Bill was a troubled man who after 5 years turns over a new leaf. His world is shaken when they find the granddaughter he didn't know he had. Screenplay
INT. BEDROOM - AFTERNOON FADE IN: An old fashioned bedroom, guns on the walls. Pictures of Bill, his wife, and his little girl holding up ducks smiling. Several other photos sit on the dresser next to bullets, and various empty bottle of liquor. An ashtray sits filled with cigarettes most half smoked. Bill,48, is sitting on the edge of his bed. Gray has started to leave streaks through his hair and his beard. A bottle of liquor in his hands which he quickly takes to his mouth and swallows hard. INT. LIVING ROOM - AFTERNOON A dozen people are gathered sitting, standing, all in talk about Ellen, Bill’s wife. A picture sits over the food table of Ellen smiling. People moving along it helping themselves to cheese and crackers. Sarah,18, sits with her arms wrapped around her boyfriend, Gillian, 27, a country bad ass. She looks at him with love in her eyes as the sadness over her mothers passing comes and goes. GILLIAN You wanna take a hit? Sarah glances around at what little family and friends are there. Many sharing memories of, Ellen. SARAH Baby, this is my momma’s funeral. Gillian shaking his head understanding. GILLIAN Figured it take away some of the pain, you know I hate to see you cry. She smiles kissing his lips and he back at her. Bill comes out of his bedroom barley able to walk. He uses the walls of his small home to keep up. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 2. MAN Bill, you all right? You need to sit down? The man with glasses tries to help, Bill, but is pushed away. BILL (whisper) Get your goddamn hands of me. MAN Say again, bill? BILL (yells) Get your God damn hands of me! The man backs up shocked, everyone is looking to Bill even Sarah and Gillian. BILL You bunch of fakes! Everyone looks appalled. BILL CONTINUED You come here and eat my food. Drink my beer! Estella, 56, comes over trying to hush, Bill. ESTELLA Bill, this aint the time nor place. You think, Ellen would like - BILL Get out! all of you! Freeloaders! Go! Before I grab my gun! Everyone stands up, slowly heading out. Jack,30, comes over to Bill. JACK Bill settle down. BILL Jack, get off me! Bills angry spitting as he speaks. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 3. BILL Where were you people when she went bald! When she shit on herself! I was there! I was there Goddammit! Bill falls to his knees as Estella is the last one to leave the room. Sarah, and, Gillian standing and watching Bill. BILL Get outta here! JACK Bill, come on. This isn’t right. Sarah walks over to, Bill who looks up at her eyes red and running. SARAH Leave it, Jack. He knows. BILL Know what? SARAH I hate you. BILL (sarcastically) You hate me so much, why you here then? SARAH You’re nothing but a drunk old man. Mamma, was afraid of you but I’m not. Me and Gillian are running off together. Bill’s face grows with anger. SARAH CONTINUED We going to get married and forget about you and this stupid town. BILL Its so easy to leave your family? Leave your daddy behind!? Gillian comes over next to Sarah. Sarah eyes water. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 4. SARAH When were you a father to me? when you were hitting mom!? When you were drinking the weekends away!? I hate you! She wipes her eyes. GILLIAN Come on, babe. SARAH Were going. I never want to see you again. BILL Say it again slower so I can care! Sarah yells in anger grabbing the nearest glass bowl throwing it at her father. The bowl hits the wall shattering. Jack standing on the side looking shocked. EXT. OUTSIDE HOME - AFTERNOON Sarah and Gillian heading to his old dirty Lincoln town car. BILL Go on! Sarah shakes her head to Gillian who gets in the car with Sarah starting the engine and driving backwards. Bill comes out of the house with his bottle empty, he swings back and tosses the bottle at the car, but misses widely. The car turns around heading off. Bill stands broken and alone, wiping his beard. Circle Bill as he watches his daughter driving off and out of his life. Jack at the door watching Bill standing in silence. He comes down next to Bill. JACK Come on, lets get you fixed up. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 5. BILL I’m alone. JACK You think she’ll come back? BILL (scoffs) With her tail between her legs. Jack turns around heading back into the house. Bill reaches into a pocket removing a small bottle and chugging it quickly. FADE OUT: An acoustic guitar plays in our ears. EXT. BOGGY CREEK - MORNING A boggy creek at the wee hours of the morning. The sun has just started to peek its head out, the fog still silently hovering above the creeks water. Bill passes us walking into a barrage of trees followed by, Jack. Bill looks much better. His hair is fully gray now and slicked back. He and Jack are dressed in hunting clothes with shotguns in their hands. EXT. FOREST - MORNING Bill and Jack walking through the forest. The guitar still playing over the sounds of their feet breaking twigs and the sounds of the morning. Moments later,... Sitting at the edge of the lake their guns at the ready. A flock of geese flutter out of the right. BAM! BAM! Their guns blast two ducks falling into the water of the creek. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 6. Bill pats, Jacks, back gesturing for him to go into the water. Jack hesitant. CUT TO: They are walking out with bunch of geese on their lines. Jack’s pants wet up to his crotch. The guitar fades. EXT. BOGGY CREEK - MORNING Bill’s truck his parked by the main road. Jack tosses the geese into the back of the truck. Bill opening a cooler and removing a bottle of water. Two beers sitting next to another water in the cooler. JACK Sorry about those. Michelle forgets. BILL Boy, its fine. Just cause I don’t drink any longer doesn’t mean you have to stop too. JACK Still, I don’t want temptation to find its way back into those hands of yours. Bill sips the water wiping his mouth. JACK How longs it been? BILL 2 years next week. Jack opens his hands, Bill tossing a water bottle to Jack. JACK Proud of you. I honestly didn’t think you had it in you. BILL Neither did I. Bill looks to his watch. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 7. BILL You ready? Jack nods getting in the truck, Bill drives. EXT. CHURCH - MORNING An old church. Cars parked all around it. People dressed in their best heading to worship. INT. CHURCH - AFTERNOON Bill standing along with others. A bible in his hand, open and he is singing with the rest of the congregation. The whole church is up. EXT. CHURCH - AFTERNOON Church is over. Everyone is leaving heading out into their cars. The sheriffs car is sitting outside. Bill comes out. PRIEST Good to see you, Bill. How’s the hunting? BILL As good as ever. Beat Jack two geese out of three. Sheriff Donnelly comes over his hat off his head. DONNELLY Bill? Bill turns facing the Sheriff. BILL Sheriff. Sheriff Donnelly looks hesitant with bad news.
8. INT. CAR - AFTERNOON Bill is driving following the Sheriff in his car. DONNELLY (VO) Landlord found her when he came to collect the rent. The apartment was disgusting, almost unlivable. Bill wipes his eyes. BILL (VO) Is she alive? DONNELLY We don’t know and since your the only family, they called for you. Bill looks determined. INT. POLICE STATION - AFTERNOON Bill stands in front of a door. Sheriff Donnelly is front of him. DONNELLY You all right with this? Bill nods not really sure. DONNELLY How longs it been? BILL How longs what been? DONNELLY Look I know this is sensitive, but how longs it been since you seen her? Bill thinks about it. BILL Since, Ellen’s funeral. Five years give or take. I’m fine, with this. Donnelly nods. DONNELLY I’ll go and talk with the officer and give you two a couple of minutes. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 9. BILL Thanks, Don. Donnelly, pats, Bill’s shoulder. Bill rubs his hand through his hair, he wipes his face. He enters the room. INT. INTERROGATION ROOM - AFTERNOON Follow, Bill, into the room. He stands with the door open. BILL Hi. He shuts the door. A little girl 4 years old sits at the table eating a sandwich like she hasn’t eaten in days. BILL Your, Sarah’s, little girl? She says nothing, just stares at Bill like the stranger he is. Bill pulls out the chair in front of the little girl watching her. BILL It’s okay. You can eat. Go on now. She is hesitant at first before digging in. She is the spitting image of, Sarah. BILL Look, um. (himself) Come on, bill. The little girl chews on bits of her sandwich. BILL I’m your grandpa. The little girl stops chewing looks at, Bill for a moment before continuing eating. She keeps eating. A beat.
