Little Monsters script
Synopsis: Brian (Fred Savage) isn't scared of the monster living under the bed. On the contrary, when he gets to know the wild-eyed boogeyman, Maurice (Howie Mandel), the pair become fast friends. During the night, Maurice takes his young charge into the netherworld of monsters, where they have a great time making mischief in the lives of sleeping children. But Brian's opinion of Maurice and his freewheeling lifestyle changes when he discovers that he himself is turning into a monster.

FADE IN:

on an old alarm clock, TICKING, the bells gone, the little hand

missing, the big hand indicating twenty-after-something. It is

bound with black electrical tape, time-bomb fashion, to a

plastic water-filled spray bottle.

The alarm RINGS; the bell hammer tugging the piece of kite

string tied to the trigger of the bottle; water is misted onto

the face of--

BRIAN STEVENSON, a dark-haired twelve-year-old with eyes that

don't miss much. Awake now, he shuts off the alarm and snaps on

the Tensor lamp next to his bed. We are

INT. STEVENSON HOME - ATTIC ROOM - NIGHT

A huge poster shows the history of train engines. A stairway is

cut into the floor. No curtains on the window. A just-past-

half moon shines in the night sky.

Brian pulls on a pair of thick wool socks. He skates past a

cluttered worktable, across the hardwood floor to the stairs.

INT. HALLWAY

Brian moves quietly past a closed door; on it, a plaque reads

'Eric's Room' above a picture of an antique car.

Farther down is another closed door. Brian pauses, listening to

the sounds of Mom and Dad arguing; no words can be made out,

only the tones, the rise, fall, sharpness of voices.

Brian looks away from the door. Prepares for his assault on the

stairs. He reaches his foot down--and the step CREAKS loudly.

Brian freezes. He moves his foot to the left, puts his weight

on it. Silence. He goes right for two more, skips the next

stair altogether, making his way to the bottom of the minefield

of possible creaks and groans.

INT. KITCHEN

Brian whips up a balogna-mustard-onion sandwich. He glances at

the clock--12:
27--working under a deadline.

INT. LIVING ROOM

Brian--silently--pushes an armchair up to the television. He

turns the volume knob down, holds the remote control an inch

from the set, thumbs it. Brian adjusts the volume so it's

barely audible-- just in time for the opening of 'Late Night

With David Letterman.'

2.

He sits back. Unseen by Brian a quick, subtle movement-- just

a shadow, really--heads for the stairs.

Brian takes a bite of the sandwich--

--and then there is a SCREAM that could wake the dead.

Brian shoves the chair back, remotes the set off on the run,

tosses the control on the couch, and races for the stairs.

EXT. STEVENSON HOME - NIGHT

A rambling, two-story midwestern house with screened-in front

porch stands dark on a large wooded lot. The SCREAMING

continues, going hoarse. A second-story bedroom light comes on.

INT. STEVENSON HOME - STAIRWELL

Brian is only halfway up the stairs when his escape route is cut

off:
light from his parents' room spills into the hall. Brian

melts back into the shadows. HOLLY and GLEN STEVENSON hurry to

the already open door of Eric's room.

INT. ERIC'S BEDROOM

No curtains in here, either. ERIC STEVENSON, nine years old

with light brown hair and fine features, sits huddled in bed,

breathing hard, blinking in the sudden glare of the overhead

light.

ERIC:

Mom! There was a monster!

Holly relaxes, smiles. She is a dark-eyed woman on the other

side of thirty, pretty giving way to elegant. She gestures to

Eric.

HOLLY:

Skootch over.

Holly sits down on the bed beside Eric. She hugs him.

HOLLY:

It was just a bad dream.

ERIC:

But I wasn't sleeping!

HOLLY:

Sometimes you dream you're awake,

but you're not.

Glen, slightly older than Holly, bearded, stands slumped against

the door frame. He is a polished man but worn, the veteran of

too many such late night disturbances.

3.

GLEN:

It was probably just the house

settling. You're not used to it,

yet.

ERIC:

It wasn't the house--there was a

monster! It zoomed in from the

hall and went under my bed!

Holly and Glen exchange a look.

GLEN:

Eric...when you dream, it's just

your brain's way of sorting out

things you learned during the day.

So if you found out something--

ERIC:

I found out there's a monster

under my bed! It ran in from the

hall--it grabbed my ankle!

HOLLY:

There's no monster under your bed.

Here.

She gets down on one knee and--

ERIC:

No, Mom! Don't!

--sticks her arm into the under-the-bed. She sweeps it back and

forth, pulls it out. It is rather dusty.

HOLLY:

See? No monsters.

(notices the dust,

brushes it off)

All the dust bunnies scare 'em

away.

ERIC:

(a new threat)

...bunnies?

INT. HALLWAY

Brian rolls his eyes. He sneaks toward the attic stairs.

INT. ERIC'S BEDROOM

GLEN:

There are no bunnies and no

monsters. There's nothing under

your bed.

4.

HOLLY:

Maybe we should get the

flashlight.

Eric crosses his arms and gives Glen a grave nod.

GLEN:

Holly, if we humor him--

(off her look)

All right.

INT. HALLWAY

Brian commando-rolls into the bathroom, disappearing just before

Glen steps into the hall.

INT. ERIC'S BEDROOM

Holly pulls the covers up to Eric's chin, tucking him in.

HOLLY:

You want to know a secret? The

monsters are more afraid of you

than you are of them.

Eric looks very doubtful. He inches the covers down to free his

arms.

HOLLY:

Once you realize they don't exist,

they're gone. That's a lot of

power. I wish I could do that to

the heating bill.

She pulls the covers back up to Eric's chin. Glen returns,

presents the flashlight to Eric.

GLEN:

Easy on the batteries, kid.

Eric takes the flashlight, grips it tightly.

HOLLY:

We'll leave the hall light on and

the door open.

HOLLY/GLEN

'night, Eric.

ERIC:

G'night...

Glen turns off the room light.

5.

INT. HALLWAY

The pair move toward their bedroom door, speaking softly:

GLEN:

Do you think he heard us?

HOLLY:

Of course he heard. What do you

think scared him? He was--

The clicking shut of the bedroom door cuts her off.

INT. ERIC'S BEDROOM

Eric lies on his side, back to the door, eyes wide. He hears

something. He can't look. Then he jumps, arms flailing, a

scream on its way--cut off by a hand clamping over his mouth.

He trains the flashlight on his ankle--

--a hand is wrapped around it; the beam runs past the wrist, up

the arm, to Brian's face, grinning out of the darkness. His

attitude is that of a friendly co-conspirator, a helpful ally in

the kids vs. parents cold war.

BRIAN:

They were lying.

Eric stares at him, his mouth still covered.

BRIAN:

There is a monster.

Eric shakes his head 'no' emphatically.

BRIAN:

It went for your ankle, right? It

got mine. Where do you think I

got this?

Brian takes his hands away. Sticks out one leg, pulls up his

pajamas cuff, revealing the old, ugly scar on his ankle. Eric

stares at it, a little panicked.

ERIC:

You got that when your foot got

caught in the spokes. When you

were little!

Brian looks at him and smiles pityingly.

BRIAN:

That's what

(jerks his head towards

their parents' room)

they want you to think.

6.

Eric, eyes widening, turns to look in the direction Brian jerked

his head. Brian's smile gets bigger as he backs toward the

door.

BRIAN:

They're supposed to be comforting--

they're parents. I'm your

brother.

(reaches for the knob)

Here--I'll close this...you really

ought to keep the lights down.

ERIC:

(a whisper)

Why?

BRIAN:

(matter-of-fact)

Because monsters are just like

moths...they're attracted to

light.

Brian smiles helpfully, and pulls the door shut.

The flashlight beam cuts across the dark room. Eric turns it up

to look into it, his worried face now lit from below. He

glances quickly around the room. All is silent. Screwing up

his courage, he snaps off the light, and the room goes BLACK.

Eric's soft, worried back-of-the-throat whimper floats out of

the darkness.

INT. ATTIC ROOM - MORNING - CLOSE ON

a gold pocketwatch. The face is unique: a disc with a wedge cut

out is set into a numbered ring. The wedge turns, revealing an

old-fashioned drawing of a benign sun for daylight hours, a

malevolent man-in-the-moon in a starry sky for the nighttime.

Brian sits at a worktable covered with disassembled mechanical

items. He pores over the dismantled watch, cleaning the pieces

with Dust-off.

HOLLY (O.S.)

Brian! Breakfast.

(Brian doesn't respond)

Brian!

Brian reluctantly sets the watch onto its stand.

INT. KITCHEN - MORNING

Holly fits one last dish into the dishwasher; Glen finishes his

coffee and grapefruit.

7.

Eric, head down, intently eats his cereal. Brian breezes into

the room--then slows, sensing tension. Brian eases down next to

Eric.

GLEN:

I hope whatever you watched last

night was worth your allowance.

BRIAN:

...huh?

Holly turns on the dishwasher.

HOLLY:

We found the sandwich.

BRIAN:

(beat)

What sandwich?

Eric winces--he knows the shit has just hit the fan.

HOLLY:

Brian, you are the only person in

this house who eats bologna and

onions. Every time you get

caught, you think you can lie your

way out of it.

GLEN:

You want to end up a politician?

BRIAN:

...no.

Water pipes, visible through a hole above the sink, start to

knock. Holly, expecting this, turns on and off the hot water.

The knocking subsides.

ERIC:

Gotta catch the bus.

HOLLY:

This conversation is not over.

ERIC:

It's not fair you get mad at me

every time you get mad at Brian.

The pipes start knocking again. Holly takes a deep breath,

gestures that Eric can go. He grabs his lunch bag and leaves.

Holly repeats the hot water ploy; it doesn't work. She tries it

once more; again, nothing. She shuts down the dishwasher; the

knocking stops for good.

HOLLY:

Damn! Damn, damn.

8.

Glen goes to her. Brian is torn between escape--and his lunch.

He edges toward it. Glen puts an arm around Holly's shoulder,

tries to cheer her.

GLEN:

The plumber'll be out next week.

HOLLY:

Great. Can I leave him the

dishes?

GLEN:

Just keep saying to yourself:

'It's our dream house.'

HOLLY:

I never dreamed of seventeen

hundred dollars in plumbing

problems.

Glen leans against the cupboard; a strange look crosses his

face. He turns:
melted strawberry ice cream stains his shirt,

and drips out of the cupboard. He pulls open the door--a soupy

half gallon of Carnation sits on a stack of dishes.

Brian looks incredulously at the gooey mess, snags his lunch,

and beelines for the door--

GLEN:

You're a deadman.

BRIAN:

I didn't do it!

HOLLY:

Just like the sandwich.

Glen, disgusted, plucks the carton out of the cupboard.

BRIAN:

...okay, it was my sandwich-- but

I didn't have any ice cream! You

always blame me for everything--

HOLLY:

Somebody puts scuff marks on the

doors kicking them open. And

somebody sticks gum under the

table--

BRIAN:

Not me.

Glen throws an ice cream-bloated sponge into the sink.

9.

GLEN:

We'll let this go as an accident.

But I'm laying down the law. No

more intentionally disobeying the

rules. You know the difference

between right and wrong. Start

acting like it.

BRIAN:

(downcast)

...yes, sir.

INT. STAIRWELL

Brian sits on the stairs, bookpack between his knees. Glen, tie

over his shoulder, buttoning a fresh shirt, hurries past. He

kisses Holly goodbye and goes out the front door.

Holly turns, regards her glum son. Sits down beside him.

HOLLY:

Brian, your Dad and I are worried.

You and Eric have been at the new

school the same amount of time.

Eric's already made some friends--

BRIAN:

Grandpa was my friend.

HOLLY:

Yes, I know. I know you miss

Grandpa. We all do.

(beat)

But you should get out more. Find

somebody to play with.

(remembering)

The lawyer who handled the estate--

Mr. Coleman? He had a son about

your age.

BRIAN:

(stating a fact)

Ronnie Coleman is a toad.

HOLLY:

He seemed like a nice kid.

BRIAN:

We can have him over for milk and

dead flies.

Holly reacts with a small smile despite herself--then they hear

a LONG, SCRAPING, CRUMPLING METAL SOUND from outside.

10.

EXT. STEVENSON HOME - DRIVEWAY

Brian's Beachcruiser lays twisted in back of the idling Honda.

Glen sternly guides Brian out through the garage. Holly follows

as far as the garage door.

GLEN:

Right there. What do you see?

Brian spots the bike, breaks away from Glen. He stares down at

the ruined bike.

BRIAN:

You ran it over.

GLEN:

Guess why?

Brian looks at him; a light dawns.

BRIAN:

Oh no--no way.

(pointing to the side of

the garage)

It was there! I parked it right

there!

GLEN:

It was behind the car. I didn't

see it this time because it was

lying flat.

BRIAN:

My bike...all those stupid seeds

I had to sell.

GLEN:

You're lucky--the car wasn't

damaged. As it stands you are

grounded for a month, no TV for a

month, and you can consider

yourself at poverty level until

the next century.

HOLLY:

Isn't that a little rough?

GLEN:

Don't make me the villain here,

Holly.

BRIAN:

Wait...I'm out my bike. Your

car's fine. You ran over my bike

and I get punished.

GLEN:

Don't get smart.

11.

Glen gets in the car as Brian drags the bike out of the way.

BRIAN:

(muttering)

If you don't want me to get smart,

stop wasting your money on public

education.

EXT. NEIGHBORHOOD STREET - MORNING

Eric and his friend TODD walk toward the bus stop, notebooks and

lunchbags in hand. Todd's parents force him to wear dress

shoes; he compensates by scuffing them at every opportunity.

TODD:

So you didn't really see

anything... All you felt was,

like, an eerie presence?

ERIC:

Yeah. Eerie.

TODD:

It didn't like, go in the closet,

or near it, or even look at it for

a second or anything?

ERIC:

Nope.

TODD:

--so this is an exclusively under-

the-bed phenomenon we're dealing

with here.

ERIC:

Yeah. Under my bed.

They join other kids at the bus stop. Todd snaps his fingers.

TODD:

Trolls! Trolls live under

bridges. This lives under a bed.

It could be some sort of...sub-

species, mutant troll.

(he punches his fist

into his palm)

That's it.

The bus pulls up; its doors hiss open.

ERIC:

I just want to get rid of it.

12.

TODD:

Maybe if you pound a stake through

its heart..?

(pause)

Nah...that only works on vampires.

They solemnly ponder this subject.

ERIC:

I think that'd work on anything.

INT. BUS - DAY

half-filled with kids. Todd and Eric find seats as the bus

begins to move--but then it slows to a stop for a late-arrival:

Brian. He swings into his seat as the bus lurches forward.

ERIC:

Why aren't you riding your bike?

BRIAN:

Let's talk about that. You've got

two choices:
you can lie, and die

slow and painful. Tell the truth,

and I'll be merciful.

(he smiles)

You'll die quick.

ERIC:

What happened?

BRIAN:

Dad ran over my bike because you

put it in the driveway.

ERIC:

No way. Your bike?

The bus slows for its next stop.

BRIAN:

Looks like it's gonna be slow and

painful. We'll start with

starvation and work our way up.

In an unstoppably quick motion, Brian grabs Eric's lunch and

tosses it out the window.

ERIC:

My lunch! You stupid! I didn't

do anything...

(he sees Brian is

serious)

Your bike's really thrashed?

13.

BRIAN:

I put it away. Mom and Dad sure

didn't move it. That leaves

(he points at Eric)

you. I'm tired of you getting me

in trouble.

ERIC:

I don't touch your bike.

(Brian grabs Eric by the

shirt)

If I did, you'd beat me up!

Brian pulls back a little; Eric is sincere. Kids file on the

bus.

BRIAN:

What about the ice cream? You

snuck some ice cream last night.

ERIC:

(definite)

No.

Brian and Eric regard each other, both frowning, puzzled.

TODD:

(confident)

The monster.

Brian and Eric look at Todd, who nods his head, all-knowing.

ERIC:

That's it! That's what it was

doing!

Brian sighs, rubs his eyes in a long-suffering gesture.

BRIAN:

He told you about the killer

attack bunnies under his bed?

ERIC:

It was a monster.

BRIAN:

There are no monsters.

RONNIE (O.S.)

(yelling)

Who's 'Eric?'

RONNIE COLEMAN, a sixth grade version of Pete Rose comes up the

aisle, carrying Eric's battered lunch Bag. Ronnie wears a

football jersey with COLEMAN on the back. A batting glove hangs

out of the back pocket of his jeans.

14.

RONNIE:

Who's the 'Eric' that threw his

lunch at me?

Todd's horror-stricken look throws a spotlight on Eric. Ronnie,

grape juice staining his jersey, zeros in on him.

ERIC:

It's my lunch, but I didn't throw

it.

