’s not going to do you
any good-

Laura pulls up in her convertible, behind Brad, watching.

In the next moment Brendan cuts Brad off by putting his fist
in his face.

Brad grunts but doesn’t lose ground. Brendan throws his
short stocky frame into Brad’s larger one and tenderizes his
midsection with jabs.

Brad tags Brendan in the ribs, then smacks the palm of his
hand into Brendan’s face, shoving him back onto the
pavement.

He comes at Brendan with his big fists clenched.

Brendan kicks Brad full force in the shins.

41


Brad tumbles, and Brendan comes up fast, connecting hard
with the point of Brad’s chin. Brad gets his balance fast,
and before Brendan can throw another he throws one himself,
then another, both into Brendan’s stomach. Brendan pulls
back and kicks Brad’s shin where he had kicked it before.
Brad roars and hits Brendan very hard in the face.

Brendan bounces back like a rubber ball and throws his
weight into a square punch right into Brad’s nose.

The sound of eggs breaking, and Brad falls backwards like a
board.

He stays down, holding his face.

Brendan staggers back, breathing hard, and looks up at the
small crowd. Some stare at Brendan, some at Brad, but nobody
seems about to do anything. Brendan runs his sleeve over his
face and walks unsteadily off, pushing past the last few
people rushing over.

STRAGGLER
Hey, is there a fight?

BRENDAN
Yeah.

He throws a last look at Laura, who meets his gaze and
drives off.

EXT. SCHOOL PARKING LOT SIDEWALK – CONTINUOUS

Brendan walks away from the lot, towards the school. Laura
pulls up beside him in her car.

LAURA
Hey.

Brendan ignores her and b-lines for the school. Laura brakes
hard, parking by the curb.
EXT. SCHOOL HALLWAY – CONTINUOUS

Brendan limps down the hallway. Laura appears behind him,
trotting to catch up.

LAURA
You’re quite a pill.
BRENDAN
Uh huh.

42


LAURA
Where are you going?

BRENDAN
Home.

LAURA
Why did you take a powder the other
night?

BRENDAN
Same reason I’m taking one now.

LAURA
Hold it.
(he keeps walking)
I don’t get you. That’s a chilly heel to
be giving a girl who’s where you want to
know about.

BRENDAN
I’ll get where I’m going just fine.

LAURA
I want to help you.

BRENDAN
Go away.

Silence behind him. He stops, turns wearily. She looks
genuinely hurt.

BRENDAN (CONT’D) (cont’d)
Look, I can’t trust you. You ought to be
smart enough to know that. I didn’t
shake the party up to get your
attention, and I’m not heeling you to
hook you. Your connections could help
me, but the bad baggage they bring could
make it zero sum game or even hurt me,
so I’m better off coming at it clean.

LAURA
I wouldn’t have to lead you in by the
hand-

BRENDAN
I can’t trust you. Brad was a sap, you
weren’t, you were with him and so you
were playing him, so you’re a player.
With you behind me I’d have to tie one
eye up watching both your hands, and I
can’t spare it.

43


LAURA
You’re not Brad.

BRENDAN
No, I’m not.

He turns and walks away. She doesn’t follow.

EXT. SCHOOL PAYPHONE – AFTERNOON

Brendan slumps against it, receiver to his ear, licking a
bruised lip. He wears dark glasses.

THE BRAIN
(on the phone)
You didn’t call.

BRENDAN
Sorry. Kara went home though, didn’t
she?
THE BRAIN
Yeah, but she stopped at a payphone and
made two calls that she didn’t want on
her phone bill.

BRENDAN
Get the numbers?

THE BRAIN
No. Sorry.

BRENDAN
S’alright. Are me and Brad front page
news?

THE BRAIN
All the buzz. You really do that?

BRENDAN
Yeah.

THE BRAIN
Why? Is Brad the Pin?

BRENDAN
Brad’s a sap. I downed him on his field
and his crew didn’t bite. So now I know
he’s a sap and anyone who acts like he
isn’t is profiting by it. That’s not why
I roughed him, though.

44


BRAIN
For kicks?

BRENDAN
Economics. Brad’s the school’s biggest
jake buyer, so if this Pin is behind all
the selling, I just got his attention.
Anyway, now’s just shaking things out.
Look, you know a kid around the burgh,
lanky, short, shaved head, turns a black
tang?

THE BRAIN
I told you before I don’t know the car.
Those types are a nickel a pound, but
nobody I know that you don’t. And
Trueman again-

BRENDAN
Keep him off. And keep your specs on – I
need to find that kid.

THE BRAIN
Okay.

Brendan hangs up and turns sluggishly.

A lanky kid with a short shaved head and engineer boots
punches him in the face.

Brendan hits the pavement. The lanky kid is over him in a
split second, beating his face and body with short, heavy
blows.

Flashes of the lanky kid – a shiny scar shaped like a thin
triangle runs down the side of his face.

After a brief silent thrashing the kid walks off with
several other blurry figures. A car peels out and roars off
O.S.

Brendan lies still. The class bell rings, very distant. Legs
criss cross before his eyes, each blurring the world a bit
more until it is completely smeared.

FADE OUT.

FADE IN:

INT. OFFICE
Brendan sits with an ice pack against his head in a tiny
office. A man in his early thirties behind a wood colored

45


desk and name plate, “GARY TRUEMAN, ASSISTANT VICE
PRINCIPAL” plays with a pencil.

TRUEMAN
You didn’t know this boy?

BRENDAN
No sir, never seen him.

TRUEMAN
And he just hit you?

BRENDAN
Like I said, he asked for my lunch money
first. Good thing I brown bagged it.

Trueman trains a good natured dubious eye on Brendan.

TRUEMAN
Alright Brendan. I’ve been looking to
talk to you.

Brendan doesn’t react.

TRUEMAN (cont’d)
You’ve helped this office out before.

BRENDAN
No. I gave you Jerr to see him eaten,
not to see you fed.

TRUEMAN
Fine, and well put.

BRENDAN
Accelerated English, Mrs. Kasprzyk.

TRUEMAN
Tough teacher?

BRENDAN
Tough but fair.

TRUEMAN
Mm. Anyway then, we know you’re clean,
and you’ve, despite your motives, you’ve
been an asset to us. I think you’re a
good kid.
BRENDAN
Uh huh.

46


TRUEMAN
I want to run a couple names by you.

Brendan stands to go.

TRUEMAN (cont’d)
We’re not done here.

BRENDAN
(angry)
I was done here three months ago. I told
you then I’d give you Jerr and that was
that, I’m not your inside line and I’m
not your boy.

TRUEMAN
That’s not a very helpful-

BRENDAN
(anger builds)
You know what I’m in if the wrong yeg
saw me pulled in here?

TRUEMAN
What are you in?

BRENDAN
No. And no more of these informal chats
– if you’ve got a discipline issue with
me write me up or suspend me and I’ll
see you at the parent conference.

TRUEMAN
Hold it, I could – hold it – could write
you up for talking back to a VP. For
looking at me in a threatening way. I’d
exercise a little more tact, Mr. Frye.
You can’t pull a play like that unless I
need you for something. So do I?

BRENDAN
Maybe.

TRUEMAN
So maybe you’re gonna need me too.

BRENDAN
Maybe. Alright, I need you off my back
completely for a few weeks. There might
be some heat soon.

47


TRUEMAN
(interested)
If it’s something I can’t cover, I won’t
go to bat for you.

BRENDAN
If I get caught like that it’s curtains
anyway – I couldn’t have brass cutting
me favors in public. I’m just saying now
so you don’t come kicking in my homeroom
door once trouble starts.

Trueman bites a thumbnail.

TRUEMAN
Okay, here’s what I can do. I won’t pin
you for anything you aren’t caught at.
I’ll ride it a little while, as long as
it doesn’t get too rough. But if
anything comes up with your fingerprints
on it, I can’t help you. Also, if I get
to the end of whatever this is and it
gets hot and you don’t deliver, The Veep
will need someone to hand over, police-
wise. And I’ll have you. There better be
some meat at the end of this like you
say, or at least a fall guy, or you’re
it.

BRENDAN
Sure I am. Got one more favor to ask.

EXT. ADMINISTRATION BUILDING – AFTERNOON

Gary Trueman throws Brendan out.

TRUEMAN
Get the hell off my campus, punk!
Brendan glances around, and limps off.

EXT. CARROWS PARKING LOT – AFTERNOON

No stoners, no Dode. Brendan breathes uneasily.

EXT. PAYPHONE BY CARROWS – AFTERNOON

Brendan leans against it.

THE BRAIN
No, Dode’s MIA all around.

48


BRENDAN
I’m 9 of 10 that Kara’s got him, but who
knows where. I shook but she’s not
spilling.

THE BRAIN
No more job offers? So she’s got a play.

BRENDAN
And I know enough about Kara to let that
worry me. Alright, keep your specs on
for him. Any other news?

THE BRAIN
Some. Laura Dannon came to me looking
for you.

BRENDAN
(considers this)
She did, huh?

THE BRAIN
Fourth period, nearly shook me upside
down. Can’t say I didn’t enjoy it, but
why’d she come to me?

BRENDAN
She’s tapping Kara, and Kara knows you
know me.

THE BRAIN
Yeah, well. She’s some piece of work. If
I had known where you were I might have
told her.

BRENDAN
That’s the spirit. Ask around for Dode,
tail Kara again at lunch. I got knives
in my eyes, I’m going home sick. I’ll
call you tonight.

EXT. SIDEWALK – LATE AFTERNOON

Bordering a supermarket. Brendan trudges along. Suddenly he
stops. Parked in the supermarket parking lot is a black
mustang.

EXT. PARKING LOT – LATE AFTERNOON

The sun hangs low. Brendan approaches the car and walks
around it slowly. He peers inside. A tuft of paper pokes out
from under the seat. He pulls the door handle, locked.

