SliTHER script
SliTHER (2006)
Synopsis: Wheelsy is a small town where not much happens and everyone minds his own business. No one notices when evil slips in quietly but, when people find mutilated livestock and a woman goes missing, Sheriff Bill Pardy (Nathan Fillion) discovers an alien organism that threatens to devour all life on Earth.

FADE IN:

INT. HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM -- DAY

CLOSEUP:
A slender woman's hand writes on a chalkboard,

in teacherly cursive.

We PULL BACK to REVEAL STARLA GRANT, a stunningly beautiful

Southern woman in her twenties, as she finishes writing

out, "SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST"

Starla glances at the classroom of high school students.

She is a demure woman, somewhat awkward in her speaking,

but she has the rapt attention of all the boys in the

class.

STARLA:

When Darwin said 'fittest,' he

didn't necessarily mean the

strongest or the most intelligent,

or any one trait -- he merely meant

those organisms most well--suited

to their environment.

The boys in the class look her up and down as she speaks.

KYLIE STRUTEMYER, a pretty student, notices a BOY beside

her drawing Starla, only without her clothes. She hits

him. He CHUCKLES.

STARLA:

We humans think we're more fit,

more evolved, because we're smarter.

But we're neophytes. We've been

around two million years, give or

take. The cockroach has been here

for 350 million. You tell me who's

the more successful species.

A BOY raises his hand.

STARLA:

Will.

WILL:

How's all this go with how the

Bible says there ain't no dinosaurs?

Some of the kids LAUGH at the boy. Starla pauses, about

to answer, when the BELL RINGS.

STARLA:

We'll tackle that tomorrow...

Everyone bring your boxing gloves.

The kids start to leave.

EXT. MAIN STREET -- DAY

Celebratory banners are strung over this street, including

one that reads:
"DEER SEASON STARTS TODAY!" We're in the

center of Wheelsy, South Carolina, a moderately depressed

small town. Today's a big day, as HUNTERS from far and

near crowd the streets in their massive pickups.

MEN spill in and out of a gun store buying loads of

ammunition. OLD HUNTERS with faces like prunes stand

outside Angell's Tavern getting drunk. A MAN WITH FEW

TEETH has a dead deer strung out across the back of his

truck, skinning the carcass, its innards spilling loose.

JACK, an older, uptight man in fancy clothes, is driving

through town in his big old Cadillac. He comes upon a

hunter's truck, double--parked, jamming up traffic. Jack

jams on his HORN.

JACK:

Get the fuck out of the way,

cocksucker!

Jack turns to see a MOTHER and her two CHILDREN on the

sidewalk, listening and staring in shock.

MOTHER:

Mornin', Mayor.

Jack smiles, a bit embarrassed. Jack notices a group of

HUNTERS on the sidewalk, looking and pointing at something

up in the sky.

He looks up to see a small meteor plummeting toward earth.

EXT. HIGH SCHOOL -- DAY

Students file out of the open door for the day. Kylie,

Starla's pretty student, is among them. She and her FRIEND

are looking up at the falling meteor.

KYLIE:

Prolly go find it later, sell it

on eBay.

EXT. HORSE RANCH -- DAY

A RANCHER with a cleft palate turns his head to see the

meteor, much closer to him. It's rushing down toward the

treetops of a nearby forest.

INT. GRANT'S OFFICE -- DAY

A framed wedding photograph of a very young Starla and a

large man is sitting on a desk. The photo TREMBLES

LIGHTLY, with the impact of the meteor hitting the earth.

GRANT GRANT, a large, indelicate man in his mid forties,

notices the photos on his desk moving. He looks up from

his desk and out his door, where there's a GLASS WORKSHOP.

Two WORKERS are carrying a large pane of glass, looking

relieved they didn't drop it.

GRANT:

Just a tremor, boys.

Grant goes back to filling out the tags of file folders

with a Sharpie.

EXT. POLICE STATION -- DAY

Four cops -- BILL PARDY, the town's young, relaxed, and

handsome Chief of Police, WALLY, an older, toad--like cop,

TREVOR, a younger, somewhat goofy cop, and MARGARET, a

mannish cop -- are standing stock--still in the station

parking lot. They CHUCKLE.

TREVOR:

Did ya' feel that?!

They enter the station.

INT. POLICE STATION -- DAY

The four cops start to remove their holsters and so forth,

finished for the day.

TREVOR:

I always get afraid when that

happens, 'cause what if the ground

cracks open and you fall inside?

It's so hot in there you get all

burnt to nothin' like that --

(snaps)

Happened to my uncle Barry.

Wally and Bill LAUGH at him.

WALLY:

Who told you that story, Trevor?

TREVOR:

My aunt.

BILL:

Your uncle Barry left her for a

stripper up in Winnsboro.

Trevor looks shocked, sad.

SHELBY, a slightly dim dispatcher, on his headset at the

police operator's unit, swirls toward them, alarmed.

SHELBY:

Chief! We got a 'mergency over at

the diner!

INT. DINER -- LATER

The four cops move in. There's a COMMOTION. Most of the

patrons are standing.

WAITRESS:

Back there, Bill!

The Waitress nods back through the service window, into

the kitchen, where a large DOE is hopping around. A

DISHWASHER stands on the counter, YELPING with fear.

INT. DINER KITCHEN -- MOMENTS LATER

Bill, Wally, Trevor, Margaret, and the Waitress enter.

The doe skips around.

WAITRESS:

She slipped in, was eating trash.

We seen it on TV, how they kill

ya'--

BILL:

Right.

WAITRESS:

So we thought we best call in.

Bill spots the open rear door, and tries to herd the deer

toward it.

BILL:

Come on now, honey, door's this

way.

MARGARET:

It's open season. Let's shoot

her.

BILL:

She's just scared, Margaret.

WALLY:

Also, Bill likes to take a female

through the back door any chance

he gets.

Wally and Margaret LAUGH. Trevor snatches a dish--towel

and rushes the doe, using it like a cape. The scared doe

leaps away from him, jumping onto the kitchen counter.

BILL:

She ain't a bull, Trevor!

The animal kicks off a pot, which hits Margaret.

MARGARET:

Goddamn bambi--rat!

As the doe jumps to the floor, she gets her hoof wrapped

in a telephone cord.

The cord is plugged into the wall, trapping the doe in

place. Wally, Margaret, and Trevor attempt to dive for

the cord, but can't avoid the doe's crazy, flying hooves.

BILL:

Get back.

The other cops step away. Bill steps slowly toward the

doe, speaking calmly.

BILL:

It's okay, sweetheart. Nobody's

gonna hurt you.

The doe looks at him, settling a bit. His voice seems to

be soothing her. Bill gets closer.

BILL:

That's right. Just gonna pull

this cord out. It's gonna be all

right.

The cops and restaurant folk look on in awe as the doe,

breathing heavily, becomes still. Bill scoops close past

her, and yanks the telephone cord out of the wall.

Bill smiles. Then the doe runs forward, almost knocking

Bill over, and streaks out the back door.

Bill, Wally, Margaret, and Trevor move up to the doorway

and watch the deer skitter off into the woods beyond,

dragging the telephone, tied to her leg.

BILL:

Hell, she took a phone. Now them

forest critters are gonna be calling

us all hours of the night.

Everyone LAUGHS. Wally pretends to be on the phone.

WALLY:

Chief of police there? This a

squirrel. Bring me a bag of

peanuts, motherfucker!

Everyone LAUGHS some more.

INT. GLASS WORKSHOP -- EVENING

Grant locks his office for the day. His SECRETARY sees

him going.

SECRETARY:

'Night, Mr. Grant.

GRANT:

See ya', Ashley.

Grant walks across the workshop toward the door. He sees

a crowd of WORKERS lounging around a glass--cutting table,

LAUGHING at something.

Some of them nod at Grant, and he nods back. But he's

completely outside their circle.

EXT. GRANT HOUSE -- NIGHT

A sizable two--story suburban home. All the lights are

off but one.

GRANT (O.S.)

So I get home today, phone's

ringing. It's Hank Wilcox.

INT. GRANT DINING ROOM -- NIGHT

Starla and Grant eat dinner in this well--decorated room.

As Grant chatters, Starla occasionally smiles politely at

him.

GRANT:

Callin' for you. What the hell?

I said, 'Hank, that's a little bit

outta line don't'cha think, a single

man callin' someone's wife?' At

night, nonetheless.

Starla is quiet, almost afraid:

STARLA:

He's teaching environmental science,

Grant. Probably wants to borrow

my lesson plans from last semester.

GRANT:

Oh yeah, that's what he wants to

borrow, this guy.

STARLA:

It's just a work thing.

GRANT:

Work thing hell, Starla. He just

wants to get in your pussy. Him

and most these other ones around

here. That's where their minds is

at, them sick fucks.

Grant takes a big bite of food, stuffing his mouth.

GRANT:

I'll tell you, sugarplum, you're

lucky you got me. You're too damn

trusting. Without me to protect

you, you'd get kilt one of these

days.

Starla nods.

INT. GRANT MASTER BATHROOM -- LATER

Starla stares at herself in the mirror as she brushes her

hair. She uses long, slow strokes, as if stalling.

GRANT (O.S.)

Sugarplum, you coming into bed?

Starla turns toward the door. She doesn't say anything

for a moment.

STARLA:

Just a second.

Starla sets her brush down on the counter. She arranges

it neatly beside the others. And walks into the bedroom.

INT. GRANT BEDROOM -- MOMENTS LATER

Grant turns off the TV as Starla gets into bed with him.

It's almost completely dark in here.

Grant crawls on top of Starla. He kisses her and grabs

her in a way not meant to be rough, but is utterly without

grace.

After doing this for a few moments, Starla starts to push

him off her.

STARLA:

Grant, no -- I'm sorry, I'm just --

I'm not in the mood.

Grant is on top of her, breathing a little too heavy.

GRANT:

Come on, baby, it's --

STARLA:

I'm sorry. I don't just have some

switch.

GRANT:

Sure you do.

Through Starla's nightgown, Grant pretends to flick one

of her nipples.

GRANT:

Flip.

Then the other.

GRANT:

Flip.

STARLA:

That's disrespectful.

Grant, peeved, gets off of her. He sits on the edge of

the bed for a moment, in silence. Starla looks afraid.

GRANT:

When are you in the mood, exactly?

Seems to me that mood's as rare as

winnin' the Goddamn lotto.

Grant grabs his slacks off the valet and starts putting

them on.

STARLA:

Where are you going?

GRANT:

I'm just some big clown to you,

ain't I?

STARLA:

That's not true -- Where are you--?

GRANT:

Out.

INT. HENENLOTTER'S SPORTS BAR -- LATER

Grant sits at the bar, knocking back a shot of tequila.

He's getting drunk. He taps his glass.

GRANT:

Hit me again there, killer.

The BARKEEP fills his drink.

BARKEEP:

Hey, Grant, how's it you come to

have the same last name as first?

GRANT:

Parents thought it sounded pleasant,

I s'pose. Joke on me, ain't it?

Grant notices a woman with a lot of makeup -- BRENDA

GUTIERREZ -- staring at him from across the bar, smoking

a cigarette. Grant stares at her, trying to figure out

who she is. She slides off her stool.

She sashays toward him. She props herself on the stool

beside him, leans drunkenly in toward him.

BRENDA:

Megan Halesy' little sister.

GRANT:

Shit. You're kidding me.

Nope.

BRENDA:

Brenda!

GRANT:

Hell, you were --

Grant holds his hand only so high.

BRENDA:

I was! And I'll tell you somethin',

Grant Grant. I's in love with

you.

Grant stares at her.

BRENDA:

My sister Megan, she's a big fat

cow. Was then, even more so now.

I'd be thinking, what'd you see in

her ain't in me?

GRANT:

Shit, girl, you couldn't'a been

eleven.

BRENDA:

Hell, I was game!

She LAUGHS. So does Grant. He stares at her,

contemplating sinful things. He nods at her wedding ring.

GRANT:

Who's the lucky fella?

BRENDA:

Fuck lucky. Never marry a damn

half--Mexican.

GRANT:

Already ain't. Married a gal named --

BRENDA:

Starla Covington. Don't be

ignorant. Everyone knows that.

Fucking prom queen.

Grant thinks.

GRANT:

Yeah.

Grant finishes his drink, and gets up to go.

BRENDA:

Where you goin'?

Grant speaks more loudly than need be:

GRANT:

Starla, she gets real worried 'bout

me I stay out too late. Loves me

too much, that one.

He glances around to see if people have heard, and stumbles

out.

EXT. SHADED CREEK -- LATER

Grant sits on a boulder beside a creek, looking miserable,

downing a six pack.

He throws an empty can into the creek, when he glances

down and sees particles flowing down the river.

Grant slides off the boulder. He kneels and examines the

particles. They shimmer in the moonbeams coming down

between the trees.

Grant peers up the creek from where the particles are

coming.

He sees a gap on the edge of the creek, where water

splashes and is diverted in streamlets down the hill.

He approaches the spot, and comes upon a small crater on

the side of the creek. The meteorite is inside the crater,

but it's cracked into pieces. The rock seems almost

organic, like a shell. The shimmery specks are part of

the shell itself, flecking off into the creek and rushing

downstream.

Grant crouches. He touches the meteorite, and feels some

sort of goo inside it. It's sticky.

He notices a strip of the same slime leading out of the

crater itself and into the woods.

Grant, curiously, slowly, follows the slimy trail.

He comes to a flurry of colorful wild flowers. Something

is rustling the flowers ever so slightly. He moves in

closer.

A gelatinous yellow organism slithers sluggishly between

the flowers. The organism is a mound a few inches high,

gross and veiny, yet as colorful as the flowers around

it. A small cavity on the apex of the organism constricts

and expands lightly. I guess it's not worth keeping secret

that this thing looks a tad like a bright yellow vagina.

GRANT:

What the…?

Grant is a little freaked--out by this thing, even

frightened. He looks around for someone else.

GRANT:

Hey, anybody 'round here? 'Lo?

No one answers. Grant looks down at the organism, unsure.

He picks up a tree branch.

Grant softly prods the organism with the pointy end of

the branch.

Nothing happens.

He does it again. The thing pulses a little, and surges

toward Grant.

Grand pokes it again.

A small, thin quill -- a SPORE -- emerges from the cavity

in the center of the organism. The spore is quivering

and, as it trembles upward, little bulbed spurs pop up as

well.

Grant slowly bends down to look at it when --

The SPORE suddenly SHOOTS OUT. It strikes Grant in the

stomach.

GRANT:

Ow! Fuck!

Grant yanks up his shirt, looking at a wound on his

abdomen. He watches as the spore quivers and disappears

inside him.

He clutches his stomach, SCREAMS in agony. He falls back

into the colorful flowers. His body convulses.

MATCH CUT TO:

CAT SCAN SHOT -- INT. GRANT'S BODY

We see the insides of Grant's body, as if sliced in half.

We ZOOM IN on the little spore, which is jittering up

through his body, and into his neck.

The spore keys into the base of Grant's cerebellum, and

his entire brain crackles with a WHITE ELECTRICAL ENERGY.

BACK TO SCENE:

Grant freezes in place, his fingers contorted up in front

of him, silent. He's utterly still, a wax corpse.

A hippie CAMPING COUPLE run into the area, looking for

the source of the screams. The man looks down at the

frozen Grant.

CAMPER:

Over here!

The Camper crouches down beside him.

CAMPER:

Hey, man. You all right?...

Dude?... Oh shit.

The Camper turns from Grant to his girlfriend.

CAMPER:

I think he's d --

Grant GASPS suddenly, sitting up and grabbing the man,

like a drowning man popping up above water. The Camper

YELPS and jumps back. Grant sweats and heaves, trying to

speak, but hardly can --

GRANT:

It's taking... my... brain.

CAMPER:

Buddy?

Grant's eyes glaze over, and he eases off. He heaves

there, momentarily confused. His eyes dart around, as if

seeing his surroundings for the first time. Grant stands.

CAMPER:

You all right, man?

Grant looks down curiously at the camper. Then he turns

and stumbles away from them, out of the forest.

CAMPER:

That might of been a stroke, buddy.

You better take it easy.

INT. GRANT'S PICKUP -- DAWN

Grant drives down the road in his luxury pickup truck,

sweating and blinking rapidly.

EXT. GRANT HOUSE -- MORNING

Grant steps out of the truck in his driveway, when he

hears --

NEIGHBOR (O.S.)

Hey ya', Grant.

Grant swings his head toward his NEIGHBOR, who is taking

a happy BEAGLE for a morning walk.

NEIGHBOR:

What were ya', night--fishing again?

You catch anything?

GRANT:

I caught a little somethin', yeah.

Grant walks inside his house.

