Indie Film - Akumu
This is the script I wrote for my teaser film, Akumu.
I wrote this Indie script in the hopes of finding someone to produce my full length feature, The Dreamer.
I am producing the movie myself and, at this moment, we are in the middle of the special effects.
I will be referring to this film a great deal as I write my other articles about Indie movies. I have learned a lot from jumping in to the business all at once as a producer, although I have been in the industry since the late '70s in other facets of the business.
I am sorry for the terrible format here, but no matter what I did or which browser I used, I couldn't get the Hub editor to preserve the format of the screenplay. I think it's still fairly readable. I finally had to go through and use spaces and hard returns for everything.
I haven't had an editor go over this. I want to, but haven't found one yet. NEVER depend on editing your own material! You will never get all the mistakes because your brain naturally ignores them when you have made them yourself.
A second, third, even fourth set of eyes is always good if you don't have a professional editor to do the job.
I will have one. Oh yes, I will.
INT. SCHOOL BUILDING-DREAMSCAPE
A SCREAMING BOY of eight years sits amongst BRIARS and BRAMBLES in the concrete school hallway. He is bawling.
There is no color in anything. The boy holds his knees against his chest, hunching up his shoulders and rocking to and fro.
A MONTAGE of CROSS CUT images force their way into focus of the child in the briars, his SCHOOLMATES LAUGHING and TAUNTING him, and the boy running away through hopeless school hallways.
The boy tries to escape outside.
Crossing the sandbox he looks back to see the evil children walking behind. He runs but the children still keep up.
The boy trips and falls hard into the sand. The evil children encircle him before he can escape the gritty mire.
The boy tires to rise as the children stand around him, pointing their fingers and LAUGHING, TAUNTING.
The laughter becomes ROAR-LIKE as the faces of the children begin to loose detail, becoming vague and mannequin-like.
Behind are two FIGURES; one is an ASIAN WOMAN with long hair and a nightgown. Her face is dark from shadow and her head hangs low as she watches the boy. The other figure is a TALL MAN of fearsome stature. His head is hairless and his muscled body is covered from the waist down in a leathery fabric which flows like the mantle of a royal robe but which is actually a continuation of his own flesh.
They stand by emotionlessly, waiting to see if the boy escapes. The Tall Man quietly points to the boy and the woman raises her head enough for one evil eye to be seen from behind her long hair.
The boy's legs begin to sink into the sand. He is dumbstruck from fear.
As the boy sinks up to his hips, he slams his head back against the hard, wet sand in a seizure of panic, the evil children still pointing and SCREAMING their horrible LAUGHTER at the terrified child.
The boy closes his eyes tightly and rises with a twisting motion to...
INT. JONATHAN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
The same twisting motion which ended the boy's struggle is now finished by JONATHAN DESANTIS as he rises in his bed to a sitting position. The persistent sound that flooded the dream now FADES almost instantly. After a moment of terrified silence, he is finally able to scream into the night; a forty year old man still suffering the terrors of his childhood.
He collapses back on the bed. He breathes heavily and a tear scars his cheek.
He doesn't look up at the picture of his estranged wife on the nightstand or the alarm clock that tells him it's 3:33 in the morning.
He rolls the covers off and sits up on the edge of his single bed, rubbing his face with both hands. A wedding ring reflects the pale light from the window. Jonathan begins to SOB.
INT. ANJI'S ROOM - DUSK
20 year-old, Asian girl, ANJI YAMAGUCHI's room is dark with the blinds and curtains closed. The room is nearly devoid of furniture except a single sized almost obsessively neat bed, a dresser, a partially closed closet door, and an old chest at the foot of the bed.
Anji sits on the worn chest. An equally worn, portable stereo sits next to her. She stares, unblinking, at the floor where it meets the wall. A detached, FEMALE VOICE with a heavy Japanese accent is heard in the darkness.
FEMALE VOICE (V.O.)
He's coming, Anji.
EXT. ANJI'S WINDOW - MOMENTS LATER
The NEIGHBOR BOY, a thin, unscrupulous sociopath is creeping around the nearly sealed window, trying to get a look at the girl he obsesses over. He glances at the empty driveway and then turns his attention back to the window. He finds a small space in the curtains and blinds that allows him to see into the room. The Neighbor Boy GASPS happily.
