FIGURE IN A SANTA CLAUS SUIT
lies face-down in a nighttime expanse of snow. One of the
body's red-sleeved arms is twisted at a sickening angle. The
white snow beneath the figure is spreading with red.
REVEAL EXT. SNOWY ROAD - NIGHT
The figure in the suit lies motionless. Snowflakes drift.
INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT
Dark, rustic wood, an office with broken windows and whistling
winter beyond. A second BODY in a Santa Claus suit lies dead
in the doorway.
It's a man with a large build. The suit is riddled with holes.
His face is missing.
EXT. PARKING LOT - NIGHT
More snow falling. A handful of cars in the lot. A third
BODY in the same red-and-white outfit lies atop the hood of
an old Pontiac. His head is not visible, having smashed
through the windshield. His suit is charred and blackened.
A halo of broken glass outlines him. His black boots hang
off the front bumper. The parking lot is silent.
INT. ROOM - NIGHT
A floor scattered with shiny silver quarters. Reflections of
neon. There's a fourth SANTA here, face-down in a red pool.
The suit is far too big for him. Not that it matters now.
EXT. SNOW-FILLED RAVINE - NIGHT
where the fifth and final Santa lies at the edge of a ravine,
which plummets a hundred feet down. The man rests precariously
atop the slope, upside-down, eyes closed.
His burned suit is smoldering. He has a sly but tired face,
late-20's, sandy hair, cold and scarred. This is RUDY DUNCAN.
He opens his eyes.
I never was much for the holidays.
CUT TO BLACK:
THE SOUND OF A WINTER WIND
rises, as a TITLE appears: "SEVEN DAYS BEFORE..."
And then, to complete the sentence: "...XMAS."
EXT. IRON MOUNTAIN STATE PRISON - DAY
Snow drifts down onto the stone walls and wire fences of the
Iron Mountain, Michigan S.I.C. Winter's been here awhile.
INT. PRISON CELL - DAY
Rudy Duncan lies in his top bunk, staring at his ceiling --
where a handful of paper-cut snowflakes have been pasted.
The sounds of YELLING INMATES and GATES slamming shut echo
through the fortress. Rudy watches a spider scurry across
the paper snow. It's his excitement for the day.
He turns to the wall, where there's a photo of his teenage
self with some co-workers at an auto body shop. And a family
photo, cheery Midwesterners, with Rudy a scowling Artful
A WALL CALENDAR:
Shows the dates have been crossed off up to December 18th.
December 22nd is circled again and again.
Rudy muses at the calendar, then hops out of his bunk. Drops
to the floor, crosses to a desk, finds a chewed-on pen.
Turning back to the beds we reveal --
THE LOWER BUNK:
where Rudy's cellmate, NICK MASON (32), rugged, mustached
and well-built, sleeps soundly. In contrast, his bed-wall is
a COLLAGE OF PHOTOGRAPHS, twenty, maybe thirty of them. Almost