FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY
FADE IN: EXT. CEMETERY - LATE AFTERNOON BOOM! A crack of lightning illuminates the silhouette of a perched crow large in the f.g. TIGHT ANGLE - FRESH GRAVE As a spade smooths the walls of a new double-decker plot. DIMITRI (O.S.) We're losing the light; let's pack it in. ANGLE - DIMITRI AND ALEXI TWO GRAVEDIGGERS. Scoop digger parked f.g. towering gothic-style church b.g. Rolls of astro turf. They look up toward the sky. ALEXI Snow, maybe? DIMITRI What, you gonna ski on this? He indicates the mound of fresh dirt. Spits into the grave. DIMITRI (CONT'D) Come on, let's bag this. It's beer time. Alexi nods and unfurls the tarp over the dirt. LOW ANGLE TRACKING SHOT - FLOWERS ON GRAVES As we MOVE alongside a pair of canvas-sided combat boots, as the wearer collects the most lively flowers from each grave in sequence. TIGHT ANGLE - THE CROW Cemetery DEFOCUSED b.g. Large, glossy-black, the bird follows the arc of movement in the previous shot. Ruffles its feathers as it begins to sprinkle rain. ANGLE - ELLY - RESUMING HER MOTION A dirty-blondish tenement KID of eleven, clad in a blend of cast- offs and hand-me-downs; her version of street punk chic. She totes a skateboard under one arm (itself a berserk Jackson Pollock chaos of band stickers, silver marker and graffiti, with day-glo wheels), and transfers her impromptu bouquet so she may unzip a flap and hike up a ragged hood against the rain. She stops to watch the grave diggers pack up and EXIT b.g. ELLY Guess the picnic got rained out. She looks down o.s. at -- ANGLE - SHELLY WEBSTER'S GRAVE as Elly places the gathered flowers down. Almost reverent. RESUME CROW ANGLE - ELLY B.G. as Elly takes a single white rose and places it atop the grave near Shelly Webster's. ANGLE ON GRAVE - AS ELLY LEAVES TILT UP from rose to the name: ERIC DRAVEN. Rain spatters the granite, darkening it. EXTREME CLOSE-UP - CROW's EYE It blinks in its alien way. WITH THE CROW as it takes wing from it's unseen perch. Lands stop Eric's headstone. It pecks tentatively at the top of the monument. ANGLE - ELLY NEAR ERIC'S GRAVE She hasn't gotten too far before she notices the bird. ELLY Oh, scary. The bird blinks at her from the headstone. ELLY What are you, like, the night watchman? Another blink from El Birdo. CAMERA WITH ELLY - BOOMING BACK HIGH as she exits the iron gates of the cemetery without looking back. Brutal building facades, like dead eyes, and bad alleyways, like hungry mouths, are gradually revealed as we continue PULLING BACK to unveil that the cemetery is smack in the middle of the city. EXT. MAXI-DOGS - TWILIGHT - RAIN CONTINUES CLOSE-UP of a foot-long hot dog being drowned in mustard. MICKEY (O.S.) What this place needs is a good natural catastrophe. Earthquake, tornado... ANGLE - ALBRECHT AND MICKEY ALBRECHT is a black beat cop, 35, in a rain slicker. MICKEY is the grease-aproned entrepreneur of MAXI DOGS, a steamy open-front fast foodery. ALBRECHT You gotta put the mustard underneath first. MICKEY Maybe a flood, like in the Bible. ALBRECHT Here, let me do it. He grabs the dog from Mickey. Mickey puffs his cigar while he cooks. Albrecht methodically spreads a napkin and performs surgery on the hot dog, coating the bun with mustard, rolling the dog in the bun. Flashes Mickey a "gimme" look. ALBRECHT Come on... onion. Don't cheap out on me. Lotta onions. MOVING ANGLE - AS ELLY SKATEBOARDS TOWARDS MAXI DOGS MICKEY Heyyy -- it's the Elly monster. ALBRECHT How do you ride that thing on a wet street? ELLY Talent. Hi. ALBRECHT Care for a hot dog? ELLY You buying? ALBRECHT I'm buying. Elly grabs the stool next to Albrecht. They`ve done this routine before. ELLY No onions though, okay? ALBRECHT (horror) No onions? ELLY They make you fart. Mickey laughs. Spots Elly a Coke. MICKEY What's goin' on, Elly? ELLY I went to see a friend of mine. MICKEY Well, how's your friend? ELLY She's still dead. Albrecht and Mickey exchange a look re: Elly's matter-of- factness. EXT. CEMETERY - NIGHT (RAIN) Thunder KABOOMS o.s. The crow pecks the top of the stone again and a chip of granite flies off, bang! EXTREME CLOSE - THE HEADSTONE as the crow pecks again and draws blood from the rock. CLOSE-UP - THE CROW A dot of blood on its ebony beak. LOW ANGLE - HEADSTONE A thin, watery trickle of blood wanders from the top of the stone towards the earth. Rain does not interfere. Lightning plays in the rolling cloud cover, b.g. RESUME THE CROW as it takes off from the gravestone, into the rain. CLOSE-UP - THE BLOOD It slowly fills the name Eric Draven into the rock. CLOSE-UP - FOOT TAPPER A LOW ANGLE like the SHOT introducing Elly's boot. This time we see cowboy boots, leather chaps. The foot taps. Waiting. MEDIUM ANGLE - THE FOOT TAPPER as lightning strikes. Just enough for us to see a figure in a long duster and a cowboy hat. RESUME ERIC'S HEADSTONE DRAVEN fills with blood. Blood continues groundward. NEW ANGLE - THE FOOT TAPPER Turning to meet FRAME as the crow alights on his outstretched arm. This is the SKULL COWBOY. We glimpse the deathshead, beneath the brim of the cowboy hat. RESUME ERIC'S GRAVE as blood trickles into the turf at the base of the grave. TIGHT ANGLE - THE CROW shaking off rain. Watching intently. CLOSE-UP - THE SKULL COWBOY'S FREE HAND Black gloved. It walks a flat silver throwing knife across it's knuckles, like a quarter somersaulting. RESUME ERIC'S GRAVE The turf stirs beneath the white rose. Magically, a slim white parts the earth to grasp the rose. SKULL COWBOY POV - ERIC's GRAVE as the figure of Eric Draven stands up from behind his own headstone. LOW ANGLE (FROM GRAVE) - ERIC Pale. Clad in cerements: cheap black burial suit, slit open in back. WHite shirt. A nothing tie. No shoes. Rain sluices mud from his upturned face. He looks to the sky. Lightning. ANOTHER ANGLE - FOLLOW ERIC as he weaves to lean against a nearby tree. Looks o.s. ERIC's POV - THE SKULL COWBOY water-blurred, through the rain, standing with the crow perched on his arm like a hunting falcon. He releases it and it flies to the tree. ANGLE - ERIC Watching this. Wipes mud from his eyes, tries to clear vision. The crow lights in the tree and they meet eye-to-eye. Eric looks back o.s. and we RACK to include the Skull Cowboy. ERIC What the hell are you? SKULL COWBOY Interested? Follow the crow. NB. The Skull Cowboy speaks in nicely distorted, buzzlike charnal house whisper. Unsettling and hackle-raising. Eric turns back to the bird, which takes wing in the rain, His eyes follow it. He looks back, disoriented, doubtful, but the Skull Cowboy is gone. LOW DEEP ANGLE - THE CROW Taking wing in the rain, showing the way. ANOTHER ANGLE - ERIC alone in the cemetery. After a moments hesitation, he lurches off, following the crow. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. ARCADE GAMES SUPPLY OFFICE - NIGHT - TO ESTABLISH: A candy-flaked muscle T-bird is parked at the curb. INT. ARCADE GAMES SUPPLY OFFICE - NIGHT A MOVING SHOT during o.s. lines. Past dead video and pinball devices. Pasta desk with an open briefcase, coffee cup, ashtray -- someone was just there. Then past a WOMAN, trussed with duct tape to her office chair, gagged, hot fear in her darting eyes. COMPLETE CAMERA MOVE to include SKANK, a blade-thin speed freak with pattern baldness, always loud, jittery, a manic dust puppy. And T-BIRD, an arrogant Arayan, brush-cut iron pumper, who is prepping an incendiary. He exhibits a small squeeze bottle of arson cocktail to Skank. T-BIRD Uncle T-Bird's 100-proof accelerator. I squirt you with this, you could jump in the Detroit river and burn all the way to the bottom. INSERT A CLOSE-UP of the bomb in his hands as he works. Silver canisters, an LED timer, wires. T-BIRD (CONT'D) You know, Lake Erie actually caught on fire once, from all the crap in it. Wish I coulda seen that. He CLICKS a switch. PEEP. LED countdown blurs. T-BIRD (CONT'D) We're ready to rock. Skank notices the captive woman's handbag on the floor. Picks it up. Looks through it for valuables. SKANK What about working girl? INTERCUT the woman's increasingly horrified reactions. T-BIRD What about her? SKANK I say we leave her here to fry, man. T-Bird looks casually at the woman. Smiles hideously. T-BIRD No. Let's take her with us. ANGLE - THE WOMAN Her eyes bug in a terrified NO! EXT. STREET - MOVING - NIGHT As the T-Bird fishtails wildly around the corner and eats street. INT. T-BIRD - TRAVELLING - NIGHT TB drives. One eye on his digital watch (doing an equally fast countdown). Skank wrestles their captive, the woman, in the back seat. TB (pissed off) Skank, shut her the fuck up! SKank punches her and she sags. Then he looks forward. SKANK Whoaaa -- T-Bird, red light, red light! EXT. STREET CORNER NEAR MAXI-DOGS - NIGHT As the T-Bird slews wide, cutting sidewalk, scattering nightwalkers, immediately attracting everybody's attention. ANGLE - ALBRECHT - AT MAXI-DOGS Reacting, with a mouthful. ALBRECHT Goddammit. Mickey grabs the counter phone instantly. MICKEY Call it in? Albrecht is off and running for the corner already. ALBRECHT Yeah, do it! (to Elly) Stay right there! HOLD ON MICKEY. He points at Albrecht's hot dog. Yecch. MICKEY (yelling after) You want I should save this for you? EXT. MOUTH OF ALLEY ACROSS FROM CEMETERY - NIGHT The car slides to a nose-down panic stop. SKANK (O.S.) Dump her, man, dump her! The woman comes tumbling from the car, which blasts off with a war hoop from the guys inside. ANGLE - CORNER - ON ALBRECHT Gun out, hauling ass on wet pavement. Aims at the departing car. Gives it up. Still too far away. Pedestrians in the way. ANGLE - THE WOMAN hurting, cut, bleeding, tottering toward the dumpster. Duct tape stuck to her face but cut away around her mouth. With her as she falls into the alley darkness... straight into the arms of CLOSE TWO-SHOT - ERIC AND THE WOMAN Their eyes lock. Eric stiffens with his first FLASH. NB: Eric's flashes of past memory are conditioned by the nature of things with which he makes physical contact. Hints and fragments in fierce, super-saturated COLOR. Puzzle pieces he must assemble. Each flash keynoted by a BLOWBACK NOISE and accompanied by a degree of pain. It hurts to remember. FLASH: INT. T-BIRD - WOMAN'S STRUGGLE The faces of Skank and T-Bird are murky, ephemeral, their voices hideous, distorted echoes. A knife snaps open. We see the blade. Blood. Skank hits her, pow! and -- FLASH ENDS. ANOTHER ANGLE - ERIC AND WOMAN An airborne crow POV spiralling up and away from them. MATCH WITH: ANGLE - THE CROW perched on a fire escape, high above, watching and waiting. ANGLE - RESUMING ERIC AND WOMAN She fades. He lets her drop away, horrified. And staggers back into the cover of the alley. Her blood is on his hands. ANGLE - ALBRECHT RUNNING Skidding in, spotting the woman. Kneeling to her. ALBRECHT Here now! You're gonna be okay! Can you understand me? I'm a police officer... The woman is no longer in pain. Deathly calm now. WOMAN He touched me and it stopped. The pain. ALBRECHT What did you say? WOMAN I saw a ghost... Her eyes roll back and she dies in Albrecht's arms. ALBRECHT Oh no... don't go, darlin', you stay with me, now... shit! HIGH ANGLE CROW POV - THE ALLEY BOOMING BACK from Albrecht, the woman, onlookers, as police units screech up to assist. EXT. ALLEY BEHIND ARCADES GAMES SUPPLY HOUSE - ON ERIC - NIGHT Eric in lurching flight, panting. Stops and steadies against the wall across from the backside of Arcade Games. ANGLE - THE CROW (FLYING) Circling, then lighting on the fire escape above Eric. BACK WINDOWS OF ARCADE GAMES - ("CROWVISION") "CROWVISION" is what the crow "gives" Eric to see. Visually distinct and immediately identifiable. ERIC'S POV - BACK WINDOWS OF ARCADE GAMES Which he's already seen through the crow's eyes. ANGLE - ERIC looking up at the crow. Disoriented. Doesn't understand. Suddenly he cottons, and covers his eyes just in time to shield from: ANGLE - BACK OF ARCADE GAMES The rear windows EXPLODING outward in a spray of fire and debris. ANGLE - WITH ERIC he reels back, crashes into a dumpster. Falls. ANGLE - THE CROW landing on the dumpsters edge near a pair of discarded combat boots in the trash. Flames. LOW ANGLE - ERIC The blood from his hands mars his burial shirt. He tears the shirt away, leaving his tie absurdly intact. Wipes his face with his shirt. Discards it. Stops, held by his discovery -- PUSH IN ON ERIC as his fingers explore the five puckered bullet punctures in his chest. Almost a circle. Comically, he feels his back foe exit wounds. Then hauls himself upright, coming level with the crow. His glance at the bird is almost accusatory. ANGLE - THe CROW Inscrutable. We should get the idea that some silent communication is taking place. ANGLE - ERIC'S FEET bare, muddied, frozen. TILT to Eric. His gaze moves from the crow to the boots in the trash. He grabs them, pushes them onto his bare feet. His eyes catch the firelight. Distant o.s. SIRENS ERIC Fire. In the rain. DISSOLVE TO: INT. CLUB TRASH - NIGHT We are now within the neon techno-depths of Club Trash. The BG music is hard, savage, primal: a doom-laden Radio Werewolf band rules. Cabaret Blitzkrieg, packed with Death-to-Yup trendazoids. We'll see more of this circus later. Right now the BG SOUND is our biggest clue to the flavor of this establishment