RONNIE:

Who did?

Eric points at Brian's back.

ERIC:

My brother.

RONNIE:

Stevenson? He's your brother?

(Eric nods)

Man, I was going to make you eat

this in one bite, but...

Ronnie proffers the bag to Eric.

RONNIE:

(pointedly)

You got enough problems.

A few laughs at this; Eric throws in an 'oooooh, burned.' Eric

cautiously takes the lunch.. Ronnie grins victoriously at Brian,

who fumes. Ronnie raises an eyebrow, daring Brian to make

something of it.

Brian holds his temper, slumps down into his seat. Ronnie

shakes his head in disgust, swaggers down the aisle.

A KID grins at Brian from the seat in front of him.

BRIAN:

What are you lookin' at?

The grin is wiped from the kid's face; he turns forward. Brian

stares out the window.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. LAFAYETTE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - ESTABLISHING

The lunch bell RINGS; kids swarm out.

15.

INT. SCHOOL - SCIENCE CLASSROOM

Alone in the room, KIERSTEN DEVERAUX, a crush-inducing twelve

year old, raises a Polaroid camera to take a picture of a just-

beginning-to-bloom cereus. It is inside a homemade plywood box;

the hinged side stands open. A blackout curtain, lifted, lines

the box; a lamp is attached to the roof.

The Polaroid WHIRS, but doesn't spit out a photo.

Kiersten frowns, goes to a closed door marked TEACHERS ONLY.

She takes a key out of her pocket, unlocks the door.

INT. BOOK/SUPPLY ROOM

Kiersten takes a pack of film from a metal cabinet. She shuts

it, turns--

--Brian leans in the door frame, lunch bag in one hand, eating

a sandwich. Kiersten is startled. Brian grins.

BRIAN:

How ya doin'--

(significantly)

--partner.

KIERSTEN:

What?

BRIAN:

I'm your new partner. From now

on, we're both going to get

straight 'A's.

Kiersten frowns at him, puzzled.

BRIAN:

Don't worry, I won't tell anyone

you were stealing answers.

KIERSTEN:

(pulling the door shut)

Did they forget to give you your

medication this morning, Brian?

INT. SCIENCE CLASSROOM

Brian doesn't hear the insult, intent on firming up this new

partnership. As she reloads the camera:

BRIAN:

Oh, come on, Kiersten. I saw you.

You were scamming the teacher's

edition.

Kiersten doesn't give him a lot of attention.

16.

KIERSTEN:

I was not. I'm allowed in there--

Mr. Finn gave me a key.

BRIAN:

A key? You have a key?

(she nods)

And you weren't looking at the

teachers' edition?

KIERSTEN:

(explaining flatly)

I'm working on my science project

See? It's blooming.

BRIAN:

What a breakthrough.

Kiersten finishes reloading the camera, and takes a picture of

the cactus. On the counter are a dozen or so snapshots of the

cactus. Despite himself, Brian is interested. He glances at

the photos.

KIERSTEN:

It's a cereus. They only bloom at

night.

BRIAN:

Yeah? This one's broken.

KIERSTEN:

That's the poINT. I'm training it

to bloom in the daytime.

BRIAN:

Hey, y'know what...

He gathers up the photos into a stack, sorting them into proper

order as he does so.

BRIAN:

If you mounted the camera in one

place...upside down--

Brian reverses the stack, holds them by the wide border.

BRIAN:

You could take a bunch of pictures

and make it like a movie.

CLOSE ON:
the flip-book of photos. Brian riffles through it.

The plant blooms.

KIERSTEN:

(impressed)

Like time-lapse photography...

17.

BRIAN:

Yeah.

(beat)

So, you'll get me the answers,

right?

Kiersten scowls, exasperated. Brian puts up his hands.

BRIAN:

You can get back to me on that.

He is gone. Kiersten shakes her head, then picks up the photos,

flips through them. She looks up, in the direction Brian left.

EXT. ROAD - DAY

Brian shambles along, alone. Todd and Eric, having lain in

wait, suddenly appear, bursting with some new scheme.

ERIC:

If you say there's no monster,

then switch rooms with me.

BRIAN:

What?

ERIC:

Switch rooms with me.

TODD:

Yeah--you sleep in Eric's room and

he sleeps in your room.

BRIAN:

You just want my room.

Eric and Todd pause--then Eric jumps back in step with Brian.

ERIC:

Nuh-uh...I want you to prove me

wrong. I dare you to switch

rooms.

TODD:

(advising Eric)

Double dare him.

ERIC:

(certain that this is

the clincher)

I doubledare you to switch rooms.

BRIAN:

Not interested.

18.

Eric and Todd stop walking, falling behind as they exchange a

disappointed look. Eric has an inspiration. He hurries back up

to Brian; Todd does, too.

ERIC:

I'll pay you.

Brian cocks an eyebrow.

INT. ERIC'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

The door, propelled by a kick, slams open. The kick leaves a

large scuff mark. Brian plods in, sets down a large wicker

laundry basket. Eric holds his own covers in his arms.

ERIC:

You have to stay the whole night.

And you gotta sleep with your leg

sticking out of the covers. And

with the door closed.

BRIAN:

(deadpan)

Oh, stop. You're frightening me.

On top of the bedding in the basket is a shoe-box lid which

contains Brian's pocketwatch and paraphernalia. He lifts it out

and sets in on Eric's small desk, sits down--

Pebbles click-clatter off the window. Eric goes over and raises

the sash.

EXT. STEVENSON HOUSE - NIGHT

Todd, holding a sleeping bag, stands in a spill of moonlight.

TODD:

Hey Eric!

ERIC:

Hey Todd! Good thing you made it--

(louder, for Brian's

benefit)

I think he's gonna bail!

TODD:

Yeah, we'll make sure he won't!

ERIC:

So get up here! Use the trellis.

Todd regards the trellis. Ivy snaking in and out of it, the

trellis climbs the wall, stretching up past Eric's window, far

up the side of the house.

19.

TODD:

...naw...it looks kinda high up.

I'll meetcha at the door.

He's gone, off around the house.

INT. ERIC'S BEDROOM

Eric turns from the window, dashes out, almost colliding with

Glen in the hallway.

ERIC:

Gonna let Todd in.

GLEN:

Hold on.

(addressing them both)

Do either of you have the good

scissors? They're missing again.

Eric's eyes widen. He looks at the bed, then back at Brian

significantly. Brian grimaces, shakes his head.

BRIAN:

No.

GLEN:

Well, if you run across them, put

them back where they belong.

Eric nods and takes off. Brian turns back to the watch. Glen

steps forward, watches over Brian's shoulder.

CLOSE ON THE WATCH as Brian, using a jeweler's screwdriver,

tightens a mechanism. He releases a tiny lever. Minute gears

spin; ticking can be heard, distinct from the soft whirring.

GLEN:

You got it running!

Brian grins as Glen picks up the watch, examines it.

GLEN:

Grandpa'd be happy. You have his

mechanical touch. It must skip a

generation.

Brian's smile turns a little sad. Glen hands the watch back.

Brian places it on the table, in the watch stand.

GLEN:

I wanted to tell you, Brian...what

you're doing here is nice--

(more)

20.

GLEN (Cont'd)

switching rooms with your brother,

so he won't be scared.

(beat)

I'm counting on you to see this

through. No night frights. Okay?

Brian nods.

INT. ATTIC ROOM - NIGHT

Eric and Todd climb the stairs into Brian's room, intimidated

but pleased. Todd's shoes thunder on the stairs.

Eric surveys the disassembled stuff on Brian's worktable. He

reaches for an electric train--

BRIAN (O.S.)

Don't touch that!

Brian steps forward, takes the train, sets it back down.

BRIAN:

You can use the bed, and you can

walk from the bed to the door and

back, and that's it.

Brian grabs the pillow off his stripped bed, turns to leave. He

stops at the stairs.

BRIAN:

You can touch my light--but only

to turn it off.

(beat)

And no fart contests.

INT. ERIC'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Brian stops in the doorway, stares at the bed. In a decisive

move he turns out the light, forces himself to walk calmly to

the bed and sit on the edge. He jerks his legs up, lies down.

Brian looks at it, then pulls it in a bit. He lies back, closes

his eyes.

BRIAN:

(as derisively as he can

manage)

...monsters.

Slowly, smoothly, as if with a mind of its own, the foot slips

back into the safety of the covers.

21.

INT. ERIC'S BEDROOM - LATER

The waxing moon shines brightly. Brian comes awake with a

start. He tilts his head, listening--muffled, indistinct sounds

of laughter can be heard, fading quickly to silence.

Puzzled, frowning, Brian starts to swing a leg out of bed. He

stops--thinks--then pushes the covers away from him until they

touch the floor, covering the space beneath the bed.

A long step, and Brian is safely in the middle of the room. He

goes to the door, keeping an eye on the bed, unable to see

beneath it--the covers block his view.

INT. HALLWAY

Brian sidles out of the door, listens--he hears a muffled voice,

and moves silently toward it, to the vent in the wall by the

attic stairs. The voice becomes clearer as he nears:

TODD (O.S.)

(low and scary-like)

So she goes out, and five minutes

go by, then ten...

(Brian reaches the vent)

So the girl's waiting for her

roommate to get back, and she's

getting real scared...

INT. ATTIC ROOM

The vent is flush to the floor. Todd is in his mummy bag, only

his face visible, sitting across from Eric. The Tensor lamp is

the campfire between the two, the gooseneck bent down so that

the lip of the shade nearly touches the floor.

TODD:

(low and scary-like)

--oh, yeah, the room's on the

second floor--so she's waiting,

and suddenly, from outside, she

hears 'thump-THUMP...thump-THUMP.'

So she gets real brave and she

sneaks over to the door and she

hears it again:
'thump-

THUMP...thump-THUMP!'

INT. HALLWAY

Brian raises one eyebrow, listening.

22.

INT. ATTIC ROOM

TODD:

And so she opens the door and she

screams 'cause she sees her

roommate coming up the stairs--

only the ax-man cut off all her

arms and legs and she's draggin'

herself up by her chin 'thump-

THUMP...thump-THUMP!'

Todd, in his mummy bag, writhes on the floor, impressively

depicting the predicament of the limbless roommate.

ERIC:

...wow...

INT. HALLWAY

Brian shakes his head, disbelieving.

TODD (O.S.)

It happened to a girl a friend of

my cousin knew.

Brian thinks. He hits the riser in front of him with the palm

of his hand:
'thump-THUMP...thump- THUMP.' All sound from

upstairs ceases. Brian grins darkly.

INT. ERIC'S BEDROOM

Brian comes through the door--and stops dead in his tracks.

The bedcovers have been thrown all the way back, away from the

floor, onto the mattress--they lie in a long pile against the

wall. Brian stares.

The black inkiness of the under-the-bed gapes at him.

Brian lowers himself into a half-stoop, half-crouch, peering

into the darkness. Is there something there?

Brian throws a look at the desk--the stand is empty; his

pocketwatch is gone. Brian's eyes go wide. He looks-- and sees

it under the bed, just on the edge of the shadow.

Brian reaches his hand up along the door frame to the light

switch. He flips the switch--

and A MONSTROUS, HORRIFIC, CHILLING HOWL comes from right behind

him. Brian spins in the still-dark room. A blue glow flickers

behind the door.

23.

INT. ATTIC ROOM

Todd jumps back from the stairs, bumping into Eric.

ERIC:

(stepping back)

(panicked; a hiss)

What was that?

TODD:

(another step back)

I dunno.

(futilely optimistic

that Eric will do it)

Go find out.

Eric considers this.

ERIC:

No.

INT. ERIC'S BEDROOM

Brian forces himself toward the blue glow and noise. He reaches

for the knob, yanks the door back, stares into--

--the family's 25" diagonal television set, sitting on its side,

plugged into the switched socket, tuned to an SCTV rerun

featuring Count Floyd.

Brian snaps off the light switch (shutting off the set) and

whirls, ducking to look under-the-bed.

The watch chain becomes taut--the watch is pulled smoothly out

of view, into the deep shadows under the bed.

CLOSE ON Brian, a cold sweat on his forehead, all doubt drained

from his face:
Eric was right.

INT. HALLWAY

Brian darts his head out; a light shines from beneath his

parents' door. Brian's eyes go wide with anticipatory dread--

and then the light goes out. Brian slumps, relieved, then snaps

a look back over his shoulder into the room--

INT. ERIC'S BEDROOM

Brian tilts the TV set down onto the throw rug.

INT. HALLWAY

The television set slides heavily down the hall atop the throw

rug pulled by Brian.

24.

INT. STAIRWELL

Brian grapples with the set, controlling its roll one step at a

time, top-to-side-to-bottom-to-side, down the stairs.

INT. LIVING ROOM

Brian pushes the set into place. He adjusts it slightly. His

gaze-- almost against his will--is drawn back up to the ceiling,

in the direction of Eric's room.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. LIVING ROOM - MORNING

CLOSE on Brian, asleep but not comfortably so. A hand reaches,

grabs Brian's shoulder, shakes him.

ERIC (O.S.)

Hey, Brian! You okay?

Brian starts awake--for a moment really scared. Then he places

himself. He has spent the night on the couch, using a dropcloth

as a blanket; also in the room are paint cans, rollers, and a

ladder.

Eric and Todd stand over Brian, gloating.

TODD:

I guess this means we get our

money back.

ERIC:

What happened? Did the monster

come?

Brian ignores the question--he examines the T.V.

TODD:

Maybe it cut out his tongue.

ERIC:

That's cats.

TODD:

No, they just get it. Monsters

cut 'em out and wear 'em on a

necklace.

Brian remote controls the T.V.: the opening theme of the Bugs

Bunny/Roadrunner show plays ('No more rehearsing or cursing our

parts/We know every part by heart').

25.

TODD:

Looks like you got two weird

things in your house, Eric. A

monster...and a giant chicken.

Brian stares at the screen. Wile. E. Coyote, supergenius, at

a drafting table, T-square flying, creates a blueprint for Bugs

Bunny's destruction: a Rube Goldbergian trap.

ERIC:

It's a wash. He's not talking.

On screen, Wile E. feverishly builds that trap. Brian's mouth

curls into a smile. Without looking away, to Eric:

BRIAN:

I'm sleeping in your room again

tonight.

Eric and Todd look at each other wide-eyed.

BRIAN BUILDS HIS TRAP - SERIES OF SHOTS

A. Brian measures the clearance under Eric's bed, jots it down.

B. At the side of the house, Brian braces his mangled bike

between his knees, straining to remove the sprocket-- it gives,

and Brian clunks himself in the forehead. He rubs the bump,

then starts on the handbrake.

C. A sign on a chain draped across a dirt-packed access road

reads 'MUNICIPAL DUMP - CLOSED.' Beyond it, Brian hikes toward

the dump, bookpack over his shoulder.

D. Heaps of refuse blot out the horizon. Brian spots

something, wrestles it out: the aluminum support frame of an old

rocking horse. He tests the tension of one of the four large

springs hanging from the uprights. They will do.

E. Holly, Glen, and Eric divide their attention between their

partially-emptied plates and Brian, who is wolfing down the

remainder of his dinner. Brian finishes his milk, and without

setting his glass down--

BRIAN:

May I please be excused.

Before the response, he is gathering up his dishes.

F. Eric's bed is supported by a stacks of books. Brian loosens

a leg bolt with a crescent wrench.

G. By the last light of the day, Brian secures the pedal and

gear to the front of the bed. He cranks the pedal around (not

unlike starting a Model-T) pulling the legs out, expanding the

springs until the castors are against the ground.

26.

BRIAN:

(singing softly)

'Roadrunner...the coyote's after

you...'

H. Brian's hand squeezes the brake handle. He snaps a rubber

band around it, and doubles it. The handle stays squeezed.

Brian pulls out the books. The bed stays up.

BRIAN:

(spoken)

'Roadrunner...if he catches you--

you're through.'

INT. ERIC'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Brian lies in bed in the dark room, awake, waiting. The door

opens. It is Holly. Her work shirt is speckled with paint--so

is her hair and her hands.

HOLLY:

Brian? Are you awake?

BRIAN:

Yeah.

HOLLY:

Eric asked me to give this to you.

She holds out the flashlight. Brian takes it from her.

HOLLY:

(slightly questioning)

He said that tonight, he wanted

you to have it.

Brian lets this go by. Holly smiles, goes to the door.

BRIAN:

Mom?

She turns.

BRIAN:

(like he's saying

goodbye)

I love you.

HOLLY:

(puzzled, but pleased)

I love you, too.

She pulls the door shut. Her footfalls recede; the hall light

goes out. There is the sound of a door closing.

27.

