Willow - part one
The following is a screenplay for a feature film that is meant to be rated R. This screenplay contains fowl language and descriptions of graphic images. Copyright Austin Marion 2014.
Part 1 of 5: For other parts see links at bottom of page.
FADE IN: 1 EXT. THE WILLOW - DAY The Willow is a small island on a river. Willow trees cover the island densely. The long branches of the trees blow in the wind. Birds CHIRP in the trees above. The opposite bank of the river is also lined with a dense willow forest. Emerging out of the forest is a narrow dirt road that leads to an old gray and rotting dock with a row boat tied to it. Driving down the dirt road is a black sedan. It parks at the head of the dock. 2 INT. SHORE OPPOSITE OF THE WILLOW - CAR - DAY Putting the car into park is MICHAEL. Michael is in his early forties, well groomed brown hair and mustache. He wears a white shirt and tie, slacks and dark jacket. He has dark bags under his stressed eyes. He sits staring at the island. He sighs loudly and picks up a unfolded map on the passenger seat. Michael looks over the map and folds it back up. It’s a map of Georgia. He then opens the glove box, places the map in it and closes it. He looks out to the Willow and then reaches to his belt, pulls out his gun and releases the magazine. He checks that the magazine is full of bullets and reloads it back into the gun. Michael puts the gun back into its holster and looks back at the Willow again. MICHAEL This is a profoundly stupid idea. He opens the car door and gets out taking the keys with him. On the back of his jacket in bright yellow lettering is FBI. He shuts the door. 3 EXT. SHORE OPPOSITE OF THE WILLOW - DAY Michael moves around to the back of the car and opens the trunk. In the trunk is a machine gun, bullet prof vest, which has FBI in white lettering on it and a flannel jacket. He takes off his jacket and trows in into the truck. He then grabs the vest and puts it on. He pulls out of his pocket an FBI badge attached to a neck chain. He puts the chain over his head and around his neck. Michael glances at the machine gun and reaches out for it but stops. He stares at the gun in thought. MICHAEL That's a bit obsessive. He grabs the flannel jacket and puts it on over the vest and badge. He shuts the trunk and walks toward the dock. As Michael reaches the dock, he pulls out his cellphone and looks at the time. Under time the date reads May 10TH and the year.
4 EXT. THE WILLOW - DAY Michael is pulling the boat onto the shore. After putting the boat on shore he looks up at the dense woods of willows. He makes his way up toward the trees and finds a path leading into them. Michael follows the trail through the woods. After a few twists and turns the woods open up to a small clearing in the middle of the island. In the center of the clearing is a run down shack. The shack is brown and looks like most of the planks are dry rotted and the roof is sagging in the middle. There is a newer looking fishing poll and tackle box sitting next to the front door. Michael scans the surroundings of the clearing. He then looks back at the shack and stares at it apprehensively.
Kansas City, MO Five Years Earlier
5 INT. FBI - MICHAEL’S OFFICE - DAY
The office is plain looking with gray painted walls. The room itself is fairly large with a dark stained L shape desk, a laptop sitting open and a stack of files on top of it. The name plate on the desk reads, SPECIAL AGENT MICHAEL ABBOTT. Across from the desk is a small round table and on the wall behind it is a dry erase board. Sitting behind the desk is Michael, fast at work on his laptop. Behind Michael is a window that looks out onto a few high rises. His office appears to be several floors up. Next to Michael’s laptop is an open file folder with a picture of a late twenties and brunet female agent. The top paper in the file is marked, PERSONNEL RECORD. On the other side of the laptop is a radio that has the time and date on it. The date reads MAY 5TH, five years prior to him being on the Willow. Next to the radio is a family picture of a beautiful woman, a little girl about age five and Michael. KNOCK, KNOCK, at the closed door to the office and Michael looks up. MICHAEL Come in. The door opens and in walks the woman from the personnel record, her name is TAYLOR. The sounds of the BUSTLING and busy office outside of the door floods in. She smiles, closes the door behind her and walks up to his desk. She introduces herself with a Georgian accent. TAYLOR Special Agent Taylor Martin. He smiles back at her, leans back into his chair, picks up the folder and turns a page in the file. MICHAEL Good morning and welcome to Kansas City. Did you find the office okay? TAYLOR I did. MICHAEL Good. He looks down at the file. MICHAEL (CONT’D) You spent five years in missing persons. Why anti-terrorism? TAYLOR I decided to work some form of crime that is preventable, rather than crime that has already been committed. Michael looks at her long and hard. She looks to be hiding something and Michael notices. MICHAEL You understand that it’s not always the case here? TAYLOR I do but it’s a change of pace. MICHAEL Ok. Welcome to the Kansas City regional office. If you go see the receptionist, she’ll show you to your desk. TAYLOR Thank you. She walks back to the door and leaves the room, shutting the door behind her. He sits looking through her file and stands, making his way toward the door.