since we are -- TIGHT CLOSE-UP A FRAMED 8X10 Thinly filmed in dust, mounted among dozens of other band shots. Visible among the posed members of a group called Diabolique is Eric, wielding guitar on the club stage. ND BLUR as people CROSS FRAME. GRANGE, 45-50, powerful, a seasoned assassin, cruel but loyal. His facade remains stony as he leads three other men briskly down the corridor.: NGO NWA, 50ish, clad Chinese gangster style - white topcoat, white scarf, tinted shades - and two body guards supplying a power perimeter around him,lean, dark-haired Asian killers who would gladly die for Ngo Nwa, which they will in just a minute. They have just passed the Diabolique 8X10. Ngo Nwa's gloved fingers, in passing, leave little skid tracks in the dust that clear the eyes of Eric in the photo. As the foursome reaches the DOOR, Grange turns doubtfully -- suspiciously -- to Nwa. NGO NWA He will see me... unannounced. ANOTHER ANGLE - THE DOOR As Grange keys in the enter code the door hisses open. Without a word, Nwa passes inside and the door is pulled shut in Grange's face by the Bodyguards, who post themselves to either side. INT. LAO'S NIGHTCLUB OFFICE - NIGHT The door CLOSES and the BG NOISE is GONE. Through a large window (mirrored on the club side) all sorts of activity is visible through automatic mini-blinds. A fly-vision bank of 12 TV monitors is hot with surveillance. LAO, a painfully clean-cut, Armani-clad Asian, impeccable, almost dashing, but the dynamic here is crystal clear: Nwa is the King: Lao, the dark prince in this hierarchy. At the desk, Lao is startled from his contemplation of a tiny, perfect rat skeleton by Ngo Nwa's unheralded entry. The desktop is bare except for and Arcane Vietnamese fighting knife, half a meter long with an ideogrammed blade, dramatically positioned beneath an Artemide lamp. Lao rises and feigns servility. NB: The following exchange will play FAST, and entirely in VIETNAMESE. LAO (formal greeting) NWA (dismissiveness, contempt, then chastizing anger as:) Nwa INDICATES the blade with some ridicule. LAO (phony assuagement) NWA (knows it's bullshit) Lao turns, staring out the blinds, fighting for control. Deep breath. He turns back to his "master." Nwa gestures broadly at the oppulent office, indicating that Lao should be grateful, but is somehow errant NWA (respect is required) LAO (begrudging agreement) Lao sees the blade. An idea. He lifts it reverently, bears it the Nwa hilt-first in both hands, as if bestowing a thing of immeasurable worth. NGO NWA (why give me this?) Nonetheless, Nwa accepts the blade. It gleams. Hypnotic. Even Nwa has to admire it. Turns it so the blade is pointed at his sternum. His attitude indicates Lao is too far away to do anything untoward. LAO (sinister punchline) Lao spins through the air and HEEL-KICKS the blade THROUGH Nwa's chest, pinning him to the door. It's over so fast the gasp of astonishment never escapes Nwa. Lao is much more than merely treacherous, he is extremely capable. LAO (in perfect English) When I spoke of an offering, I didn't mean an offering to you. INT. CORRIDOR - NIGHT (CONTINUOUS) Grange, standing out of arm's reach in the corridor, kills both Bodyguards with a double headshot as they turn in greeting as the door OPENS. ANOTHER ANGLE - CORRIDOR - LAO, GRANGE, AND CORPSES Lao exchanges a look with his right arm; Grange nods affirmatively. GRANGE You gonna smoke his bones now, or however it is you do it? Lao smiles indulgently. He wipes the blood from the blade on the jacket of his ex-lord. Lao now bows to no one. EXT. FIRE ESCAPE - ANOTHER ALLEY - NIGHT Eric, wearing the combat boots, climbs as the crow leads him. Up. He jams his hand on a rusty wedge of metal. Ouch. CLOSE-UP - ERIC'S PALM Blood flows from the gash. He vises his fist shut. ANGLE - ERIC ON FIRE ESCAPE Eye-to-eye with the crow. Opens his hand. CLOSE-UP - ERIC'S PALM The blood flows back into the wound, which closes itself, leaving another scar. ANGLE - ERIC Vising the rail. Speaks to the night. Almost a mantra. ERIC "My kitten walks on velvet feet, and makes no sound at all. And in the doorway nightly sits to watch the darkness fall. I think he loves the lady night..." (to crow) Am I alive? Am I dead? Something else? Something in between? CLOSE-UP - THE CROW Inscrutable. No answer here. RESUME ERIC Almost bemused. Steadier. A hint of friendliness. ERIC Thanks for sharing that. ETC. GIDEON`S PAWN SHOP - NIGHT As the T-Bird grumbles tp park curbside. Menacing. INT. GIDEON'S PAWN SHOP - NIGHT A junkyard of loot and dusty discards. Junkie thievings and other people's stereos. Behind a wire-meshed security counter GIDEON reads a racing form, chain-smoking throughout the scene. He is pear-shaped, stubbled, unkempt. Food on his shirt. JINGLE of doorbells. Gideon lowers his paper to reveal Skank and T-Bird on approach. GIDEON Ahhh, jesus, the creatures of the night, here they come. Tweedledum and Tweedledummer. Skank riles SKANK Hey, blow me, fat boy! Just as quick, Gideon cocks and levels a Magnum at Skank. GIDEON Blow yourself, bigmouth. T-BIRD (interposing) Whoa, hey, whoa. (hands up) Business. He lifts a small carton onto the counter. GIDEON Whatcha got? NEW ANGLE - COUNTER Transaction time. T-Bird passes items through the screen slot and Gideon gives each one cursory, doubtful inspection. T-BIRD Coupla more rings... 24k. GIDEON 18k. Crap. T-BIRD ...necklace... pearls... GIDEON Nineteen bucks at Sears. Fake, T-BIRD Leather purse... He hands though the bag rested from the woman. GIDEON What's this -- a little, ah, bloodstain, right? (doesn't matter) Fifty bucks for the box, and I'm doin' you a -- T-BIRD Yeah, I know, fatso. Do us all a favor. Make Top Dollar smile. SKANK You wouldn't want Top Dollar not to smile. Mention of Top Dollar clams Gideon efficiently up. He hands over the cash to T-Bird with a grimace. EXT. ROOFTOP - ON ERIC - NIGHT Eric stares upward at the crow as it drops like a bomber from the night sky, flying past him, skimming the roof, leading him on. Eric exhales, shrugs, feeling mocked by the bird. ERIC All right. And he takes off on a run. Only to stumble and fall. But the falls turns into a TUMBLING ROLL that lands Eric back on his feet still moving. He looks back as if to ask: "Did I do that?" and runs out of the frame. ANOTHER ANGLE - PICKING UP ERIC ON THE RUN. as he squints towards the crow and does his best to keep up. TRACK WITH HIM to the edge of the roof, heavily misted in rain. He jumps a negligible gap to the next lower roof. The next roof-top is a one-story jump down. Eric clears the jump with a WOOF of air. Keeping his eyes on the flying crow; gaining strength. His next leap is more like a broad-jump. Athletic. FAST MOVING ANGLE - THE CROW keeping airborne, keeping ahead. MOVING ANGLE - ERIC Eyes confidently on the sky as he arches out into space... UP ANGLE FROM STREET - BUILDINGS As Eric is seen to jump across the gap at least three stories up where there is no connecting building. CLOSE ANGLE - TARGET BUILDING LEDGE as Eric smashes into it, just missing, hinging at the waist, grabbing for purchase, suddenly panicked, gravity pulling him downward. ANGLE - AT ERIC FROM PHONE CABLE BRACKET Eric falls but manages to grab the bracket one-handed. He hangs for another deadly moment, then slowly, to his own astonishment, executes a one-handed pull-up that will save his ass. ERIC Gotcha. He completes the pull-up, bringing his chin level with the ledge. As he reaches for it with his other hand the bracket rips from the wall and Eric plummets, with a howl of defeat. UP ANGLE FROM STREET - ERIC'S DOWNFALL It's a looooooong way down. ANGLE - ALLEYWAY as Eric lands and splits a trash can in two. A beat as we wonder if any bones are left unpulped. PUSH IN as Eric rolls from facedown to his back. TIGHT SHOT - ERIC'S FACE as he completes the roll, gasping, amazed he's still in one piece. ANGLE - TRASHCAN - ON THE CROW It flies easily down to inspect Eric as he slowly sits up, examining his hands. Frustrated and pissed off. ERIC Thanks. CLOSE-UP - THE CROW Not "your welcome", but other-worldly patience. It waits. RESUME ERIC ERIC (CONT'D) Where're we going next -- the sewer? EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT Still, dark silence until Eric lands from ABOVE FRAME, feline. The crow lands simultaneously b.g., perched near a roof access door with a shaded, dim-yellow bulb. CLOSE-UP - THE CROW It just blinks at him. INT. ABANDONED STAIRWELL - NIGHT as Eric yanks open the rusty rooftop door from the outside and sweeps down the steps in a swirl of night mist ANGLE - FOOT OF STAIRS Trash and detritus all around, clogging the arteries of the building, which is old, unoccupied, forsaken. The crow lights on a scarred banister knob. Eric's footsteps come down into frame. ANGLE ON LOFT DOOR - INCLUDE ERIC A year ago this door was sealed with police barricade tape... which now sags, faded. A sticker across the jam notifies potential trespassers that this is -- was -- a crime scene. Eric slows, stops, his hand on the banister. ANGLE - THE CROW as is wafts ahead of Eric, arriving at the door first. ANGLE ON ERIC, THE DOOR, THE CROW Eric has had enough. ERIC Are we finished yet? CLOSE-UP - ERIC'S HAND ON BANISTER sliding along, as he speaks, until it hits a cigarette burn. PUSH IN ON ERIC - TIGHT stiffening as he suffers his second -- FLASH: IMAGES and DIALOG are not linked. A rapidfire MONTAGE set in the loft, a year earlier (it is decorated for Halloween). The broken door. The stairwell is filled with cops and cop noise; lab guys bustle. Albrecht is there, making notes as a DETECTIVE steps over to him. ALBRECHT Victim's name is Shelly Webster. The guy who got tossed is, uh ...-- (checks his notebook) Albrecht grinds out his smoke on the banister. FLASH ENDS. RESUME ERIC ON THE STAIRS. He sits down hard, hurting from the flash. His eyes seek the crow. He completes Albrecht's line: ERIC "Draven, Eric." EXT. THE PIT - NIGHT LOW DOLLY of Elly's little combat boots moving toward the entryway of the pit. MUSIC gradually UP LOUDER O.s. as she nears. ANGLE - ELLY IN DOORWAY Luridly-lit. A grown-up's place. A burly BOUNCER appraises her, his tone jokey. He knows Elly. BOUNCER Hey! You got any ID? ELLY Very funny. Ha. Ha. Oh my, sides. The Bouncer jerks a thumb. Go on in. INT. THE PIT - NIGHT A grungy sawdust-floored shot-and-beer joint packed tight with urban BURNOUTS rushing to drink their lives away. Hammering MUSIC and rude whorehouse lighting. Each predator straining to be badder than the next. TRACK THROUGH this maze at Elly's eye level until we reach DARLA, waitressing her heart out, the drug mileage on her obvious. ELLY Mom --? DARLA I told you you're not supposed to come in here. ELLY (a quick lie) I lost my key. Disgustedly -- goddamn kids -- Darla fishes up a key and slaps it into Elly's hand. FUNBOY (O.S.) Hey, Darla -- before we die of old age, how about it --? DARLA (to Elly) Out. Now. I gotta work. RACK PAST Darla and MOVE IN CLOSE on a corner table -- where sit Funboy, Skank, T-Bird and a black, vested muscle gypsy, TIN-TIN. INT. LOFT - NIGHT As Eric shoves the door open from the outside. The lock, popped from the frame, spins on the wooden floor. The barrier tape whisps and dust roils. Dark, chilly, damp. A rat's nest of disuse. PULL BACK THROUGH THE BROKEN PICTURE WINDOW as Eric enters. Glass blown out. Shards poking. Jagged. NEW ANGLE - AS ERIC WALKS IN He scans the loft. Sees reflecting golden eyes near the floor. ERIC'S POV - FLOOR NEAR WINDOW A white, long-haired cat walks into a pool of night light. ANGLE - ERIC AND THE CAT He kneels. Extends his hand. The cat nears; likes Eric. CLOSE-UP - ERIC'S HAND. as the cat makes contact. Sudden white jolt - a FLASH. FLASH: we HEAR Eric strumming his Strat o.s. We see what he saw: Shelly, holding the cat. FLASH ENDS. UP ANGLE - ERIC Wincing. Recovering from the flash. He purposefully gathers the cat into his arms and braces for more, harder, stronger... FLASH: A MAN and a WOMAN make love on a big bed amidst a hundred points of candlelight. Shelly and Eric, once upon a time. FLASH ENDS. REVERSE ANGLE FROM BEDROOM DOOR - ON ERIC as the cat, dropped, hits the floor and scrambles out of the way. CLOSE-UP - ERIC vising his head, teary-eyed, his nose bleeding. ERIC No! Don't look! No! No! He whirls unexpectedly and punches his fist completely through the masonry wall. FLASH: Eric and Shelly in a mock waltz. He spins her and they collapse on the bed. FLASH ENDS. ANGLE - ERIC slowly pulling his arm out of the wall. ERIC (whispering) Stop it. His eyes roll up and he slumps the length of the door frame like a drowning man. ANGLE - GABRIEL watching Eric. He hits with an o.s. THUD. INT. THE PIT - ON FUNBOY'S TABLE - NIGHT As a gloved hand sets up four bullets next to four shots. FUNBOY (O.S.) Let's have some fun. Funboy pops the bullet, like a contact capsule and washes it down. T-Bird turns to Tin-Tin, the new guy. T-BIRD You first. TIN-TIN You're outta your fuckin' mind. Into it, almost jazzed, Tin-Tin downs his bullet and shot, and T-Bird does likewise. Points to Skank. T-BIRD No. I'm not the lunatic. He is. Skank riles, pulls a huge Auto Mag and sticks it in T-Bird's face, cocking. SKANK Fuck you, T-Bird. Just as lightning fast, T-Bird has his own gun out and jammed right under