INT. GRANT FOYER -- MORNING

Grant looks around the foyer.

INT. GRANT BEDROOM -- MORNING

Grant creeps into the bedroom, looking around. We can

hear the SHOWER RUNNING.

Grant spots his face in a mirror above the dresser. He

moves in close to the mirror, and stares at his own image.

He pulls on his face a little, his eyes brimming with

excitement. He smiles at himself.

Grant looks toward the open bathroom door, where he hears

the running shower. He creeps toward it.

Grant peeks around the doorway. Starla is in the shower,

soaping herself. She looks beautiful there. Grant tilts

his head to the side like a dog. He watches her,

mesmerized, even moved.

INT. GRANT BATHROOM -- MOMENTS LATER

Starla is wearing a white towel and brushing her wet hair

in the foggy bathroom mirror when she hears Air Supply's

EVERY WOMAN IN THE WORLD coming from the bedroom. She's

struck by it.

She moves toward the door. Opens it.

INT. GRANT BEDROOM -- MORNING

The shades are drawn, darkening the room. A few candles

have been lit. Grant is standing there, mostly in

silhouette. He's silent, and he doesn't move.

GRANT:

Hey there, sugarplum.

Starla looks at him, stirred.

STARLA:

Haven't heard this for a while.

Grant walks toward her. He takes her hand in his own,

lifting it beside him. He wraps his other arm around her

waist. And he slow dances with her. Starla dances too,

a bit hesitantly, a bit shy.

STARLA:

I never danced in a towel before.

GRANT:

Wearing white, just like on our...

wedding day. I remember it.

Starla nods.

GRANT:

I'm sorry about last night. I get

a little insecure sometimes, want

to hold on too tight. It's just

'cause you're precious to me,

Starla.

(MORE)

GRANT (CONT'D)

But I swear to God, baby, I'm

turning over a new Goddamn leaf.

Okay?

Starla nods, touched. Grant's eyes are teary.

GRANT:

I love you, sugarplum.

Starla and Grant kiss, tenderly.

Grant falls to his knees in front of her. He runs his

hand over the curve of her hip, her thigh, her buttock,

with as much fascination as lust. He pushes Starla back

onto the bed.

He lifts her leg, and kisses it, nibbles on it a little,

scrapes his teeth on it. Starla is surprised by this,

but enjoys it too: it's probably the most foreplay she's

had in years.

Grant crawls on top of her, runs his hands over her

breasts, her face. Starla's hand moves over Grant's back,

and to his stomach. When she stops, startled.

STARLA:

Grant, what's that?

She gazes down at the wound between them, on Grant's bare

abdomen, where the spore entered him. The wound is

yellowish, and surrounded by veins.

Grant, embarrassed, pulls his shirt down.

GRANT:

Just a little bug bite is all.

Grant kisses and munches on Starla as she lies back on

the bed, enjoying it.

O.S. HUMMING.

FADE TO:

INT. TEACHER'S LOUNGE -- DAY

Starla is HUMMING Every Woman in the World as she drops

coins into a soda machine and chooses Tab. JANENE, a

a heavyset black teacher, notices this.

JANENE:

What are you so smiley about, girl?

STARLA:

Oh, nothin'

Starla grabs her soda and sits down with Janene.

just stares.

Janene

STARLA:

Just, Grant and I had a nice

morning. It's been a while.

JANENE:

Oh! You got that fresh--fucked

glow, don't you?

Janene.

STARLA:

You slut.

JANENE:

Hush.

STARLA:

No shame.

JANENE:

You're a married woman.

STARLA:

He was... considerate. Maybe this

is the start of a real change in

Grant.

INT. GRANT BATHROOM -- DAY

Grant is holding up his shirt, and looking at his torso.

The wound on his side is blackened and gangrenous, and is

starting to puff up into a veiny little spout. A fuzzy

bluish moss is growing in the crevices around the spout.

A pus oozes out.

Grant looks concerned. He squirts some Neosporin onto

his fingers. He massages it slowly into the wound.

INT. GRANT KITCHEN -- MOMENTS LATER

Grant opens the refrigerator door and rummages around

inside. He pulls out some bread. Some cheese.

He opens the meat drawer. It's replete with cold cuts.

He pulls out some Oscar Mayer baloney. Turkey. Pastrami

and salami. He grabs every type of meat there is.

MOMENTS LATER:

Grant assembles a sandwich at the table. Two pieces of

bread and some cheese. He starts putting the meat on.

But he can't stop, piling more and more on until he has

a little sandwich tower.

He looks at it. Something seems off about it. He removes

the cheese. Better. And then the bread. Even better.

He stares at what is now simply a tower of cold cuts.

GRANT:

Meat.

After contemplating it for a moment, Grant stands and

carries off the pile of meat.

INT. GRANT GARAGE -- MOMENTS LATER

Grant enters the garage through a door from the FOYER.

He flips the lights on with his shoulder. He looks around.

Grant spots an old file cabinet. He sets the tower of

meat down on the oily floor and opens a drawer. It's

filled with files. He closes that drawer, and opens

another. It has manila file folders, but no files.

Grant takes out the folders. He uses a Sharpie to write

out "BALONEY" on a folder. Then he stuffs all the baloney

into the folder and files it away.

He starts writing out "PASTRAMI"

LATER:

Grant flips through his alphabetically--filed meat: from

BALONEY through "TURKEY." But he doesn't look satisfied.

INT. SUPERMARKET -- LATER

Grant stands beside the butcher's counter with a shopping

cart. He peers dreamily in through the glass at the rows

of steaks, pork chops, and so on.

GRANT:

Meat.

BUTCHER:

Howdy, Mr. Grant. You goin' to

the Deer Cheer this weekend?

Grant snaps out of his reverie.

GRANT:

Sure thing, killer.

BUTCHER:

What can I do you for?

GRANT:

Thinkin' 'bout getting me a couple

of these big ol' rib eyes.

BUTCHER:

How many you need?

Grant stares at the steaks.

GRANT:

Well... having us a little dinner

party... I'd say... eight. No,

no... fourteen...

The Butcher nods, starts to grab steaks. Grant CHUCKLES.

GRANT:

Hell, what am I holding back for?

Why don't you just give me

everything you got here?

BUTCHER:

All the rib eyes?

GRANT:

Yep. And while you're at it, get

me a few of them chicken wings...

some pork loins... and, ooo, what's

this here? Osso buco?...

EXT. GRANT HOME -- LATER

Grant backs his pickup toward the garage. Meat is piled

into the bed. Wrapped packages of meat fill the seats

around him.

INT. GRANT GARAGE -- MOMENTS LATER

Grant stands in the garage, tearing open the packing, and

letting the loose meat slide into piles onto the floor,

muttering:

GRANT:

Meat.

MOMENTS LATER:

Grant rolls slabs of beef over the dirty floor and into

a pile.

SOMETHING skitters across the garage and around the pile.

Grant peers around the pile and sees a RAT nibbling on

some ribs. He realizes something.

GRANT:

You're meat.

The rat moves away from Grant. But Grant snaps out his

arm with alarming speed, snatching the rat. It SQUEAKS

and wriggles in his grip, tearing and biting at him, trying

to get free.

Grant snaps its neck, and tosses the dead rat onto the

pile of meat. Continues on.

EXT. GRANT GARAGE -- NIGHT

Starla pulls into the driveway. She presses the button

on her garage door opener.

The door SHUDDERS but stays closed. Starla's confused.

She gets out of the car and examines the door. She looks

down and sees a new padlock, locking the door to the cement

driveway with bolts on both sides.

INT. GRANT FOYER -- MOMENTS LATER

Starla enters the house. She heads toward a door along

the wall that leads to the garage. There's a shiny new

lock on that door as well. She touches it, baffled.

She turns to see Grant standing at the end of the foyer.

He's in shadows, a little spooky in the darkness.

GRANT:

Welcome home.

STARLA:

Grant? Why are there -- did you

put locks on the garage?

Pause. No answer.

STARLA:

You drilled into the driveway.

Grant walks into the light.

GRANT:

Yeahhhh. I'm sorry. I just got

so excited about... your present.

STARLA:

My present?

GRANT:

You're my princess, aren't you?

STARLA:

Okay.

GRANT:

I got a super--special birthday

present for you this year. I

couldn't risk you finding it, so I

had to put them locks on the doors.

Pause.

STARLA:

All right... I have to clean up

before dinner.

Grant smiles at her. Starla confused, tries to smile

back, then turns and heads up the stairs. Grant watches

Starla's fine form from behind, somewhat lustily. But

his leering gaze gradually turns into something darker,

and he has a realization.

GRANT:

You're meat.

Starla turns.

STARLA:

What?

Grant snaps himself out of it.

GRANT:

Oh, nothin'. Nothin'. See you in

a sec.

Starla smiles uneasily, and heads on upstairs.

EXT. GRANT HOME -- MOMENTS LATER

Grant steps onto the front porch to get some air. He's

blinking and seems a little dizzy. He gazes around the

neighborhood:

Down the way, a BOY in a little league uniform and his

MOTHER get out of their car and walk toward the front

door.

Across the street, THROUGH A KITCHEN WINDOW, a PLUMP MAN

and his WIFE are eating dinner.

At another home, a SHORT MAN steps on a stepladder,

changing the dome light on his porch.

Grant stares at these individuals, looking like an animal

ready to lunge at its prey, fighting the urge.

GRANT:

Meat.

He HEARS a BARKING. Grant turns to see the beagle next

door, tied to the tree, YAPPING at him.

Grant looks around to make sure no one's watching.

EXT. GRANT HOME -- MORNING

Starla walks to get the paper in her robe, and she sees a

BOY, aged thirteen or so, stapling a LOST: REWARD flyer

to a telephone pole, with a picture of the beagle.

STARLA:

Roscoe's gone?

The Boy's face is streaked from a long night of crying.

BOY:

You haven't seen him, have you?

Starla shakes her head.

STARLA:

I'm sure he'll show up, Tim.

The Boy nods, and walks to the next telephone pole to put

up another flyer.

EXT. SHADED FOREST -- DAY

Grant moves up a hill, between trees, looking around for

something. He comes to a stop, trying to remember which

way to go. He does, and moves on.

EXT. OLD BARN -- LATER

Grant comes upon an old wooden barn. The structure is

maybe a hundred years old, and long abandoned. It's

spattered with graffiti. Grant stares at it.

MOMENTS LATER:

Grant gathers large fronds and other foliage in his arms.

INT. OLD BARN -- LATER

Grant spreads the plant life over the floor of the barn.

He arranges it, fluffs it there. His actions are very

animal--like when no one's around. He seems to be making

a nest. He sits back, looks at it.

He's happy.

FADE TO:

INT. GRANT BEDROOM -- NIGHT

Starla, dressed in her weekend finery, is looking in the

mirror above her dresser, and putting on earrings.

STARLA:

Grant, are you almost ready?

INT. GRANT MASTER BATHROOM -- MOMENTS LATER

Grant looks ill. He is leaning over the sink, sweating,

clutching his stomach.

GRANT:

Yeah, hon, I'll be right there!

Grant turns and pushes open his door.

INT. GRANT BEDROOM -- NIGHT

Grant sees Starla sitting on the edge of the bed, her

back to him, as she puts on her nylons. She doesn't know

he's there.

Grant stares at her, demented, and moves slowly toward

her, stalking her.

Something starts to push Grant's shirt up at his stomach,

like a bellybutton erection. The thing slips out of his

shirt -- a writhing, pointy tubule, aiming toward Starla's

back.

Grant looks at the nape of Starla's neck. Her delicate

ear. He becomes confused; he softens.

Starla turns to see Grant, his body now turned away from

her. He's trying to push the tubule back down.

STARLA:

What are you doing?

GRANT:

You're pretty.

Starla nods, confused by his behavior.

EXT. WHEELSY SADDLE LODGE -- LATER

A banner hangs across the front of the lodge, "DEER CHEER

05" -- the first Friday of deer season in Wheelsy.

Inflatable deer totems decorate the front of the wooden

lodge. RAMBUNCTIOUS MUSIC comes from inside. Partyers

enter.

Grant and Starla step out of his truck. As they do, one

of Starla's students, Will, sees her and waves. Starla

waves back.

Grant notices this and grabs Starla's arm, a bit too hard,

pulling her back.

GRANT:

Who's that?

STARLA:

It's just one of my students, Grant.

Grant stares at the boy with distrust, and ushers Starla

towards the lodge.

Bill, Trevor and Margaret are hanging out on a large rock

outside the entranceway, drinking beer. Bill watches

Grant and Starla cross the lot. Trevor sees this.

TREVOR:

What's she see in that douchebag?

BILL:

That's the mystery of the ages

there, Trev. Starla was seventeen

when they got engaged. He was,

like, in his thirties. No one

even knew they were goin' out till

she had that ring on her finger.

MARGARET:

Ain't no mystery to it. She's

raised in them shanties off St.

Luc. Dirt--poor.

TREVOR:

Gold--digger, huh?

BILL:

Hell, you don't know that, Margaret.

Margaret shrugs, BELCHES. Jack, the mayor, with his WIFE,

stops beside them after she does, staring at her.

JACK:

Bill, you're Chief of police now.

(MORE)

JACK (CONT'D)

Comes with some Goddamn

responsibility, like keeping your

people in line.

BILL:

You're right, Jack. Margaret,

you're fired.

Margaret and Trevor LAUGH. Jack shakes his head with

disdain, and enters the party.

INT. WHEELSY SADDLE LODGE -- NIGHT

Wheelsy citizens celebrate. A country--western band PLAYS.

Couples two--step.

Starla and Grant move through the party. Grant looks

around at the dancing and laughing bodies. Starla sees

her friend from school.

STARLA:

Janene!

Janene LAUGHS heartily and the two embrace

JANENE:

Hey, Grant.

GRANT:

Why don't you two catch up? I'll

go see what the boys are doing.

Starla nods. She and Janene watch as Grant moves off

through the crowd.

STARLA:

He's been strange the past couple

days.

EXT. WHEELSY SADDLE LODGE -- MOMENTS LATER

Grant steps outside, and looks around.

Across the parking lot is a playground. Two YOUNG CHILDREN

are spinning on a little carousel there.

Grant starts toward them.

EXT. SADDLE LODGE PLAYGROUND -- NIGHT

The Children GIGGLE, unaware of Grant inching up on them.

Grant gets closer, excited, when he hears:

BRENDA (O.S.)

Hey there, handsome.

Grant turns and see Brenda Gutierrez standing there.

Once again, she's very drunk.

BRENDA:

Must be fate, us meeting again

like this.

Grant smiles.

GRANT:

Well, you might be right...

Grant sees if anyone's watching. He circles around her.

GRANT:

You're lookin' awful pretty.

BRENDA:

Shut up.

Brenda SNICKERS.

GRANT:

Where's the old half--Mexican?

BRENDA:

Took the kids to his Mom's for the

weekend.

Grant smiles.

EXT. FOREST -- NIGHT

Grant holds Brenda's hand, and he pulls her between the

trees. She GIGGLES.

BRENDA:

Where you takin' me, you bad boy!

Grant stops in a secluded place, beside the creek, looking

around. No one's there. He turns toward her, smiles.

GRANT:

Take off your shirt, doll.

Brenda looks at him, confused.

GRANT:

Guess it's hard to explain how

amazin' a human brain is to someone

who that's all they know.

BRENDA:

What?

GRANT:

Stuff you can never imagine.

Feelings. Big thoughts. And love.

Yeah. I'm inclined to parlay it

into somethin' more. So, go ahead

there, beautiful, and take off

your shirt.

Brenda, though startled, leans back on a boulder and starts

unbuttoning her blouse. After a moment, she looks at

Grant, trying to be sexy while she does it. Grant looks

at her in her bra.

GRANT:

Nice.

Grant unbuttons his shirt as well. As he removes it

completely, he turns toward her.

Brenda sees the wound on his stomach has blossomed into a

veiny, blue--moss--encrusted yellow spout, huge and pulsing.

BRENDA:

Grant!? What -- ?!

Grant grabs her. She tries to push his arms away.

BRENDA:

No, no, we --

Brenda gets up, trying to run away. But Grant grabs her

necklace, yanking her back. The necklace snaps and falls

into the creek beside them.

Grant pins Brenda's wrists against the rock. She struggles

to get free.

Brenda's eyes widen as she looks down to see the writhing,

tentacle--like tubule emerge from Grant's wound. She

SCREAMS.

Grant shoves his hand over her mouth, shutting her up.

He's extremely strong. She watches as the tubule twitches,

feeling its way like a blind snake.

The tubule comes to rest on her abdomen. Tears stream

down from Brenda's eyes. It pushes into her flesh.

Brenda goes into convulsions. Something -- a fluid --

pumps through the tubule and into Brenda.

