Short screenplay for the DD Halloween 2015 contest. Failed to make it into the contest due to technical hitch. "Smoking Heart" OVER BLACK The sad MOAN of a lighthouse horn. INT. CELLAR ROOM - NIGHT Lucious scarlet lips SPIT. A tooth bounces on the floor. Pretty cheerleader STELLA is bound to a chair by her wrists and ankles. She glares defiantly at her tormentors... three NUNS. STELLA You girls are pussies. That the best you got? Nun #1 steps forward -- WHAM! she punches Stella hard. Stella's head lolls but when it comes up again she's smiling. STELLA Do your worst, bitch. All you're doing is making me cum. The Nuns look at each other. This isn't working. The door opens. FATHER MURPHY glares at Stella. FATHER MURPHY Has she given up her secrets? NUN #1 Not yet, Father. FATHER MURPHY We can't afford to waste any more time. Father Murphy takes a hip flask from his pocket and unscrews the top. STELLA Yeah, let's all have a drink! Nun #2 leans in close to Stella, confidential-like. NUN #2 Look. We know you're tough. We know you're protecting him because you love him. But don't you see how he's used you? He's already got the book. He doesn't care about you now. He's abandoned you-- Stella spits in her face! STELLA When our unholy master arises we shall become the whores of Satan. Our path to immortality is ordained. Nun #2 wipes her face with her sleeve. NUN #2 Jeez Louise, no need to be rude. FATHER MURPHY Step aside, Sister. Father Murphy shakes the flask so the liquid contents fall on Stella, who SCREAMS and shakes her head from side to side like a maniac. Before our very eyes, using the magic of film and smoke effects, Stella changes from a human into horrific ZOMBIE STELLA. She grins, showing huge fangs and dribbling saliva. Nun #2 clamps her hand over her mouth, omg it's horrible. FATHER MURPHY Abomination! Your true self stands revealed. STELLA You like what you see, Father? Step up, I'll give you a blow job. AN ALMIGHTY BANG from outside. Nun #3 rushes to the door and looks out. SCREAMING VOICES and RAPID FOOTSTEPS get louder. NUN #3 They've found us! FATHER MURPHY The Sixth Commandment is hereby suspended! Kill the fuckers! The Nuns pull out automatics and charge outside. A VICIOUS GUN BATTLE commences off camera, punctuated by screams. Father Murphy looks down at Stella. FATHER MURPHY Your last chance to seek forgiveness, my child. Will you tell me where he is? Stella opens her mouth wide and flickers her tongue. STELLA You know you want it. FATHER MURPHY May God have mercy upon your soul. Father Murphy pulls out an automatic and before Stella can do anything he shoots her in the head, BAM. Her chair topples back, taking her down to the floor with it. Father Murphy spins as several blood-spattered ZOMBIE CHEERLEADERS burst into the cellar and charge at him. FATHER MURPHY Dear God in Heaven-- CRASH CUT TO BLACK The sad MOAN of a lighthouse horn. EXT. CITY MORGUE - NIGHT A sign over the entrance reads: MEAN CITY MORGUE INT. MORGUE CUTTING ROOM - NIGHT A body lies on the table, covered with a white sheet. Judging from its outline it's a woman. DETECTIVE JERRY DONNER and MEDICAL EXAMINER BO NILES are in attendance. Donner leans against the wall. He's seen it all, nothing upsets him any more. He puts a cancer stick between his lips and flicks his lighter. NILES Jesus Christ Donner I told you a thousand times, no smoking in here. Niles lifts the middle of the sheet so Donner can see what's under there. Donner fumbles and drops his cigarette, shocked by the spectacle. NILES As your keen sense of observation will tell you, Detective-- DONNER Holy shit, I could drive a 1968 Dodge Charger through her chest cavity. What happened, she fall into industrial machinery? NILES More like a surgical violation. Someone took an electric saw and peeled her open. Removed her heart, which is a nice touch. DONNER I preferred my industrial machinery theory. Human organ black marketeers, you think? NILES Could be, but why didn't they take her liver, kidneys and lungs, too? Oh and there's this. Niles lays