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

     "Lake Pensive" - screenplay by Derek Paterson.

     FADE IN:


     Looking out over calm waters.  Above, the clear night sky
     is ablaze with stars.

     SUPER:  New England, 1641.

     Two Native Americans (let's call 'em BIG GUY and LITTLE
     GUY) squat by their camp fire, wearing rawhide leggings
     and fur cloaks.  Little Guy cooks a rabbit on a stick.
     They speak their own language, with subtitled English.

                           LITTLE GUY
               You're telling me you killed a

                           BIG GUY
               I didn't say I killed a bear.  I
               said killing a bear isn't hard.

                           LITTLE GUY
               How can you say that when you
               haven't killed a bear?

                           BIG GUY
               Just because I haven't done
               something, that doesn't mean I
               don't know how hard it is.

     Switch to plain English, no subtitles.

                           LITTLE GUY
               What if a bear ran into our camp
               right now?  How would you kill it?

                           BIG GUY
               I'd make sure it got hold of you
               first.  While it was busy eating
               you, I'd find a big rock, and climb
               the tallest tree.

                           LITTLE GUY
               You'd kill it with the rock?

                           BIG GUY
               How lucky do you think I am?  I'd
               stun it with the rock.  Then I'd
               place the point of my spear over
               its throat, and lean upon my spear
               with all my weight.  Afterwards,
               I'd praise our ancestors for giving
               me such a gift.  I'd skin the bear
               and wash the skin in the lake.
               Such a skin would attract the eye
               of every young woman in our village.

                           LITTLE GUY
               Will you tell them I helped you
               get the bear skin?

                           BIG GUY
               If they ask, yes.

     IN THE SKY ABOVE, a star suddenly shifts position.  Becomes
     brighter.  Getting closer.  It's not a star at all...

     Little Guy notices the shifting light.  He stares at it,
     curious.  Big Guy wonders what Little Guy is looking at,
     and turns round just as--

     The "star" comes hurtling down out of the sky and splashes
     into the lake, sending up a tall water spout.  The entire
     lake ripples and a low RUMBLING noise fills the air.

     Big Guy and Little Guy scramble for their spears.  They
     look at each other, look at the lake, look at each other.
     They're seriously spooked but try not to show it.  The
     rumbling noise recedes, and the lake grows calm.

                           LITTLE GUY
               The spirits are angry.

                           BIG GUY
               It must be something you said.

                           LITTLE GUY
               We should leave this place.

     They gather their stuff and run into the trees, away from
     the lake.  The rabbit continues to cook over the fire,

     A huge wave from the lake washes right up to the camp and
     over the fire.  The water recedes, leaving one damp rabbit.


     Somewhere in the depths of the lake a light glows briefly,
     then goes out.

                                                     FADE OUT:

     TITLE:  New England, Present Day.

     FADE IN:


     A rabbit on a stick cooks over his camp fire.  Tended by
     JAKE, 30s, has the "Rambo" look, prefers the woods to
     civilization.  Jake doesn't know it, but Big Guy and Little
     Guy camped in exactly the same place centuries before.

     Jake tenses as the unmistakable DOUBLE-CLICK of a revolver
     being cocked reaches him.  He slowly raises his hands above
     his head, then turns around to see--

     SHERIFF BOB LEECH, 60, steps out of the bushes, his gun
     pointed at Jake.

               I ain't doing nobody no harm.

                           SHERIFF BOB LEECH
               I told you to move on.

               I'll be gone by morning.  That
               soon enough for you?

     Leech doesn't like Jake's attitude one bit.

                           SHERIFF BOB LEECH
               Stand up.

     Jake stands up.  Knows some unpleasantness might be coming.

                           SHERIFF BOB LEECH
               Give me one good reason why I
               shouldn't shoot you?

               I can't give you a reason why you
               should shoot me.  So I'm sleeping
               out in the open, so what?  Campers
               do it all the time.

     Leech thinks about it.  He uncocks his gun, slips it back
     into his holster.

                           SHERIFF BOB LEECH
               Come morning, you're gone.  You
               understand what I'm saying?  And
               if you go anywhere near those

     Leech points across the lake, to where cabin lights shine.

                           SHERIFF BOB LEECH
               ...I'll bury you myself, right
               where you're standing.  Count on

     Leech exits into the bushes, leaving Jake alone.

               Appreciate your hospitality, Sheriff
               Bob Leech.

     Jake squats down and tends to his cooking rabbit.

                                                  DISSOLVE TO:

     The rabbit's been eaten, the fire's gone down a little.

     Jake RIFTS with satisfaction and licks his fingers.  He
     pulls out a whisky bottle and takes a long drink.  He
     settles down for the night, throwing a couple more sticks
     onto the fire.


     Looking toward shore.  From a distance, we see Jake beside
     his fire.


     Jake looks toward the lake.  He's not worried or anything,
     just curious, as if he's maybe heard something in the dark.


     We move in toward shore, gliding smoothly over the still
     lake waters.


     Jake settles down by the fire, takes another swig of
     whisky...  And then looks toward the lake again.  He's
     definitely heard something this time.

     He stands up, stares at the lake.

     SPLASHING WATER outside Jake's range of vision.  He picks
     up a burning log and holds it up, hoping to cast light
     over what's out there, but it's not enough.