Grant watches Brenda without emotion as her body spasms

there beside him.

Then she falls back, unconscious. The tubule retracts

into Grant's torso.

EXT. WHEELSY SADDLE LODGE BACK PORCH -- NIGHT

Starla is leaning over a wooden rail, looking at the lights

of the town below. She turns to see Bill lean on the

rail beside her. She looks genuinely happy.

STARLA:

Hey, Bill!

Starla catches herself, and looks around to see if Grant

is watching.

BILL:

Don't worry. The lurker ain't

around. I checked.

STARLA:

That's not funny.

BILL:

Sorry.

STARLA:

Whatcha' doin'?

BILL:

Tryin' to get a buzz on. But I'm

too buff. Too much muscle mass.

Starla LAUGHS.

BILL:

What you up to?

STARLA:

Just checking out the lights.

Bill and Starla look out over the city together.

BILL:

Pretty, ain't they?

STARLA:

I don't know. I've seen them so

many times before. I guess any

spot gets boring after awhile.

BILL:

Well that's only if you're in the

wrong spot.

Starla looks at him.

BILL:

There's a place over there on the

bluffs. When the fog is just right,

like tonight, the lights of Main

look like a kaleidoscope.

STARLA:

Oh, yeah?

BILL:

Mm hm. But only a few folks know

how to get there. Wally. Rollo

Linkski coulda taken you, but

'course he got hit by that train.

Me.

STARLA:

I'll get Wally to show me sometime

then.

Starla LAUGHS out loud. So does Bill.

BILL:

Oh, will you now?

STARLA GRANT (O.S.)

Or Rollo's ghost. Starla.

They turn to see Grant approaching. He's a mess. His

pants are streaked with mud.

STARLA:

Grant, where'd you go?

BILL:

Hey, Grant.

Grant eyes Bill with suspicion. He grabs Starla.

GRANT:

You ready, sugarplum?

Starla nods. She looks at Bill and mouths:

STARLA:

Bye.

Bill watches Grant and Starla head off, as he downs the

rest of his beer. Wally walks up beside him.

WALLY:

Surprised you're able to lift a

mug after carrying that torch for

so long.

BILL:

Hey, Wally. Glad you're here.

There was something I wanted to

tell you...

Bill SNAPS his fingers, trying to remember.

WALLY:

What?

BILL:

Oh yeah. Fuck you, fat ass.

They both LAUGH.

INT. GRANT BEDROOM -- LATER

Starla lies on her side, awake. She's staring at the

dirt on Grant's pants, which are hung over a valet. Grant

holds her from behind, sleeping peacefully.

FADE TO:

INT. WHEELSY POLICE STATION -- DAY

The front door of the precinct opens, and a confused

Mexican MAN walks inside. He is trying to keep from

crying. Three half--naked children follow him, clutching

onto his clothes. The man walks slowly through the office,

looking around for help.

Margaret sees him from her desk.

MARGARET:

Sir, may I help -- ?

BRENDA'S HUSBAND

My wife, Brenda. I think something

has happened to her!

EXT. STOP SIGN -- DAY

Starla, in her car with groceries, comes to a stop sign.

She looks at the telephone pole beside it and sees that

it's covered with flyers for missing pets.

INT. GRANT FOYER -- MOMENTS LATER

Starla enters with a shopping bag. The lights are off.

CREEPY MUSIC plays.

STARLA:

Grant?

No answer. Starla tries to turn on the lights, but nothing

happens.

STARLA:

Damn fuse.

She passes the door to the garage, noticing the lock.

INT. GRANT KITCHEN -- MOMENTS LATER

Starla sets down the bags on the counter, looks around.

STARLA:

Grant?

Again, no one's here. She sees a potted flower on the

counter. A green INCHWORM is crawling up the stem, little

by little. She stares at it, as if it's a portent.

She hears a MOAN, coming from upstairs.

INT. GRANT BEDROOM -- MOMENTS LATER

Starla moves slowly into this dark room, looking for her

husband. It seems no one is here.

STARLA:

Grant, where are y -- ?

Starla turns, when Grant POPS INTO FRAME. Starla,

startled, SCREAMS. Grant is sick and trembling. But,

worse, he's been transforming. There are small pustules

all over his face.

STARLA:

Grant. Oh my God. What happened

to your -- ?

GRANT:

Heh. It ain't as bad as it looks,

sugarplum. Dr. Carl was just here.

I had a reaction to a bee sting.

He gave me a prescription. Said I

should be fine, in a couple days.

Starla stares at him, mute and horrified.

GRANT:

Don't look at me like that, baby.

Please? I'm gonna go get my...

prescription filled.

Grant grabs his keys off the dresser, puts them in his

pocket, trying to pretend he doesn't hurt.

STARLA:

I'll get if for you.

GRANT:

No! No. Heh. I'll be right back.

He moves outside the door, leaving Starla, shell--shocked.

INT. GRANT GARAGE -- DAY

It's too dark to see much in here, but we do see Grant

putting meat into a garbage bag.

EXT. GRANT HOUSE -- DAY

Grant looks around to make sure no one's looking, as he

places the garbage bag full of meat into his trunk, closes

it.

EXT. OLD BARN -- EVENING

Grant moves through the forest, in massive pain, dragging

the garbage bag.

Grant comes upon the old wooden barn.

INT. OLD BARN -- NIGHT

Grant enters. It is almost completely dark. He hears

WEEPING. CHAINS RATTLE.

Grant peers over at Brenda, mostly in silhouette, sitting

on the nest he has made. She's chained up and MOANS

through a mouth gag. Grant walks to her. Her body is

horribly pear--shaped and misshapen, like some tumorous

pregnancy. Grant pulls her gag away.

BRENDA:

Grant? Grant, I'm hungry. I'm so

fuckin' hungry I think I'm gonna

die.

GRANT:

Brought you munchies.

Grant pours the garbage bagful of rotting meat and dead

animals out in front of her.

GRANT:

Been saving for a rainy day.

CLOSEUP:
Brenda's face, still mostly in darkness. She

stares at the meat, simultaneously excited and repulsed.

She looks up at Grant.

BRENDA:

Grant, I'm sorry if I did something

wrong! I think I gotta -- I think

I should go to a hospital!

Grant doesn't respond. Brenda's eyes trail back down to

the meat.

Brenda's hand reaches out, and grabs a maggot--infested

pork chop, pulling it toward her.

We HEAR, but can barely see, Brenda CHOWING DOWN on the

raw pork in the nearly pitch black barn.

INT. GRANT'S TRUCK -- LATER

Grant gets into his pickup; he trembles and YELPS as his

body is wracked with pain and his body starts to transform

even more.

INT. GRANT FOYER -- NIGHT

There's a HARD KNOCKING on Starla's door. She swings it

open to see Bill and Wally standing there, worried.

Wally tries to see inside.

WALLY:

Grant around?

STARLA:

No. He went to the pharmacy.

WALLY:

Pharmacy?

STARLA:

He's got a... rash.

Bill and Wally exchange a glance -- maybe this means

something. Starla can see Trevor and Margaret, across

the street, talking to another neighbor.

BILL:

Starla, you know Brenda Gutierrez?

Starla shakes her head.

BILL:

Maybe she's ever called the house,

or -- ?

STARLA:

No. What…?

BILL:

She disappeared Friday night. We

got reason to believe foul play

might be involved.

WALLY:

Some kids found her necklace near

Tipper Creek, as well as what might

be her blood on a rock.

BILL:

The problem, Starla, is, the last

person anyone saw her talking to

was Grant.

Starla looks at him, surprised.

BILL:

The Deer Cheer. And Wally and me,

we also saw him that night, with

mud all over his slacks.

Bill hands her his card.

BILL:

Have him call me right away, okay?

Starla nods, distraught. Bill tries to smile kindly before

he and Wally move out and off to canvas other neighbors'

homes.

Starla closes the door behind her, distraught, panicked.

She looks at the foyer door, leading into the garage.

Her eyes fall down to the floor, where she sees what

appears to be blood drop stains near the door.

She gains courage, and moves off toward --

INT. GRANT CLOSET -- MOMENTS LATER

Starla throws open this door. She looks at old, unused

sports equipment. She grabs an aluminum baseball bat.

INT. GRANT FOYER -- MOMENTS LATER

Starla holds the aluminum bat, standing in front of the

door to the garage. She hesitates a moment. But then

she swings the bat at the lock on the door.

She swings it again, GRUNTING.

And again.

Finally, the lock is knocked off the wooden door.

Starla pushes away the useless lock, letting it fall to

the floor.

Starla steels herself, and slowly pushes open the door

into the dark garage. As she does, the horrendous stench

hits her. Terrified, she covers her face with her hand,

and enters.

INT. GRANT GARAGE -- NIGHT

Starla sees what's there: not only a huge stockpile of

rotten meat, but a dozen dead pets. They are neatly

divided into various categories, and labeled: Pork, Ground

Beef, Cats, Dogs. The walls and doorway have been heavily

insulated so the smell doesn't sink into the home. She

looks on the floor and sees poor, dead Roscoe the beagle,

his tongue dangling out.

Starla starts to CRY.

She moves quickly back inside.

INT. GRANT LIVING ROOM -- MOMENTS LATER

Starla runs to the front picture window, and looks out

onto the street. She can't see any of the cops.

She turns from the window and picks up a cordless phone.

She looks at the card Bill gave her, and dials the number.

The phone RINGS, and:

SHERRY (O.S.)

You've reached Chief Pardy at the

Wheelsy Police Department. Please

leave a message and your call will

be returned as soon as possible.

There's a BEEP. Starla tries to speak through her SOBS,

pacing:

STARLA:

Bill, it's Starla!

As Starla passes the large picture window, she doesn't

see Grant staring in at her, his face now that of some

diseased cephalopod.

STARLA:

It's -- I think you better come

over right away -- I think Grant's

sick, he --

Starla turns to see the monstrous Grant through the window.

She just stops. They stare at each other for a moment.

And then Grant lets out a FURIOUS WAIL.

Starla turns and dashes toward the back of the house.

Grant disappears from the window.

INT. GRANT FOYER -- NIGHT

As Starla runs through here, she looks behind her at the

front door to make sure Grant isn't following.

INT. GRANT HALL -- NIGHT

She runs past a wall of family photos.

INT. GRANT FAMILY ROOM -- NIGHT

Starla sees the door on the rear of the house, leading to

the backyard.

She arrives at it, and flings it open --

Grant is there.

He lunges onto her. Starla SCREAMS and drops the cordless

phone, just as it starts RINGING. Grant crawls on top of

her body. Starla reaches for the ringing phone, but he

pins her hands above her head. He looks into her eyes.

He's CRYING. His voice and breath are sick and raspy.

GRANT:

Why'd you betray me, sugarplum?!

STARLA:

Grant, no!

GRANT:

I loved you. I loved --

STARLA:

Grant, you're sick!

Grant is about to cry.

GRANT:

I wanted you by my side, but you --

I can't trust you now!

Starla's WEEPING, confused. Grant rips his shirt open.

Starla looks down to see the tubule protruding from the

now enormous yellow spore on Grant's chest. The tubule

feels over Starla's blouse, and then slips beneath it.

It starts to poke into her skin.

STARLA:

Noooo!

Starla grabs the leg of a coffee table beside her. She

SLAMS the table into Grant's head. This hurts and

surprises him sufficiently to let Starla get out from

under him.

Starla grabs the cordless phone, which is no longer

ringing, and scurries behind the couch. She dials 9--1--1.

Grant thrusts the couch aside.

Starla crawls away again, when Grant attacks her from

behind. He wraps his arm around her neck, pulling her

back. He looks down at her with his sick, angry eyes, as

his arm -- now apparently jointless -- curls around her

like a snake.

Starla gasps for air. Her face turns purple. She hears

a SLAMMING on the door.

BILL (O.S.)

Starla?!! Starla, are you in

there?!

Starla tries to speak but she cannot. Suddenly, we HEAR

the FRONT DOOR OPEN.

BILL (O.S.)

Starla?!

Starla, with barely an ounce of life left in her, sees

Bill, Wally, Trevor and Margaret burst into the living

room.

They are surprised, to say the least, to see this diseased

humanoid strangling Starla from behind.

TREVOR:

Fuck!

The cops, freaked out, pull their guns. Grant makes a

SCREECHING SOUND at them. They SHOOT at Grant, nicking

him.

Grant jumps away from Starla, back into the shadows,

SCREECHING in anger and pain. Starla falls to the floor.

Grant slips out the back door and away.

The cops stare, gape--jawed and frozen with shock; what

the hell was THAT?!

Starla rubs her neck, COUGHING.

Bill Pardy runs toward the back door.

EXT. GRANT HOME -- NIGHT

Bill runs out into the backyard. Wally runs up behind

him. They look around at the trees surrounding the area.

Grant is nowhere to be seen.

We CRANE UP and AWAY from them as we...

FADE TO BLACK.

O.S. SNIFFLING.

PASTOR (O.S.)

Jesus, these past few days have

been a trying time for us.

INT. CHURCH -- DAY

We PAN OVER an altar where family members have placed

little items that remind them of Brenda -- photographs,

mementos, "Come home, Mommy" cards, etc.

PASTOR (O.S.)

We ask you now for the safe return

of our beloved Brenda.

Everyone in this modest little church has their heads

bowed as the PASTOR leads the prayer service.

PASTOR:

Our sister. Our daughter. Our

mother. Our wife.

Brenda's husband, in the front pew, loses it, CRYING.

His little children, beside him, fiddle in their seats.

PASTOR:

And we ask that you keep your light

alive in her heart, wherever she

may be. We ask all this in your

name, Lord. Amen

Bill Pardy is here, in full uniform, hat in hands.

BILL CONGREGATION

Amen. Amen.

Bill looks around the church. He spots Starla, in the

very back of church, head down, distraught, guilty.

He also sees a group of OLD CRONES nearby, pointing at

Starla, and whispering about her.

EXT. CHURCH PARKING LOT -- MOMENTS LATER

Starla's high heels CLACK on the pavement as she moves

quickly to her car.

BILL (O.S.)

Starla.

Starla turns to see Bill coming after her. She stops.

BILL:

I talked to the CDC. They didn't

have nothin' on file consistent

with Grant's... symptoms.

Starla nods.

STARLA:

How about Brenda?

BILL:

New? No. We're hoping we find

Grant, he'll lead us to her.

Starla nods. The wind is strong. Her hair is flying

over her face. Tears come to her eyes.

BILL:

You all right?

Starla nods.

STARLA:

Yeah.

She moves away from him.

Bill watches her go.

INT. POLICE STATION -- DAY

Bill enters. A few COPS and SECRETARIES are bustling,

making phone calls, etc. They all look tired, as if they

haven't slept. Jack, the mayor, sees Bill.

JACK:

Bill!

Bill spots him, moving quickly toward him.

BILL:

Shit.

JACK:

Bill, we need to talk!

BILL:

'Mornin', Jack.

Bill crosses the station. Jack follows.

JACK:

Bill, this Brenda's Randy Flagg's

niece. We need to find Grant

yesterday! The town council has

lit a Roman candle and stuck it up

my ass!

BILL:

Hell, Jack, your leisure activities

ain't my business.

JACK:

Don't fuck with me, Bill. Your

post here as Chief is in dire

straits you don't work this shit

out.

They come to a desk with Wally and Trevor working away.

BILL:

Don't worry, we'll find him.

(to Trevor)

Anything new?

Trevor shakes his head.

JACK:

How are you going to find him?

BILL:

Dude's a half--squid. Ain't many

places he can hide. Sea World,

maybe.

Jack sees a SECRETARY making copies nearby. He speaks in

hushed tones:

JACK:

That young lady heard you say

'squid.' She's gonna go out and

create a Goddamn hysteria!

BILL:

Sherry, you gonna create a hysteria?

SHERRY:

Not today, Bill.

JACK:

Still, quit that talk! You yourself

said it was dark in there! You

don't know what you saw!

TREVOR:

We saw his arm was all bendy.

JACK:

Bastard obviously got lyme disease!

BILL:

What?

JACK:

Touch some deer feces out in the

forest. Eat a sandwich without

washing your hands. Then you got

lyme disease.

BILL:

And that makes you look like

a squid?

JACK:

I'll tell you what, no one with

lyme disease gonna win any damn

handsome contests!

Bill, Wally, and Trevor can't help but SNICKER.

JACK:

Well, screw you all for laughin'

SHELBY (O.S.)

Bill!

Bill looks over at Shelby, on his headset at the dispatch

unit.

SHELBY:

Another ranch attack! Up at the

Castavets'

Bill nods for Trevor and Margaret to get up from their

desks. They do, and start to move out with Bill and Wally.

JACK:

Ranch a --'? What 'ranch attacks'?