a ziploc bag on top of the sheet. Donner leans close. Inside the ziploc there's a blood-soaked piece of yellow paper, looks like, covered in markings. DONNER Laundry list? NILES I have no idea. Rather than wasting three hours waiting for you to respond to my urgent call, I took a pic and sent it to the criminology lab. I'm hoping they can identify the language, maybe run a translation. DONNER Fuckin' lab rats, man. NILES Yeah, I know, they keep screwing up your cases with their damn scientific evidence, it must be a bitch. DONNER Why's a piece of paper important? NILES It was tucked into her chest cavity. Maybe it's a receipt, who knows? DONNER So what do you want me to do? Niles points to another table, where a leather purse lies inside another ziploc bag. NILES Rifle through her purse, take whatever money you find, think about tracking down her family, her friends. Ask them questions. When did you last see her, who was she with, what was she doing. Do you know anyone who would want to cut her heart out. Like that. Didn't they cover this on the online detective course? Donner fixes Niles with a look that should make his head go boom. DONNER Ten'll get you twenty it was her jealous boyfriend, high on drugs. Played a sex game that went wrong. NILES I cannot even imagine what that sex game would be. DONNER You never played "doctor and nurse" before? NILES Not like this, no! DONNER Anything happen to her down below? Donner goes to lift the sheet so he can eyeball the victim's crotch but Niles slaps his hand away. NILES If anything else comes up, I'll let you know. EXT. CITY MORGUE - NIGHT Donner is about to light a cigarette-- A WEREWOLF leaps at him from the shadows, howling. Donner has his gun out in a split second but the Werewolf, some idiot wearing a wolf mask and furry gloves, is already bounding along the street, looking for his next scare victim. WEREWOLF Happy Halloween, motherfucker! DONNER Asshole. Donner flicks his lighter, lights his cigarette. The sad MOAN of a lighthouse horn. EXT. CEMETERY - NIGHT Mist crawls between old tombstones. A rotating light briefly illuminates ANTON DEES, devilishly handsome, wearing an expensive suit. Dees opens the big leather-bound book he's carrying and turns the ornately decorated pages. DEES It is time to summon our dark master to this world. ZOMBIE CHEERLEADERS converge from all directions and form a circle around Dees. DEES Bring forth the blood of a virgin. He gives the cheerleaders a stern look. DEES I was tres disappointed that none of you ladies could provide this essential item, by the way. The cheerleaders all look kinda embarrassed. One cheerleader steps forward and holds a human heart over the book. She squeezes it. Blood dribbles out, onto the pages. STOCK FOOTAGE - CLOUDS RUSH PAST A FULL MOON. DEES All Hallow's Eve. When the barriers between realms become thin mist, when forbidden bridges may be crossed. Arise, our fetid master. Enter our world and receive our worship. He places the book on the ground, with the bloody heart on top, and steps back so he's with the cheerleaders. Smoke rises from the book pages! Dees is delighted by this. DEES I knew it would work! I knew it! All those years crawling through catacombs like Indiana Jones, fighting off giant rats and spiders. Totally worth it. INT. DONNER'S CAR (MOVING) - NIGHT Donner's phone rings, he answers while driving, this is illegal but fuck it, he's a cop who lives by his own rules. DONNER Hey. INTERCUT with Niles in the morgue, at a computer. NILES Got a reply from the lab. It's old Carpathian. DONNER Be good if I knew what that meant. NILES Think Eastern Europe, several centuries ago. Someone ripped a page out of a book that must be worth a fortune to any antiques dealer, and stuffed it into the cadaver after they removed the heart. Why? DONNER Because they're fuckin' nuts? NILES The page details some kind of, I don't know, a religious ceremony, I suppose you'd call it. Not the kind the church likes to advertise. Something forbidden. It comes with a really impressive