10. INT. POLICE STATION - AFTERNOON Bill, comes out of the room. Donnelly back and waiting for him. DONNELLY Her name is Abbie. She’s four. Doesn’t talk much. BILL Where’s Sarah, Where’s my daughter? DONNELLY They don’t know. They were staying at a hotel. One of those cheap dives in the next town. Donnelly looks hesitant to mention the next part. BILL Spit it out, Don. DONNELLY She was selling herself, Bill. Been arrested 2 times in the last 6 months. Say, Gillian, you know him? BILL That dumb ass she was with? DONNELLY Apparently, He ran her. Bill looks angry and sad his hand over his mouth. DONNELLY I know its alot to take in. BILL Do they know where she is? DONNELLY Abbie was in that room 3 days before she was found. No, trace of, Sarah, or Gillian. There searching for her. Bill stares through the doors window at, Abbie. BILL What about her, Abbie?
11. EXT. ROAD - AFTERNOON Bills, truck driving up the road heading home. DONNELLY (VO) The only kin she has is you. She’s yours if you want her. BILL (VO) And if I don’t. DONNELLY (VO) Well, she’ll go back with the officers and most likely go with social services. INT. TRUCK - AFTERNOON Bill, driving his eyes on the road, every few seconds he looks over at the seat beside him. BILL (VO) I’ll take her. Abbie is fast asleep laying in the seat beside, Bill. He smiles while looking at her. BILL (VO) You call me the minute they find her, Don. DONNELLY (VO) Your doing the right thing, Bill. Bill keeps his eyes on the road. EXT. OUTSIDE HOME - AFTERNOON Bill gets out of his truck moving around to the passenger side. Opening the door, he picks up, Abbie. Carriers her into his mobile home. INT. HOME - AFTERNOON He moves through the tidy home. Things look well put together. He moves past the kitchen and living room through the small hall. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 12. BEDROOM: He lays her in bed, he covers her up. He stands up staring at little, Abbie. Fast asleep after a long morning. KITCHEN: Bill, is cooking on the stove. Some soup in a big pot. He is stirring it’s content when a knock hits his door. BILL Whose is it? JACK Me. BILL It’s open. The door opens and Jack comes in looking cleaned up, in actual clothes and not hunting gear. BILL Wow, look at you. Where you headed off too? JACK I told you this morning. I got a date with that lovely waitress who works at Archies shop. Bill smirks. BILL That’s right, the nice one. Blue eyed girl. JACK I came by to make sure you, okay. BILL Why wouldn’t I be? JACK News travels fast. Say you taking care of a girl. That she’s, Sarah’s. BILL The gossip in this town - (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 13. JACK Is it true? BILL So what if it is!? JACK I’m just asking, Bill. A kids a lot of responsibility. BILL I know, I raised one remember! JACK I’m here to help you if need be. Bill takes a seat his hands through his slick hair again. BILL There is something you can do. You still have that friend over in the next town. JACK Yeah, Edward Higgs. Walks with the limp. BILL You think you can tell him to look at for, Sarah, for me? JACK Of course. He owes me a favor or two. BILL I owe you one. JACK No, Jack you don’t. You take care, I’ll be round tomorrow. Maybe you can introduce me to the little lady. BILL Get out of here. Jack smirks leaving. Bill sits there with his eyes on the pot stewing. He takes out his old tired looking wallet, a picture crumbled in one of the wallets pockets. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 14. Bill and Sarah, 10. She is on a horse and he is holding onto her, both smiling happily. CUT TO: Moments later,... Bill moves to a closest. He opens it. In it is a chest. He opens the chest, girl toys. Girl things inside. A little stuffed toy, a doll. BILL Jelly belly. Bill smiles as he closes the chest and leaves the closest with the toy. CUT TO: Later,... Abbie peeking round the corner, as Bill is setting out the plates for the soup. Bill sees her peeking. BILL Hello little, Abbie. Are you hungry? Come here. Bill gestures, Abbie over. He pours soup into her bowl and into his own. Abbie is still hesitant. Bill grabs the doll from the table slowly heading over to, Abbie who stays peeked behind the wall. Bill bends down just before the wall. He raises Jelly Belly shaking it in front of the girl, peeking her interest. BILL You like that? It use to belong to your mommma. Bill holds it out for her, but she doesn’t take it. BILL CONTINUED (happily) She use to hold it, take it everywhere she went. I had to pray it out her hands one day just so she would let it go. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 15. Bill looks at with a loving memory. BILL I think it right if you have it. Here, Your mama named it, Jelly Belly. Abbie eases out taking the doll in hand. BILL You look just like her you know, your momma. Bill stands up watching, Abbie, playing with the doll. BILL You hungry? You got to be hungry, I made something your momma use to love and bout the only real thing I knows how make. Abbie nods holding out a hand. Bill looks at it and smiles taking, Abbie’s hand and leading her to the kitchen table. Bill sits her down at the table and he moves to his side sitting. She is too small, barley able to see over the table. Bill smirks at this, glancing around. CUT TO: Bill is sitting and eating his soup with bread. Abbie, is up high sitting on a bunch of books. She is sipping her soup. BILL Good? Abbie nods sipping soup and then giving some to, Jelly Belly. They both sit there in silence eating. Bill, looking at, Abbie, every few seconds with a smirk. MOMENTS LATER,... Bill is washing the dishes, Abbie is still at the table playing silently with, Jelly Belly. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 16. Bill wipes his hands. BILL You sleepy? Abbie, shakes her head. BILL Want to watch some T.V. I aint got much channels. Just the news and a couple old style stations. Abbie, again shakes her head. Bill is in thought. BILL I know. Do you like hot some hot chocolate? Abbie, nods: Yes. BILL The sky’s clear tonight. The stars are going to be out, you wanna drink hot chocolate and watch the stars. ABBIE Yes! Bill gestures her over. BILL Want to help me make it. Abbie jumps off the books and slowly comes over to, Bill. He pulls out the packets to make hot chocolate. EXT. OUTSIDE HOME - NIGHT Bill comes outside holding two cups of hot chocolate the steam rising from the mugs. He also has a blanket thrown over his arm. Abbie comes out staring up at the sky. BILL Hold on, wait for me. He lays down the mugs on the hood of his truck, opening the flatbed, laying the blanket down. He grabs the drinks and sits in the back. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 17. BILL Up here? Abbie nods: Yes: He picks her up and sits her and Jelly Belly on the back of the truck. BILL Here, be careful its hot. Abbie takes the mug slowly sipping it. BILL I use to sit out here with your grandma, Ellen. ABBIE Grandma? BILL She long since passed on, but before she did. I use to love the being out here with her. Just staring up. Watching the first snow fall. ABBIE What about mommy? Bill glances up the thought not a happy one and back to, Abbie. BILL She was in to other things. The stars didn’t impress her much. Abbie, sips at the hot coco. BILL (hesitant) Do you know where your mama is? ABBIE No, she told me to wait for her and I wait. But, she never came. BILL Who did she leave with, Gillian? Abbie looks at, Bill. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 18. ABBIE (softly) I don’t think so. Abbie again drinks her coco. BILL Did she ever tell you about me? Your, mama? She shakes her head: No. Bill takes a sip of his coco. BILL You can lay back if you want, see the stars better that way. Bill lays back sitting his coco down. Abbie does the same thing. ABBIE Those, those all stars? BILL Most of them. You see that one there. That one is called the, Abbie star. EXT. SKY - NIGHT Dozens of stars sparkle in the night. Dozens of them all shaped and formed in different manners. ABBIE After me? BILL Yeah, its named after you. It’s that big bright one. His finger comes into view pointing at the star in the sky that is the brightest. ABBIE Who named it?
19. EXT. BACK OF TRUCK - NIGHT Bill laying still looking up at the sky, Abbie laying beside him, just not too close. BILL I did. I named that star after you. And you see the two little stars by it. ABBIE Yeah. BILL One is named after your mama, and the other after your grandma. ABBIE Ellen? BILL That’s right. So whenever you feel like they aren’t there with you. You just look up and find those three stars and you can see them. Abbie smiles. ABBIE Tell me more. BILL More? okay. His voice trails off. A guitar starts to play. EXT. SKY - NIGHT The night sky once again. This time speed up a bit. Showing the stars moving slowly to the right as the earth moves. A progression of time. EXT. BACK OF TRUCK - NIGHT Bill is talking just running his mouth telling tales. Abbie reaches over and hugs him with her eyes closed, causing him to stop. She fell asleep.