     Jake throws the log back into the fire, opens his backpack
     and takes out a flashlight.  He turns it on, shines the
     beam toward the lake.

     JAKE'S POV:  the lake waters are tranquil, nothing else is

     Jake shakes his head, switches off the flashlight and turns
     back to his camp fire.  SPLASHING WATER makes him stop.
     Some instinct freezes him to the spot.  Without looking
     round, he knows someone's behind him.

     Jake spins around!  But no one's there.  He frowns, puzzled.

     FROM ABOVE:  looking down at Jake as if from a high crane.
     Jake slowly looks up.  A ghostly silver radiance reflects
     off his face.  His puzzlement turns to terror.  He opens
     his mouth to scream but there just isn't time--

                                           CRASH CUT TO BLACK:

     FADE IN:


     A bright, clear morning.

     MARGO KITSON, 50s, an attractive outdoorsy type, walks her
     dog, Rusty.  She stops and looks out over the lake.  Not
     just enjoying the view -- enjoying being here.

     She looks round as an SUV approaches.  Margo waves.  The
     SUV pulls over and stops.

     Rusty barks.  He's looking out over the lake as if
     something's caught his attention.  Margo tries to figure
     out what but she can't see anything.  Rusty keeps barking.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Quiet, Rusty!

     The dog growls softly.  Margo picks up a stick, throws it
     into nearby woods.  Rusty runs after the stick.

     Park Ranger ANDREW MACDOUGAL, 25, climbs out of the SUV
     and joins Margo.  An ex-Marine, MacDougal is formidable.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Hey Margo, how're you doing?

                           MARGO KITSON
               Couldn't be better.  Where are you
               off to this bright morning?

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Over to the Whitmans' cabin.  John
               says he heard noises last night.
               Didn't see anything, but he heard
               something moving around outside.

                           MARGO KITSON
               What do you think it was?

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Been a while since I saw a bear on
               this side of the lake, but you
               never know.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Maybe you should tell Bob?

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               I left a message, he'll get back
               to me if he wants to.  Give me a
               call if you come across anything?

                           MARGO KITSON
               Sure.  You'll probably hear Rusty

     MacDougal turns to go.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Andy, I wanted to talk to you.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               About what?

                           MARGO KITSON
               Kyle's coming to visit.  He's
               bringing Jackie with him.

     MacDougal considers this news.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               You think I'm going to beat him up
               or something?

                           MARGO KITSON
               I think if you wanted to, he
               wouldn't stand a chance.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               It's not me he has to worry about.
               Bob Leech is going to want to talk
               to him.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Kyle had nothing to do with Annie's

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Try telling that to Sheriff Bob
               Leech.  I think you'll find he has
               a different opinion.

     MacDougal returns to his SUV.  A thoughtful Margo watches
     him drive away.  She looks around for Rusty.

                           MARGO KITSON
               C'mon, Rusty!

     Rusty doesn't respond, and Margo can't see him.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Rusty?  Here boy.

     Margo walks to the treeline, looks for Rusty.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Rusty, come on!  Time to go!

     No response.  Margo has a worried moment.

     Rusty bounds out of the trees.  Margo crouches down and
     rubs his ears, hugs him.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Stupid dog.


     Looking toward shore.  From a distance, we watch Margo and
     Rusty turn and head inland.


     MacDougal leans against his SUV, looking out over the lake
     while he drinks coffee from a flask and eats a sandwich
     from his lunchbox.

     Another SUV comes along the track road.  MacDougal puts
     his half-eaten sandwich back into his lunchbox and closes
     his thermos flask.  He walks to meet the SUV.


     KYLE NORTH NORTH, 25, drives.  Beside him, his wife JACKIE
     NORTH, 25.  In the back seat, their children FIONA NORTH,
     11, and LUKE NORTH, 9, city kids enjoying the unfamiliar
     woodland scenery.

     Kyle sees MacDougal up ahead.  So does Jackie.  She glances
     at Kyle but he doesn't react.


     Kyle's SUV stops.  Kyle rolls his window down.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Morning.  You folks looking for
               Margo's place?

                           KYLE NORTH
               As a matter of fact, we are.  How'd
               you know?

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               You had that "lost city folks"
               look about you.

     MacDougal points along the road.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Keep going for another quarter-
               mile.  Look out for a turning on
               the right, bushes on either side.
               It's easy to shoot right on by.

                           KYLE NORTH

     MacDougal looks at Jackie.  Kyle wonders what's going on.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               How you doing, Jackie?

                           JACKIE NORTH
               I'm fine, Andrew.  You?

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Couldn't be better.

     Kyle offers his hand.

                           KYLE NORTH
               Kyle North.

     MacDougal takes the hand.  The two men stare at each other.
     Just for a moment there's the possibility they might have
     a squeezing contest.  But the moment passes.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Andy MacDougal.

                           KYLE NORTH
               I guessed as much.

     Kyle jerks a thumb over his shoulder.

                           KYLE NORTH
               Luke and Fiona.  Our kids.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Pleased to meet you, kids.

     Luke and Fiona smile and wave hello.

                           KYLE NORTH
               And of course you already know my
               wife, Jackie North.

     MacDougal's about to speak, but Kyle rolls up his window
     and drives on.  MacDougal steps back and watches their SUV
     disappear up the road.  He smiles and shakes his head.


     MacDougal is a dwindling speck in the rear window.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               That was downright rude.