49


Brendan picks up a broken chunk of concrete from the ground,
waddles over to the car and holds the chunk above his head,
ready to drop it through the window.

He stops. His eyes catch something in the distance.

The lanky shaved-head kid, whose name is Tugger. Coming
towards him fast.

Brendan stands there for a moment, then lets the chunk fall
to the ground. He casually leans against the car, removes
his glasses, puts them in a hard case and puts the hard case
in his pocket.

Tugger hits him like a train and throws him across the
pavement. Tug turns back to the car and takes out his keys.

Brendan gets up and comes towards Tug, his face stiff. Tug
turns and pops him once squarely in the mouth. Brendan falls
to his knees.

While Tug unlocks the door Brendan stands up woozily.
Grunting, Tug spins and grabs Brendan’s jacket, pushing him
back while he slaps him hard in the face, back and forth,
three times. When Tug lets go Brendan drops like a stone,
catching himself on his hands and knees. The car door slams.

The mustang drives about a hundred yards out into the
parking lot, spins around and stops, facing Brendan. Its
motor purrs deeply. Brendan begins to limp towards it
doggedly, head up, eyes fixed.

A crackling roar and short squeal of tires spit the mustang
forward. It comes straight at Brendan, rumbling like a tank.

Brendan stops walking and stands very still, eyes steady.
The gap between him and the car closes in no time at all.

It speeds past him not six inches to his left, brushing the
edge of his jacket. Brakes squeal behind him. Brendan turns
and lopes towards the mustang, idling about fifty feet away.

He stops at the window. Tugger eyes him curiously, with
some respect.

BRENDAN
I want to see the Pin.

TUGGER
(nods slightly)
Yeah, I guess you do.

50


EXT. STREETS

Twisty and narrow. The black mustang flies through them at
impossible speeds, roaring past like a bullet.

DARKNESS

Loud engine noise, jostling, grunting. Then a metallic
jangle, some scraping, and a CLINK!

EXT. REAR OF FAST MOVING MUSTANG – LATE AFTERNOON

The trunk pops open, revealing Brendan holding a jack rod.

INT. MOVING MUSTANG – CONTINUOUS

Tug is putting a tape in the deck, eyes down. Behind him
the trunk pops open, then pulls down out of sight just as he
looks back up.

INT. TRUNK OF MOVING MUSTANG
Brendan holds the trunk about three inches open, just enough
to see which street signs pass by. Loud music plays from the
car — “Sweet Baby James” by James Taylor.1

The car zooms on.

BRENDAN’S POV

Through the ajar trunk. The mustang slides to a stop beside
an elaborate wooden mailbox carved as an eagle’s head.
Brendan closes the trunk.

EXT. FRONT OF HOUSE – LATE AFTERNOON

A small one story house, slightly run down. Tugger opens the
trunk and drags Brendan out, covering his eyes with a palm,
slams the trunk and goes inside.

When they are gone the broken trunk drifts open.

INT. BASEMENT HALLWAY

A very dim narrow hall with a steep stairway at one end,
dark doors down the length of it and a lit door at the other
end. Tugger drags Brendan down the stairway, drops him and
goes into the lit room.




1
Unfortunately Mr. Taylor flatly refused, which, given the context, was probably wise.

51


Brendan lifts his head painfully. Surrounding him in the
darkened doorways are dozens of boys, some dressed like
Tugger, others dressed in black.

Tug pokes his head out.

TUGGER
Alright.

Arms pop out of the darkness and drag Brendan towards the
lit room.

INT. KINGPIN’S DEN

A small room, amazingly messy. Clothes strewn about, groves
of empty bottles, precarious piles of books. The overall
impression though is not of jumbled chaos, but of a nest,
comfortably woven and very worn in.

A slim figure with wispy hair sits facing the wall at a
small desk, writing under a green bookkeeper’s lamp.

Brendan is shoved into the center of the room. Tug and his
clones slump against the surrounding walls. Brendan watches
the thin figure’s back. For a beat the only noise is the
scratching of the thin man’s pencil. Then he sighs and
swivels around.

Mid to late twenties. Sallow features, tired eyes. His
clothes are so richly black it is difficult to make out
specific items — he is just one inky black mass from the
neck down and eyebrows up.

BRENDAN
You the Pin?

PIN
Yeah.
(beat of silence)
So now I’m very very curious what you’re
going to say next.

BRENDAN
Maybe I’ll just sit and bleed at you.

The Pin shifts in his seat, bored.

PIN
Helled if you’re gonna go breaking my
best clients’ noses and expect me to
play sandbag. Anyway you’ve been
sniffing me out before then, sniffing
for me like a vampire bat for a horse

52


with a nick on its ear he can suck on.
They do that.
(Brendan blinks)
So now you got Tugger to bring you here,
which he never does, and you got me
listening, so I’m curious what you’ve
got to say that better be really, really
good.

BRENDAN
Call Ms. Dannon in from the hall first;
she oughta hear this.

PIN
(amused)
No dice, soldier. Would have been a neat
trick, though.

BRENDAN
(shrugs, then slowly)
I was going to make up some bit of
information or set up some phony deal,
anything so you’d let me walk. Then I
was going to go to the vice principal
and spill him the street address of the
biggest dope port in the burgh.

The Pin’s eyes shoot to Tugger, who doesn’t flinch.

TUGGER
He knows zippo.

BRENDAN
1250 Vista Blanca, the ink blotter at
the desk in the den in the basement of
the house with the tacky mailbox.

The world turns on its side as Tugger pushes Brendan’s head
down into the carpet.

TUGGER
You gonna do what now?!

The Pin walks towards them. One of his shoes is twice the
size of the other.

PIN
No good, soldier.

The cronies around the room begin cackling. Tug’s face is a
mask of rage. Brendan can’t breath. His face swells.

53


PIN (cont’d)
Alright, let up.

But Tug doesn’t let up. Brendan’s world grows hazy, the
cackling laughter reverberates, then a clean voice pierces
the din.

LAURA
(OS)
Tug, stop.

Tug’s face breaks for a moment, and he lets go. Brendan’s
head lolls to the side. Laura stands in the dark doorway.

Brendan sees Tug’s knuckles and a flash of white for a split
moment as Tug hits him in the face. The Pin’s black body
spills out across the frame, leaving us in black.

FADE UP

SMALL DARK ROOM

Brendan wakes up curled on a mattress on the floor. A bare
light bulb hangs from the ceiling. Tugger sits five feet
away, watching him like a hungry dog. Brendan stares back at
him through thick, glazed eyes.

BRENDAN
Where are my glasses?
(Tugger grins)
Hell with ya then. Which wall’s the door
in?

Tug points, amused. Brendan heaves himself up, and Tug
shoves him back down.

Brendan winks at him, stands and lurches towards the door
again.

Tugger grabs his shirt and slams him into the wall, but
freezes when he hears a door latch click. Sneering, he drops
Brendan back onto the mattress and sits against the opposite
wall.

Sounds of a door opening and closing come from the darkness.
Light footsteps clack on the cement floor. Suddenly Tug
vanishes — the room’s darkness just seems to swallow him.

The thin whispery voice of the Pin speaks softly.

PIN
Sorry about this kid, but what the hell
with what you said before.

54


His disembodied face appears a few feet about where Tug had
sat.

PIN (cont’d)
Where you were at, with all of us and
the Tug a fist away, you’ve got to use
your nut. Allay the situation, So yeah,
you’re not scared of me, I got it, but
I’m also thinking you’re a little nuts
now, so you’ve got that trade off with
your standing. But nuts isn’t all bad,
so maybe it was a good play. I don’t
know.

He is standing in front of Tug. His black clothes and broad
rimmed black hat blend perfectly with the dark room, such
that his face seems to bob about in space. Brendan stifles a
cough.

PIN (cont’d)
So, Laura talked me down. Let’s get you
upstairs, back with the living.

INT. KITCHEN – DAY

Brendan sits at a breakfast table eating cornflakes. The
kitchen is on the first floor of the Pin’s house, or rather
the Pin’s mother’s house. She is a soft old lady in a pastel
cotton dress, currently bent over the fridge mumbling.

MOTHER
I thought we had orange juice, Brendan,
I’m sorry. How about Tang, or that’s
more like soda isn’t it, or not soda but
it hasn’t got any juice in it, it can’t
be very fortifying.

BRENDAN
Water’s fine, ma’am, thanks.

MOTHER
Now just a moment, we have apple juice
here, if you’d like that, or milk,
though you’ve got that in your
cornflakes, I don’t know if drinking it
as well might be too much.

BRENDAN
Apple juice sounds terrific.

MOTHER
It’s country style.

55


BRENDAN
That’s perfect.

She shuts the fridge. Tugger and the Pin sit behind her,
looking comfortably bored. The Pin, a sharp black hole
against the soft yellow kitchen, eats oatmeal cookies with
small delicate bites.

MOTHER
I’ll even give it to you in a country
glass, how’d that be? Boys?

TUGGER
I’m fine, Mrs. M.

PIN
Thanks, mom.

The Pin kisses her on the cheek.

MOTHER
Okay, well I’m going to go, um, do
something in the other room now…

She shuffles out.

PIN
(to Brendan)
So hows bout we take another snap at
hearing your tale?

BRENDAN
I don’t know. It starts out same as
before, and this floor ain’t carpeted.

PIN
We’re cooled off.

BRENDAN
Yeah well, your muscle seemed plenty
cool putting his fist in my head. I want
him out.

The Pin grins thinly, uncomfortable.

PIN
Looky, soldier-

BRENDAN
The ape blows or I clam.

56


TUGGER
(stands violently)
So clam! What’ve you got I can’t beat
out of you back in the basement?

The Pin and Brendan are perfectly still, watching each
other.

PIN
Give us a few minutes, Tug.

Tug turns to him, but Pin keeps his eyes on Brendan.

PIN (cont’d)
I’ll call you if whatever.

Beat. Tug stomps off, slamming the narrow door hard behind
him. The Pin goes back to gnawing his cookie.