INT. ANJI'S ROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Anji is exactly where she was before, still staring lifelessly at the floor.
FEMALE VOICE (V.O.)
I won't let him hurt us again.
EXT. ANJI'S WINDOW - MOMENTS LATER
The Neighbor Boy trips on a plastic gnome in the garden where he stands, and his attempt to steady himself causes him to RATTLE the window slightly. He holds motionless for a moment.
INT. ANJI'S ROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Anji hears the noise, but only slightly turns her eyes up to the window, seeing a faint shadow in the blinds crack. She looks back down to the floor. She reaches her left hand to the stereo, pressing the "play" button and returns to her original position. MUSIC blares from the radio (Sleep When I Die.)
EXT. ANJI'S WINDOW - MOMENTS LATER
The Neighbor Boy's head perks up. He peeks in one more time.
You want me to come in, don't you?
The Neighbor Boy takes a last look back at driveway and moves to his right, toward the back door in the fully fenced back yard.
EXT. BACK DOOR - MOMENTS LATER
The Neighbor Boy checks the door, finding it open. He quietly lets himself in.
INT. ANJI'S HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER
The Neighbor Boy walks down a dark hallway and stops at Anji's door. He puts his hand cautiously on the handle and slowly lets himself in.
INT. ANJI'S ROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Anji is still frozen in place. The Neighbor Boy peeks into the room through the partially opened door and enters the room. He winces at the cacophonous music that attacks his senses.
Anji slowly looks over at him and then back to neutral. The Neighbor Boy approaches her, almost having to force himself to advance through the veil of music. He stands next to her and pushes her hair so that it rests behind her ear. He looks nervous, but has no intention of stopping at this point.
NEIGHBOR BOY (CONT’D)
Anji, turn the music down. It hurts my ears!
Anji, still disconnected, unexpectedly responds. Again, with only her hand moving, she turns the volume down, slowly. A light begins to ripple in the room, like a reflection from a light on a swimming pool. The Neighbor Boy sees the light on Anji's face first. He looks around to see where it is coming from and is shocked to see a floating ball of liquid like, bluish quicksilver. The light grows as the music continues to diminish.
NEIGHBOR BOY (CONT’D)
Wha...wha...what is it?
The Neighbor Boy backs away from the approaching "dream pool," but is stopped dead by a WOMAN's hand that reaches from the light. The hand grabs him by his hair and pulls him toward the dream pool. The woman's other arm reaches out of the dream pool and takes him by the right wrist.
When the woman pulls, the Neighbor Boy is turned around with his back to the dream pool and his front toward Anji. The Neighbor Boy cannot turn his head because it is held fixed by the first hand. He keeps trying to look behind himself to see what is attacking him; his eyes darting left, right, and up to no avail.
Anji continues to turn the volume down. The Neighbor Boy is pulled into the dream pool by the woman's hands which appear to "climb" his body as if it were a ladder, but it is he who moves into the pool instead of the woman climbing out.
Anji only winces at the boy's more piteous screams of terror; otherwise she doesn't move her body. She quickly turns the volume the rest of the way down and the hands yank the rest of the Neighbor Boy into the dream pool which disappears with a POP. Anji sits with her hand on the radio for a moment, staring. She then goes back to neutral.
EVIL AI now stands before Anji-whose eyes widen gently-and then approaches her. Ai's movements are stiff and dreamlike. She holds her hands out toward Anji as if she is about to strangle her, but as her hands near Anji's neck, they separate and Ai goes down into a clumsy hug, laying her head on Anji's left shoulder as she sits next to her.
A black tear falls down Ai's cheek as she sits staring into nothing. Anji continues to stare. (She changes to SWEET AI.)
Sleep now, Anji. We need you with us.
EXT. FORSAKEN HOUSE - NIGHT
Anji and Ai stand at the bottom of the front porch steps. Anji looks up at the house, emotionless, her eyes dead. Ai stands with drooped shoulders, head hung and stereo in her right hand. She breathes heavily with her agitation.
Why are we here, Anji? This is not where wewanted
you to bring us. We don't like this place. It makes us... hate.
Watashi wa koko ni yobaretano. Ima mo youbereteru.
Dareka tsuyoi hito ni ayatsurareteru mitaini...
I was being called here. It still calls me. I feel as
if I am being drawn by someone strong...