                           KYLE NORTH
               Oh I'm sorry, did you want to talk
               to your ex-boyfriend some more?

                           JACKIE NORTH
               So we went out a couple of times.

                           KYLE NORTH
               Your folks thought it was a lot
               more serious than that, as I recall.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               They liked Andy.

                           KYLE NORTH
               You mean they didn't like me.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               That's not true and you know it.

                           KYLE NORTH
               The kid from the wrong side of
               town, always getting into trouble.

                           FIONA NORTH
               Did you get into trouble, dad?

                           JACKIE NORTH
               Only on Saturday nights.

                           LUKE NORTH
               Did you ever get arrested?

                           JACKIE NORTH
               Only on Saturday nights.

                           KYLE NORTH
               Yo ho ho.  Just try to remember
               we're here to visit my aunt, not
               rekindle old flames.

     Jackie tries not to laugh.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               I'll try to remember that.  But
               Andy sure looks handsome in a
               uniform, don't he?

     Kyle glares at her.

                           FIONA NORTH
               Watch out for the turning.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               Quiet, dear.  Daddy's in a mood.

     Luke and Fiona laugh.  Kyle can't help but smile.


     Modern "frontier" cabin.  Woods behind and around.  The
     view over the lake is breathtaking.

     Margo's at work in her garden when Kyle's SUV arrives.
     She takes off her gloves and goes to meet it.  Everyone
     gets out.  Margo and Kyle embrace.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Kyle, Kyle, how are you?

                           KYLE NORTH
               Great, now I've seen you.  I want
               you to meet Jackie.

     Margo takes Jackie's hand.

                           MARGO KITSON
               My pleasure.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               The pleasure's mine, Mrs. Kitson.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Formality has its place, but this
               isn't it.  Call me Margo.

                           JACKIE NORTH

                           MARGO KITSON
               You must be Fiona and Luke.  I'm
               very pleased to meet you.

                           KYLE NORTH
               Kids, say hello to your Aunt Margo.

                           LUKE NORTH
               Are you our real aunt?

                           MARGO KITSON
               No, I'm just a stand-in until
               something better comes along.

     Luke hesitates, but Fiona goes up on her toes and kisses
     Margo on the cheek.

                           FIONA NORTH
               Hi, Aunt Margo.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Hi to you, too.
                    (to Luke)
               You're excused the kiss this time.
               Next time, watch out.
                    (to Kyle)
               You haven't changed a bit.  Well,
               maybe you've put on a couple pounds,
               but in all the right places.  And
               your hair's different.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               You mean receding?

                           KYLE NORTH
               Last time Margo saw me, I was a

                           MARGO KITSON
               That's true.
                    (to Jackie)
               You're even more attractive than I
               imagined you'd be.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               Oh my.  You can say things like
               that any time you want.

     Margo indicates their surroundings with a grand sweep of
     her arm.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Well, what do you think of my little
               hideaway in the wilds?

                           KYLE NORTH
               It's beautiful.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               It's more than beautiful, but aren't
               you a little isolated up here?

                           MARGO KITSON
               I lived in New York City for
               fourteen years.  I felt more
               isolated there than I do here.
               Nature has this funny way of making
               you feel you're not alone.  And
               it's not as if I don't have
               neighbors.  And a phone, and email.

     Margo takes hold of Kyle's arm.

                           MARGO KITSON
               My sister-in-law bumps into Kyle,
               she gives him my email address...
               next thing you know, you're here.
               You've all brought walking boots,
               I hope?

                           KYLE NORTH
               We brought everything.  We didn't
               know if you'd have enough food, we
               packed some stuff in the cool box.

                           MARGO KITSON
               A blizzard could trap us inside
               for six months and we'd still have
               plenty to eat.

     Margo looks at Luke and Fiona.

                           MARGO KITSON
               'Course, we might have to gnaw on
               the occasional foot.

     Fiona grins.  Luke frowns, not sure if she's serious.

                           LUKE NORTH
               You have electricity up here?

                           MARGO KITSON
               I'm on the county grid, and there's
               a backup generator, too.

                           LUKE NORTH
               I could have brought my Nintendo
               after all.

                           KYLE NORTH
               I guess you'll have to put up with
               our boring conversation instead.

                           MARGO KITSON
               I've got satellite TV.

     Luke grins.  Thank the Lord for small mercies.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Come on inside.

     Jackie notices Luke and Fiona inspecting their surroundings.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               Is it okay if the kids explore?

                           MARGO KITSON
               Sure it is.  Rusty'll go with them.
                    (to Rusty)
               Take 'em on the guided tour, Rusty.

     Rusty heads off.  Luke and Fiona happily follow the dog.


     Comfortable, with couches, rugs, a big fireplace.  Margo,
     Kyle and Jackie enter.

                           KYLE NORTH
               Something smells good.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Dinner'll be ready soon.  Take off
               your coats and get comfortable.
                    (to Jackie)
               Hey, smart thinking with the kids.

                           KYLE NORTH
               Scotch rocks.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Wait your turn.  Jackie?

                           JACKIE NORTH
               I'd kill for a coffee.

                           MARGO KITSON
               No need to go that far.

     Kyle and Jackie shed their coats.  Margo fetches a scotch
     for Kyle, coffees for her and Jackie.

                           MARGO KITSON
               How was the drive?