6 INT. FBI - OFFICE - DAY Michael steps out of his office into the busy office. The office is a large room full of plain looking cubicles and other FBI AGENTS. Sitting directly outside of Michael’s office is his secretary JEAN. She’s young, about twenty five and plain looking. Michael stops at the side of his secretary and spots Taylor walking across the office. Michael sets the file on his secretaries desk. MICHAEL Can you send those down to personnel? JEAN Yes. Your daughter’s on one. MICHAEL She’s calling me at work now? JEAN She say’s she didn’t get to talk to you last night and has something special planed for your birthday. (she smiles at him) Happy birthday, by the way. He forces a smile smiles, while looking a little grumpy about the mention of his birthday. MICHAEL Thanks. He goes back into his office.
7 INT. FBI - MICHAEL’S OFFICE - DAY Michael sits down in his office chair, picks up the phone and begins to speak into it. MICHAEL Casey, how’s it going baby? He begins typing on his laptop as he listens. MICHAEL (CONT’D) Well thank you for the happy birthday. Daddy loves you. (listens) Your going to make me dinner tonight?... Spaghetti dinner? I would love that. Tell you what, I am going try and get out of here earlier than usual. I’ll be home by five. Okay? Daddy loves you... Bye. He hangs up the phone, leans back in his chair and rubs his face. MICHAEL (CONT’D) If there is a god, please do not make me late tonight. She will never forgive me. He goes back to work. A bright flash gleams off of the building across the street. BOOM. The building shakes, the window shatters and Michael dives to the floor. The dry wall on the ceiling cracks and dust falls. The lights flicker and go dark. The windows to the building across the street are all blown out and SCREAMING and CAR ALARMS from the street below echo up to Michael's office. Michael stands slowly and look out the shattered window. He steps closer stepping on the shards of glass on the floor. CRUNCH. He looks down at the street, which has stopped traffic and has PANICKED PEOPLE running up and down it. To his right a thick cloud of smoke and dust is rolling down the street. Michael looks out in disbelief. He quickly turns to his desk, opens a drawer and pulls out his gun in its holster. He clips the holster to his belt and runs for the door.
8 INT. FBI - OFFICE - DAY Michael steps out of his office and shuts the door. The office is dark and the emergency lights are the only source of light. The AGENTS in the office are in a uproar of panic. Michael sees Jean in a terrified panic and hiding under under her desk. MICHAEL Jean! It’s ok. Come on out. Michael reaches down to her and helps her up. JEAN (afraid) What happened? MICHAEL I don’t know. Grab your purse we have to to get out of here. He turns and faces the office. MICHAEL (CONT’D) (yelling) Every one quiet down! We need to evacuate the building now. Calmly make your way to the stairs. A VOICE FROM THE DARK yells out to Michael. VOICE FROM THE DARK Was it our building? MICHAEL No, a building down the street. Lets go now. Michael begins making his way out of the office he walks past a cubical with Taylor standing in it. She appears to had been in the middle of unpacking, a few boxes that sit out on the desk. She watches as he pasts and then after a moment of indecision she follows him. 9 INT. FBI - STAIRS - DAY Michael burst into the stairwell and begins making his way down the stairs. Shortly behind him through the door is Taylor. He sees her. MICHAEL Good first day? She begins her way down the stairs behind him. TAYLOR I like to get straight to work. Was it a bomb? MICHAEL Sure as hell wasn’t a gas main. They continue their way down. 10 INT. FBI - LOBBY - DAY The lobby windows are blown out and the air is thick with dust as Michael and Taylor make their way trough. The sound of SIRENS can be heard. Outside the dust is so thick, that the building across of the street cannot be seen. Michael and Taylor make their way through other PEOPLE trying to get out of the building. Michael glances over to Taylor, pulls his tie off, and hands it to her. MICHAEL Cover your mouth and nose. You won't want to breath this shit in. She nods at him as he look of apprehension fills her face.