PIN (cont’d)
So?

Brendan sets down his spoon.

BRENDAN
About a year ago I had a small time
dealing partnership with Jerr Madison.
Know him?

PIN
Till he took the fall for you.

BRENDAN
Yeah well. I didn’t ask him to, but he
was a straight player. I got out clean –
almost. Nothing on my official record,
but the VPs play it like I owe them one.
When I made it clear I wasn’t playing
their hound dog, well they didn’t like
it. They keep calling me in, badgering
me.

PIN
Gee that’s tough.

BRENDAN
I don’t like being told whose side I’m
on. So now they think I’m on your trail,
I’m in a nice spot to know their
movements and feed them yours.

PIN
I gotcha.

57


BRENDAN
You haven’t got me yet.

PIN
What, price?

BRENDAN
Considering the benefits my services
could yield, I don’t think that’s
unreasonable.

PIN
And what are your services exactly, just
so I can be specific on the invoice?

BRENDAN
(shrugs)
Whatever serves your interests.

The Pin stands.

PIN
Fair enough. I’ll have my boys check
your tale, and seeing how it stretches
we’ll either rub or hire you. You’ll
know which by end of the day tomorrow.

Brendan stands but doesn’t follow as the Pin opens the
narrow door Tugger went through and descends the dark stairs
behind.

PIN (cont’d)
We’re done.

The moment the Pin vanishes into the basement’s murk Laura
comes up out of it. She takes Brendan’s hand.

LAURA
I’ll drive you back.
INT. LAURA’S CONVERTIBLE MOVING – SUNSET

They zig zag though the twisty suburban streets. Brendan
stares sullenly into space.

BRENDAN
Just drop me at school.
(they take a hard turn)
How long was I out?

LAURA
Half an hour. It took all of it for me
to cool the Pin down.

58


BRENDAN
(flatly, but sincerely)
Thanks.

They drive on in silence.

EXT. SCHOOL PARKING LOT – DUSK

Laura’s convertible stops, and Brendan climbs out painfully.
He studies her face for a moment.

LAURA
You trust me now?

BRENDAN
Less than when I didn’t trust you
before. If you can tell me your angle in
this, maybe I can.

LAURA
Come here.1

Brendan leans on the car, his face close to hers.

LAURA (CONT’D) (cont’d)
I’m on the in, top level of the tower
and I know everyone, but I don’t know
all what goes on. I knew Em when she
tried to get with me and Brad, and I
liked her. She was smart. But she wasn’t
us, and it didn’t work. When she left
she took some souvenirs, dirty habits
she wasn’t strong enough to control and
a connection to the Pin to keep them
going. With me?

BRENDAN
So far.

LAURA
A few months go by, and the next I hear
the Pin’s raging over a situation with
some certain junk Em was partial to, and
the downfall’s coming on Em’s head.

BRENDAN
You think Em scraped the junk off the
Pin?



1
Not to weasel in a plug, but the original version of this scene (shot as written) is on the
deleted scenes section of the DVD. Available at fine retailers everywhere.

59


LAURA
I don’t know, but whether she scraped or
copped or just ran her tab around the
world and into her own back, it must
have been grand. I’ve never seen the Pin
so hot.

BRENDAN
This all helps but it’s not what I
asked. What’s your angle in all this?

LAURA
I don’t know. I’m usually pretty sharp,
but… maybe I see what you’re doing for
Emily, trying to help her. And I don’t
know anyone who would do that for me.

BRENDAN
Now you are dangerous.

Throwing the car in gear, she peels out and leaves him
standing alone in the fading evening light.

INT. BACKSTAGE

Brendan pushes through the gloom, past forest scenery,
deeper and deeper until he comes to a door.

INT. WOMAN’S DRESSING ROOM

Hazy and cramped. Everything blends into the color of flesh.
No walls are visible; it is all billowy piles of costumes.
Brendan pushes in. Kara sits at the mirror, putting on
eyeliner.

KARA
(sing song)
Brendan Brendan Brendan!

BRENDAN
Where’s Dode flopped?
(she makes a face)
I know you two are cozed up, so you’ll
tell me or you won’t.

KARA
Oooh, getting feisty.
(giggles)
Last time we talked you were giving
ultimate-tims.

60


BRENDAN
It worked. You went to Laura, didn’t
you? Told her my tale.

KARA
All part of your plan?

BRENDAN
Turned out to be.

KARA
I feel so cheap and used.

BRENDAN
Gol, I must seem a real cad. Sometimes I
just hate myself.

Kara grins dreamily.

KARA
Whatever happened to us, Brendan?

BRENDAN
Where’s Dode flopped?

She turns to face him.

KARA
We were a pair and a half for a few
months, weren’t we? Sometimes I miss
having someone I can talk to. You ever
miss having someone? I guess you must.

Brendan’s face is a mask.

BRENDAN
I need to hear Dode’s tale about Emily.
It’s important.

KARA
(darkly)
You better be sure you wanna know
whatcha wanna know.

Brendan stands, coughing.

BRENDAN
Uh huh. Laura’s working with me now, and
I’ll have the Pin and Tug in my corner
soon. The sooner I get the truth from
Dode or the truth about Dode from you,
the safer you’ll both be. No? Pass it on
to Dode anyway. Maybe he’ll have the

61


sense to get out from under you before
he gets hurt.

KARA
You didn’t, did you?

Brendan leaves without looking back.

INT. BRENDAN’S ROOM – NIGHT

Brendan’s at his desk, on the phone.

THE BRAIN
(on the phone)
So what happens now?

BRENDAN
Now we wait for the Pin’s answer. Unless
his crew spotted VP Truman’s social call
this morning, it’ll be yes. I’d give us
70/30. If we’re in I get under his skin
and see what’s what. You stick to Kara,
keep your specs peeled for Dode and stay
away from Laura.

The Brain is quiet for a beat.

THE BRAIN
I think she’s with us, Brendan.

BRENDAN
(too sharp)
I’ll let you know when she is.

A beat of silence.

THE BRAIN
Okay.

Brendan gently replaces the receiver and sits for a moment
in silence.

EXT. LOCKER CAGE – MORNING

The class bell rings, and the cage quickly empties. Brendan
limps in, opens his locker. A note falls to his feet. It is
folded into a star. He pulls it open. “TWELVE THIRTY PICO &
ALEXANDER”.
He fishes the old note out and compares them – different
handwriting.

62


The locker cage is now empty and silent, except for the
steady sound of heavy footfalls. Brendan looks up from the
notes.

A lug with a lumpish face is coming towards him. He wears a
black trenchcoat over bulbous shoulders, and his black hair
comes down over his eyes like a sheepdog’s.

BRENDAN
You the Pin’s?

No answer. The lug keeps coming.

BRENDAN (cont’d)
So what’s his answer?

Closer, not slowing. Brendan tightens his hand into a fist.
Then CLICK! and a long slender switchblade gleams in the
lug’s right paw.

Brendan jumps back as the lug swipes the blade at his torso.
Before the lug winds up for another slash Brendan is
running.

EXT. CAMPUS SQUARE – DAY

Brendan runs through the empty campus square, the lug
follows.

EXT. SCHOOL HALLWAY – DAY

Wind rushing, sweating, the lug very close. Their footsteps
clatter on the cement. Brendan swings around a corner,
doubles back and stops with his back to a wall – he’s lost
sight of him.

Brendan sweats, listening. The lug’s footsteps echo through
the hallways, coming from all directions at once. Then it
seems clear – he’s down the hall on Brendan’s right.
Brendan dashes left. Wrong. The lug looms over him, his
knife hand flashing. Brendan’s jacket shoulder tears open,
and the white filling inside turns red. He stumbles back
blindly, gets his footing and scrambles out of reach.

Brendan sprints away, down the hall, gaining about thirty
feet on the lug before turning the corner.

Brendan drops to a sitting position.

THE LUG AROUND THE CORNER

Running fast.

63


BRENDAN

Kicks his shoes off and clambers to his feet. The lug’s
footsteps are impossibly loud.

THE LUG

Just about to round the corner.

BRENDAN

On his socked feet running silently back towards the corner.
The lug’s footsteps crash like symbols as they both come
around the same corner in opposite directions at full speed.

Brendan slides like a baseball player, tangling his legs
into the lug’s. The lug pitches forward with frightening
momentum. He hits the hall’s metal handrail with his arms
and head. A hollow gong reverberates through the hallway,
and the lug falls like a puppet with his strings cut.
A wallet with a couple of twenties and a student ID (CHUCK
BURNS), three hash pipes, fifteen joints, a baggie of weed
and a large brownie in another baggie.

Brendan leaves it all on him and staggers off.

EXT. CAMPUS PAYPHONE – DAY

Brendan breathes heavily into the phone.

BRENDAN
Chuck Burns, big lug with hair like a
sheepdog.

THE BRAIN
(on the phone)
Yeah I know him, I just can’t pin him to
any crowd. He’s definitely not muscle
for anyone. He taps the Carrows crowd
but doesn’t hang with them. If you’ve
got a guess I could check it out-

BRENDAN
The Pin. If he’s with the Pin
everything’s kablooie and I gotta blow
the burgh.

THE BRAIN
I’ll check it. I’m in third now-
Brendan spots the Pin’s Cady pulling into the parking lot.

64


BRENDAN
Never mind. If I don’t call by three
call in the bulls.

Brendan hangs up and begins walking at a normal pace along
the sidewalk.

The cady pulls up beside him, and he stops walking. The door
swings open and a voice comes from inside.

VOICE
Get in.

With no perceivable hesitation, he does.

INT. CADILAC – DAY

Brendan sits beside the Pin. The windows are tinted and the
car is very dark. The seats are pink vinyl. The car lurches
forward.
Brendan and the Pin are silent for a beat, not looking at
each other.

BRENDAN
So?

PIN
So. Tangles.

