Short screenplay from the Done Deal Halloween 2014 contest. "Echoes In The Mist" FADE IN EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - NIGHT Misty, poor visibility. The sound of an approaching CAR ENGINE gets louder. Headlights bathe the road and the trees on either side. SCREECHING TIRES. AN ALMIGHTY BANG. The unmoving headlights continue to bathe the trees. The car engine noise abruptly stops. A low-budget car crash. EXT. SCOTTISH COUNTRY FARMHOUSE - NIGHT The only house for miles, set among dark, bleak moors. Chinks of light visible at the windows. They're what attracts ADAM, a young American tourist who staggers towards the farmhouse, injured. God but it takes him forever to navigate the uneven path, and then he's at the door. He can hardly hold himself up. He BANGS weakly on the door with his fist. A window curtain is pulled aside. JOSEPH, white bearded, stares out at Adam with suspicious eyes. Adam waves feebly. ADAM Help... need some help here! BOLTS are pulled, the door CREAKS open. Joseph looks Adam up and down. He's a damn mess, clothing torn, face and hands bloody. JOSEPH What's happened to ye? ADAM I had an accident. Joseph points off into the night. JOSEPH The hospital is that way. ADAM Jesus you gotta be kidding me, my car's a total wreck. Don't you have a phone? MAGGIE appears behind Joseph, much younger, could be his daughter. Her gaze searches the night before coming to rest on Adam. MAGGIE We dinna have a phone. ADAM For Christ's sake, how can you not have a phone! He slumps against the wall, exhausted. That was his last spark of energy, used up. MAGGIE Help him inside! Joseph gives her a look that says ARE YOU SURE? Maggie nods quickly, YES DO IT. Joseph pulls Adam's arm around his neck and takes his weight, he walks him into the house, holding him up. Maggie closes the door behind them. INT. SCOTTISH COUNTRY FARMHOUSE - NIGHT Joseph deposits Adam in the bigger of two high-backed chairs facing the fire burning in the grate. MAGGIE Ask him what happened. Maggie disappears into the kitchen. JOSEPH Are you awake, lad? Adam opens his eyes. ADAM Yeah. JOSEPH What happened? ADAM My car. I swerved off the road. Hit a goddamn tree. JOSEPH That wasn't so clever. ADAM I didn't mean to do it! Maggie returns with a bowl of water and a clean kitchen towel. MAGGIE I'm going to clean your face, all right? ADAM I can do that. MAGGIE Dinna be daft. How can you when you can't see your face? She cleans his face and hands. Adam lets it happen, watching her while she works. She ignores his scrutiny. JOSEPH He drove into a tree. MAGGIE That wasn't so clever. ADAM What are you, a comedy double act? Maggie finishes up and turns to go back to the kitchen. She holds Joseph's gaze for a second. He nods and sighs. Maggie exits to the kitchen. ADAM You really don't have a phone? JOSEPH Was it just you? ADAM Was it just me, what? JOSEPH Were you traveling alone? Was there anyone else in your car? ADAM No, yeah, I was alone. JOSEPH That's an interesting accent you have. ADAM I'm an American. My name's Adam Harrington, I'm from Pennsylvania. Joseph chuckles. JOSEPH A Yank, is it? Overpaid, oversexed, and over here! ADAM Very funny. That's seventy years out of date, by the way. Is she your daughter? JOSEPH Was anyone else involved in your wee argument with the tree? ADAM I didn't see any other cars, if that's what you mean. And before you ask, I was driving on the right side of the road. The left side, that is. On the left. Joseph stares at Adam, his brows furrowing. Serious. JOSEPH Did you see anyone else? Maggie stands in the kitchen doorway, arms folded, watching Adam, who becomes guarded. ADAM I don't know what you mean. No, I didn't see anyone. JOSEPH Think, now. You've had a nasty experience. Maybe it rattled your brain. Made you forget things. ADAM I didn't hit my head! I fell when I got out the car. Ended up in a ditch. MAGGIE You'll have to go and look. That was directed at Joseph. He nods, sighs, and heads for the front door, taking his coat off a hook. ADAM What, why do you need to look? Joseph shrugs his