Ai slightly tilts her head up and looks at Anji with anger in her eyes. Anji tentatively puts a foot up on the first step.
...anata to onajikurai tsuyoi hito dayo, Ai-San.
...as strong as you, Ai.
Ai SEETHES through her clenched teeth, struggling to retain her composure. Her face begins to contort into Evil Ai, but settles back to Sweet Ai. Anji takes another step.
Kare nara tasukete kureru kamo.
Maybe he can help us.
We don't need help! Come away from the house!
We can't approach him here!
Anji steps to the porch, her gaze focused on the front door which stands ajar, a pale blue glow emanates from the crack. Ai steps forward one step.
Anji pushes the CREAKY door open slowly, looking into the darkness. She steps in.
INT FORSAKEN HOUSE - NEXT SECOND
Ai is at her side instantly, her face appearing as if from nowhere. Anji is unfazed, as if she doesn't even see her.
Anji! We don't like it here. We go!
Anji steps past her, eyes transfixed on the gloom. She shows deepening interest in the presence she feels.
Zettai koko ni iru.
I'm sure someone's here.
Ai nervously jerks her head in the direction Anji is looking.
Kare wa kanji naino?
Don't you feel him?
(quietly, with fear)
Yes, we do.
Kare wa watashitachi wo moto ni modoserukana?
Do you think this dreamer can make you and
me whole again, Ai?
Anji! Please! Come away. We feel as if we will
die in this place! He will kill us all.
The sound of a CREAKING door SLAMMING comes from upstairs, and Sweet Ai turns into Evil Ai. Both girls look up. Ai frowns as Anji smiles, a grotesque caricature of the classic drama masks. The floor CREAKS with someone's footsteps. Ai puts her scared, angry face up to Anji's ear and growls:
Anji, don't wake the dreamer!
If I don't, how can I ever fully leave this world?
Ai changes back to her Sweet form and gently caresses Anji's cheek. She has a look of fear and urgency on her own face. She glances back to the darkness then looks back to Anji.
Please, Anji. Can we go home? Ai loves you.
We don't want to loose you.
Anji looks at Ai compassionately and smiles shyly at her, trying to convey in the look what she feels for Ai.
Watashi mo anata no koto omotteru. Anata wa
watashi no ichibu dashi,korekara mo zutto sou. Demo,
mou kigaokashii toka iwaretakunaino. Kizuwo iyashitai;
hitotsu data anotokini modoritai.
I love you, too. You're part of me and always will
be. But I don't want to be called crazy any more.
Heal the fracture; the one, made one again.
Ai, changing to Evil Ai, looks at Anji in utter fury. As Anji tries to climb the stares, Ai grabs her by the hair and pulls her back forcefully with a scream. She falls backwards to...
INT. ANJI'S ROOM - NIGHT
Anji falls into her bed. She screams through the motion and lies with her eyes wide open, first looking at the ceiling and then all around the room as if she has been caught unawares by the change of scenery.
She again stares at the ceiling and begins to cry. Darkness closes in.
Ai's VOICE is heard in the blackness:
Do as you're told. Take my hand, come with me.
Ai's hand reaches from out of frame.
Anji takes Ai's hand and stands up from the bed. Both stand there looking at the far wall, still and ghostly.
INT. JONATHAN'S BEDROOM - ONE MINUTE LATER AT NIGHT
Jonathan, still in his pajamas, puts on his robe. The room is dark, lit only by the filtered lamp standard from the thinly curtained window.
Standing reluctantly, he looks at the bed which has become his enemy. He presses the heels of his hands against his eyes and rubs them viciously. The clock changes to 3:34 AM. He picks up his glasses from the night stand and puts them on his face.
EXT. BORDERLANDS - MOMENTS LATER
Anji and Sweet Ai, who is holding stereo in her right hand, stand in gloom they hold hands, almost a carbon copy of Anji's room moments ago. Jonathan sits behind them, holding his knees against his chest, his head down. The others are unaware of him.
We will tolerate no resistance, Anji? Crossing
the Borderlands makes us so weary.
Gomen. Watashi no koto wo omottekureteruno
shitteruyo. Mou nani mo iwanai.
I'm sorry. I know you only want what's best
for me. I won't fight it any more.