EXT. CATTLE RANCH -- LATER

POV:
A dead rottweiler is lying on its back in the long

grass, its gut split open and intestines spilling out,

almost perfectly symmetrical.

WALLY (O.S.)

It looks like one of them psyche

tests. What do they call it?

Bill and Wally are staring at the dog from above.

BILL:

Rorschach.

WALLY:

What do you see? I see a butterfly.

Bill moves on through the windswept weeds.

BILL:

I see we're fucked. Three ranches

in three days.

Margaret is taking measurements and writing in a note

pad; she sees Bill.

MARGARET:

So, I think I got it part--way

figured. You want to hear it?

Bill nods.

MARGARET:

So Grant -- I mean, we're saying

this is Grant, right?

Bill nods.

MARGARET:

Grant kills a cow right about here.

See there's the blood, musta slit

its neck.

Margaret walks backward, showing the trail of blood in

the crushed grass.

MARGARET:

So he drags the cow backwards here.

Only he prolly didn't know 'bout

the Castavets had them dogs.

TREVOR (O.S.)

Hey, look!

Bill looks over at Trevor, standing up between the tall

weeds, holding a dog's head in his hand.

TREVOR:

He knocked this'n's head clear

over here!

WALLY:

Put that down, numbnuts!

Bill peers at the various slaughtered dogs around them.

MARGARET:

So the dogs attacked, somehow he

slew 'em all, and he stole off

with the cow into the forest.

Trevor heads toward them. Bill looks off into the dark

forest on the edge of the ranch.

BILL:

He's gotta be in the forest. All

three ranches run alongside it.

TREVOR:

Think we should get up a search

party, head in there?

WALLY:

It's a hundred thousand acres. Be

finding a needle in a fuckstack.

Bill has a realization. He moves quickly for his car.

BILL:

Wally, come on. Trevor and

Margaret, get some folks together.

I think I know where he's gonna

hit next.

INT. POLICE STATION -- LATER

CLOSEUP:
A property map of Wheelsy is tacked to a bulletin

board. Red Magic Marker circles are around various ranch

properties on the edge of the city, next to an enormous

forest. A finger points to one of the red circles.

BILL:

So the night after Grant ran off,

a calf went missing from here, the

Raglans' ranch.

REVEAL Bill, standing beside the bulletin board. A posse

has gathered, listening intently: Wally and the usual

cops; Jack; an OLDER COP, probably pulled out of

retirement; and a couple of recruits -- a REDNECK and

a GOOD OL' BOY. Bill points to the next red circle.

BILL:

Two nights ago, a mare was stolen

from this property, run by

Fitzgibbon, that old rancher with

the cleft palate.

Wally whispers to Margaret, amused:

WALLY:

Looks like a chipmunk.

BILL:

Your momma wasn't too proud when

you came out neither, Wally.

Bill points to the next circle.

BILL:

And then we get here, the

Castavets', where last night's

shit--storm took place.

TREVOR:

I see. It's like as if he's going

in a pattern. Is that what you're

saying, Bill?

Bill nods and points to the next red circle.

BILL:

And if he sticks to that pattern

he'll be here next. Belongs to a

family, the Strutemyers'. Now I

know y'all are tired and you've

barely seen your families. But

we're gonna have to go there

tonight, lie low and wait.

The posse nod, agreeing.

REDNECK:

Let's get that son--of--a--bitch,

Chief.

BILL:

Just remember, we don't know what

we're up against here. So let's

be careful.

INT. POLICE STATION/ARMORY -- DAY

Beside a small armory, Trevor loads a Benelli M--1 super

semiautomatic shotgun. Margaret checks the site on a

Remington 700 PSS rifle. Bill takes a Springfield M--1A

pump--action for himself, while Wally stuffs numerous

pistols and ammo into a leather satchel. Trevor notices

a dusty grenade on a shelf.

TREVOR:

Hey, Bill, we got that grenade we

confiscated from them jokers wanted

to use it fish for trout?

Bill looks at Trevor, considering.

BILL:

Can't hurt.

As Trevor puts the grenade into a side--pocket on the

satchel, Bill sees Jack and the Older Cop, watching.

JACK:

I didn't know the Russkies were

invading there, folks.

MARGARET:

You seen this guy, you'd wished

they was.

EXT. POLICE STATION -- LATER

The posse loads up their vehicles, and start taking off

out of the parking lot.

Bill and Wally walk out to their police car. Bill tosses

the leather satchel into the trunk.

They get in the car, Bill starts the engine, when --

Starla Grant pulls quickly into the parking lot. Bill

rolls down the window as she gets out of her car and runs

toward them.

STARLA:

Bill, I heard what you're doing.

I think I should go along.

BILL:

Why? Listen, it doesn't matter.

I gotta go.

Bill starts to roll away, but Starla holds on to the car,

following.

STARLA:

Wait! Dammit, Bill, if that girl's

still out there, how will you find

her? How, unless you bring Grant

in alive? Your best chance of

doing that is with me. I can talk

to him --

BILL:

He tried to kill you, Starla.

STARLA:

He did. I know. But I got him

angry 'cause I wasn't calm. This

time I could --

Starla's on the verge of tears.

STARLA:

Please, Bill. What happened, it's

my fault, I know it.

BILL:

Starla, it ain't --

STARLA:

It is. He'd been acting strange.

And the physical changes. I should

have told someone right away...

But I was just blind. I wanted to

pretend it wasn't happening... If

I don't do what I can to help now,

I just couldn't live with it.

Bill looks at her. He looks at Wally. Wally shrugs.

Bill nods for Starla to get in.

INT. STRUTEMYER KITCHEN -- EVENING

Kylie is blowing on a cup of coffee. Her MOM, DAD, and

two younger SISTERS, aged 9 and 11, are relaxing after

dinner. As Kylie's Mom picks up plates --

KYLIE'S MOM

Kylie! What'd you do to your

fingers?

Kylie's Mom grabs her hand, looking at her very long

fingernails. They're painted sky blue and spotted with

minute teddy bear and bumblebee decals.

KYLIE:

Kiri Goshima done 'em. She's

Japanese.

KYLIE'S DAD

Looks like Pokemons done 'em to

me!

Kylie's sisters LAUGH out loud.

KYLIE:

Foreign stuff is classy if you

knew something.

Kylie's family sees, OUT THE WINDOW, police cars pulling

up by a gravel road.

KYLIE'S DAD

Oh. There's Jack. I want y'all

to stay inside tonight. All right?

Kylie's sisters nod. Kylie too.

EXT. STRUTEMYER FARMHOUSE -- EVENING

Kylie's Dad steps onto the front porch of this quaint

family farmhouse. He sees Jack heading toward the ranch,

and waves. Jack gives a little salute, while muttering

to the Older Cop.

JACK:

This turns out to be a mountain

lion we're gonna look like a damn

bunch of idiots.

The Redneck and Good Ol' Boy make their way to the ranch

as well. They see Bill with Starla.

REDNECK:

Didn't know it was date night.

The Good Ol' Boy LAUGHS.

REDNECK:

I'll be expecting you toss my salad

at the end of all this then,

Charlie.

GOOD OL' BOY

Shut up.

EXT. STRUTEMYER RANCH -- MOMENTS LATER

The posse fans out over this grassy land where the cattle

graze, finding places to hide. The sun sets behind them.

FADE TO:

EXT. STRUTEMYER RANCH -- NIGHT

Darkness has crept over the ranch, and the beautiful,

pastoral scene has become distinctly more sinister.

The wind blows hard, WHISTLING through the long weeds.

A rusty rooster windmill atop the old barn twists and

CLINKS on its half--bent perch.

A piece of tarp hangs down from the barn roof, FLAPPING

incessantly against the wooden wall.

Trevor and Jack; the Redneck and the Good Ol' Boy; and

Margaret and the Older Cop are hidden around the ranch,

waiting, watching or dozing.

INT. STRUTEMYER BARN -- NIGHT

Inside the barn, the wind is only slightly quieter, and

it's darker. Bill, Starla, and Wally are here. Bill

peers out through the doorway at cattle drinking from the

trough. He looks at Starla; her head tilts to the side

as she nods off. When her head falls all the way, she

snaps back up, and catches Bill gazing at her.

Bill nods and smiles. She doesn't smile back; she's

embarrassed and miserable and this is the last place she

wants to be.

They sit there for a moment in the dark.

BILL:

Hey, Starla, remember that time

when you were a kid and you came

knocking on my window in the middle

of the night?

Wally looks at them.

BILL:

Starla here's twelve. Guess I was

fourteen. I said, 'Starla, what

the hell you doing out there?'

She tells me she's running away to

Hollywood to become a big star.

She said she knew I was in ROTC,

and she was gonna need a bodyguard.

Invited me along.

Wally LAUGHS. Bill smiles. Starla is embarrassed, but

grudgingly enjoys the story.

BILL:

I said, 'Starla, if there's anybody

can take care of herself, I think

it's you. I'm gonna have to

decline.'

WALLY:

(to Starla)

How far'd you get?

STARLA:

About the bus stop. Ranger Rick

here called my dad.

WALLY:

Ha! A cop from the get--go! You

son--of--a--bitch!

STARLA:

You fucked up our fame and fortune,

Bill Pardy.

BILL:

Yeah, maybe I did.

EXT. STRUTEMYER RANCH -- NIGHT

Jack smokes a cigarette as he keeps an eye out for the

cow killer. The burning ember of the cigarette is blown

off by the wind. Jack searches for it in the dry grass,

trying to catch it before it starts a fire. He crawls

forward, slapping the ground, when he glances up and

sees...

A large, shadowy shape hulking through the trees on the

edge of the forest.

INT. STRUTEMYER BARN -- NIGHT

Bill, Starla, and Wally see Grant Grant emerging from the

forest. He has transformed into something much more

monstrous:
a giant, gangrenous, slug--like beast, a clump

of cells and tumor--like protuberances. He has various

tentacle--like--arms growing out of him, like overgrown

eyes on a potato. As opposed to just having the disease,

he now seems to BE the disease itself.

STARLA:

Grant?

EXT. STRUTEMYER RANCH -- NIGHT

Jack and Trevor watch in amazement as Grant slithers across

the field, his large, dark, watery eyes searching out

prey. Jack turns to Trevor, pissed, and whispers:

JACK:

You said 'squid'!

TREVOR:

It got worse.

The Redneck and the Good Ol' Boy watch too, mouths dropped.

The diseased Grant slithers through the grass just a few

feet beside Margaret and the Older Cop. They duck below

the grass, looking as if they're going to have heart

attacks.

Grant approaches a cow. The cow makes a little MOO of

protest when he gets too close, and steps back.

The Grant--creature stabs one of his tentacle growths into

the cow's neck, piercing it. The cow stumbles, choking.

Blood spurts from her neck. And she topples over.

INT. STRUTEMYER BARN -- NIGHT

Bill and Wally stare out the window, motionless.

WALLY:

What we gonna do now, Bill? Cuffs

won't even fit on 'im.

Starla musters courage. She stands, and moves out of the

barn.

BILL:

Starla, where you…?

EXT. STRUTEMYER RANCH -- NIGHT

Grant wraps a feeler around the cow's horns, and starts

dragging it back in the direction of the forest.

INT. STRUTEMYER BARN -- NIGHT

Bill motions through the barn window to Margaret.

EXT. STRUTEMYER RANCH -- NIGHT

Margaret motions to Trevor.

Trevor motions to the recruits.

And Starla moves slowly in toward Grant.

STARLA:

Grant?

Grant turns and looks at her with his half--human eyes.

His breathing is loud, raspy, and sick. He sees, in a

wide circle around him, the nervous posse standing up,

their guns at the ready.

Starla moves even closer. Bill and Wally are coming in

close behind her.

STARLA:

Grant? It's okay.

As Starla and the posse get closer, Grant looks almost

scared. His eyes dart around from cop to cop.

STARLA:

You're just sick is all. But we'll

take you to get help right now.

I'll stay by your side, Grant,

just like I swore I would. For

better or worse. Remember?

Grant's huge milky eyes betray that he does.

STARLA:

Okay?

The posse inch in closer, tightening the circle.

Grant lets out a PIERCING SCREECH of protest. All of the

posse stop, terrified.

Everything is quiet and still except for Grant's gross

breathing. Deep:
In, out.

STARLA:

Okay, Grant? It's gonna be all

right.

Grant SCREECHES again: a warning. He looks from Starla

to Bill, with hurt, jealous eyes, and GROWLS.

Then Grant's eyes close to half--mast, and he turns away.

His tentacle tightens around the cow's horns, and he again

drags it toward the forest.

While Bill tries to decide what to do, the Good Ol' Boy

nervously blocks Grant's path. He aims his pistol at

him.

GOOD OL' BOY

You stop right there, you son of a

bitch. I don't care what kinda

leprosy you got. We need to find

that girl. Now you can make this

peaceful, or you can make it hard.

Pause. Grant and the Good Ol' Boy stare at each other.

And then Grant SNAPS out a tentacle--arm, whipping it up

the front of the man's body, and back.

The front of the Good Ol' Boy's whole body is split neatly

in half. For a split second, he remains alive: the two

different sides of his split head look down in disbelief

as his organs spill out from inside him. And then he

topples over.

BILL:

Fire! Fire!

The posse SHOOT at Grant. Starla covers her head.

Grant is struck; he SCREECHES in pain. He lets go of the

cow. He slithers with incredible speed off toward the

forest.

Bill and the other posse members take off after him like

hounds on the heel of their prey. They SHOOT madly.

Starla watches as the posse follows Grant into the woods.

Starla stands alone and worried a moment, and then she

darts off after them.

INT. KYLIE'S BATHROOM -- NIGHT

Kylie is running a bath. She hears GUNSHOTS ECHO in the

distance.

She peers out a little window above the tub, trying to

see where the shots are coming from.

EXT. FOREST -- NIGHT

The posse run through this very dark forest after Grant,

leaping over brush and rocks. They're nervous, but also

excited, as the primordial hunting urge takes over. Their

eyes are filled with anger and bloodlust.

They're able to follow Grant only by catching glimpses --

a flash of flesh between trees, a tentacle disappearing

around brush.

WALLY:

There he is! Over there!

They FIRE at the creature, taking chunks out of trees,

but missing. He's too fast.

EXT. CREEK -- NIGHT

Grant slips around a boulder and splashes through a creek,

and into the plentiful trees beyond. He rustles thick

fronds as he moves up alongside the creek.

The posse run up the creek itself, splashing, trying to

peer through the leaves to get a shot at Grant.

Jack, carrying his revolver, trips and falls in the creek.

He cuts his knee on a sharp rock. He stands, and keeps

going.

They come to --

EXT. FOREST CLEARING -- NIGHT

The posse come up out of the creek. They've completely

lost track of the diseased man--beast.

They stop, out--of--breath and looking around. They whisper:

TREVOR:

Where'd he go?

MARGARET:

We ain't never gonna find that

girl now.

The Redneck is WEEPING with rage.

REDNECK:

I'll kill that asshole what he did

to Charlie.

Bill sees Starla run up behind them. He waves her back.

BILL:

Starla, get the hell out of here!

Starla takes a couple steps back, but doesn't leave. She

watches there, half in shadows as the posse creep around,

searching for some trail of Grant.

Margaret looks down into the bubbling creek. She sees

it's turning red. She looks up the trail of red, which

is rippling downhill in the water. The red flow starts

somewhere near a boulder.

Bill and Wally are searching in front of the boulder.

Margaret SEES, but they don't, Grant pulling himself up

on a tree branch and RISING behind them. Blood from a

shotgun wound is dripping into the creek. Grant, pissed,

lifts a tentacle.

MARGARET:

Bill!!

Bill turns as the tentacle swings down toward him. He

falls back; the tentacle slashes inches from his face.

Bill BLASTS his shotgun up at Grant, but Grant is already

slithering swiftly back into the thick brush.

The posse squeeze themselves though the brush, following.

EXT. OLD BARN -- NIGHT

The posse emerge on the other side of the brush, only to

be confronted by a terrible odor. They cover their noses

and mouths as their faces shrivel in disgust.

TREVOR:

What the hell's that smell?

WALLY:

It's something dead.

The posse gaze up at the old ramshackle barn where Grant

had brought Brenda.

JACK:

It's coming from in there, ain't

it?

Margaret looks at Bill.

MARGARET:

Think he's inside?

Bill takes the lead, carefully approaching the barn.

The posse follows, their weapons drawn. The closer they

get to the barn, the more unbearable the smell becomes.

Only Bill, intent on the task in front of him, doesn't

react to the stench at all.

Bill leans his ear in close to the front door, and listens.

Through the door he can HEAR a QUIET SOBBING. Bill and

Wally exchange a look.