coat on, opens the door and exits, closing it behind him. ADAM Why does he need to look? It's like I said. I hit a tree. I was alone in the car. MAGGIE Would you like a cup of tea? ADAM You can tell me why he's-- Yes that would be nice. Thank you. MAGGIE The kettle will be boiling in a minute. ADAM Why don't you have a phone? MAGGIE We don't want one. We don't have a television either. ADAM Are you some kind of, I don't know, Scottish Amish people? MAGGIE You look shaken up, Mr. Harrington. You should see a doctor. You'll stay here with my father. I'll go to the farm down the road and use their telephone. It's not far. ADAM God, I'm sorry for putting you to so much trouble. MAGGIE You're not. ADAM I guess my date's going to be stood up. MAGGIE Your date? ADAM I met a Scottish girl. Don't laugh. On the internet. You know what that is? MAGGIE Just because we don't have a telephone doesn't mean I'm stupid. ADAM Sorry! Jesus, I didn't mean to insult you. MAGGIE Do all Americans blaspheme as much as you do? ADAM Most of us don't. I'll try to keep it under control. MAGGIE Is that why you're here? To meet this girl on the internet? ADAM Yeah. Does that sound weird? MAGGIE In the old days people used the lonely hearts column in the newspapers. They had to wait days for a response, if any. What's weird about getting to know someone in real-time? ADAM I'm sorry for assuming... Let's just go with I'm an idiot, okay? MAGGIE You were going to meet her tonight? ADAM We were going to meet at a Halloween party! Of all the stupid God-damn things to happen-- Sorry. MAGGIE I'll get your tea. Maggie exits into the kitchen. Adam looks around. Old display cases contain China plates, ornaments, little figurines. Framed B/W photos of what could be a younger unbearded Joseph with a woman his own age, and a young girl. Maggie? Adam closes his eyes, relaxes in front of the fire. Joseph enters just as Maggie brings the cup of tea. A look passes between them. Adam can't help but notice. ADAM What? Maggie offers him the cup, he takes it. Joseph takes off his coat and hangs it on the hook. ADAM It's like I said, isn't it? Just my car. I wasn't even driving that fast. JOSEPH Aye, just like you said. MAGGIE I'll go to the Armstrongs and call the doctor. I won't be long. JOSEPH All right. ADAM Thanks. I mean really, thanks. MAGGIE Do you have her phone number? It takes a moment, then Adam catches on. He fumbles in his pocket. Maggie offers to hold his cup of tea while he looks. Adam brings out his wallet, opens it, searches, finds a folded piece of paper. ADAM Her name's Fiona. He gives her the paper, she gives him the cup of tea. MAGGIE I'll tell her you're all right. And you'll call her when you can? ADAM That would be great. I really owe you for this. Maggie puts her coat on. MAGGIE You owe us nothing, we'd do the same for anyone. Just rest until I get back. At the door, she pauses. She looks back at Adam. MAGGIE You saw her, didn't you? Adam looks at Maggie, he's about to deny it-- MAGGIE Tell me. Did you see her? ADAM She came right out in front of me. I just couldn't not hit her. Adam looks away, filled with painful memories. ADAM I thought she must be underneath the car. That's how I got hurt. But when I moved it, nothing. Maggie shakes her head, no. MAGGIE She's been dead ten years now. She exchanges a sad look with Joseph. Then says softly, MAGGIE That's why we don't have a telephone. She keeps calling. She won't leave us alone. Or a television. We'd be watching something and there she is, in the background, waving. Asking us to join her. Adam gapes, hardly able to believe it. Maggie exits, closing the door behind her. ADAM This is a joke, right? Joseph sadly shakes his head. JOSEPH I only wish it was. I'll get us something stronger to drink, eh? Joseph exits into the kitchen. A gust of wind blows. The fire abruptly goes out. Adam stares at the suddenly dark grate, puzzled. Joseph returns, with a whisky bottle and two glasses. He stops and stares at Adam's empty chair. FADE TO BLACKNESS

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