PREPARING THE BEDROOM - SERIES OF SHOTS

A. The bedcovers are thrown back in a dramatic swoop by Brian.

Revealed beneath is his Monster-Hunting Gear: a pocketknife, the

alarm clock, a spool of 150 lb test fishing line, a hockey stick

and a big bag of Doritos (Nacho Cheese).

B. Brian strains to be quiet as he slides the dresser across

the floor, in front of the walk-in-closet door.

C. Brian crisscrosses the fishing line around the room. He

ties one end to the hammer-guard of the alarm clock.

D. At the door, he disassembles and removes the inside knob,

leaving the hall-facing knob and bolt in place.

E. He wedges a two-by-four against a piece of plywood that

covers the heating vent.

F. Brian lays down, the hockey stick, knife, and flashlight

beside him, on the wall side. He adjusts their positions. He

makes a few practice grabs, quick. He is ready.

INT. THE BEDROOM - LATER

Moonlight filters through the window. Brian waits, munching

Doritos as quietly as possible. He has an inspiration. He

scatters Doritos around the perimeter of the bed.

Experimentally, he leans down and makes a 'little man' with his

hand and walks it toward the chips. His finger steps on a chip,

results in a crunching sound. Brian smiles.

INT. THE BEDROOM - MUCH LATER

Brian isn't going to make it. The alarm clock ticks away,

hypnotically. Brian is right on the edge of sleep.

Crunch. Brian pulls the blankets tighter. CRUNCH Crunch.

Brian's eyes open, but he does not move.

More crunches. Brian turns his head s-l-o-w-l-y, looking as far

out of the corners of his eyes as possible. The crunching

pauses, then turns into the unmistakable sound of chomping.

Whatever is out there, it sure likes Doritos (Nacho Cheese).

Brian stealthily reaches one hand down to his knife. He

positions the handbrake, waiting. He doesn't breath.

The alarm clock is triggered; it RINGS. Brian cuts the rubber

band. The brake pads open. The rope releases. Sprockets spin.

Springs snap. The trap works; the bed collapses, slamming to

the floor; Brian spins, the flashlight in his hand and on--

28.

The beam catches something rushing straight towards Brian,

straight for the under-the-bed; a brief impression of yellow

eyes--then it is gone, back into the dark.

Brian snaps the light across the room, almost catching something

in the peripheral of the beam.

The alarm, ringing shrilly throughout, begins to whir down.

Brian makes long sweeping arcs with the flashlight,

systematically covering the room. Nothing.

The alarm is spent. Silence.

Brian peers into the dark. A shape rises up behind him. Brian

becomes aware of it just as an arm slaps across his chest--

Brian shouts, and an instinctive jerk becomes a passable judo

throw, propelling the shape over his shoulder to the floor.

Snapping the flashlight around in a two-handed pistol-grip,

Brian pins the shape in the beam--

And the room light goes on. Brian looks over; Glen is standing

in the doorway.

BRIAN:

Dad! The monst--

The word stops as Brian looks back at what is in his beam: an

innocuous pile of clothes: T-shirts, jeans, and sweaters, all

slightly yellowish in tint--and one ratty red bathrobe...and a

Washington Senators baseball cap.

Brian's eyes go wide.

BRIAN:

--er...

CLOSE ON Glen as his eyes track from one corner of the room to

another, his expression going from tired annoyance to shock to

disbelief to wide-awake anger. He focuses on

Brian, on the collapsed bed, flashlight out in front of him, one

foot on the floor. Brian shifts his weight slightly; a chip

crunches.

GLEN:

Christ, Brian--I was counting on

you...

(beat)

I give up.

Brian, intimidated by Glen's forcefulness, starts to feel bad,

but then remembers:

BRIAN:

Wait a minute! I...there is--

29.

GLEN:

A monster? It's a pile of

clothes, for Chrissakes.

He kicks the clothes. Unseen by Glen, two folds in the clothes

open like eyelids and stare up hatefully. Brian's eyes widen.

GLEN:

The next time you leave your room

will be the first time you vote.

Brian is speechless. He rubs his eyes, looks at the clothes.

They look normal.

BRIAN:

But--

Glen snaps off the light and reaches for the door knob; it comes

off in his hand. He gives Brian one more glare, then pulls the

door shut.

Brian swallows, keeps the light unsteadily on the clothes. He

stretches for the hockey stick. Cautiously, he jabs the stick

into the clothes, barely. Nothing happens.

He gives the clothes a good poke. That does it. The sleeve

snaps the hockey stick out of his hands, across the room.

Brian half-leaps, half-sprawls back; he loses the flashlight.

The clothes gather in on themselves, start to change--

Brian slams the laundry basket over the clothes pile, throws his

body on top of it. The basket forces itself up off the floor.

Brian is pitched hard, heels-over-head, to the ground.

The basket continues to rise. Brian gapes as the thing becomes

visible:
long, flat feet with extraordinarily long toes. A

yellowish hand curls out from under the lip of the basket and

throws it off.

The Monster From Under the Bed glowers at Brian, eyes aglow with

malevolent intelligence. The ratty old red bathrobe still

exists; the monster wears it with a certain panache. He grins,

face splitting in half, revealing jagged rows of teeth. His

name is MAURICE.

MAURICE:

Boo.

Brian stifles a scream. He grabs the rug and pulls hard. The

monster's feet go out from under him; he lands on his back.

Brian scrambles away, onto the bed, pulls in his ankles as a

claw-like hand slashes down, making four ragged tears in the

mattress. Brian leaps over the monster, runs for the door.

30.

The knob has been removed; the door won't open. Brian looks

despairingly at his own handiwork, lunges for the window.

Halfway across the room, fishing line wraps around Brian's

ankle, the still-attached alarm clock acting as weight for the

makeshift bolo. The monster, grinning, reels Brian in.

Brian reaches, desperately trying to extricate his leg. Working

frantically, inches out of reach, Brian gets loose from the

line. He rolls away, grabbing up the hockey stick.

The monster looks down at the clock dangling at the end of the

line. The minute hand is nearly straight up. Brian sees the

monster throw a look at the window. Dawn washes the sky.

The monster drops the clock and rushes for the bed. Brian,

thinking fast, leaps between the monster and the bed,

brandishing the stick. The monster pulls up short. The two

gauge each other. For all its ugliness, the monster is not much

taller than Brian. It raises its claws.

BRIAN:

I'll scream.

MAURICE:

That's good--let's both scream.

Let's get your dad back in here.

The monster takes a deep breath--then lets it out in a gasp as

Brian slugs him in the stomach.

BRIAN:

(a hiss)

Shaddup.

The monster raises a hand, takes some time to recover.

MAURICE:

(gasping)

Whoa, time out...

Brian pauses...then sees that the monster is furtively edging

toward the bed. Brian glances out the window. He sees the

lighting sky, smiles. He steps in front of the bed.

BRIAN:

Yeah. Why don't we just wait?

The monster recovers amazingly fast, growls and feints, ramming

Brian out of the way with a shoulder. He makes it to the bed--

just as the sun edges over the horizon.

The monster slips his fingers in under the bed frame and pulls

up. His fingers pass through the box-spring and mattress--his

hands have become two-dimensional, intangible.

31.

Brian jumps onto the mattress. The monster panics. Brian

levers the stick between the bed and the monster, pries him

away. The monster tries to move, but his now-intangible feet

have no purchase. He falls, hands inches from the bed.

A gradient effect, beginning at the monster's fingertips, turns

him from yellow to gray to black, transforming him into his own

shadow. Brian stares as the arms and legs flatten.

BRIAN:

What's happening?

MAURICE:

What d'you think?

BRIAN:

You're dying. The sunlight--

you're a vampire!

MAURICE:

(gasping)

Puh-leez. No such thing...as

vampires...Gotta get back under

the bed...

BRIAN:

No way. You wrecked my bike. You

stole my watch. You been pulling

stuff, trying to get me in

trouble.

MAURICE:

(hurt; defensive)

That's my job.

Brian sucks on his lower lip, thinking. He looks toward the

window. The sun has almost cleared the horizon.

MAURICE:

What, you never did anything just

for a laugh?

Maurice's eyes, wide and pleading, lock with Brian's. The two

gaze at each other, until finally the monster's eyelids drop

closed.

BRIAN:

Damn.

Brian sighs at his victory turned hollow. With both hands, he

raises a corner of the bed, watching the monster, not at all

sure if it will do any good.

Maurice's eyes open slightly. His gaze flickers to the bed; he

tries to move but can't. Straining to hold the bed up, Brian

puts his arm around Maurice's still-solid torso and pushes him

into the shadow.

32.

Brian lets the bed drop. He collapses to the floor.

Suddenly, the bed lifts, raising away from the floor like a

trapdoor. Brian jumps back. The monster, fully recovered and

quite pleased, holds the bed easily above his head with one arm.

He looks like he is standing waist deep in an inky pool.

His gaze flickers to the window--just as the sun clears the

horizon, he grins a yellow grin at Brian.

MAURICE:

(confidentially)

Brian--

(beat)

'Catch ya later.

He disappears, the bed dropping to the floor.

INT. STEVENSON HOME - HALLWAY - DAY

In the master bedroom, Glen sits at a desk covered with bills,

a printing calculator and the check book. Holly holds an

invoice. The tone of the argument is not harsh-- just hard.

GLEN:

It's certainly the liberal

solution to a problem. Throw

money at it.

HOLLY:

Well, since I seem to be

responsible for getting this place

fixed up--

GLEN:

When we made the decision to live

here, we knew it meant a lot of

work.

HOLLY:

For both of us.

GLEN:

I'm commuting four hours a day.

Do you think I enjoy that?

HOLLY:

You don't seem to enjoy much of

anything nowadays.

GLEN:

(moving to shut the

door)

Maybe there's not that much to

enjoy.

33.

Down the hall, Brian steps out of Eric's room with the laundry

basket. Glen spots him.

GLEN:

Where do you think you're going?

BRIAN:

I finished cleaning. I was going

back up to my room.

GLEN:

Well, get there and stay there.

Glen shuts the door. A beat; Brian turns to the stairs.

INT. ATTIC ROOM - NIGHT

Brian lies on his back, wide awake, staring up into the

darkness. Suddenly, another one of Eric's screams pierces the

silence. Brian starts, then frowns, a little scared. A pause.

MAURICE (O.S.)

(from under the bed)

Brian...hey, Brian.

Brian's eyes go a little wider. He doesn't move.

MAURICE (O.S.)

Yo! Brian! I'm back! Why'd you

switch rooms again with that

whiffleball? You know he sucks

his thumb?

(beat)

C'mon, I know you're up there. I

can hear you holding your breath.

Brian begins breathing again.

MAURICE (O.S.)

Okay, fine. Here--I brought you

something.

A thing lands on Brian's chest. He squirms out from under it.

MAURICE (O.S.)

Catch ya' later!

A clatter from below, and then silence. Brian gingerly picks up

Maurice's gift, holds it up into a spill of moonlight: his

grandfather's pocketwatch. Surprised, he looks down over the

side of the bed. Nothing.

EXT. SCHOOL - PLAYGROUND - KICKBALL DIAMOND - DAY

A kickball game in progress. Ronnie is on second base; Brian is

the catcher.

34.

A lanky red-headed girl kicks a grounder. Ronnie rounds third

and heads for home. Brian, in the baseline, waits for the

throw. Ronnie accelerates, lowers his shoulder and slams into

Brian, sending him sprawling in the dirt.

Ronnie stands up, grins at Brian, turns toward his dugout.

The throw from first rolls in. Brian picks it up. With deadly

aim, he hurls the ball as hard as he can, nailing Ronnie in the

back of the head. Ronnie stumbles, recovers, spins.

BRIAN:

You didn't hit the plate. You're

outta--

Ronnie has already launched himself at Brian, and the two go

down into the dust amid shouts of 'Fight! Fight!'

EXT. STEVENSON HOME - DRIVEWAY - DAY

Brian gets out of the car, walks toward the house, the condemned

man escorted to the chair--by Glen and Holly.

GLEN:

I want to know why you threw the

ball at him in the first place.

BRIAN:

To get him out.

HOLLY:

No mouth, Brian. The principal

said the game was over, and then

you threw it.

GLEN:

Christ. A new school, and more

fighting. Do you have any idea

how disappointed we are in you?

(he opens the front

door)

You're never going to get out of

your room.

A look of pure anger crosses Brian's face as he goes inside.

INT. ATTIC ROOM - DAY

Brian trudges up the stairs, to his desk. He digs into his

pocket, pulls out the pocketwatch, flips it open--

--pieces of shattered crystal rain down. Brian is shocked: the

crystal is gone, the casing dented...the hands still. The

benign Sun is frozen, peeking out of the wedge.

35.

Brian grips the watch, fists going white-knuckled--he spins to

throw it against the wall, stops. A deep breath. He sits down,

starts to take the watch apart, blinking back tears.

INT. ATTIC ROOM - LATER

Brian is asleep, his head on the desk. Just the desk lamp is

on. Suddenly the bulb SHATTERS, throwing the room into

darkness, snapping Brian awake. He whirls--

Maurice stands silhouetted in moonlight, twirling a slingshot by

the elastic. He hitches his Senators cap back on his head.

MAURICE:

The name's Maurice, but back home

they call me 'Dead-eye.'

Brian scrabbles for the light switch he has rigged to a bunch of

extension cords--he flips it--

LIGHT FLOODS THE ROOM: two shadeless floor lamps, super-8 movie

lamp, mechanic's light, the overhead light; extension cords

criss-cross the floor; a string of miniature Christmas lights

circle the room, blinking, casting colored shadows.

Maurice disappears. The slingshot clatters onto the floor

beside the same pile of clothes from before.

BRIAN:

It's like when your eyeballs get

bigger when it gets darker. If

the lights go on, you turn into

clothes. Right?

MAURICE:

(like his mouth is

filled with cotton)

Oh, c'mon--we did the man-versus-

monster thing to death all ready.

BRIAN:

Go away. Don't bother me anymore,

or Eric. I got enough problems

without you sneaking around.

(beat; it registers)

Maurice?

MAURICE:

That's my name, don't wear it out.

C'mon, Brian. I gave back the

watch.

Brian considers. He flips the switch; the lights go off.

Maurice re-forms into his bipedal self. He pockets his

slingshot, spies the watch.

36.

MAURICE:

Hey--I did not return it in that

condition. What happened?

BRIAN:

Ronnie Coleman broke it.

MAURICE:

Tsk. What kind of person has no

respect for other people's

property?

BRIAN:

You stole it!

MAURICE:

So call your lawyer. How'd it

happen?

BRIAN:

What's it to you? Ronnie smashed

it, and then I got in trouble.

(beat)

I always get in trouble, and I

don't do anything!

MAURICE:

(amazed)

You get in trouble, and you don't

do anything?

BRIAN:

No.

MAURICE:

You let them get away with it?

BRIAN:

Huh?

Maurice pulls a pack of Lucky Strikes out of his pocket, shakes

one out, lights it one-handed from a matchbook.

MAURICE:

Brian, you've come to the right

place. I can help you. I can get

you what you want.

He blows smoke across the match, extinguishing it.

BRIAN:

(a little greedy)

What? You mean--like wishes?

MAURICE:

Wishes are strictly bush-league

leprechaun, pal. I'm a monster.

Monsters don't do wishes.

37.

BRIAN:

What do...monsters do?

MAURICE:

(imparting a great

secret)

Revenge.

He waits, smiling smugly. Brian is less than enthused.

MAURICE:

Oh, come on--Revenge! You know,

get back, even-up, tit-for-tat,

retribution in the best Old

Testament sense! Vengeance.

(beat)

Revenge!

Brian raises an eyebrow, one corner of his mouth twitching into

a grin. Maurice seizes on this.

MAURICE:

Okay. This Ronnie guy. Big kid,

slack jaw, hair like a whisk

broom?

BRIAN:

(sullen agreement)

Serious chromosome damage.

MAURICE:

Right! I know him! He's in my

district. I can get him for you.

Brian is starting to get into this.

BRIAN:

Yeah? How?

Maurice holds up one finger ('allow me to demonstrate'), and

slides beneath the bed with a flourish.

BRIAN:

Ronnie Coleman's under my bed?

MAURICE:

No...but under your bed is the way

to under Ronnie Coleman's bed.

BRIAN:

Aah--you won't do it.

MAURICE:

Brian--you gotta learn to trust

people. Besides, it's not like

you could come with me...

38.

Brian's eyes light up. He looks toward the bed. The forbidden

beckons.

MAURICE:

...noooo, oh, no. Forget it.

Wrong. Totally unprecedented.

Brian is grinning, now.

MAURICE:

I was joking. It was a joke.

You're not allowed down there.

You could get hurt.

(beat; sinister)

I could strand you.

Brian frowns, then leans toward Maurice.

BRIAN:

You won't do that, 'cause I'm

taking this.

He brandishes the flashlight.