A stocky kid in the front seat turns, and reaches into his
jacket. For a moment he stays like that, hand in his jacket,
eyes on Brendan. Brendan’s face is placid.

Tangles pulls out an envelope and drops it in Brendan’s lap.

PIN (cont’d)
That’s what you’ll get every week for
your services. Less of course there’s a
specific job involved, in where you get
sliced in with my crew. Square?

BRENDAN
Yeah.

Silence. The Pin holds his hat in his hands, fingering the
rim.

PIN
We’re doing a thing down at the Hole
tonight. Know it?

65


BRENDAN
South of T Street, yeah.

PIN
It’s sort of a welcome you in thing.
Eight o’clock.

The car stops.

EXT. CAMPUS PAYPHONE – DAY

Brendan climbs out of the car on the exact spot they picked
him up. The Cady drives off. Brendan checks his watch.

BRENDAN’S WATCH

12:32. A phone begins to ring.

EXT. PICO & ALEXANDER – DAY

Brendan looks up from his watch and answers the payphone,
holding the receiver to his ear in silence.

VOICE
(on the phone)
I know what you did. I saw what you
did.1

The voice is low and garbled, filtered through something.

BRENDAN
So?

VOICE
Anyone I tell, it would ruin you some
way. And I’m going to tell someone.

BRENDAN
Are you making an offer?

VOICE
Maybe. Or maybe I’ll just do you in.

BRENDAN
Hire another hash head to blade me?




1
Originally the source of this call was supposed to be a mystery, but during post
production we decided it was one layer too many, and identified the caller as Dode.
Brendan’s first line was overdubbed in post to say `Dode?” instead of “So?”

66


VOICE
Don’t need no blades, shamus. I just
gotta squawk.

BRENDAN
What do you want?

VOICE
Just to see you sweat.

CLICK. Brendan replaces the receiver and stands still for a
moment. Then he inserts a coin and dials.

THE BRAIN
(on the phone)
Brendan?

BRENDAN
Yeah.

THE BRAIN
You alright?

BRENDAN
Yeah, I’m fine. Keep digging on the
Burns lug, but the main thing is to find
Dode. He set up whatever Emily walked
into, it’s getting more and more urgent
we talk.

THE BRAIN
Alright. Trueman was looking for you.

BRENDAN
Trueman and the VP?

THE BRAIN
No, just Trueman.

BRENDAN
Asked for me?

THE BRAIN
No, but looked.

BRENDAN
That’s not good. Alright, keep me
posted.

Brendan hangs up.

67


EXT. BEACH – NIGHT1

A bonfire burns about a hundred feet off. Figures jump
through the blaze to thrash music. The Pin and Brendan
wander towards us on the dark beach.

PIN
So I’m going to start you on the dope
circles, cleaning up the Turkish dues,
pulling in the strags.

BRENDAN
Small fries.

PIN
Yeah, well. Just to see how you handle.
Anyway there isn’t much else doing. I’m
tailing out this big deal, but that’s
almost done.

BRENDAN
Oh yeah? What was it?

PIN
Big time. Biggest I ever done, and there
was a snag in it, but it’s almost done
now.

BRENDAN
What was it?

PIN
It’s over.

BRENDAN
Almost, you said.

PIN
It’s over enough. You’re gonna make me
curious, being so curious.

They sit in the sand, facing the breakers.

PIN (cont’d)
I gotta lay something out. You’re coming
into a certain situation, and I’m
bringing you in sort of because of it.

1
If ever you want to witness a look of pure horror, shoot a micro budget feature film and
tell your cinematographer that there will be an extended scene on a beach at night.
Turns out it’s difficult to light up a beach without very large and expensive equipment.
Who knew. Shooting at sunset proved a fortunate and less horror inducing solution.

68


(beat)
I didn’t tell Tugger to hit you for the
Brad Bramish thing. Laura and I, I
decided I oughta hear what you were
gunning for before I made an enemy. Tug
just did it, though. He was hot, and he
just hit you. He’s been doing that.

BRENDAN
Yeah?

PIN
He’s got my best interests, I know, he’s
loyal, he just gets hot.

BRENDAN
Muscle you can’t control’s no good at
that.

PIN
You’re working for me, not Tug, that’s
all.

BRENDAN
Alright.


A moment of silence. The breakers crash.

PIN
Things can get, you know, it’s tough
sometimes. Twisted, complicated,
watching all the, I don’t know.
Everyone’s got their thing.
(silence)
You read Tolkien?

BRENDAN
What?

PIN
Tolkien, the Hobbit books?

BRENDAN
Yeah.

PIN
His descriptions of things are really
good.

BRENDAN
Oh yeah?

69




PIN
He makes you want to be there.

The waves crash. Behind them, with no warning at all, a
train shoots by. Tug stands with his hands jammed in his
pockets, flashing lights and gleaming metal streaking and
squealing behind him.

INT. BRENDAN’S ROOM – EARLY MORNING

The clock radio blinks 5:34. The phone is ringing. Brendan
half wakes and puts it to his ear.

THE BRAIN
(on the phone)
Don’t go to class.

BRENDAN
What?

THE BRAIN
Fifth period Trueman and the VP come in
asking for you.

BRENDAN
Agh.

THE BRAIN
Did they call your mom?

BRENDAN
Probably. I got home late.

THE BRAIN
Get out of there too, then. Meet me
behind the library. I’ve got some stuff.

EXT. BACK OF LIBRARY – EARLY MORNING
A cold gray morning. The Brain hands Brendan a photocopy of
a newspaper clipping, “LOCAL YOUTH HOSPITALIZED”

THE BRAIN
Frisco Farr was found on a sidewalk
outside Pinkerton’s Deli three weeks
ago. He was in a coma, his stomach
contained a sausage sandwich, a horse
dose of Heroin and traces of Choleric
Tricemate, a poisonous chemical found in
laundry detergent. Frisco’s still under

70


and nobody’s talking, so nothing’s come
of it.

BRENDAN
OD?

THE BRAIN
No, the chem the junk must have been cut
with put him down.

BRENDAN
Huh. Bad junk. Bad brick… could that
form of Heroin be called ‘Brick’?

THE BRAIN
No — it was a concentrated powder, its
street handle’s ‘whip’ or ‘rock’ or
‘brock’.
(fishes a note from his
pocket)
Here. From Laura.

BRENDAN
I told you to stay clear of Laura.

THE BRAIN
You tell her to stay clear of me?

He gives the note to Brendan, who unfolds it roughly.

BRENDAN
(mutters)
I gotta get voicemail.

The note reads “Meet me at the southeast corner of the
school at 9:30.” Brendan crumples it into a ball.

BRENDAN (cont’d)
No. Tell her I’ll be at the Pin’s at
one. Any luck with the lug?

THE BRAIN
No.

The Brain lays out a local newspaper with Emily’s picture –
“LOCAL GIRL MISSING”. Uncomfortable silence.

BRENDAN
This isn’t good.

The Brain looks hard at him. Brendan stares off into space
for a beat, then takes the Brain’s cell phone and dials.

71


BRENDAN (cont’d)
(into phone)
Mr. Trueman please.

Brendan compares the two notes from his pocket with Laura’s
– distinct handwriting on each.

TRUEMAN
(on the phone)
This is Trueman.

BRENDAN
What the hell are you doing asking for
me in class?

TRUEMAN
What the hell are you doing out of
class?

BRENDAN
What?

TRUEMAN
(very deliberate)
The VP and I needed to ask you a few
questions about Emily Kostich, who you
might have heard is missing. It’s a very
serious thing. The police are involved.
The VP and I knew you two were close, so
the VP and I came to ask you questions,
but you were truant. If you don’t have a
valid excuse-

Brendan hangs up.

THE BRAIN
What?

BRENDAN
I’ve been cut loose. I’m not safe here.
We shouldn’t have met in the open.
Alright, lay low, but ask on the
underneath for Dode. That’s all that
matters now, find Dode, but do it on the
underneath, got it?

THE BRAIN
What are you going to do?

BRENDAN
I’d like to have played it safe, but
there’s no time. The Pin’s not letting

72


anything drop, so I gotta push things a
bit.

THE BRAIN
How?

BRENDAN
I don’t know. Just find Dode.

EXT. THE PIN’S HOUSE – DAY

The bird of prey mailbox looms ominously. Brendan knocks on
the front door. No answer. He presses lightly on the screen
door, and it gives.

INT. KITCHEN – SAME

Empty. Brendan crosses the warped linoleum and gently opens
the narrow basement door. He descends into inky gloom.

INT. BASEMENT HALLWAY – SAME
Deathly still and silent. Barely breathing, Brendan goes to
the lit doorway at the end of the hall.

INT. PIN’S DEN – SAME

Empty. Brendan floats through the room like a ghost, to the
Pin’s desk.

Slowly, then with greater confidence he rifles through it –
papers and trinkets, meaningless.

He reaches beneath the desk, knocking it gently with his
knuckles. Quickly he removes the top drawer and reaches down
into the desk frame.

Brendan draws out a stack of hundred dollar bills two inches
thick. He pulls out another. Another. Another. Thumbing the
stacks — pure hundreds.

Something creaks in the hallway.

Brendan freezes. Silently he replaces the money and drawer,
his eyes on the doorway. He creeps towards the door on the
balls of his feet.

INT. BASEMENT HALLWAY – SAME

Still empty. Brendan creeps towards the stairs, passing
other doorways, all open but for one. He stops for a moment,
listening – silence.

73


INT. STORAGE ROOM – SAME

Brendan enters the room – pitch black but for a small high
window. Brendan pulls the curtains aside. A beam of sunlight
spills just enough light to reveal a figure in the dark.
Brendan jumps back, and his reflection in the large mirror
jumps as well.

A white bird nesting in the window flutters into the dark
room.

Brendan walks the large mirror into the beam of light,
reflecting it around the room like a flashlight. More junk,
a mattress, then a strangely bare corner with a single white
lump in it. The white bird stands behind the lump, its dark
eyes caught in the bare light.