Bill steps back. He and Wally aim their shotguns at the

door. Bill nods to Margaret, and gestures for her to

open it. Starla watches all this from the rear.

Margaret swings open the door.

INT. OLD BARN -- NIGHT

Bill and Wally move cautiously but quickly inside. But

they stop suddenly, in disgust and horror.

BILL:

Oh...

It's Brenda. And she doesn't look good. Her weepy little

head is stuck to the front of a huge fleshy orb, which is

what her body has become. This enormous ball of flesh is

nine or ten feet tall. Vestigial fingers protrude from

the sides. She is utterly immobile. Her flesh sloshes,

slightly and constantly; a thousand snakes seem to be

slithering beneath her thin, tight, bruised skin. The

woman is in great pain. She SOBS. Her mouth and chin

are stained with blood.

The posse and Starla enter behind Bill and Wally and are

equally astounded.

OLDER COP:

Oh, shit!

They see the source of the awful stench:

Brenda is encircled by the rotting carcasses of cows and

horses and forest critters. They are mostly skeletal, as

they have been largely devoured. They're swarming with

flies. The stench is so bad the posse cover their faces

with the bottom of their shirts.

The SOBBING Brenda looks desperately at Bill and Wally.

BRENDA:

Something's wrong with me.

WALLY:

Uh, yeah.

Bill and Wally get in a little closer.

BILL:

Brenda, um...

BRENDA:

I didn't want no one to be seeing

me like this.

As the posse inch closer, Brenda's whole body suddenly

LURCHES FORWARD a bit -- like whatever's inside her is

trying to get out and to the posse. Brenda SCREAMS in

agony.

The posse jump back. They stare as she recomposes herself.

BRENDA:

How are my boys, Bill? Are they

all right?

BILL:

Boys are fine, Brenda. Uh, what's --

what's happening here, exactly?

BRENDA:

I'm so fucking hungry, Bill. I'm

so hungry. I just never knew

anybody could be so hungry.

Brenda tries to smile in a way she might charm her Daddy

into giving her candy. This is creepy as hell.

BRENDA:

Would you mind handing me a piece

of that possum there at your feet?

Little bit?

Trevor gags and runs out of the barn.

EXT. OLD BARN -- NIGHT

Trevor vomits into some bushes.

INT. OLD BARN -- NIGHT

Bill eyes poor Brenda.

BILL:

I think we best get you to a

hospital right quick.

WALLY:

What the fuck they gonna do with

her in a hospital, Bill?

Again, Brenda SCREAMS. Her body LURCHES FORWARD.

OLDER COP:

Why's she doing that?!

REDNECK:

Her tumors is moving.

JACK:

Bill, get her to stop that shit!

BRENDA:

It hurts!

Her body lurches forward AGAIN. She sobs.

BRENDA:

Help me!! Help!!

And then AGAIN. Starla notices that Brenda's skin is

starting to SPLIT AND TEAR on her side.

STARLA:

Bill!

BRENDA:

Little fuckers are tearing me

aparrrr-- !

Brenda SCREAMS like a woman giving a thousand evil births

at once and her body RIPS OPEN in one part; and then, in

quick succession, ANOTHER, and ANOTHER. Bill looks out

one of the windows. Grant is peering in at them, smiling.

BILL:

He led us here.

And then Brenda's body BURSTS OPEN COMPLETELY, like a

water balloon hitting cement, and thousands of little

SLITHERING EYELESS PARASITES with slippery black--red skin

like slugs spill forth. The horrid creatures, eight inches

long and a few inches thick, swarm over the posse,

completely covering them before they can react.

EXT. OLD BARN -- NIGHT

Trevor sees the things flooding over the posse in the

barn. The parasites are especially drawn to the posse's

heads. Because there are so many, the weight of the beasts

knocks most of them down.

Trevor runs, but the things make it out the doorway,

covering him like lava in One Million B.C., and he buckles.

INT. OLD BARN -- NIGHT

A parasite slithers quickly and fluidly into Wally's mouth.

He gags on it. His eyes flip back up into his head, and

his body starts to spasm.

Jack tries to pull one away from his face, but it's too

slippery and it disappears inside his mouth. His body,

too, convulses, and he spits up blood.

Bill notices the parasites slithering into the mouths of

the Redneck and the Older Cop as well; whites of their

eyes, bodies convulsing, spewing blood. Bill sees the

things oozing up Margaret's neck.

BILL:

Margaret, cover your mouth!

Bill sees Trevor outside the door in the dirt, trying to

slap the parasites off. Bill yells to everyone:

BILL:

Don't let 'em in your mouths!

One starts to get in Bill's mouth as he speaks, but he

slaps it aside. Margaret pulls her shirt over her face.

Starla SHRIEKS. She puts her hand over her mouth as the

parasites rush up her. She's knocked over, and falls

back onto the floor.

A parasite slithers between Starla's lips -- when,

suddenly, a KNIFE thrusts down, pinning the creature to

the dirt, stopping it from oozing further into Starla.

Bill is holding the knife in one hand, his other hand

firmly over his mouth. Bill swats more incoming parasites

away from Starla's mouth. He covers her mouth with his

free hand. He lies on top of her, mushing their bodies

and faces as closely together as possible so the things

don't get into them. The parasites swarm all over them,

flapping their slimy little tails as they try to fight

their way inside their mouths. But Bill holds tight to

himself and Starla.

Eventually, the parasites give up on Bill and Starla, and

begin to slither away. Bill watches as they crawl off

the posse and filter out of the barn in a squirmy mound.

Eventually, they're gone. Bill takes his hand from

Starla's mouth. Starla looks around.

She sees Margaret lift her face from the ground, shivering,

holding her shirt over her mouth. They gaze out the front

door of the barn.

EXT. OLD BARN -- NIGHT

Trevor pulls his face from the dirt and stands. He spits

violently and wipes the dirt off his tongue with his wrist.

TREVOR:

They wanted us to eat 'em! Why

would they want that!?

INT. OLD BARN -- NIGHT

Bill is trying to make sense of it all. He gazes down at

Brenda's body, her bloody skin and misshapen skeleton

spread out over the floor, split open like an enormous

bloody tiger rug.

He looks around at the posse lying on the floor in mangled

positions, their mouths and lips covered in blood, still

lightly convulsing.

He gazes out INTO THE FOREST to see the parasites rushing

away like an ugly wormy army, shaking the brush as they

head off in different directions.

CUT TO:

EXT. STRUTEMYERS' RANCH -- NIGHT

Parasites crawl over rocks and out of the forest and onto

the ranch. The Strutemyer farmhouse looms nearby.

INT. KYLIE'S BATHROOM -- NIGHT

Kylie is taking a steamy bubble bath. Her head is back,

her eyes shut; she's enjoying the warm water. The tub

faucet drips lightly in an uneven rhythm.

EXT. STRUTEMYERS' FARMHOUSE -- NIGHT

The parasites squirm up the side of the house, sticking

to the wood siding.

INT. KYLIE'S BATHROOM -- NIGHT

Kylie glances out the window beside the tub, at the starry

sky and crescent moon, beautiful and still.

There's a KNOCK on the bathroom door. Kylie turns toward

the door -- as she does, a parasite crawls across the

window behind her, streaking a moist slimy trail.

KYLIE'S MOM

Kylie! You're gonna turn into a

plum in there!

KYLIE:

Prune, Mom. Plums turn into prunes.

INT. STRUTEMYERS' HALLWAY -- NIGHT

Kylie's Mom is at the bathroom door.

KYLIE'S MOM

I know what turns into what. You

got school tomorrow. Finish up in

there and get to bed.

O.S. Kylie GRUNTS in vague agreement.

Kylie's Mom trots down the hall, to another door.

She KNOCKS once, then opens the door to --

INT. STRUTEMYER GIRLS' BEDROOM -- NIGHT

Kylie's younger sisters lie in single beds, reading

Goosebumps by bed--lamps clipped to the headboards.

KYLIE'S MOM

Time to turn in, ladies.

KYLIE'S SISTER

Just a couple more pages, Mom?

KYLIE'S MOM

Come on now.

The girls SIGH in lazy protest, but still turn off their

reading lamps.

KYLIE'S MOM

G'night.

KYLIE'S SISTER 1 KYLIE'S SISTER

Night, Mom. Night.

EXT. STRUTEMYERS' FARMHOUSE -- NIGHT

THROUGH THE WINDOW we see Kylie's Mom start to close the

door.

KYLIE'S MOM

Sleep tight. Don't let the bed

bugs bite.

Numerous parasites slither INTO FRAME, up the side of the

house, approaching the girls' bedroom window, which is

open a few inches for air.

INT. STRUTEMYER GIRLS' BEDROOM -- NIGHT

Kylie's Mom shuts their door completely. The girls turn

on their sides and close their eyes to sleep.

And the parasites pour in through the cracked window.

They slither over the walls. Their slimy black--red bodies

contrast sharply with the pretty flowered wallpaper.

INT. KYLIE'S BATHROOM -- NIGHT

The door cracks open, and a parasite enters. It slithers

silently over the linoleum tiles.

It arrives at the base of the tub, and crawls up the side.

Kylie continues relaxing, her eyes closed. She doesn't

see the parasite enter the soapy bath water at her feet.

Kylie hears a SOFT SPLASHING and peers down. She spots

the creature swimming toward her between her knees.

Kylie SHRIEKS and scrambles up to get out of the tub. As

she clamors out, she slips and falls to the floor.

The parasite squirms up Kylie's wet naked back. Kylie

SHRIEKS again, jumping up as she tries to slap the thing

off.

KYLIE:

Mom!!

The parasite winds toward her lips. Kylie goes to grab

it with both hands, but it slips through them. The thing

slides into Kylie's mouth as she looks down at it.

Kylie snatches the very end of the parasite's tail. Her

long, teddy--bear--spotted fingernails pinch it there,

digging into the parasite's flesh, barely stopping it

from sliding completely into her mouth. It wildly flaps

its tail like a docked trout, desperate to enter her.

Kylie falls to her knees. Her eyes roll back in her head,

and her body spasms while she holds tenuously onto the

very tip of the parasite's tail.

We TRACK IN to a CLOSEUP of Kylie's face: a slight white

electrical--telepathic charge can be seen SPARKING inside

her mouth.

FLASH TO:

KYLIE'S VISION

We are RUSHING through some amoebic landscape, PAST

microbes and cytoplasm and cells, and to:

KYLIE'S VISION -- SERIES OF IMAGES -- CREATURE'S POV

Perhaps the memories of some creature not of earth. Its

eyesight is not like our own; it's in grainy black and

white and amber outlines. Various images FLASH in quick

succession, including the following:

--We are on top of an alien ANIMAL, pinning it down. it

HOWLS beneath us as we tear into its flesh, feasting.

--All around us, diseased monstrous BEASTS feed on more

alien animals. They lunge toward them and pin them down,

ripping them apart, like some National Geographic

documentary shot in Hell.

--In FAST MOTION, unfamiliar plant life around us grows

sick and withers, dying out.

--A group of diseased monstrous BEASTS CRY OUT In uniform

pain. They buckle to their knees; now they're dying.

--The diseased BEASTS feed on their own appendages.

BACK TO SCENE:

Kylie tries to regain control of her mind. Her eyes fight

against flipping back in her head. Tears pour down her

face. She pulls the parasite out just a bit.

But then it SLAMS back into her and there are more SPARKS

inside her mouth --

KYLIE'S VISION -- SERIES OF IMAGES -- MANGLED INSECT POV

--We are CLIMBING UP through A creamy, gelatinous yellow.

An opening slit widens in front of us, and we see Grant

slowly bending to look at us, the forest behind him.

KYLIE'S VISION -- SERIES OF IMAGES -- GRANT'S POV

--We watch Starla soaping herself In The shower.

--We make love to Starla, our hands on her face.

--We sit over A convulsing Brenda, impregnating her with

our tubule.

--We see The posse members coming In toward us.

BACK TO SCENE:

With a last, desperate effort, Kylie yanks at the exhausted

worm, pulling it fully from her mouth. It flaps in her

fingers. Kylie spits up blood.

Kylie tosses the parasite away from her. Though slightly

crippled, the little bastard writhes back toward her.

Kylie spots her curling iron on the counter; it's plugged

in, the red light is on. She grabs it, and swings it

into the wormy thing.

The parasite SQUEAKS and trembles with pain. Smoke rises

from it as Kylie digs the curling iron in deeper, burning

it, and, finally, killing it.

Kylie lifts the iron in front of her and looks at it.

The dead parasite is stuck to it, dangling from the metal.

KYLIE:

Mom!!

Kylie drops the iron. She quickly steps into her clothes

lying on the floor. She runs out of the bathroom and

into --

INT. STRUTEMYERS' HALLWAY -- NIGHT

Kylie runs to the stairway.

KYLIE:

Mom!! Mom!!

Kylie stops. Dozens of the things are slithering up the

stairs and up the handrail towards her.

O.S. Kylie hears her SISTERS' SCREAMS. She looks in their

direction, running toward their room.

KYLIE:

Emily!! Jenna!!

Kylie tosses open her sisters' door.

INT. STRUTEMYER GIRLS' BEDROOM -- NIGHT

Kylie's youngest sister is on her knees on the bed, a

parasite sticking out of her mouth. Her eyes are rolled

back. Her arms flail spastically. The slithering beast

wags its tail as it disappears down her throat.

Kylie's other sister is backing into a corner, with

parasites crawling up her body. She's SCREAMING bloody

hell, trying to slap them off.

Kylie runs toward her to help. Kylie slaps the parasites

off her sister. But there's too many and they're too

fast. They slide into her sister's mouth.

KYLIE:

No!! Nooo!!

Her sister's eyes flip back in her skull as the thing

disappears completely, and she starts spitting up blood.

Kylie sees the parasites around the room coming at her.

There's a clear path toward a window. Kylie runs to the

window, and shoves it open. As the things approach her,

she crawls out --

EXT. STRUTEMYERS' FARMHOUSE AWNING -- NIGHT

Kylie steps onto this shingled, angled canopy over the

front porch. She turns to see the parasites slithering

out towards her. She looks down. It's probably too far

to jump, but she has no choice.

So she jumps down onto --

EXT. STRUTEMYERS' FRONT LAWN -- NIGHT

Kylie lands, hard, tumbling over.

She glances back at the front of the house.

THROUGH THE KITCHEN WINDOW she sees her Mom and Dad, eyes

rolled back, convulsing, spitting up blood.

More parasites are crawling towards Kylie through the

grass.

She spots her family's old Luv pickup truck on the driveway

in front of her. She breaks for it.

She throws open the front door, and jumps inside.

The things approach, crawling in after her. Kylie tries

to slam the door shut, but it won't; many things are stuck

in the door jamb.

They SQUEAK in a chorus of pain, trying to wriggle toward

her.

So she SLAMS the door AGAIN, and AGAIN, and she slices

the little bastards in half.

INT. PICKUP TRUCK -- NIGHT

Kylie makes sure none are inside.

She feels for the keys in the ignition. There aren't

any.

The creatures crawl up and over all the pickup's windows,

trying to get in. Slithery shadows cover over Kylie,

leaving her in almost complete darkness.

Kylie crouches down in on herself, and WAILS.

INT. OLD BARN -- NIGHT

Starla, Trevor, and Margaret stand, wide--eyed and shaken.

All three seem to be in some mild state of shock.

Bill, suppressing his desperation, is trying to make

contact on his police radio.

BILL:

11--41. We're gonna need paramedics

out here right away. We got four

men down.

Bill listens for a response, but there's only STATIC. He

presses the button again.

BILL:

Shelby, you there?

Still, only STATIC. Bill tries another frequency.

BILL:

Shelby, this is Bill. We got an

emergency here.

STATIC.

BILL:

Goddammit.

Bill steps outside the doorway, to see if he can get

reception. Trailing off:

BILL:

Shelby?

Starla sees Wally's body on the floor. His skin is white

and corpse--like. His mouth is streaked with blood. Starla

crouches beside him, and takes his pulse. Her hands are

visibly shaking.

MARGARET:

Is he alive?

Starla looks at Margaret, and nods.

MARGARET:

Praise Jesus.

TREVOR:

'Praise Jesus?' That's fucking

pushing it, Margaret.

Trevor looks about to cry.

TREVOR:

What the hell were those things?!

You ever seen anything like that?

You ever heard of anything like

that?

Margaret shakes her head. Trevor looks at Starla, who

also shakes her head.

TREVOR:

Me neither. And I watch 'Animal

Planet' all the fuckin' time!

Bill re--enters.

BILL:

No reception out here.

STARLA:

Bill, I'll run out to your car,

call for paramedics from there.

MARGARET:

That's a long ways. Them worms

are out there.