MAURICE:

Whoa, there, Thunder--no lights.

Definitely not allowed.

Brian flicks on the light, angles it toward him menacingly.

MAURICE:

Hey. Bring that along, why

dontcha?

BRIAN:

Let's go.

MAURICE:

You're sure now...

Brian hesitates, then grins tightly, every late-night Charles

Bronson film of the last five years replaying in his mind.

BRIAN:

Let's nail that toad to the wall.

MAURICE:

Y'know...you're my kinda guy.

Maurice lifts the bed.

MAURICE:

After you.

Brian kneels. Looks at Maurice, dubious. He extends his hand

into the darkness. It does not go through the solid floor.

39.

MAURICE:

Oh, yeah, that's right. We gotta

go together. Dull people can't do

it.

Using one hand to support the bed, Maurice grabs Brian's arm,

helps him in. Brian, tentative, expecting to contact floor, is

startled to find none. He loses his balance, plunges straight

through the shadow; from below comes a THUD.

MAURICE:

(calling to Brian)

Good.

(a sinister smile)

Real good.

He disappears into the shadow. The bed THWOMPS to the floor.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - ATTIC STAIRS

Brian picks himself up off the ground. He is next to a closed

door, at the bottom of a narrow, steep staircase that leads up

to the rectangle shadow of the bed. Maurice skitters down the

staircase to him.

Brian panics, searches the floor beside him.

MAURICE:

Lose something?

Maurice dangles the flashlight from one finger. Brian grabs it.

Maurice pulls open the door, steps out into

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - HALLWAY

Brian peers down the hall--the ends, if any, are lost in the

distance. Doors are scattered along the walls; some reach high

with low-set knobs; others are short; there are Dutch doors and

French doors and doors that hang crooked, but still shut tight.

The walls loom, seemingly on the verge of collapsing in on

themselves. The dark mahogany wainscotting and dark red

wallpaper swallow the light from the tiny flickering gas lamps

near the ceiling.

Brian steps into this. His jaw is slack. A frayed red runner

cuts a swath down the polished black floor.

Maurice is already moving down the stairway. He realizes Brian

isn't with him, stops.

MAURICE:

Yo! Brian! Let's move 'em out!

We're burning nightlight, pard!

Brian starts slowly, then hurries to catch up to Maurice.

40.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - STAIRWELL

Brian gasps. The hallway has ended; they are at the bottom of

a huge well. Archways lead to other hallways; above, there are

tiers of landings running around the circumference, and more

hallways. Further up, the landings droop and twist, whole

sections torn away, until there is just black.

In the center of the well is a massive staircase, spiralling up,

offshoots connecting the landings. It continues far up, finally

standing alone, dilapidated, too impossibly high to support its

own weight--but it does. And there, at a dizzying height, it

ends at a small landing, at a pair of tall doors, seemingly

suspended in the darkness.

Brian grabs Maurice's robe.

BRIAN:

(a croak)

Where are we?

MAURICE:

Hm? Oh...we go one flight up, and

it's the third door on the left.

He heads up the stairs. Brian hangs onto the robe, eyes wide,

letting Maurice lead him on.

INT. STAIRWELL - RONNIE'S STAIRS

A wrought-iron circular stairway disappears into the bed-shaped

black area.

MAURICE:

Here we are.

BRIAN:

But--but Ronnie lives clear over

by Lake Skopski. How..?

MAURICE:

(a little smug)

Magic.

Maurice climbs the stairs into the shadow, disappearing from the

shoulders up; Brian follows, bumps his head, unable to go

through. Maurice reaches down and pulls him up by the collar.

INT. RONNIE'S ROOM - NIGHT

Maurice and Brian look for all the world like two decapitated

heads sitting on the floor under a bed. They whisper:

BRIAN:

This is somebody else's house!

41.

MAURICE:

No duh--where'd ya park the squad

car, Dick Tracy? It's Ronnie

Coleman's bedroom.

BRIAN:

...bitchin'...

Movement from above startles Brian; an ankle flops down, hangs

in front of his face. A beat, and he reaches for it--but

Maurice grabs his wrist.

MAURICE:

Wait--too primitive. Good

instinct, though. Hmm, now...what

deviltry to perpetrate tonight?

A banshee wail, perhaps?

(he runs a scale,

coughs)

...mm, maybe not...lessee...We

gotta watch our step here. Every

night like clockwork this dingus

gets up to go to the bathroom. I

almost got caught once planting

cigarettes in his bookbag.

BRIAN:

(thoughtful)

What time does he usually get up?

Maurice shoves his cap back, cocks an eyebrow...then grins.

INT. RONNIE'S ROOM - LATER

Ronnie snurfles awake. Groggily, he stretches and sits up--

--and the sheet yanks tight, slamming Ronnie back onto the

mattress, pinning his arms. He struggles mightily, trying to

get up--the sheet snaps taut and he is pinned again.

Maurice and Brian grin like madmen at each other across the

bedshadow as they strain to keep Ronnie pinned.

RONNIE:

Mom! Dad! Help!

Brian almost lets go of his side--but Maurice puts a hand out in

a 'not yet' gesture.

MAURICE:

(his most horrible

voice)

Screaming will only make it

worse...

Ronnie squirms half-heartedly. The fear is numbing.

42.

RONNIE:

I gotta get up...

Maurice nudges Brian, indicating it's his turn. Brian shakes

his head 'no'; Maurice eggs him on.

BRIAN:

(screechy old-type

voice)

If he gets up, I get his toes.

You can eat the rest.

Maurice looks at Brian: 'That's disgusting.' Brian shrugs; it

was just a first attempt.

Above, Ronnie gives up the struggle; he grimaces in humiliation.

A tear squeezes out of one eye, rolls down his cheek--

--the door opens; the light goes on. Ronnie's dad, a solid man

with an iron-grey brush cut, steps into the empty room.

MR. COLEMAN

I gotta be to work early, this

better be good--

Mr. Coleman sees the wet stain on the bed sheet.

MR. COLEMAN

(quiet)

Dammit. Dammit, Ron, I thought

you'd whipped this bedwetting

thing. You're almost a man, and--

RONNIE:

I couldn't move, Dad...I couldn't

move my arms, I couldn't get up...

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - RONNIE'S STAIRS

Where Brian and Maurice crouch. Brian's eyes are bright as he

listens:
so this is power. Maurice watches Brian listening.

MR. COLEMAN (O.S.)

(sounding more defeated

than Ronnie)

Get up and change your sheets.

Clean yourself up. We'll talk

about this later.

RONNIE (O.S.)

...yes, sir...

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - HALLWAY

The hall stretches long and deep. Far off, Brian and Maurice

cavort away. They high-five, laugh, and continue on.

43.

INT. ATTIC ROOM - NEAR DAWN

With Maurice's help, Brian pulls himself out from under the bed.

He looks back in at Maurice, exhilarated.

BRIAN:

Man, that was great!

MAURICE:

Yeah--you're a natural, kid.

BRIAN:

Thanks--

MAURICE:

So whaddaya say, Bri? Tomorrow

night. Same bed-time? Same bed-

channel?

Brian's immediate impulse is to say 'yes,'but he stifles himself

to give it some thought.

MAURICE:

You. Me. Moonlight. Magic.

C'mon, Brian--take a walk on the

wild side.

That's it. Brian grins--and Maurice grabs his hand, shakes it

jive-style:
normal, thumb clasp, wrist clasp, slap five, fist-

tap, thumb clasp variation leading to ascending birdies.

MAURICE:

'Catch ya later.

And he is gone.

EXT. SCHOOL - PLAYGROUND - DRINKING FOUNTAINS - DAY

Ronnie, sweating and dusty, bends to take a drink.

BRIAN:

Careful there, Ronnie. You

wouldn't want to splash any.

People might think you had

an...accident.

Ronnie straightens, murder in his eyes. Brian leans against the

wall. Other kids, including CRAIG, wait in line.

RONNIE:

If I wanted any of your lip,

Stevenson, I'd take it off my

zipper.

44.

BRIAN:

(aside, to Craig)

It's in his permanent record. I

saw it. Blew me away.

Imagine...Ronnie Coleman--a

bedwetter. Whoa, reality check.

RONNIE:

Shut up, Stevenson. That's a lie.

More kids gather like sharks smelling blood.

CRAIG:

He wets the bed?

BRIAN:

(nodding)

His dad's very upset about it.

RONNIE:

SHUT UP!

Too late; in the eyes of his peers, Ronnie is already guilty.

Brian pushes away from the wall and strolls out through the

crowd, saying to Craig as he goes by:

BRIAN:

Ask him about the rubber sheets.

The kids sense the kill. Faces beam with grim pleasure,

crowding in, obscuring Brian as he saunters off.

CRAIG:

Rubber sheets!

Brian smiles and does not look back.

INT. STEVENSON HOME - ATTIC ROOM - NIGHT

Brian waits, impatient. He jiggles his foot out over the edge

of the bed, bait for Maurice. Finally, Maurice appears.

BRIAN:

Maurice! It was great! He was

dying out there!

MAURICE:

Cool your jets, okay? Let's go.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - MAIN CHAMBER

Brian rushes out ahead of Maurice--

--and collides with BILLY, a monster wearing crossed toy

gunbelts. Billy drops a box, and dozens of doll heads, arms and

legs--Barbies, G.I.Joes, Baby Tears--spill out.

45.

A Barbie-head comes to rest near Maurice's foot. He picks it

up.

BILLY:

Hey! You stupid..! That's mine!

Billy grabs the head from Maurice, and scurries around the hall,

picking up the parts. Maurice ushers Brian away.

MAURICE:

Doll dismemberment is so small

time. No finesse, y'know?

BRIAN:

(agog)

There's more than one of you?

MAURICE:

Sure--hey, I'm good, but get real.

We divvy things up by school

districts. Lucky you--you were in

mine.

They pass a monster, MARY JANE; Brian swivels his head, staring

at her:
she wears a flannel nightgown, Mary Janes, and is

cutting up a very elegant evening gown. She drops the scissors

and holds up a string of very elegant paper dolls.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - STOREROOM

High wooden shelves line narrow aisles. There is one whole

shelf of stuffed animals lying on their backs wearing toe-tags,

a purloined plush-toy morgue.

Maurice moves along expertly, putting things into a canvas bag:

a roller skate, a stale taco guacamoled to a paper plate, a

Tupperware container of mud.

Brian steps into the room tentatively, intrigued by the contents

of the various bins. He peers into one, blinks. He reaches in,

pulls out a dead goldfish, holds it gingerly between his

fingers. He looks to Maurice for an explanation.

MAURICE:

Dead goldfish. Take the live ones

out of the tank, float these

suckers in belly-up, and there's

one kid who feels really bad and

gets a lecture on pet

responsibility to boot. Nice

little double-whammy item.

Brian tosses the fish back into the bin. A large chest is on

the floor. He opens it. It is filled with ballpoint pens,

keys, sunglasses, claim stubs, earrings (singles), lighters.

46.

Brian paws through it, puzzled--then the light dawns, and he

laughs. Maurice grins, picks out a pair of dark glasses.

MAURICE:

(giving Brian the

glasses)

Here. At least pretend you're

cool.

Brian puts them on. He peers around the room.

BRIAN:

It's kind of dark...

He takes a few steps--and bumps into the wall. He takes the

glasses off sheepishly, stows them in his shirt pocket, and

something else catches his eye: a stack of dirty magazines.

Brian takes the top one off the stack, pages through it.

BRIAN:

Wow...you get to look at all

these?

MAURICE:

Yeah. No big deal.

BRIAN:

I found a copy of Playboy when I

was trash-digging once--it was

great. Boy, my mom--

An idea hits him. He closes the magazine, rolls it up and

sticks it in his back pocket.

BRIAN:

There's a stop I wanna make.

INT. TODD'S ROOM - NIGHT

Maurice watches from under the bed as Brian slides the magazine

into the top dresser drawer, shuts it. On the way into the

shadow, he grins down at Todd's sleeping form.

BRIAN:

Explain that to your mom.

INT. HOUSE #1 - SERVICE PORCH - NIGHT

Brian pays close attention as Maurice, using a sneaker on his

hand, tracks mud across the floor, dipping into the Tupperware

container, examining his handiwork like an artist.

47.

INT. HOUSE #2 - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Methodically, Brian switches records into the wrong sleeves--

then returns them to the rack, out of order. Maurice appears in

the doorway to the kitchen, and he holds up:

MAURICE:

Ta-da! The good scissors! First

we make 'em dull...

(cuts at a table leg)

Then, we hide the evidence.

(hides them under a

couch cushion)

Not bad, huh? Perfected this

little technique myself.

He turns to head out, but remembers something.

MAURICE:

Oh, yeah--you'd better check your

couch when you get home.

INT. DONLEAVY TWIN'S ROOM - NIGHT

Maurice scrambles out from under an infant bed; Brian comes out

from an identical one across the room. One headboard reads

KYLE, the other NATHAN. Maurice hurries to his work.

MAURICE:

Here. Hold this.

He puts Kyle into Brian's arms, lifts Nathan out and puts him

over in Kyle's bed. Brian looks worriedly down at Kyle.

Maurice takes Kyle and sets him into Nathan's bed.

Maurice looks from one bed to the other. He wrings his hands

and laughs a fiendish mad-scientist 'Mu-u-uwahhahah' laugh.

INT. HOUSE #3 - TOP OF STAIRS - NIGHT

Maurice carefully positions the roller skate on a step, angling

it just so, sighting along it.

POV - MAURICE, along the skate, through the toe strap. It

centers on a barrel cactus in a tub...then moves across to a

china cabinet. It wavers back toward the cactus--then

decisively fixes on the china cabinet. Target sighted.

Maurice smiles. Brian comes out of the bathroom.

BRIAN:

(sinisterly pleased)

I didn't flush it--and left the

seat up.

48.

MAURICE:

(claps him on the back)

I like it.

Brian grins at the praise.

EXT. SCHOOL - PLAYGROUND - DAY

Hectic recess activity: running, shouting, ball-dodging. Brian

sits in the shade of the building, away from it all. He pulls

out the sunglasses from Maurice, puts them on.

INT. ALAINE'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT

Maurice and Brian pig out. Brian eats the middle of the Oreo

cookie and dumps the chocolate cookie outside back into the jar.

Maurice chows down chocolate cake.

BRIAN:

(through cookie)

...want some milk?

--and he opens the refrigerator door. Light spills out and

Maurice drops out of frame with a 'FWUMP.' Brian looks over at

where Maurice last stood--then looks down.

On the floor is the pile of clothes, a cake slice on top.

BRIAN:

...sorry.

Brian reaches in and unscrews the fridge light bulb. Maurice is

once again standing there, wiping cake off himself.

MAURICE:

(a bit miffed)

Next time wait for me to unplug

it.

He grabs the jug of milk and takes a swig, then passes it to

Brian, who does the same. Maurice upturns the cookie jar,

shakes crumbs onto a paper towel. Brian takes another swig,

emptying the milk jug. He starts throw it away--but Maurice

takes it, recaps it...and puts it back into the refrigerator.

MAURICE:

Always, always put the empties

back.

Maurice folds the crumb towel into a little knapsack, leaves.

Brian follows, losing an Oreo from his handful, not noticing.

49.

INT. ALAINE'S ROOM - NIGHT

Brian slips back under the bed. Maurice follows, snapping the

paper towel, raining cookie crumbs onto the girl's sheets.

INT. STEVENSON HOME - KITCHEN - MORNING

Brian, dark rings under his eyes, not real alert, holding his

bookpack, stands just inside the swinging-shut kitchen door.

BRIAN:

I missed the bus.

HOLLY:

Because you overslept again. I'll

get my car keys.

Brian leans against the doorframe, covers a yawn.

KIDS ON TRIAL - SERIES OF SHOTS

The parents' lines run together like a single lecture, anger

building.

A. An OVAL-FACED KID, seven, an expression of total innocence.

MOM #1 (O.S.)

--And if you thought more about

the consequences before you did

things--

B. A LANKY FIFTH GRADER glowers out from under long greasy

hair.

MOM #2 (O.S.)

--things like this wouldn't

happen. But no--I have a kid

who's an idiot--

C. A RED-HAIRED GIRL, eight, absolutely expressionless, save

for her quick bird-like blinks, regular as a metronome.

DAD #1 (O.S.)

--If I've told you once, I told

you a thousand times: don't leave

your toys where people can break

their necks on 'em--stop that

BLINKING!

D. A DEFENSIVE NINE-YEAR-OLD BOY.

DAD #2 (O.S)

Now just sit there, shut up and

listen. Are you trying to

disappoint us?

The boy starts to answer 'no,' but thinks better of it.

50.

MOM #3 (O.S.)

You don't want people to like you,

do you?

It's a loaded question; the boy starts to say 'yes,' stops; he

frowns, concentrates, trying to dope out the right answer.