Skank's jawbone. He makes a kissy face. T-BIRD I love you too, you madman. They all crack up laughing like ax murderers. Skank drinks, Tin-Tin spot checks the satchell from Top Dollar's. Darla delivers more shots and funboy feels her ass. FUNBOY Hey, pussycat. INT. LOFT - DOWN ANGLE (CROW POV) - ERIC ON FLOOR He's awake. Pushes himself up. REVERSE ANGLE - THE CROW Is perched in a dead light fixture, monitoring Eric. ANGLE - ERIC ON FLOOR He's awake. Pushes himself up. Realizes he is in the center of a faint chalk outline on the hardwood floor. He reaches to touch the dark stain of old blood. FLASH: Shelly spills into frame, mouth bloodied. T-Bird instantly on top of her, rough. FLASH ENDS. ANGLE - WITH ERIC as he abandons the outline and staggers to the window... where he cuts open his hand on jags of glass. FLASH: Eric held firm in the grasp of T-Bird and Funboy, one arm each. Five bloody bullet holes in Eric's chest. The thugs 1-2-3 and hurl Eric backwards through the window, which shatters. FLASH ENDS. ANGLE - ERIC AT THE WINDOW Reeling backward, same trajectory as in the Flash, but toward the floor, in SLO-MO. Overloaded. Blacking out. AS ERIC FALLS - INTERCUT MONTAGE A jumble of good/bad images from the loft: Tin-Tin embedding a page of paper in the loft wall with a throwing knife... Shelly's face as she lights a candle... a POPPING champagne cork... the echoing CANNONADE of the shots that killed Eric... Skank backhanding Shelly... Shelly blowing bubbles from a clawfoot tub full of suds... Eric catching Funboy's first slug high in the chest... NEW ANGLE of the glass in the window blowing out as T-Bird and Funboy through Eric through... ANGLE - ERIC'S REAL TIME FALL He plummets to BLACK OUT FRAME. THUMP. Out cold. INT. PIT - RESUMING FUNBOY'S TABLE - NIGHT Funboy contemplates his drink as the previous scene reverbs. FUNBOY More fun than a torture chamber. Tin-Tin's pocket pager goes BEEP and startles them all. Skank nearly shoots it, jumpy. Tin-Tin pulls back on a black leather trenchcoat after clicking off the pager. TIN-TIN I hate this goddamn thing... ANGLE - DARLA watching them from a distance as Tin exits. INT. LOFT - FLOOR LEVEL - NIGHT An enormous cockroach trundles past, large in FRAME. RACK to show Eric lying on floor b.g. as his eyes pop open. A flurry of dark motion as the crow flies past frame. ANGLE -- THE CROW -- Having snatched the bug in it's beak. Eats it. ANGLE - ERIC rising from the floor. Careful. Stealthy. Watches his fireplace. ERIC We have company. ANGLE ON FIREPLACE Huge. Marble. COld. Eric's paper mache masks of Comedy and Tragedy still hang there. The Skull Cowboy steps out of the dark and into the vague blue light. Shadowy as ever. SKULL COWBOY Having fun yet? No? (beat) I'll give you a hint. Remember whatshername? ERIC Shelly? SKULL COWBOY Miss her? ERIC Yes. SKULL COWBOY Kill the men who killed you both, and the Day of the Dead will be your reunion. The Skull Cowboy prestidigitates a flat throwing knife(like Tin- Tin's). Eric's gaze follow it closely. SKULL COWBOY (CONT'D) You must use your eyes. He points to the crow. ANGLE - THE COMING KNIFE - ("CROWVISION") Weirdly distorted, a shared vision between Eric and the crow. TIGHT ON ERIC As he DUCKS out of the path of the knife he sees through the bird's eyes. He rolls. ON THE CROW It hops out of the way as the knife embeds in the wall. Eric's ROLL finishes him up nearby. ERIC Goddammit. He grabs for the knife as if to use it on the Skull Cowboy, but the knife causes an unexpected painful FLASH. FLASH: Eric bouncing off the bedroom doorframe, Tin-Tin's knife stuck in his shoulder. FLASH ENDS. RESUME ERIC vising his head with his hands, in pain. Too much pain. SKULL COWBOY Get it? ERIC Leave me alone -- ! He looks up, the Skull Cowboy is still there. SKULL COWBOY (contempt) Do something about it. ANOTHER ANGLE - ERIC AND THE SKULL COWBOY. A horrible beat between them. The Eric runs full tilt across the room, bounding to the open window and then leaping. ANGLE - SKULL COWBOY as close to surprise as he gets. Steps out to watch as -- ANGLE ON WINDOW - ERIC FLIES feet first out into space. CLOSE-UP - BRICKWORK ABOVE WINDOWFRAME Eric's fingers smash into grip the tiny mortared gaps! EXT. LOFT BUILDING - UP ANGLE FROM STREET - NIGHT High above, Eric's feet shoot out the window, knocking loose stray shards that fall toward frame. He swings into an upside- down pose, impossibly holding himself rigid against the building's side, face down. by his quarter-inch finger grip. CLOSE-UP - ERIC Every muscle rigid, quivering with tension. Hold. Then he relaxes, and swings back inside. INT. LOFT - AT WINDOW, PICKING UP ERIC - NIGHT He arches, flips, to land on his feet. The Skull Cowboy is gone. No knife either. The crow watches. O.S. "meow". ANGLE - WITH ERIC AS HE TURNS TO SEE THE CAT ERIC I guess I'm not ready to leave... just yet. He picks up the cat -- wary of flashes, which don't come this time -- and returns to the window. Feeling safer. ERIC (CONT'D) The last time we saw each other, I didn't do so well. (holds cat up) Huh, Gabriel? He moves to the fireplace. With his free hand, lifts the Tragedy mask off its hook. Puzzles it, fact-to-mask. ERIC (CONT'D) I bet you need some cat food... right? EXT. STREET - NIGHT -ESTABLISHING: Eric walking, the Tragedy mask hanging from his hip. An occasional PEDESTRIAN passes without comment, brutalized by the city. Eric, more confident, smells the night's bouquet. EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT ("CROWVISION") Two men around a trashcan fire. We should recognize Tin-Tin by his black leather trench coat. A wonderfully rude Rap tune, "Got a White WOman Tied Up In My Closet, Gonna Jab Her With A Stick," RAZZLES b.g. EXT. STREET - RESUMING ERIC - NIGHT As Eric reacts to what the crow has just seen. Slows. Stops. And directs his attention toward the mouth of the alley. EXT. ALLEY - TIGHT ON TIN-TIN - NIGHT He pulls the nickel plated revolver from the satchel. FOLLOW as he hands it across to RATSO, who removes the suitcase-sized boom box (the source of the music) from his shoulder to accept. Ratso is a feral skull-head; street trash. TIN-TIN Three hundred and your a gunslinger. HIGH ANGLE - TIN-TIN and RATSO As the crow is still watching, yet perched. A brief shove-and-standoff. The gun deal has gone bad. RATSO Please, TIn-Tin, you know I'm good for the money, man, I promise, Leslie put me up to it, please, man, don't -- (choking scream) Tin-Tin has just up-rammed a throwing knife into Ratso. TIN-TIN Ratty -- shut the fuck up. Tin-Tin lifts Ratso on the knife, gutting him. Ratso goes slack, deader'n hell. Tin-Tin reaches around to click OFF the boom box... then let's Ratso`s corpse fall. ERIC (O.S.) Another satisfied customer? TIGHT ANGLE - TIN-TIN galvanized by the surprise voice. He automatically draw a fresh knife from the bandolero of knives across his chest inside the coat. Can't yet track the source of the voice. TIN-TIN Who the hell is that? (beat, venomous) Come on out man, I won't hurt you. ANGLE - ERIC IN ALLEY He steps out from behind another flaming trashcan. Wearing a long black scarf and the Tragedy mask. ERIC Hello, Tin-Tin. ANGLE ON TIN-TIN - AS HE RISES (FROM RATSO) trying to process what he sees. And cover. And buy time. TIN-TIN Little early from trick-or-treat, homie. (re: Ratso) This dick trying to bushwack me. ERIC Murderer. Tin-Tin blows out a breath. No bluff. Time to kill again. TIN-TIN Guess you got that goddamn right. He shrugs. The shrug becomes the launch of a knife. TIGHT SHOT - MOVING - ERIC His black-gloved hand slaps away the incoming knife and inch from his nose. It CLATTERS. Eric continues striding toward Tin-TIn. ERIC Try harder. Try again. SHIFTING ANGLE - ERIC NEARS TIN-TIN as Tin-TIn throws another knife. Eric closing in. He claps hand together, immobilizing the next knife. Opens his hands, almost an "oops" gesture. Keeps on coming. ANGLE - ERIC AND TIN-TIN As they meet. Tin-Tin attempts a roundhouse. Eric blocks it and smashes Tin-Tin into the alley wall. ERIC A year ago. Halloween. A man and a woman. In a loft. You helped to murder them. TIN-TIN Last Halloween, eh? Yeah... (beat) Yeah, I remember. I fucked her too, I think. ERIC You cut her. You raped her. (rage) You watched! TIN-TIN Hey, I got my rocks off, so fuck you in the ass, man. They're face-to-face now, sweaty and tense. Eric peels off the Tragedy mask. ERIC I want you to tell me a story, Tin-Tin. TIN-TIN I don't know you... But, as Eric bears down on Tin-TIn, Tin begins to recognize him. Fear. Sweat. For the first time, Tin-Tin starts to loose control. TIN-TIN (CONT'D) Holy shit... you're dead, man... EXTREME CLOSE-UP - ERIC ERIC Victims. Aren't we all. INT. LOFT - NIGHT TIGHT ANGLE - TABLETOP as Eric's hands place Ratso's boom box on the table and click on suitable weird b.g. MUSIC. ANGLE - FLOOR LEVEL Eric's boots pass frame. An open can of cat food CLANKS down big in f.g. as Eric walks b.g. obviously wearing Tin-Tin's trenchcoat. Gabriel noses into to frame to eat from the can. INT. LOFT, BEDROOM - NIGHT (LATER) Shelly's vanity. Dusty, disused. The mirror spiderwebbed with cracks but still hanging precariously in its frame. Eric is seated, his image crazily split into many. He pulls on a long- sleeved, tight-knit, black shirt. WIDEN ANGLE to reveal the loft now lit with dozens of candle stubs. Placed all around. Ceremonial and weird. CLOSE-UP - ERIC ERIC Halloween is coming. The Day of the Dead... In the mirror, multi Eric's. He touches the glass, tightening up as he realizes he's in for another -- FLASH: Shelly, sleeping on her divan, a year ago, wakes as Eric (O.S.) says "Boo". She cracks an eye open. SHELLY Your scary quotient needs work. FLASH ENDS. ANOTHER ANGLE - ERIC AT VANITY Considering old cosmetics. Everything he touches will hurt him. But he's ready to eat this pain. He grabs a lipstick. FLASH: Shelly at the vanity in happier times SHELLY I think red's my color, don't you? FLASH ENDS. RESUME ERIC wincing. He drops the lipstick on the floor. Grabs a hairbrush. FLASH: Eric smashes into the street after his death-fall, trailing broken glass. FLASH ENDS. NEW ANGLE - ERIC AT VANITY Later. He's wearing white pancake makeup on his cheeks. Shaky. FLASH: Eric sucks up Funboy's gunshots in the chest. 1-2-3-4. FLASH ENDS. RESUMING ERIC AT VANITY his face a crazy warpaint maze of white streaks, not blended yet. He looks at his own reflection. In one cracked, triangular facet of the mirror is not a multiple of his face, but the Skull Cowboy. Just one. SKULL COWBOY Glad to see you're finally with the program. ERIC Bugger off to the graveyard, skull- face, I'm busy. SKULL COWBOY You work for the dead. Forget that, and you can forget it all. The Cowboy tips his hat and isn't there. Eric sees the crow perched on the edge of the mirror now. ERIC Forget this. He smears the streaks until his face is uniformly grave-wave white. ANGLE - GABRIEL THE CAT coming in to sniff around the clutter at the foot of the vanity. Eric looks down towards him... and toward the lipstick he dropped. CLOSE-UP - ERIC'S HAND as it glides down to pick up the lipstick. CONTACT, and -- FLASH: Eric, smashed on the street, T-Bird's car b.g., upside down in Eric's POV as he rolls over and blood courses from both corners of his mouth, a definite foreshadow of the "Crow" face. FLASH ENDS. RESUMING ERIC AT VANITY - TIGHT ERIC She always red red was her color. EXTREME CLOSE - THE MIRROR We see only a reflected corner of Eric's mouth as he duplicates the blood trail in red lipstick, making one one half of a crow harlequin smile. EXT. LOFT BUILDING - LATER - NIGHT A MEDIUM SHOT as lightning strikes; a storm brews. EXT. LOFT - LATER - NIGHT CLOSE-UP - ERIC'S BOOTS crossing the floor. Tin-Tin's knife slotted to the bucklework. CLOSE-UP - VANITY Eric's hands discard a hairbrush there. He moves off. CLOSE-UP - GABRIEL looking up o.s., watching his master stalk around with purpose. Thunder rumbles long o.s. ANGLE - AT ERIC IN WINDOW FROM OUTSIDE The storm boils. Eric framed in broken window. CLOSER ANGLE - ERIC IN WINDOW Eric all in black, Firm-wrapped. Tight-wired. The trenchcoat flutters, cloak-like. His shadowy face framed by the upturned collar, his hair punkish and spiky. SIDE ANGLE - ERIC as he moves forward in the light. The crow lights on his shoulder. ERIC All right, bad guys... FRONT VIEW - ERIC Full crow regalia. Face makeup streamlined. Eric's eyes flash. ERIC (in drawn out yell) Here I commme -- ! PULL BACK swiftly, vertiginously, as Eric swan dives from the window, his voice a howl. UP ANGLE FROM STREET - ERIC'S FALL Coat, wing-like. MATCH his dive yell with o.s. crow SCREECH. SLOW MOTION as Eric fills the frame and we -- DISSOLVE TO: EXT. ALLEY - WHERE TIN-TIN GOT IT - NIGHT Cop lights bounce, competing with the trash fires. Albrecht and several other UNIFORMS assess the double-death scene. A detective, TORRES tries to appear in charge. TORRES Couldn't have happened to a nicer couple. ANGLE - ALBRECHT AND TORRES OVER DEAD TIN-TIN Tin-Tin frozen in deathshock, all of his knives sticking out of him. Dead Ratso, b.g., where he fell. ALBRECHT Sure it coulda. Funboy's not here, neither is T-Bird -- none of Top Dollar's number ones. TORRES You know, you sure got a hard-on for a guy that's guilty of zip on paper. Top