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Ashes to Ashes

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I'm hoping all my fellow writers won't mind if I post this here in the hopes that some of you will have some commentary. Which I gather would be posted by you in the FanFiction Comments Area.

It's true that this is an excerpt from a screenplay, not a novel, and the rules are somewhat different as far as formatting. However, the basic rules are the same and I'd appreciate it anyway. Without futher ado, I give you:

Ashes to Ashes

Fade In


It is raining slightly, but the sun still seeps through gaps in the grey sky and cloud cover. A light wind moves through the cemetery, scattering leaves and dirt, and tugging at the coat tails of mourners dressed in black as they move away from a recently dug but unfilled grave. Five figures remain behind, two men and three women.

LEGEND: Three Years Ago

JENNIFER ALEXANDER is pushing forty, but neither her figure nor her looks seem to have diminished since her college years. Worry lines mark her brow, however, and her brown hair is slightly amiss, clear indicators of how much stress she has been under in recent weeks.

Next to her, seventeen year old CHARLES ALEXANDER stands several inches taller, broad shouldered and somewhat intimidating. His hair is black and spiked in popular culture fashion, his face soft and kind, but grim. He is the perfect image of a successful small town hero.

A few steps in front of them stands NICK ALEXANDER. Fourteen years old, he blends in to a fault, everything about his presence an ode to mediocrity, from his mild brown hair to his average build and so-so good looks. Despite his obvious sadness, there is something darker behind his eyes. An anger of unparalleled intensity.

On his left, eleven year old LANA ALEXANDER is approximately a foot shorter then her brother. She exudes an aura of compassion and precociousness beyond her years, not crying in spite of her youth. She is far more concerned for Nick, looking up at him standing solemnly at her side.

Without looking, Nick places a hand on Lanaís shoulder, caring, reassuring.

On Nickís right, ALYSON FOSTER stands, far less imposing then him. Fifteen, she is beautiful; though not in the supermodel image so aspired for by the youth of today. Her eyes hold an insightful intelligence and sincere gentile nature that tends to be lost on the average teenager. When she looks at him, however, there is something different apparent in her eyes, even through her grief-love.

Charles touches Jenniferís arm gently. She nods and the two of them move off. Lana, Nick, and Alyson stand like this for a moment, without moving. Then Nickís hand drifts up to gently touch the gold cross necklace he wears with three fingers. After a moment, his hand closes around it entirely, giving it a hard enough of a jerk to pop open its clasp, freeing it from his neck. Opening his hand, he regards it with thoughtfulness as it slips through his fingers, splashing down in a small puddle at his feet.

Alyson takes his hand in hers, neither of them looking at the other. As their hands close over one another, a cloud moves slightly, and a lone ray of sunshine pushes its way through. The light hits the golden cross precisely, as though aimed deliberately, and a flare reflects off it, blinding the camera and the audience for a moment.


From here, Murphy Falls seems peaceful and serene. A small, quiet town mired in suburban mediocrity, it is a scene so familiar that it could be your town as easily as mine. Its perfection is, in a way, more disconcerting then any display of urban violence and depravity could ever be.



Every small town resident has set foot in a book store much like this one. Practical Demon Keeping, however, purveys a sense of individuality not witnessed in the majority of this Stepford-ian town. Its commonness in design is offset by its decoration and book collection, both of which show a clear predilection towards the gothic and the unusual.

Nick stands in front of the counter, counting out the money to pay for the four books which lay before him.

Behind the counter, the storeís owner, CHARLES FOSTER, may be pushing forty-five, but his charm and jovial nature are still near tangible, his good looks having sharpened with age and distinction, not diminished.

Nick hands Foster three twenties, then loads the books into his back pack.

Thanks. See you next week, Mister

He turns to leave, but spots a comic book whose title reads ďE. Cossumís Nathan DarkĒ and he picks it up from the shelf, throwing down an extra ten.

Gotta love Nathan Dark. Keep the

He leaves the store, flipping though the opening pages of the comic book.