20. Bill is smiling, happy. INT. HOME - NIGHT Bill enters the mobile home, Abbie held in his arms. She is fast asleep. He moves away from the kitchen and the living room. Down the small hall to the bedroom. He lays her down once again, placing the blanket over her. She is a sleeping angel. He backs up shutting the door behind him. CUT TO: KITCHEN: He is washing the dishes. He wipes his hands and he moves to the living room. He sits on the couch, turning on the T.V watching some old cowboy show. He slowly falls asleep. INT. SHOP - MORNING Bill enters a clothing store, followed by, Abbie still in her clothes she was found in. The store clerk smiles seeing, Bill come in. ALICE,30, walks around the counter. ALICE Hello, Bill. BILL Alice. ALICE Whose this beautiful little girl? Your granddaughter? BILL Gossip spreads quicker than horse shit, in this town. Abbie closes her ears. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 21. ALICE You can’t say those words to a young girl. Bill rolls his eyes. BILL Where are your girl clothes? ALICE Over there. Bill and Abbie move to the girl clothes, picking through several dresses and pants, and shirts. He places a sunflower hat on, Abbie who laughs. She lays the hat on Jelly Belly. He stares out the window seeing a man who doesn’t look like he is from these parts walk past the shop. Beard, and long hair. Tattoos over his arm. Bill, shakes it off. The guitar still plays,... EXT. STREET - AFTERNOON Bill and Abbie are walking past a pet store. Cats clawing at the window, babies. Abbie starts jumping up and down at the window, pulling on Bill’s hand, leading him into the pet shop. EXT. OUTSIDE HOME - AFTERNOON Bill gets out carrying bags with clothes for Abbie, moving to the back of the truck where a proper dinner chair sits. Abbie, gets out carrying a little white cat with her. CUT TO: Abbie is in the front yard running around with the little cat chasing her. Bill, in a rocking chair watching her and laughing as the little cat does all it can to catch up with her. Abbie, on the floor the cat walking on top of her and she laughing at it.
22. INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT Bill and Abbie sitting. She is in her new chair smiling happily. The cat in the corner drinking milk from a bowl. Macaroni and cheese in their bowls. BILL Good? ABBIE Delicious! Right, Jelly Belly? Abbie holds the doll making it nod in agreement. LIVING ROOM: The guitar dies away. Bill is sitting the couch, Abbie snuggled next to him. Watching some kids movie on T.V. ABBIE How come mama never brought me here before? Bill is hesitant. BILL I think that’s something for you to ask her when you see her. ABBIE I miss her. Bill, pulls, Abbie close hugging her. BILL I do too. Bill holds her, both watching the Television. FADE OUT: INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT FADE IN: Bill, fast asleep on the couch. The television is on some old cowboy show. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 23. BAM! The screen door slams shut, waking him from his slumber. BILL Ellen!? Bill shakes the words from his mouth, he stands up seeing the front door open. BILL What in the world? Bill remembers, Abbie. He gets up from the couch he glances around, she is not there. He runs to the room, the doors open and Abbie is gone. BILL Abbie!? Abbie!? Bill rushes outside. EXT. OUTSIDE HOME - NIGHT Bill’s truck sits out side lighted by the nights moonlight. BILL Abbie! Bill rushes down the steps. BILL (yelling) Abbie! Bill sees something ahead moving in the woods. BILL Abbie! Bill rushes off into the woods. EXT. WOODS - NIGHT Bill is stumbling through the woods. BILL Goddammit! (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 24. He stumbles grabbing on to a tree searching for, Abbie. His feet almost falling over on himself. He stops. Left and right, straight ahead, he doesn’t know which way to go. A scream! Bill runs right heading towards the creek. BILL I’m coming! Abbie! Bill moves past the trees, stopping. Jelly Belly on the ground. He picks Jelly belly rushing forward. EXT. CREEK - NIGHT Bill comes out of the trees. Abbie is standing held by a man, the same man with long hair and tattoos he had seen in town earlier. BIG JIM Whoa, there papa bear. BILL Let her go, Goddammit! Bill rushes forward. Big Jim lifts his arm a gun in his hand. BIG JIM Slow down, pops. We gots us something to discuss. And you don’t seem the type of man who would have listened to me If i would’ve knocked on your door. BILL (out of breath) It’s all right, sweetheart, I’m going to get you. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 25. BIG JIM Yeah, its all right, Abbie. BILL Who are you and what do you want? BIG JIM People tend to listen when you wave a big gun around. (chuckles) I’m Jim Reed. Or as I’m known Big Jim. BILL Get on with it. What do you want? Abbie stays silent. Her tears running down her cheek. BIG JIM Where’s your daughter, Bill? BILL How the hell should I know. I haven’t seen her in years. BIG JIM I don’t think you want to be lying to me. Big Jim points the gun at, Abbie’s head drawing a circle with the tip. BILL Stop pointing that gun at my granddaughter! Point it at me! Big Jim does so. BILL I haven’t seen her. Me and her don’t exactly get along too well. BIG JIM I heard. But, I know family, Bill. I come to town looking for her and low and behold you got her daughter. Why would you have her if you don’t get along? BILL Police brought her to me. I’m the only kin she has. Now let her go? Big Jim thinks over his options. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 26. BIG JIM She owes a debt and that debt has to be paid. BILL I’ll pay it. How much. Big Jim laughs a hearty laugh. BIG JIM More than you can probably pay, papa bear. BILL I was in the army. I’ve been saving money. I have it. BIG JIM Twenty thousand. three days. Bill shakes his head in agreement: Yes. BILL I have it that I promise you. BIG JIM Three days. I’m coming back, either we get the money or we get your daughter. BILL I’ll have the money. BIG JIM I’m hoping you don’t. Maybe, might even take this lovely lady. Big Jim smells, Abbie. BIG JIM She might make me a lot of money when the time comes. BILL three days. Not here. When you come into town, there’s a creek. BIG JIM Yeah. BILL Will meet there. Away from my home. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 27. BIG JIM At 5 right before dinner. If you’re five seconds late, I’ll walk up here and put bullets in her, and you. Big Jim pushes her forward, his gun still pointed at Bill. Bill moves forward grabbing, Abbie who opens her arms wide and hugs Bill, her tears running. BIG JIM Three days, papa bear. Big Jim slowly moves back and disappears into the darkness. ABBIE I’m sorry, Grandpa. I thought it was mama. Bill holds on to Abbie, staring into the darkness that Big Jim disappeared too. BILL It’s not your fault sweetheart. Bill gets up holding, Abbie, and heading back to the house. The sound eases out. Bill struggling to make it through the forest with, Abbie, in his hands. He holds her tightly, pushing against the trees. JACK (VO) You don’t have that kind of money, Bill. BILL I know. JACK What about, Donnelly? BILL What about him? You know what these people do. He put a gun to her head. I’ll have to settle this.