Jonathan lets out a soft groan. He lifts his head as if from sleep and begins to look around.
Ai looks up suddenly, fear and anger in her expression as she changes to Evil Ai.
Anji's eyes open slowly and then widen as she senses John's presence.
John looks up, confused.
What's going on? Where am I?
Seeing the empty surroundings, he says
Oh, not again… Excuse me.
Anji slowly turns around until she faces him. She is surprised to hear his voice in this place of silent madness.
Jonathan stands weakly.
Waatashi no koto hontouni mieruno...?
You can really see me...?
Anji runs over to John and holds him tightly and kisses him. She buries her face against his neck, then puts her mouth near his ear and whispers hopefully:
Koko de shijyaunoka to omotta.
I thought I was going to die here!
Ai slowly turns two look at the two in their embrace. Anger and disgust paint her expression. She sneers, her eyes glow dully. She marches up to Anji and grabs the back of her head, pulling her to
INT. ANJI'S BATHROOM - NIGHT
Anji stands in the shower. With the camera focused on her hand, she turns on the water, tests it to make sure it's warm enough, and pulls the plunger to switch the water to the shower head. She tests it again at the shower head.
Her hand moves from the shower head to her hair, wetting it so it hangs down across her back.
The camera pulls out to a medium close shot, we see that the hand is not that of Anji, but of Sweet Ai, who stands naked behind Anji. Her demeanor is helpful, but her presence is ominous.
Apologies for stealing you from your dreams.
But the dreamer is not your friend.
Ai discontinues touching Anji's hair and puts her arms around her setting her head on Anji's left shoulder.
Kare wawzettai tasuke ni naru. Kareno chikara
wa mabushikute tsuyoi kara. Namae mo shitteruwa:
I know he can help us. His power is strong and
bright. I even know his name: Jonathan DeSantis.
Ai lifts her head slightly with the mention of the name. She darts her eyes back and forth as if afraid that Jonathan will appear if his name is mentioned.
Yes. We know his name, too.
Ai sets her head back down on Anji's shoulder. Anji rests her head on Ai's.
Kare wo aishiteru!
I love him.
Ai stands bolt upright and changes to Evil Ai with the anger. She is now dressed in a pale night dress of antique quality. She forces Anji to turn around and face her. Ai grabs Anji's neck and begins choking her.
You can't love him! He wants to kill us!
Kare wa sonnakoto shinai! Watashi wo kizutsukeru
No! He won't hurt me!
Ai loosens her grip and looks Anji in the eye.
I didn't say he would hurt you, fool!
Anji is confused.
You stay away from him, or there will be pain, child.
Ai lets go of Anji's neck with a slight shove.
Ai is gone and Anji slips down in the shower until she is huddled in the corner shivering, the water still hitting her face, hiding her tears.
INT. JONATHAN'S BEDROOM - THE SAME TIME
Jonathan finishes putting on his clothes. He breaths heavily and is clearly disturbed. He turns toward the door.
INT. UPSTAIRS BEDROOM OF FORSAKEN HOUSE - NIGHT
Jonathan is trapped in a dark room. He leans against the door and tries to open it, shaking the handle violently. He grimaces and MUTTERS to himself.
Why won't you open? You're just a door.
Jonathan closes his eyes and weakly hits the door once with his fist.
A distorted, horrid VOICE is heard from the darkness.
Jonathan's eyes open and fear engulfs him.
Jonathan. Doriimaa. Anata… wa… doriimaa.
Watashitachi… wa… doriimaa.
Jonathan. Dreamer. You… are… dreamer.
We… are… dreamers.
Jonathan turns and sees the being from which the voice comes. It is a creature of blue light, a form of the Cluster. It is enormous, nearly filling the far end of the room from floor to ceiling. It is terror.
Jonathan has been struck dumb by the visage. He stammers wordlessly.
Jyama wo surua, doriimaa. Kurasutaa wa…
yousya nashi. Kurasutaa wa… awarema nashi.
Not interfere, dreamer. The Cluster…
not tolerate. The Cluster… not… mercy.
The Cluster… takes… souls.
With a deft, blindingly quick motion, Cluster hits Jonathan and sends him flying through the now open door. The door slams shut instantly behind him.
INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY OF FORSAKEN HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER
Jonathan sits against the far wall of the hallway, unconscious.