STARLA:

I'll keep my mouth covered.

BILL:

No. I'll go. The three of you,

you wait here. Get these folks,

out of the barn. The stench and

rot can't be any good for 'em.

Margaret and Trevor nod. As Bill starts to leave, Starla

grabs him.

STARLA:

Be careful, Bill.

Bill nods. Makes a feeble attempt at a smile. He jogs

off into the forest.

EXT. FOREST CLEARING -- MOMENTS LATER

Bill runs into the small glade, and looks around, trying

to remember which way he came from.

He gazes between some greenery, some distance away, and

spies a long--lashed deer munching on foliage. A couple

more deer and a fawn are eating as well. Bill looks at

them a moment, peaceful, perhaps a sign of some hope...

And then a parasite crawls up the deer's neck and slithers

into its mouth. Parasites crawl up the bodies and necks

of the deer behind it. The deer buck and flounce and

scratch trying to get the things off of them.

Bill runs away as fast as he can.

EXT. OLD BARN -- NIGHT

Trevor and Margaret carry Jack out of the barn. He's

bloated, corpse--like and covered in varicose veins.

Margaret is wearing a gag--like swatch of clothing tied

around her mouths, to protect themselves. Trevor's gag

is down around his chin so he can chatter.

TREVOR:

It's got to be some Goddamn

biological weapons. Government's

testin' 'em out on us! 'Cause who

gives a shit if Wheelsy disappears,

right?!

They set down Jack and head back toward the barn.

TREVOR:

I hope it ain't contagious. I'll

be pissed as hell I turn into a

big mollusk. I'll fuckin' sue, I

swear to God.

Starla, also wearing a gag, is kneeling beside Wally, who

is similarly sick and bloated. His lips are parched and

cracking.

Starla squeezes a wet cloth, dripping all the water onto

Wally's lips. Then she stands, and heads toward the creek.

She doesn't see Wally open his eyes behind her. He sits

up, and stares over at Starla with milky eyes as she kneels

down beside the water.

Starla dips the swatch of clothing into the creek, re--

wetting it.

She stands, and turns, only to see Wally directly in front

of her, standing between trees, almost completely covered

in darkness.

WALLY:

Hey, sugarplum.

Pause. Starla pulls the gag from her mouth.

STARLA:

What?

Wally speaks with Grant's cadence.

WALLY:

Marriage. It's a sacred bond.

Just like you said.

Starla stares at him. Wally almost looks weepy.

WALLY:

I'm sorry 'bout trying to strangle

you and all. I lost -- Lost my

head. I didn't want to do none of

the things I done. Not kill them

pets. Not make Brenda a womb.

But it's my nature, ain't it? How

can you blame a one for actin'

according to his nature?

Starla, too freaked to speak, takes a step back from him.

WALLY:

I wanted to tell you what was going

on. But I didn't -- didn't think

you'd love me no more. I never

knew... love, Starla, I --

Trevor and Margaret are setting down the Older Cop. They

see Wally standing. Margaret pulls down her gag.

MARGARET:

Wally?

Wally turns and stares at her like some angry animal.

MARGARET:

You all right?

Wally doesn't answer.

MARGARET:

Maybe you better sit back down.

You don't look so good.

TREVOR:

Margaret.

Trevor's staring at something. Margaret follows his eye

line. Jack and the Older Cop are sitting up, staring at

her, just like Wally.

The Redneck stumbles into the barn doorway, also staring

at them.

EXT. STRUTEMYERS' FARMHOUSE/INT. PICKUP TRUCK -- NIGHT

Kylie is still alone in the Luv truck. The windows are

clear; the parasites have abandoned their quest, just as

they did with the posse in the barn. But Kylie stays in

the car, trembling, afraid to leave.

She HEARS a DOOR OPEN. She sees her parents and her

sisters come stumbling out the front door of her home.

They're also bloated and diseased. Their chins and shirts

are stained with the blood they spit up.

KYLIE'S DAD

Kylie, honey, you okay? Come on

out.

Her family lumbers up to the truck. They peer in with

their milky eyes. Her youngest sister pushes her face up

close to the window.

KYLIE'S SISTER

Hi, Kylie. It's me.

Her family tries the door handles, but they're locked.

KYLIE'S MOM

Open the door, sweetie. I know we

don't look so good, but your mommy

and daddy love you.

KYLIE:

Get away!!

KYLIE'S MOM

Now, Kylie, there's no excuse why

not to be with your family. This

is family fun day, isn't it?

They continue RATTLING the door handles, over and over.

They SLAP the windows.

Kylie SOBS. Her sister speaks in a singsongy voice:

KYLIE'S SISTER

Kyyy--leee, this is your last cha--

ance.

Her Dad leans over and picks up a large rock. He carries

it toward the truck. He holds it up over the windshield.

Kylie SCREAMS as he SMASHES it down. The windshield

CRACKS, but doesn't shatter. He holds it up again.

EXT. FOREST NEAR STRUTEMYER'S -- NIGHT

Bill, out of breath, runs out of the forest --

EXT. STRUTEMYERS' RANCH -- NIGHT

Bill emerges on the edge of the ranch, stretching five or

six acres out in front of him. On the other side of the

field is the gravel road, where his police car is parked.

Beside the field is the Strutemyer's farmhouse.

Bill HEARS a CRASH. He turns to see the diseased

Strutemyers in their driveway, all holding rocks now,

smashing the pickup's windows.

BILL:

Hey!

The Strutemyers stop, mid--swing. They turn toward him.

Kylie sees Bill through the rear windshield. She unlocks

the door, and jumps out of the car.

BILL:

What's -- ?

Kylie runs past her family and up to Bill. She grabs

onto him, and hides behind him, WEEPING.

BILL:

What's going on here?

Kylie's Dad's cadence is also like Grant's:

KYLIE'S DAD

Well, hello there, Pardy.

BILL:

What happened to you, Dwight?

Kylie's Dad looks down at his own bloated arm.

KYLIE'S DAD

Poison ivy out back, maybe?

KYLIE'S SISTERS

We're itchy!

Kylie is obviously in shock.

KYLIE:

They're not my... They killed...

BILL:

Okay. Y'all just wait in this

spot. I'm gonna call the paramedics

for you. Kylie can come with --

RANCHER (O.S.)

Hey there, killer.

Bill turns to see the RANCHER with the cleft palate, now

diseased, holding a shovel. He swings it into Bill,

knocking him down.

Kylie SCREAMS. Her family runs in toward them. She looks

around to see a couple more DISEASED RANCHERS rushing

toward them through the fields.

The Cleft Palate Rancher stands over Bill and raises the

shovel to bring it down again.

Bill feels for his shotgun, which has fallen into the

dirt beside him. He yanks the trigger.

The BLAST hits the Rancher in the foot. He buckles.

Bill stands, pulling Kylie with him as the other diseased

folks rush toward them through the fields.

BILL:

Come on.

Bill and Kylie dash toward the cluster of cars as the

diseased chase them.

EXT. OLD BARN -- NIGHT

The infected posse -- Wally, Jack, the Older Cop, and the

Redneck recruit -- are all coming in towards Trevor and

Margaret.

MARGARET:

Now, what'd I say?! Y'all just

sit down! You need to get some

Goddamn rest! You're sick!

Starla watches this, by herself, next to the creek. She

eyes a rifle in the dirt.

Jack grabs a fistful of Trevor's hair and restrains his

arms. Wally pulls his pistols from their holsters and

tosses them into the dirt.

TREVOR:

Let go!!

Margaret goes to grab her pistol, when the Redneck opens

his mouth wide and --

GLEEKS; that is, he sends a yellowish globby--stream

shooting out of the back of his throat. The glob SPLASHES

on Margaret's hand. Margaret SCREAMS, drops the pistol.

MARGARET:

It burns!!

Margaret looks at her hand as the gleek--liquid sinks into

her skin. The hand is swelling monstrously. It's soft.

Parts of it are nearly dripping off the bone.

MARGARET:

What'd you do to my fuckin' hand?!

Jack opens his mouth and GLEEKS too -- shooting the stream--

glob forward and onto her neck. Margaret SCREAMS again,

grabbing onto her neck.

Margaret tries to speak, but she struggles just to breathe,

as her neck puffs up, impeding her thorax.

OLDER COP:

Meat.

The Older Cop buries his fingers into her neck. The puffy

flesh comes off easily; it's soft, almost creamy. He

stuffs the flesh into his mouth, eating it.

As Margaret topples over, dying, the other posse members

turn to look at a very freaked--out Trevor. The Redneck

opens his mouth at him, when --

STARLA (O.S.)

Let him go!

The posse turn and see Starla, who has made her way over

to where the rifle was on the ground, and is now pointing

the rifle at the posse, trembling.

STARLA:

Trevor, come on.

Surprised, they release Trevor.

STARLA:

What'd you do to her?!

Jack stares at Starla. He too speaks with Grant's cadence.

JACK:

There you go, sugarplum! Why you

choosing camps 'fore you hear --

JACK REDNECK:

Both sides of the story!? Both sides of the story!?

STARLA:

Why are you talking like Grant?!

The posse moves toward her. Starla is CRYING. The posse

makes a COLLECTIVE SCREECHING sound, then speaks again:

WALLY:

'Cause I am Grant!

WALLY REDNECK:

I'm you husband --I'm

you husband, Goddammit --JACK

You swore to honor and obey --

OLDER COP REDNECK

Obey me --Obey me, so put that Goddamn

gun down.

STARLA:

Don't come any closer. I'll...

shoot.

WALLY:

You ain't gonna shoot me! You

always needed me to protect you!

You for damn sure ain't got the

balls to --

Starla BLASTS Wally, blowing open a big crater into his

face.

Wally falls to his knees. Starla and Trevor look on in

shock, as they see...

A slithering parasite squirming out of the crater on his

face -- out of the Wally's brain.

The little thing squirms down Wally's body and slithers

off quickly into the woods. Wally falls over, dead.

The sick posse look at Starla, surprised, infuriated.

And then they leap at her.

Starla tries to shoot them. But she's out of ammo.

She and Trevor turn and dash away as quickly as their

legs can take them.

EXT. TREE--THICK FOREST -- NIGHT

Trevor and Starla run in a zigzag pattern through trees

rooted closely together, panicked, breathing heavy.

TREVOR:

Oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit!

EXT. STRUTEMYERS' RANCH -- NIGHT

Bill and Kylie arrive at his police car. Bill throws the

door open, and shoves Kylie inside. As he starts to get

in, he turns to see the two little girls closing in.

One opens her mouth and GLEEKS -- it shoots out and lands

on the car right beside Bill's hand.

The other little girl opens her mouth to GLEEK as Bill

jumps into the driver's seat. He slams the door shut

just as the oozy liquid splashes on the window beside

him.

Bill is grossed--out by this, but he doesn't have much

time. He goes to reload his shotgun, when he remembers.

BILL:

Shit. Ammo's in the trunk.

He grabs the police radio.

BILL:

Trevor! Margaret!

EXT. TREE--THICK FOREST -- NIGHT

Trevor turns and sees Jack, the Redneck, and the Older

Cop leap powerfully over the brush behind them, coming in

fast. But he's able to grab onto his radio.

TREVOR:

They killed Margaret!

EXT. STRUTEMYERS' RANCH -- NIGHT

Kylie's two sisters jump onto the hood, SCREECHING. They

SLAM rocks on the windshield. Kylie SCREAMS.

BILL:

(into radio)

Where are you?!

TREVOR (O.S.)

We're coming your way, man!

Bill JAMS the car forward, knocking the sisters off the

hood. Then he slams on the brakes.

He looks back and sees the two little girls running toward

the car again.

And he sees the mass of diseased ranch families also

running toward the car. Kylie is SCREAMING and CRYING.

KYLIE:

Go! Go! Please!

But, instead, of pulling forward on the gravel road, Bill

turns up and onto the ranch itself -- back towards the

running diseased.

BILL:

My friends are still in the forest.

Bill speeds the police car over the dirt field, trying to

avoid approaching ranchers. Some leap at the car, holding

on and getting tossed aside. Bill zooms back toward the

trees.

Just as Bill gets a little headway on the diseased, the

car gets stuck in some mud. The wheels spin, spraying

mud, as the infected approach.

INT. TREE--THICK FOREST -- NIGHT

Starla looks back to see Jack right behind her.

EXT. STRUTEMYERS' RANCH -- NIGHT

The infected arrive at the car. Bill just lets his foot

off the gas, and sits there, letting the ranchers leap

onto the car. Kylie looks at Bill, panicked by his choice

to do nothing.

BILL:

We need their weight.

Bill slams down the gas again, and the car zooms forward.

The diseased get knocked off.

BILL:

Dumbshits.

Bill rushes toward the trees of the forest.

INT. FOREST -- NIGHT

Starla keeps running, when she trips and falls. She looks

down to see she stumbled over old barbed wire fencing,

now long fallen and curling on the forest floor. Starla

forces herself up, as Jack closes in.

Jack grabs onto her blouse, SCREECHING furiously. When

he HEARS something and looks over to see:

Bill's police car, cruising over the forest floor, directly

toward him. Jack, frightened, lets go of Starla. He's

about to get hit when --

The police car suddenly stops, jammed between two trees,

inches from Jack.

Jack smiles, and moves toward Bill -- but Starla rises

behind him, holding a sharp rusty stake from the barbed--

wire fence.

She thrusts it forward, hard; and it pops out the front

of Jack's neck.

Jack turns to look at Starla, and topples over into the

leaves.

Bill backs the car out from between the trees. He sees

the Older Cop and Redneck coming in toward them.

BILL:

Come on!

Trevor and Starla get into the car. The Older Cop watches

them back away and yells:

OLDER COP:

Starla!!

EXT. ROAD AWAY FROM FOREST -- MOMENTS LATER

The police car pulls up and out of the forest. The car

is in bad shape. Steam rises from the smashed grill.

Bill looks to his side; he's down a bit from the

Strutemyers' ranch. He pulls away, heading back toward

town.

The foursome sit in a stupefied daze. Starla's beside

Bill. Trevor and Kylie are in the back. Bill grabs the

police radio.

BILL:

Shelby?

Nothing. STATIC. Everyone notes this, worried. Bill

tries again:

BILL:

Shelby, you there?

For a moment, there's nothing. And then:

SHELBY (O.S.)

Yo, Chief. How y'all doin'?

Bill and Starla look at each other, relieved.

INT. POLICE STATION -- NIGHT

Shelby sits at the police operator's unit, peppy.

SHELBY:

You dig that rat out of the hole?

INTERCUT POLICE CAR AND STATION

BILL:

Listen, you got any reports of...

I don't know what you call 'em.

They look like big slugs, only

fast.

SHELBY:

Slugs? No. 'Less you talkin'

about that new waitress down at

Sloan's! Ha ha!

BILL:

Shelby --

SHELBY:

Oh, shit! I hope she ain't a police

radio aficionado. If so, I apolog

BILL:

Shelby, shut up. Keep an eye out

for these things. If you see 'em,

keep your mouth covered. Otherwise

they'll go straight down it. All

right?

Shelby looks confused, and nods.

BILL:

Are you nodding?

SHELBY:

Yeah.

BILL:

I can't hear when you're nodding.

SHELBY:

Sorry.

BILL:

We'll be there in ten minutes.

Bill hangs up. Kylie is clutching onto herself, hollow--

eyed, in deep shock. She mutters, almost unintelligibly:

KYLIE:

The worms are in their brains.

Starla, Bill, and Trevor look at her.

INSERT -- FOREST

The CAMERA TRACKS QUICKLY FORWARD, through the forest,

and to a CLOSEUP on the Redneck, who is hunched over

Margaret's body, eating her flesh.

MATCH CUT TO a CAT SCAN of the REDNECK'S HEAD: a parasite

is imbedded into his brain; its tail hangs down his spine,

wagging just a bit.

KYLIE (O.S.)

Drivin' 'em around...

BACK TO THE POLICE CAR

Bill stares at Kylie like she's insane.

STARLA:

She's right. We saw one -- one

came out of Wally's head.

TREVOR:

Yeah. Sort of his eye, it came

out there --

STARLA:

Kylie, how do you --

Kylie is rocking back and forth.

STARLA:

Kylie, how do you know that?

Kylie shakes her head. She doesn't want to answer.

BILL:

Kylie, honey. Please.

(MORE)

BILL (CONT'D)

A lot of bad things have happened

to you today, we know. But we

need your help to find out what's

going on.

Kylie CRIES.

KYLIE:

I was in the bath. It tried to go

inside me and I -- for a minute I

became it.

BILL:

The worm?

KYLIE:

I got it out.

TREVOR:

What are they?

KYLIE:

Part of him.

BILL:

Who?

(pause)

Who?

KYLIE:

Mrs. Grant's husband.