28. EXT. OUTSIDE HOME - NIGHT Bill walking passed his truck up the steps to his mobile home. The screen door slams shut behind him. JACK How? How you going to settle it, Bill? INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT Bill is laying, Abbie down in bed. He covers her up and heads out. She stops him. Holding out for him. ABBIE Grandpa!? stay with me till I fall asleep. Bill nods. He moves to the other side of the bed and sits down watching, Abbie as she moves closer to him, closing her eyes. BILL Thing is. I never stood up for my family before. I was a drunk. I was hated, probably from both Ellen and Sarah. Bill rubs, Abbie’s head. He stares to the door of the bedroom. A shadow moves. CUT TO: He’s up. He moves to the closet of his room. His rifle, removing it and heading out of the room. BILL You’re a good man, Jack. Always been. Not me. I wish I would have treated them better and maybe this is a way I can help. LIVING ROOM: Bill holds up his rifle finger on the trigger. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 29. It’s Jack. Jack is holding up his hands. CUT TO: Moments later,.. Jack is sitting at the kitchen table. Bill is making coffee for them both. JACK You don’t even know these guys. BILL They want my family. That’s enough. JACK Go to Donnely. Bill sits a cup of coffee in front of Jack sitting opposite him. Bill takes a sip of the coffee still a little too hot. BILL He’s nothing, but a small town sheriff. Say, he arrest this guy. What’s to say he’s not the only one looking. I bought some time this time, but, next time you think that’s going to work? I don’t. JACK Maybe, Sarah knows. BILL No one can find her. Jack sips his coffee hesitant, takes a sigh. JACK I did. I found her. Well, old Higgs found her. Bill’s upset. BILL Where? JACK Calm down, bill. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 30. BILL Jack, Where is she? JACK Higgs followed her into town. She’s staying at that cheap motel, by the bar. BILL Old Cheany road? JACK Yeah, that’s the one. Bill stands up rifle in hand. JACK Where you going? Bill puts on his jacket, his hat. BILL I got to get. Speak to her find out what the hell shes done. Why, she would leave that little girl in a hole for 3 days. Jack stands up halting, Bill. JACK Don’t you think you should wait, take a breath. She doesn’t want to see you I imagine. BILL I want to see her. Please, Thank you for this Jack. Can you watch her please. JACK The kid? BILL She’s asleep. If she wakes up. Give her this. Bill grabs Jelly Belly off the counter tossing it to, Jack. BILL Tell her I’ll be back. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 31. JACK Fine. but, I’m fixing me something to eat. Bill pats Jack’s shoulder as he leaves. Jack staring around the room, as The truck outside starts up and screeches out of the driveway. Jack moves to the couch with his coffee sitting down, the Television is still on. EXT. STREET - NIGHT Tree’s pass lighted by the dozens of stars sparkling in the sky. Bill’s truck speeding down the street. The sound of a knock on the door. Another knock. INT. TRUCK - NIGHT Bill looks in his glove compartment, a handgun. He gets it and puts it in his belt. EXT. MOTEL PARKING LOT - NIGHT Bill parks his truck. The parking lot isn’t that full. The motel is run down and looks to be home for prostitution. Another knock. EXT. OUTSIDE ROOM 16 - NIGHT Bill is knocking on the door to room 16. The door opens. A man opens the door in his underwear. MAN What the hell do you want!? Bill looks passed the man seeing, Sarah on the bed. Passed out. Bill lifts the gun at the man. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 32. BILL Did you pay her? MAN No. BILL Pay her and leave! The man goes into the room grabbing his pants, removing his wallet. Bill enters with his gun still on the man. INT. MOTEL - NIGHT The man takes out money laying it on the dresser. He grabs his clothes and heads for the door. MAN This aint right. I aint finished with her. Bill turns around the gun held up. BILL You’re lucky to be walking out of here. Bill shuts the doors on the man who mumbles away. Bill lowers his gun. He turns finding, Sarah, Naked on the bed passed out. Bottles of liquor spread around, a syringe and needle next to her cash. Bill walks over to her, falling, almost tripping. He covers his mouth. BILL Sarah? Bill voice muffles. He crawls to the bed weakly. He shakes her and she shushes him away like a fly. He gets the blanket covering her. He lays back against the wall. He is looking at her and she is faced his way, her eyes closed, passed out from the drugs. Her arm is out. It’s scared by needles. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 33. Bill sees this getting up from the wall. He rest her arm near her, her face is a bit bruised. Bill sits on the edge of the bed wiping his tears. BILL It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have let you walk out that door. I should have fought for you. I should have begged you to stay. Bill looks over, Sarah. BILL CONTINUED I’ve never been a father to you and I regret that. I guess I should tell you this when you wake up. I’m sure you’ll be mad as hell at me being here. Bill chuckles lightly at the thought. BILL I am sorry. INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT Jack is walking around the living room. He opens the closet. The chest. JACK You hoarder. He moves an old Jacket. Behind on a wooden shelf are two rows of unopened liquor bottles. JACK Jeez, Bill’s got a stash. Jack looks at one going over opening it. ABBIE (OS) (sleepily) Grandpa? Jack puts the bottle back, shutting the closet. JACK You must be, Abbie. Abbie looks scared. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 34. ABBIE Grandpa!? JACK It’s okay. I’m a friend of your, Grandpa’s. I’m Jack. Jack comes over bending down holding out his hand. ABBIE Jack. JACK Abbie. Abbie shakes his hand. ABBIE Where’s grandpa? JACK Getting your ma. ABBIE They found her? Jack smiles weakly. JACK Yeah, they found her. Now, enough talk. Its past your bedtime. Jack gestures her back into the bedroom. She gets on the bed covers up. JACK Night. ABBIE Can you tell me a story? Jack stops stepping back, he sits on the edge of the bed. JACK I don’t think I know any stories worth telling. ABBIE How did you meet grandpa? Jack chuckles rubbing his face. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 35. JACK That’s the story you want to hear? You sure? Abbie shakes her head covering up tight. JACK It was 8 years ago. I was in this rinky dink bar on the edge of town. ABBIE Grandpa was there? JACK Yeah. Back then, and don’t tell him I told you this, but he was drinker. So was I. Jack smiles thinking about it. JACK Well, I had a smart mouth back than. Fought anyone who said something I didn’t like. So I started arguing with these two guys. Yelling and cursing. We got peoples attention. ABBIE Were they big guys? JACK Biggest guys you’d ever see. Anyway, fist were thrown I was on the losing end. And one of the big guys breaks a bottle and goes at me on the floor with it. ABBIE it’s sharp? JACK Very sharp. Would have killed me probably. Guy was aiming straight for my throat. Your grandpa came out of no where. Punched the guy down with one hit, he saved me. He got me up and drove me home. Abbie smiles. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 36. JACK We’ve been friends ever since. INT. MOTEL - NIGHT BATHROOM: Bill sitting on the edge of the tub, Sarah wrapped in the blanket throwing up into the toilet. JACK (VO) Despite what might be said, Bill, your granddaddy is a good man. He’s been hard headed, sure. He’s done some things he isn’t proud of, but, when you need him, he’s there. Bill slowly rises with, Sarah, moving and helping her back to the bed. She is barley awake. Barley able to walk without his help. He lays her on the bed covering her up. Bill moves taking a seat in the green dirty looking recliner, sitting back his eyes never leaving his daughter. JACK (VO) I hung around him at first cause I figured I owed him. Figured one day that debt be paid and I would go. ABBIE Your still here. JACK (VO) Honestly, Your grandpa’s my best friend. A lot of people in this town are old school. Gossip and two face. Not him. He tells it like it is and doesn’t care. ABBIE Are you his best friend? JACK (VO) (chuckles) Yeah, I believe I am. Bill’s eyes tearing up as he sits with the rifle on his lap, his eyes moving from, Sarah, to the door. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 37. BILL Good night, Abbie. INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT Jack is up, Abbie, is asleep once more. He looks back at her with a look of wonderment. JACK Night. ABBIE (sleepily) Night, grandpa. Jack turns away heading for the door and leaving, Abbie to her dreams. A beat. On, Abbie, just sleeping. The low guitar plays. EXT. MOTEL - MORNING The motel just as the sun is rising in the morning. The sky is still dark with a hint of blue breaking through. The morning fog pushes its way around the motel and the town. It has a quite somberness to it. A beat. INT. MOTEL ROOM - MORNING Bill is asleep in his chair, his rifle held firm in his hand still pointed at the door. There’s movement on the bed. Sarah, slowly rises up keeping herself covered. She stares around, find her clothes and slowly starts getting dressed. Bra, Panties, shirt, pants. She is up wobbling at first, she holds her head. A headache coming and going. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 38. BATHROOM: She moves to the sink running the water she takes a gulp with her hand. She then moves splashing her face with water. Bill slowly wakes from the sound. He turns seeing she is awake, she is out of bed and in the bathroom. He stands from his chair. Sarah wipes her face, as Bill stands up his reflection in the mirror. Her face goes to horror. She turns. She yells. She screams. She rushes at Bill, who puts down his rifle. She comes at him, smacking him. Pushing him. Trying her hardest to get a hit in. He holds her, pushes her back. She continues to thrash at him, yelling while she does it. He grabs her hand. He turns her around. He holds her, like a father should. Against the wall, he eases down with her as she begins to cry. The music eases,... SARAH (crying) Why? Why are you here? BILL For you. I came to get my daughter. Sarah cries, her tears pour from her face. BILL I’m sorry. You have to know that. You have to. Bill holds her close, she gives up trying to struggle and just cries. A beat.