Dollar runs Showtime; what's the matter, don't you like adult entertainment? ALBRECHT This sack of shit is called Tin- Tin. TORRES Don't any of your little pals have real, grown up names? ALBRECHT He was a runner for Top Dollar. Just muscle. TORRES Was. ALBRECHT (sigh) This isn't Top Dollar's style anyway. This was somebody else. Somebody new. Albrecht lights a fresh smoke. Torres waves the smoke away. TORRES And you're gonna tell me who. ALBRECHT Who ever made that. Albrecht points. CAMERA FOLLOWS to wall behind Tin-Tin. A crow silhouette has been daubed in blood there, now dry. TORRES What in the hell... do you call that? ALBRECHT I call it blood, Detective. If you want, you can call it graffiti. INT. GIDEON'S PAWN SHOP - NIGHT CLOSE-UP of Gideon's thick fingers shuffling grimy currency. Some scratchy 1920's TUNE plays throughout b.g., like a broadcast from another time and place. TIGHTER ANGLE - GIDEON looking up at a metallic SOUND, o.s. Irritated. GIDEON Piss off, we're closed. As the outside security gate rattles, Gideon draws his magnum and approaches the front door. GIDEON Fucking creatures of the night; they never goddamn learn. Sudden surprise as he sees the silhouette of the gate SCREE back against the frosted glass of the front door. GIDEON (CONT'D) HEY!! And he hustles to close up the distance between himself and the door, gun up. Before he can touch the door, the crowbar comes rocketing through the glass, pegging Gideon in the forehead and knocking him flat on his ass. He loses the pistol. Eric walks through the door, causing the fractured glass to disintegrate around him. He disclaims, thespian. ERIC "Suddenly I heard a tapping, as of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door." (pause) You heard me rapping, right? LOW ANGLE - GIDEON ON THE FLOOR reacting to Eric's weird appearance and looking for his gun. GIDEON Oh, bullshit! You're trespassing asshole, you're breakin' and enterin' and you just bought me a fucking door! During Gideon's rant, Eric brushes glass cubes from his shoulders, nonplussed. Now he flings Gideon across the room. Gideon crashes into the counter cage. As Eric advances on him: ERIC I'm looking for something in an engagement ring. Gold. As Eric comes up behind him, Gideon reaches through the open cage door and pulls a big combat knife from beneath the counter. GIDEON You're looking for a coroner,shit- for-brains! And he tries to nail Eric with the knife. NEW ANGLE - BEHIND GIDEON - AS GIDEON SWINGS No Eric behind him. TILT to reveal Eric hanging off the cage above Gideon. Eric slams the cage door against Gideon's head. Drops down like a spider and collects the knife. ERIC I repeat: a gold engagement ring. It was pawned here, a year ago, by another gentleman whose name, I believe was... "T-Bird"? IN TIGHT ON ERIC AND GIDEON Eric twists Gideon's sail-like shirt and Gideon turns bright red. ERIC (CONT'D) Cute nickname, don't you think? GIDEON (gasping) I ain't got no fuckin' ring. ERIC Wrong answer. Eric nails Gideon's hand to the counter top. Gideon howls! GIDEON All's I got is in a box! Behind the counter! Eric jumps through the cage door. Gideon's eyes bug as he sees his own pierced hand, immobilized. ANGLE - ON ERIC BEHIND THE COUNTER scans the shelves. Rows of boxed ammo. Kerosene tins. A shotgun. Knives and assorted knuckle duster curios. And the ring box. CLOSE-UP - THE RING BOX IN ERIC'S HAND. Dozens of gold rings. Eric's fingers sift through them. TIGHTER ON ERIC He brings each ring to his face. INTERCUT with Gideon's feeble struggles and invective, o.s. ERIC No... no... no... no... He tosses each rejected ring over his shoulder. Until: CLOSE-UP - THE RING IN ERIC'S HAND Obliterated by a stab of brilliant white light -- FLASH: Shelly's face. A perfect vision... FLASH ENDS. RESUMING ERIC He closes his fist tightly around the ring. A moment of decision. Then he draws the shotgun from beneath the counter. Uses the butt to knock the knife free of Gideon's hand. It goes spinning across the countertop. Eric shucks the shotgun and rams it into Gideon's nose as the big man slumps to the floor. ERIC Tin-Tin confided in me, before he ran out of breath. You have one chance to live. GIDEON No fucking way. He'll kill me. ERIC Who would waste time killing you... besides me? Gideon sweats, pants, contemplates the hole in his hand. GIDEON (cowed) Top Dollar. ERIC Another jolly nickname? GIDEON You want those assholes, you want Top Dollar. ERIC T-Bird? GIDEON Like the car. He hangs out with Skank. that little ass-hair, and they hang at the Pit -- hell, Funboy lives there. Ask Top Dollar. ERIC A whole club of pirates, with pirate names... Eric seems to go berserk, SMASHING and PUNCTURING cans of flammables and powder while Gideon flinches, nursing his holed hand. Blows just miss Gideon's head. Soon he's cowering. LOW ANGLE - ERIC Looking down at Gideon in revulsion. ERIC You feed off the living. SMASH! as another tin ceases to exist next to Gideon. Then Eric is gone, past him without further word, ignoring him entirely. As he exits, shotgun shouldered, he pauses to admire a white Fender Strat hanging among the pawnables. He reaches for it. ON GIDEON As he summons some last minute budget bravery. GIDEON You walk outta here Top Dollar will erase your ass! Top Dollar owns the fucking street here and you can't dick with me, you son of a bitch! RESUME ERIC - FRAMED IN DOORWAY The guitar now bowslung across his back, the shotgun levelled at Gideon's position. ERIC One chance to live. Take it. MOVE IN TIGHT ON GIDEON as he realizes what Eric means. Hauls ass and bangs through the rear door with a bleat of terror. ANGLE - RESUMING ERIC IN DOOR as he cuts loose with the shotgun. EXT. GIDEON'S PAWN SHOP - NIGHT as seen from across the street. Eric silhouetted, unmoving as the whole store front blows hellaciously out around him, raining glass and debris. Stirring his hair. Eric is the black eye of the fireball. LOW ANGLE - FRONT OF PAWN SHOP - EMPHASIZE ERIC lit by flames and residual explosions. He hurls the shotgun into the inferno. Casually brushes flaming/smoking detritus from his own clothes. ALBRECHT (O.S.) Don't move! I said don't move. NEW ANGLE - ERIC as he turns slowly, to see Albrecht, out of reach, gun drawn. Eric's attitude lightens; Albrecht is not the threat here. ERIC I thought the police always said "freeze:. Albrecht divides his attention, jumpy, between the odd sight of Eric (guitar on his back), and the raging instant inferno of Gideon's. ALBRECHT I'm the police and I say don't move, Snow White. You're under arrest; I don't care what else is wrong with you! You move and you're dead. Eric has begun to pace towards Albrecht. Palms up. A gesture of submission. Albrecht's battle calm begins to waiver. ERIC And I say I'm dead... and I move. ALBRECHT No further. I'm serious. Eric bows, bringing his forehead in line with the gun's muzzle. ERIC Then shoot, if you will. TIGHT ANGLE - ALBRECHT He gives it up. Can't shoot. This is too weird for him. ALBRECHT Are you nuts, walking into a gun? NEW ANGLE - LESS THREATENING - ERIC AND ALBRECHT ERIC You must listen carefully: the Fire Department will be here soon. There is an injured man in the alley who needs assistance. (meaningfully) As Shelly Webster once needed your assistance, and as you are shortly going to need my assistance. Albrecht gestures casually, almost comically, with his pointed gun. B.g., the crow lands on a fire escape to monitor them. ALBRECHT You wanna run that back for me one time? SIRENS near, o.s. Eric listens to them, to the night. ERIC Listen: Top Dollar. He "owns the street here." He will "erase my ass." ALBRECHT You don't say. ERIC I know Top Dollar has turned your streets into his hell. ALBRECHT Fucking A, my friend. ERIC The others are called Skank, T- Bird. Street names. Funboy. (beat) Watch me, office Albrecht. Eric lifts a chunk of glass from the sidewalk. Slow and easy. Albrecht doesn't completely trust him. Up comes the gun. ALBRECHT Watch it... Eric slices open his palm. Blood flows. To his fingertips. NEW ANGLE - ERIC AND ALBRECHT as Eric quickly daubs a crow silhouette in blood on the wall... then exhibits the gashed hand to Albrecht. CLOSE-UP - ERIC'S HAND as the blood retreats and the wound seals itself up. TIGHT ON ALBRECHT and the silhouette. Mouth hangs. ALBRECHT You're the one who did Tin-Tin... PULL BACK FAST to reveal Eric is gone from the frame. Albrecht does a quick 180. No Eric. Flashbars from incoming units begin to bounce red and blue off his face. ALBRECHT (CONT'D) Great. Good night. Guy shows up looking like a mime from hell. (beat) Least he didn't do that "walking against the wind" shit; I hate that. EXT. SHOWTIME - NIGHT - TO ESTABLISH. A night-owl pornucopia. T-Bird enters beneath a garish theater marquee. The 2-bill: RUMP ROMP with BUTTBUSTERS II. INT. SHOWTIME LOBBY - NIGHT T-Bird approaches the snack bar. Wet, breathy mating NOISES from the auditorium throughout, o.s. Looking supremely bored, the counterman, DICKEY BIRD, thumbs a porn tabloid. So what. DICKEY BIRD T-Bird. Thrill me. T-BIRD Business. T-bird heads left through s steal door that Dickie buzzes open for him. INT. SHOWTIME AUDITORIUM (BACKSTAGE) - NIGHT T-Bird walks past dust-covered boxy black speakers as we glimpse Lance and Angelique making history in reverse, on the back of the movie screen: oratoria as good as porn films can make it. PORN QUEEN (O.S.) I don't know how to describe how I feel, Lance -- so restless -- PORN KING (O.S.) You're my Moon Queen, Angelique. PORN QUEEN (o.S.) Oooh -- I want you're rocket right now in my Sea of Tranquility -- Lance -- ANGLE - CATWALK STAIRS As T-Bird approaches, the movie sounds dwindle o.s. He ascends the skinny metal stairway two steps at a time. ANGLE - STEEL FACED DOOR AT TOP OF STAIRS. As T-Bird nears it, a viewplate SNAPS open to asses him. By the time he reaches the top, the door unbolts to admit him. INT. TOP DOLLAR'S LAIR - NIGHT As T-Bird enters. The room is organized around a long meeting table and flavored with a taste of everything illegal: drug paraphernalia, weapons. Across the table are a couple of Sentries like the one that admits T-Bird to the room. TRACK PAST them to a lank-haired silhouette as he turns away from a windowshade, backlit by Showtime's exterior neon. This is TOP DOLLAR. Who looks like a Johnny Winter acid casualty but is deadly cold, definitely the man in charge. TOP DOLLAR Wild fucking night. I hear our pal Tin-Tin got himself very dead. T-BIRD And Gideon's just burned all the down to the foundation. Top's eyebrows go up. Oh really? T-BIRD (CONT'D) I didn't have nothin to do with that. TOP DOLLAR Bet that pisses you off, right? T-BIRD Top, what the fuck is going on tonight? TOP DOLLAR Stay normal, T. Cops'll be all hotwired and aggressive. No combat moves until I check this out. EXT. STREET - NIGHT - (~CROWVISION") HIGH ANGLE Taking in the street, the Pit, and a little girl seated on an abandoned car. ANGLE - STREET LEVEL - ON ELLY. Seated on the looted wheelless car, playing with a small doll. CLOSER ANGLE - ON ELLY She doesn't notice someone is watching her yet. TIGHT ON DOLL, THEN ELLY She looks up o.s. at Eric, who is still out of the frame. ELLY What are you supposed to be? A clown? CLOSE-UP - ERIC He smiles for what seems to be the first time. Warm, even past his crow makeup. ERIC Sometimes. He glances back and logs the location of the Pit for later, not in a big hurry just now. Turns back to Elly. WIDE ANGLE - ERIC AND ELLY ELLY You look like a rock star without a job. ERIC I dabble. May I? He indicates the car hood, a "seat" next to Elly from which he may observe the Pit. ELLY If you're not some kinda child molester. Eric looks behind himself. Who, me? Genuinely amused. He shakes his head no and sits down next to Elly. INT. CLUB TRASH - NIGHT The music POUNDS and smoke is everywhere, like incense. INTERCUTS of the clientele, retro, robotic, clove cigarettes and rubber clothing; fetish casual wear. ANGLE - TOP DOLLAR right in the center of the noise, looking downscale and dirty in this milieu. ANGLE - ANOTHER CUSTOMER Passing Top, appraising him, finding him as boring as life itself. Undertaker chic, she stares at Top. TOP DOLLAR I thought Halloween was tomorrow night. An Oriental bodyguard passes him in f.g., motioning to follow. INT. LAO'S NIGHTCLUB OFFICE - NIGHT Lao watches club activity on his flybank of TVs. When Top Dollar shows up at the office door two Sentries try to bar his passage. He shoves through. TOP DOLLAR Get outta my way, you mooks. Lao's demeanor indicates that they should not kill Top. LAO An unexpected pleasure. TOP DOLLAR Bad news. Alot of action on the streets tonight, and nobody bothered to clear it with me. Tin- Tin got himself whacked. LAO Who got himself what? TOP DOLLAR One of mine. And it wasn't a standard hit. LAO I had heard something like this. (beat) Describe it for me. The "hit". TOP DOLLAR I was wondering if you could tell me anything... about a wildcat operative. LAO I know of no one. (beat) But even if there is, I am sure it is nothing outside your capacity to deal with? TOP DOLLAR Anybody violates my turf -- our turf -- I'll rip out there heart and show it to 'em. LAO To be sure. Now tell how your friend died. INT. PRECINCT HOUSE - NIGHT ANNABELLA, a comfortable