The immediate area appears to be a commercial district, shop signs full of show and flash in the bright afternoon sun. Even here a domestic familiarity persists, the consumer directed flare and advertising slightly ambiguous but void of the everyday sexuality found in urban and city environments.

The citizens walking the streets around him are familiar to us all-The goth kid we went to school with, the football hero we worshipped, the local drunk.

Among these, however, a STRANGER approaches. He is dressed unusually for the heat, his attire completely black-including his heavy trench coat. Young and handsome, this is FACE. He is the very image of lean, athletic muscle, his expensive designer suit tightly fitted to the express point of revealing this fact.

Nick is caught up in the fictional world of the Nathan Dark comic book as he strolls towards Face. He doesnít notice the unfamiliar individual in this sea of sameness, and fails to avoid him when their shoulders collide with enough force to move him from his place.

He turns to see Face glance over his shoulder, his mouth turning up slightly on one side, a malevolent imitation of a smile. There is a dark intelligence in those eyes that unsettles Nick visibly as their gazes meet. And then he is gone, disappearing into the slight crowd with almost impossible speed and acquity. Nick stares after him for a moment more, his expression still one of unease.


Here, the familiarity does not fail to be present. This kitchen could be yours as well as mine-its surfaces clean, but not too clean, tidy, but not too tidy. Just a hint of disarray lingers behind as proof that it has been occupied in recent memory, though not strenuously by any means.

Nick enters, his back pack slung loosely over one shoulder, the comic book held in his hand. He sets both on the island in the center of the room. Not a single noise sounds to indicate that he is not alone. Someone has written something on the refrigerator marker board, however, which he now reads over quickly.

Nick, I had to work late. Thereís a TV dinner in the
Microwave. Lanaís staying the night at Mackenzieís.

Nick seems less than surprised by the contents of the letter-this is obviously not the first time heís come home to find he is alone.


A bit of a mess, the room is a contrast in personality, between maturity and child like nature, factuality and open mindedness.

Its bookshelves are covered in a thorough variety of literature, from texts focusing on psychology, philosophy, and various sciences to popular fiction novels and studies of the paranormal.

Its walls are home to movie posters and comic book styled pin-ups. Even here we see the conflicted idealisms and desires of the person who inhabits this room.

At the moment, Nick sits in bed, typing on his laptop computer. He seems entirely involved in the world of the words he is writing. When his watch begins to beep intermittently and incessantly, he is pulled from that world with a bit of surprise. His response, however, is minimal, and he reaches over to the desk top to turn it off with a minimum of attention paid.

He stares at the computer screen for a moment. Then he shuts it, setting it aside on his desk. Shutting the light off, he settles in for sleep.


From outside, there seems to be no life inside the house. All its lights are out, no noise emanating from within. A window on the second floor opens quietly and a YOUNG FEMALE steps out onto the roof. This is CAMMY NEILSEN.

She is an attractive girl, and could very well be head cheerleader or homecoming queen. As she jumps the few feet from her rooftop to the ground, she impacts a bit harder than she intended and she lets out a very unladylike curse.

She skulks off into the shadows, moving away from her home.


Cammy approaches the park from the street, entering its grounds at a small pavilion. She looks around as though she is expecting someone else to arrive.

As she looks around, Cammy hears a noise behind her, muffled, indefinable.

A few moments later, the noise sounds again and Cammy surveys her surroundings again. This time she seems extremely nervous.

(Under her breath)
Come on, BradÖ

Face steps out of nowhere behind her, moving soundlessly through the shadows. Despite her sudden paranoia, the young girl remains unaware of her stalkerís presence as he closes the distance between them.


WILLIAM ALEXANDER drives the vehicle, his son Nick in the passenger seat. William is approximately forty years of age, but he remains fairly handsome despite it, his smile full of charm and intelligence.

William pushes gently forward on the accelerator, and the car moves forward into the intersection. He glances at his son. He says something, but we cannot hear him.