Starla stares at her.

KYLIE:

But not always. I was -- He was...

other stuff too.

STARLA:

What other stuff?

Kylie kind of points at the sky.

TREVOR:

He's a fucking Martian?!

BILL:

A Martian is from Mars, Trevor.

Kylie tries to think.

KYLIE:

For real it looks like a needle.

Its real face. But it always gots

another.

(MORE)

KYLIE (CONT'D)

He goes from place to place,

worlds... planets... killing 'em.

He takes over half of what's alive

and eats the other half. Till

they're gone.

They stare at her, freaked out.

KYLIE:

Now he's here. He went in Mr.

Grant.

STARLA:

Through a wound on his stomach?

Kylie nods.

KYLIE:

He took him over. His body. His --

his brain, everything what he knew.

He's only been dumb stuff before

amoeba--things, and rhino--things.

He liked being human. Didn't want

to change.

STARLA:

And you said the worms are part of

him. They're all linked, like one

creature?

KYLIE:

When one sees you they all see

you.

STARLA:

An animal that doesn't procreate.

It spreads, grows. A living

disease.

BILL:

(to Kylie)

So the way to stop this thing is

to stop Grant?

Kylie shrugs. The police car starts CHUGGING.

BILL:

Shit.

The car slows, and comes to a stop.

EXT. ROAD TOWARD WHEELSY -- MOMENTS LATER

Bill, Starla, Kylie, and Trevor step slowly out of the

car. They look around the deserted road.

The wide--open night is shrouded in darkness. Quiet.

They can see the lights of Wheelsy down the road in front

of them.

Bill speaks into the radio again, as he gets his leather

satchel of weaponry out of the trunk. Trevor grabs ammo

from the satchel to reload his pistol.

BILL:

Shelby, we broke down on 22, a

mile outside town. Come pick us

up.

SHELBY (O.S.)

I got to leave my post.

BILL:

Do it.

MOMENTS LATER:

The foursome walks down the road, toward the city. Starla

and Bill are in the lead.

BILL:

Hey, Starla.

She looks at him.

BILL:

Was always curious why you...

married Grant in the first place...

Just never seemed outta love.

STARLA:

I know what people say, Bill.

I... Remember, back in high school

I worked at my father's gas station?

Bill nods.

STARLA:

Grant used to get filled up every

day. I knew it was just to see

me. He was too old -- But he was

handsome. And he had that big ol'

Lincoln then. I flirted with him.

BILL:

Well, big ol' Lincoln, sure. Guess

I would have flirted with him too.

Starla smiles, thinks.

STARLA:

My father, he was -- he was real

close to evil. People didn't know.

Still don't. From the time I was

a toddler he'd beat the hell out

of me. I don't mean just like a

smack for smart--mouthing... he

took a real enjoyment in it. And

when I turned eleven or twelve,

things... well, they got worse.

Starla looks at Bill, who seems struck.

BILL:

When you wanted to run away, I

called your dad.

STARLA:

That wasn't a good night, no.

BILL:

I'm sorry.

Starla shrugs it off.

STARLA:

Anyway, Grant rolls in one day. I

fill his tank with like an eighth--

a--gallon as usual. And he notices

my lip's all swollen up, and starts

asking me how it happened. I don't

know why I chose then, why Grant --

I guess I saw an opportunity. And

I told him everything, first time

I told anyone. Grant was furious.

He picked up a tire iron, walked

straightaway into the garage, and

beat my father half to death. You

say it's not about love, Bill.

But that was the closest thing to

it I ever knew.

Pause.

STARLA:

Grant asked me to marry him a few

weeks later. I felt... safe with

him.

Bill nods. Starla looks at him, smiles.

STARLA:

After all this shit tonight, I

know for sure now you regret not

running off with me to Hollywood!

BILL:

Hell, Starla. I always regretted

that.

Starla looks at him, moved.

Trevor looks at Kylie, shivering and terrified.

TREVOR:

Don't worry, kid. Pretty soon,

we'll be in town, everything'll be

fine.

EXT. WHEELSY CITY LIMIT -- NIGHT

A slithering parasite squirms over a paint--chipped sign

that reads "WELCOME TO WHEELSY, SOUTH CAROLINA, THE WHEELS

OF THE FUTURE," featuring early--'sixties graphics of a

utopian future.

THE CAMERA MOVES DOWN to the road, where hundreds of

slithering parasites squirm into the city. They divide

off in thin lines heading toward the various homes.

We MOVE UP TO a WINDOW on a SMALL HOUSE, through which we

can see an OVERWEIGHT WOMAN in spasms with a slithering

thing in her mouth.

We PAN TO the WINDOW of the HOME NEXT DOOR, where we can

see a FAMILY gathered around a CORPSE, feasting on his

goopy flesh.

EXT. ROAD TOWARD WHEELSY -- NIGHT

STARLA:

What's that?

Our foursome look up to see a Buick Century parked at a

haphazard angle in the middle of the road. The driver's

side door is open. The headlights are still on.

They look at each other. Bill takes his flashlight off

his belt and aims it in front of him. They all slowly

approach the car, in the darkness.

Bill aims his flashlight into the Buick. The keys are

still there, but no one's inside.

Trevor looks at the grill of the car. It's dented.

TREVOR:

They musta hit a deer. Probably

got out to see if it's okay.

Bill and the others look around.

Bill hears a LAPPING sound behind him. He turns, aiming

the flashlight downward.

A DISEASED DEER is lapping a thick purple tongue on the

wound of a dead man. The sick creature is mostly hairless

and pink and covered in veins. Bulbous black eyes hang

on the sides of its head like a goldfish's.

The diseased deer glances up at Bill and GROWLS a low

growl.

BILL:

Fuck me.

The deer springs upward, bringing his hoofs into Bill's

chest. Bill is knocked violently to the gravel, dropping

his shotgun and satchel. The deer rears back and brings

his hoofs down into Bill again. They CRACK Bill's head

against the hard road.

Kylie, Trevor, and Starla see diseased deer coming in at

them from different directions. The deer SCREECH like

dying rabbits.

TREVOR:

Bambi--rats!

Trevor aims his pistol at a DEER jumping toward him. He

SHOOTS, misses. The deer knocks him down. The deer stomps

his feet, rearing up and down on Trevor's ribs, almost

like a little dance. The deer tears at Trevor's sleeve

with decidedly carnivorous teeth, forcing him into letting

go of his gun.

Kylie SCREAMS. She dives into a small space beneath a

rock overhang on the side of the road. She watches what's

going on from there.

Starla sees the Buick a few yards away. She glances beside

her to see the largest diseased deer of all, a HORNED

BUCK, careening toward her.

She dashes toward the Buick as fast as she can.

A TUMOROUS DOE leaps onto Bill, biting into his shoulder

and tearing at his flesh, so now he has two deer on him.

Bill is bleeding, dizzy, and disoriented, but he's able

to turn, just a bit, to see the barrel of his shotgun

above him. He tries to scoot himself back as he's being

battered. He reaches up for the shotgun; but the tips of

his fingers barely graze the muzzle.

Starla arrives at the Buick, and starts to crawl into the

front seat.

But the horned buck is upon her. He bites into Starla's

ankle. She SCREAMS.

He yanks back on her, half pulling her onto the road.

But Starla grabs onto the steering wheel with all her

might, and pulls against the horned buck's massive power.

The deer on Trevor starts pulling him off, dragging him

down the road as he HOLLERS.

Kylie, underneath the rock overhang, watches Bill try to

scoot himself back and reach for the shotgun. It's just

a little too far away. She works up her nerve and slowly

starts to crawl out toward him.

As Starla is stretched between the horned buck pulling on

her ankle, and her hand on the steering wheel, she's able

to flip on her side and turn the keys in the ignition;

the ENGINE STARTS. She reaches one hand down to the

floorboard, pressing on the gas.

The Buick lurches forward, wrenching her away from the

horned buck's mouth.

Bill reaches again for the barrel of his rifle. It's too

far away. But then he sees Kylie, at the butt of the

rifle. She reaches out and pushes it just a little, into

Bill's hand. Bill grips the muzzle like a baseball bat,

and swings it into the face of the deer jumping on him,

knocking the beast back.

The deer tries to stumble forward again, but its whole

head and neck have been knocked askew. It topples over,

dead.

Bill flips the shotgun forward into his hands. He stuffs

the muzzle into the tumorous doe biting into his leg.

The deer looks at him. Blood is running down Bill's face

and he looks half--crazed. Bill glances down and sees the

telephone wire wrapped around her ankle.

Bill pulls the trigger, destroying her.

He stands, looking around for the deer with Trevor. It

has dragged him a fair distance down the street. Bill

SHOOTS once, missing it, and again, hitting it straight

on.

Kylie looks around to see more diseased deer running

through the fields toward them.

Starla pulls herself into the driver's seat and backs up

alongside her friends. Throws open the passenger door.

STARLA:

Get in!

INT. BUICK CENTURY -- MOMENTS LATER

Bill fumbles for the radio controls.

BILL:

Shelby!

Trevor looks out the window, watching the deer fade away

behind them.

TREVOR:

When I buy my zoo, I'm leaving

them things the hell out!

BILL:

Shelby!

SHELBY (O.S.)

Hey there, Chief.

BILL:

Shelby! We need people out here

at Cosgrove and McCammon right

away!

SHELBY (O.S.)

Don't worry, Chief.

EXT. MAIN STREET -- NIGHT

Shelby, sick and bloated, speaks into his radio, as he

moves down the street with a hoard of the infected.

SHELBY:

Already on our way.

BACK TO BUICK:

Kylie turns her head, and glances out the window. And

SCREAMS. Starla, Bill, and Trevor turn to see --

An SUV barreling straight towards them.

It SLAMS hard into the side of the Buick.

And SMASHES the car back, across a short lot, and through

the glass storefront of a flower store.

INT. FLOWER STORE -- NIGHT

The Buick and SUV are destroyed, amidst the ruins of this

store. Shattered vases and flowers surround them. Glass

fragments dangle from the window frame. Some fall and

CLINK to the floor.

Starla lifts her battered head from the wheel. She looks

beside her to see Bill and Trevor, seemingly unconscious.

She looks back at Kylie. The impact has killed her. Her

neck is bent at an ungodly angle. Bone juts up out of

her skin.

Starla looks out her rear window and sees the SUV door

open, and the DISEASED DRIVER stumble out. His body is

battered and broken, but, still, he lumbers toward her.

He tries to speak, but his jaw is broken, and only a MUMBLY

MOAN comes out.

Starla struggles to get out of the car. Eventually, she

does, and she falls to the floor, amidst the broken glass

from the shattered window, and the water all over the

floor from the broken vases.

She sees the moaning driver limping toward her. He's

still trying to speak, but he's unintelligible.

The driver gets close, ready to grab her. Starla sees a

metal bar. She grabs it. And SLAMS it into the diseased

man's shin.

He topples over.

She crawls onto the fallen driver and brings the metal

bar down into his head, again and again, SHOUTING and

CRYING with fury.

Starla looks down at the man, who is very dead.

Starla looks up to see dozens of DISEASED TOWNSFOLK coming

at her, from down the street, between buildings. They

see Starla there.

DISEASED TOWNSFOLK

Starrrrrlaaaaaa!!

Bill and Trevor limp up behind Starla, pulling her toward

a door on the back wall.

BILL:

Come on.

INT. FLOWER STORE STORAGE AREA -- MOMENTS LATER

Bill closes and locks the door behind them.

EXT. FLOWER STORE -- NIGHT

The diseased townsfolk surround the little store on all

sides. They SCREECH.

INT. FLOWER STORE STORAGE AREA -- NIGHT

TREVOR:

What the hell are we going to do?!

BILL:

Just block the doors, any way you

can.

Bill grabs hammers and nails off a hardware bench.

Trevor knocks things off shelves and yanks up the metal

shelving.

Starla looks doubtful of this whole activity. But still,

she helps.

The storeroom has two doors. They start nailing anything

over them they can.

Trevor sees some slithering parasites coming in through a

crack in the upper corner of the room.

TREVOR:

Goddamn snakes!!

Trevor aims his pistol at the things and starts shooting

wildly at them, BLASTING up the whole room.

Bill and Starla see slithering parasites coming in from

other cracks in the room as well. They also BLAST at

them. Dust is all around; they can hardly see.

Bill runs out of ammo. He grabs a hand--held Black and

Decker electric circular saw and turns it on. He starts

jamming it into the parasites, cutting them up, and putting

big slices in the floor. They SQUEAK with pain.

EXT. FLOWER STORE -- NIGHT

The diseased townsfolk WAIL and SLAP their hands on the

walls, almost rhythmically, like some tribal ritual.

Some push on the doors.

INT. FLOWER STORE STORAGE AREA -- NIGHT

Bill hears something POP behind him. He turns to see a

little hole in one of the doors. Three diseased fingers

slip inside, trying to pull away more.

Bill uses the circular saw to cut off the fingers.

An arm pops through the door. Bill slams the circular

saw into that. Blood spurts. Bone grinds.

A man's eye peeks through another crack. Bill jams the

circular saw through the crack and into the man's face.

EXT. FLOWER STORE -- NIGHT

The FACE--SAWED MAN backs away from the hole, clutching

his bleeding eye.

INT. FLOWER STORE STORAGE AREA -- NIGHT

Bill spots a wide piece of shelving falling off the door

across from him. He runs over to the space, when the

circular saw stops turning. Bill turns to see he's

accidentally unplugged it.

EXT. FLOWER STORE -- NIGHT

The diseased townsfolk have all gathered on one side of

the building now, putting all their efforts into tearing

down one door. Some have even climbed onto the roof above

it, curling off the gutter and roofing overhead.

INT. FLOWER STORE STORAGE AREA -- NIGHT

Bill grabs his leather satchel, and starts to reload his

shotgun. Starla sees that the diseased townsfolk have

almost torn down one of the doors.

STARLA:

This is stupid.

Starla goes to the other door, and starts tearing away

the planks they nailed there.

BILL:

What are you doing?!

STARLA:

We can't make it. Just get away,

when you get the chance.

BILL:

What?

STARLA:

He wants me, Bill! I'm going to

get him to take me to him! See if

you can follow me, and kill him!

BILL:

No, Starla! No!

Another full metal plate is pushed off the door.

A DISEASED MAN'S face peeks through. Trevor swirls to see

it. The Man GLEEKS, hitting Trevor on his chest. Trevor

looks down, in shock.

And the whole door and part of the wall bursts open. The

Diseased pour inside and around Trevor, GLEEKING all over

him, splattering his body with the burning liquid. Trevor

starts to puff up, swelling, becoming soft. They grab

him.

BILL:

Nooo!

Bill grabs Trevor by the wrist, and tries to pull him

away from them. But Trevor SCREAMS in agony; the liquid

has made his flesh too soft. His entire body splits apart

like wet tissue, his organs spilling out in front of them.

Bill stares down in shock, still holding Trevor's arm.

Starla has pulled away enough boards of the other door.

She throws it open. None of the diseased are on this

side of the building anymore. She moves outside.

EXT. FLOWER STORE -- NIGHT

Bill follows her. Two DISEASED PEOPLE appear, SCREECHING

and running toward them. Bill SHOOTS them both. And he

makes a break for it, running as fast as he can across

the street.

He turns, expecting to see Starla right behind him. But

she has stayed behind, staring quietly at the ground.

Starla has tears in her eyes. She motions with her head

for Bill to go. Bill is confused.

The diseased townsfolk come up around Starla from the

sides of the flower store, no one paying attention to

Bill. They encircle her, slowly. Some SCREECH angrily

at her. She's too disgusted or fearful to even look in

their eyes. They BREATHE with SICK, RASPY breath.

DISEASED WOMAN DISEASED KID

Starlaaaaaaa! Starlaaaa!

And they WAIL, in a cacophony of simultaneous voices, all

the deep angers, fears, frustrations, and jealousies they

inherited from Grant Grant, such as:

SMASHED--FACE MAN

You said for better or worse! You

lied!

NO LONGER PRETTY BRENDA'S HUSBAND

I gave you everything! I. Loved. You!

SHELBY FAT SICK GUY

It's not just about lesson I wanted you by my side,

plans! Hank Wilcox wants sugarplum. But I'm too

your pussy! ugly now, huh!!?

MR. INAPPROPRIATE WAITRESS

Your daddy'd still be You always thought I was

a fucking your every hole joke, ain't you?

weren't it for me!!

BRENDA'S HUSBAND

You like Pardy better'n me? That's

who you want to screw now?!

STARLA:

Grant... Please...

They surround her. They touch her body, her ass, her

breasts. Pull on her clothes. She trembles.

STARLA:

I'm sorry... I know I haven't

behaved how you -- how you want.