DAD #2 (O.S.)

Answer your mother!

E. A GUILTY GIRL, six, sinks down in a straight-back chair.

MOM #4 (O.S.)

Fine. Be that way. But I'm the

parent and you're the kid and

you're going to sit here until

you've decided you're ready to

come out and join the rest of us

and be a decent human being.

Off screen, a door slams with a BANG!

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - HALLWAY - NEAR THE ATTIC STAIRS

A door swings all the way open, flat against the wall. Maurice

comes through, holding a TV remote-control. The door swings

back-- revealing an entry way that wasn't there previously.

Brian comes through with an arm load of socks.

Maurice tosses the remote-control onto a heaping pile of remote-

controls. He pulls another from a pocket, tosses it, pulls

another, tosses, etc., about a dozen in all. Over this:

MAURICE:

Did you get 'em?

BRIAN:

Yeah.

MAURICE:

They don't match?

BRIAN:

Of course not.

(rubs the mismatched

socks on his cheek)

Still dryer-soft, too.

To one side is a pulley-system clothesline with socks hanging

from it. Brian pins a sock, pulls the line, pins another; the

sock line goes off into infinity...and comes back from same.

Two monsters pass by, each lugging one end of a grandfather

clock. Maurice grabs Brian by the shirt and hauls him away,

scattering the arm load of socks.

51.

MAURICE:

A ballgame! C'mon!

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - MAIN CHAMBER

As Maurice hauls Brian past the clock-carrying monsters (who

wrestle it up upright). There is the unmistakable CRACK of a

bat; Brian dives away from Maurice--

--as a baseball smashes into the grandfather clock, starts it

BONGING.

MAURICE:

Yo, Brian! Little help!

Brian stares at the ball in front of his face. He picks up the

ball, rises, and sees:

ANOTHER ANGLE - MAIN STAIRWELL

currently in-use as the playing field for a game of indoor

Monster Baseball. There are monster 'fielders': Mary Jane

crouches on an endtable, punches her glove, chatters ('C'mon

batter c'mon batter SWING!'); a fat one is in right, PORSCHE

sunglasses on, a boom-box blaring rave-up rock'n'roll.

All over the playing field are various breakable objects--

lamps, vases, aquariums, television sets, Baccarat crystal,

objects d'art, etc. Home plate is a china serving dish.

Maurice swings two bats--smashing a lamp behind him in the

process. He tosses one bat away--another crash off screen.

Striding toward Brian is SPIKE, a stocky monster in a black

chest protector and protective mask. He flips the mask up.

SPIKE:

Give me that, and git. No

spectators on the field.

Spike jerks his thumb toward the stairs, where a raucous group

of fans throw beer cans and popcorn boxes at him.

SPIKE:

All right. Imaginary runners on

second and third. Still two out,

no score, top of the third.

Brian watches the game as he wanders around past the fans.

Spike passes the mound, tosses the ball to the pitcher, a

monster wearing OVERALLS, who winds up. Spike, still on his way

to the plate, drops to the ground--the ball whizzes past where

his head was. Maurice line-drives it into a stack stereo

system, toppling it. From his prone position:

52.

SPIKE:

That's a triple. Two runs score.

The BLEACHER BUMS think its a homer, and let him know. Maurice

taps his bat lightly on home plate, shattering it. Spike steps

up, brushes the fragments away with a whisk broom, puts down

another plate.

Out on the field, two groundskeeper monsters hurriedly drag away

the stereo, replacing it with a place glass window.

Brian smiles, but shakes his head, not that interested. He

looks up the stairs, up to the door far above. He puts a hand

on the bannister.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - MAIN STAIRWAY

High above the baseball game. Brian looks down, then up at the

door, keeps climbing.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - MAIN STAIRWELL

A line drive rips toward Maurice. He raises a sterling silver

tray into its path. The ball PWHANGS into the tray, denting it;

the ball drops; Maurice catches it with his cap.

MAURICE:

Sen-say-tion-al play! Oh, my!

He bows with a flourish. Turns proudly toward the stands,

searches, but can't find Brian.

SPIKE (O.S.)

Okay, batter up! C'mon, we gotta

get this stuff upside in an hour!

Maurice finally spots Brian's figure, climbing up near the

ruined section of landings.

MAURICE:

Oh, shit!

He dashes for the stairs, ignoring the protests behind him.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - MAIN STAIRCASE - LANDING

Brian picks his way up the ruined steps. The shadows here are

deeper, more enveloping. He pulls the flashlight out of his

back pocket, turns it on. He puts a foot on the next step--

A huge yellowish arm, muscles bunching on top of muscles, snaps

down over his shoulder, tears the flashlight out of Brian's

hand. The light clicks off.

>From the shadows comes a voice like razor-sharp icicles.

53.

VOICE:

Bye-bye, Sunshine.

A shape looms; a huge hand grabs Brian by the head, and lifts

him out over the banister, the endless drop below him.

Brian grabs the thick wrist with both hands. His feet scramble

for purchase but find none.

MAURICE (O.S.)

He's with me, Snik!

And Maurice is there, defiant and wary. SNIK, one menacing

yellow eye much larger than the other, light glinting crazily

off them both, glares down at the smaller monster.

Snik holds Brian without strain--or a whole lot of concern for

Brian's life. He has the teeth of a shark; he is hunched over

from the weight of his muscled back and shoulders.

MAURICE:

He's the new guy.

Snik looks at Brian. His brow furrows. He looks at Maurice.

SNIK:

(indicates the stairs)

Rules broken.

(indicates Brian)

Neck broken.

Maurice hops onto the banister, keeps his voice low so Brian

(trying to swing a leg over Snik's arm) won't hear.

MAURICE:

Headless people have limited

potential, Snik. He's with me.

(Snik no comprende)

The boss okayed it. Remember?

Bri-an Ste-ven-son?

Snik's eyes widen a little; his gaze flickers towards the upper

doors. Understanding floods his face.

SNIK:

Ah...this is the one?

Maurice gives Snik a dirty look, snaps a finger to his lips.

Snik lifts Brian back over the banister--but doesn't set him

down. Snik's thumb and forefinger cover Brian's ears.

SNIK:

Too much for you, Maurice? Need

some help, I think.

MAURICE:

No, Snik. I'll take care of him.

54.

SNIK:

You'd better.

Snik drops Brian to the floor. Maurice helps him to his feet,

then practically pushes him down the stairs. Snik clears his

throat for attention. Maurice and Brian give it to him.

Snik holds up the flashlight. He unscrews the end, drops the

batteries into his hand. He grins, not straining as he crushes

the batteries, the acid dripping down his arm. He throws the

flashlight and endcap at Brian, who picks them up.

SNIK:

Don't bring it again. Brian.

(displays the batteries)

Or head be next--Brian.

Maurice shoves Brian around, downstairs, watching Snik. Snik is

pleased with himself.

ANGLE - UPPERMOST DOORS,

high above this tableau. The doors are split; a dark shape,

backlit by flickering light, hunches within, watching.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - MAIN STAIRCASE

Maurice trundles Brian back toward the archway. Brian jerks out

of his grasp. He is a little angry, mostly terrified.

BRIAN:

Who was that guy? He was going to

kill me!

MAURICE:

(shaking out a

cigarette, finding

matches)

Who? Snik? Naaww! He's all talk--

and big hands. He's just grumpy--

and dopey... and Sneezy, too, when

the pollen count is high.

Actually...he just got up on the

wrong side of the bed.

(lights cigarette,

looking toward the bed-

shadows)

'Course, down here, we all do.

Brian gives a small, pained smile. Maurice seizes on this: With

a hearty laugh, he claps Brian on the back-- throws a quick,

worried/relieved and unseen-by-Brian look back up the stairs--

and guides Brian away.

ANGLE - UPPERMOST DOORS

The shape draws back into the shadows. The doors BOOM shut--

55.

INT. THE BEDROOM - NIGHT

--and as the BOOM trails away, Eric's eyes open. He looks to

his window:
the wind has picked up--thunder BOOMS again. Tree

branches rattle against the pane.

Eric's eyes take in the room warily.

INT. ATTIC ROOM - NIGHT

Eric slowly emerges from the stairwell, pauses at the top.

ERIC:

...Brian..?

No answer. He takes a few tentative steps into the room.

ERIC:

...Brian? Can I have the

flashlight?

He moves to the bed, reaches a hand toward the lump under the

covers. He jabs the covers. He shakes the covers. He pulls

them, revealing Brian's pillows, shaped into a sleeping form.

Eric looks very worried.

EXT. SCHOOL - LUNCH TABLES - DAY

Kiersten is eating lunch with ALAINE, a dark-haired girl with

big eyes. Brian, pale and worried, wearing sunglasses, steps

forward from out of the shadows.

BRIAN:

Kiersten! I gotta have the

answers to the homework.

KIERSTEN:

No way, Jose.

She gives the sunglasses a perplexed, unimpressed look. Brian

pulls them off. He squints at the sunlight.

BRIAN:

Mr. Finn said if I get another

'F,' he's going to call my folks.

C'mon-- just let me borrow the

key.

Kiersten shakes her head.

BRIAN:

Mr. Finn'll never find out you

were stealing answers.

56.

KIERSTEN:

I wasn't stealing answers.

BRIAN:

I'll tell Mr. Finn I saw you

stealing answers.

ALAINE:

(sarcastic)

Oh, like Mr. Finn'll believe you

over Kiersten.

Brian looks at the two of them. He puts on the shades.

BRIAN:

Forget it.

He walks back into the shadows. Kiersten catches up to him.

KIERSTEN:

Brian--are you feeling okay? You

look like you need some sleep.

BRIAN:

Don't need sleep. I need answers.

KIERSTEN:

Listen, Brian--I'm not going to

cheat for you...but if you want

to, I'll help you study.

Brian turns away.

BRIAN:

I don't need anyone's help.

INT. STEVENSON HOME - ATTIC ROOM - DAY

The window. Eric's face appears in it; he scans the room.

Brian lays on the bed, asleep. Eric's eyes widen.

EXT. STEVENSON HOME - DAY

Eric drops the last few feet from the tree beside the house.

Todd kicks the tree trunk with his shoes, alternating feet.

TODD:

What's he doing?

ERIC:

Sleeping.

TODD:

Oh. Boring.

57.

ERIC:

It was your idea to run a

surveillance.

TODD:

How else do we find out what he's

up to?

ERIC:

Well, we could ask him.

TODD:

(not hearing him)

Maybe he's sleeping off a bad

bottle of rotgut.

(nodding)

Drunks do that.

Eric starts around the house to the back door. Todd follows.

ERIC:

He's not a drunk. He's been at

school all day. When would he

drink?

TODD:

Haven't you seen the commercials?

Where the kid pours the stuff into

a thermos?

ERIC:

Brian doesn't have a thermos.

Eric heads inside. Todd gets an idea.

TODD:

Eric!

(Eric stops at the door)

I know what it is!

ERIC:

What?

TODD:

(he checks for

listeners)

Drugs.

ERIC:

(beat)

Get real.

He turns, lets the door swing shut behind him. Todd comes out

of his musing in time to catch it and follow Eric inside.

TODD:

Facts, Eric--look at the facts...

58.

INT. STEVENSON HOME - ATTIC ROOM - NIGHT

Brian works alone at his desk. He twists on the gold back of

his pocketwatch, turns the watch over. The crystal is gone, and

the sweep second hand is bent, but the watch runs. The glaring

Man-in-the-Moon face fills the wedge.

Brian makes an 'Oh, yeah!' gesture, hops up, grinning.

INT. HALLWAY

Brian heads for his parents room, puts his hand on the knob--

halts in his tracks.

GLEN (O.S.)

--so we should have just sold the

house. Is that it? Use the money

to buy something half the size in

a worse area.

HOLLY (O.S.)

At least it would have been our

house! But you wanted to live in

your boyhood home--

GLEN (O.S.)

We decided to move here-- you were

pretty thrilled when dad died and

left us the house--

Brian spins away from the door.

INT. ATTIC ROOM - NIGHT

Brian shuts off the overhead light. He shuts off the light on

the night table. A match scratches to life. Brian lights a

candle. He sits on the bed in the soft glow, turning the watch

over and over in his hands, waiting for Maurice.

INT. KIERSTEN'S ROOM - NIGHT

Kiersten looks angelic as she sleeps. Brian and Maurice slip

out from under the bed like mechanics on crawlers.

BRIAN:

Hey! That's Kiersten--

From outside comes the sudden sound of a small dog YAPPING. The

two jump. They relax when nothing else happens.

MAURICE:

I don't think everyone heard--why

don't you just call 911?

Brian ignores him; he cannot take his eyes off Kiersten.

59.

MAURICE:

So what's this Kiersten chick

like?

(Brian doesn't answer)

Hey!

(Brian tears his eyes

away)

So what's she like?

BRIAN:

(offhandedly)

She's a girl. She's real smart.

She always knows the answer,

always raises her hand--

MAURICE:

--always has her homework done?

BRIAN:

Yeah...always. Thinks she's so

much smarter than everybody else.

Maurice grins, rummages through the desk top. He finds a

peechee, finished homework inside.

MAURICE:

Check out this action.

Maurice pulls at his jaws with both hands, hard, straining-- and

his face elongates. Brian stares, shocked. Gradually,

painfully, he molds the lower half of his face into the muzzle

of a dog.

Growling and yapping, Maurice chews up the homework. He finds

Kiersten's Polaroid flip-book, flips through it, dunks it into

a fish tank on her bookshelf. Maurice grins, then notices the

plywood box in one corner.

MAURICE:

What the hell is that?

BRIAN:

Her science project.

MAURICE:

Yeah?

Maurice swings open the door, draws back the curtain-- light

pours out--he leaps away with a shriek, dropping the curtain.

Maurice looks down at his hand. It is shadow-like, slowly

reverting to normal. Brian has seen all of this.

BRIAN:

Are you okay?

Maurice, royally pissed off, strides to the box, fumbles around

behind it, yanks out the plug. He leans into the box.

60.

Brian looks away from him, back at Kiersten. A beat, and an off-

screen maleficent chuckle from Maurice, and then Maurice is back

at Brian's side. He grabs his arm.

MAURICE:

C'mon, c'mon, let's go, we've all

seen a girl before. Let's move

it.

BRIAN:

What'd you do?

MAURICE:

You'll find out, you'll love it,

c'mon, let's go.

He hustles Brian under the bed. Maurice pauses to look at

Kiersten himself. He makes a 'not bad' expression, then goes.

INT. SCIENCE CLASSROOM - DAY

Brian breezes through the door...then slows. At one of the lab

tables are MR. FINN, Kiersten, several other students.

Brian looks closer. On the table is Kiersten's plant-box and

the night-blooming cereus--now planted upside down, the roots

sticking out. Kiersten holds the flip-book.

KIERSTEN:

But I have this--you can see how

it used to look--

She tries to riffle it, but it is now a solid brick. It flips

out of her hand. Kids giggle.

MR. FINN

Do you at least have your report?

KIERSTEN:

(very sad)

...no.

(beat)

I did it, but my dog chewed it up.

Mr. Finn frowns at her.

RONNIE:

Oh, right!

Some of the students laugh.

MR. FINN

Kiersten, you know no report means

a zero.

Brian hangs his head, turns away slowly; there is no joy in his

expression at all.

61.

RONNIE (O.S.)

Ooooooh...busted!

INT. STEVENSON HOUSE - ATTIC ROOM - DAY

Todd is under the worktable. Eric crouches, trying to see.

ERIC:

What is it? What're you doing?

Todd backs out from under the worktable holding a dinosaur book

and a calculator.

TODD:

The monster from under the bed!

It's dragging Brian away at night.

Look.

Eric inspects Todd's discovery. It is a fourteen inch-long dust-

ball smear that could be anything from a fish to--

TODD:

It's a footprINT. It stepped in

all that dust under there and left

a track.

(beat)

I'm figuring out how big it is.

By measuring the length of the

footprint and the impression

depth, then using the...

(checks book)

...'cube square' law--

ERIC:

How big is it?

TODD:

(calculating the final

number)

It's a seven-foot-eight, three

hundred-and-seventeen pound Troll.

Eric stares at him.

ERIC:

...and it fits under the bed?

Todd looks at the display. New calculations may be in order.

INT. STEVENSON HOME - DINING ROOM - EVENING

Brian is the last to the table, and late--the others have

started to dig in. As he sits, Holly gets a good look at him.

62.

HOLLY,

Honey, you look...

(the word escapes her)

Are you okay?

She reaches over, feels his forehead. Brian shies away, starts

to pile food onto his plate.

BRIAN:

I'm fine.

HOLLY:

(she examines him

critically)

You're thin as a rail. You need

to eat more.

Eric frowns at Brian's overflowing plate.