39. INT. BEDROOM - MORNING Abbie is awake, the sun coming through the window in just the right way. Abbie, yawns, stretching. Feet on the ground she stands up. Her eyes just wander over every inch of the room. To the dresser, with pictures and papers on it. Her hand glides over the dresser, her fingers barley touching as she passes. Abbie, stops, opening the drawers. Clothes, socks. She comes across a photo album, something tucked under the socks. She sits on the edge of the bed, opening it. The cat runs around playing with a sock on the floor. The first page is his sober coins 1 month, 1 year. The seconded is a obituary. Ellen Dahlia Grove. She turns the page and finds, Bill, with Sarah on his shoulder when she was little. Several other photos of Sarah and Bill. Ellen and Bill. Ellen and Sarah, standing by a tree in their best dresses. She stops finding a picture of all of them together. Bill standing in his hunting gear, Sarah,15, and Ellen all smiling looking happy. INT. MOTEL ROOM - MORNING Sarah is up her hands are shaking as she tries to light a cigarette. She can’t and tosses it down. SARAH What are you doing here, Bill? BILL I came for you. SARAH Why!? I hate you or did you forget? Bill shakes his head. BILL I didn’t forget. I just - I want you to come home. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 40. Sarah chuckles passing back and forth at the absurdity of the idea. SARAH I have no home. BILL I know you been through a rough time, And I know its too late to get the time back. I’m just sorry about how I was back than. You know I changed. I’m different know. Sarah scoffs reaching and trying to light another cigarette, unable. SARAH (whispers) I don’t care. BILL What? SARAH (yelling) I don’t care! You think you coming in here telling me you sorry for how much of an asshole you were going to change things? BILL No. SARAH Good, because it doesn’t. BILL But, I figured it was start. Sarah puts the cigarette away. She sits on the edge of the bed. SARAH I needed you years ago, I don’t need you now! BILL I know it will take time, but,I have changed, I stopped drinking, I’m 4 years clean now. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 41. SARAH Bravo for you. Sarah uses one hand to hold the cigarette the other to use the lighter. She lights it. Bill moves close to, Sarah, who holds her hands up not wanting him near her. He grabs the chair pulling it close sitting on it. BILL I know I made mistakes. Believe me. I know, I hurt you, I hurt your mom. Bill reaches out to touch, Sarah’s, hand she draws back. BILL I was a good dad once, wasn’t I. I took you to the fair, we rode that horse. I remember, you were so scared and excited. I picked you up, placed you on there and your mamma just snapped away. Bill reaches into his pocket pulling the picture out. BILL I carry it with me everywhere. Bill holds it showing the picture to, Sarah, who shrugs her shoulders. SARAH What happened to you? Sarah stands up with her cigarette. BILL I told you - SARAH You use to be a man. Now, look at you. Your showing pictures, crying. Why don’t you just get the fuck out of here!? Bill turns in his chair facing, Sarah. BILL I understand. When I was growing up, maybe 8 or 9. There was this (MORE) (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 42. BILL (cont’d) girl, I think 7. She was always outside tossing rocks at her own home. Denting the mobile home without a care. Bill stirs in his seat. BILL CONTINUED Well, one day. I’m outside and see her just tossing rock after rock. So, I go up to her and I say. "Everyday I see you out here throwing rocks, why?" Bill has, Sarah’s, attention. He mimics picking up this rock and throwing it. BILL CONTINUED Just as I ask it. She picks up a rock tosses through the window of the mobile home. Glass shattered. Her daddy comes hooting and hollering belt in his hand ready to put that poor girl down. She looks at me and smiles. Bill moves to the edge of his seat. BILL CONTINUED She says. "Because, they only notice me when I’m bad." that was it. Her daddy pulled her inside and for a moment I could hear the belt echo as it hit her. It always got me to wondering, maybe that’s how life is. Maybe, sometimes we have to be bad to get noticed. SARAH You don’t know me. Your not my father! Bill stands up. BILL You can hate me all you want. I’m here and I love you. You have a daughter who loves you. You forget about her? (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 43. SARAH Abbie? BILL She’s at the house. I’ll take you to her, but no more of this. Bill points to the needles. Sarah’s eyes water. SARAH I thought I lost her. She wasn’t there. I thought he took her. BILL They brought her to me. I’ve been handling her. We get on pretty good. She has Jelly Belly. Sarah chuckles lightly through tears. BILL Come on. We can talk on the way. And tonight over dinner. Sarah nods. Bill grabs his rifle opening the door. Sarah walking out into the morning air, Bill follows. INT. TRUCK - MORNING Bill driving up the road. Sarah arms crossed looking like an angry child in the next seat. Bill smiles watching her. JACK (VO) Welcome home, Sarah. Long time. SARAH (VO) Nice to see, Jack.
44. EXT. OUTSIDE HOME - MORNING The truck pulls up. The fog still rolling off the mobile home and mud. Bill, and, Sarah, get out heading up to the mobile home. Jack opens the door with a huge smile. INT. HOME - MORNING Sarah enters looking around at how things have changed. SARAH Where is she? JACK In the room. Playing with Jelly Belly or the cat. Sarah moves slow heading to the room. Bill shakes Jacks hand. JACK You got her, huh? BILL I got her home. I wanted to thank you, Jack. Your a better friend than I deserve. JACK Don’t make me all misty eyed before I have to open the shop. BILL You aint late on account of me are you? JACK That’s the pleasure of owning your own shop. I can do what i want. Jack pats, Bill on the shoulder. BILL I talk to you later. Bill glances back, Sarah is moving slow through the hall.
45. INT. BEDROOM - MORNING Sarah is on the bed laying down. Jelly Belly has flying powers and is on her way to a party. ABBIE Jelly Belly, were going to be late. The party starts at breakfast. Sarah, peeks her head in watching her little girl playing with her doll. She can’t help, but smile. Bill comes up behind her. BILL (whisper) It’s okay. Shes been waiting for you. I told her, her mother would be back for her. Sarah moves forward, bill now peeking in. SARAH Hey, baby. Abbie stops what she is doing, surprise all over her face. She gets up rushing on her mom. ABBIE I missed you. SARAH I missed you too, baby. I missed you so much. Sarah rubs, Abbie’s head holding her tight. Bill smiling as they both hold one another. He slowly backs away. CUT TO: KITCHEN: Bill is frying bacon, scrambling eggs. Boiling water for grits. He sets out 3 plates, 3 cups filled with orange juice. A little cup of coffee for himself. He lays the food on the plates, spoons and forks next to them. He wipes his hands, heading to the bedroom. The cat sitting sipping milk from a bowl happily. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 46. BEDROOM: SARAH When I started school I tried to take, Jelly Belly with me. ABBIE He loves school. SARAH I know he does, but they wouldn’t let me take him. Teacher even wrote a letter to your grandma, telling her I can’t have it in school. ABBIE So he stayed home and waited? SARAH Your grandma, went to the school storming. She had a beast inside her. Told the teacher off, and after that Jelly Belly was with me everyday. Bill knocks. BILL Who wants breakfast? ABBIE Grandpa! Abbie jumps off the bed running over and hugging, Bill. BILL You hungry, little lady. I made eggs, grits and bacon. ABBIE I wove bacon! Bill chuckles. BILL Go on than, before it gets cold and I have to heat it up for you. Abbie runs to the kitchen. BILL And don’t feed that cat too much. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 47. Sarah gets up from the bed, scratching her arm where the needle marks sit. SARAH I want to thank you for taking care of, Abbie, for me. BILL She’s my granddaughter, I do anything for her. SARAH I think after breakfast were going to be heading out. Bill is angry at this. BILL Come again. SARAH I can’t stay here. Bill shuts the door to the room. BILL You’re in trouble, you know this right? I had a man come up here tattoos all over. Wanting money or wanting, Abbie. SARAH Big Jim? BILL Now, he was serious. He put a gun to her head. This aint no life for you or her. SARAH it’s the life I know. She goes to walk past, but, Bill grabs her arm. BILL This could be your life. You, her, and I, here. A family. SARAH I’m not having her here with you. Not so you can disappoint her too. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 48. BILL Dammit, Sarah! I gave all that up. Jack can attest. I go to church. I volunteer. I’m not the man I once was. Sarah’s eyes water. SARAH That’s all see when I look at you. That man. That hate I have for you. It won’t leave. BILL It’ll take time, but maybe one day you’ll feel different. Stay for a week, and if you like it. Just stay until you don’t. Sarah scratches her arm again. BILL You need to get off that first. SARAH I can’t. BILL If this old drunk can stop drinking, anything can be done. I’m here for you, shes here for you. Sarah says nothing. BILL You know, your mamma be proud of that little girl. She so sweet and beautiful like you. Sarah nods. Bill letting her pass. BILL Stay with me. CUT TO: KITCHEN: There all sitting. Eating food. The sound is gone. Bill, makes faces at happy making her laugh. A walrus, with the spoons. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 49. Sarah watching them trying not to smile, but unable to help it. They all eat. music plays,... EXT. OUTSIDE HOME - AFTERNOON Bill sitting in his rocking chair. Sarah and Abbie running around the yard running after one another. The little cat following and chasing them as well. ABBIE Come on, Grandpa! Bill gets up coming after, Abbie. Both girls laughing. INT. TRUCK - AFTERNOON Bill driving smiling happily. The girls sitting beside him. A family. Abbie clapping her hands, Sarah, just staring out the window. The road ahead is open. EXT. TOWN - AFTERNOON Bill is walking with a few bags of clothes for, Sarah, a new doll for Abbie. Sarah is wearing a new dress that she seems to fit well in and likes. EXT. CHURCH - MORNING Bill, out his truck, Sarah, and Abbie follow. Sarah, in one of her knew Sunday dresses, Abbie in the same. People come up and smile at them. Some wave.