                           KYLE NORTH
               Fine.  Good weather all the way.

                           MARGO KITSON
               You meet anyone on your way up?

                           KYLE NORTH
               Just some nosy Park Ranger.

                           MARGO KITSON
               You must mean Andy.

                           KYLE NORTH
               Yeah, I mean Andy.  Real friendly
               guy.  Are we likely to bump into
               him often?

     Jackie enjoys a little snigger of amusement.  Kyle shoots
     her a look.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Andy wouldn't come up here unless
               he was invited.  Why Kyle, do I
               detect a whiff of jealousy?

                           KYLE NORTH
               Is he married, engaged, or what?

                           MARGO KITSON
               Not as far as I know.

                           KYLE NORTH
                    (to Jackie)
               I catch him anywhere near you,
               I'll shoot him.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               I think you should lock me up and
               throw away the key.  I catch another
               glimpse of that Park Ranger uniform,
               I'm liable to go crazy.

                           KYLE NORTH
                    (to Margo)
               You see what I have to put up with?

                           MARGO KITSON
               I'm pleased you've met your match,


     Leech kicks over Jake's camp fire ashes and looks around,
     wondering where Jake is.  He sees Jake's flashlight, picks
     it up.  He thumbs the switch but the batteries are dead.

     Leech sees someone moving through trees further along the
     lake shore.  It's Luke and Fiona.  For a moment Leech is
     concerned, then he sees they're with Rusty.

     Leech crouches down and watches them.  They don't see him.
     His attention is particularly focused on Fiona.


     Looking toward shore.  From a distance, we watch Leech
     watching the kids.


     Everyone's at the dinner table, in mid-meal.

                           KYLE NORTH
               I saw your latest book on sale.
               Are you scheduled for any signings?

                           MARGO KITSON
               Oh God no, never.  The very thought
               gives me the shivers.  Besides,
               the cover photograph conflicts
               sharply with my present appearance.
               It's the same one they used when
               the first book came out, over ten
               years ago.

                           KYLE NORTH
               This one's, what, number eleven in
               the series?

                           MARGO KITSON
               Number thirteen, if you're counting.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               It must be great to have such a
               popular character.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Go figure.  I can't stand him.
               It's all I can do to stop myself
               from killing him off in the worst
               way imaginable.

                           KYLE NORTH
               Jackie's writing a novel.

                           JACKIE NORTH

                           KYLE NORTH
               What did I say?  It's true isn't

                           MARGO KITSON
               I hope you're going to let me see

                           JACKIE NORTH
               It isn't finished.  The ending's
               been giving me problems.  I'm
               waiting for inspiration to hit me.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Plenty of that out here.

                           KYLE NORTH
               I told her to bring her laptop,
               but she wouldn't.

                           MARGO KITSON
               You can borrow mine if you like.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               I don't know if I'm in the mood
               for writing.  Besides which, I
               didn't bring it with me.

                           MARGO KITSON
               You remember where you stopped,
               don't you?  Can't you continue?

                           JACKIE NORTH
               I haven't really looked at it for
               a couple of months.

                           KYLE NORTH
               I'll drive home and get your laptop,
               it'll only take me a few hours,
               I'll be back by morning.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               Thank you, you're so helpful.

                           KYLE NORTH
               Well, you know, I try to be.

                           FIONA NORTH
               Luke stepped in dog poo.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               Fiona, we're at the dinner table.

                           LUKE NORTH
               I did not.
                    (to Jackie)
               I wiped my shoes before I came

                           JACKIE NORTH
               Just as well for you.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Rusty usually buries his little
               mistakes, I'll give him a firm
               talking to right after dinner.

                           FIONA NORTH
               Wasn't Rusty.  He's too little.
               This was a big one.  I mean, big.

     She holds her hands a couple of feet apart.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               Then it can't be dog poo, sweetie.

                           FIONA NORTH
               It smelled like dog poo.

                           KYLE NORTH
               Enough, we're eating.  Or trying

     Everyone eats in silence, trying not to think about it...
     Fiona waves her hand in front of her nose.  Luke elbows
     her, telling her to stop.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               Quit that, you two.
                    (to Margo)
               They're not really our kids, we
               just picked them up at the Mall
               and brought them here.

                           MARGO KITSON
               I understand perfectly.  I told
               people I found Kyle in the woods,
               that he's been raised by wolves.

                           KYLE NORTH
               Uh, hello, that would be the Kyle
               who's sitting right here.  So,
               Aunt Margo, aside from the writing,
               what have you been up to?

                           MARGO KITSON
               Oh good, we're starting off with
               the easy questions.  Well, let me
               see.  I've been doing some painting,
               and some wood sculpting, too.
               Last year I put my work into an
               exhibition and people actually
               liked it.  Not that they bought
               anything, you understand.  I've
               travelled around a lot, and I'm
               learning to fly.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               Wow, that's great.

                           MARGO KITSON
               I'm not sure how folks hereabouts
               will take to having a float plane
               landing and taking off every day,
               but it's a thought.  So, I've been
               keeping myself pretty busy.

                           KYLE NORTH
               Are you seeing anyone?

                           JACKIE NORTH
               Kyle, that's a little personal,
               isn't it?

                           MARGO KITSON
               He just wants to know if his old
               aunt is lonely, living in a log
               cabin miles from anywhere.  Isn't
               that so, Kyle?