11 EXT. FBI - STREET - DAY Michael and Taylor step out onto the sidewalk in front of the building. The dust is thick in the air and to their right down the street, SCREAMS can be heard. A fire truck is making it’s way down the street and they watch it pass. They begin to run down the street. DUST COVERED PEOPLE run in a panic toward them away from where the explosion was. They reach the corner of the building, which has a street, a park and next to the park is a tall twenty story tall building that is partially collapsed. Smoke billows from the building. The front facade of the building is completely gone, exposing the floors. Paper floats out of the exposed floors and fall slowly down toward the ground. Walking toward them is a WOMAN crying covered in blood. TAYLOR Oh, my God. Michael stops her. MICHAEL Miss. You need to sit down. We’re going to get you help. She sobs uncontrollably as she slowly sits down on the ground. Michael looks her over. She is completely covered in gray dust. He sees several large gashes in her face and a small piece of metal in the side of her neck. WOMAN I was just walking through the park. MICHAEL It’ll be ok. TAYLOR I’ll flag down an ambulance. Taylor turns and spots an ambulance coming down the street. She waves her arms at the ambulance and it pulls over. A medic jumps out and runs over to them. Michael grabs Taylor by the shoulder and they run toward the blown out building together. 12 EXT. KANSAS CITY BOMB SITE - DAY Gray dust hangs thick in the air. The bombed out building towers high above. Debris is piled into the street below the building, looking like a giant rock slide on the side of a mountain. FIREMEN and POLICEMEN can be seen making their way up the debris. Michael and Taylor arrive and stop at the edge of the debris field. They look up at the building. PEOPLE can be seen on the exposed floors moving around. Michael notices, just a few feet from him is a severed leg. He looks at it in horror.
13 INT. MICHAEL’S CAR - NIGHT Michael parks in the driveway of his house. He turns off the car and stares into the space in front of him. He is covered in dust. He has a haunted look on his face. 14 INT. HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT The kitchen is large with an over sized fridge, granite counter tops, island in the middle and a breakfast nook. JESSICA walks into the kitchen holding a coffee cup. She is the woman from the picture on Michael’s desk. She is blond with a sweet face. She looks worried and like she has been up the entire night. She walks up to the coffee pot and begins pouring some coffee in her cup. She then walks over to the sink, which has window over it. She looks out the window and sees Michael siting in his car in the driveway. Jessica lets out a sigh of relief. 15 INT. MICHAEL’S CAR - NIGHT Michael still sits staring off into space as Jessica appears on the front stoop. She looks at him for a long moment, before walking out to the car and gets in. He doesn’t look over at her. Michael looks to be in a dazed. JESSICA Mike. It’s three in the morning. I’ve been trying to call you all day. Michael finally looks over to her with a vacant look. MICHAEL Sorry, I’m late. I left my phone on my desk. I’m sorry. Michael looks away from her, as she notices his tired and haunted eyes. JESSICA Don’t worry about it. I was just worried about you... How bad is it? MICHAEL (hesitantly) I have never seen anything like this before. I helped pull ten bodies from the rubble. One, was a... He trails off and looks at her as he fights back a tear. She looks frightened by the sight of him almost starting to cry. MICHAEL (CONT’D) One was pretty bad. Jessica, I have to go back. I just came home to take a quick shower and change my clothes. JESSICA How long is it going to be like this? Casey wants her, daddy. She saw it on TV. She’s scared. MICHAEL I don’t know. She leans over and lay’s her head on his shoulder. He looks over and kisses her on the head. JESSICA I was so scared, when the news broke in. All’s they could show was smoke around your building. I thought I lost you. He puts his arm over her and holds her tight. MICHAEL I’m sorry. I should have called. Everything will be okay. He kisses her on the head again.