50. INT. CHURCH - MORNING Bill sitting with his family. Abbie sitting on, Sarah’s lap staring at the light coming in through the multi colored window. Bill sitting watching them both, he is happy. SARAH (VO) I can’t do this! I can’t! BILL You can. You have it in you. EXT. JACK’S SHOP - DUSK Jack removing his keys from his pocket closing up shop, locking the door for the night. 3 tough looking S.O.B’s come trolling over, one is Big Jim. BIG JIM Howdy. Jack locks the door. JACK Howdy. Were closed for the night. Come back tommorrow between 8 and 5 and you’ll find us open. Big Jim smirks pointing his finger at, Jack with a look of recongition. BIG JIM I know you, right? Jack looks them all over, tattos, biker like. JACK Sorry, I think I would remember meeting any of you. BIG JIM Wait, I know you, I’m sure of it. JACK I don’t think so. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 51. BIG JIM You’re, Bill’s, friend. JACK That’s right, but I’ve never met you. BIG JIM I’m Jim. Big jim punches, Jack in the face. Jack tries to hit back, but all three of them pummel him. They take him down, kicking him and punching him at the floor. His hand is raised as if reaching for help where no would be found. The men back off. Big Jim stands over the bloody faced, Jack. BIG JIM You tell papa bear that he better meet us at that creek. If not,... them girls going to be raped and sold to the sleazy’s bastard we can find. Jack groans on the floor. BIG JIM We want the money or the girl. Big Jim punches, Jack, one last time in the face before he and his two buddies walk away laughing. Jack on the floor spitting blood from his mouth, his eye swollen. INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT Bill, is sitting with his daughter. She is shivering, but awake. BILL Your doing good, sweetheart. All that junk is leaving your body. Soon, you’ll feel right at rain. Sarah has tears dropping down. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 52. SARAH I can’t. BILL If I could do it, you sure as hell can. Sarah gives a look of curiousity. BILL I was a heavy drinker. I went through this. The shakes, the headaches, the vomit. I got it all. Bill gestures to the closet. BILL You open that closet, there is a hole in the wall that big. Jack had to stop me from digging my head into it. Sarah chuckles. BILL You think the pain wont stop. That nothing else could feel worse, but it does, and there are. Sarah’s face shows shes in pain. BILL I tried to find you, you know. After I got better. After I quit the drink. SARAH (weakly) What happened? BILL I saw you. You were staying at some hotel. I followed you and saw you carrying her. She must have just been born. I was tempted to come to you, to tell you I was sorry than. That I had done wrong, that I wanted you back if not here in my life. Bill rubs his cheeks. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 53. BILL CONTINUED Than, I got to second guessing myself. Told myself you hated me too much. That maybe you and her were better off without me near. Bill sees Sarah, staring at him. BILL I regretted it the minute I drove away. Hell, the minute I told you to leave. And I know, i know its going to take time. I just wanted you to know how glad I am your here now. Sarah nods. A knock on the front door. Bill gets up. LIVING ROOM: Bill passes Abbie gesturing for her to stay silent. BILL Whose there? JACK Me. Bill opens the door, Jack, falls down inside. BILL Dammit, boy, what happened to you? Abbie looks scared. BILL Jack’s okay, why dont you talk with your momma before she falls asleep. Abbie gets up and heads to the room. Bill pulls Jack up on his feet moving him to the kitchen table. He gets a rag with water and some ice from the fridge and sit it on the table. BILL Who did this? (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 54. JACK Same man who visited you couple nights ago. Bill, wraps the cloth with ice and puts it to, Jacks face. BILL I’m sorry, this happened to you. JACK I’ve been through worse. BILL Stay here tonight. Your face aint that bad. JACK The ladies at the bar will be glad to hear it. BILL (joking) You werent that good looking to begin with. Bill stares at, Jack, at what they did to him. You can see a hint of anger. INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT Sarah is in bed with a loss of color, freezing cold, and sweating at the same time. LIVING ROOM: Jack is sitting at the dinner table with, Abbie. ABBIE is mommy okie? JACK Just the flu. Your grandpa’s going to make her better. ABBIE How’s your face? JACK My face is just fine. What’s wrong with yours? Abbie touches her face as if something is wrong. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 55. JACK You got something, here. No, here. Jack points all over his own face and Abbie touches her face trying to find. ABBIE Nevermind. Jack’s face looks worried. ROOM: Bill is swabbing his daughters head with cold water. SARAH I’m so cold. BILL I know, baby. It’ll pass like all things pass. You just have to push through it. SARAH No, I need one hit. Just one. Sarah tries to get up out of bed, bill holding her. She starts to fight with him. BILL JACK! Jack runs in helping, bill hold her down. SARAH I hate you! the sound leaves us. Bill and Jack doing there best to stop her. Suddenly,... Abbie is standing there at the door. All three stop, staring at her as she looks sad at this. ABBIE (VO) Is she going to die? BILL (VO) No, shes just sick. Those people who she thought were her friends (MORE) (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 56. BILL (VO) (cont’d) gave her something they shouldn’t have. Now, she has to get sick before she can get better. ABBIE I want mommy. EXT. PORCH - NIGHT Bill and Abbie sitting on the porch of the mobile home. Bill wraps his arms around, Abbie. BILL You’ll get her back, I promise. She needs to go through this to get better. ABBIE Will she be better? BILL She will. And when she does. All three of us will go hunting up there on Bakers field. This time of year the turkeys are spread out. Make us a nice meal coming off something like this. You like turkey? ABBIE I guess. Bill smiles kissing her forehead. CUT TO: INT. BEDROOM - AFTERNOON Sarah is asleep. Bill sits by the bed with an open bible reading the contents of its pages out loud to soothe her. ABBIE What about that man? BILL What man? (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 57. ABBIE The bad man. Bill closes the book as, Sarah, coughs. rubbing her head with a cloth. EXT. PORCH - NIGHT Bill looking worried. BILL Don’t worry about him. Will be left alone. Don’t mention it to your momma either. I’ll tell her later. Abbie, hugs her grandfather hard as she can. BILL It’s getting late. Why don’t you kiss your momma, goodnight, and head off to bed. Abbie gets up from the steps. ABBIE night, grandpa. BILL Night, sweetheart. Jack comes out as Abbie is heading in. JACK Off to bed. Abbie nods heading in. Jack comes and sits next to, Bill. JACK Have you told her? BILL She knows they came here, but I want to leave it at that. JACK You didn’t mention the money? Bill shakes his head: No. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 58. JACK All I have is about one thousand, the rest is tied up in that store. BILL I ain’t paying them. JACK What then? What are you going to do, Bill? BILL I meet them tomorrow night, at the creek. I’m going to have presude them to leave her alone. The sound of a gun clicking as it’s being loaded. JACK Don’t do this, Bill. CUT TO: INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT It’s night. Everyone is sleeping. Bill is at the kitchen table with his rifle in hand. He is cleaning it. He is loading it. A box of shells on the table along with various cleaning supplies. BILL (VO) Donnlly didnt do a Dam thing last time and These guys aren’t messing around as you can attest. Bill blows into the barrel. He uses a white cloth wiping down the old costume hunting rifle. JACK (VO) What if something happens to you? what if you don’t walk away from them and they do.