Nick opens his mouth to respond, but instead his eyes go wide as he notices what lies beyond the car window. A Mack truck is barreling towards them, its driver making a frantic effort to stop, his expression one of shock and fear.


As William turns his head to see the cause of Nickís concern, everything around him vanishes in a flash of light.


He finds himself in a park, at night. Cammy stands before him, several feet away, under a pavilion. He regards her with interest at first, but as he moves towards her, he sees Face appear behind her. His expression immediately registers concern for the young girl.

Face grabs the girl from behind, pinning her arms to her side and covering her mouth before she can scream. Nick tries to yell but his voice remains unheard. He charges towards the pavilion, but in another flash of light everything vanishes.


Nick blinks open his eyes and realizes with a start that he is staring at the sky. Sitting up, he looks around, taking in his surroundings. He has awoken in Carverís woods, no road in sight, covered in dirt, and wearing nothing but boxers and a t-shirt.

Well. This is upsetting.

It begins to rain.




The parking lot of Murphy Falls High School is at least two thirds full already as it begins to rain. Most of the vehicles are what youíd expect teenagers to drive, used and second rate but functional and as stylishly fitted as limited budgets can accommodate. Likewise, most of their owners are perfect examples of average teens in the new millennium, split up into clearly defined social cliques throughout the area.

Most of the students run for cover now, attempting to shield themselves or their belongings from the damaging effects that rain could have. Others amble inside, soaked to the bone, acting as though they not only donít care, but perhaps donít notice the sudden shift in weather.

A Ford Taurus pulls into the parking lot, finding a resting spot set apart from any of the aforementioned social groups, as though its driver were an outsider even to the outsiders.

The door opens, and Nick steps out, already soaked, slinging his backpack over his shoulder. He seems not to be in any hurry to depart from the lot, nor to escape the influence of the weather, as he moves slowly towards the schoolís main entrance.

Another perfect dayÖ


Nick enters out of the rain through the main doors, both he and his backpack thoroughly wetted by the downpour outside. Somehow he still manages to look apathetic and average, despite the weather related circumstanmce.

He sees Alyson just passing him on her way down the hall. She doesnít notice her friend, clearly lost in her own thoughts. He hurries after her.

Aly. Wait up.

He catches her gently by her arm. She sees him and her expression changes from one of pensiveness to one of affection. Her smile is engaging and innocent in a way that seems contrary to the serious thought she was just committing.

Nick. Hey.

Youíre just the person I was hopi-
ng to conveniently run into.

(her smile broadens a bit)
Well. You sure know how to make a
girl feel special.

(Flashes a brief smile)
Iím a charmer.
(a pause)
Something happened to me this m-
morning. Something weird.


A few students mill about the hallways, slowly disappearing into classes. Nick and Alyson turn the corner, coming into view.

(Intrigued, slightly disb-
Carverís woods?

Nick opens his mouth to respond, but stops when he sees the YOUNG GIRL walking towards them. This is JILLIAN BEAUMONT. She is beautiful, her hair flowing and perfect, her eyes piercing behind her thin wire frame glasses. She is wearing a white button down shirt, thin leather jacket, and medium length skirt, books tucked under her arm.

When their eyes meet, a sort of subconscious recognition passes between them, and they both hold the gaze longer than would seem normal, looking over their shoulders as they pass each other.


And this upsets you?

(He returns his attention
to her)
I find it slightly disconcert-
ing, yeah. Any thougts?

Sleep walking?

Alyson and Nick reach the door to a classroom as she says this.

Weíve been best friends since you
used that big brain of yours to
MacGyver us out of our playpens
when we were six. Have you ever
known me to sleep walk?

Admittedly not that I can recall.

They enter the classroom.


Nick and Alyson proceed to their seats near the back of the room, where TREVOR MORGAN already sits. Trevor is moderately athletic, his body lean and reasonably muscular-visibly so in the t-shirt he is wearing. The same age as Nick, he is slightly shorter, but equally average in appearance and mannerism.