16 INT. HOUSE - MASTER BATH - NIGHT The shower is running and steam fills the air. The Master Bath has a granite counter top, a standing shower and whirlpool tub. In the shower is Michael with his head in the stream of hot water. He watches as the dust filled water flows off of his head and down to the drain. 17 INT. HOUSE - MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT Michael sits at the bottom of the bed, putting on a pair of socks. Jessica stands in the doorway. She stares at him with a concerned look. JESSICA They’re not even letting you get a few hours of sleep? Or are you not letting yourself get any sleep? He sighs. MICHAEL This is important, Jessica. JESSICA I know but you need sleep. You’ve been going since yesterday morning. That’s twenty-four hours. MICHAEL I know what time I got up. Why don’t you go to bed. I’ll sleep tonight. JESSICA You know, I really hate it when you bullshit me. He smiles at her and she hesitantly smiles back.
18 INT. HOUSE - CASEY’S BEDROOM - NIGHT The room is painted a brilliant pink color with toy’s strewn over the entire room. The room is dark with CASEY lying in bed awake staring at the open door to the hallway. Michael is walking past and stops, seeing her awake in bed. He walks into the room and lies down on the bed next to her. He looks at her lovingly. MICHAEL Sorry, I missed my birthday dinner. CASEY It’s okay. Mommy said, you had to work. Were you there for the explosion? MICHAEL Yes, I was. CASEY Are there a lot of people that died? MICHAEL We were able to save most of them. CASEY Are you going to catch the bad person that did it? MICHAEL Yes. He kisses her on the forehead and smiles at her. MICHAEL (CONT’D) Now go to sleep. I have to go back to work. I’ll make up dinner to you on your birthday this weekend. CASEY I love you, daddy. They smile at one another. MICHAEL I love you. Go to sleep, its early still. He stands up and leaves the room.
19 EXT. KANSAS CITY BOMB SITE - DAY Hundreds of YELLOW VEST CLAD WORKERS are working through the debris. Michael stands on the dust covered street next to the debris pile looking up at the building. He wears a black jacket with FBI on the back. A man in his late twenties, also wears an FBI jacket stands next to him. His name is JUNIOR and he speaks with a Louisiana draw. JUNIOR Sir. They think they found the vin plate for the truck. Michael looks down the street and sees a bank down with an ATM in front of it. The bank has all of the windows down out and its sign is damaged from flying debris from the explosion. Michael looks over to Junior, his eyes are heavy and tired looking. MICHAEL Horrible thing, isn’t it, Junior? JUNIOR Can’t think of anything worse. An innocent white truck pulls up. Ten minutes later goes off, kills over two hundred. They haven’t found all of the bodies yet. They just brought in the cadaver dogs. It’s like we’re giving up,or something. MICHAEL We’re not giving up, yet. Show me the vin. JUNIOR It’s in the truck. Michael turns, faces Junior and he follow Junior toward a large white FBI truck marked, MOBILE FIELD HEADQUARTERS and the FBI emblem on its side.
