INT. WINDOW - MORNING
We are looking out a second story window of a house. The
backyard is large and green with a wooden jungle gym, worn
from use. A single tree throws shade onto a barbecue and a
The backyard is lined by crops. Corn. Golden and brown. Six
Everything is perfect. Like a postcard. And then we HEAR A
CHILD SCREAM. IT'S FAR AWAY. WE DON'T KNOW WHERE IT'S COMING
INT. BEDROOM - MORNING
GRAHAM HESS wakes up from his sleep. He thought he heard
something. He listens. HE HEARS THE HEATER. THE REFRIGERATOR
DOWNSTAIRS HUMMING. THE OCCASIONAL BIRDS OUTSIDE CHIRPING.
Graham climbs out of bed. He moves in his pajama pants and
white Barron's minor league baseball T-shirt towards the
INT. HALL LANDING - MORNING
Graham stands in the hall landing where three bedroom doors
meet. He moves to the door that has children's drawings taped
to it. He puts his ear close. Listens. Beat.
He relaxes. Graham leans down and picks up two balled up
sweat socks and a child's sweater from the hallway floor.
He puts it in the hallway hamper before heading back into
INT. BATHROOM - MORNING
A bathroom door is open. WE HEAR THE SINK RUNNING. WE HEAR
THE SOUNDS OF TEETH BEING BRUSHED.
Outside the bathroom on the bedroom wall is the sun faded
outline of where a large CATHOLIC CROSS used to hang. It's
ghostly stained forever on the blank wall.
A CHILD SCREAMS FROM FAR AWAY.
The water from the sink stops. Graham steps into the doorway.
Toothbrush and foam in his mouth. He becomes very still.
INT. CHILDREN'S BEDROOM - MORNING
The bedroom door bursts open. Graham steps into his children's
room. There are children's books everywhere. Overflowing off
shelves. Piled in corners.
Graham's eyes move to the small messy beds. They're both
INT. GARAGE BEDROOM - MORNING
WE HEAR THE VOICES OF TWO CHILDREN NOW. THEIR SCREAMS FLOAT
INTO A DARKENED BEDROOM OVER THE GARAGE.
MERRILL HESS throws the bed sheets off himself as he swings
onto his feet in one quick motion. He is hyper-awake. Merrill
is in his late twenties. He is well build. His muscles are
tense as he stands in his red bikini briefs and looks around
EXT. BACKYARD - MORNING
Graham bangs open the back screen door and runs into the
backyard. He spins as he looks around.
Merrill, now with a T-shirt and jeans, rumbles down the side
stairs adjacent to the garage building.