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Two brisk hand CLAPS.
The sound of a woman’s voice.
Listen to me carefully. Because I’m
only going to say this once.
HARD OPEN ON:
The face of MALORIE.
Late 20s, early 30s. No makeup. No hair products.
Stress waging war with exhaustion.
Around her, a dimly-lit living room.
Blankets cover the windows.
We are going on a trip now. Taking
the rowboat down the river. It
could be a long trip. It could be
I say. Understand?
Underfed. Big, attentive eyes.
It’s cold now, but it will warm up
when the sun is high. You have your
You have your
puzzle pieces. There is nothing
more you need from here. Do you
Her fingers toy with them absently.
Under no circumstances will either
one of you remove your blindfolds.
If I find that you have, I will
hurt you. Do you understand?
They nod. Boy mutters:
I need you both to listen as close
as you can. On the river. Listen
beyond the water, into the woods.
If you hear anything in those
woods, tell me. If you hear
something in the water, you tell
Don’t talk just to pass the time.
Girl, you will sit up front and
Boy, you’ll be in the back. When we
get to the boat I will guide you to
your place. I will be rowing.
Do we need our bicycle bells?
Malorie’s eyes get wet. She holds it in.
No. Not for this trip. Now, put
your folds on.
Are they good and tight?
Boy gives her a thumbs-up.
So does Girl.
Malorie leads Boy and Girl.
She reaches the back door.
Boy and Girl hold hands.
Girl’s knuckles go white.
Boy squeezes back.
On the floor by the door: A bird cage.
A little, fat budgie.
Malorie bends down, cups her hands...
And transfers the bird to a shoebox.
Malorie then picks up her blindfold.
Inside, all is quiet and still.
Nothing else around it. As if it were a holy relic.
Malorie secures her blindfold.
Reaches out and grips the door handle.
Takes a breath.
Twenty, thirty-one, fifty-four.
Twenty, thirty-one, fifty-four.
Here we go.
EXT. HOUSE - MORNING
TIGHT on Malorie’s face.
Advancing into the back yard.
Whispering under her breath.
TIGHT on Boy and Girl.
Girl crooks her head left and right.
In the distance, a generator thrums.
Malorie steps carefully.
Eighteen, nineteen... twenty.
Her hand reaches out to her right...
Farther away from the house.
Boy and Girl take note of this shift.
Twenty-nine, thirty, thirty-one.
Malorie raises her hand...
And touches a tree branch.
She lets out a breath of relief.
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