20 INT. KANSAS CITY BOMB SITE - MOBILE HQ - DAY There are about ten FBI AGENTS including Michael and Junior, stuffed into the tight confines of the truck. Banks of computer screens and work stations are situated along the walls down the length of the truck. Michael and Junior stand in a corner. Michael is holding a plastic bag with a twisted piece of metal in it. JUNIOR It has traces of ammonium nitrate on it. MICHAEL Already traced it? JUNIOR It belongs to a moving truck company outside of Topeka. We tried calling them but they weren’t open yet. Agent Martin, is already on her way. Michael looks closely at the piece of metal, which is silver and black. The numbers are easily readable. MICHAEL It amazing, how easy it is to find this kind of shit. JUNIOR There was also, traces of nitromethane on it. Michael looks up at Junior. MICHAEL Just like Oklahoma City. Junior shakes his head yes. 21 EXT. EASY HAUL TOPEKA - DAY Freshly planted corn fields stretch out to the horizon. In the middle of the fields along a country road is the run down, Easy Haul truck rental store with a dirt parking lot. Behind the store is lot full of rental trucks and lined with a chain link fence. A black sedan pulls up and parks near the entrance of the store. Taylor gets out of the car, looks around and then looks at the front door, which has an open sign in the window of the door. 22 INT. EASY HAUL TOPEKA - DAY The store front is in need of remolding, it has laminated wood panel walls and a pealing laminate counter with a computer on top of it. There is a TV in a corner of the room showing news coverage of the bombing. The EASY HAUL MANAGER stands behind the computer as Taylor walks in and up to the counter. EASY HAUL MANAGER How can I help you miss? Taylor pulls out her FBI badge and ID and shows him. He looks concerned. TAYLOR I need information on a truck that is register here. She pulls a piece of paper out of her pocket and hands it to him. He glances over to the TV and back to her, looking even more concerned. EASY HAUL MANAGER Something I should be concerned with? TAYLOR I don’t know. If that truck was rented from here, I need all of the information on the person who rented it. He hesitantly picks up the piece of paper and looks at it. On the paper is a copy of the trucks registration and vin number.
23 INT. KANSAS CITY BOMB SITE - MOBILE HQ - DAY Michael and Junior huddle around another AGENT, who is working at a computer station, quickly typing away. Junior is on a cell phone. JUNIOR (into the cell phone) Yeah, were running the ID now. On the computer screen is a dialogue box, that read SEARCHING. Michael looks on desperately. The computer finishes its search. AGENT Sorry, sir. No such ID in the New Mexico database. Michael and Junior both look dejected. JUNIOR (into the cell phone) It’s a fake. MICHAEL (to Junior) Tell her to come home. Junior nods in acknowledgement before speaking into the phone again. JUNIOR See you in a few hours. MICHAEL Shit. Junior hangs up the phone and looks at Michael. MICHAEL (CONT’D) Well, we don't get lucky. We’re going to get this guy. We’ll hunt him down. JUNIOR (confidently) Yes, we will. Junior turns and walks away. Michael sighs loudly. 24 INT. EASY HAUL TOPEKA - DAY Taylor stands, putting her cellphone away in her pocket. The Easy Haul Manager stares at her. She also, holds a photocopy of a New Mexico divers license, which she stares at. The man on the divers license has long hair and beard. She looks up and notices the Easy Haul Manager staring at her. He has a very worried look on his face. EASY HAUL MANAGER That’s not the man that did that, is it? I couldn’t live with myself, if I rented that truck. TAYLOR If you didn’t, someone else would have. And if no one did, he would have stolen one. We’ll be in touch. Have a nice day, sir. She turns and leaves. 25 INT. KANSAS CITY BOMB SITE - TOWN CAR - DAY The car progresses down the street slowly toward the bombed out building just ahead of them. Sitting in the backseat of the town car is man in his early sixties, clad in jeans, button up shirt and FBI jacket. His name is ALBERT. He is looking though a file, then closes it and look out his window at the bombed out building. ALBERT My God. A combination of sadness and terror is apparent in his eyes.
26 EXT. KANSAS CITY BOMB SITE - DAY Michael stands on a small debris mound, watching a near by WORKER with a German Shepherd sniffing the pile. Junior walks up toward the mound behind Michael. MICHAEL The ATM footage shows that the truck pulls up at about nine thirty AM. The diver then gets out and walks north up the street, to never be seen again or till we find more camera footage of him. (pause) Building security notices the truck but was alerted by one of the tenants the night before, that they were expecting a delivery by truck. So, they let it sit there for ten minutes. It just sits there and no one thinks anything of it. JUNIOR Sir. Michael doesn’t acknowledge him. JUNIOR (CONT’D) Special Agent Abbott. Michael finally tuns to face him. JUNIOR (CONT’D) Director Spears is here. He’s waiting for you in the Mobile HQ. MICHAEL (nervously and exhausted) Okay. Michael runs his hand through his hair.