HOLLY:

You look...peaked.

GLEN:

'Peaked.' What is 'peaked'?

HOLLY:

My mother used to say it-- and he

looks it.

BRIAN:

Need a plate for my salad.

He scoots his chair back from the table, heads for the kitchen.

GLEN:

Is that a new shirt?

Brian looks down at it.

BRIAN:

No.

GLEN:

It looks big on you.

Brian looks down at it, shrugs, heads into

INT. STEVENSON HOME - KITCHEN - EVENING

Brian opens a cupboard, reaches for a plate--and can't reach the

shelf. He is puzzled. He reaches up, slower-- his fingers are

an inch short of the plates. He goes up on tip-toe and touches

them. He lowers himself off tip-toe, looking worried.

63.

INT. ATTIC ROOM

Brian rummages through his dresser. He pulls out a ruler.

INT. ENTRY WAY - CLOSET

Brian runs his finger up the family growth chart, finds the mark

for his twelfth birthday. He turns, stands with his back

against the door. He levels the ruler on top of his head.

Holding it steady, he slips out from beneath it to look.

The ruler is a full inch below where it was on his last

birthday. Brian stares unbelieving at the chart.

INT. ATTIC ROOM - NIGHT

Brian paces the room, waiting. He crouches beside the bed,

leans forward and extends a hand toward the shadow-- and the

hand goes through. He yanks it back like its been scalded.

Brian examines his hand wonderingly. He regards the shadow,

then again extends his hand toward it. The hand passes through,

and Brian keeps putting his arm in, up to the elbow. Suddenly,

his arm is jerked and his face hits the mattress.

Brian wrenches his arm out, dragging Maurice, who is gripping

Brian's wrist, part-way out through the shadow. Maurice pulls

again, and this time Brian goes into the shadow.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - ATTIC STAIRS

--as Brian and Maurice catch themselves halfway down the stairs.

Brian is a little amazed, but Maurice is ebullient.

MAURICE:

A natural! A one-hundred percent,

no holds-barred, died-in-the-wool,

no-assembly-required natural! I

knew you had it in you.

Brian looks at him, realization coming slowly to him.

BRIAN:

...what?

MAURICE:

What do you think? Geez, I

thought I caught on quick-- but

you! You're already moving

through shadows!

BRIAN:

No, I'm not--you pulled me

through.

64.

MAURICE:

What's this false modesty? You

put your hand through all on your

own.

(he salutes)

Brian...It is an honor to have you

on our side. Now-- let's go.

He scampers down to the bottom of the stairs.

BRIAN:

Hold it!

Maurice looks back up at Brian, halfway down the stairs, the

shadow exit visible above him.

MAURICE:

What?

BRIAN:

(accusingly)

You used to be normal? I'm going

to end up like you?

MAURICE:

Well, normal's a relative term,

but...Yeah. Where do you think

monsters come from? Ugly storks?

No-- they were all kids once, just

like you--and me.

The full weight of this hits Brian.

BRIAN:

I'm turning into a monster.

MAURICE:

Bitchin', huh?

Brian springs toward the top of the stairs.

MAURICE:

Hey! Where you going?

Brian stops. He looks angrily down at Maurice.

BRIAN:

You should've told me, Maurice!

I thought you were my friend.

MAURICE:

...slipped my mind. Okay--

listen. You're upset. That's

understandable. I remember when

I found out.

(more)

65.

MAURICE (Cont'd)

I went totally batshit. But--look

where I am today.

(beat)

Take some time, Bri. Think about

it.

Brian turns away from his words--looks up at the shadow. He

swallows, extends his hand. It goes through.

MAURICE:

If you want to talk it over,

well...

(significantly)

--just drop in anytime.

Brian glares down at him, then spins--and is gone.

MAURICE:

(calling after him)

After all, what are friends for?

Maurice folds his arms, slumps back against the wall. Smiles.

INT. ATTIC ROOM

Brian lies in bed fuming, his arms crossed. He stares angrily

up at the ceiling. With a decisive jerk, he rolls over, away

from the under-the-bed, toward the wall.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. STEVENSON HOME - ATTIC ROOM - NIGHT

Brian has fallen asleep. He is shaken by the shoulder. He

pulls his covers around him. The gentle shaking continues.

GLEN:

C'mon, Brian. Wake up.

Brian sits up sleepily. Glen leans over him. Eric, in his

pajamas, stands in the stairwell, leaning on a railing.

INT. DINING ROOM

Holly sits at the table. Brian warily takes his seat. Glen and

Eric are already sitting, Eric still yawning.

Holly reaches across the table and squeezes Eric's hand.

HOLLY:

We wanted to talk to you two

because...your father and I have

come to a decision, and it affects

all of us.

66.

GLEN:

We feel you're grown up enough to

understand it.

Brian is immediately suspicious. Eric looks suddenly worried.

HOLLY:

Your father and I have decided to

separate for a while.

Brian's face is frozen--but his eyes show understanding.

ERIC:

(a little foggy)

A business trip?

HOLLY:

Not exactly--

BRIAN:

No. Can't you see? They're

getting a divorce.

Eric looks away from him quickly, to his mother.

HOLLY:

No, we're not getting a divorce.

We're going to try to work things

out, but we have to be apart for

a while. It's just a trial

separation.

BRIAN:

It's what you do before you get a

divorce.

GLEN:

Enough of that, Brian.

HOLLY:

We're not getting a divorce.

ERIC:

(relieved)

So Dad's not leaving. Good.

GLEN:

Eric, listen to me. I'm going to

live in the city for a while. It

might--I hope--we hope it won't be

for long.

ERIC:

You don't have to go.

67.

GLEN:

Yes, Eric. I do. And it would be

a big help if I knew I could count

on the two of you to understand--

ERIC:

I'll be good! I promise I'll be

better-- you won't have to go live

in the city. I swear to God, I'll

be better. Brian too-- he'll stop

being bad, he promises. Right?

Promise, Brian!

Brian looks away, ignoring Eric.

ERIC:

Brian--promise.

HOLLY:

Eric, it's not your fault, or

Brian's fault--or anybody's fault.

Sometimes two people--

ERIC:

(to Brian)

This is your fault!

Brian pushes his chair back, stands, heads for the stairs.

HOLLY:

Brian--it's not your fault--

GLEN:

Are you all right, Brian?

Brian turns back, no emotion in his eyes for his crying brother,

his mother, his father.

BRIAN:

Sure, dad. Don't worry about me.

I'll be fine.

Glen gives Brian a hard look, nods. Brian turns away.

INT. ATTIC ROOM - NIGHT

Brian puts his watch-care paraphernalia into his bookbag,

including the watchstand. He crouches by the bed, puts one hand

into the shadow--still amazed he can do it.

He takes a last look around--and the mask cracks. For a moment,

he looks as if he is going to cry. The look becomes one of

determination; he slips under the bed, and is gone.

68.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - HALLWAY

Seven monsters play what looks like a street craps game.

Cigarette smoke fills the air; Maurice kneels for his turn;

monsters chatter for or against him, depending on their bets.

Maurice fires into the chalk circle, nailing the aimed-at cat's

eye. The monsters groan and cheer; money changes hands. Brian

appears in the doorway, spreads his arms wide.

BRIAN:

You got me!

Maurice leaps up and lets out a WHOOP--

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - HALLWAY

Maurice and Brian make slow progress as a drunken two person

conga line. Maurice wears a beerhelmet, sucking from the

plastic straw that hangs near his head.

Brian carries a teddybear and a plastic bag filled with water

and two live goldfish. In the other hand he carries a beer.

BRIAN:

Hey! Let's go scare Ronnie some

more!

MAURICE:

Yeah! Let's steal all his clothes

so he'll have to go to school

naked!

BRIAN:

Yeah! Let's nail all his

furniture to the ceiling! So

he'll wake up upside-down!

MAURICE:

Yeah!

INT. RONNIE'S ROOM - NIGHT

The pair appear beneath Ronnie's bed. Maurice scrambles out--

and a baseball bat slams down dangerously close to his head.

MAURICE:

Wow!

Ronnie, crouched on his bed, takes another cut at Maurice--

--who squirms, barely avoids the blow, grabs Brian--

69.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - RONNIE'S STAIRS

The two tumble down, THUDDING to the floor in a tangle.

MAURICE:

We...we gotta go get him!

BRIAN:

(inspired)

No. Let's--not.

Maurice considers this, then grins. The two sit in the hall,

snickers turning to belly laughs.

INT. RONNIE'S ROOM - NIGHT

Ronnie crouches on the bed, tense, a baseball bat held at ready

in each hand, prepared to wait all night. He cocks his head.

From far away, is that the sound of laughter?

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - HALLWAY

Brian and Maurice, still chuckling, use each other for support

as they struggle to their feet. Spike barrels around the

corner, red-faced--he stops right in their faces.

SPIKE:

(winded)

Night light...at

Guberman's...burned out...party!

He rockets off. Maurice grabs Brian by the shoulders.

MAURICE:

The nightlight at the Guberman's

is burned out! PARTY!

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - STAIRS TO NURSERY

A queue of monsters, fidgeting, anticipating, goes up the stairs

to the shadow. Maurice escorts Brian through.

MAURICE:

Coming through! New guy! Excuse

me, pardon me, coming through!

(aside, to Brian)

Stick with me kid--I know the

doorman.

(back to business)

Get out of the way! Yeah, you!

70.

INT. NURSERY - NIGHT

A baby in Dr. Dentons sleeps. Six monsters stand around the

crib-- a macabre variation on adults cooing over a newborn.

Maurice rises up from beneath the crib. Brian appears over

Maurice's shoulder, grinning--until he sees the baby. Maurice

gestures magnanimously.

MAURICE:

After you, Brian.

BRIAN:

Uh...it's just a baby.

Maurice looks uncomfortably at the other monsters, who exchange

looks. A murmur of 'who's the wimp?' is heard.

MAURICE:

Yeah. So? Look, Bri--we can't

have this new generation growing

up not believing in monsters.

Fear is an important character

builder. It's our duty: break 'em

when they're young.

BRIAN:

Hey! Let's go watch Kiersten

sleep!

MAURICE:

(out of the corner of

his mouth)

Brian, you're embarrassing me.

(louder)

G'head, Bri--just give it a good

scare.

He glowers at Brian, then gestures sharply, prompting him.

Brian leans forward hesitantly. The monsters lean forward,

anticipating. Brian wiggles his fingers at the baby.

BRIAN:

Boo. Boo.

The monsters are disappointed. Some 'tsk.'

MAURICE:

What are you--the toothfairy?

Like this.

Maurice makes a horrible face, climbs halfway into the crib,

waking the baby with really gross slurping sounds.

The baby's eyes go wide; he cries. The other monsters join in.

The kid really bawls. Brian doesn't like it.

71.

BRIAN:

Stop it!

(yanks Maurice back)

Cut it out!

The monsters stare at him, their disgust and anger becoming

palpable. Brian spins, runs to the door--

MAURICE:

Brian--

--and yanks it open. LIGHT spills into the room from the

hallway-- the monsters transform--

And so does Brian's arm--it transforms into a sleeve.

Brian stares in horror at his arm. He hurls himself at the hall

light switch, shuts it off, runs.

EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET - NEAR DAWN

Brian rushes out the door of the house, to the sidewalk-- then

slows. Stops. He has no idea where he is. He looks around,

spots a street sign. He gets his bearings, turns, and walks

away, a tiny lone figure on a long empty street.

EXT. STREET - NEAR STEVENSON HOME - DAWN

The sun breaks the horizon. Brian, terrified, looks at his arms--

but they do not change. He lets out a deep breath. He squints

at the sun, pulls out his sunglasses...looks at them. He tosses

them into the gutter, where one lens shatters.

INT. STEVENSON HOME - ERIC'S ROOM - DAY

Eric, dressed, lies across the bed, head hanging off, eyes

closed. Todd bursts in, rushes over to him.

TODD:

(excited; low)

I figured it out. I know what the

monster is doing with Brian.

Eric gives no response; Todd plows on.

TODD:

It's a body snatcher. See, it's

taking over Brian and using his

body to prepare the way for the

invasion force!

72.

ERIC:

(beat)

I don't feel like playing, Todd.

I don't feel good. I'll see you

tomorrow.

TODD:

But--

ERIC:

Tomorrow, okay?

Eric turns his head away. Todd looks at him, crestfallen. He

leaves slowly, watching Eric the whole way.

INT. ATTIC ROOM - NIGHT

Brian sits on his bed, light switch in hand. He checks over the

side of the bed; nothing. He pulls his knees up, waits.

Wraith-like, Maurice slips into the room. He stands with his

fists on his hips, staring at Brian--who starts, looks up.

BRIAN:

I'm not going. I don't want to

live down there. I don't want to

be--

(beat)

I'm not going.

MAURICE:

You don't want to be what? Go

ahead, say it. You don't want to

be like me.

BRIAN:

I am not going.

(he looks away)

You didn't want me to be your

friend. You just wanted me to

turn into a monster.

MAURICE:

(not liking the

accusation, 'cause it's

pretty accurate)

Can't make somebody do something

they really don't wanna do. Now,

c'mon--

Maurice grabs Brian by the arm; Brian pulls away. He grabs the

light switch. Maurice leaps for his arm--Brian snaps on the

lights, and Maurice transforms into clothes.

Brian catches his breath. He reaches into the clothes, ignoring

the slapping sleeves. Brian's hand emerges from the pocket of

the robe with Maurice's matches. The sleeves freeze, drop.

73.

Brian tears a match from the packet. He holds it to the

striking surface.

BRIAN:

Leave me alone. Don't come back

here. Do you understand?

(no answer)

Do you understand?

Silence. Brian strikes the match. The clothes shrink back.

BRIAN:

Don't make me do this. Just

promise to leave me alone.

MAURICE:

(a long pause) (muffled)

I promise.

BRIAN:

...okay.

He shuts off the lights. The match illumines his face; Maurice

re-forms, and moves toward Brian.

MAURICE:

(with a sneer)

You trusted me?

BRIAN:

Yes.

Maurice, about to mock him, pulls up short.

MAURICE:

(shakes his head sadly)

It's not that easy.

Ducking his head, he dives past Brian into the under-the-bed.

The match burns down; Brian drops it; the room goes black.

INT. ERIC'S ROOM - NIGHT

A hand covers Eric's mouth gently. He snaps awake, cries out.

BRIAN:

(removing his hand)

Shh--quiet.

ERIC:

Geez--I thought you were the

monster.

Brian swallows this without comment. He holds the flashlight.

74.

BRIAN:

Here, take this. If you hear

anything, turn it on-- and yell--

even if it's only a pile of

clothes. Especially if it's a

pile of clothes. Okay?

ERIC:

No. I'm not going to. You're

trying to scare me again.

BRIAN:

No--I'm not--

ERIC:

I promised to be good. I'm not

going to have any more nightmares.

Eric won't take the flashlight. Brian sets it on the bed. He

pauses in the doorway, turns on the lights, and then he goes.

Eric gets out of bed, and shuts off the lights. He climbs back

under the covers. He picks up the flashlight. He clicks it on,

off, on again. Dead batteries. No light.

ERIC:

Thanks a lot, Brian.

He drops the flashlight beside the bed, rolls over angrily.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - HALLWAY

Maurice backs away from Snik, who looms over him.

SNIK:

You did bad, Maurice. Bad for

morale. If he rabbits, others

will, too.

(beat)

Time to take your medicine.

MAURICE:

I told the Boss how to get him--

SNIK:

Boss'll get him; yes, always gets

'em. But you shouldn't have lost

him.

Snik steps forward, light dancing off his eyes.

INT. ATTIC ROOM - NIGHT - LATER

HOLD ON:
Brian sleeping--and then Holly is shaking him awake.

75.

HOLLY:

Eric's gone--

Brian, startled awake, snaps on the lights. Holly pauses, takes

it in, puzzled--but dismisses it for larger concerns.

HOLLY:

Your brother's gone. I went to

check on him--Do you have any idea

where he is?

Brian shakes his head slowly. She looks down, worried,

thinking. She stands up suddenly, heads out of the room.

HOLLY:

Todd's house. Maybe he's there.

(halts at the stairs)

My God--Glen. You don't think

he'd try to go there, do you?

Brian shakes his head again. Holly hurries down the stairs,

leaving Brian alone in the room. He leaps from the bed.

INT. ERIC'S ROOM - NIGHT

Brian surveys the room. The dresser has been pulled away from

the wall, two of its drawers almost all the way out. The

mattress is askew on the box spring, the sheets strewn on the

floor. The overall effect is one of fast packing--or a fight.

Brian picks up the blanket--it is ripped in several places.

BRIAN:

Maurice.

Something catches his eye. He kneels--

ANGLE - BENEATH THE BED, where the crushed flashlight lies on

the edge of the shadow.