large, spider-in-the-web deskworker, sits typing at a terminal. Miked headphone in one ear, police scanner chatter o.s. She blows and pops a pink bubble of gum. ALBRECHT (O.S.) Annie? ANGLE - ANNABELLA AND ALBRECHT Albrecht enters frame from across her countertop. ANNABELLA Whatever it is, the answer's no, Eddie. I'm too busy tonight. ALBRECHT Annie, I need a file. There is a desperate edge to Albrecht's voice. ANNABELLA Speak up. (beat; her guard up) Clear it with the Captain if you need a file. ALBRECHT This is special, darlin'. Please? Annabella eyes Albrecht doubtfully. Fatalistic sigh. ANNABELLA Just don't tell me you "owe me one." What file? ALBRECHT Double homicide. A year ago. Las Halloween. EXT. STREET NEAR THE PIT - ERIC AND ELLY - NIGHT Still hanging by the car, a bit more familiar with each other now. A low-slung mirror-windowed LIMOUSINE hisses past them and curbs across the street from the Pit. ELLY My mom works over there. I'm waiting for her, but she's probably with him, right now. ERIC Who? ELLY Mister Funboy. ERIC Mister Funboy lives there? TWO SHOT - ELLY AND ERIC - (PIT B.G.) ELLY He has a room, upstairs. I don't like him very much. Elly is not happy about this. B.G. we see Grange get out of the car, heading to the Pit, and notice in passing a guy with the white face talking to the little girl down on the block. ELLY (CONT'D) Can you play that thing or do you just carry it around everywhere? Elly indicates the guitar strapped to Eric' back. ERIC I can pick out a tune now and again. ELLY Can you play "Teddy Bears' Picnic?" (re: doll) It used to be her favorite. ERIC Does she have a name? ELLY No name. You sure ask a lot of questions. Elly HANDS the doll to Eric and he experiences a wholly unexpected flash. FLASH: Elly and SHelly sitting as SHelly's vanity, goofing with makeup, test-driving lipstick, the doll visible on the vanity. FLASH ENDS. RESUME ERIC - AS THE DOLL DROPS FROM HIS HAND Pain is trying to fight it's way out of Eric in surges. ELLY (OS) (smart alec) Hel-lo? Earth to anybody...? Eric snaps out of it. Elly retrieves the doll. ELLY (CONT'D) Do you feel okay. ERIC No. ELLY You gotta go now, I bet. ERIC I have to go. Half-zomboid, half-determined, he exits. INT. PIT - NIGHT - WITH GRANGE As he circulates to the bar, unimpressed. To the bouncer: GRANGE Top Dollar? BOUNCE Never heard of him. GRANGE Funboy? BOUNCER Oh, prob'ly upstairs bangin' Darla. Pay for your own beer and they'll prob'ly be down before you can drink it. INT. PRECINCT HOUSE - OFFICE - NIGHT CLOSE-UP of an 8x10 of the loft slaughter in Albrecht's hands. Subject: a document pinned to the wall with a knife. ANGLE - ALBRECHT AT DESK. flipping through the file. Smoking. ANGLE - THE 8X10 IN ALBRECHT'S HAND Subject: Eric, dead in the street in front of the loft building. The blood on his face reminiscent of his crow face. As Albrecht's hand moves the photo we can see in the file several band shots of Eric as a member of Diabolique... including the shot on Lao's wall gallery of past performers at Club Trash. A DOUGHUT on a paper plate suddenly touches down in the middle of all this research, startling Albrecht. ANGLE - ANNABELLA BEHIND HIM ANNABELLA Don't thank me. Your ass is already in enough trouble for this shit. ALBRECHT I knew that. Albrecht holds a typewritten page closer to the the light. CLOSE-UP DOCUMENT, torn by the knife hole made by Tin-Tin. It reads: We, the Undersigned tenants of 1929 Calderone Court Apartments... ALBRECHT Another nice white girl with a cause. Like a big KICK ME sign. Albrecht takes up and 8x10 of Eric's face. ALBRECHT (CONT'D) Shelly Webster. And her nice white boyfriend, Eric Draven. With a felt-tip pen he superimposes the crow smile, like the make- up, like the blood. ANNABELLA Your last little wild goose chase got you busted back to the Beat Patrol, just like in a bad detective story, Eddie. Are we doing the wildgoose thing again? UNDER THIS Albrecht sketches in Eric's spiky Crow hairdo. ALBRECHT Could be. ANNABELLA You gonna wind up working at a school crosswalk. that doughnut's chocolate you, know. PUSH IN on the doctored photo. It's Eric. It's the Crow. PUSH IN on ALbrecht. ALBRECHT Well, hello there...chocolate, ANNABELLA Don't thank me. ALBRECHT Thanks, babe. INT. THE PIT (REAR) - ERIC ON FIRE ESCAPE - NIGHT Climbing. The crow perched on his shoulder. Not in a hurry. ERIC It's a Raymond Chandler evening And the pavements are all wet, And I'm lurking in the shadows, for it hasn't happened ... TIGHT CLOSE-UP - ERIC Impish. Clown killer. ERIC (CONT'D) ... yet. INT. THE PIT - NIGHT Grange at a table. SMoking and waiting. No beer. His back protected, he is stationed near the fire stair door and has a good overview of the room. INT. FUNBOY'S ROOM - NIGHT CLOSE-UP of a base pipe being lit and hit hard. EXT. THE PIT (REAR) - FIRE ESCAPE - RESUMING ERIC - NIGHT Eric's gloved hand slides sinuously up rusted railing. INT. FUNBOY'S ROOM - NIGHT A hypodermic needle rises into frame. A nicotined fingernail flicks bubbles in the syringe. FOLLOW needle down and BROADEN ANGLE: Funboy taps up a vein in Darla's arm and shoots her up. Both are naked in a shabby bed. Bare lightbulb above. DARLA Ooh, baby -- gimme all of it. CLOSE-UP - THE NEEDLE As the plunger depresses. ANGLE - ON THE WINDOW As the crow quite unexpectedly arrives and perches on the sill, scaring the shit out of our two dopey friends. Funboy pulls a giant auto pistol; mock aims, calms down, doesn't fire. DARLA It's a big fucking bird... She falls back against her pillow, eyes dreamily defocusing. Funboy giggles. Relaxes the gun, which half-disappears into the sheets at his side. FUNBOY It's a squab. Here bird, Here, birdie... NEW ANGLE - DARLA AND FUNBOY Except that Eric now stands near their bed, across from the bird's position, the guitar bowslung. ERIC Here Funboy. Contained panic as Funboy and Darla both startle. The needle flies and lands at Eric's feet. Empty. Funboy struggles to maintain against his high. FUNBOY Oh wow, oh wow, don't fucking do that, man. I nearly had a fucking heart attack. DARLA Fun -- look at that guy... FUNBOY It's just the dope, don't worry DARLA Fun, he's not going away; he's scaring the piss outta me! FUNBOY Not me. Funboy draws the gun from underneath the sheers. Suddenly he seems totally focused. FUNBOY (CONT'D) Time for you to take your bird and leave, freako. Eric rips open his shirtfront to reveal a circlet of bullet punctures. This gives Funboy pause. ERIC Take your shot funboy. You got me, dead bang. Funboy tilts the gun off target. Grins as Eric flat handedly past his chest, indicating where to shoot. FUNBOY You are seriously fucked up, man. Just look at yourself. In a blur, he sighs, and shoots Eric through the heart. FUNBOY (CONT'D) BANG! He shoots, he scores! Then his expression drags a little bit. ANGLE - ERIC Looking down and daubing his hand in the bullet wound on his chest. ERIC Bull's eye. Good shot. ANGLE - DARLA who starts scrambling to get out. Grabbing clothes on the floor around herself. she runs right into Eric's outstretched hands. ERIC Stay. Eric twists her arm. CLOSE-UP - DARLA'S FOREARM. where we may clearly see the needle tracks. UP ANGLE - ERIC ERIC Morphine is bad for you. He holds her arm captive. Tight, and we PUSH IN CLOSER to see the dope evacuating from the punctures, a reverse of Eric's, Blood trail. The dope drips from Darla's arm to the floor. Darla's eyes roll up into the unconscious. She slumps. ANGLE - ON FUNBOY - GAWPING FUNBOY How the hell did you do that? ERIC Magic. Funboy regards Eric's battlescars and guitar. FUNBOY Either die or do a solo. Eric looks briefly to his chest wound, wincing. He can't seem to make it tie off fast enough. He turns his attention back to Funboy. But his strength is mysteriously ebbing. ERIC Neither. FUNBOY Yeah, I got a more fun idea myself. Funboy lashes out and broadsides Eric across the temple with the gun. Eric falls, rolls back to a stance, but Funboy is right on top of him, howling like a lunatic and pistol-whipping Eric relentlessly. FUNBOY I hate trespassers! (whack!) I hate prowlers! (whack!) I hate peeping toms! (whack!) And right now I hate you! ANGLE - WALL NEAR BATHROOM as Eric, caught off-guard by Funboy's hyper high and weakened by his wound, comes slamming into the wall, losing his footing. Here comes Funboy, and we TILT UP from Eric's position as he looms, cocking the pistol, which now has Eric's blood on it. FUNBOY Ahh, the hell with it, I still got five shots left. In a blur, Eric grabs Funboy`s gun hand. Twists to the crunching of bones. Funboy's skewed-around gun hand blows a hole in his own thigh. Funboy fall back across the bed. FUNBOY Owwwaaaa -- fuck me! Look what you did to my sheets, you lame piece'a shit! AAAAaa! Goddd! ERIC Does it hurt? FUNBOY Does it hurt?! You dead-ass, clown-faced fuck, of course it fucking hurts! What the shit are you gonna do about this?! Eric sits on the bed next to Funboy; inspects the ampule of morphine on the nightstand, the needle of the syringe already inserted. ERIC I have some pain killer right here. And he fills the syringe all the way. ANGLE ON FUNBOY as he begins to see the light. He can't get away. Growing terror. FUNBOY No, wait, no WAIT, that's too much, man, that's like overkill, nobody can take that much, you're wasting it -- ! ERIC Your pain ends now. And Eric rams the needle into Funboy's heart, driving home the full dose. Funboy begins to convulse. Eric falls back on the bed, his force spent. Darla COMES TO in the corner, shock-traumatized. On O.S. COUGH, and Eric opens his eyes. The Skull Cowboy, standing in the room, tips his hat. SKULL COWBOY Howdy (beat) You look a mess. Like an ole cooter dog. TIGHT SHOT - ERIC'S FACE streaked with -- mostly -- his own blood. ANOTHER ANGLE - THE SKULL COWBOY AND ERIC SKULL COWBOY Getting a little ambitious and extracurricular, aren't we? ERIC Go away. SKULL COWBOY You need to learn to mind your own business or you'll never get where you think you're going. ERIC Shut up. SKULL COWBOY Maybe I was wrong about you. The Skull Cowboy seems saddened or disappointed. All we get is a little shake of his skull-head. Darla makes a SOUND and Eric turns toward her. She's really confused. She's looking to Eric for some kind of answer. ERIC Your daughter is out there, on the street, waiting for you. She's stunned, utterly speechless. All she can do is look in Eric's eyes, try to ponder the phantoms there. ERIC Go. Now. Darla shoves helter-skelter past Eric and out the door without a glance back at Funboy. Eric, recovering, follows slowly, staring at the open door, stooping to lift the guitar dropped during the fight with Funboy. The Skull Cowboy has vanished. PUSH IN. Grimly, Eric takes a syringe and begins to draw blood from the late Funboy. INT. THE PIT - NIGHT As a hastily dressed Darla BANGS out through the fire stair door behind Grange and FLEES the Pit. BOUNCER Hey, g'night, Darla. (to Grange) That there is Darla. GRANGE Funboy? Bartender indicates UP with his thumb. Grange moves to the fire stairs door. INT. FUNBOY'S ROOM - NIGHT Grange has seen the door ajar and now ENTERS gun-first. Freezes when he sees: GRANGE POV - FUNBOY Half-sheeted, bloody, a hypo hanging out of his heart. RESUME GRANGE Eyes darting, drawn to -- GRANGE'S POV - THE WALL NEAR FUNBOY A crow silhouette spray-painted with a syringe of Funboy's blood. A thin outline, drippy. RESUME GRANGE whirling with his gun to bring it to bear on -- ANGLE - GRANGE SEES THE WINDOW The crow is no longer in the room. Eric is perched on the sill, guitar and all, looking right at Grange as if waiting from him. He winks, holds a finger to his lips -- sshh --and jumps out into the night. ANOTHER ANGLE - GRANGE He almost fires, but doesn't. We see instead the priceless expression on his face as we -- CUT TO: INT. PRECINCT FOYER - NIGHT Albrecht lights another smoke, quitting for the night. Waves to the late-working Annabella en route. EXT. PRECINCT HOUSE - NIGHT Albrecht hasn't gone three steps before Eric appears behind him, cat silent, matching pace. NB: Eric has got a new black rock-n-roll shirt on... and a shell casing from Funboy's gun tied in his hair. ERIC Freeze. Albrecht startles; drops his file. Nearly draws his gun. ALBRECHT Jeezus! Don't ever do that, man! Albrecht pants, hysterical but calming down. Eric waits. ALBRECHT (CONT'D) I told you cops don't say "freeze". He retrieves Eric's doctored photo from the spill of papers. ALBRECHT (CONT'D) You, my friend, are dead. I saw your body. You got buried. ERIC I saw it, too. Albrecht gathers up the file. Eric stands there. We realize he is hesitant about touching the file. ERIC (CONT'D) Walk with me. As Albrecht comes up with the file as they walk. ANOTHER ANGLE - ERIC AND ALBRECHT ON THE STREET ALBRECHT You died, man. I can't believe it but here you are. Last year, you and your girlfriend -- ERIC I need you to tell me what you remember. What happened to us? ALBRECHT You went out the window. She was beaten and raped. She died in the hospital. They stop. Eric didn't know this. Fixes Albrecht with a look. ALBRECHT (CONT'D) Hey, you asked, man. (beat) She held on for thirty hours in intensive care. Hemorrhage, trauma. He body just finally gave it up. (beat; regret) I saw it and couldn't do jack for her. Eric has grown increasingly