He sits reading a collection of Nieziís philosophies, his face a mask of concentration and intrigue. When he hears his friends approach, he looks up from the book and his expression changes slightly. Though his face remains serious, the slight change in his manner and look clearly display an affection for Alyson in no small measure.

Hey, Aly.
(Almost as an afterthought)
(The two of them nod hello)
I sense a talk in the making.
Serious discussion mode is on

Because I woke up in Carverís
Woods this morning.

And either he was sleep walking
for the first time in seventeen

Or I was abducted by aliens.

Or something weird happened.


MISS MATUSZEWKSI enters the classroom. Around thirty-two years old, she is reasonably attractive, her shoulder length hair is dark brown, her eyes a stunning hazel. She seems laid back, not frumpy or old like the stereotypical literature teacher. Nor is she, however, unusually chipper, her mood falling between the two.

Good morning class. Today weíll
be discussing the author Joseph
Campbell and his work The Heroís

She begins to write on the chalkboard and Nick, Aly, and several other students who are still standing, sit down, turning their attention forward. Nick gets out a notebook and begins to scrawl in it, his concentration on something besides the teacher. Alyson gets out her copy of The Heroís Journey, listening astutely to Matuszewksi. Trevor is watching Alyson. His face doesnít betray his feelings, but his eyes do.


The cafeteria is crowded with students, tables brimming over with books, trays and loud conversation. The lunch line extends past the doorway leading into the kitchen by more than a significant amount, and a number of students lean against walls and pillars while they wait.

Trevor and Alyson sit at a round table near one of the double door entrances, talking.

You notice the new kid in Psych?

Jillian Beaumont. She transferred
from a Prep School in the city.
Something about whacking the Pep

Trevor smiles. It fades a moment later.

That was a joke, right?

BRAD ROBERTS and CHAD CAMERON linger by the table at which Alyson and Trevor sit, talking as they make their way towards the lunch line. Tall, muscular, and handsome, they are both the striking image of stereotypical small town football heroes-down to their Letterman jackets. They could almost be twins were it not that Brad has dark hair and complexion and Chad is blonde haired, blue eyed, and fair skinned.

So, howíd things go with Cammy
last night? Word is you two h-
ave been getting pretty serious.

Not last night. She was supposed
to meet me at Blalock Park and
she never showed.

Get out. She bailed on you?

Like she had the last life vest
on the Titanic.


Nick approaches Trevor and Alysonís table, carrying a food tray. Sitting down across from Trevor and next to Alyson, he raised an eyebrow at his lunch.

I think the FDA might take exception
to this being called food.

Alyson and Trevor both smile, though she does so much more enthusiastically than he-another indication of how she feels about Nick.

Hey, gang. Whatís the what?

New girl.


Lit homework.


(Holds up his book)

Unusually spelled.
(There is a moment of silence)
Iím going back to Carverís Woods.

You do realize that Michael Carver
will kill you if he finds you on
his property?

The thought has occurred.

You donít think that might cut
into your social life a bit?

Social life?
Curiosity killed more than just
the cat, Trev.

He takes a bite of his food, making a slight grimace at its taste. Alyson and Trevor exchange a look that speaks of their disagreement with Nickís plan. Alysonís eyes display more concern for him, however, and when their gaze breaks it is clear that Trevor not only noticed but is hurt or annoyed by the fact.

Youíre certainly not going alone.

Nick looks up from his food and smiles.


The apartment is rather Spartan in appearance and decoration. It has only the most basic of furnishings, a lamp and table here, a magazine rack there. The coffee table has a neatly organized group of magazines laid out on its surface, the lamp lacks design, but not functionality. The bookshelves seem to be more filled with texts and manuals than popular fiction. This is clearly the home of a meticulous soul not interested in the finer things in life so much as the necessary.

DETECTIVE MATTHEW BRAIDEN stands looking out one of the windows, sipping coffee. Dressed in a partially open button down shirt and blue jeans, Braiden is around twenty-eight years of age, standing at about six feet tall. His hair is a light brown, slightly mussed and spiky, his eyes deep pools of brown that do their best to hide his pensive nature. All in all, he is a reasonably handsome man.