INT. LIVING ROOM OF FORSAKEN HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER
Anji and Evil Ai are in the ancient house, devoid of furnishings and other signs of comfort. Light is almost nonexistent and Anji doesn't want to open her eyes to the darkness. Ai stands in the far corner of the room pounding her head against the spot where the walls come together.
Anji opens her bloodshot eyes to the emptiness and takes in the loneliness of the room.
We're here again.
Ai continues pounding her head against the wall and blood begins running from her hairline.
Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?
Nande koko ga sonna ni iya nano, Ai-San?
Why do you hate this place so much, Ai?
There is the sound of FOOTSTEPS from upstairs.
(seething and looking up)
Ai SHRIEKS in blind rage and spins around to face Anji.
Why do you bring us here, Anji?
She marches over to Anji and slaps her hard across the face, sending Anji to her knees. Anji collapses to the floor and begins to cry.
Onegai! Mou yamete!
Please! Not again!
Ai hits and kicks Anji after each of the following sentences:
Not again? Not again?! Not again?!!
INT. UPSTAIRS OF FORSAKEN HOUSE - A MOMENT LATER
Jonathan stirs with the voices he hears. He is bleeding from his eyes and nose. He is dirty and seems to have been in the hall as long as the rest of the furnishings. The blood is fresh over the dust that covers him.
INT. DOWNSTAIRS OF FORSAKEN HOUSE- A MOMENT LATER
Anji hears the call and thinks it is for her. Ai swings at Anji with a closed fist, but Anji intercepts Ai's wrist, halting the blow. She stands, keeping Ai's wrist in her grip and looking into Ai's face. She is rebelling.
Anji pushes Ai's arm away and Ai stumbles off balance, falling against a wall. Anji retreats to the opposite wall, cowering and covering her face with her forearms.
Anji and Ai fight. Cross cuts between this and Anji's body moving and twitching in her bed as she dreams of the fight. At one point, Anji's shirt is ripped open to her angry shock. Her demeanor changes as she begins to act more like Ai.
The fight climaxes with Anji getting the upper hand, using Ai's own portable stereo against her. From her victory, Anji now has a crazed look in her eyes. She hears the SOUND of movement upstairs again and she heads for the stairway, dropping the stereo.
INT. UPSTAIRS OF FORSAKEN HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER
John falls to his knees and then flat on the floor. He crawls wearily from where he crashed down. He pulls himself to the stairs at the end of the hall.
John looks down the stairs and sees Anji climbing the up with madness in her eyes. Her shirt is flayed open and her eyes are locked on John's. She climbs the stairs quickly as if she is going to attack him. She grabs him and pushes him against the wall, pinning him there.
Please, Jonathan! I need your help! You're the
only one that can... take me away! Please! Now!
I know you... But, what are you talking about?
Take me from here! You're the only one who can
save me, Jonathan! I know you were meant to save
me from Dochin; from that Cluster of lost souls.
John struggles against her inhuman strength. She places her forehead to his and looks into his eyes, transfixed.
That thing?! What am I supposed to do against
THAT thing? Look at me!
I can't even help myself, how am I supposed to
Anji lifts her head away from John's and looks into his eyes. She is terrified at his words.
A tear falls down her cheek as she begins backing away from Jonathan. She almost falls down the stairs. She stands and, after a moment of staring at Jonathan, runs down the hallway into the darkness.
INT. ANJI'S ROOM - NIGHT
Anji wakes with a gasp, her eyes wide. Ai stands in the distant corner of the room, her, her head hung low, she is unmoving, out of focus, and almost unseen. Anji turns on her side, facing Ai's position, puts her head on her pillow, and puts another pillow on top of her head so that her face is barely visible between the two. Ai moves over to Anji in the bed in an ethereal, haunting manner.
Anji opens her eyes and sees Ai's enraged face inches from her own between the pillows. Anji is startled and jumps at the sight of Ai instantly in front of her.
You little whore!
Anji SCREAMS as she tumbles out of bed on the opposite side that Ai is on.
We don't know how you bested us, but you
are not dreaming anymore!
Doushite musouka wo kowagaruno?
Why are you afraid of the dreamer?
Ai begins walking around the bed.
You don't understand anything, child! He is
frightened now, but if you wake the dreamer,
you will kill us all!