distraught over Albrecht's lines. Now he turns to Albrecht and, holding Albrecht's temples with his fingers, puts his thumbs over Albrecht's eyes. TIGHT ON ERIC - ALBRECHT AGAINST WALL We see Eric react to a brutal Flash... but we don't see the Flash. NEW ANGLE - ERIC AND ALBRECHT And Eric tears from Albrecht; staggers back, now holding his own head. His crow face slacked in realized horror. ALBRECHT You okay, man? I mean, what just happened. ERIC The venom of bad memories. You were there; you saw her. I saw you seeing her. Understandable nervous, Albrecht lights up a cigarette. ALBRECHT You gotta understand -- I was hoping she'd talk, give me a lead, a clue, something to work with. But she only said one thing to me before she died. Eric lowers his head, penitent. ERIC My name. ALBRECHT (fizzles) I'm sorry as hell, man. ERIC Thirty hours. A day of life, plus change... TIGHT TWO-SHOT - ALBRECHT AND ERIC Eric plucks the cigarette from Albrecht's lips, taking a single contemplative puff from it. ERIC Halloween is coming, soon. You will have Top Dollar if you watch for me at the Showtime, tomorrow night. ALBRECHT I should be trying to stop you. Eric nods, keeping his eyes on the cigarette. ERIC Thank you. For giving a damn. ALBRECHT My pleasure. ERIC Don't smoke these. As a bus grumbles past on the street, Eric pitches the butt and simultaneously ducks out of frame. ANGLE - ALBRECHT TURNS to see a blank building wall. Fire escape. Darkness. No Eric. He does a full 360 degree turn. Eric is gone again. ALBRECHT Damn, I wish he wouldn't do that. MOVING ANGLE - FROM BUS ROOF Coat flapping, Eric is standing on the bus roof as the bus moves away from Albrecht's position. INT. LAO NIGHTCLUB OFFICE - NIGHT Lao has the partially disassembled rat skeleton in front of him, as well as a mortar and pestle with some bits of crushed bone, and is smoking powdered rat bone in a pipe and Grange reports to him. GRANGE The son of a bitch winked at me. The he jumped. Three stories. Lao seems strangely unaffected by the bizarre nature of Grange's tale. LAO Did you see an animal of any kind? Did you see a bird? GRANGE (puzzled) No. I saw a guitar. (beat; irritated) This isn't some rock-n-roller you forgot to pay, is it? (beat) There was a drawing on the wall that looked like a bird. In blood. Lao's expression is one of sublime content. LAO Good. Grange It could've been a chicken... EXT. LIQUOR STORE - NIGHT - ("CROWVISION") A LONG SHOT of the T-Bird parked across the street from the store as two figures -- T-Bird and Skank -- approach on the store side. SKANK I wish to hell I had torched Gideon's, that fat fuck. T-BIRD I wish to hell I knew who it was that made Tin-Tin into a voodoo doll last night. ANGLE - CLOSER ON T-BIRD AND SKANK - STREET LEVEL They stop walking. Look at each other and sanctimoniously cross themselves. Tin-Tin's big R.I.P. moment. T-Bird indicates the liquor store. T-BIRD We need some smokes and some road beers. SKANK Got it. Skank hustles toward the store. T-Bird crosses to the car. ANGLE - T-BIRD - THROUGH CAR WINDOWS WIDEN ANGLE to include the car as he nears it. Behind him, two 12-year-old KIDS, AXEL and CHOPPER, enter the store after Skank, one wearing a long duster. INT. LIQUOR STORE - NIGHT as the KIDS enter and split between the counter and magazine rack. East Indian CLERK. Two boys fight video game wars in the corner. Skank browses, grabbing odds and ends. EXT. STREET / INT. CAR - LOWER ANGLE - NIGHT as T-Bird climbs in, digs the last cigarette from his pack, snaps his Zippo and in the sudden orange light, sees: INSERT - REARVIEW MIRROR Eric's purloined Strat in the back sear reflecting the light. ANGLE - T-BIRD He tries to spin and draw his gun but Eric is upon him, nestling one of Tin-Tin's throwing knives right inside T-Bird's ear. T-BIRD What the fuck are you supposed to be, man?! INSERTS: Eric liberates T-Bird's automatic from the shoulder holster; Eric's hand closes T-Bird's door for him. ERIC I'm your passenger. You drive. And stop talking. TIGHT ANGLE - T-BIRD'S HANDS on ignition key and gearshift, making ready. As ordered. INT. LIQUOR STORE - ON SKANK AT COUNTER - NIGHT He looks outside and sees Eric as the car fires up, pipes and glasspacks grumbling. Skank moves, BRISTLING. SKANK What's all this happy horseshit? And the car peels out maniacally! Skank tries to pursue -- but the two KIDS draw weapons and freeze everyone in the store. AXEL Alright, alright, alright -- everybody be cool and stay exactly where you are. Chopper hustles up to the counter and relieves Skank of a gigantic Auto Mag. CHOPPER Whooooa, cowboy! Cool gun. Off Skank's look of total outfoxed disgust.-- INT. T-BIRD - TRAVELING FAST - NIGHT Vertiginous windshield POV of onrushing street, highspeed. ERIC (O.S.) Faster, T-Bird. Faster. You're a hell of a wheelman; you know you can drive faster. ANGLE - ERIC AND T-BIRD Eric now holds T-Bird's own gun on him. Eyes locked on T-Bird. T-Bird's jump between Eric's nightmare visage and the roadway. T-BIRD You call it, blood -- you got the gun. You just tell me where you want to go. Clearly T-Bird would relish bisecting Eric with a meat cleaver as he says this. He's nervous and needs to hold the road. ERIC That's good. We're going someplace you've never been before. EXT. STREET - HIGH ANGLE ON T-BIRD - NIGHT as the car burns up the obstacle course of pavement, kicking wake of litter. PEDESTRIANS scurry to clear the way. INT. POLICE CRUISER - NIGHT Parked in an alley, facing the street. Two cops work on large styro cups of steaming coffee. MJ (driver) and SPEEG. MJ Smells like rain. SPEEG Smells like a septic tank. You got that cream stuff? MJ In the bag. Speeg rummages inside the takeout bag. SPEEG I hate this cream stuff. They can't even call it cream, legally. They snap to as the T-Bird blazes past, doing ninety. MJ What in the crap? MJ floors the pedal, drenching Speeg in coffee on takeoff. SPEEG Ow! Owowoowowoowo, goddammit! EXT. STREET - ON ALLEY - NIGHT as the cruiser roars out to give chase. INT. T-BIRD - TRAVELLING FAST - NIGHT Eric lends the chase car a backward look. ERIC You caught one. Drive faster. T-BIRD Man, you gonna get us killed dead and I don't even know what you want! Eric cocks T_Bird's pistol and levels it at his face. ERIC I want you to stop talking. And drive. Drive faster. Eric rifles the glove box, tossing items out the window: clips for the gun. Sunglasses. A giant dildo (brief eyebrows-up to T-Bird). Then: a roll of (previously established) gaffer's tape. What Eric needs. ANGLE - T-BIRD AND REARVIEW MIRROR as he sees a second cop car join the high speed pursuit, ERIC (CONT'D) You're very popular. Thought you could handle this thing. T-Bird macho calcifies. He's going to win. T-BIRD To hell with you. ERIC (wry) Naturally. INSERT - SPEEDOMETER Climbing swiftly toward the 100 mark. EXT. CITY STREETS - VARIOUS ANGLES - THE CHASE - NIGHT A 3-way pursuit until the T-Bird reaches the outskirts of the city. EXT. DOCKSIDE STREET - NIGHT All quiet... until the T-Bird ZOOMS past frame. The lead cop tries to duplicate the T-Bird's corner-cut and starts spinning. It clips a light pole. Rebounds into the path of MJ's unit. INT. POLICE CRUISER - ON SPEEG AND MJ - TRAVELING - NIGHT as MJ stands on the brakes. Collision imminent. They howl. EXT. DOCKSIDE STREET - NIGHT as MJ's unit broadsides the first cop car. EXT. DETROIT RIVER SHIPYARD - NIGHT The T-bird careens through dockside silence, alone, then fishtails, SCREECHING, to a lung-compressing halt. INT. T-BIRD - ON ERIC AND T-BIRD - NIGHT T-bird respirating like a jackhammer. Eric holds stoic. T-BIRD So what -- you gonna rape me now? ERIC Time for your reward, T. Payback with interest earned. Eric rips a long strip of tape from the roll. EXT. DETROIT RIVER SHIPYARD - NIGHT A HIGH ANGLE of the car as Eric opens the trunk. ERIC'S POV - The Trunk. loaded with plastique, canisters, timers, arson paraphernalia. INT. T-BIRD - FAVOR T-BIRD - NIGHT SLOW TILT starting with T-Bird's foot, firmly taped to the pedal. Mummified into his seat. Hands taped to the wheel. Throat taped hard against the headrest. The car is now in gear, idling. ANGLE - ON ERIC FROM WINDOW He drops an incendiary right into T-Bird's lap. T-Bird squirms. No go. Eric reaches in with a bungie cord. ERIC A little restrictive? Good. (chilling) You held her down and raped her. You were the first. She burned while you were inside of her. (re: bomb) What's the lag on this? About twenty seconds, would you say? T-bird thrashes, but he's immobilized. Can't even budge the wheel. ERIC (CONT'D) I've comrades in hell, T-bird. Give them my best. Eric activates the timer. Yanks up hard on the bungie cord. INSERT: T-BIRD FOOTWELL The bungie cord pulls T-Bird's foot all the way down on the pedal. ANGLE - ON CAR, FROM DOCKSIDE Eric steps back, plucks the guitar out as the car starts to move. The car roars for the edge of the dock, about a distance of a football field. Eric examines T-bird's auto pistol and pops the clip. INTERCUTS: as the car speeds for the water's edge, Eric thumbs bullets from the clip, one by one. INT. T-BIRD - TRAVELING FAST - NIGHT T-bird's eyes bug in horror and he goes MMMMMMMMHHH! CLOSE-UP - THE CLIP IN ERIC'S HAND thumbing out the final bullet. EXT. DETROIT RIVER SHIPYARD - RESUMING ERIC - NIGHT ERIC All gone. ANGLE - T-BIRD REACHES DOCKSIDE Lifting off and blowing all to hell, a billion smithereens of phosphorescent firs pattering into the dark water. It hits. Sinks. Weird flare glow as the car quickly submerges. ANGLE - ERIC heaving the gun into the distant water. Plosh. He produces T- Bird's accelerator. Squirts it into the ground. He prestidigitates and T-Bird's Zippo appears in his hand. He flicks it and drops it into the flammable puddle. HIGH LONG SHOT - ERIC walking slowly out of the scene as the firepool coalesces into a burning crow shape. INT. DARLA'S APARTMENT - DAWN CLOSE-UP of a frying pan busy burning some pretty firebombed looking eggs. Kind gross. ANGLE - DARLA AT THE STOVE. NOT THRILLED WITH HER OWN PROGRESS. DARLA I never was too good at this domestic shit. ANGLE - ELLY AT LIVING ROOM WINDOW staring outside at nothing in particular. Yet. ELLY Don't say "shit". (beat) That's okay. Corn Flakes are okay. Anything. She pauses as she hears a lilting, faraway GUITAR STRAIN. Across the street she can make out the figure of Eric on his roof playing the guitar. EXT. ROOF OF LOFT BUILDING DAWN EXTREME CLOSE of a Pignose Amp. More soft GUITAR strokes as CAMERA FOLLOWS a patchwork a taped-together, jerry-rigged cables to: ANGLE - ERIC ON ROOF -- shirtless, crosslegged, his Crow make-up streaked by the night's work. His fingering is unsure and he tries the tune again. INSERT - We she Shelly's engagement ring on a leather thong around Eric's neck. Like an amulet. ANGLE - ERIC PLAYING He's got it right this time. Strong, sure CHORDS. Passionate. We can almost imagine him conjuring Shelly via musical sorcery. He holds a stroke, letting it ring. Sun rises behind him. IRATE VOICE (O.S.) Hey, shut the fuck up! Eric's eyes, closed with the moment, dart left. Funny. EXT. MAXI-DOGS - DAY Later. Elly is seated on a stool.. Mickey gives her a chili dog. MICKEY Chili dog for breakfast... it's original. ELLY Mom tried to cook. MICKEY Oh. CUSTOMER (O.S.) Hey, Mickey, I need a special with everything. No sawdust. MICKEY (to Elly) Everyone's a comedian. Enjoy. Mickey EXITS FRAME. GRANGE (O.S.) You're Elly, right? I know your mom. Elly turns. Grange sits next to her. Lao's mirrored-windowed car is parked across the street, b.g. ELLY A lot of people "know" my mom. Grange points o.s., indicating he wants coffee from Mickey. GRANGE I know your friend, too -- the one that looks like a rock star. ELLY I don't know you. GRANGE (easily) I'd like to get in touch with him. Elly sizes Grange up. ELLY You're not a cop, either. What do you want him for? GRANGE I'm looking for a good guitar man. ELLY Right. Grange withdraws a $10 bill from his wallet and slides it across the countertop to Mickey. ELLY (CONT'D) You buying? (cuts him some slack) He kinda wanders around. You'll see him if you pay attention. GRANGE I need to find him kind of soon, Elly. INT. LOFT - ON ERIC - DAY No shirt, the ring on the thong around his neck -- workout mode. He twirls and performs odd Crow moves of increasing complexity in the big open living room. On purpose, he stretches hard against the bedroom doorframe. FLASH: Shelly stands in the blue moonlight near the picture window wearing a rococo Victorian gown. PUSH IN TIGHT as she is embraced by a nude Eric. He undoes the last few remaining ties that hold the gown in place. FOLLOW THE GOWN as it crumples down the length of Shelly's (also otherwise nude) body to the floor... FLASH ENDS. LOW ANGEL - FROM INSIDE THE BEDROOM - ON ERIC hanging there, inviting the pain the FLASHES bring. Breathing as though he is pumping iron, pumping up. ANGLE - LATER - ERIC IN BEDROOM embracing a ragged full-length dress that used to be Shelly's. FLASH: Eric and Shelly (wearing the same dress), exchange an extremely passionate and intimate KISS in the moonlight. FLASH ENDS. ANGLE - RESUMING ERIC as he drops the dress. Absorbing the pain and memories. ANGLE - LATER - ERIC IN LIVING ROOM executing a complex roll that winds him up at the windowsill. He grasps it