A female voice sounds behind him.

Pondering the mysteries of the
Twinkie again, Matt?

Braiden turns to look over his shoulder. The voice belongs to DETECTIVE MONICA HARRIS. Monica is approximately twenty-six, extremely attractive, her raven hair shoulder length, her blue eyes contained of intellect and compassion. Standing at about five foot eleven, she is currently wearing a white tank top and blue jeans, sipping a coffee herself.

Said she revealing her ascerbic

Monica smiles a little, her expression presenting both an uncommon innocence and purity.

Something like that.

The atmosphere in the room clearly indicates that they have recently slept together and there is something unsaid between them.

A cell phone rings, breaking the silence. After a second ring, Braiden breaks eye contact with Monica, unclipping his phone from his belt and hitting talk.

Braiden. Talk at me.
(a pause)
Looks like a job for...Be right

He hangs up, clipping the phone back to his belt. He returns his attention to Monica, who has been watching him the whole time.

Found a body this morning. I
have to go.

When nature calls.

Braiden takes his semi-automatic and his badge from the counter(which had previously been out of sight), and clips them onto his belt, next to his phone.

Lock up when you leave, Monica.

She nods and he leaves.


Nick and Alyson come into view as they round a tree, stepping out into a slight clearing. Though it is difficult to be sure, this appears to be the same clearing in which Nick awoke just this morning.

This is the spot.

Nick. Why are we here? Why does
this matter to you?

Because I woke up here this m-
orning. And I donít know why.
Call me the cat, but curiosity
has me.

A human reaction.

Nick raises his eyebrow, smiling slightly.

Thanks. I think.

What exactly are we hoping to find

Call me an optimist, but I was ho-
ping to find the secrets of the u-
niverse lying around somewhere.

Nick moves farther into the clearing, looking around slowly.

As long as youíre not having unr-
easonable expectations.

Alyson looks around as well, though she clearly has no idea what theyíre looking for. Nick stops walking, staring down at his arm, and Alyson, not noticing, bumps into him.

(Surprised, as if to hers-
Something about objects in moti-

My arm. Iím bleeding.

Nick turns to face Alyson and she sees that blood is slowly trickling down his arm. There appears to be no wound from which the blood is coming. Nick looks at her with subdued shock, Alyson herself looking at him with confusion and concern.


Nick touches the blood on his arm, lifting his fingers to regard the crimson liquid on them with equal parts confusion and intrigue.

Iím bleeding. And Iím not cut.

Oh my God, Nick. Itís some sort

Itís some sort ofÖvery, very c-

Alyson reaches for his arm, clearly worried about him, and Nick takes a step away.

Donít, Aly.

She takes another step forward, and he moves backwards again in response to her movements.


Just stay back, Aly. I donít
know what-

In mid sentence Nick steps backwards once more and plummets from sight.


Alyson is at the spot where he disappeared in a moment. She is moving so fast that she almost falls herself, barely stopping short of the hole into which Nick has fallen.

Lying on his back, on a set of stone steps that appear to lead directly into the ground, Nick looks up at her. He is clearly in some discomfort from having hit the steps.

I believe the word is ow.


Braiden walks down the hallway, talking with a YOUNG OFFICER. This is OFFICER FRANCO. Franco is an average looking youth around twenty-two years of age. A uniformed officer, he has about him an air of inexperience and unease. Braiden on the other hand exudes confidence and familiarity, an obvious contrast to the other cop.

The weirdest thing to ever catch
my notice, Detective. You gotta
see it for yourself.

Braiden stops at a coffee vending machine, slipping some change into the machine.

I believe that Iím about to. Tell
me. What Iíve been hearing-

Braiden pushes one of the buttons and a cup drops into view, the nozzle dispensing coffee into it, filling it to the brim.