                           KYLE NORTH
               The thought crossed my mind.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Everyone's always inviting everyone
               else to their cabins for dinner
               and drinks.  If I accepted every
               invite, I'd never get any work
               done.  If you must know, I've got
               my pick of rich, retired men who
               come out here to get in touch with
               Nature.  Rusty comes in useful
               whenever they get a little frisky.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               Sounds like you're having a great

                           MARGO KITSON
               Yep, that just about describes it.
               What about you?

                           KYLE NORTH
               What about me?

                           MARGO KITSON
               How are you doing?

                           KYLE NORTH
               We're doing okay.

                           MARGO KITSON
                    (to Jackie)
               Getting information out of Kyle
               was always like pulling teeth.
               I'm afraid you'll have to do all
               the talking.  What can you tell

                           JACKIE NORTH
               Oh, we're doing okay.

     Kyle and Jackie smile at each other.

                           MARGO KITSON
               I see I'm dealing with two sets of

                           KYLE NORTH
               What can I tell ya?  Business is
               good, family life is good.  We've
               settled in after the last big move.
               Luke and Fiona are enjoying school.
               Jackie's thinking about going back
               to work... but that unfinished
               novel's nagging at her.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Jackie, if you finish your book,
               I'll show it to my publisher.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               That's assuming it's good enough.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Is it?

                           KYLE NORTH

                           JACKIE NORTH
               How would you know, you've never
               read it.

                           KYLE NORTH
               You just think I haven't.  Sometimes
               I sneak onto the laptop when you're
               not looking.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               Ten bucks says you can't name my
               main character.

                           KYLE NORTH
               I disapprove of gambling, as you
               know, but I think you mean Erin,
               the rosy-cheeked colleen from County

     Jackie pauses in horror with her fork halfway to her mouth.
     Kyle chuckles.


     MacDougal's SUV meets another SUV on the road.  They stop
     alongside each other.  MacDougal rolls his window down,
     finds himself talking to NICOLA DAVENPORT, 20s, who dazzles
     him with her smile.

     The back of Nicola's SUV is filled with metal boxes with

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Hey there.

                           NICOLA DAVENPORT
               Hello, I hope this is Lake Pensive.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               The one and only.

     He stretches his hand across the gap, Nicola takes it.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Andrew MacDougal.

                           NICOLA DAVENPORT
               Nicola Davenport.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               What brings you out here, Nicola?

                           NICOLA DAVENPORT

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Come again?

                           NICOLA DAVENPORT
               I'm a seismologist.  Minor tremors
               shook this area three days ago.
               Everything points to Lake Pensive
               being the epicenter.

     MacDougal looks toward the lake.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               You sure?

                           NICOLA DAVENPORT
               Pretty much.


     MacDougal helps Nicola carry instrument boxes to the shore.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               How come I didn't feel anything?

                           NICOLA DAVENPORT
               Do you sleep on hard ground?

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Not usually.

                           NICOLA DAVENPORT
               Then you wouldn't have felt
               anything.  Low level disturbance,
               remarkable only by its unusual
               persistence.  Usually they're over
               in a few seconds.  Not this one.

     She opens one of the boxes... takes out a camera-like
     instrument with its own tripod.  She sets this up and aims
     it at the lake.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Just don't point that thing at me,
               I hate having my picture taken.

                           NICOLA DAVENPORT
               It's not a camera.  I'm going to
               bounce an infra-red beam off the
               surface of the lake.

     She unwraps a satellite dish and plants it in the ground,
     pointing skyward.  She opens a laptop, connects it to the
     dish and types in a couple of commands.  The laptop BEEPS

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Can you get the football on that?

                           NICOLA DAVENPORT
               I hope I'm not holding you back
               from your work?

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Seeing visitors have everything
               they need is my work.

                           NICOLA DAVENPORT
               Uh-huh.  So you're a tour guide as
               well as a Park Ranger?

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Sometimes the job demands a flexible

                           NICOLA DAVENPORT
               I bet that's what they call you.
               Mr. Flexible.

     She types something else.  Another positive BEEP.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Who are you talking to?

     He looks skyward.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Or maybe I should ask, what are
               you talking to?

                           NICOLA DAVENPORT
               I'm piggy-backing onto a NASA comms
               satellite, linking to M.I.T.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               You don't look like a geek.

                           NICOLA DAVENPORT
               What does a geek look like?

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               You know.  Thick glasses.  Greasy
               hair tied back.  That goofy smile
               'cause they're calculating the
               orbital declination of comets or
               something while you're trying to
               make small talk.

     Nicola smiles as she types.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               You planning on being here long?

                           NICOLA DAVENPORT
               Could be a day or two.  Maybe
               longer.  Depends.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               That's great.

                           NICOLA DAVENPORT
               It is?

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               I was thinking maybe we could have
               dinner.  If that's okay.

                           NICOLA DAVENPORT
               Is there a good restaurant around

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               You're looking at it.  Nothing
               tastes better than food cooked
               over a camp fire.  How about I
               drop by around seven?  I'll bring
               the food and the wine.

                           NICOLA DAVENPORT
               What do I bring?

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Just yourself.  That's plenty.

                           NICOLA DAVENPORT
               What about the risk of forest fire?

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               I'll bring a fire extinguisher

                           NICOLA DAVENPORT
               Does everyone get this personal
               treatment, or am I special?