I know. Don't... hurt... me.

Starla glances down to see a diseased dog licking her

calf, tasting her.

STARLA:

We need... to... talk.

A DISEASED MAN grabs the side of her neck and face.

DISEASED MAN BRENDA'S HUSBAND

Then talk. Then talk.

STARLA:

Not here, though, okay? Not all

of you. I'm not used to -- I want

to talk to your face, Grant. Your

more real face. Your --

The diseased townsfolk grab Starla, enveloping her, and

start dragging her away.

A few townsfolk remain behind. They look around for Bill.

SMASHED--FACE MAN

Pardy?!! Where are you, Pardy!!

But he's nowhere to be seen. They SCREECH angrily.

EXT. MAIN STREET -- NIGHT

Bill runs as fast as he can across the street here -- the

same direction the hoard took Starla, but down a block.

EXT. SIDE OF MOVIE THEATER -- NIGHT

Bill falls against the side of this building, hiding in a

dark crevice. Down the way, he can see numerous dead

bodies, and a WOMAN chased down and tackled by some

infected townsfolk.

Some diseased townsfolk wander by Bill, looking for him.

Bill crouches down so he isn't seen.

DISEASED WOMAN SHELBY

Pardy. Pardy. Pardy. Come on out, Pardy.

PASTOR:

We've surrounded the town, you

prick! Ain't no way outta here!

Bill waits for them to pass. When they're gone, Bill

looks up toward the next street -- he can see the hoard

moving Starla across that street.

He makes sure no one's looking, and follows her.

EXT. GRANT STREET -- LATER

One of the diseased pushes Starla too hard, and she falls

to her hands and knees. They keep pushing her. She

stumbles back to her feet and moves on. She's almost

hyperventilating.

EXT. GRANT HOME -- MOMENTS LATER

Here, the Diseased Townsfolk around Starla stop. She

looks up to see that they've led her onto her own front

yard. Starla gazes up at her home:

The diseased have done a little remodeling. Part of the

front wall has been torn away, replaced with some primitive

thatched woodwork. The front doorway has also been

partially destroyed. Because of the sloppy reconstruction,

the roof is caved--in and sloping.

Diseased people sit in meerkat--like poses on all sides of

the Grants' home, watching out for trouble.

EXT. HOUSE ACROSS FROM THE GRANT HOME -- NIGHT

Bill, out of breath, arrives across the street. He can

see Starla standing with the diseased. He hides behind

some shrubs.

EXT. GRANT HOME -- NIGHT

The diseased push Starla up between them, violently, to

the front door.

Starla stops at the dark hole on the front of the house.

It's pitch black inside. She looks back at the rotting

faces behind her. And then slowly enters.

INT. GRANT FOYER -- NIGHT

Starla balks at the smell. She looks beside her at the

garage; the wall has been torn out, and this has become

Grant's feeding area, with rotten meat, including some

bodies, in a pile.

Starla steps slowly forward, looking around.

STARLA:

Grant?

Starla can see into the shambles of a kitchen from here.

EXT. HOUSE ACROSS FROM THE GRANT HOME -- NIGHT

Bill looks at the diseased surrounding the Grant home.

They seem impossible to get through.

Bill eyes the house next door, maybe twenty--five feet

from the Grants'. He makes sure no one's paying attention

for a moment, and he darts across the street to a parked

car. The diseased don't see him. Bill gazes down the

street beside him.

The sun is just barely beginning to rise. They don't

have much time to move in the darkness.

Bill makes a break for the house next door.

INT. GRANT KITCHEN -- NIGHT

Starla walks into the kitchen. Cooking supplies and

condiments are scattered over the floor. She spots a

meat thermometer on the floor amongst other utensils.

She glances out the rear window. Diseased people are

guarding the backyard, looking away from the home.

She grabs the meat thermometer. She snaps the thermometer

part off the top, discards it, and shoves the long metal

spike into the seam of her skirt.

Suddenly, Starla hears EVERY WOMAN IN THE WORLD, the song

she and Grant danced to earlier, starting to play through

tinny speakers.

Starla looks up through a missing section of ceiling; she

can see a tiny piece of Grant in the bedroom above her.

STARLA:

Grant? We should talk.

EXT. NEIGHBOR'S BACKYARD -- NIGHT

Bill has made his way into the backyard. He looks over

at the Grant home. Some diseased townsfolk in the backyard

could conceivably see or hear him. He tries the back

door, but it's locked.

Bill notices a window slightly open. He starts to push

it up. It SQUEAKS LOUDLY.

He peers over at the diseased. They don't hear. He throws

the window up further, and crawls inside the home.

INT. GRANT FOYER -- NIGHT

Starla stands at the base of the stairwell. The SONG is

louder.

STARLA:

Grant?

She starts to ascend the stairs. They CREAK beneath her

feet.

INT. NEIGHBOR'S HOUSE -- NIGHT

Bill peeks out the window, careful not to be seen by the

diseased humans around Grant's. Bill can see Starla in

the home next door, walking up the stairs.

Bill runs toward the stairwell here.

INT. GRANT UPSTAIRS HALLWAY -- NIGHT

Starla looks down the hall. Most of the walls have been

torn away.

Between wooden beams, Starla can see Grant's cumbersome

mass, his back to her, in what was once the bedroom.

In front of him, the SONG ENDS on the CD player. It starts

into the NEXT SONG on the album. Grant uses one of his

crusty tentacles to push the back button.

EVERY WOMAN IN THE WORLD starts over.

Starla walks toward him.

INT. GRANT BEDROOM -- NIGHT

Grant keeps his back to her. Starla takes in the room.

Photographs from their scrapbooks are all over the walls:

photos from their wedding, and vacations, and family

parties.

STARLA:

Hey, Grant.

Starla walks around Grant, giving him a decent berth.

STARLA:

You did some real interesting

decorating here.

Grant watches her from the corner of his sad, purulent

eye.

STARLA:

Hey.

Starla walks by a window.

STARLA:

Look, the sun's starting to come

up.

Starla starts to open the drapes.

INT. NEIGHBOR'S UPSTAIRS HALL -- NIGHT

Bill happens to look through the neighbors' kid's bedroom

and to the home across the way where Starla is pulling

the drapes away from the window. She sees Bill there.

INT. GRANT BEDROOM -- NIGHT

Grant SCREECHES angrily at Starla. She quickly closes

the drapes, not letting on she saw Bill.

STARLA:

Sorry. I didn't -- I didn't know

you wanted it dark.

INT. KID'S BEDROOM -- NIGHT

Bill walks into this young boy's bedroom, filled with

airplanes and sports memorabilia.

He peeks around the window frame at the Grant bedroom

window, now closed to him. He makes sure his shotgun is

loaded.

INT. GRANT BEDROOM -- NIGHT

Starla tries to change the subject by walking to a wall

with the photos.

STARLA:

You like these memories, huh, Grant?

Grant looks away from her. Starla moves toward him, almost

seductively.

STARLA:

You like being called Grant, don't

you?

Grant is silent. She gets closer.

STARLA:

I think you do. You really do.

You like being Grant. Like when

we danced. And when you... made

love to me here on the bed.

Remember that?

Grant looks embarrassed. Starla becomes more brazen.

STARLA:

I know you've been alone, Grant.

Almost forever. From here to there

to there to here, there's never

been another one for you.

Starla almost looks as if she's about to cry, out of

compassion for him.

STARLA:

Grant. Grant, I could help you.

Be with you the way you want.

See, I want to live. I've never

had much use for this world, not

really. You and I, together, we --

She touches his tentacle with her fingers. He moves it

back, and GROWLS a little.

Starla moves her trembling fingers toward him again. She

sets them on his tentacle once more. He glares at her

distrustfully, breathing his deep, sick breath.

STARLA:

You don't trust me, I know. That's

why I brought you someone, Grant.

Starla looks into his eyes.

STARLA:

It's Bill. He's in the house next

door. Just look.

INT. KID'S BEDROOM -- NIGHT

Bill glances down to see a diseased man looking up at

him. In fact, they're all looking up at him. Bill is

confused.

INT. GRANT BEDROOM -- NIGHT

Grant looks at Starla with sad eyes, perhaps touched.

Starla smiles nervously, expectantly.

STARLA:

See? I brought him here for you!

As an offering! To prove I love

you more than him!

Grant wraps his tentacle around Starla. Starla, though

obviously disgusted, touches his face with her hand.

INT. NEIGHBOR'S HOUSE -- NIGHT

The diseased townsfolk break down the door, moving into

the downstairs below Bill.

INT. KID'S BEDROOM -- NIGHT

Bill hears them approaching. He SHATTERS the window, and

crawls onto a small mock--balcony outside.

INT. GRANT BEDROOM -- NIGHT

Starla moves slowly in toward Grant, as if to kiss him.

Grant looks, well, joyful.

And then she yanks the metal spike from her skirt and

JABS it into Grant's eye.

Grant SCREECHES, blind and bucking. Starla SLAMS the

spike into his other eye.

And she STABS him again, shoving the spike into his

forehead, where it stays.

Starla leaps to the window. She throws open the drapes.

STARLA:

Now, Bill!! Kill the motherfucker!!

EXT. NEIGHBOR'S MOCK BALCONY -- NIGHT

Bill raises his shotgun and BLASTS as Starla jumps away

from the window.

INT. GRANT BEDROOM -- NIGHT

The WINDOW SHATTERS and the shot strikes Grant. He

SCREECHES, swinging his tentacles aimlessly around the

room in fury.

One tentacle SLAMS Starla against the wall, probably

breaking a rib or two. Another tentacle SMASHES the CD

player, squelching the song.

EXT. NEIGHBOR'S MOCK BALCONY -- NIGHT

The diseased townsfolk enter the kid's bedroom, rushing

toward Bill on the balcony. But Bill won't stop. He

BLASTS the shotgun again.

INT. GRANT BEDROOM -- NIGHT

Grant is struck in the head. He starts slithering out of

the bedroom, feeling his way out.

EXT. NEIGHBOR'S MOCK BALCONY -- NIGHT

Bill is out of shells. He drops his shotgun. He grabs

the grenade out of the pocket on the black leather bag.

INT. GRANT BATHROOM -- NIGHT

Starla, clutching her ribs and barely able to move, pulls

herself up on the window.

Bill tosses her the grenade. She tries to catch it, but

misses it. It lands on the carpet. She see Grant's

tentacles slipping away. She tries to move but she's

hurt bad, bleeding.

EXT. NEIGHBOR'S MOCK BALCONY -- NIGHT

The diseased GLEEK at Bill, but Bill throws himself

forward, letting himself fall through the flimsy balustrade --

EXT. GRANT HOME -- NIGHT

Bill lands hard on the lawn between the two homes. He

grabs a .38, and stands beside the window on Grant's house.

Through the window he sees Grant barreling down the stairs.

Bill SHOOTS Grant with the .38, SHATTERING the glass.

He UNLOADS the clip into him.

The diseased townsfolk surround Bill, grabbing him. Grant,

using the others' eyes to see, snaps his tentacle forward,

wrapping it around Bill's neck, raising him up. Grant

SCREECHES.

INT. GRANT FOYER -- NIGHT

Starla appears at the top of the stairs, clutching her

bloody side. She has the pin in one hand and the grenade

in the other.

With all her remaining effort, she lobs the grenade behind

Grant.

GRANT:

Er…?

It EXPLODES.

EXT. GRANT HOME -- NIGHT

Grant's exploding flesh sends Bill flying backwards.

INT. GRANT HALLWAY -- NIGHT

Starla is thrown back.

EXT. GRANT HOME -- NIGHT

Around the house, the diseased's eyes gaze lifelessly

upward as they each plummet to the grass.

FADE TO:

EXT. GRANT HOME -- MORNING

Bill unwraps what's left of the tentacle from his bruised

neck, and looks around at the dead diseased. Grant's

splattered flesh is around him.

Bill hears a quiet RATTLING sound. He looks around him.

And then sees, down at his feet, what is actually a

distorted piece of Grant's cerebellum. Sticking out of a

new organic slit in the cerebellum is the quill--like spore.

It quivers and trembles upward, its little bulbed spurs

popping out.

INT. GRANT HALLWAY -- MORNING

Starla crawls forward to look down through the smoke:

most of the second floor has been blown away. Her mutated

husband is just a mass of flesh and alien organs.

EXT. GRANT HOME -- MOMENTS LATER

Starla comes around the side of the house, holding a paper

towel roll to the slice on her ribs. She sees Bill

standing there. She smiles.

STARLA:

Hey.

Bill smiles too.

BILL:

Hey.

EXT. MAIN STREET -- DAY

Bill and Starla hobble down the town center. The leather

bag is slung over Bill's shoulder. Everything around

them is dead:
the victims who were being feasted on, as

well as the various diseased. The torture is over, but

no life remains.

EXT. MAIN STREET -- MOMENTS LATER

Bill finds an abandoned Nissan Maxima in the middle of

the street, with the keys still in it.

BILL:

Starla, over here.

EXT. WHEELSY EXIT -- LATER

In the Maxima now, Bill and Starla pull around a toppled

ambulance and through a spouting fire hydrant, and out

onto --

EXT. ROAD BEYOND WHEELSY -- DAY

The sun is bright and beautiful, glistening on the car.

Bill and Starla breathe more easily and smile a little as

they head up this long, barren road outside the city.

EXT. CLUSTER OF STORES -- MOMENTS LATER

Bill and Starla pass through a small block of stores.

Starla gazes out the window to see people -- real, actual,

HEALTHY HUMAN BEINGS: men and women and children -- going

about their daily chores. Tears come to her eyes.

Bill grabs Starla's hand. She clenches his tightly.

STARLA:

We can probably get some first aid

and food at this gas station up

here.

BILL:

Yeah. Good.

EXT. GAS STATION -- MOMENTS LATER

The Maxima pulls into the station, and stops.

INT. GAS STATION MART -- MOMENTS LATER

Starla and Bill pile stuff up on the cashier's counter --

Band--Aids, gauze, alcohol; Power Bars and Gatorade. The

CASHIER rings it up, staring at them because of their

wounds.

CASHIER:

Comes to 32.87.

Bill pulls money out of his pants pocket. As he does,

Starla glances down. His arm pulls up his shirt, and

Starla can see the black and yellow wound there on his

stomach. She turns away, looking around, confused.

Bill pays, smiles at the cashier.

BILL:

There you go.

EXT. GAS STATION -- MOMENTS LATER

A stunned Starla steps with Bill out of the station, moving

toward the car.

Starla stops.

STARLA:

Shit. I-- I forgot... I wanted to

get aspirin.

She starts to move back inside. Bill stops her.

BILL:

I'll get it for you. Ibuprofen or

aspirin?

STARLA:

Aspirin.

Bill smiles, and goes back inside. Starla moves quickly

with the bag of stuff toward the car.

INT. GAS STATION MART -- MOMENTS LATER

Bill pays for the aspirin, and walks out with it.

EXT. GAS STATION -- DAY

Bill walks out; the Maxima is still there.

INT. MAXIMA -- DAY

Bill gets in the driver's seat, puts his keys into the

engine.

BILL:

We'll just head up here into

Bishopville, get checked up in the

hospital. Then maybe we'll head

off to Hollywood after all, huh?

STARLA:

Okay.

Bill turns to smile at Starla. She's aiming the .38 at

his face. Tears are streaming down her cheeks.

BILL:

Please, Starla. I'm gonna do my

best not to hurt anybody --

STARLA:

You took Bill.

BILL:

It's my nature.

STARLA:

And this is mine.

Starla pulls the trigger, the GUNSHOT CRACKS OUT.

EXT. GAS STATION -- DAY

As the Maxima sits in the lot, ANOTHER GUNSHOT CRACKS

OUT. Then we hear the HORN BLARING.

INT. MAXIMA -- DAY

Bill's dead body is slumped over the steering wheel.

Starla really can't bring herself to look at it, as she

reaches across it and toward the door handle.

EXT. GAS STATION -- DAY

The car door flips open. The horn stops blaring.

And Bill's body is kicked out of the car, sliding onto

the pavement.

INSERT TITLE, FULL SCREEN:

SLiTHER

INT. MAXIMA -- DAY

Starla WIPES the tears away from her face. She glances

out the window to see the cashier peeking out of the

cashier's station.

Starla scoots over into the driver's seat. She shoves

the car into drive.

And she takes off down the road, not looking back.

Starla's blanched and numb but the tears still keep coming.

CUT TO BLACK.

END:

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James Gunn

James Gunn is an American screenwriter, director, producer, novelist, actor, and musician. He started his career as a screenwriter in the late 1990s, writing the scripts for Tromeo and Juliet, Scooby-Doo ... more…

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"SliTHER" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 20 Nov. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/slither_413>.

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