with both hands. FLASH: A series of CLOSE SHOTS of Eric and Shelly's HANDS, each moving along the other's body. Curves and dips and contours. But Eric's gaze never leaves SHelly's eyes. FLASH ENDS. ANGLE - RESUMING ERIC AT WINDOW His GAZE similarly FIXED. Bringing his hands away and clapping them together, deep breath, fingertips pressed to his face, like Kung Fu prep. When he opens his eyes, the crow is there before him on the sill. ERIC That's better. He wipes his torso down with a towel. ERIC (CONT'D) It's almost time. He holds his hand in front of his face and he flexes it. We can HEAR tendons CRACKLE like a harness. Closes it into a powerful fist. INT. TOP DOLLAR'S LAIR - NIGHT TIGHT on Skank as he slams his fist down on the table. He has a black eye and facial scuffs from his liquor store encounter. SKANK Top, I made the sumbitch! Face all painted white like some kinda fuckin' kabuki homo! WIDE ANGLE to include all present: Lao, Grange, Lao Guards #1 and #2, Top Dollar, and a Sentry. Top dusts up a line and rinses his nostrils with brandy. LAO Sounds like our "Crow" is out-maneuvering you. TOP DOLLAR "Our" Crow...? LAO Come now. You've seen the graffiti -- all over the city in the few hors it has taken your men to drop like plague victims. What about your turf, Top? (mockingly) You don't seem to have ripped out anyone's heart yet. TOP DOLLAR (pissed off) The night is young. SKANK (hot) The found T-bird flash-fried to what was left of his fucking car! Top is angry too, but won't show it to Lao. He rises and goes to the window. Neon glow. Top sees something outside, below, that really torques him off. EXT. STREET OUTSIDE SHOWTIME - NIGHT (TOP'S POV) A phantom GRAFFITI ARTIST is spray-painting a crow shape on the condemned building right across the street. INT. TOP DOLLAR'S LAIR - NIGHT Top whip-drawing an auto pistol and shooting below. TOP DOLLAR Hey, you little fuckweed! That's against the law! His gun smoking. Momentary empowerment. TOP DOLLAR (CONT'D) I don't give a shit what kinda bird this guy is. EXT. WINDOW - NIGHT As Top turns from the window, PULL BACK to incorporate the chunky shadows where the lights don't fall. Eric is there, perched on the narrow exterior ledge...but we don't know it until he opens his eyes, two dots of white in the blackness. INT. TOP DOLLAR'S LAIR - NIGHT LAO AT TABLE -- angered by this macho horseshit, annoyed at his time being frittered. LAO I am sitting over here. He SLAMS a palm on the table and the room goes silent. Top looks sheepish. LAO (CONT'D) Do you think this childish machismo impresses me? (regains composure) When I was a boy in Saigon I watched my country change one block at a time, one building at a time. Whole lives erased. A way of life, polluted. Today, no one forces me to move. I use my powers to change your country, one block at a time, one building at a time. TOP DOLLAR Nice speech. What's it supposed to mean? LAO Your comprehension is not required. Your cooperation and, indeed, your ability are the issues on the table. Top rallies to this. TOP DOLLAR Whatever you say, I can do. Skank looks around, nervous and jumpy, a contradiction to Top's guarantee. LAO That's reassuring. CLOSE-UP - TOP'S SHELL CASING IN ERIC'S HAND from the ledge. Endstamp is for a .45 caliber. ANGLE - ERIC ON LEDGE He sniffs the cartridge. We can see Funboy's cartridge in his hair. He fists the shell casing tightly. ANGLE - DOWN-TABLE, AT SKANK Jittery, grabbing a clip for his own automatic. SKANK What was that -- !? It wasn't anything. Skank loads, stands and jacks the action on his gun. Lao looks questioningly to Top Dollar. TOP DOLLAR Too many poppers, Skank. Relax. Heel. ANGLE - WINDOW BEHIND TOP DOLLAR A black blur as Eric arches through, spilling Top. ANGLE - MEN SEATED AT TABLE Eric back flips the length of the table and kicks the gun from Skank's hand. All react. Weapons out. CLOSE-UP - SKANK'S GUN spinning mid-air to land in Eric's open hand! GENERAL ANGLE - BIG MOBY SHOOTOUT - (VARIOUS) Death cleans house. Standing on the table, Eric fires rearward under his own arm to clip Lao Guard #1. He pivots, shooting, and takes out Lao Guard #2 -- who slams backward into the steel door as it being opened by the Sentry outside. Crash! The door is shut again. ANGLE - GRANGE AND LAO Grange sprays the room with a Calico 950 Auto, shoving Lao beneath the table for cover. ANGLE - ERIC Bullets hit him and demolish everything behind him. Skank hits the deck again. Eric fires and Lao Guard #1 sucks three hits across the chest, firing convulsively against the ceiling, blowing the lights. ANGLE - TOP DOLLAR springing up from behind table. But Eric is gone from the field of fire and one shot strikes Skank, rising at the far end. ANGLE - LAO AND GRANGE making for the door, Grange as shield. Lao draws a pistol. The door opens and Lao shoots a Sentry to clear him out of the way. ANGLE - TIGHTER ON LAO A last look back toward Eric and Grange hustle Lao out. Door SLAM o.s. Top is out of ammo as Eric lands from above frame right in front of him and slaps the gun from his hand. TOP DOLLAR (awed but maintained) You want my attention, man you got it. ANGLE - SKANK UNDER TABLE Wounded but clawing toward Eric just the same. SKANK It's him, Top! He dusted T-Bird! ANGLE - ERIC AND TOP DOLLAR, FACE-TO-FACE ERIC You have to be SKank. (to Top Dollar) One moment. As he speaks, WIDEN FRAME as he turns and grabs the incoming Skank by the hair. ERIC Thank of a snappy comeback for me on your way down. Without a beat he pitches Skank right out the window! Skank howls all the way down. EXT. STREET - ON POLICE CAR - NIGHT Damaged from the wreck, limping home, piloted by our pals Speeg and MJ. Skank smashes down into the roof, imploding the flashbar and windshield. MJ drenches his lap in fresh coffee. MJ OwwwAAHHH son of a BITCH! ANGLE - SIDEWALK ACROSS THE STREET - ON ALBRECHT who watches with slow marvel from the shadows ALBRECHT Jesus Christ... He runs to assist the demolished cruiser. INT. TOP DOLLAR'S LAIR - RESUMING - NIGHT Just Top, Eric, corpses, and lazily drifting gunsmoke. ERIC Top Dollar, you're the only one here still wasting good air... TOP DOLLAR Five large, in the drawer right over there. I never saw you. ERIC Do you know what you destroyed? TOP DOLLAR Take the dope, too. Eric backhands Top into the wall. Gets in his face, seething. ERIC A year ago. A very nice lady circulated a petition. She died. Last Halloween. Answer yes or no. TOP DOLLAR That's ancient history. ERIC It's yesterday! Do you know what you destroyed? Top Dollar yells right back at Eric's anger. TOP DOLLAR Who gives a fuck! I'm a businessman. You gonna do me, then do me and shut you're face! ERIC You don't even remember... TOP DOLLAR I never forget anything, dickhead. That building was a sweep-and- clear; the bitch was a nuisance with her goddamned petition. It got a little rowdy... end of story. ERIC Rowdy. Let me fill in some gaps for you. And he grabs Top's head the way he grabbed ALbrecht's earlier, slams Top into the wall. Nose-to-nose. FLASH: Shelly backing away from oncoming Funboy in the loft, trying to retreat, nowhere to run, her home invaded, scared. FLASH ENDS. ANGLE - TOP DOLLAR AND ERIC Top is quivering, almost helpless in Eric's hypnotic grasp. Eric winces, hard, and -- FLASH: Shelly cut, bleeding, struggling against T-Bird. Wild. FLASH ENDS. ANGLE - RESUMING TOP DOLLAR AND ERIC Viciously close, more intimate and lethal than anything. ERIC You're a detail man, Top -- you need to see more. This time Top tries to twist from Eric's grasp but it's no good. FLASH: Shelly, comatose in ICU, eyes fixed and staring, hoses darting in and out, cold blue refrigerator light. Bloody, bruised and broken (from Albrecht;s memory) FLASH ENDS. CLOSE-UP - TOP DOLLAR arching, stiffening in pain. CLOSE-UP - TOP DOLLAR AND ERIC ERIC All of her pain, Top. Thirty hours. All at once... Eric bears down on Top Dollar again. Top screams. Blood begins to leak from his eyes, nose, ears. ERIC (CONT'D) ...all for you. FLASH: Rapidfire CLOSE-UPS. A jagged compound fracture, jutting, Shelly's eye, blood-red sclera, purpled and sunken. Her scraped-raw hand clawing at air. Icebox lighting. A TIGHT SHOT of her monitor going flatline: eeeeeeeeeeeeee... TWO-SHOT - RESUMING ERIC AND TOP DOLLAR. as Top sags in Eric's grasp, terror fixing his wide-staring dead eyes. Eric lets him drop like a laundry sack. ERIC I didn't think you could handle it either. O.S. BANG of impact, heavy against the steel door. Eric turns. ANGLE - STEEL DOOR as it is battered down by a squad of police using a power-ram. All weapons snap up to bear on Eric. LEAD SWAT That's all she wrote, Bozo! You stand down now, and that's an order! ANGLE - ERIC AS HE MOVES using his foot to shove the massive conference table at the incoming SWATS while launching himself into the air, flipping toward the window and arching through cleanly as the cops open fire on command. Bullets tear the room to pieces. LEAD SWAT The fire escape's covered. EXT. SHOWTIME - FRONT FIRE ESCAPE - NIGHT Picking up Eric on his dive through the window, bullets chasing him. Immediate police fire from below sparks off the ironwork. Eric ducks slugs balletically and scampers to the roof. ANGLE - SHOWTIME ROOFTOP EDGE Eric somersaults over. Bullets chip brick in his wake. STREET LEVEL - UP ANGLE TOWARD ROOF. Showtime girded police cars and MARKSMEN, Eric a distant shadow figure above. Here comes a TEAM LEADER with a bullhorn. TEAM LEADER (FILTERED) On the roof! Keep firing! Keep firing! A fury of law enforcement ordnance cuts loose all around him. RESUMING ERIC ON SHOWTIME ROOF EDGE A forearm up against the fusillade. Below him -- ANGLE - PIT FRONT FIRE ESCAPE Here come Lead SWAT and his Merry MEN. MOVING ANGLE - WITH ERIC - ADJACENT ROOFTOP Eric runs for it. Half a story higher. He hits the wall and skitters up, gripping tiny cracks in the brickwork. ANGLE - RESUMING MEN ON FRONT SHOWTIME FIRE ESCAPE. Lead SWAT hesitates -- because of what he sees. LEAD SWAT Holy shit, it's spiderman. He tries to pull a bead and fires too late. LEAD SWAT (CONT'D) What're you boy scouts staring at! Let's Go! Let's go! Let's go! MOVING ANGLE - PICKING UP ERIC ON NEXT ROOF He sprints to the far edge and dives to the next lower rooftop. As he lands he is nailed by a helicopter spotlight, boring in from behind and above the row of buildings. MOVING ANGLE - THE STREET BELOW COPS below, COPS in the chopper, everyone rushing parallel to Eric, trying to keep up. ERIC'S POV - THE STREET, THE HELICOPTER PAN QUICK to the next ledge. COPS right behind him on the roof as well. WITH ERIC - AS HE RUNS TO THE EDGE. and finds a void waiting there. No connecting building. ANOTHER MOVING ANGLE - ERIC staying ahead of the search light. A fantastic series of artful moves that wind him up at the rear edge of the roof. ANGLE - SWAT MEN ON NEXT ROOF sighting Eric as the light picks him out. Eric glances at them... then jumps. CHOPPER PILOT (O.S./FILTERED) He's off the roof. We can't see him. CLOSE-UP - LEAD SWAT pulling his weapon off target, because there is not target. LEAD SWAT Dammit to hell! (beat; to men) Come on. ANGLE - ALLEY - STREET LEVEL Eric lands like a falling safe, scattering garbage. But he's okay, up and running. ANGLE - ERIC'S RUNNING POV - END OF ALLEY as his escape is cut off by a police car that screeches to a stop, blocking the exit. ANOTHER ANGLE - ERIC as he backpedals, scanning for an alternate escape. ALBRECHT (from car) Come on! CLOSER ANGLE - POLICE CAR We can see Albrecht. Eric dives inside and the car burns rubber. INT. ALBRECHT'S CAR - TRAVELLING - NIGHT Albrecht harried and frantic, but in control. ALBRECHT Keep your head down! He twists and turns the car, glancing rearward for pursuit. Gradually he calms down. ALBRECHT (CONT'D) I figured you might need a ride home. Eric looks up at him from his half-concealed crouch. ERIC It's done. ALBRECHT I figured as much. Did you cap off Funboy. ERIC Funboy had to leave this mortal coil. ALBRECHT Yeah, among others. (sees Eric's condition) Hey, man -- you're hit. ERIC It's only a flesh wound. ALBRECHT It's only fourteen or fifteen flesh wounds. Eric sits up as the car gains distance. Grabs the cigarette out of ALbrecht's mouth. Takes his single puff. ERIC You shouldn't smoke these. He pitches the smoke out the open car window. ALBRECHT Great. Litterbug of the Living Dead. Eric turns back to Albrecht. ERIC I'm finished. Eric shoots him a doubtful look. ERIC (CONT'D) I mean, I've done what I came to do. It shouldn't hurt this much. But it will pass... ALBRECHT (not buying it) Right. (beat) You sure I can't just take you to the emergency ward? EXT. STREET - NIGHT - ON ALBRECHT'S CAR It hangs a turn and their escape is made. ERIC (O.S.) They couldn't do anything for me. ALBRECHT (O.S.) How 'bout the morgue? ERIC (O.S.) No. I have one more thing to do. EXT. STREET - ANOTHER PART OF THE CITY - NIGHT Lonelier, less traffic, more deserted. ANGLE - ON ALBRECHT AND ERIC THROUGH WINDSHIELD - TRAVELLING ALBRECHT You're gonna kill somebody else. (beat; no response) We're gonna stop and get a shit-load of Band-Aids? Eric is obviously fighting to stay centered, stay conscious. His last fight has caused him a great deal of damage, taken a lot out of him. He needs to recharge. ERIC I have to prepare for