Ai now stands above Anji. She straddles her and lowers herself on to Anji's stomach. Anji lies prone on the floor, her arms crossed against her chest with her wrists protecting her throat and her chin held tight against her wrists.
Ai puts a hand on either side of Anji's head and bends down so her forehead is against Anji's. Their noses touch.
If you will not serve your purpose, you are
of no use to us.
Dou yuu koto?
What are you talking about?
You were to be our continued bridge across
the Borderlands. Now you have spoiled that…
You love the dreamer? Then take control of
his heart! Make him do as we bid!
You only make it more difficult on us. But
if you will not, then we will.
A dream pool opens beneath the two and they fall into the floor as if into open space.
EXT. BORDERLANDS - MOMENTS LATER
Ai holds Anji by her upper arms, from behind. Anji struggles to no avail. Ai forces Anji to the ground. Chains surround Anji like octopus tentacles coming out of the mist.
Here you stay until we have dealt with the
Anji falls to a fetal position.
Please, don't hurt him! He doesn't even know
why he's here.
We will make sure that he never learns.
It's the only way we will be safe.
Ai begins to walk away and says
It is the only way WE can ever fully enter the
Anji begins to cry.
Who are "we?!"
Ai's face takes on an amused look and she walks back to Anji.
We are Dochin. We are the god of this world!
Ai bends down to look at Anji. Ai's face becomes manic as she says
We are the wall and the locked gate, longing
to open. We are the progenitors of nightmares!
INT. CONCRETEBUILDING - NIGHT
This is the second floor of an old, concrete building that has been partially demolished. A white, claw foot bathtub sits in the middle of the room. One wall is open to the night. The still figure of a GIRL is unnoticed in the distance, against a wall.
Jonathan stands over the bathtub, looking somberly at its contents. Inside is JENNIFER DESANTIS' body, completely submerged in water, clad in white t-shirt and panties. She is dead.
Jonathan takes a deep breath, continuing to look into Jennifer's pale face. Sweet Ai walks quietly up to him.
Who was she, dreamer?
Jonathan is nonplussed and continues to look at Jennifer.
Her name was Jennifer.
Ai puts her hand gently on Jonathan's shoulder.
But who WAS she, dreamer?
She was my soul mate. My wife.
Jonathan walks to the open wall and looks out into the darkness.
How did she die?
Jonathan shakes his head.
I never know.
I never find out. I've had this dream so many
times, but I never learn how she comes to this.
You know you're dreaming?
Always. But you're different.
Jonathan turns his head to look at her, disinterestedly.
I've seen you some place before. Why are you here?
Ai smiles slyly and steps toward him.
To help you forget the pain of losing Jennifer.
Ai coyly wraps her arms around Jonathan's neck and stands with her body against Jonathan's. He looks at her almost emotionlessly.
No one can do that.
Ai brings her face close to Jonathan's preparing to kiss him.
I can do anything. All you have to do is want
She kisses him firmly on the lips. Though he begins to reciprocate, he turns his head and pulls away after a moment, gaining his senses. She still holds him, though it is now Evil Ai. He seems not to notice the change. His hands rest on her hips.
Why? This is only a dream.
I know, but something's different about you.
Something feels... wrong.
He looks hard at her.
YOU feel wrong.
Jennifer appears behind Jonathan and holds him lovingly. She is fully dressed now. Jonathan is clearly startled. He turns and holds her head in his hands. He kisses her hard and hugs her tightly.
It's your own fault for using me as a crutch
for your pain instead of dealing with your own
(going on the attack)
Just get over it! You're just sad, honey. I got over
you. You can get over me.
When he pulls back in surprise, he sees Anji in his arms.
Someone else needs you, dreamer.
Anji appears behind Jonathan while it appears that he is still holding her. The new Anji says:
I need you, dreamer. You are the only one that can save me.
Jonathan looks back to the woman he holds and sees that it is Ai.
Take her, dreamer. With you Anji and I will
be whole again. You will save her and be happy,
even without your sweet Jennifer.
Jonathan is suspicious. He pulls away from Ai's grasp and walks back to the bathtub. Jennifer still lies there as before.
What's happening, Jennifer? Why are we here?
Jennifer's eyes suddenly open.
I don't need you anymore, Jonathan. Leave
me! I'm dead to you, don't you get it?