The bird flies out the window.

Brendan goes to the white lump, a small brick of white
powder. White chalky residue patterns the floor — there
were other bricks there before.

Behind Brendan, in the mirror, something moves. Someone
else, in the room.

Tugger. He throws Brendan across the room, then heaves him
into a wall.

TUGGER
What with the poking, genius?! Maybe
you’re poking for your bull friends!

BRENDAN
Don’t be a sap. I can’t even face up at
school, the VP’s so hot for me.

TUGGER
Yeah well. Maybe you’re looking to make
good.

BRENDAN
I’m looking to find this big game the
Pin’s played, not to gum it, but just so
when its tail jams in my back I’ll know
who to bill for the embalming.

TUGGER
You oughta ask him what you wanna know.

BRENDAN
I did. He didn’t tell me.

74


Tug loosens his grip. Brendan gasps for air.

BRENDAN (cont’d)
When a gee I’m paid to side with won’t
give me the straight that makes me
nervous. Makes me angry.

Tug draws back a bit.

TUGGER
Yeah, well. That’s understandable.

INT. KITCHEN – DAY

Tug sets a country glass of orange juice in front of
Brendan. He paces.

TUGGER
There was ten of them. I don’t know
where he picked them, he didn’t tell me.
BRENDAN
(sympathetic)
Huh.

TUGGER
So we get ten kils of brock, there aint
enough marks in the whole burgh to eat
that. So he unloads eight of em up way
north, even up to the docks. I don’t
know who.

BRENDAN
Didn’t tell you.

TUGGER
Yeah. That was eight. So that’s the
tenth in there. We gotta break it into
doses, sell em off round the high, maybe
some by Shorecliffs.

BRENDAN
What about the ninth brick?

TUGGER
Ah yeah. There were problems with that.

BRENDAN
Yeah?

TUGGER
It, uh…

75


He stops, thinking harder than he’s used to. His scar
reddens slightly, then he jerks out of his trance.

TUGGER (cont’d)
(quickly)
It disappeared. Someone skimmed it. We
started raising hell with all the likely
suspects, and whatayaknow, it came back.
But it came back bad. One of ours took a
dose off the top, and it laid him out.

BRENDAN
Frisco.

TUGGER
Yeah, poor Frisco. You heard about that.
We’ll track down the rat. Just takes
time.

BRENDAN
I heard something fell with Emily
Kostich.

TUGGER
Emily who?

BRENDAN
Kostich.

TUGGER
Don’t know her.

BRENDAN
Huh.

A quiet pause. Tug’s scar reddens a bit more.

TUGGER
Has the Pin talked about her?
BRENDAN
Not to me.

TUGGER
Yeah, he might know something. Ask him.
Tell me what he says, cause if you heard
something, you know, I wanna check.

BRENDAN
Sure.
The screen door swings open — enter the Pin. If he’s
surprised he doesn’t show it.

76


PIN
Pow wowing?

BRENDAN
Just shooting the shat.

TUGGER
Yeah, just shooting it.

PIN
Good.

His big foot clunks on the linoleum. He eyes a very sick
looking Brendan.

PIN (cont’d)
You alright, soldier?

Brendan moves a hand dismissively, sniffling.

PIN (cont’d)
So, Tug, I got a call. Someone who says
they know something about Emily.

TUGGER
Emily?

PIN
Emily Kostich. Where she’s at now. Says
we’d want to know. Wants to meet.

TUGGER
(uncomfortable)
Yeah?

PIN
So we’ll meet him. Four o’clock.
(to Brendan)
Emily was Tug’s girl for awhile. You
know Emily, didn’t you?
BRENDAN
A while back.

PIN
You’ve heard she’s missing?

BRENDAN
Yeah, I heard that.

PIN
So maybe you want to come along too.

77


BRENDAN
What has Emily got to do with you?

PIN
(looks at Tugger)
Show, maybe we’ll find out.

He gives a slip of paper to Tugger.

PIN (cont’d)
Four o’clock.

Tugger glances at the slip, then slides it to Brendan. It
has the symbol drawn in pencil:




A horn honks outside.

BRENDAN
That’s my ride.

The Pin calls after him as he leaves.

PIN
Four o’clock.

EXT. FRONT OF PIN’S HOUSE – SAME

Brendan falls into Laura’s idling car.

BRENDAN
(roughly)
A payphone, anywhere.

LAURA
What-

Brendan throws the car into drive, and they jerk forward.

EXT. STREET CORNER – DAY

PAYPHONE
The mobile customer you have called is
away from the phone-

Brendan slams the phone down violently and walks back
towards the car. His legs quiver, and a coughing fit hits.

78


Hacking and spluttering he falls to his knees. Laura’s arms
wrap around him, except it isn’t Laura, it’s Emily. Brendan
spins backwards into

DARKNESS

Emily kissing his mouth, her hair around him, but it isn’t
her hair, it’s Laura’s. Brendan shoots upwards

INT. LAURA’S CAR STATIONARY – DAY

and sits up with a jolt. Laid out in the back seat, Laura
dabbing his head with a wet napkin.

BRENDAN
(barks shakily)
What time is it?

LAURA
Lie down, Brendan-
BRENDAN
What time-

LAURA
You’ve got a fever, you’ve got to go to
the hospital or-

BRENDAN
What time is it?

LAURA
Three forty. You’ve got to rest, you’re
feverish.

He throws himself out of the car.

EXT. SCHOOL PARKING LOT – SAME

Brendan falls to his knees, coughing. Laura follows.

LAURA
Get back in the car, I’m taking you
home, you’re sick, you need-

BRENDAN
Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!

He keeps yelling that until she does. His head spins.
BRENDAN (cont’d)
Okay, you’ve got to, what you’ve got to
do is drive around to the Carrows lot.

79


I’ll be up on the, the blacktop, the
basketball field. So you’ve got to go by
you or me to get down there. If you see
anyone but the Pin or Tugger or their
crew go down into the ravine, honk four
times, long short long short. But don’t
be seen.

LAURA
Get back in the car.

BRENDAN
Do it! Will you do it? I need you to do
this. I need you, here. Please.

He holds her shoulders. A beat, then her face registers
resignation.

EXT. BASKETBALL FIELD – DAY

A flat plane of pebbly asphalt with a dozen basketball
courts faintly outlined across its surface. Brendan stands
crooked, watching the barren horizon. The wind blows
bitterly, and the sky is dark.

Then, a speck. Coming towards Brendan, across the field.
Brendan slumps towards it. Closer. Still a dark dot. Closer.

Brendan’s face snaps into recognition.

BRENDAN
What are you doing, Dode?

Dode grins. He holds a newspaper.

DODE
You gonna stop me?

BRENDAN
What do you think you’re doing, Dode?
DODE
I saw you. I saw what you did.

BRENDAN
What’d you see?

DODE
I saw you.

BRENDAN
What’d you see me?

80


DODE
You were with her, dead, and you took
the body.

BRENDAN
Yeah, I did. That’s all you saw? What
about before?

DODE
Before what?

BRENDAN
Did you see who killed her before I got
there?

DODE
(face ashen)
You killed her.

BRENDAN
I found the body, Dode.

DODE
You, I thought you didn’t, but we
figured out, I got the news on ya, cause
you hid the body, why wouldn’t-

BRENDAN
Who’s ‘we’?

DODE
Shut up! You’re always talking, always
this and that smartso, you’re gonna shut
up now!

BRENDAN
I didn’t kill her, Dode.

DODE
You’re not going to talk this!

BRENDAN
Dode, I know you’re thinking of Em, I
know you tried to help her-

DODE
Shut up! You’re gonna shut your

Brendan staggers, the world blurs out for a moment, then
snaps back.
DODE (cont’d)
put it over real nice-

81




BRENDAN
-so I’m telling you now you’re in over
your head, you don’t want to put your
hand in this-

Dode shakes the newspaper at him.

DODE
Shut up! She’s dead, you-

BRENDAN
Why was she scared, Dode? She came to
me, who was she scared of? I think I
know why, I just gotta know who!

Dode throws the paper, which scatters in the wind.
DODE
You’re trying to confuse me.

BRENDAN
Dode.

DODE
You couldn’t stand it. Your little Em.
She was gonna keep it, it was mine, and
you couldn’t stand that.

BRENDAN
What was yours?

DODE
I had you pegged.

BRENDAN
What was yours?
DODE
I loved her. And I woulda loved the kid.
I’m gonna bury you.

Brendan’s face is empty. Dode walks stiffly away. Brendan
puts a hand on his shoulder, but shrinks back in a coughing
spasm. Dode grabs Brendan’s wrist and hits him in the face.
Brendan hits the pavement.

82


EXT. HEAVEN – DAY

Bright clouds, sharp light. Emily flies towards us, glowing,
then dimmer, her wings splutter out, the clouds turn gray,
and we are looking at Emily’s picture in the newspaper
article.

EXT. BASKETBALL FIELD – DAY

Brendan pulls the newspaper off his face, lying in a fetal
position. Dode is nowhere to be seen.

Slowly, painfully, Brendan hoists himself up. He coughs and
splutters, barely able to keep his footing.

He limps across the field. Every step is agony. The wind
blows against him. The black field seems impossibly long,
still he keeps limping forward, towards the ravine.

EXT. RUNOFF TUNNEL – DAY
Brendan slides down the embankment, landing on his feet.

Gathered around the drain tunnel entrance are Tugger, the
Pin, five of Tugger’s flunkies and Dode in the middle.
Everyone looks at Brendan.

A long silence. Brendan clears his throat.

BRENDAN
What’d I miss?

More silence.

PIN
Dode here says Emily Kostich is dead.

Nobody reacts to that. Brendan’s face is placid.

BRENDAN
Oh yeah?

PIN
Yeah. He says he knows who did it. He
says he knows where the body’s at.
(beat of silence)
And he says he wants more money than I
think the information’s worth.
BRENDAN
That so, Dode?
(to the Pin)

83


So walk. What’s the info have to do with
you anyways?