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               I would have to say you're special.

                           NICOLA DAVENPORT
               Then I guess I'll see you at seven.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Great.  Well.  I'll leave you to
               get on with... whatever you're

                           NICOLA DAVENPORT

     MacDougal heads back to his SUV.  She calls after him--

                           NICOLA DAVENPORT
               I'll remember to put on my glasses
               and tie my hair back.

     MacDougal shouts back over his shoulder--

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Suits me fine.

     Nicola watches MacDougal get into his SUV and drive off.
     He waves an arm out his window.  Then he's gone.

     Nicola fiddles with her instruments, taps on her laptop.
     She stops, looks out over the lake.  Slowly she walks to
     the water's edge.  Something has unsettled her.  But she
     can't see anything unusual out there.


     Kyle carries a stack of dinner plates in and puts them in
     the sink.  Margo smiles thanks.  Jackie and the kids are
     next door.

                           KYLE NORTH
               I forgot how good your cooking is.

                           MARGO KITSON
               I just threw a few things into the
               pot.  Not exactly a back-breaking
               task.  Fiona only picked at hers.
               She's not anorexic, is she?

                           KYLE NORTH
               Are you kidding, she eats like a
               horse.  It's just the excitement
               of the trip, and meeting Rusty.
               Our apartment building doesn't
               allow pets.  She's wanted a dog
               for years.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Poor thing.

                           KYLE NORTH
               You see anything of Bob Leech these

                           MARGO KITSON
               Sure.  He stops by sometimes.  We

                           KYLE NORTH
               I was kinda hoping he'd have retired
               by now.  Headed up into the
               mountains and never come back.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Not yet.

                           KYLE NORTH
               You ever talk about me?

                           MARGO KITSON
               No, not about you.  I guess it's
               by mutual agreement.  We talk about
               everything except you.

                           KYLE NORTH
               About Annie?

                           MARGO KITSON
               Sometimes her name comes up, yes.
               You'd expect a father to speak of
               his daughter occasionally.

     Jackie appears in the doorway.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               Anything I can do to help?

                           MARGO KITSON
               Why don't you and Kyle go for a
               walk?  Some country air in your
               lungs will do you both a world of

                           JACKIE NORTH
               We should help you clean up.

                           MARGO KITSON
               I've got things under control.
               When the kids get bored with me,
               Rusty can take them for another
               tour.  He knows all the fun places.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               Well... okay.  I'll get the coats.

     Jackie exits.

                           MARGO KITSON
               You have a lovely wife and children.
               I wish you'd found me sooner.

                           KYLE NORTH
               Me too.  Are you sure you don't
               want us to hang around?

                           MARGO KITSON
               You go and enjoy yourselves.  I'll
               be here when you get back.


     Kyle and Jackie walk arm in arm along the water's edge.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               She's nice.

                           KYLE NORTH
               I thought you might like her.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               You think she likes me?

                           KYLE NORTH
               She asked me not to tell you, but
               she hated you on sight.  Your hair,
               your clothes, the way you talk--

                           JACKIE NORTH
               Why did you have to go and tell
               her about my crappy novel?

                           KYLE NORTH
               What's to hide?  I want people to
               know you can just about string a
               sentence together when you put
               your mind to it.  I'm very proud
               of you.  You and your typing finger.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               Hey, that's two fingers, mister.
               And a thumb.

                           KYLE NORTH
               I wondered why your left thumb was
               twice the size of the other one.
               I thought you were... you know.

                           JACKIE NORTH

                           KYLE NORTH
               Missing me a lot when I was at

                           JACKIE NORTH
               You think anyone can see us here?

                           KYLE NORTH
               Probably not.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               So it's okay if I rip your clothes
               off and lick you all over?

                           KYLE NORTH
               As long as that mutant thumb of
               yours stays away from you-know-
               where, sure.  I'm all yours, baby.

     Jackie swings Kyle round, kisses him hard.  She pops his
     coat buttons open.

                           KYLE NORTH
               Whoa, hey, how about I keep my
               clothes on, and you restrict your
               tongue to certain areas?

                           JACKIE NORTH
               You might have to direct me, I'm
               kinda shy when it comes to men's
               certain areas.

                           KYLE NORTH
               Oh that's easy, you follow the big
               signpost, you can't miss it, it's
               sticking right up.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               Okay here's the deal, we start off
               with some kissing, French of course,
               and then some inept fumbling while
               you try to unfasten my bra...

     But suddenly Kyle isn't listening.  He stares at hundreds
     of dead fish lying washed up along the lake shore.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               My God.  What's going on?

                           KYLE NORTH
               I don't know.

     He squats down to examine a fish.  Its eyeballs are white.


     Andy MacDougal peers through binoculars.  A stretch of
     lake is visible through the trees.

     Bob Leech pulls up in a Sheriff's car, and climbs out.

     MacDougal lowers his binoculars, looking slightly puzzled
     by whatever he was looking at.

                           SHERIFF BOB LEECH
               Hey Andy.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL

                           SHERIFF BOB LEECH
               Find anything interesting over at
               the Whitman place?

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               His dog's missing.  The missus is
               upset because her flower garden
               got all torn up.

                           SHERIFF BOB LEECH
               Are we talking animal or human?

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Can't tell.  No tracks.  Nothing.