59. EXT. PORCH - NIGHT Jack is staring at, Bill, with all seriousness. BILL That’s why I was hoping you’d stay. Incase something does happen. I know you would protect them as your own. JACK Bill - BILL I’ve made up my mind. JACK I know what your thinking. BILL I aint thinking nothing. JACK You think doing this for her is going make her forget? That once it’s done she’ll compelety forgive you? BILL No. I’m doing this for me. What she said, It’s true. I was a dad to her once. I was a good guy. I use to despise those guys who hit their girlfriend. Bill doesn’t stare at, Jack in the eyes. BILL CONTINUED than somewhere along the lines I became one of those guys. I drink a little, I get happy and somewhere between that 8th bottle and the shot of vodka I got angry. I became the person I hated. Nothing good ever came of drinking. I need to do this for me. To prove I can still be a father and protect my girls. If a man can’t protect his family what kind of man is he? Jack doesn’t answer. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 60. BILL He aint no kind of man. I have a glock 17 in the closet behind the bottles. When the time comes, if it comes you get it and you use it. JACK I can’t let you - BILL promise me, you’ll protect my girls if I can’t. Jack is hesitant. JACK I promise. BILL Good boy. Jack smiles. Bill gets up to go inside. JACK It wasn’t all bad, you saved me. BILL If I didn’t help you somebody else would of. JACK Nobody would’ve. You were my guardian angel that night. BILL And you’ve been mine ever since. Bill pats, Jack, as he passes. INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT Bill gets up from the table. Grabs the bullets and heads out of the kitchen. LIVING ROOM: He goes to the closet laying his gun inside and the bullets in the pocket of his jacket.
61. EXT. PORCH - MORNING Abbie is dressed and so is Jack, both heading to the truck. Bill, stands on the porch watching them. ABBIE You’re not coming, grandpa? BILL Maybe next time. You be good for, Jack. Jack and Abbie get in the truck, engine on, he pulls out and drives away. Bill heads down the steps. EXT. FOREST - MORNING Bill walks through the forest, past tree after tree, branch after branch. He moves past a big log stepping over it. He walks, he walks. He walks. The trees get thinner and spread out as he comes to an opening. The creek. The large boggy creek. A road leading up to it. He stares around, its as empty as can be. SARAH (VO) What are you doing, Bill. BILL Checking up on you, I reckon. SARAH (VO) You know what I mean. Sending, Abbie off with, Jack. BILL I thought she deserved a day out. I figure I stay here with you, make sure you get better. Bill heads down to the water, bends down splashes his hands in it. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 62. SARAH That all? BILL I also thought we could talk. Bill stares out into the water nodding as if knowing this is it. SARAH Go on. INT. BEDROOM - MORNING Sarah is sitting up looking weak, a bowl of soup in her hand. Bill on the edge of the bed. BILL Whose is, Big Jim to you? Sarah looks at her father with anger. SARAH I don’t want to talk about that. BILL He put a gun to that little girls head. He said he’s coming back, I need to know. SARAH He handles the money. People pay me, I do my thing and I give him half. BILL He’s a pimp? Sarah nods? BILL He’s not her dad is he? SARAH (scoffs) No, Gillian is. BILL Where’s he? (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 63. SARAH Look, after I left here. Me and Gillian were just fine. Money was tight, but we handle it. BILL That’s when the drugs came in? SARAH It started out as nothing. It just snowballed on us. I had, Abbie, we needed money. It was just me and Gillian, but he owed a debt to, Jim. Gillian gave me to Big Jim. Bill looks horrifed. BILL Why didnt you run away? SARAH Said they would kill her, or sell her. I was stuck in a hard place. I was hooked and couldn’t think straight. Bill nods. BILL I know you’re tired of hearing it. But, I’ve always, um. SARAH I know, Bill. Bill looks sad at his name being said. He gets up from the bed heading toward the door. BILL I’ll fix you something to eat. Bill stops hesitant and turns around. BILL I left you something in the hall closet. Something for later. SARAH Where you going? (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 64. BILL Make you soup, have you forgotten already? Sarah smiles weakly turning over on her side shivering a little. EXT. PORCH - MORNING Bill rocking back and forth, writing on a piece of paper. Words we cannot see just yet. He finishes his writing, and folds the piece of paper. He folds it and places it into an envelope. Bill lingers for a moment in thought. INT. KITCHEN - MORNING Bill heads through the kitchen up to the hall where the closet is. He opens it and places the envelope on top of the chest shutting it. He grabs the Jacket with the bullets in it and the rifle. He opens the front door and sits them both outside. He stares out for a bit. The music plays again. INT. PORCH - MORNING Bill staring out from his door, he sees nothing shutting it. EXT. FAIR - AFTERNOON Jack and Abbie running through the fair. A set of balloons float off into the sky, let go by a crying child. Jack with his messed up eye, trying to shoot for a balloon with a dart. He wins getting, Abbie a panda bear. Abbie is happy and dancing excitedly. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 65. Jack is smiling. They are riding the merry go round. they are high up. BILL (VO) Here’s eat all of it. INT. BEDROOM - AFTERNOON Bill handing, Sarah, the soup. She is sitting up in bed, the bowl on a tray. Sarah sips the soup off the spoon. EXT. FAIRGROUND - AFTERNOON Jack and Abbie watching a clown build ballon animals. BILL You see how important it is for you get to better? SARAH Of course, I do. BILL That little girl thinks the world of you. How you use to think of me. SARAH I’m tired of these talks, Bill. BILL This is the last one I promise. INT. BEDROOM - AFTERNOON Sarah lays down her spoon, staring with frustration at, Bill. BILL Fist time I saw her I knew she was you. I knew she was part of me. Here she was this girl dirt up to her ears, but she was the spitting image of my little girl. Sarah shakes her head. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 66. SARAH Stop it. BILL What I mean to say is. I don’t want all this to be for nothing. I want you and, Abbie, to be okay. SARAH Were staying here for a while anyway, isn’t that what you wanted? BILL It was. Now, I just want you two to be okay. EXT. FAIRGROUND - DUSK Abbie walking eating cotton candy. Jack steals some from her, laughing as she pulls away. SARAH (VO) Were okay. BILL (VO) Good. I don’t want you to fall hard like this. You two are all I have in the world, your all that matters. Abbie stops staring up at the fireworks being shot off. BILL (VO) I use to sit up nights, wondering where you were. If you still loved cherry pie, if you missed Jelly Belly. SARAH I was 18. BILL Still, they were my thoughts and they comforted me. I just.
67. INT. BEDROOM - DUSK Bill is holding, Sarah’s hand. She does not turn away from him, she just stares. BILL I want you to know I regret every moment spent away from you. I regret ever minute I hurt you or your momma. But, I never ever will regret a moment spent with you, good or bad. SARAH I did yell alot. BILL I don’t care, I deserved it. I still deserve it. Heck, you got that mean right hook in the motel. Your momma had that. SARAH did she? BILL Put me in my place more than once she did. Your just like her, so like her. Bill eyes water. SARAH The soups good. BILL Yeah, my specialty. You get better there is a cherry pie in the oven if you want. SARAH I do. both smile. a beat.