warning. DONNER Uh-huh. You're killin' me here, Bo. Talk sense. NILES Okay, this ceremony, if I'm understanding it right, and I hope to God I'm not, it involves a sacrifice, a blood sacrifice, someone has to die. DONNER You're telling me you think some nutjob killed that stiff on the table-- NILES I know it sounds insane but, you know, I'm looking at this and I'm thinking, what if, what if whoever killed her, and cut out her heart, what if they were following these instructions? You know how crazy people become around Halloween. DONNER Is that even a thing? Do more people die horrible deaths around Halloween? NILES Well, it's been my experience-- DONNER What can you tell me, Bo? I need something useful. NILES A place of the dead. That's what it says. I think. The translation is kind of loose. DONNER No kidding, it's as loose as my ex- wife's silk panties. Donner's headlights illuminate a sign, MEAN CITY CEMETERY NEXT RIGHT DONNER Lemme check something out. I'll call you back. Donner hangs up. EXT. ROAD - NIGHT Donner's car approaches... slows... takes a turn into a side road. INT. DONNER'S CAR (MOVING) - NIGHT Donner's headlights illuminate another sign, WELCOME TO MEAN CITY CEMETERY DONNER A place of the dead... EXT. CEMETERY - NIGHT The lighthouse horn MOANS again. DEES I really wish someone would turn that dreadful noise off! Thicker smoke rises from the book lying on the ground. Sparks of light appear. Dees signals to a cheerleader, she brings a cushion which she places on the ground. Dees kneels down on this. He raises his hands above his head in worship and bows. DEES Hail to thee, dark lord! Step forth and bring chaos to our world! Donner steps out from between tombstones, his gun ready. Dees freezes with his hands in the air as if he's surrendering. DONNER That's exactly where I want you, pal. If you move, I will shoot you in the face. Dees just smiles. Donner becomes aware of something happening nearby. He slowly turns his head and looks. A sinister demon figure with horns stands over the glowing book. It stares at Donner with glowing eyes and grins. DONNER Nice costume, dickhead. Hands up or I'll shoot. DEES Fool, you cannot harm our dark master. Dees signals to the zombie cheerleaders. Kill him! The cheerleaders advance on Donner, all fangs and claws. DONNER Hold it right there. You ladies so much as... Donner examines the cheerleaders more closely... and has a moment of realization. Shit. DONNER I said hold it! They ignore him and keep advancing. Donner hesitates, unable to shoot. They grapple with him, he struggles to break free. The lighthouse horn MOANS again and the powerful light sweeps across the cemetery, it illuminates the horned demon who shields his eyes, repulsed by the light. With a ROAR, Donner breaks free of the cheerleader horde and dives for the book. Ends up on the ground, just out of reach. The demon looks down at him. Grins hugely. Reaches for him with a nasty claw. Donner flicks his lighter and chucks it at the book, which IGNITES SPECTACULARLY. The demon screams and swells and pops like a balloon. Silence. Broken by the MOAN of the lighthouse horn. Dees stares despondently at the book as it burns to ash. DEES Oh no. Oh, no. The zombie cheerleaders are human again. They look at each other, confused. Where are we, what happened? Donner pushes himself up. Dusts himself down. DONNER That went well. He shows his badge to everyone. DONNER Anybody want to spend a night in the cells? No? Then beat it. The cheerleaders run off into the night. Dees gets up off the cushion. DONNER Not you. DEES Exactly what are you going to charge me with, officer? Donner gives the smoking heart a tap with his shoe. DONNER We got a stiff in the morgue that's missing one of those. Let's start with Murder One. Donner lights a smoke. DONNER Car's that way. Move it. DEES I hope you're not going to smoke in the car. DONNER Oh boy, am I. They trudge off camera. Hold on the smoking heart. The heart pulses! BAH-DUMP. FADE OUT 10/2015

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