BRIAN:

Snik.

EXT. STEVENSON HOME - NIGHT

Brian drops from the tree near his window, bookpack on one

shoulder. He races down the sideyard, disappears.

EXT. TODD'S HOUSE - REAR - NIGHT

CLOSE ON:
Brian, as he crouches beneath a window. He reaches

up, taps on the glass, waits. Nothing. He taps again, harder.

76.

TODD (O.S.)

(muffled)

Go away, Eric. I'm already in

trouble.

Brian taps again. The window slides open.

TODD (O.S)

If my mom catches me sneaking out--

HEY!

Brian springs, lifts Todd bodily out through the window.

EXT. TRAIN TRACKS - NIGHT

Todd sits on a tie, very suspicious of Brian.

TODD:

There really are monsters under

the bed.

BRIAN:

Yes.

TODD:

And they've got Eric.

BRIAN:

Yes.

TODD:

(looks closely at Brian)

Have you been doing drugs?

BRIAN:

No. Christ, Todd--you gotta

believe me. I mean...you always

believe everything!

Brian is exasperated. Reluctantly, he tries one last gambit:

BRIAN:

I know why you're in trouble.

Your mom found a Playboy in your

underwear drawer. The Christmas

issue--there was a girl on the

cover painted like a candy cane.

TODD:

How'd you know that?

BRIAN:

(ashamed)

Because I put it there.

Brian turns away. Todd stares at him, shocked.

77.

TODD:

You're telling the truth.

Brian spins, spreads his arms for emphasis:

BRIAN:

Yes!

TODD:

At least I didn't lie to my mom.

I told her I got the magazine from

you.

Brian smiles, a sad smile. He holds the bookpack out to Todd.

BRIAN:

Here. You're going to need these.

Todd takes the bookpack warily. He looks inside. He near-

reverently takes out a pair of old sneakers.

BRIAN:

They're an old pair of mine. They

should fit okay.

Todd looks up at him. A slow smile spreads across his face.

TODD:

What's our plan?

INT. KIERSTEN'S ROOM - NIGHT

The blankets are tented, lit from inside. A pebble ricochets

off the window. Kiersten pops out of the blankets, startled,

holding a penlight and a paperback copy of SALEM'S LOT.

Another pebble hits. Cautiously, she moves to the window.

EXT. KIERSTEN'S HOUSE - NIGHT

As Kiersten's head darts into view through the window, darts

back. A beat. She looks back out. She raises the window.

Brian stands there, looking up at her.

BRIAN:

Hi, Kiersten.

KIERSTEN:

What are you doing here?

BRIAN:

Uh...I need some help.

KIERSTEN:

Now?

78.

Todd appears out of the shadows, drops a large, heavy rucksack

onto the ground.

TODD:

It's crucial. The monsters from

under the bed have captured Eric.

We have to save him!

Brian flinches at the sound of the window slamming shut.He looks

over, angry and exasperated, at Todd.

INT. KIERSTEN'S ROOM - NIGHT

Kiersten goes back to her bed. A pebble hits the glass. She

ignores it. Another hits. A beat. Pebbles hit the glass in a

staccato series. Kiersten jumps to the window, raises it.

KIERSTEN:

Go away!

EXT. KIERSTEN'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Brian tosses away the pebble in his hand, drops the huge

collection of pebbles he had pouched in his shirt. Todd sits

far off to one side, on the rucksack, dejected.

BRIAN:

Todd told you the truth.

KIERSTEN:

You expect me to believe that?

TODD:

I believed it.

KIERSTEN:

That I believe.

She moves to close the window.

BRIAN:

Wait! What if I prove it's true?

KIERSTEN:

Monsters under the bed? Fat

chance.

BRIAN:

If I prove it--then will you help?

Kiersten wavers, considering. That is all Brian needs.

79.

BRIAN:

I'll prove it.

(to Todd)

We'll have to split up. You know

what to do?

TODD:

No problem.

Brian nods, spins, races from the yard. Todd lifts the

rucksack, slinging it over one shoulder--the rucksack

overbalances him, pulling him over.

Kiersten shakes her head, slides the window shut.

EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET - NIGHT

Todd, the rucksack heavy on his back, peers out from behind a

parked car. He breaks cover, sprints across the street to a

tree, spins to put his back to the trunk--the momentum of the

sack slams it into the tree; jarred, he sinks to the ground.

INT. KIERSTEN'S ROOM - NIGHT

Kiersten, moving sneakily, comes in from the hall, penlight on,

eating an apple.

BRIAN (O.S.)

(a cautious whisper)

Kiersten!

Kiersten freezes, apple in her mouth. Her eyes go wide, her jaw

goes slack--Brian's head is now sitting beneath her bed. The

penlight, then the apple, thump to the ground.

Brian scrambles out, bookpack over his shoulder.

BRIAN:

Well? Do you believe me?

Kiersten stares...feels around for her desk chair...sits down

slowly, still staring.

KIERSTEN:

Holy shit.

EXT. SCHOOL - FENCE - NIGHT

Todd drags the heavy canvas bag, all attempt at subterfuge

abandoned. He reaches the high fence and groans. He lifts the

bag...jerks it up onto his shoulder...it tilts away from the

fence. Todd leaps out from under it as it falls.

80.

INT. KIERSTEN'S ROOM - NIGHT

Kiersten sips shakily from a glass of water, eyes still wide.

Brian sits on her bed, checking his equipment from his bookbag:

six different flashlights, including a 4-cell.

BRIAN:

You okay now?

A pause, then Kiersten gives a single quick bird-like nod.

BRIAN:

Good. Okay--what I need is that

light you were using for your

science project.

KIERSTEN:

The fifty-six hundred K?

BRIAN:

Huh?

KIERSTEN:

Fifty-six hundred K. It's the

same color temperature as sunlight--

BRIAN:

Yes. Perfect.

(he checks his

pocketwatch)

So can I have the key? Sunrise is

at six. I gotta get going.

Kiersten picks up her bookpack, dumps the contents out.

KIERSTEN:

I'm going with you.

(Brian is shocked)

Give me some of those flashlights.

BRIAN:

No! Forget it.

KIERSTEN:

(holding up the

penlight)

You're not going to make me go

down there with just this?

BRIAN:

But--It's dangerous down there!

There are monsters down there.

KIERSTEN:

...and you're going to take them

all on by yourself? Get real,

Brian.

81.

BRIAN:

(suspicious)

You'll really help me?

KIERSTEN:

I believe you.

A beat. Solemnly, Brian trades the 4-cell for the penlight.

KIERSTEN:

Now, turn around so I can get

dressed.

Brian blinks, then turns. CLOSE ON his face as he listens,

nervous and curious, to the rustling O.S.

EXT. SCHOOL - FENCE - NIGHT

The rucksack is hung up at the top of the fence. Todd, on the

other side, his feet braced on the chainlink, hangs on the

strap, straining to pull the rucksack over. It goes suddenly,

and Todd and the rucksack hit the ground--again.

INT. KIERSTEN'S ROOM - NIGHT

Brian checks his pocketwatch. The Man-in-the-Moon glares out.

BRIAN:

Todd should be ready. Let's go.

He hands Kiersten her bookpack, shoulders into his own with an

audible grunt of effort. He climbs into the shadow.

KIERSTEN:

This is where I start getting...

(she shudders)

BRIAN:

Look--you don't have to go. It's

okay. Just give me the key.

Kiersten examines this escape clause.

KIERSTEN:

No...I promised.

(beat)

Besides--I gotta make sure you

don't steal answers.

Her shaky smile lets Brian in on the joke. He smiles back

reassuringly, reaches a hand out to her. She crawls into the

under-the-bed, halts when both arms go through the shadow.

KIERSTEN:

Omigod...

82.

BRIAN:

It's okay...be careful here...

They disappear into the under-the-bed.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - KIERSTEN'S STAIRWAY

--more alien and sinister than ever. But free of monsters.

Kiersten steps cautiously down the stairs, followed by Brian.

KIERSTEN:

(in awe)

Like down the rabbit hole...

They reach level ground. Kiersten examines her surroundings.

KIERSTEN:

These stairs all go to different

rooms? So we grab Eric and get

out.

BRIAN:

That's the plan.

But his expression says it may be more difficult than that.

EXT. SCHOOL - NIGHT

Todd moves past the classroom windows in a stoop, rucksack on

his back. He straightens, dumps the rucksack to the ground.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - HALLWAY

Mary Jane goes by, dragging a mud-filled Barbie Dream House. A

beat; Brian emerges from a hiding place. He checks; the coast

is clear. He signals; Kiersten emerges wide-eyed.

EXT. SCHOOL - NIGHT

Todd wrestles with two hinged wooden poles from the rucksack.

They should fit together, but he can't quite get it.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - HALLWAY

Brian, Kiersten following, stops along a series of doorways.

BRIAN:

Okay. It should be somewhere

right around here.

83.

EXT. SCHOOL - NIGHT

Todd pushes a wooden rod into a tight canvas sleeve. Suddenly

it goes, and the rod shoots all the way through the sleeve.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - HALLWAY

Brian and Kiersten wait, alert, jumpy. All is quiet.

BRIAN:

C'mon, Todd.

Behind Brian, one part of the hallway starts to change. Brian

turns as the wall twists in on itself...creaking and groaning,

it flattens into a stairway rising up. With a SNAP a door

springs into place in front of the stairwell.

BRIAN:

Yeah! It worked!

Brian pulls open the door, escorts Kiersten through.

EXT. SCHOOL - NIGHT - CLOSE ON

Brian and Kiersten as they crawl out from the shadow under--

--an old army cot, Todd lying on top of it. It looks extremely

out of place in the empty schoolyard.

BRIAN:

Good job, Todd.

TODD:

It actually worked?

KIERSTEN:

I think I am definitely going to

go crazy.

BRIAN:

(leading her to the

door)

Not yet.

TODD:

Hey! What's she doing here? She

got to go? You wouldn't let me!

(he catches up to

Kiersten)

What's it like down there? Is it

neat?

KIERSTEN:

Oh, yeah. Neat.

84.

INT. SCIENCE CLASSROOM - SUPPLY ROOM - NIGHT

as flashlight beams hit a cabinet. Kiersten unlocks it, opens

it. She finds the 5600K bulb, gives it to Brian.

Brian opens his bookpack, pulls out a mechanic's clamp light

with cigarette-lighter attachment and a motorcycle battery. As

Todd and Kiersten look on, Brian assembles his Sun-Gun:

With wire cutters, he strips the plug off the floodlight. He

attaches the wires to the battery, tightens the wing-nuts. He

screws the 5600-K bulb in. He flips it on.

BRILLIANT WHITE LIGHT floods the room. Brian staggers-- flips

the light off quickly. A cold sweat stands on his forehead-- he

looks ill, but shakes it off.

TODD:

(blinking, eyes re-

adjusting)

Oh, man--that'll get 'em. That's

like a howitzer or something.

KIERSTEN:

You must know a lot about

electricity to do that...

(Brian grins)

...how come you get 'F's in

science?

(Brian's grin fades)

TODD:

Hey, guys, what about this?

From deep in the now-empty rucksack, Todd extracts a battered

plastic miner's helmet with revolving bubble light on top, puts

it on proudly. Kiersten smiles at him; Brian does not.

BRIAN:

What are you gonna do with that?

Todd stops grinning. He's not fucking around here.

TODD:

I'm going. Eric's my best friend.

Brian tries to stare him down, but the kid's not giving in.

Brian starts to say something--

GUARD (O.S.)

What're you kids doing here?

He stands in the hallway doorway. Brian moves first, grabbing

the other two. They race out the exterior door, slam it shut.

85.

EXT. SCHOOL - NIGHT

The trio beeline for the cot. Brian scrambles under, then

Kiersten. Todd hesitates--Brian grabs his arm--

BRIAN:

You wanna go--then c'mon!

--and yanks him down. The classroom door bangs open, and the

guard hurries out, flashlight on. He sweeps the yard, spots the

cot. He approaches it warily. He grabs a corner and yanks it

off the ground. The kids--and the cot's shadow--are gone.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - HALLWAY

The three drop from the shadow as it violently disappears. Only

Brian lands smoothly. Brian helps Kiersten up. Todd is awed,

body slack. He smiles, spins excitedly to the others.

TODD:

(too loud)

It's a parallel dimension!

Brian shushes him. Kiersten hisses 'Quiet!' Todd gulps

abashedly, then looks around some more.

TODD:

(a knowing whisper)

It's a parallel dimension.

Brian gestures 'quiet,' then 'follow me.'

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - HALLWAY

They walk three abreast; with each step, they become more

scared. Todd starts to whistle; random scratchy notes, slowly

becoming recognizable: the theme from 'Bridge Over the River

Kwai.' Brian joins in, then Kiersten. Brian sings softly:

BRIAN:

Comet--It makes your teeth turn

green...

(Todd joins in)

Comet--It's worse than

Listerine...

NEW ANGLE - MAURICE,

sitting on a stairway, back against the railing. His eye is

puffy, his robe torn--he's been beat up. Junk food packages

surround him:
a Chips Ahoy bag rests on his bloated stomach.

Maurice cocks an ear, hearing the group, then turns to watch

them through the balusters.

86.

BRIAN/TODD/KIERSTEN

Comet--It makes you vomit-- So get

some Comet--and vomit--today!

The group laughs as they disappear around a corner. Maurice

smiles, too--then his face falls. A beat. He rises suddenly,

tossing away the cookie bag, and starts up the stairs.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - HALLWAY

The trio move quickly. A monster crosses their path-- Kiersten

and Todd are scared; Brian snaps on his flashlight-- the monster

transforms into clothes. Todd and Kiersten stare.

KIERSTEN:

It's like chameleons-- protective

camouflage.

BRIAN:

Yeah--hand me another flashlight,

huh?

Brian pins the transformed monster in the beam of the second

flashlight, sets it on the floor. The monster is pinned.

Todd stares at the clothes. He reaches up to turn on his

helmet. It doesn't go on. A tad panicked, he slaps the side of

the helmet. The bubble light and the miner's lamp go on--

--and Brian is caught in the beam. Something catches Kiersten's

eye--she leans closer to Brian, staring at his arm. The skin

looks like cloth. She shines her own flashlight on it--the

transformation quickens. Brian yanks his arm out of the lights.

Kiersten fixes him with a stare.

KIERSTEN:

You're one of them.

BRIAN:

No...I was supposed to be...but

I'm not.

He steps toward her. She gestures threateningly with her

flashlight. Todd is still staring, frozen in place.

BRIAN:

Kiersten...please--we gotta save

Eric.

She looks into his eyes. She decides. She turns off the light.

Todd still stares. She nudges Todd; he starts, then turns off

the helmet. The three stand there for a moment--

KIERSTEN:

Well? Let's go save Eric.

87.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - HALLWAY

Brian peeks around a corner, then steps out. Kiersten and Todd

follow--then stop, staring. Todd's jaw drops.

ANGLE - THE MAIN STAIRWAY,

more imposing and sinister than ever.

TODD:

(a squeak)

Up there?

BRIAN:

That's where the Boss is-- that's

where Eric is. We'll take side

stairs and stuff as far as we can.

He points toward a hallway, starts for it--

--and Billy rounds a corner, pushing a wheelbarrow full of

buttons. He stops when he sees them; they stare back. Billy

spins, lets go of the wheelbarrow--buttons scatter-- he runs--

BILLY:

(his yells echoing)

Red Alert! Everybody, lookout,

Red Alert--

--and suddenly a beam of light cuts across the hall. The Billy-

clothes continue their momentum, sailing through the air,

landing, rolling into a ball in the corner.

Kiersten holds the monster in the beam of her flashlight. Brian

pins it with another.

BRIAN:

Good shooting.

TODD:

Bogies at two o'clock!

Spike and Mary Jane race toward them, shouting--

BRIAN:

Let's go!

He leads them at full tilt in the nearest safe direction-- up

the main staircase.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - LOWER LANDING

Our heroes race through an archway, and come to a dead halt--

They are at the main stairwell, higher up, near a dilapidated

section of the stairs, on a balcony--which is a dead-end, the

main stairway hanging in space, tantalizingly close.

88.

The threesome exchange glances--then turn: this is where they

will make their stand. They snap out flashlights. From down

the hall come the sounds of their pursuers.

BRIAN:

Kiersten...um...about your science

project--

KIERSTEN:

I figured it out. It's okay.

Brian, surprised, gives her a sideways look, smiles--

TODD:

There's one!

He snaps on his light--Brian grabs his wrist, knocking the

flashlight down.

It is Maurice.

MAURICE:

(gestures to an alcove)

Quick, in here!

Brian appraises him, surprised, suspicious.

MAURICE:

C'mon! No time!

TODD:

You're gonna trust him? He's a

monster!

