This is an excerpt (first 20 pages) of a completed screenplay.

"Higher Than Usual" - screenplay by Derek Paterson. FADE IN: EXT. CITY - DAY Morning rush hour. Roads in and out of the city are choked with traffic. Hardly anything's moving. A chorus of HORNS as drivers lose patience. EXT. STRETCH OF NEW FREEWAY - DAY MADLY REVVING ENGINES interspersed with ear-splitting sounds of SHRIEKING METAL and multiple COLLISIONS... Two cars race side by side like competitors in a demolition derby. Above the ROAR of engines and the BANGS as they collide again and again, the drivers SCREAM at each other. Incoherent, primal rage sounds. In one car, a CATHOLIC NUN in traditional black habit with white headgear. In the other car, a mild-mannered BALD LITTLE GUY with glasses who could maybe become an assistant librarian if he took a "Boost Your Self-Confidence" correspondence course first. They glare at each other across the narrow gap. Mouthing obscenities. Neither willing to give way to the other. Their cars SMASH through lines of road maintenance barriers. The drivers don't even notice, they're so intent upon trying to kill each other. LOOKING AHEAD: the new freeway is incomplete, the road just ends with a sheer drop. Workers stare in amazement at the oncoming cars. What the hell, these crazies ain't going to stop! The workers drop tools and RUN FOR THEIR LIVES. The maniac drivers glance ahead and REALIZE... The two cars sail over the edge and plunge to destruction below. BLAM! Twin fireballs and columns of greasy smoke. No survivors. The workers slowly edge forward and look down. Then look at each other in disbelief. EXT. SKY SHOT - DAY The Sun is bloated and too bright. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2. RADIO ANNOUNCER (FILTERED) ...And as if the traffic situation in the city isn't bad enough, the temperature continues to rise. It's going to be a hot one, folks. Remember and put on your sun blocker. (beat) There have been several reports of angry confrontations across the city, as tempers fray and people encounter growing frustration... Loud, mindless electronic TRANCE MUSIC plays over the top of the radio announcement as we cut to... INT. MACAULEY'S APARTMENT - KITCHEN - DAY Monday morning breakfast with the Macauley family -- or most of it. Meet MARTIN MACAULEY, 40, a lower management exec who's reached the zenith of his career and knows it. His two kids, SARAH and DANNY, are with him. Sarah's in her early teens, just discovered boys; she'll soon be breaking hearts all over town. Danny is a couple years younger, more interested in electronic games than girls. The trance music comes from Sarah's personal stereo headphones, turned up real loud. MACAULEY What I like most about having you stay the weekend? The way my brain turns to mush. Sarah takes off her headphones. SARAH Look upon it as a musical education. MACAULEY I should tie you to a chair and make you listen to some real music. SARAH Don't tell me. The Eagles. Bob Dylan. MACAULEY Scared you might actually enjoy it? SARAH I'm scared of anyone who has ABBA's greatest hits in his CD collection. Macauley observes how slowly Danny is eating. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3. MACAULEY Hey Dan-o, stop chewing your food, shovel it in and gulp it down like a real man. Can't be late for school again. Your mom gets one more call from your teacher, she'll boil me in a pot. Danny eats faster. SARAH You make her sound like the Wicked Witch. MACAULEY Five bucks says you can't tell me who played the Wicked Witch in the movie. SARAH Do you have any idea what five bucks is worth these days? Make it twenty and I'll think about it. MACAULEY You just priced yourself out of the market, princess. I'll do the dishes. Go get your school things. Full kit inspection by the door in one minute. Sarah and Danny exit. Macauley piles the dirty dishes in the sink, on top of others already stacked up. Later! INT. MACAULEY'S CAR (MOVING) - DAY Cruising through Suburbia. Sarah's up front with Macauley, Danny's in the back seat playing with his Game Boy or similar electronic marvel. Beeps and buzzes from the device. Danny sways from side to side, avoiding deadly hazards. SARAH Couldn't you take the day off? Spend it at home with us? MACAULEY You mean you want to take a day off school so you can lie in bed damaging your eardrums. Not a chance. SARAH Aw, come on. We'd go see a movie or something. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4. MACAULEY You know I can't. Bills to pay, sweetie. SARAH Yeah, I know. MACAULEY Besides which. The Wicked Witch. SARAH Don't call her that! MACAULEY Oops, I forgot, sorry. SARAH Yeah, right. EXT. SCHOOL - DAY They pull up to the school entrance. The place is deserted aside from a handful of kids who've already been dropped off. The kids look lost and confused. There are no teachers or caretakers around. INT. MACAULEY'S CAR - DAY Macauley and Sarah look at each other, surprised. Danny's still lost in game heaven. MACAULEY What gives? Is school closed today? SARAH Nobody told me. MACAULEY (to Danny) Hey Dan-o, school holiday today? DANNY I wish. MACAULEY I'm not leaving you here if nobody's around. Call your mother. Tell her school's out, I'll drop you at the house. SARAH Why don't you call her? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5. MACAULEY I-I'm t-too s-scared. Sarah rolls her eyes. She pulls out her phone, punches in the number, waits for an answer. SARAH (into phone) Mom, it's me. We got a problem. Something's up with school. No teachers. (she listens) Mom, it's no joke. We're there right now. Some kids have been dropped off, they can't even get into the building. (she listens) Dad's got to go to work. Hold on. (to Macauley) She says she's going out this morning. MACAULEY I hope it isn't anything important. She offers Macauley her phone. SARAH You talk to her. With a sigh, Macauley takes the phone. MACAULEY (into phone) Look, it can't be helped. We'll be there soon. He hangs up, gives the phone back to Sarah. MACAULEY (CONT'D) There, that wasn't too hard, was it? SARAH Dad! MACAULEY What did I do? They drive away from the school. EXT. LAUREN'S HOUSE - DAY A two story McMansion in the suburbs. Macauley's car pulls up. Sarah and Danny get out. Their mother, LAUREN, comes out to meet them. Late 30s, attractive, hostile. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 6. Lauren ushers the kids inside. Sarah waves to Macauley, he waves back. Lauren approaches the car, looking none too happy. Macauley rolls down his window. He can feel the chill wind blowing. LAUREN What gives? My mother's here, we were going shopping together. MACAULEY Something's wrong at the school. Maybe you can give someone a call. I just didn't want to leave them there. LAUREN So you decided to dump them on me? A beat, as she realizes how that sounds. LAUREN (CONT'D) Forget I said that. You probably did the right thing. She turns and walks back to the house, goes inside, closes the door. No friendly wave for Macauley. Macauley stares thoughtfully at the house that was formerly theirs. He puts the car in gear and drives away. EXT. CITY STREETS - DAY Suburbia gives way to the business district. INT. MACAULEY'S CAR - DAY Macauley talks to his secretary BARBARA on his phone (the phone's clipped to the dash so his hands are free). MACAULEY (into phone) ...I worked on the expense estimates again last night. They're completely screwed. I'll have to have another meeting with Accounts and spell it out for them. BARBARA (FILTERED) You have a thirty-minute window just before lunch. Will I try to slot something in? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 7. MACAULEY (into phone) That's great. I'll be there soon. BARBARA See you then. He ends the call... ...And HITS THE BRAKES as a homeless BUM comes from nowhere and almost DIVES in front of him. The Bum collapses over the hood and BANGS on Macauley's windshield with his fists. He mouths obscenities at Macauley. Macauley locks his doors and rides out the storm. The Bum pushes off and lurches across the street, waving his arms like he's trying to shake off insects. MACAULEY Goddamn animal. He looks around. The street's deserted. MACAULEY (CONT'D) Never a cop around when you need one. He drives on. EXT. OFFICE BUILDING - DAY A chrome and glass temple. EXT. OFFICE BUILDING - PARKING LOT - DAY Macauley parks and gets out. He looks up at the sky, wipes his arm across his forehead. Man, it's hot. He takes off his jacket and drapes it over his arm. INT. RECEPTION DESK - DAY The receptionist, DONNA, 20s, smartly dressed, looks up as Macauley comes in carrying his briefcase. DONNA 'Morning, Mister Macauley. MACAULEY Hi Donna. Great weather we're having. She shivers as if she's freezing. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 8. DONNA I thought it was a little cold this morning. Macauley heads for the elevator, not even hearing her reply. He presses the button. INT. MAIN OFFICE AREA - DAY One of those infuriating "open plan" designs guaranteed to give zero privacy and maximum distraction. Management execs occupy glass-fronted goldfish bowl offices off the main area. Phones ring and people talk constantly. INT. OUTSIDE MACAULEY'S OFFICE - DAY BARBARA, 50s, pleasant yet formidable, sits at her desk outside Macauley's office. She looks up as Macauley arrives. BARBARA An exciting morning ahead. You have the weekly project meeting at nine. Team leader meeting at ten. Forecasting at ten-thirty. Accounts say they can make eleven but if that doesn't suit, how does four-thirty sound? MACAULEY Eleven is fine. How about coffee and bathroom breaks? BARBARA You don't have time. MACAULEY I was thinking maybe I could drink coffee on the run and pee into the empty cup when I'm finished. BARBARA As long as you don't expect me to get rid of it for you, no problem. MACAULEY I'll just pour it back into the coffee machine, no one will notice. INT. MACAULEY'S OFFICE - DAY Macauley switches on his PC. He opens his briefcase and takes out papers, spreads them across his desk. His PC beeps. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 9. Macauley types a password and opens his email. INSERT MACAULEY'S MONITOR: His email software says, "You have over 1,000 new mail items." The email subject lines include, Subject: DEATH IS UPON US Subject: DYING IS THE ONLY ANSWER Subject: EMBRACE GOD BEFORE ITS TOO LATE Subject: DO WE DESERVE TO LIVE? Subject: SUICIDE IS PAINLESS, JOIN ME BACK TO SCENE MACAULEY What the f--? Barbara enters. BARBARA I take it you've seen your mail? MACAULEY What is this junk? BARBARA It started flooding the system about an hour ago. Some of it's from outside, but most is internal. MACAULEY Another damn virus? BARBARA Can't say for sure. You ask me, it's a plea for help, some people around here need counseling. But we knew that already. She looks at the papers on his desk. BARBARA (CONT'D) I'm going to the Copier Room. Want me to take anything? Macauley gives her a couple of sheets. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 10. MACAULEY Just these. A dozen each for the Accounts meeting. Thanks. Barbara exits. Macauley picks up his phone, dials, waits for an answer. MACAULEY (CONT'D) (into phone) This is Martin Macauley in Technical Services. My mailbox is jammed with 1,000 new items, and most of them are junk. What can you do about it? INT. SYSTEMS SUPPORT ROOM - DAY A darkened, windowless computer room filled with hardware. MIKE, early 20s, wire-framed glasses, ponytail, your typical systems geek. MIKE (into phone) What do you mean, what can I do about it? You can still open your mailbox and process mail, can't you? INTERCUT MACAULEY Sure, I could spend the rest of my day deleting junk mail, but shouldn't you guys be doing something about it? MIKE Do you want me to close down your mailbox? MACAULEY No! I just want you to clean out the crap and leave the rest. MIKE There are two things stopping me from doing that. One, I have people calling me every minute of the day because they've forgotten their password, or because they don't know what they're doing, or because they're just plain stupid. Two, I have better things to do with my time than clean up your mess. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 11. MACAULEY What did you say your name was? MIKE I'm Mike. MACAULEY Who's your manager, Mike? MIKE Josh Allenby. He's on 2-1-6 just to save you from looking it up. MACAULEY Thank you. INTERCUT ends. Macauley hangs up then dials 2-1-6. He waits for an answer but no one picks up. He slams the phone down. MACAULEY (CONT'D) Shit. INT. SYSTEMS SUPPORT ROOM - DAY Mike types commands into his terminal, humming happily to himself. Slowly PAN AROUND until we see, lying on the floor, face down... a body. A pool of blood spreads out from the head. A computer keyboard lies nearby, the bloody murder weapon. INT. MACAULEY'S OFFICE - DAY Macauley exits his office, locking the door behind him. INT. OFFICE - COFFEE MACHINE - DAY Macauley drops coins into the slot, presses a button. The machine WHIRRS through its routine. DEXTER approaches, 30s, office clerk. His hair's mussed up, his breast pocket is ripped, his tie is askew. Macauley takes this all in, and smiles uncertainly. MACULEY Jesus, what happened to you? DEXTER We got one of them! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 12. MACAULEY One of who? DEXTER One of those bastards from Accounts. He tried to buy a coffee from our coffee machine. From our machine! We've got him in the john. He's not going to get away with it this time. Macauley smiles, Dexter must be joking. MACAULEY You feeling all right, Dex? Dexter draws himself up and gives Macauley a paranoid look. DEXTER Never felt better. Dexter exits to spread the good news. Macauley looks toward the men's room. Two male office workers hurry inside. The door swings shut behind them. Macauley glances around, not sure what's going on. He approaches the men's room... and stops. THUDS, GRUNTS, muffled YELLS from inside. Someone's taking a beating. Macauley backs off and returns to his office. His coffee cup sits in the coffee machine, forgotten. INT. MACAULEY'S OFFICE - DAY Just as he unlocks his office door, the sound of LAUGHTER reaches him. A crowd of office workers has gathered around a window. Macauley goes to investigate. MACAULEY What's going on? No one answers. Macauley pushes through the crowd and receives hostile, angry looks from everyone. He keeps pushing until he reaches the open window. MACAULEY'S POV: looking down into the parking lot. A computer system plus display and keyboard lie in an empty parking space. They look like they exploded. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 13. Macauley can't believe it. He looks at the office workers. They stare back at him, giving nothing away. MACAULEY (CONT'D) Who threw that system out the window? No answer. MACAULEY (CONT'D) I said, who threw that PC outside? The crowd appears resentful. MACAULEY (CONT'D) It's no use pretending you don't know. The system unit has a serial number. The owner can be traced. The crowd closes in around him, wordless and threatening. Slowly, steadily, they push him toward the window. Macauley tries to resist. They keep coming. There's no way he can stop so many people. BARBARA (O.S.) Mister Macauley? The crowd REACTS like kids with their hands caught in the cookie jar. They calm down and begin to disperse. Macauley pushes through at last until he's able to reach Barbara. BARBARA (CONT'D) The weekly project meeting, Mister Macauley. It's just about to start upstairs... Are you all right? Macauley's hot and flustered. He combs his fingers through his hair. Straightens his tie. MACAULEY Thanks, Barbara. BARBARA What on earth's going on, Mister Macauley? MACAULEY Can you call the Security desk for me, please? Tell them a window has been broken. And they'll find what's left of someone's PC in the parking lot. Barbara bursts out laughing. Then covers her mouth when she sees Macauley isn't laughing. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 14. BARBARA I'm sorry, Mister Macauley. You can't be serious? MACAULEY I am serious. Also ask them to check the men's room on this floor. Tell them I said so. Macauley exits, leaving Barbara puzzled. INT. MEETING ROOM - DAY Macauley enters. He's surprised to find only one guy sitting at the table. MACAULEY Are we early, or is everyone else late? The guy glares at Macauley and shakes all over with suppressed anger. He pushes his chair back violently so it topples over. He's so stressed he might just EXPLODE at any moment! He marches out of the room without saying a word. MACAULEY (CONT'D) Yeah, I love you too. Macauley sits alone for a short time, glancing at his watch and at the door, expecting people to arrive. INT. MAIN OFFICE AREA - DAY As before, but with far fewer people -- now less than half the staff are at their desks. Those who remain have their heads down. Hardly any phone calls now. As Maculey walks back to his office he attracts hostile glances. No one says anything, but there's an attitude in the air that makes Macauley uncomfortable and wary. INT. MACAULEY'S OFFICE - DAY Macauley picks up his phone, dials a number. No answer. Tries another number. No answer. Tries a third... MACAULEY (into phone) Jerry! Jerry, thank God someone's around. This place is starting to look like a ghost town. Hey, what's happening? How was your weekend? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 15. INT. JERRY'S OFFICE - DAY Macauley's buddy JERRY, same age, stares blankly ahead as if his eyes aren't in focus. Throughout what follows, Jerry's responses are flat, like HAL9000 on a bad day. JERRY (into phone) Hey Mac. Pretty much same as usual. Great weather we're having, isn't it? INTERCUT MACAULEY Sure. Hey, what happened to the nine o'clock meeting? Did someone cancel and forget to tell me? JERRY I don't know. MACAULEY Well, I was there, only nobody showed up. Just Anderson, and he walked out as soon as I sat down. What's with him? JERRY Is Anderson causing you problems? MACAULEY No, he's just behaving like an asshole, that's all. Nothing new there. JERRY He's from Systems Support, isn't he? MACAULEY He's got a serial port installed in the back of his head, so I guess he must be. Jerry, you know what just happened here? Some nutjob threw his PC out the window. JERRY Did you ask him why he did it? MACAULEY The hell with that, Security can do the asking, I'm not paid enough to deal with these people. Half are new contractors I don't even know. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 16. JERRY Maybe he had a good reason. Outside Macauley's office, Barbara returns to her desk. MACAULEY Yeah, right. Gotta go, Jerry. Talk to you over lunch, okay? JERRY Okay, Mac. They hang up. INTERCUT ends, stay with Jerry. The area outside his office is empty, chairs are overturned, papers scattered across the floor. Jerry stares blankly ahead as if all this is normal. INT. MACAULEY'S OFFICE - DAY MACAULEY Barbara, spare me a second? Barbara enters. MACAULEY (CONT'D) Where's everyone disappeared to? Is there a project meeting this morning? BARBARA If there is, nobody told me. MACAULEY Find out, will you? What did Security say about the window? BARBARA No one's answering. I'll try them again in a minute. She exits back to her desk. Picks up her phone, dials. MACAULEY'S MONITOR: he opens a new email... TO: SECURITY.DESK Security Desk FROM: MACAULEY.RM R. Martin Macauley, MGR SUBJECT: Damage to company assets BACK TO SCENE Macauley types feverishly. Halfway through, he looks up and notices Barbara's gone again. He continues typing. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 17. INT. MAIN OFFICE AREA - DAY It's deserted like the Marie Celeste. Macauley steps out of his office and looks around, puzzled. MACAULEY Barbara? No response. He locks his office door and walks up and down, looking in other offices. The whole place is empty. Greatly puzzled, he heads for the exit leading into... INT. HALLWAY - DAY Macauley looks left and right. No one in sight. He heads along the hallway. As he nears the doors at the end of the hallway we hear a hubbub of voices... angry, confused, shouting, pleading. Macauley stops. In the distance, the CRASH of breaking glass! Then a door SLAMS shut. We hear running FOOTSTEPS. Macauley takes a step back, not sure if someone's going to come charging through the doors. Then nothing -- no movement, no noise. Dead silence. Macauley stands absolutely still... then turns and runs back the way he came. INT. MAIN OFFICE AREA - DAY Macauley enters. He heads back to his office... and stops as a telephone RINGS on a nearby desk. He goes to the desk, snatches the receiver up. MACAULEY (into phone) Hello? (beat) Hello! He listens. No reply. He puts the phone down. After a couple of seconds it RINGS again. He angrily snatches the receiver up and hears... TELEPHONE VOICE (FILTERED) You have to get me out of here. They're coming... (beat) Oh, my God. (beat) Get out! Get out while you can! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 18. DEAD TONE. Macauley hangs up. He looks around, wondering if this is some crazy joke. MACAULEY (shouts) Hey, is anyone there? He spins round-- DEXTER stands with a dozen other office workers who all stare at Macauley, who doesn't dare move. Every man bears fresh scars and wounds, still bleeding. Their clothing's ripped, their hair's mussed up. DEXTER Where were you when we needed you? MACAULEY What happened? DEXTER Aren't you one of us any more? Macauley swallows hard. And lies-- MACAULEY Of course I am! Dexter and the other office workers relax and grin. MACAULEY (CONT'D) What happened to you? DEXTER We got those bastards from Accounts. Some got away, but we'll hunt them down. Teach them they can't use our coffee machine. Macauley nods; he's obviously dealing with lunatics. One of the office workers whispers into Dexter's ear. DEXTER (CONT'D) Harris had problems logging on this morning. The office worker nods confirmation. DEXTER (CONT'D) We've had enough. We're not going to take any more. MACAULEY Any more what? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 19. DEXTER Password problems. Terminal problems. Network problems. The office workers nod agreement and GROWL angrily. DEXTER (CONT'D) Systems Support think they can dick us around. Pull the plug whenever they like. Make fools of us. Not any more. We're going to get them, like we got those bastards from Accounts. The office workers bare their teeth. One picks up a chair and throws it. Another sweeps a PC and monitor off a desk. They're working themselves into a frenzy. DEXTER (CONT'D) Are you with us? MACAULEY Damn right! DEXTER Let's go get them! Dexter and the CHEERING workers sweep past Macauley, taking him along with them. Like it or not, he's part of the mob. INT. HALLWAY - DAY The mob heads for the stairs. Other workers join them from adjoining areas. No words are spoken -- it's as if the other workers know exactly what's happening. The crowd swells in size. Macauley looks around for a way out of this but they're all around him, he's trapped, he has to go with the flow. INT. STAIRWAY - DAY The mob climbs upstairs, Macauley with them. A strange kind of CHANTING begins -- an incoherent "HUH HUH HUH" sound repeated over and over. A primitive tribal sound. INT. SYSTEMS SUPPORT AREA - DAY The mob bursts out of the stairway, looking for a fight! A battle erupts as support geeks run out of their offices and charge the mob. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 20. They're armed with chairs, heavy manuals, computer keyboards, anything they can get their hands on. The two groups TEAR INTO EACH OTHER, displaying a primitive and terrifying ferocity. SCREAMING, HOWLING, CHANTING, YELLING. Macauley, terrified, slides along the wall while the fight rages all around him. An enraged geek reaches for him, but Dexter and other office workers grab the geek, drag him down and proceed to kick him to death. Macauley reaches the door. Pushes through... INT. STAIRWAY - DAY Macauley runs downstairs, leaving the sounds of fighting behind. The noise fades... INT. LANDING - DAY He stops on the landing. Looks through a door's frosted window. Cautiously opens the door. INT. HALLWAY - DAY He creeps along the hallway, looking back over his shoulder. Somewhere in the distance a telephone RINGS constantly. No one answers. INT. MACAULEY'S OFFICE - DAY Macauley runs inside, grabs his car keys out of his briefcase and exits fast. His PC BEEPS. MACAULEY'S MONITOR: his email software flashes a new message, he now has OVER 2,000 NEW MAIL ITEMS. INT. HALLWAY - DAY Macauley hurries toward the elevator. He presses the button several times and looks both ways along the hallway. PING! The elevator arrives, the doors slide open. He steps inside without looking... and recoils in horror when he sees what's waiting for him. Barbara hangs from the neck by a knotted cluster of MEN'S TIES of various colors and patterns that form a makeshift noose attached to the overhead vent grill. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 21. The elevator's motion causes her to slowly turn around until we see her face... battered, bloody, horribly bloated. Macauley stumbles back into the hallway and collapses against the wall, gasping. The elevator doors slide shut. Holding onto the wall, he follows the FIRE EXIT signs to the nearest stairs. He reaches the door, pauses to look through the frosted glass window. INT. STAIRWAY - DAY From the other side of the window, Macauley's distorted face looks through. He pushes the door open an inch, and listens. Doesn't hear anything. Opens it some more... He freezes when he hears the sound of clicking FOOTSTEPS. He pulls back, afraid. A female office worker comes running downstairs. She takes the stairs fast as if she's being chased, but no one comes after her. She vanishes... her footsteps fade. Macauley waits a moment, then opens the door, steps through. He descends, pausing every few steps to look and listen. He reaches the next landing down and hurries past the door. Heading down... INT. RECEPTION DESK - DAY Macauley walks past the empty reception desk. On the way he passes a door that leads to a private staff bathroom. The door lies open a few inches. Donna lies on the bathroom floor, skirt hitched up, pantyhose torn. Blood's spattered on the bathroom floor and walls. Macauley stares in horror. FOOTSTEPS make him spin round. Two men with blood-spattered shirts skid to a stop and stare at him, wild-eyed and panting. Macauley raises his keys as a makeshift weapon. MACAULEY Stay back from me! Don't come any closer! He retreats toward the exit. They stare after him, but don't follow. Macauley stumbles through the door and outside... -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 22. EXT. OFFICE BUILDING - PARKING LOT - DAY Macauley heads for his car. He unlocks it, climbs in, slams the door and locks it. INT. MACAULEY'S CAR - DAY Relief washes over him. No sign of anyone following... BANG! Something heavy hits the car roof and bounces off. He doesn't want to look, but has to... He opens his door and looks back-- HIS POV - a woman's body lies on the ground, arms and legs twisted by the impact. Macauley looks up at the office tower. She must have fallen from one of the windows above. He puts a foot out of the car, intending to check the body... but changes his mind. He starts the engine and drives out of there fast. INT. MACAULEY'S CAR (MOVING) - DAY Macauley drives through deserted streets. There's no other moving traffic in sight, just cars at the side of the road, some with their doors lying open, abandoned. No sign of any pedestrians either. He's not just puzzled, he's scared. He takes out his phone, clips it onto the dash, hits a button. RINGING tone... INT. LAUREN'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY Sarah picks up the ringing phone. SARAH (into phone) Hello? INTERCUT MACAULEY Sarah, it's Dad. SARAH Hey, Dad. You forget something? MACAULEY No, I'm... (MORE) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 23. MACAULEY (CONT'D) (beat) Yes, I forgot something. Is she there? Can I talk to her? SARAH You can say her name, you know. The sun won't fall out of the sky. Hold on. Sarah passes the phone to Lauren. LAUREN To what do I owe this pleasure? MACAULEY I have had one hell of a morning. You wouldn't believe-- LAUREN I'm sorry, you'll have to speak up, I can't hear you. It sounded like you imagine we're still married. Sarah looks unhappy but doesn't say anything. MACAULEY Lauren, listen to me. Something funny is going on. And I do mean funny. Is everything okay with you? LAUREN If that means, have I been seeing someone else since our divorce, the answer is yes. MACAULEY Dammit, that's not what I asked. Is everything okay with you and the kids? Where's Dan-o? LAUREN Danny is-- Macauley HITS THE BRAKES! MACAULEY'S POV: looking across the street, into a doorway. Something's lying there. It could be a body. Whatever it is, it's slowly DRAGGED into the deeper shadows of the doorway until it disappears. Macauley drives on. Phone conversation continues. MACAULEY Jesus. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 24. LAUREN I said Danny's next door with Mom. What the hell's wrong with you? MACAULEY What's wrong with me? I'm driving through empty streets, that's what's wrong with me. LAUREN You're not making any sense. (beat) Have you been drinking? MACAULEY For Christ's sake, no, I haven't... He takes a breath. Calms himself. MACAULEY (CONT'D) Actually, I haven't had a drink since you threw me out. Can you believe that? The shock made me teetotal. LAUREN I don't want to have this conversation. Can I go now? Do you want to talk to Sarah again? INTERCUT ends. Macauley HITS THE BRAKES again! And stares ahead... A car sits right in the middle of the street, its windshield smashed. Macauley looks closer and sees a blonde girl sitting in the front passenger seat, her head bowed. Macauley stares. Not sure what to do. LAUREN (FILTERED) Mac? Mac, are you still there? MACAULEY (into phone) Listen, I'll talk to you soon. Stay in the house, will you? It's important. Keep the kids in the house. EXT. CITY STREET - DAY Macauley gets out his car (he leaves the engine running). He looks around as he approaches the other car. The street's deserted. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 25. INSERT: views of nearby buildings. No people, no movement. Macauley reaches the car. Opens the passenger door-- --and jerks back as the girl (ALICIA, 14) screams and thrashes. She's terrified! He retreats several steps. MACAULEY Hey! Hey, it's okay! I'm not going to touch you! She calms down and stares at him, suspicious. MACAULEY (CONT'D) Are you on your own? Is there anyone with you? ALICIA Leave me alone! MACAULEY That's a good idea! Who was driving? Who was driving your car? ALICIA My dad. MACAULEY Where is he? ALICIA They took him! MACAULEY Who took him? Alicia brings her knees up and curls into a frightened ball. Macauley looks around again. Still no one else in sight, no movement anywhere. MACAULEY (CONT'D) Is he going to come back? No answer. MACAULEY (CONT'D) Is your dad going to come back for you? ALICIA Just leave me alone. MACAULEY Look, maybe you should come with me. (MORE) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 26. MACAULEY (CONT'D) I can take you home. Or drop you off anywhere you like. Okay? ALICIA Get lost, you pervert! MACAULEY Hey, I've got a daughter your age. She'd go nuts if she heard you say that. Alicia softens. Maybe he isn't a perv after all. MACAULEY (CONT'D) Trust me, you get to my age, the only things you're interested in are food and TV. All I'm doing is offering you a lift home. If you think your dad's coming back for you, that's okay, stay and wait for him. Alicia doesn't respond. MACAULEY (CONT'D) You have to give me a yes or a no. I'm not hanging around here all day. Still no answer. Macauley shrugs. MACAULEY (CONT'D) Have it your own way. He turns and walks back to his car. Behind him, Alicia gets out. She looks up and down the street, then follows Macauley. They reach opposite sides of his car at the same time. ALICIA Do you know where Greenglades is? MACAULEY I think so. It's not too far off my route. That where you live? ALICIA Yes. Swear to God you won't do anything vile to me? MACAULEY I swear to God I won't do anything to you, anything at all, except drop you off at your house. I won't even stop for pizza. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 27. Alicia almost smiles. They both get in the car. INT. MACAULEY'S CAR - DAY MACAULEY I'm just thinking... ALICIA I knew it. MACAULEY Maybe you should leave a note for your dad. So he knows you're OK. Alicia shakes her head. ALICIA That's okay. MACAULEY What d'you mean it's okay, if he comes back here and you're missing he'll worry about you. She looks at him, eyes deep-set and filled with pain. ALICIA He's not coming back.


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