                           SHERIFF BOB LEECH
               That dumb dog's probably chasing
               raccoons again.  Bullet in the
               head would be a mercy killing.
               Need to ask you about a drifter,
               camped down by the lake last night,
               near McIntyre's Point.

     As he says this, Leech watches MacDougal closely.  But
     much of MacDougal's attention is on the woods.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Popular place with the tourists.

                           SHERIFF BOB LEECH
               His kind of tourist we can do
               without.  Saw him yesterday, late
               afternoon, nosing around.  I told
               him, don't stop, just keep right
               on going.  Son of a bitch made
               camp anyway.  I dropped in after
               dark, gave him a scare.  Made sure
               he got the message.

     MacDougal gives Leech a sidelong look.

                           SHERIFF BOB LEECH
               No sign of him this morning except
               he left some stuff behind.  Maybe
               he'll come back for it.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               If I see him, you want me to give
               you a call?

                           SHERIFF BOB LEECH
               I'd appreciate that.  Margo got
               people visiting?

     MacDougal peers through his binoculars for a moment.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Yeah.  Some city folks and their

     Leech gives MacDougal an enquiring look.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               I met them on the road yesterday.
               Pointed them at Margo's place.

                           SHERIFF BOB LEECH
               Saw the kids.  Fine looking girl
               and boy.  Rusty was with them.
               What are you looking at anyway?

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Nothing.  You hear it?

     Leech listens, then shakes his head, unsure.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Never heard things so quiet before.
               Not even a bird call.

                           SHERIFF BOB LEECH
               Maybe you scared them away.  You're
               a scary guy, Andy.

     Leech climbs back into his Sheriff's car, drives away.

     MacDougal watches him go.  Then stares at the woods.


     Margo waves goodbye to Fiona and Luke who follow Rusty
     toward the woods.

     They see Kyle and Jackie returning from another direction,
     and wave before they vanish into the woods.

     Margo waits at the door for Kyle and Jackie.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Sorry, I had to let them go, they
               were climbing the walls.

                           KYLE NORTH
               Dammit, we've only just got here
               and you've spoiled them already.
               It's no good, we're going to have
               to leave them here with you when
               we go.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               Kyle!  Do you really hate Margo
               that much?  I wouldn't wish those
               kids on my worst enemy, if I had
               one.  Why don't I have an enemy?

                           KYLE NORTH
               Because you're sweet and people
               love you.

                           MARGO KITSON
               I'll tell you what, why don't we
               send the kids back to the city and
               you two stay here?  I'll whup some
               common sense into you in no time.

                           KYLE NORTH
               Well, it didn't take long for you
               to show your true colors, did it?

                           JACKIE NORTH
               Now I'm confused.  Stay here with
               Margo, go home with the kids.
               Stay here, go home.  Can I stay
               here please?

                           MARGO KITSON
               Only if you promise to behave.
               What happened to the long romantic
               walk?  Did you get lost and have
               to turn back?

                           JACKIE NORTH
               There's something really weird
               going on.


     MacDougal pulls up in his SUV, and climbs out.

     He takes a long look around.  It's uncannily quiet.

     He walks away from his SUV, makes his way through the trees.


     MacDougal stops and looks around.  He also looks up,
     checking the canopy above.

     He continues through the woods, moving like an Indian
     tracker, absolutely silent.

     Birdsong and other woodland noises suddenly erupt, startling
     the shit out of him.

     MacDougal leans back against a tree and lets out a long

     He looks directly up.

     Above him, nestled in tree branches, is something he can't
     make out... could be a big bird's nest, with some thick
     twigs sticking out.


     MacDougal takes a coiled rope from his SUV.


     MacDougal has made a noose out of one end of the rope.  He
     throws this up, trying to snag whatever's up there.

     First time misses.  He catches the rope, tries again.
     Second time misses.  Third time lucky, the loop catches a

     MacDougal jerks the rope, the "bird's nest" plunges down,
     he jumps out the way, it hits the ground with a dull thump.

     MacDougal squats down and examines the thing.

     It's the skull and skeleton of a dog, with what's left of
     the carcass hanging off.


     Margo puts the phone down.  She turns to Kyle and Jackie
     who sit with their feet up, sipping coffees.

                           MARGO KITSON
               We had a storm back in oh-three,
               knocked out the phone lines for a
               couple of days.  Nary a problem

                           KYLE NORTH
               Must be my magnetic personality.

     Kyle offers his cellphone to Margo.

                           KYLE NORTH
               Try my cellphone.

                           MARGO KITSON
               There's a reason I don't have one
               of those.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               If there was dangerous radiation
               off cellphones, Fiona's head would
               be glowing in the dark.

                           KYLE NORTH
               What's the number?  I'll key it in
               for you.

     Margo gives Kyle her phone address book.

                           KYLE NORTH
               Andy MacDougal.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Well who else would you report
               something like that to except a
               Park Ranger?

     Jackie clasps her hands together as if she's praying.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               Oh God, thank you, thank you.

                           KYLE NORTH
               You know, I could bury a body out
               here, no one would ever find it.
               Two bodies, in fact.

     Kyle thumbs the number.  He listens, then passes his
     cellphone to Margo.  She listens.

                           MARGO KITSON
               It's a message service.