68. INT. TRUCK - DUSK Jack is pulling up to the mobile home. Abbie is asleep. Bill comes out of the home. EXT. OUTSIDE HOME - DUSK Bill comes over, Jack holding, Abbie in his arms. BILL How was she? JACK Best little girl I ever had the pleasure of taking care of. Never been to the fair before, she had a hell of a time. Bill is glad to hear it. BILL Thanks, Jack. You ready? Jack nods. JACK Are you sure, Bill? BILL I have to protect my family. INT. BEDROOM - DUSK Bill comes into the bedroom, Sarah looking at him. BILL She’s all tuckered out. Had a blast at the fair. Sarah looks at her daughter with love. Bill lays, Abbie, next to her mother. BILL Let her sleep with you tonight. Might help you feel better in the morning waking up to her smiling face. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 69. SARAH I will. Bill rubs, Abbie’s head, kissing her forehead. BILL I love you, sweetheart. Sarah watches her father as he starts to walk out of the room. BILL I got to run some errands, nothing to big. Jack is going to stay the night over, just incase you need something. SARAH Can’t they wait till morning? BILL Not this errand. It’s gots to be done tonight. I love you, baby girl Bill doesn’t wait for acknowledgment, he leaves the room. LIVING ROOM: Jack holding the rifle in his hand. JACK It’s almost 8. BILL Thank you, again. Take care of them. JACK Hurry, back, Bill, you got a family waiting for you. Jack hugs bill, backing up and handing him his gun and Jacket. Bill nods. EXT FOREST - NIGHT The sun has almost vanished in the night sky. Darkness is taking its toll across the land. Bill pushes his way through the forest, past the fallen log on the ground. He moves forward. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 70. He eases hearing a car pulling up ahead. He takes a knee, watching seeing. Two men exit the truck guns in their hands. They move down from the road and onto the creek. Bill takes a deep breath. BILL (whisper) For the family. Bill stands up scurries out of the forest with his rifle pointed at Gillian and Mark, Big Jim is no where to be seen. Both men stop at the shore of the creek holding their guns up when they see, Bill. Bill’s Rifle points straight at, Gillian. MARK Where’s the money old man!? GILLIAN He didn’t bring it, I told Jim, this hillbilly didnt have it. BILL Where is Big Jim? GILLIAN Do you think I would let you steal her away from me? BILL Where is he? MARK It occured to us you might not bring the money and when we heard you found your daughter. We knew you wouldn’t. So, we meet you here and Big Jim meets your daughter. Bill looks worried. GILLIAN Don’t worry, Bill. He’ll be real nice to her. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 71. BILL How could you! She loved you. Gillian rolls his eyes. GILLIAN Can we finish this. Several shots sound off in the distance. MARK That was quick. Bill holds tight to his gun, Mark and Gillian hold tight to there’s. They hold tight. BAM! Bill shoots, Gillian in the arm causing his to fall to the floor from the shot. Mark shoots hitting, Bill in the right side of his stomach. Bill takes another shot, in the head of Mark. Bill fumbles back, his back against a tree. BILL Please, God. Bill looks at his hand covered in blood. His shirt and jacket slowly being turned red every time it touches the blood. Bill looks at the two bodies. He takes a breath heading into the forest. Gillian eases up from the ground, his shoulder shot. He grabs a gun and heads after, Bill. EXT FOREST - NIGHT Bill stumbling through the forest. He stops, checking his wound again. His rifle held firm. He starts to walk again, shots are fired ahead. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 72. BILL I’m coming. Bill walks forward. BAM! The tree beside him is shot. He falls in shock, pointing his rifle up quickly. The bullets fall from his pocket. He looks through the scope, seeing, Gillian, moving he fires! Bam! The bullet richohets off a tree. GILLIAN Come on, old man, just give up! Bill has to reload his gun, he searches his pocket, but the bullets are gone. Spread across the floor beneath him He finds one, quickly reloading his gun. Gillian comes up to him with his pointed. He shakes his head with a slick smile, the I won smile. Bill finishes loading his gun and fires. Gillian stumbles back and forth. The shot hit him square in his chest. He falls dead. Bill catches his breath, he eases up off the ground. Another shot rings up ahead. He reaches grabbing the handgun from Gillian’s dead hand. BILL Should of left it alone. Bill grabs the handgun, holding it up firm in his hand he moves forward past the tree stump. He continues to stumble to slowly lose more blood from his wound to his side. The uneven movement is not helping. the guitar slowly plays in the background. As he falls to the ground. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 73. BILL Abbie, Sarah. Bill strains standing up, gun again pointed forward. One last breath, before heading forward. The trees begin to ease out, he is coming out of it. He sees the light of his mobile home. Movement on his porch, a man standing in his yard. BIG JIM See did I want to do that. Bill comes out of the forest. EXT. OUTSIDE HOME - NIGHT Sarah is on the porch looking sick as a dog. Her color is gone and she is shivering. Jack is laying on the floor not moving. Big Jim is in the yard, holding, Abbie a gun to her head. SARAH Stop it. I’ll go! Bill fires a shot into the air. Big Jim turns around facing him with surprise on his face, surprise that vanish to anger. BILL You look a little surprised to see me. BIG JIM Papa bear, you done and yourself shot. BILL So did your boys. Abbie has tears running. BILL You okay, sweetheart? (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 74. BIG JIM She’s fine. Where’s my money? BILL Back there, gave it to your friends. A beat. Big Jim smirks knowing what’s coming, knowing what came to his friends. BIG JIM You know what she told me about you? You were a drunk, you were mean. You beat her and your wife in those drunken nights. Bill smirks. BIG JIM Why now? Why change now, just give me the girl! BILL Shes my daughter. Both Bill and Big Jim point their guns at each other, both staring each other down. Bam! BAM! Two shots fired at the same time. Big Jim winces falling back, blood squirting out of his mouth. Bill falls to his knees, Abbie running over to him tears falling. She hugs him. ABBIE Grandpa!? you okay? BILL (weakly) He got, Jack? Sarah is bending down smacking, Jack awake. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 75. JACK That hurts like hell. He raises a shot in his arm. JACK Bill!? Jack gets up and runs to Bill. Sarah comes over just as Bill eases back and falls. Sarah catches him in her arms sitting with him. ABBIE Grandpa? BILL I’m okay, sweetheart. Bill rubs, Abbie’s face with his clean hand. BILL Maybe you should call the law now. And maybe an ambulance while your at it. JACK Keep him awake! Jack runs into the house holding his shot arm. SARAH I’m sorry this had to happen. I’m sorry, dad. Bill smiles as the word he wanted to hear comes from her mouth. BILL Don’t be. Did you get what I left you in the closet? Sarah shakes her head. BILL Go, go get it. SARAH Dad? BILL It’s all right, go. Sarah lays him down and goes into the house. (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 76. Bill looks at Abbie. BILL Don’t cry. You have to be strong now. You know I love you don’t you? Abbie shakes her head, laying her head on, Bills chest. INT. CLOSET - NIGHT Sarah is holding a letter. LAST WILL: She covers her mouth, slowly opening the letter. KITCHEN: Jack hangs up the phone with 911. JACK There on their way. Jack goes to the door looking out at his friend. Sarah opens the letter, she reads it. BILL (VO) It’s not my intention to lie to you. I’ve been sorry for a long time for the things I’ve done. I found you not long after I was clean, came to bring you home. But, I saw you and you seemed happy. So I let you go. I thought, maybe you were better off without me. CUT TO: EXT. OUTSIDE HOME - NIGHT Jack is outside, pulling Abbie away from, Bill. Sarah rushes over dropping the letter on the ground. She falls to the floor picking, Bill up and hugging him the best she can. BILL (VO) I was wrong. I always knew you deserved better. I hope these past (MORE) (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 77. BILL (VO) (cont’d) few days will give you one fond memory of me. And I didnt do this to carry favor with you or God. I did it because I’m your father believe it or not, and I needed to protect my little girl. Sarah is crying over her father as red and blue lights come closer and closer. BILL (VO) Jack will help you. He’ll aid you until you get on your feet. I have an my account enough money to help you two out. Tell Abbie, I love her. I love you. Your momma use to say, I dreamed of a blue sky while she dreamed of a bright moon. It’s funny cause she died in the morning and If your reading this, I did at night. I love you, I always do. Sarah is yelling at her dad who has blood all over his shirt. Abbie is in, Jacks arms crying on his shoulder. The lights are so close now. The look on, Sarah’s face as the E.M.Ts come over to aid. FADE OUT: The gutiar fills our ears. INT. CEMATARY - AFTERNOON Abbie, Sarah, and Jack stand over a grave. Sarah, lying flowers on it. We hear a truck pulling in, a door slam shut. Abbie turns. ABBIE Grandpa! She runs. BLACK: (CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 78. END.