Jonathan turns to look at Anji and Ai, but only Ai is left.
Dreamer, will you reach out for Anji? Will you
save her life?
Jonathan turns and slowly walks away into the darkness.
INT. JONATHAN AND JENNIFER'S APARTMENT - DAY
Jonathan is in the bathroom, shaving. He wears pajama bottoms and a tank top t-shirt. The atmosphere seems hazy, but there is the feel of waking life around the room. JENNIFER'S VOICE is heard from somewhere in the apartment.
What's up, Jen?
Jennifer peeks around the bathroom door frame and looks at Jonathan, first in the mirror and then directly at him.
I think I need to go now.
She enters the bathroom proper and holds Jonathan around his midsection, her head resting on his shoulder. She wears a bathrobe loosely tied around her waist.
Jonathan finishes with his razor and uses the towel around his neck to wipe the remaining shaving cream from his face.
I've waited a long time. I don't think I can stay
Jonathan looks at her and she kisses his lips carefully and with some trepidation. She looks deep into his eyes and draws her mouth out in a sad smile.
Can't you stay just a while longer?
Jennifer rests her head on Jonathan's shoulder again, looking at him in the mirror. She shakes her head 'no.'
I have so much to do. Life goes on, Honey.
Jonathan seems confused. He turns and puts his arms around her waist, holding her closely.
What? The Honeymoon's not over yet.
What are you talking about?
She pulls away and looks to the floor. Her hands move to the tie of her robe. As she pulls it, she turns to walk out of the room.
Where do you think we are, Jonathan?
She lowers the robe as she passes the doorway. Her bare shoulders clearly visible before she disappears.
Jonathan follows her and is mildly surprised when she is not outside of the door.
Jonathan goes to the living room and looks for her.
You know I love you, don't you, Jonathan?
Jonathan turns with a start and looks down the hallway to the kitchen. He walks briskly there and looks in. Jennifer stands near the sink, her back to Jonathan. She looks at the closed curtains-her shoulders are still bare-but she holds the robe wrapped around the rest of her.
Jonathan leans against the doorway.
How do you do that?
Do you ever think about what's outside this
place? What's on the other side of these windows?
She opens the curtain a little bit and there is blackness on the other side.
Why is it always night out there, Jonathan?
Jonathan seems to consider this, frowning. He rubs his hand over his freshly shaved jaw and looks down. When he looks up, all he sees by the sink is Jennifer's robe, lying empty on the floor.
Jennifer's voice comes from another room.
In here, silly.
Jonathan dashes to the bedroom and sees Jennifer sitting on the bed, her eyes on the floor, facing away from the door. Her back is bare, her blanket wrapped around her waist and hips. She speaks without raising her head. Her hair falls to the sides of her face, hiding it.
It hurts so much, Honey. I can't do it any more.
Jonathan slowly walks to the bed.
What, Honey? What are you talking about?
Watching you waste away. Why won't you wake up?
Jonathan begins to walk around the bed toward Jennifer.
You're not making any sense, Jenny.
I'm losing you, Honey. It feels as if I'm losing
myself. Am I still here? Do you even know when
I'm sitting next to you, holding your hand?
He sits next to her, gently. He reaches for her hand on her lap and holds it tenderly.
I always know, Jenny. I keep trying to tell you.
I wish you could say something. Give me a
sign-anything-just to let me know that you can
Jonathan is again confused. He leans in and puts his forehead against the side of Jennifer's head.
I always hear you. How can you not know that?
Jonathan closes his eyes and puts his hand on the side of Jennifer's face. He turns her head toward him. As he kisses her gently, he closes his eyes.
With a start, he opens his eyes once more and Jennifer is gone. He looks around desperately.
Jennifer's detached voice is heard from everywhere at once.
I've got to go, Honey. I'll be back. I love you. I'll
always love you.
Jonathan stands up, looking for the source of Jennifer's voice. He screams:
EXT. BORDERLANDS - MOMENTS LATER
Jonathan slowly walks through the borderlands. Ai runs up to him and starts walking next to him.
Jonathan continues unfaltering.
I'm going home.
How? You are the dreamer, but you are also the
dream. You can't go home.
I'll find a way. All I have to do is cross the
borderlands of sleep and wake up.