27 INT. KANSAS CITY BOMB SITE - MOBILE HQ - DAY The Mobile HQ is empty for the exception for Albert, who sits reading through a file. Michael stands at the entrance, just closing the door. MICHAEL Director Spears. ALBERT Yes, Special Agent Abbott. Good to meet you. Can I call you Michael? MICHAEL (nervously) Yes, sir. ALBERT You can take a seat. Michael nods and takes a seat across from Albert. ALBERT (CONT’D) It’s very rare for us to be the first responders. I understand that you helped all day yesterday and last night to help pull people from rubble. It looks like you helped save some lives. Michael’s expression change to sadness. MICHAEL Not all of them were alive, sir. ALBERT It’s a tough thing to see. I’ve been to several of these things. Their not easy. Never will be. I was at Oklahoma City and I remember standing in a morgue there. Full of little children, that, that son of a bitch blew up. Michael’s sadness intensifies. MICHAEL One of the first dead bodies we pulled out was this five year old girl. I couldn’t help but see my little girl. (pause) Sir, I’d like to request to stay in charge of this. ALBERT I've read your service record. You caught the Whisky River Killer? (Michael nods at him) That was a hell of a thing you did then. I don't think there is a more perfect agent, to head this up. You’re now responsible for finding justice, for those hundred or so dead. For those families going on without a mother or father. It’s on you, to nail this son of a bitch on the wall. Can you do that? MICHAEL Yes, sir. ALBERT You look tired, Michael. When was the last time you slept?
MICHAEL Four yesterday morning. ALBERT Go home and get some rest tonight. I’m sure your little girl would appreciate to see her father. MICHAEL She would but I can’t leave yet. There is too much for me to... ALBERT (interrupting) You’re not going to catch this guy being half asleep. This could have just as well have been your building and I’m sure your family would like to see you. (stands) You report directly to me, now. Good luck. He reaches out and shakes Michael’s hand. ALBERT (CONT’D) And don’t forget. This is a thankless task. You’re going to be a public figure in all this. They are counting on you and they are going to ride you, till you can’t go on any longer. Albert turns and leaves the Mobile HQ. Michael takes in a long breath. He turns in his chair and looks at a stack of papers with photos paper clipped to them. The pictures are of dead victims of the bomb. He flips over a few pages and stops on a picture of a five year old girl with a few cuts on her face. She looks like she is a sleep but she isn’t. She’s dead. Michael stares at the photo. A tear wells up in his eyes as his face reddens in anger. He quickly covers the photo over.
28 INT. HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT Jessica stands at the sink doing dishes as Michael enters the room. She looks up and smiles at him. JESSICA Coming home to change again? MICHAEL No. He walks up to her and hugs her, lovingly and kisses her. JESSICA I figured you would have found a hotel closer to work. MICHAEL You know me. I’d much rather sleep in my own bed. (pause) Where’s Casey? JESSICA In her room. They stay in their embrace. 29 INT. HOUSE - CASEY’S BEDROOM - NIGHT The lights are on in her room. Casey sits at a miniature table playing with a plastic tea cups. She has her back toward the door as Michael arrives. He watches her play for a moment, before knocking on the wall to get her attention. MICHAEL Mind if I join? CASEY (excitedly) Daddy! She stands, runs over and hugs him. CASEY (CONT’D) Yes, you can join me. She takes his hand and leads him over to the table. She takes her seat and Michael very carefully take his seat in a undersized chair. They begin to play. Michael is looking on her lovingly. Jessica appears at the doorway.
Willow continues in part two, see links below.
Link to other parts of Willow
- Willow - part two
Part two of the screenplay Willow, which follows FBI agent Michael Abbott as he tracks down an elusive serial bomber.
- Willow - part three
The following is continuation of a screenplay for a feature film that is meant to be rated R. This screenplay contains fowl language and descriptions of graphic images. Copyright Austin Marion 2014
- Willow - part four
Part four of the screenplay Willow, which follows FBI agent Michael Abbott as he tracks down an elusive serial bomber.
- Willow - part five
Part five of the screenplay Willow, which follows FBI agent Michael Abbott as he tracks down an elusive serial bomber.
© 2015 Austin James Marion