PRAGUE - MORNING
The Old Town is quiet. It's very early in the twisted
streets of this ancient ghetto. Dark corners casting a
medieval spell over a modern century oblivious to their
romance and mystery.
The River is the dividing line. Elegant gardens on the
opposite bank embracing the monotonous solemnity of the New
Town, tower steeples silhouetted against the sombre sky.
An empty motor bus rattles along a deserted street.
A Gothic bridge links the two halves of the strange city.
Its half-moon arches becoming circles as they meet their
reflections in the water. Thin mist swirls over the
A few boats in the water. Fishermen casting their lines in
silence. One or two lights now burning in buildings beyond.
In the Old Town Square the great clock on the cathedral
A MAN'S FACE
His eyes filled with terror, beads of sweat crawling on his
He stands in the middle of a murky courtyard, perfectly
still. Waiting. Watching.
The balconies overlooking on successive floors, looming all
around him, are empty. All is quiet.
The man's name is EDUARD. He dares not move for fear of
missing a single sound. And then he hears it. A small noise
of movement nearby. He runs.
He runs alone in the dim light of the deserted morning.
Running for his life.
Running on sheer pumping fear, long after the verge of
Coming out into the light, but by no means out of danger, he
allows himself a brief pause, gasping for air, just for a
moment looking back into the gloom, starting to retreat again
even as he does, then turning running ...
He runs on, past boarded-up houses and shuttered inns,
strange relics of the Middle Ages casting frightening
AROUND A CORNER:
Eduard appears suddenly, quickly flattens himself back
against the large notice board that covers the wall here,
layers of expressionistic theatre and film posters pasted on
He breathes painfully in short bursts, as silently as he
can. He watches the corner he's just come from, the ornate
archway through which any pursuer must emerge.
Nothing there. But then a shadow moves.
Eduard's shoulders tense. His eyes widen. He holds his
The shadow ... spreading ...
Eduard edges away ever so slowly, keeping his unblinking gaze
on the archway, backing off, one arm brushing the notice
board as he feels his way along it, macabre images on the
posters, some torn and incomplete, revealing other fragments
behind, Eduard's eyes staring constant, no noise here at all
A HAND! clamps over his face from behind. All of a sudden
and out of absolutely nowhere and not a thing he can do about
But he tries, his hands coming up to grip the arm that grasps
him, an arm of iron.
The hand is huge. It covers Eduard's face almost entirely,
only one eye gaping bloodshot through the fingers, ghastly
fingers that, just for a second, seem almost inhuman, perhaps
even fingers that seem incompatible on the same hand, a hand
covered in scar tissue, starting to squeeze as it pulls
Eduard swiftly away.
A ROW OF TYPEWRITERS - DAY
Clacketing incessantly under slightly more agile and refined
fingers. Beyond these, another row of desks. And beyond
that another, the office workers in their neat suits tapping
And beyond that another, at which one worker scribbles
furiously at his figures, the next rolls a new sheet into his
typewriter, the next answers his clanging telephone, the next
rifles through the pages of a massive record book, the next
sits erect in his chair playing his machine like a piano, and
the last, by the window, dusty light streaming across him,
contemplatively taps the end of a pencil onto his desk. This