DODE
Plenty.

PIN
Plenty, he says.

BRENDAN
Uh huh. And he wants cash on the nail.
He’s a pot skulled reef worm with more
hop in his head than blood. Why pay for
dirt you can’t believe?

DODE
You’ll believe this.

BRENDAN
(shrugs)
Maybe you will.

DODE
You’ll believe it, cause it’s someone
close to you. Real close.

The Pin looks up at Brendan, whose face is loose and
nonchalant.

BRENDAN
Maybe it’s hot, but it’s Dode, you can’t
trust it.

DODE
Real close.

Tugger’s eyes are locked on Dode, his scar the color of raw
liver. Brendan laughs and turns away.

BRENDAN
I’m getting my shoes wet for this. Let
him milk you if you want.

PIN
(to Brendan)
Stay.
(to Dode)
It’s still too much.

DODE
No it’s not. You won’t complain when you
hear it.

84


Tugger twists a stick in his hands. Brendan watches him,
curious.

BRENDAN
(murmurs)
So maybe you should.

DODE
You had her against the wall with the
brick –

PIN
I know my business. It’s still too much.

DODE
(with growing confidence)
It’s not, cause that’s not why she was
killed, and it’s real important to you,
cause the person who killed her’s real
close, and cause he’s got a lot to lose,
and he knows if I don’t bury him by
spilling to you I spill to the bulls and
bury him for real, and he’s really
really scared – she had a kid in her and
he couldn’t stand –

Tugger springs like a cat. He grabs Dode’s hair and knees
his face.

Brendan stumbles towards them.

BRENDAN
Tug, it’s alright!

Tug has Dode on the ground, kicking his stomach and chest.

PIN
Tug, stop.

Tug backs off. Dode raises his head.

Tug pulls the gun from his jacket.

Brendan yells, slips and falls into the shallow water.

Tug levels the gun at Dode’s head and fires one shot. The
back of Dode’s skull comes off.

The rapport reverberates through the black tunnel behind
them, and birds fly out. Dode remains upright for a moment,
then falls limp into the water.

85


The Pin’s face is stupid, lifeless. Tug turns to him, gun in
hand.

PIN (cont’d)
(thickly)
Tug…

Tugger fires – dirt kicks up, and the Pin scrambles back.
Brendan crawls towards Tug, yelling for him to stop.

Tug fires twice more, both misses, and the Pin is away.

Distant sirens.

Brendan’s vision blurs. He stumbles and falls into the
shallow water.

FADE OUT

FADE IN:
A CEILING FAN

Spinning gently. Brendan’s eyes open, watch it sleepily,
then sharpen.

INT. TUGGER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT

Brendan sits up in the bed. Tugger sits in a chair bedside,
smoking. Brendan watches him for a long moment in the room’s
dim light.

TUGGER
She sprung it on me, just. That’s a hell
of a thing to spring on a guy. I don’t
remember much. Laura talked me down
after, said whatever, she knew her, said
it wasn’t true, but I still think
sometimes. I think bout it being true.
Bout it being mine. And maybe I did it
cause I thought it was true. A hell of a
thing.

Brendan stares at him through cold, empty eyes.

TUGGER (cont’d)
You up? You weren’t doing too good there
for awhile. Laura said take you, you
know, hospital, but I couldn’t.

BRENDAN
What’s the stats?

86


TUGGER
Everyone’s just laying low. You’re here
with us, at my folks place. They’re
gone. The bulls got Dode fore the tide
took his body.



BRENDAN
Tide?

TUGGER
Yeah, strong tide, would’ve taken the
body, like out to sea. It can do that.
But the fuzz got there first.

Brendan nods.

TUGGER (cont’d)
So everyone’s assuming it’s war, but no
one’s said it yet. Everyone’s lying low.

BRENDAN
War?

TUGGER
You’re with us.

BRENDAN
The hell I am.

Brendan swings his legs over the bed. Tug steps in front of
him, staring him down.

BRENDAN (cont’d)
Alright, I’m with you.

TUGGER
So just lie low. Sleep some more. Laura,
she said you should sleep.
Tugger exits. Brendan runs his fingers through his hair,
steps into his shoes and hobbles out of the room.

INT. TUGGER’S LIVING ROOM – SAME

About ten more kids dressed like Tug are cleaning guns.
Brendan nods to them.
BRENDAN
Hey.

87


They nod back, not paying much attention as he goes out the
front door.

EXT. STREET – NIGHT

On a lamplit street corner Brendan leans against a payphone.



THE BRAIN
(on phone)
Brendan?

BRENDAN
Yeah.

THE BRAIN
Are you – what, man, have you heard
about Dode-

BRENDAN
I was there.

THE BRAIN
You-

BRENDAN
Where were you yesterday? I called.

THE BRAIN
Kasprzyk took my phone, turned it off. I
just now got it back.

BRENDAN
Alright, listen-

THE BRAIN
Are you okay?

BRENDAN
Just listen. Is my name in the papers
with the story?

THE BRAIN
No.

BRENDAN
Alright. Is it just Dode in the papers?
THE BRAIN
Yeah. What do you mean?

88


BRENDAN
Listen, I’m going to be calling you
tonight, probably late. Sleep with your
phone on. Could you get a car if you
needed to?

THE BRAIN
If it’s late enough I could take my
mom’s-

BRENDAN
Be ready then. I’ll call.

THE BRAIN
Alright.

INT. DRESSING ROOM – NIGHT

Brendan kicks in the door. Kara sits in front of the mirror
in a soft pink robe, a boy on the floor beside her. She
gasps.

KARA
Brendan. Did you hear about Dode?

BRENDAN
You scheming tramp. You set that poor
kid up, you hid him, fed him your tale.
You got info from Laura and held Dode
like a card till you could play him. For
money!

Brendan throws a chair. The boy stands.

KARA
I don’t know what you’re talking about.

BRENDAN
You’d bury me at the same time, but it
was mostly for the money. You got Dode
thinking Em had his kid, thinking I did
it, and that was enough for him, but he
stuck to the money cause you had your
claws in him, cause he couldn’t come
away from the deal without it and make
you happy.

KARA
Sit down, you’re a mess. Russ, go get my
shoes from the wardrobe locker, would
you sweetie?

89


He goes, trying to look mean at Brendan. Brendan and Kara
watch each other like caged rats.

KARA (cont’d)
Still wish you knew what you wanted to
know? If it’s any consolation, it
probably wasn’t Dode’s kid. It might
have been Tug’s, but frankly I wouldn’t
bet a horse – it was a crowded field
there at the end.

Brendan grabs a clock and throws it. Kara’s mirror shatters,
revealing a grimy dark wall behind.

KARA (cont’d)
Meany. You want my tale, Brendan? I
still know what Dode was selling, but
I’d play it smart. A quick call from a
payphone to copland, they drag the
tunnel and you’re through.

She comes very close to him. Her robe falls open slightly.

KARA (cont’d)
Five thousand. Cash. I know you can get
it from the Pin, but even if you can’t I
want it by first period tomorrow, or I
play my hand and bury you.

She turns away, lets her robe fall.1

KARA (cont’d)
Now get out.

Brendan’s eyes burn. He lunges at her.

EXT. BACKSTAGE – SAME

Drama geeks sit in groups. The dressing room door flies open
and Kara flies out, stark naked. Brendan flies out after
her.

KARA
What are you doing?

BRENDAN
Showing your ace.

Brendan storms out.



1
Also on the DVD. Fine retailers everywhere.

90


EXT. PIN’S HOUSE – NIGHT

Brendan walks past the bird of prey mailbox. A voice from
the screen door –

VOICE
Far enough.

The Pin.

PIN
Everyone’s paying social calls.

BRENDAN
Laura here?

Beat of silence.

PIN
So?
BRENDAN
So what are the stats?

PIN
The stats are war, soon as the press
heat dies. And if you’re with him,
you’re with him.

BRENDAN
Tug got hot. He panicked.

PIN
Tug’s been after my digs from the get
go.

BRENDAN
No. He’s been anxious cause he thought
if you found out he killed Emily you’d
turn him over.
PIN
He was right.

BRENDAN
Yeah, well.

PIN
I told him to get the straight, no
roughing. I wasn’t even there.

91


BRENDAN
Alright. So he’s a hot head. So you
don’t want him on your side, at least
let’s have a pow wow fore we start
digging trenches. Maybe we can all walk
away amiable enemies. What would it
take?

PIN
I don’t know. We’d have to square
everything between us. He owes me some
money.

BRENDAN
Alright, but we can talk.

PIN
Yeah, alright.

BRENDAN
Four o’clock.

PIN
Tomorrow?

BRENDAN
Tonight. Let’s clear it all before it
boils up again.

PIN
Four tonight. You’ll be here?

BRENDAN
Yeah.

Brendan turns away.

LAURA (OS)
Wait!
She comes out of the house with her purse.

LAURA (cont’d)
I’ll drive you back.

INT. LAURA’S CAR – MOVING – NIGHT

Laura drives, Brendan stares at the passing lights.
LAURA
What’s going to happen?

Brendan coughs.

92


LAURA (cont’d)
Do you feel better?

BRENDAN
(weak)
I don’t know.

INT. TUGGER’S LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

Brendan stumbles in. Tug’s hands grab him roughly.

TUGGER
For a smart guy you aint too smart. I
said lay low.

Laura enters.

LAURA
Tug.

He drops Brendan. Laura kneels beside Brendan, feeling his
forehead.

BRENDAN
She was at the Pin’s.

TUGGER
Yeah, she’s our go-between.

BRENDAN
Uh huh. So here’s the sit. You and the
Pin are going to pow wow, four o’clock
tonight, his place. Take all the muscle
you want, you won’t need it. He wants to
talk straight, and you’re going to work
with him for whatever he needs, cause
you don’t want war.