Brian gazes at Maurice; Maurice, too, waits for the answer.

BRIAN:

He's my friend.

Maurice's face relaxes--the boy he once was can almost be seen.

Out of the dark comes the sound of approaching monsters.

MAURICE:

So hide already!

The three duck into an alcove.

MAURICE:

HEY! DOWN HERE! HERE THEY ARE!

Kiersten frowns, looks at Brian. Brian keeps watching. The

monsters run up to Maurice--who starts running from them.

MAURICE:

C'mon! This way! Let's get 'em!

Monsters race after him, shouting their bloodlust.

89.

Brian smiles, relieved--and happy that he was right.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - HALLWAY

Maurice shouts encouraging lynch-mob sentiments as he leads the

monsters.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - LOWER LANDING

As Brian leaps from the landing to the stairs. Todd tosses him

his pack. Kiersten steps onto the banister to follow.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - HALLWAY

Maurice skids to a halt, points frantically at a stairway.

MAURICE:

Up there! There they go!

The monsters rush up the stairs, leaving Maurice in the hall.

MAURICE:

(calling up the stairs)

Give 'em one for me!

INT. RONNIE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

as Spike scrambles out from under the bed, looks up--

--into Ronnie Coleman's grin, his bat already coming down--

--and Spike is nailed. Mary Jane stumbles over him as she

rushes in, and CRACK! she's down, too. The rest of the posse

surge out-- easy targets for Ronnie's deadly-accurate swings.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - RONNIE'S STAIRS

The monsters come flooding back down the stairs, yelping,

running scattershot from the Avenging Wraith of Baseball.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - MAIN STAIRCASE

near the top. Brian peeks out quickly over the top step.

In front of the tall doors are two SENTINEL MONSTERS.

Todd and Kiersten lean close. Brian rubs his jaw. Todd's

helmet bumps against Kiersten's head. She gives it a look--then

looks at it again. Smiles.

90.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - UPPERMOST LANDING.

The sentinel monsters, bored at their posts. Unseen by them, a

hand sets Todd's helmet on the floor. Gives it a push. It

slides across the landing, to in front of the monsters. The

monsters look at it. Exchange a puzzled glance. One takes a

tentative step closer to the helmet--

--one of Todd's sneaker's, thrown hard, hits the side of the

helmet. The revolving light goes on; the monsters are caught,

changing back and forth between monster and clothes.

The trio spring onto the landing. Todd and Kiersten go about

pinning the monsters; Brian steps past them, eyes fixed on the

doors. Immensely tall and impossibly narrow, polished black

wood, covered with intricate runes. Nightmare doors.

Brian readies the Sun-Gun. Kiersten and Todd look on as Brian

forces himself to touch the knob. He turns it. He pushes.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - MASTER BEDROOM

The doors part. Brian peers through. He steps in, Todd and

Kiersten close behind; they gape at the room--

Toys of all eras fill the room, on tall standing shelves. Train

tracks and race-car tracks criss-cross the floor. All is

covered with dust and cobwebs--an attic filled with forgotten,

worn-out treasures, now rotting, and hiding rats.

Hanging from the ceiling are model airplanes of all sizes and

types.

At the far end of the room is a fireplace, a chair to one side.

A silhouetted figure rises from the chair.

BRIAN:

(over his shoulder)

Watch the stairs.

Brian steps forward, peering through shadow-mottled room at the

shape. He brings the light up, thumb on the ON switch.

Backlit by the flames, the figure seems bent over with age, a

twisted shape. Then it steps into the light--it is a young boy,

Brian's age, possibly younger. A boy who has stopped

growing...but hasn't stopped aging.

In one hand he holds a marionette, its strings hopelessly

tangled. He wears a Victorian nightshirt and velvet dressing

gown. When he speaks, it is the voice of a boy-- but with the

rhythms and control of an adult. He gazes directly at Brian.

BOY:

Brian. Such a pleasure to meet

you.

91.

BRIAN:

I want my brother.

BOY:

And you brought friends. How

nice!

Brian brandishes the Sun-Gun, no fooling around.

BRIAN:

I want Eric.

A heavy arm shoves Brian to the ground--Brian hits hard, bounces

up, snapping on the Sun-Gun--

--Snik's foot slams down on the cord; it is torn away from the

battery in a shower of sparks. Snik reaches menacingly for

Brian, but a sharp gesture and a dark look from the boy cows

him. Kiersten has been searching her pack; she is out of

flashlights. She looks resignedly at Brian.

BOY:

Now, Brian--what sort of greeting

is that? After all, we are so

much alike.

BRIAN:

No, we're not.

BOY:

Yes, we are, Brian. You're like

all of us down here. You're

already one of us-- under the

skin.

He nonchalantly tries to untangle the marionette's strings.

BOY:

When Maurice told me how you

scared Eric--'Monsters are like

moths.' Sheer genius. You belong

here. You know you do.

BRIAN:

I do not!

The boy's efforts at the strings get more frantic, less

effective.

BOY:

Stay here with us, Brian. You

have friends here.

BRIAN:

Maurice only pretended to be my

friend-- to lure me down here--

(beat; grim)

Where's my brother?

92.

Suddenly, the boy smashes the marionette onto a table top.

Splintered pieces scatter. The boy looks at the crushed puppet

briefly, then drops it.

BOY:

Snik. Show him Eric.

Grinning, Snik creaks open a toychest. He pulls Eric up by the

hair. He is a poor Jack-in-the-box, one eye blackened, mouth

bloody.

TODD:

Eric!

Eric's eyes track, finally focus in on Todd. Todd starts toward

him--but Snik pulls Eric out of the chest, a huge forearm across

Eric's throat. Kiersten grabs Todd's arm.

SNIK:

C'mon. This puny neck-- break

easy.

BOY:

(to Brian)

If you stay, you'll be the one in

charge of yourself. You'll be the

one with power. Not your parents.

Not your teachers. You.

(beat)

Isn't that what you want?

Sounds from outside the doors; Kiersten looks that way.

KIERSTEN:

Brian! More monsters--

TODD:

(looking out)

--lots more monsters.

Brian looks at Todd, Kiersten. They watch him, waiting for his

decision. Brian focuses on the boy.

BRIAN:

I want Eric.

Dramatically, Brian pulls a flashlight out of his pocket,

brandishes it--looks down at it.

It is the penlight. Snik looks at the puny light, chuckles.

Brian grits his teeth, aims it at the boy, flips it on--

--the boy flinches away, blocking his face with his arms.

Brian whirls, closes on Snik, aims the light at Snik's head.

Snik's head--just his head--transforms into an army boot and a

pair of sweat socks. His arm is still at Eric's throat.

93.

Brian lowers the light--Snik bellows as his head re-forms and

his arm becomes a pant leg; Eric struggles out of Snik's grip;

Todd and Kiersten grab Eric and they scramble away.

Snik grabs Brian with his untransformed arm; Brian aims the

light below Snik's waist, turning the monster's legs into a

shirt and jacket. Snik bellows again as his still-formed torso

collapses on top of the clothes.

Brian heads for his friends by the door.

Snik recovers, struggles to his feet, ready to give chase. The

boy lays a restraining hand on his arm.

BOY:

Don't worry, Snik. They've lost.

EXT. UNDER-THE-BED - UPPERMOST LANDING

Brian, Kiersten, Todd and Eric look down. Monsters crowd up the

stairway.

KIERSTEN:

We're cut off!

BRIAN:

We can make it!

Brian leads the others straight toward the oncoming monsters--

just before they meet, he turns down a side landing.

It dead-ends short of the uppermost level of the stairwell.

Brian leaps across; his friends follow. Monsters scatter,

taking alternate routes to get at them.

Brian opens a door at random, climbs a stairway to beneath a bed-

shadow. He is all set to move smoothly through the shadow--but

slams full-tilt into it, his head hitting hard.

Brian holds his skull, stares unbelievingly at the shadow.

TODD:

What's wrong?

BRIAN:

I don't know.

Brian tries to push his hand through; it stops at the shadow.

KIERSTEN:

(an idea hits her)

Ohmigod--What time is it?

Brian pulls out his pocketwatch. The watch reads 5:23; the

benign sun-face peeks out through the wedge, the malevolent man-

in-the moon almost gone.

94.

BRIAN:

We've still got almost half an

hour...

KIERSTEN:

(gestures to the watch)

Are you sure it's right?

Brian looks from the shadowway to the watch. His face falls.

BRIAN:

I didn't fix it. It's still

broken.

TODD:

You mean we're trapped?

A laugh sounds from below. The four look down at the Boss, who

grins triumphantly.

BOY:

Brian. I'm so glad you decided to

stay.

Brian turns back to the shadow, pushes--then slams his fists at

the shadow, in frustration, in anger.

BOY (O.S.)

Truthfully, I'm surprised you even

came down. Imagine, a selfish

little bugger who cares for no one

trying to do a good deed--

(his taunts lash at

Brian)

Of course, it did only serve to

deliver your friends unto me. So

I guess that ultimately all this

misfortune is your fault. But,

then, you already knew that,

didn't you?

Brian can take no more. With a roar, he rushes down the stairs,

past the others, at the boy--who steps back. Brian sprawls.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - HALLWAY

Snik comes at Brian. Brian lashes out with his foot, nailing

Snik in the shin. Snik howls. Brian kicks viciously at Snik's

other leg. Snik howls again, and Brian scrambles to his feet.

He brings his leg up with all his might, as hard as he can--

--and Snik catches it inches from his crotch. He wags one

finger of his free hand at Brian. Brian' eyes widen in dread.

Snik tumbles him backwards to the floor.

Brian tries to struggle up--a huge fist smashes into the side of

his head, stunning him.

95.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - STAIRWELL

where the others watch the fight--Kiersten winces as another

haymaker pounds Brian--who stops moving. Snik stands over him,

bellows triumphantly. The boy looks up at them.

BOY:

Allie-Allie-otsen-free.

(beat; harsher)

We're waiting.

Kiersten, Todd and Eric exchange glances, all hope gone.

Kiersten drops her head--then starts down. Todd follows.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - HALLWAY

Monsters grab Kiersten, Todd and Eric. Spike strips off Brian's

pack--the movement causes Brian to revive. He groans, sitting

up.

BOY:

You see, Brian? You cannot

challenge my power down here. If

I say you stay, then you stay. If

I say the shadows are closed, then

the shadows are closed.

MAURICE (O.S.)

Aa, put a sock in it.

He steps out of the shadows. Looks at Brian. 'Tsk's once at

his condition.

MAURICE:

There's still time to get out.

BOY:

The shadow is closed.

MAURICE:

To Brian it's closed. He came

down here to rescue his brother.

Not your typical monster behavior,

is it?

Kiersten's eyes widen. She struggles out of the grasp of the

monster holding her, grabs up the penlight off the floor. She

shines it--on Brian's arm.

Brian does not change. A monster wrestles the light from

Kiersten. Brian snaps his gaze to the Boss.

BRIAN:

You tricked me.

96.

BOY:

All part of the game, Brian. Oh,

don't look so surprised. Only

monsters can move in shadows. You

gave up any claim to that

privilege when you chose to rescue

your brother.

This surprises some of the monsters.

SPIKE:

You told me once you start to

change, there's no going back.

BOY:

Did you really want to go back?

Spike looks down; maybe he did at one time, but not any more.

BOY:

(to Maurice)

As for you--I've put up with your

behavior long enough.

MAURICE:

I'm just a natural-born rebel.

Shoot me.

The boy stares at him.

BOY:

Snik.

(indicating Brian)

Break his neck.

MAURICE:

(steps toward Snik)

NO!

Snik drops Brian unceremoniously, and gestures to Maurice.

SNIK:

More medicine, eh? Cure you--of

life.

Maurice hesitates.

BOY:

Your move, Maurice.

Maurice looks at the towering Snik--then spins, and runs.

Brian, from the floor, stares after Maurice, drops his head.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - HALLWAY

Maurice, a bat out of hell, zooms toward a particular door--

97.

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - ALAINE'S STAIRWAY

--though the door, up a flight of stairs--

INT. ALAINE'S BEDROOM - MORNING

as Maurice zooms from under the bed, waking Alaine, who screams;

he races across the room and jumps out the window, crashing

through the screen to--

EXT. ROOF

--where he leaps across to the next house--he dashes along the

eaves, silhouetted against the pre-dawn sky; he dives in through

a window--

INT. DEFENSIVE NINE-YEAR-OLD'S BEDROOM - MORNING

The kid comes awake as Maurice crashes in, hits the floor in a

shower of glass, rolls, shoots down under the bed--

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - STAIRWAY

--Maurice drops out of a shadowway, dives down the stairs--

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - HALLWAY

--Maurice bursts out of the doorway directly behind Snik,

catching him by surprise. He slams him face forward into the

floor-- Maurice rolls clear--

Brian commando-rolls to his backpack, grabbing it from Spike,

and dives for the Sun-Gun on the floor--

--with his teeth, he strips one of the wires--

--Maurice helps Kiersten, Eric and Todd free themselves--

--Brian twists down the wing nuts on the battery--

BOY:

Stop them!

MAURICE:

Don't listen to him! What's he

ever done for you?

Monsters, starting forward, pause to think.

--Brian brings the lamp up--

--the boy's eyes widen--

98.

--Maurice's eyes widen--

--Brian thumbs the switch--

BRILLIANT WHITE LIGHT cuts across the room, slams into the Boss,

slams him up into the lattice--he flattens into a silhouette--

the light slices through him--the lattice gives way--the Boss is

blasted up and away, into oblivion.

The bulb EXPLODES--

P.O.V. BRIAN--

--as his eyes re-adjust to the darkness, revealing:

The hallway:
Some of the monsters have been turned into

Hiroshima shadows on the walls. Some are partial shadows. Snik

is a mess:
part monster, part clothes, part wavering between

solid and shadow.

Brian drops the lamp. He looks around wildly.

BRIAN:

Maurice? Maurice!

A doorway opens; Maurice peers out warily. He surveys the room.

MAURICE:

(shaky)

Now, that's what I call rock 'n

roll.

Brian sighs. Maurice steps out.

MAURICE:

Shouldn't you folks be toddling

along?

INT. UNDER-THE-BED - ATTIC STAIRS

Eric and Todd are on the stairs.

TODD:

Well, we were right, huh?

Eric smiles, slaps him five, as Maurice, followed by Brian,

hurries past them to the top of the stairs.

KIERSTEN:

(as Maurice goes by)

You might not be able to get

through now--now that you helped

us--

BRIAN:

Yeah--monsters don't help friends--

99.

Maurice slides his hand through, with no problem. He looks at

it, half-through, and then looks down sadly at Brian.

MAURICE:

Face it, Bri--some of us got it,

some of us don't.

He grabs Kiersten's shoulder, hustles her out--then Eric, and

Todd. Maurice looks at Brian, who doesn't move.

MAURICE:

Get out of here, you toothfairy.

Brian gives him a long look, climbs through the hole.

INT. STEVENSON HOME - ATTIC ROOM - MORNING

Brian slides out from under the bed. He glances at the window--

the sun is up, but it hasn't cleared the horizon yet. He turns

and looks at Maurice, still in the shadow.

MAURICE:

Well, I promised you excitement.

BRIAN:

Those other monsters are going to

kill you.

MAURICE:

Thank you, Mr. Sunshine.

Brian spots the penlight, in Kiersten's hand. He takes it. He

cocks an eyebrow at Maurice. Maurice arches both eyebrows, a

smile spreading on his face. Brian hands the penlight to him.

BRIAN:

It's not very big...

MAURICE:

(sagely)

In the land of the blind, the one-

eyed man is king.

He loses his wise composure, and grins.

BRIAN:

Catch ya later, Maurice.

MAURICE:

Not if I catch you first.

He slips back into the shadow, and is gone. Brian pulls out his

watch:
the sweep second hand ticks to the twelve-- Brian looks

up, and the sun clears the horizon. Brian puts his hand to the

shadow, trying to reach through it, trying to reach Maurice. It

is only a shadow.

100.

Brian turns away from the bed, away from the others. Todd

knocks on the shadowed floor. Kiersten steps over to Brian.

Brian looks up at her.

BRIAN:

Thanks for the help.

KIERSTEN:

All you had to do was ask.

Eric puts his hand on Brian's shoulder. Holly and Glen come up

the stairs, spot Eric, hurry into the room, relieved and happy.

Glen and Holly hug Eric, Brian a little to the side. Eric looks

over at him; they smile at each other. Glen reaches out, pulls

Brian into the hug.

CUT TO BLACK:

THE END:

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Terry Rossio

Terry Rossio was born on July 2, 1960 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA. He is a writer, known for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006). more…

All Terry Rossio scripts | Terry Rossio Books

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"Little Monsters" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 21 Nov. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/little_monsters_537>.

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