                           KYLE NORTH
               Tell 'em it's a Code Six Six Six.
               Dead fish found on shore.  Spooky
               message from the other side.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Stop that.  Oh I hate talking to
               these machines--
                    (into phone)
               This is Margo Kitman calling for
               Andy MacDougal.  Andy, we want to
               report an unusual find.  This may
               sound a little silly but my nephew
               Kyle and his wife found a whole
               lot of dead fish down by the lake,
               not far from my cabin.  As if they'd
               been washed ashore.

                           KYLE NORTH
               Tell him they looked as if they'd
               been boiled.

                           MARGO KITSON
               I will not.
                    (into phone)
               My phone is out, I'm calling on
               Kyle's cellphone.  If you can't
               get through then you can call me
               back on this number...?

     Margo looks at Kyle for confirmation, he shrugs yes, OK.

                           MARGO KITSON
                    (into phone)
               ...or you can drop in if you happen
               to be passing.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               Feeling faint.  Catch me someone.

     Kyle wags a good-natured warning finger.

                           MARGO KITSON
                    (into phone)
               Good bye.

     Margo tries to figure how to hang up.  She passes the
     cellphone to Kyle.  He thumbs a button.

                           KYLE NORTH
               I predict our friendly neighborhood
               Park Ranger will appear at the
               door in ten... nine... eight...

                           MARGO KITSON
               It's more likely to be tomorrow,
               he has a big area to cover.

                           KYLE NORTH
               Not big enough.

                           JACKIE NORTH
               When's it get dark out?

     They look out the window, at the darkening sky.

                           MARGO KITSON
               Another hour or so.  Don't worry.
               Rusty has an inbuilt clock.


     DR. ELLEN KRANTZ, weary cynicism in a white coat, opens
     the door to let MacDougal in.  He carries a bundle wrapped
     in a blanket.

                           ELLEN KRANTZ
               Jesus Christ, what is that smell?

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               You might want to open a window.

                           ELLEN KRANTZ
               I'm thinking about knocking down a
               wall.  Bring it through the back.


     Ellen bends over an examination table, scowling behind her
     eye protectors.  MacDougal leans against a wall with his
     arms folded, watching.

                           ELLEN KRANTZ
               I never met the Whitmans, I don't
               know what their dog looks like.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Check the collar.

                           ELLEN KRANTZ
               Gee, I never would'a thought'a
               that.  You should'a been a cop.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               I failed the test.

                           ELLEN KRANTZ
               How'd you manage that?

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               I told them guns scare me.

     Ellen adjusts a big magnifying glass on a flexible arm and
     peers through the lens.

                           ELLEN KRANTZ
               All right.  The disc, just like
               the skull, teeth, and skeleton,
               shows signs of being immersed in
               acid or similar corrosive.  Kinda
               hard to read, but it says L-O-B-O,
               Lobo?  And, W-H-I-T...  Whitman.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               What do you reckon killed him?

                           ELLEN KRANTZ
               I dread to think.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Another animal?

                           ELLEN KRANTZ
               All four legs are broken.  Several
               vertebrae are fractured.  Ribs,
               caved in.  Skull has been crushed.
               These injuries are consistent with
               immense pressure, but what I'm not
               seeing are bite marks.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               I thought it might be a grizzly.

                           ELLEN KRANTZ
               Some cranky, toothless old grizzly
               gummed the poor mutt to death?
               Doesn't wash.  Nor does that explain
               the corrosion.  How well do you
               know the Whitmans?

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Retired, sixties.  They seem like
               a nice couple.

                           ELLEN KRANTZ
               This is just wild conjecture.  I'm
               not accusing anyone of anything.
               But is it likely, do you think,
               that the Whitmans might have beaten
               their dog to death with baseball
               bats, then immersed the body in a
               tub of acid?

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               I'd have to say "hell no" to that.

                           ELLEN KRANTZ
               When did they report the dog

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               This morning when I went over there.
               There was a commotion in the night,
               some trashcans got knocked over,
               the garden's all messed up--

                           ELLEN KRANTZ
               Well I can tell you, this animal
               was not alive this morning.  Any
               acid powerful enough to strip the
               enamel from teeth in a matter of
               hours, would still be active.
               None of the litmus tests showed
               such activity.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               He was up a tree.

                           ELLEN KRANTZ
               I beg your pardon?

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               What's left of Lobo was caught up
               in branches, twenty, thirty feet
               high.  If they killed their dog,
               why would they put the remains up
               in a tree?

                           ELLEN KRANTZ
               People have always puzzled me.
               That's why I prefer working with

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               You think I should tell the

                           ELLEN KRANTZ
               I wouldn't.  Look, I can't have
               this thing stinking up the place.
               I'm going to take some pictures,
               then I'm going to fire up the
               furnace and give old Lobo here a
               Viking funeral.

     MacDougal pushes himself off the wall, opens the door.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
               Thanks Ellen.

                           ELLEN KRANTZ
               I'd say any time, but you ever
               bring me another one like this,
               you're off my Christmas card list.
               I mean it.

     MacDougal exits.


     MacDougal climbs in as his radio chatters.

                           FEMALE DISPATCH (V.O.)
               If you're there, Andy, pick up.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
                    (into radio mike)
               Hey you got me, go ahead.

                           FEMALE DISPATCH (V.O.)
               You got a message from Margo Kitson
               up at Lake Pensive.

                           ANDY MACDOUGAL
                    (into radio mike)
               What does she want?

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