TUGGER
Hell I don’t.
BRENDAN
The Pin’s sitting on the brick profits –
hitting him now would be post. Make
peace and wait for your chance.

LAURA
He’s right, Tug. Smooth it out.

93


BRENDAN
(between coughs)
Besides, he’s got you on the Dode thing.
War’ll mean you vs. him and every bull
in the burgh.

Tugger turns away, thinking.

TUGGER
Yeah, we’ll talk.

LAURA
(to Brendan)
You going?

BRENDAN
Yeah.

She nods. Brendan stumbles into the bedroom.

INT. TUGGER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT

Brendan lies on his back. Sweat stands on his forehead.

THE FAN

Spinning dizzily from Brendan’s POV. Then the fan is still
and the room is spinning, then the fan, then the room.
Brendan clamps his eyes shut. A door creaks open.

BRENDAN
(croaks)
Go away.

Laura floats across the room to him. Her hair falls around
him. Brendan shrinks back. She puts a pale hand on his
clammy forehead. Brendan tries to speak, but cannot.

He fingers slide over his face. She pulls off his glasses.

Her hands all over his face. Brendan’s throat contorts in a
hard swallow. His eyes are wet.

Her hair, her hands all warm and gentle, touching him.

LAURA
I’m sorry Brendan.

Brendan breaks. In silent sobs first, then shivering with an
almighty release he cries like a baby in her arms.

THE FAN

94


Spinning above them.

Laura lights a cigarette. They lie beside each other.

LAURA
Don’t go tonight.

BRENDAN
I’ve got to make sure it plays out
smooth.

LAURA
It’ll play however it plays without you
there.

BRENDAN
I’ve got to make sure.

LAURA
Why?
BRENDAN
Cause if there’s war, I’m in it too.

LAURA
Well let’s just, I mean why not just run
away. Go somewhere. I’ve got a car.
(Brendan gives a wry look)
I’ve got an aunt in New Orleans, she
wouldn’t care.
(Brendan grins)
Yeah, it’s a stupid thing, but think
about it, why not? What, school? C’mon.
Family?

BRENDAN
Alright, stop.

Her smoke drifts into the fan.
LAURA
I wasn’t serious, but we could go for
awhile. Just until everything clears.

Brendan watches the smoke. She stubs the butt out in an ash
tray on the table and curls against his chest.

Stretching his arm across the table, he nonchalantly spins
the ash tray around with his finger.

His glasses lay on the table. Through the left lens the
cigarette is magnified. Pale blue arrow on the filter.

95


Laura’s arm stretches across his chest. He looks at it, then
up at the fan, spinning.

LATER

Brendan slips out of bed. A glowing clock radio reads
“3:16”.

INT. TUGGER’S LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

A swarm of silent activity. Tug’s flunkies prepare various
weapons. Brendan goes to Tug.

BRENDAN
Tell your boys no knuckle business.

TUGGER
They’re just ready.

BRENDAN
Your folks left a car here?
TUGGER
Yeah.

BRENDAN
Take it and Laura’s.
(Brendan tosses Tug the keys)
I’ll go first in yours.

TUGGER
The hell-

BRENDAN
I’ll take the scenic route to draw off
any tailers. They’ll think it’s you,
they might even radio back that you’re
alone. Get it?

TUGGER
Mr. Smarts.

He tosses Brendan his keys.

BRENDAN
Alright. Got a cigarette?

TUGGER
No. I don’t smoke.
BRENDAN
I’ve seen you smoke.

96


TUGGER
I don’t smoke cigarettes.

BRENDAN
Give me fifteen minutes, then go.

EXT. TUGGER’S HOUSE – NIGHT

Brendan slides into the black mustang and gutters off into
the night.

EXT. STREET – NIGHT

Overlooking a twinkling valley of suburban lights. Brendan
talks at a payphone beside the curbed mustang.

THE BRAIN
(on phone)
Yeah.


BRENDAN
Alright, I warned you. Can you get the
car?

THE BRAIN
Yeah.

BRENDAN
Go to 2014 Clancy, off Pico west of La
Grange. Park outside and wait. Laura’s
inside. She hasn’t got a car, but if she
blows on foot or gets a pick, tail her.
Alright?
(silence)
Alright?

THE BRAIN
Okay.
BRENDAN
I’ll call you when it gets light.
(silence)
Thanks, Brain.

CLICK, Brain hangs up.

EXT. FRONT OF PIN’S HOUSE – NIGHT

Brendan pulls the mustang into the driveway, limps up to the
front door and knocks. One of the Pin’s boys lets him in.

97


INT. KITCHEN – SAME

Crowded with tense looking punks, half dressed like the Pin
and half like Tugger. The Pin’s mom is shuffling about,
pouring them milk.

INT. BASEMENT HALLWAY – SAME

Several more punks from both camps crowd the hall, and more
lean in the darkened doorways. Brendan passes through
quickly.

INT. PIN’S DEN – SAME

The Pin at his desk, flanked by two of his boys. Tug sits in
the center of the room, two of his punks beside him. Brendan
saunters between them and leans against the dresser.

BRENDAN
Talk.
PIN
I want full assurance that any heat from
Emily and Dode is gonna be on just you.
I don’t even want my name pulled in the
shindig. Second, you owe me six Cs, no
rush, but I want your shake that it’ll
come home in not too much time.

Tug’s eyes burn, his scar reddens.

BRENDAN
(to Tug)
That’s square. You did them after all.
Lay low it’ll blow over. Stick on this,
one of you’ll dish it to bury the other
and you’ll both get the rap. As to the
six, did you borrow it?

TUGGER
Yeah.

BRENDAN
Then you owe it. Shouldn’t need a shake
on that.

Tug looks at the Pin.

TUGGER
Alright to both.

98


BRENDAN
Good. Let’s seal it up and blow for
keeps.

PIN
Third thing. The last brick.

Brendan looks up sharply, taken off guard.

BRENDAN
It’s yours.

PIN
That aint the point. I’m gonna start
selling it. How do I know it aint bad?

BRENDAN
Why would it be?

PIN
Why was the last one? Cause someone got
greedy. Tug here’s had the means to
swipe half and cut it bad for a long
time. Now we’re splits my loss of
trust’s retroactive.

BRENDAN
Did you, Tug?

TUGGER
(eyes hot on the Pin)
No.

BRENDAN
Alright, so let’s shake and blow.

PIN
Not good enough.

Tug shoots to his feet, kicking away his chair.
BRENDAN
What would be good enough?

PIN
I wanna see him dose it. Just to prove
it. Then we’re square.

TUGGER
Hell for that! I didn’t touch your junk,
that’s it.

99


PIN
I wanna see it.

TUGGER
To hell!

PIN
Your not wanting to dose it’s telling me
something right here.

TUGGER
Yeah, it better be! It’s telling that
I’m out from your thumb, that I aint
playing lapdog to no gothed up cripple
no more!

Everyone in the room is on their feet. Brendan steps
forward.

BRENDAN
I’ll dose it.

All eyes to him, unbelieving.

PIN
What?

BRENDAN
If it’ll shut you two apes up I’ll take
the dose, and if I don’t die we’re all
right as rain, and if I do die you two
have your war, so long as you keep it
off my grave. Deal?

PIN
Fine. Tangles.

BRENDAN
Johnny, go with him.
They go.

Tug just stares at Brendan, then tosses his hands up
slightly and turns away.

They all wait.

CRASH! from the next room. Everyone freezes. More breaking,
then scuffling and shouting.

The two punks look at their bosses, then run out. Tug starts
to follow, but Brendan holds him back.

100


The noise through the wall grows tremendous, a full brawl.
The ceiling pounds and shudders with footfalls and bodies
hitting the ground.

Then, from not too far away, a gunshot.

The Pin stands and goes towards the door, but Brendan shouts

BRENDAN (cont’d)
No!

and slams it shut. A few tense seconds.

Another gunshot. Footfalls, then Tangles falls through the
door, his chest red. The Pin bends over him.

TANGLES
(gasping)
The brick, it’s gone. The brick’s gone.

Tangles stops gasping.
The Pin stands, eyes blazing at Tug.

PIN
Make peace, huh? Talk it out? Get your
boys in my den soes you could snag it
under my nose?

Tug’s scar is fiery red. He coils his body, snarling.

TUGGER
Alright!

BRENDAN
No, that’s not-

PIN
Was it bad, Tug? Snag it so I don’t
know, or sell it off to flat the war
odds?

BRENDAN
(shouts)
Pin, think about it-

TUGGER
Alright, I did all that!
Tug blows past Brendan like a train and slams the Pin into
the ground with his fist. He punctuates his words with hard
straight blows into the Pin’s face.

101


TUGGER (cont’d)
I cut the brick, I stole the money, I
faked a peace, I snagged your junk, I
did it all!

He pulls the gun.

Brendan shouts and throws himself on Tug’s arm, wrenching it
sideways. The gun clunks onto the carpet.

The Pin flips Tug over and for a moment Brendan is caught
between them, hit and torn, rolling over the gun. Tug grabs
it, Brendan grabs his wrist and the gun goes off, firing
into the ceiling. Plaster sprays.

Brendan screams, thrashing wildly, and manages to slip out
of his bloodied jacket and out from between the two.

The Pin is on top, pinning Tug’s gun hand to the carpet,
straining to keep it there.

Brendan leaps to his feet, staggers, then winds up and kicks
Tug in the wrist with all his strength.

A terrible crunching popping sound. Tug roars. Brendan takes
the gun from his limp hand.

PIN
Do him!

Brendan backs off a few steps. The Pin strains to keep Tug
down.

PIN (cont’d)
Do him now!

Brendan stumbles back. Tug roars, flips the Pin over and
beats his face mercilessly.

Brendan stumbles out into the hall.
INT. BASEMENT HALLWAY – SAME

Empty. From the darkened doorways and the thin ceiling
relentless sounds of fighting.