Most likely true. This guy was sick
on a previously undiscovered level,
Sir. The poster child for psychosis.

Braiden picks up the coffee, taking a sip with a slight grimace.

Sometimes I miss the city.

He turns to push through the double doors ahead of him, reads the word CORONERíS OFFICE on them and stops, his expression indicating that heís having second thoughts about his actions. He drops the coffee in a small trash can by the vending machine.

(He looks back at Franco,


Jillian descends the library steps, several books tucked under her arm. Her expression is involved and pensive, her beauty no less obvious for the look of concentration.

As she walks, a noise sounds somewhere nearby, furtive, indefinable. When she turns to discover its source, she sees Face walking after her. Dressed in the same tightly fitted designer suit as earlier, he makes no attempt to disguise the fact that he is following her. In fact, when their eyes meet, the corner of his mouth turns up slightly, displaying a malevolent mockery of mirth. His eyes flash with the intensity and intellect of a predator on the hunt.

What Jillian sees when she looks into his eyes clearly unsettles her, but she canít seem to break from his gaze as she walks slowly forward. She turns when she realizes she has reached her car. She quickly unlocks the Jetta and gets inside. As she starts the car, she looks up to see Face standing about twenty feet away. His smile grows as he recognizes the slight fear in her mannerism, and in her eyes.

She drives off, watching Face in her rearview mirror.

The one time itís the smart girlÖ




Nick and Alyson stand opposite each other, looking down at the stairs.

What do you think they do?

(Alyson looks at him)
Theyíre stairs.

(A pause)
Good point.
(A pause)
You think theyíre worth looking

Theyíre stairs. Without a building

Right. Definitely worth looking i-


Cammy Neilsenís corpse lays on a metal autopsy table in the center of the room, covered from the neck down by a white sheet. Braiden lifts the sheet, glancing at what lies beneath it. He grimaces slightly.


MEDICAL EXAMINER LISA CHRISTIAN approaches Braiden from behind.

To say the least.

Christian is about thirty-five years of age, stunning despite her medical attire, and her glasses. Her eyes are honey brown, deep pools of mystery, her hair light brown and shoulder length. She seems not only intelligent, but also caring and gentle.

Whatís the prognosis, Doc?

(Affecting stereotypical
ER doctor voice)
Thereís no easy way to say this,
Detective, but she didnít make it.

Was that morbid?

That was morbid. But I forgive us.

Probable cause of death?

I was thinking the stab wounds p-
robably had a little something to
do with it.

Could be wrong.
(She gives him a look)
It could happen.

As it turns out, I think I was.

Braiden looks up, surprised by her comment.

Thereís something I want to show


Alysonís bedroom is an ode to intellect, the bookshelves covered with science, mathematics, and psychology texts, among others. The room is in most ways void of creativity and playfulness, clearly the home of someone who values reason above most else. The only exceptions to this seem to be a single fiction novel, two lone die cast Star Wars figurines (Leia and Han Solo), one Nathan Dark comic book, and a poster on the wall which reads ďI Want To BelieveĒ above a photo of a flying saucer.

A desk opposite the bed holds a lap top with an internet hookup, and several neatly organized notebooks and computer manuals. At the moment, Alyson sits at the desk, working on the computer. Nick stands behind her, watching her with interest.

So what exactly are we looking
for here?

Blue prints. If those steps ever
belonged to a building, itíll be
on record with the Chamber of

And if we find the blue prints?

(Typing on the computer)
Then weíll know what building
they used to be attached to.

And in some way this is going to
explain exactly what happened to

One weird thing might be a coi-
ncidence. Two weird things-

Is a pattern?

Is weirder. And deserves to be
looked into.

That was my second guess.

That's what I have so far. I am aware that I mispelled the philosopher's name. Does anyone have that? Thanks. And for any other input. Oh. I apologize for it's lacking of correct format as well to any who may have noticed. The copy paste process from one medium to another shifted it some. Thanks again.


Post Fri Sep 24, 2004 3:54 pm   
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