Ai stops and looks evilly happy. She lowers her head and looks up at Jonathan as he walks away.
You will never be able to fully cross the borderlands without help, dreamer.
EXT. ANCIENT GRAVEYARD - NIGHT
Jonathan walks out of the woods and into the crowd of ancient gravestones.
Two figures can be seen in the distance. The first is of Anji. Her appearance is solid, but the second, Ai, is more ethereal, disappearing and reappearing like a neon light flickering.
Jonathan looks down at the tombstone at her feet which says, "Anji Yamaguchi" and "1991-2007." Jonathan looks up to her. Ai stands behind her, head hanging low. Ai carries a large butcher's knife that has blood dripping from it. Anji's neck is bleeding from ear to ear. Behind them, unseen by anyone, is the faint form of a girl in the shadows. She is seen in the background every time the POV changes.
If you can't remove me from this nightmare,
then I have only one chance to be free. You
must be strong enough to kill me.
Jonathan walks over to her. Ai is not present anymore and Anji's throat is no longer cut. Anji holds the knife up in front of her face as Jonathan stands close in front of her. She looks longingly at the knife and then holds it out to him with both hands, palms up.
I now know that they need me to get to you,
Jonathan. They won't let me harm myself and I
fear what they would do to me if they knew I could
speak to you without their presence. I will never
be free of that Cluster of lost souls unless you can
kill me... now!
Jonathan looks at the knife and then looks deep into Anji's eyes. He tenderly cradles the side of her head with his right hand and takes the knife away with the other. Anji pushes her head against Jonathan's hand, taking in its warmth.
Jonathan pulls her close and puts his head against hers. He closes his eyes tightly.
Anji begins to cry as the anticipation of the knife blow shows on her face. The SOUND of the knife cutting into something is heard as Anji's eyes open wide in what could be pain or fear.
EXT. BORDERLANDS - MOMENTS LATER
Jonathan is walking. He shortly sees a FIGURE ahead. The figure stands motionless. It appears to be an 11 year-old girl with her head turned to the left so that it looks like her long black hair hangs all around her head.
Jonathan walks up to her slowly.
Hey, what are you doing here, kiddo?
The girl jerks violently, keeping her head turned from Jonathan.
Daddy, is that you?
Jonathan approaches her cautiously.
No, I'm sorry. I'm not your daddy. Are you lost?
Jonathan reaches across her body, taking hold of her left arm and turning her to face him.
Hey, are you okay?
The girl whips her head around and she looks directly into Jonathan's eyes as if she is looking into his soul.
You don't belong here, daddy. Not yet.
Jonathan stumbles back several feet, falling to the ground. The girl walks in a frightful, dream-like manner toward Jonathan. Her body shakes and blurs as she walks.
As the girl approaches, Jonathan is held transfixed by her etherealness. As she gets within reach of Jonathan, he begins to scramble away, but the girl is on her hands and knees in the blink of an eye, looking into Jonathan's eyes.
The girl puts her knee into Jonathan's stomach, pinning him to the ground. She stares into his eyes. She takes his face, one hand on each cheek, and holds him immobile.
Who are you?
I'm your daughter, silly daddy.
She leans forward, still with no emotion on her face, eyes looking through Jonathan, not at him, and kisses him on the lips as a daughter might. A flash of a smile appears on her face and vanishes quickly. The girl pulls her face away, still looking through Jonathan instead of at him.
Daddy!... I've been looking for you. You got away
from me in the concrete tomb and I thought I’d lost
you by the grave stones. Daddy, who was that poor girl?
You saw her?
I've seen everything you do. I'm part of you.
How could I not see, daddy?
Jonathan tries to pull away from the girl and she sits on his stomach, keeping him immobile.
But, I'm... I don't have a daughter. Who are you?
There are a lot of things you don't understand yet,
but you will. Take me home now, daddy?
The girl kneels with both legs on Jonathan's far side and grabs him around his neck in a bear hug, holding him close and tight. She slowly begins to merge into Jonathan as he watches in horror.
When the merge is complete, Jonathan looks down in disbelief. Regaining his feet and looks around on the ground as if he has dropped something.
I don't have a daughter.
Continues on his way, looking back only for a moment. The SOUND of his heart remains, hanging in the air, slowly fading to silence as we
FADE TO BLACK:
TO BE CONTINUED