Brendan walks backwards as if in a trance, eyes glued to the
Pin’s door. Inside wild shadows splay across the walls, and
the Pin shouts Brendan’s name.
Light flashes from another darkened doorway and the wall
beside Brendan splinters. Brendan spins on his heel and
fires three shots into the darkness, which falls silent.

102


He turns the gun back on the Pin’s doorway.

With a spray of sparks the doorway turns dark. They broke
the lamp.

The dark doorway looms up before Brendan, inky black.
Horrible sounds come from it, blows, breaking bone, screams.
The Pin screams Brendan’s name over and over, calling for
help. Pleading. Brendan steps back.

Time slows down. Brendan drops the gun.

It thunks on the carpet.

In one motion Brendan kicks the gun down the hall into the
Pin’s doorway, turns and runs into the room where he found
the brick.

INT. STORAGE ROOM

Dark. Brendan runs through, clawing past dark fighting
shapes, running like a man possessed. He breaks through the
darkness and heaves himself up through the small window.

EXT. FRONT OF PIN’S HOUSE – NIGHT

Brendan scrambles out, slips on the grass and hits the
ground hard.

Two sharp gunshots come from the house.

Everything is suddenly still. Brendan stands slowly.

He notices a light from the Mustang – the trunk has drifted
open.

Inside, a pale blue arm lies tangled in black plastic. Blue
fingernails. Cheap plastic bracelets.

Brendan shuts the trunk solidly, then walks off down the
street and vanishes into the inky night.

A moment later police cars pull up, sirens blaring, lights
turning the dark streets bright as day.

FADE OUT

FADE IN:

EXT. SCHOOL PAYPHONE – EARLY MORNING

The morning is cold and clammy. Brendan slumps against the
payphone.

103


BRENDAN
Hey. Where are you?

THE BRAIN
(on phone)
Library. Where are you?

BRENDAN
Did she blow last night?

THE BRAIN
No. Stayed there till six thirty, then
walked to school.

BRENDAN
You didn’t give her a ride, did you?

THE BRAIN
No.

BRENDAN
But she came straight to school from
Tug’s?

THE BRAIN
Yeah.

BRENDAN
She there now?

THE BRAIN
Yeah. Not with me, but here.

BRENDAN
Alright. Tell her I wanna meet up on the
basketball field in half an hour, then
go home and get some sleep.

THE BRAIN
Alright.
Brendan hangs up, then pauses, lost in thought.

EXT. SIDE OF GYM – LATER

Brendan sits against the massive gym building, writing on a
piece of looseleaf paper.

EXT. ADMINISTRATION BUILDING – LATER
Brendan slips the paper under a door stenciled “VP Offices”.

104


EXT. BASKETBALL FIELD – LATER

Cold, barren. Wind whistles softly and jangles the metal
mesh basketball nets like windchimes.

Brendan stands crookedly, hands in pockets, eyes trained on
the cold black horizon. A speck appears. Brendan waits for
it, bracing himself against the wind.

Laura. She puts her arms around him, a warm embrace. Brendan
draws back.

LAURA
(softly)
Did you see it all? With Tug and the
Pin?

Brendan looks at her a moment.

BRENDAN
No. I took your advice and didn’t go.

LAURA
(confused)
No?

BRENDAN
What happened?

Laura looks at him strangely, a little uneasy.

LAURA
The papers say six dead, three around
the house, one girl in the trunk of
Tug’s car, and the Pin and Tug.

Brendan’s face is frozen in an ambiguous frown.

BRENDAN
Yeah?
LAURA
Tug tried to shoot his way out when the
police got there. They tied him to Dode,
too. Same gun. And the girl.

BRENDAN
Huh.
LAURA
Well good thing you weren’t there.

105


BRENDAN
Yeah.

Laura’s face softens a bit.

LAURA
You think the girl was Emily?

BRENDAN
Probably.

Laura embraces him again, and doesn’t let go.

LAURA
You loved her.

BRENDAN
(distant)
Yeah I did.

LAURA
You did all this cause you loved her.
And now it’s finished.
(tightens her embrace)
I love you.

BRENDAN
No.

Laura pulls back, looks at his face. It is a mask.

LAURA
What?

BRENDAN
No, it’s not finished. Tug pulled the
trigger on Em and he got the fall, but
the bulls coulda found that out without
me.
Laura pulls back more.

BRENDAN (cont’d)
I set out to know who put her in the
spot, who put her in front of the gun.
That was you, angel.

LAURA
(drifting back further)
What are you talking about?

106


BRENDAN
It was you. What, you want the whole
tale? You want me to tell it to you?

LAURA
(bewildered)
Tell it to me.

BRENDAN
Alright, from the top. You had your
fingers in Brad Bramish for appearances
and to keep him buying from the Pin, who
you were hooked with. Emily came to you
and Brad, you saw her for what she was,
an insecure little girl trying to get
in. She goes on the backburner.
Meanwhile maybe you’re getting bored,
maybe just greedy, so when the Pin
scores big with the bricks you take your
shot. You hook one, take half, and cut
it back to size, but you cut it bad.
Maybe accidentally, maybe to down the
Pin’s operation, doesn’t matter. You put
it back, but poor Frisco doses off it
and lands in a coma.
(voice strengthening)
So now the Pin’s fuming, maybe he’s
jealous of Brad, so he comes to Brad’s
crowd looking for blood, or at least a
scape. You know trouble. There’s going
to be a war over this. And there’s
Emily. She trusts you. She wants in.
It’s duck soup.

LAURA
(murmurs)
No.

BRENDAN
You frame her for the bad brick, then
you cut her loose. You turn on your heel
and bite her in the throat. Last week on
the payphone, Pico and Alexander, she
saw something she was scared of. Tug’s
car driving by, the Pin driving, but she
wouldn’t have seen the Pin. No, she was
across the street, angel. She saw the
passenger side. She saw you. She saw you
and ran like she saw some devil.

Laura’s face is very still, quivering.

107


LAURA
Brendan, why are you-

BRENDAN
And she took the hit. Dode hid her away,
but the Pin was on to her, tracked her
down, told her to meet him, that they
would make good. Gave her a time, and a
place. And sent Tug. Just to get the
straight. But maybe you had talked Tug
up, or maybe he just blew a fuse, but Em
sprung it on him that she had her kid,
and he did what anyone could count on
Tug doing – he hit her. She took the hit
for you. You let her take it.

LAURA
Stop it!

BRENDAN
That’s the tale.

LAURA
Stop it!

BRENDAN
You’re going to tell me it’s not?



LAURA
It’s not!

BRENDAN
Look at me.

She crumples against him, looking him straight in the eye.

LAURA
You know me. I’ve only helped you. How
can you – It isn’t true!

She sobs through a tensed, straight face. Brendan holds her
stare, but his eyes are distant.

BRENDAN
I hope it isn’t. I want you to have been
on my side all along, not just trying to
get me under your thumb like Brad and
the Pin and Tug.

LAURA
No-

108


BRENDAN
But I think you knew that meeting was
going to blow up. I think that was your
final play. But I hope I’m wrong. I hope
everything I wrote in the note I dropped
at Gary Trueman’s office this morning is
wrong. About your and Brad’s involvement
in the Pin’s runnings. I hope you didn’t
steal the brick last night. In your
purse.

LAURA
(breathes)
I didn’t.

BRENDAN
That’s good. That means you didn’t let
me walk into a slaughterhouse. You
didn’t lead Tug and the Pin and their
crews to the slaughter. And when Trueman
reads the note, takes my cue and
searches your locker, he won’t find a
damn thing.

Something changes in Laura’s eyes.

EXT. LOCKER CAGE – INSERT

Trueman and several other men force Laura’s locker open.
From its dark interior the chalky white brick falls out,
spins through the air, and shatters silently on the locker
cage floor.

EXT. BASKETBALL FIELD – SAME

A moment of silence between them. The basketball nets
jangle.

Laura steps back. She looks as if she has been punched in
the face.

LAURA
(murmurs)
Brendan… don’t…

BRENDAN
(gently)
It’s done.

Her face does strange things, subtle contortions.
She watches his eyes. He doesn’t look at her. Her voice
shakes.

109


LAURA
Done. Well. That’s most of it. 9 out of
10. I told Em to tell Tug it was his.
Told her it would soften him up. She
said she wished she could keep it, but
she didn’t love the father. I was going
to drive her down the next day, we’d
found a doctor. Most wouldn’t. She was
starting to show. 3 months. You know
whose kid that makes it, or have you
known all along?

Slowly, steadily, she straightens up. Her figure takes back
some dignity. She steps towards him deliberately. Closer.
Right up against him.

She brings her head to his, puts her lips to his ear,
breathes warm breath, and says two words. The first is

LAURA (cont’d)
Mother-

the second is low, guttural and lost to the whistling wind.

She turns and walks briskly away.

Brendan watches her go across the dark, barren field of
asphalt.

Metal jangles. Brendan turns to see the Brain hopping a
chain link fence. Brendan turns his eyes back on Laura.

BRENDAN
You get your straight?

THE BRAIN
Yeah. I wouldn’t have-

BRENDAN
S’alright.

THE BRAIN
Yeah, well. Chuck Burns came to. The
knife guy. Spilled it all to the bulls,
guess Brad Bramish hired him. On his
own, just a grudge thing.

BRENDAN
(nods slightly)
Fits. You did good, Brain. Go sleep.

THE BRAIN
Yeah, you too.

110


The Brain starts to walk away, but turns back.

THE BRAIN (cont’d)
What’d she whisper to you?

BRENDAN
She called me a dirty word.


THE BRAIN
Alright, you don’t have to tell me.
Thick.

BRENDAN
As what-all.


Brendan stands alone on the asphalt field, watching
Laura until she reaches the end of the field and walks
off behind a twisted chain linked fence.


The first period bell rings, and Brendan walks back
towards campus.

FADE OUT.[amazonjs asin=”B000VKNMGI” locale=”JP” title=”BRICK‐ブリック‐ DVD”]



ads