Short screenplay for the 2017 Halloween contest. BRILLIANT DISGUISE FADE IN: EXT. SUBURBAN HOUSE - GARDEN - NIGHT Decorated for Halloween, carved pumpkins, grinning plastic skeletons, fake spider webs, spooky orange lighting. Two rustic scarecrows with pumpkin heads sit together on a bench, a larger man with his arm around a smaller woman, their heads touching. Kinda romantic. CLOSE UP OF THE HOLLOW PUMPKIN HEADS reveals very unhappy human faces inside. Eyeballs rolled up, lips turned down. The people wearing the pumpkin heads are dead. CAMERA FLASHES light up the dead couple. DETECTIVE JERRY DONNER has seen it all before, nothing upsets him any more. He puts a cancer stick between his lips and flicks his lighter. MEDICAL EXAMINER BO NILES gives Donner a sour look. Niles wears a crime scenes snowsuit (white plastic coverall) and has the camera. NILES Jesus Christ Donner I told you a thousand times, no smoking around crime scenes. DONNER I'll put it out if they object. You figure out what killed them yet? Donner looks around, his eyes taking in every detail of the garden, the house. NILES I only just got here, but if I had to guess? Cardiac failure caused by ingestion of poison. Donner raises a surprised eyebrow, color him impressed. DONNER How'd you figure? NILES No visible knife or bullet wounds. Which makes me think it could be poison or barbiturates. I'll have to run-- Niles breaks off, stares at a little girl (ALICE) who has appeared nearby, dressed as a witch. She carries a goodies bag and trails a broom behind her. Alice looks from Donner to Niles, then stares at the couple on the bench. Her forehead crinkles into a frown as thoughts form in her head. Donner notices her. DONNER Hey, how'd she get past the tape? (to girl) What the hell are you doing here? Alice jerks her head back over her shoulder. ALICE I live next door. Are they dead? NILES You shouldn't be here, honey. Don't come any closer. DONNER You know them? ALICE Sure. Mr. and Mrs. Warwick. Her name's Melissa and he's Andy, though she calls him Spud. NILES Go home and tell your mom the police are here and we're taking care of Melissa and Andy. DONNER When was the last time you saw the victims alive? NILES Jesus, Donner. ALICE This morning. Melissa said I should come over tonight. She said she had candy for me. DONNER Okay, you can go. But don't leave town, I might want to ask you some more questions later. Alice stares at the dead couple for a moment longer, feeling something. She turns around and trudges away, head bowed. She disappears behind a hedge. NILES I'm going to complete my examination of the scene, then get these nice people back to the lab so I can see if my guess is right. Maybe there are some more kids you can terrify while I'm doing that? DONNER Little bitch wasn't terrified, she was bummed she didn't get her candy. NILES Hey, you think maybe she was here already but they didn't give her enough, that's why she killed them? DONNER Right now that's the best theory I've got. If it's poison, I want to know what type and where I'd buy some. NILES All part of the service, Detective Donner. DONNER You check inside? NILES C.S.I. Hammond is doing that now. Donner gives the bench a wide berth as he heads for the house. NILES (CONT'D) Don't scare her. INT. HOUSE - HALLWAY - NIGHT Donner enters, looks around, heads into-- INT. HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT Couch and chairs have been pushed to the edge of the room, clearing the varnished wood floor. A big five-pointed star has been painted, in red, on said floor. CSI MILLY HAMMOND, wearing a snowsuit, is examining the star with a UV flashlight. Milly's backstory is unimportant right now but she is an attractive woman and Donner knows this. DONNER Blood? MILLY Red paint, interior gloss. I can tell you the manufacturer and where and when it was purchased. DONNER That's damn clever C.S.I. work. MILLY The paint tin's in the next room and there's a receipt from a local hardware store on the kitchen table. Are you smoking at a crime scene? Donner holds up his cigarette. DONNER I can tell you the manufacturer and where and when it was purchased. So you can distinguish my ash from all the other ashes you find. So what's with the star? MILLY It's a pentagram. Often linked to occult rituals. The five points represent the four elements, water, fire, earth and air, and the fifth which is the spirit, or life. DONNER Like that Bruce Willis movie. MILLY Die Hard? DONNER Leeloo Dallas multipass. MILLY Leeloo what? DONNER Why would anyone paint a pentagram on their living room floor? It's a nice floor. MILLY Damned if I know. That's taking this Halloween thing a little too far, you ask me. DONNER You checked out the rest of the house? MILLY Not in detail. Uniform did a room to room. I'll work through them all, see what turns up. DONNER What's your theory? MILLY I dunno. Could be a killer with a really weird sense of humor. Or it could be a suicide pact. What about you? Any thoughts forming? DONNER Might be a sex game gone wrong. MILLY They had air holes, they'd still be able to breathe. DONNER What if you stretched food wrap around the pumpkins, then took it off again once they were dead? Asphyxiation, no obvious cause. MILLY If I find food wrap in the kitchen, I'll let you know. DONNER Andy and Melissa Warwick. She called him Spud. MILLY That's damn clever detective work. DONNER We do our best. Donner turns and exits back outside. EXT. SUBURBAN HOUSE - FRONT DOOR STEPS - NIGHT Donner throws his cigarette into some flower bushes. He becomes aware that Alice stands nearby, watching him. DONNER You're not supposed to be here. ALICE Clarence didn't want Melissa to give me candy, he said it was all for him. DONNER Who's Clarence? Alice circles a finger beside her head. Donner's eyes widen in realization-- INT. HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT Milly enters, picks up a receipt from the kitchen table, reads it. ACME HARDWARE STORE - YOUR RECEIPT - some numbers - THANK YOU CLARENCE MILLY Andy and Melissa... The FRIDGE, which is not really a fridge, it's a MAN (CLARENCE) wearing painted boxes so he LOOKS like a fridge, comes alive behind Milly. Milly's face is suddenly covered in food wrap! Clarence tugs hard, cutting off her air. CLARENCE You're not taking my candy, you bitch! Milly chokes and struggles but it's no good... can't... breathe! Clarence's eyes flick left. Then widen in surprise. Donner's in the kitchen doorway, looking over the barrel of his gun. DONNER Freeze! Clarence spins Milly around and pushes her at Donner and makes a desperate box-legged run for the back door. BLAM! Donner hits him in the leg box, Clarence the Fridge- Man falls, wailing. Donner steadies Milly and unwraps the food wrap. DONNER (CONT'D) You okay? MILLY I am now. Jesus, is that...? DONNER Yep. It's a man disguised as a fridge. Pretty clever disguise, you ask me. MILLY You saved my life. DONNER We do our best. Dinner later? MILLY Not in a million years, Donner. But thanks for asking. Footsteps -- NILES and a uniformed COP come running in. They skid to a stop, seeing Clarence on the floor. Clarence whimpers. NILES You got this? Donner lights a smoke. DONNER I got it. MILLY Why did he paint a pentagram on the living room floor? Donner circles a finger beside his head. DONNER Maybe the voices in his head made him do it. INT. HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT Looking down at the red pentagram. The five-pointed star GLOWS. The glow fades. It's just a painted pentagram again. FADE OUT Nov 2017

Top of page
Back to Short Screenplays
Back to Script Samples
Back to my web page