an anniversary. This coming night. HOLD on their two kinds of determination. as we DISSOLVE TO: EXT. CITYSCAPE - DAY High blue sky. It might even be pretty if it wasn't Detroit. INT. LAO'S CLUB OFFICE - DAY The TV flybank pulses with videotaped images of Club Trash's of various performers -- including Diabolique. On several screens, one-by-one, various images of a guitar-playing Eric Draven FREEZE-FRAME as we PULL BACK to the desk. Lao has the 8x10 from the corridor gallery. He places it within eyeshot and resumes work on the desk BELOW FRAME; we can't see it yet, among other scattered research and inconcubula. ANGLE - GRANGE Entering and crossing to the desk. As he comes up to the desk, he DRAWS BACK. GRANGE What... the hell is that? LAO (calmly) This is a cobra, Mr. Grange. Yes, it is real. NEW ANGLE - LAO AND GRANGE Revealing Lao with a sealed cage, holding a large, live cobra in his hands. The killing blade is nearby. GRANGE That thing is poisonous. LAO Extremely so. (beat) You and I are the recipients of unwanted good fortune, in the form of a man everyone is calling The Crow. Grange makes a face. Can't keep his eyes off the cobra. GRANGE Give me a break. That guy's a wacko... LAO I intend no slight to you, but I cannot find the English to adequately express just what he is. I suppose Western mythology would describe him as a Fury. GRANGE Not a Plymouth Fury, I bet. Lao chuckles indulgently. LAO Do you know of spirit assassins? You do know the dead can rise? Properly motivated, of course. GRANGE Like some sort of zombie on a revenge trip. LAO Mmm. But tonight I can take what is his. GRANGE Only thing you'll get from that clown is a faster way to die. LAO To the contrary... ZZLIP! Lao smoothly BEHEADS the snake with the Blade against the stone surface of the desk and discards the writhing body. He squeezes behind one of the eyes and a VENOM SAC protrudes like a dark pimento. LAO pulls it free of the milky, clinging tissue and EATS IT. Off Grange's stunned expression. LAO (CONT'D) ...all the dying tonight will be done by the former Eric Draven. Lao exhibits the blade to Grange as though it explains all. LAO (CONT'D) Who is only invulnerable so long as he cares about the dead. When he begins to care about the living, you'll find his heart can bleed... and I want it to bleed for me. GRANGE Kill a dead guy? Lao POPS the second venom sac; swallows it. Pleased. LAO Truly kill him. So I may crush his skull and smoke it. Lao SHRUGS. Grange can handle it. LAO (CONT'D) Let it suffice that I need him... and to get to him, we'll need his little friend. Finally, an assignment Grange can comfortable understand. INT. LOFT - DAY Eric, barechested, emotionally tapped, clean of makeup and blood but exhausted, his movements retarded and slack. Staring fixedly into the fireplace, where he burns everything he could find of his past: the junk from the makeup table, the masques, photos of himself and Shelly. INT. LOFT - STAIRWELL - DAY Moving with Elly as she nears the open loft door. She PEEKS cautiously inside. RESUME ERIC Without looking toward the door, he speaks. ELLY What's going on...? ERIC A remembrance. (beat) A closure. And Eric consigns to the fire the DRESS we saw earlier. Holds a photograph in a broken frame. Cracked glass. Subject: Eric and Shelly, goofing for the camera. He chucks it into the fire. Draws a deep breath. ERIC Better now. I feel good. How are you, Elly, my friend? Elly is clearly uncomfortable, groping for an excuse just to see Eric. Eric is staring at her, intently. ERIC What is it? ELLY I knew. I knew I knew you. Even with the makeup and stuff you wore. (beat) You really loved her, didn't you? CLOSE-UP - FIREPLACE The photo burns and blackens in the grate. ERIC You brought flowers. As long as you don't forget her, Elly, she lives. ELLY (upset) She's dead. She's gone. And now you're just gonna go away and never come back, too. I hate this place; it isn't fair. ERIC Elly... He draws her close. Wipes away an errant tear with his thumb. ERIC (CONT'D) Sometimes the people we care about are gone, for no reason. Sometimes that's really tough. I cry. But if the people we love are gone, we keep them -- He taps Elly's temple, then his won. ERIC (CONT'D) -- right here. It's a big responsibility. And that makes it okay to mourn. (beat) I know that if you weren't here, I'd be very sad. Elly gives Eric a hug. ELLY You look funny without your white face on. Like it's your day off or something. He quizzical expression amuses him. ERIC Somebody here wants to meet you. Gabriel? Gabriel the cat has wandered near the fireplace to join them. Elly is immediately smitten. Happy. ELLY I remember him! Here, Gabriel... here kitty... Gabriel... Is he still yours? ERIC I think he's yours, now. The cat seems to like that idea. Elly wraps him hugely up in her arms, talking to him: "How're you, Gabriel, whatcha doin'" ANOTHER ANGLE - TIGHTER ON ERIC While Elly is preoccupied with the cat, Eric gives up his last bit of Shelly to the fire - a portrait photo of her, small and creased. He puts it in the fire, watches it burn for a beat, then turns to Elly. ERIC (CONT'D) I have something else for you. BACK FOCUS as Eric lifts off his neck Shelly's ring for Elly's inspection. The ring twirls large in f.g. ELLY Nobody ever gave me something like that before. Ever. Eric places it around her neck. Elly BEAMS. ERIC Shelly would've wanted you to have it. This way, you'll think of her every time you see it... ELLY And she'll be alive. Up here. Elly TAPS her own temple with a smile, keeping one hand on the ring. CUT TO: EXT. STREET - DAY Blowing wind. TRICK-OR-TREATERS wisp past. Ghosts, witches, demons out for Halloween. ANGLE - CEMETERY FENCE walking home with Gabriel zipped up inside her coat is Elly. A fire engine wails past in the opposite direction. ANGLE - ELLY ON BROWNSTONE STEPS Strictly downscale building. Elly to Gabriel" ELLY You're gonna like it here. A car curbs across the street as she enters the building. ANGLE - PUSH IN ON CAR as the window cranks down to reveal Grange at the wheel. INT. DARLA'S APARTMENT - DAY Darla nervously smoking, doing her best to stay clean, but jittery. Elly enters the shabby living room with Gabriel in her arms. DARLA I was wonderin' where you'd gotten to -- (she sees Gabriel) Oh, Elly, honey, a cat. Here? ELLY He was a present. Besides, we're moving anyway. You said. DARLA We'll discuss this later. Obviously. You left the door open. DARLA points. As Elly goes to close the door it opens. NEW ANGLE - FAVOR THE DOOR Grange enters accompanied by two Asian martial arts STRONGARMS (Lao Guards #3 & #4). Grange looks around, bemused, his manner avuncular. GRANGE Hi, Elly. Remember me? Elly's surprise is evident. Darla is just plain pissed off. DARLA I don't remember you. And I don't remember inviting... GRANGE (to his MEN) If she opens her face again, shoot her in the head. ANGLE - DARLA Mouth stalling in the ON position as Lao Guard #3 pulls a gigantic gun, draws and cocks. ELLY (panicked) Mom -- ! ANGLE - GUARD #4 AND ELLY as he scoops her up, captive. ANGLE - GRANGE AND GABRIEL He strolls the circuit of the room, stopping near the window. GRANGE You should listen to your mother. She said no cats. Grange pitches Gabriel right out the window. ELLY Gabriel! Grange pulls out a compact Polaroid camera. GRANGE Now that's the expression I want. ANGLE - ELLY AND GUARD #4 As she struggle mightily, to no avail, as Grange moves in to snap his shot. GRANGE (CONT'D) Say cheese. He snaps. On the SX-70 WHIRR and flash white-out, we -- EXT. LOFT BUILDING ROOFTOP - SUNSET Dark clouds have gathered to highlight the sunset. Eric plays the guitar - LOUD, the SHelly theme in a major key. Where before it was wandering, uncertain, now it's bold and heartbreaking. Definitive. Pain replaced by strength and a sense of homecoming. As Eric gets to the end of it, the notes are flying out... At the climax, rips the guitar up over his head and brings it down -- SMASH -- on the Pignose. He's finished here. ROOF EDGE - FROM STREET as the broken guitar SAILS OUT over the building edge. INT. LOFT BUILDING STAIRWELL - DUSK As Eric comes down the stairs. Notices the open door. INT. LOFT - DUSK He enters, cautiously, to find an envelope laying in the middle of the floor. He opens it. INSERT - THE POLAROID OF ELLY with a note. UP ANGLE AT ERIC READING THE NOTE - FROM FLOOR The crow flies past behind him as his expression hardens. NEW ANGLE - A MOMENT LATER - FAST AND HARD Eric brutally crisscrosses his arms with black vinyl tape. ANGLE - ERIC DRESSING Pulling on black night-fighting clothes, skintight. ANGLE - THE VANITY as Eric (seen in mirror) jabs his fingers into the white makeup and smears it on. SMASH CUT TO: EXT. STREET NEAR CEMETERY - NIGHT Eric marches along in plain view since everyone around him seems to be in costume. The wind whips his coat. KIDS bustle around him with trick-or-treat bags. The crow perched on his shoulder. ERIC'S POV - CITY SKYLINE Somewhere, a few blocks over, a building is burning. ANGLE - ERIC WALKING A fire engine races past on the street. He steps out in its wake and crosses over to -- MEDIUM MOVING SHOT - THE CEMETERY waiting for him as he crosses to the fence. Beyond the fence, in the distance, the church looms. ANGLE - ERIC He pauses. A KID in a Creature from the Black Lagoon mask comes, passes Eric, then comes back for a touch. CREATURE KID Trick or treat! Eric smiles. Not tonight. EXT. CEMETERY - NIGHT Eric is standing over the grave of Shelly Webster, looking down. He holds for a moment then moves on. EXT. CHURCH - NIGHT Eric ascends toward giant oak doors, tres Gothique. The crow flaps past, leading him. NEW ANGLE - TOP OF STEPS -- where waits the Skull Cowboy. As Eric approaches, the Skull Cowboy interposes himself between Eric and the huge double doors. Eric glares up, defiant. Moves up the steps. The Skull Cowboy extends a skeletal hand. STOP. SKULL COWBOY Stop screwing around. TIGHT ON ERIC Angry, ready to battle: You talking to me? SKULL COWBOY (CONT'D) Your job is done. You interfere with the living again. ERIC Tell me I'll get hurt. That I might die. (beat) I've already done that. I don't need anyone's help. Yours included. STAIR ANGLE - ERIC AND SKULL COWBOY Eric lower, Skull Cowboy superior, the storm wild around them. SKULL COWBOY Do this thing and you will be vulnerable. The blood will not return. (beat) No powers. No reunion. Nothing. ERIC Fine with me. He ADVANCES a step up; the Skull Cowboy Hold fast. SKULL COWBOY You'll be alone. ERIC I'm already alone. INT. BELL TOWER - NIGHT Through a castle keep-like slit, Grange monitors Eric's arrival. He speaks into a headset. GRANGE We've got company. LAO (O.S./FILTERED) Is he inside? GRANGE'S POV - ERIC Eric Talking to dead air. Almost arguing with it. Eerie. RESUME GRANGE As he talks into his mike he hefts a nightscoped, laser-sighted sniper's rifle. GRANGE He's just out front talking to himself. You tell me. EXT. CHURCH - RESUMING ERIC ON STEPS - NIGHT Eric, eyes steely, stares down the Skull Cowboy. ERIC Don't waste my time. SKULL COWBOY Very well, it's your ass. And the wind kicks up around them both, powerfully. ANGLE - SKULL COWBOY (EFFECT) As the force of the storm dust-devils around him and begins to disassemble him. The fire in his eye sockets goes out. His hat flies off an is pulverized by the wind. The garments begin to disintegrate and blow around, rotten cerements falling apart in mid-air. ANGLE - ERIC ON STEPS -- transfixed by this unexpected development. A shard of the Skull Cowboy blows past Eric's face and transmutes to dust! RESUME SKULL COWBOY AT TOP OF STEPS (EFFECT) Transparent, ancient bones, crumbling and blowing away. ANOTHER ANGLE - ERIC ON STEPS As Eric lunges for what's left of his mysterious, smart-ass mentor CLOSE-UP - ERIC'S LUNGING HAND Meeting only a swirl of vaporous dust where the Skull Cowboy's heart would have been. TIGHT ANGLE - ERIC ON STEPS He has time to register the dust in his palm before it, too, renders down to nothingness, leaving a vague green glow that dies. And as he looks to the sky -- UP ANGLE - THE CROW flapping down to land on Eric's shoulder. Eric is astonished. ERIC But why are you still here? CLOSE-UP - THE CROW No answer in the crow's eyes. RESUME AND FOLLOW ERIC That's good enough for Eric. He marches to the double doors and shoves them back. INT. CHURCH - AS ERIC COMES THROUGH THE DOORS - NIGHT The high breeze blows in with him, disturbing dust in the disused Gothic dark. Hollow cathedral ECHOES to sounds. A giant 27" TV positioned on the alter, broadcasting static. LONG SHOT - ERIC AS HE APPROACHES THE ALTER - ("CROWVISION") Leery of potential danger from a thousand dark places. ANGLE - THE TV - AS ERIC ENTERS FRAME Onscreen: Elly, gagged with duct tape and handcuffed to an iron ring bolted to a flagstone wall. Could be anywhere inside the church. LAO (O.S./FILTERED) I believe our friend Elly call you Mister Crow. (beat) Please acknowledge; the mike will pick you up. ERIC I can see her. LAO Of course you can. ANGLE - GRANGE IN THE GALLERY -- in darkness. The running lights on his night-scoped, laser-sighted sniper's rifle which THROWS vague sprays of eerie red and green light. LAO (CONT'D; O.S./FILTERED) Don't permit your rage to cloud the issue. I believe in barter. I propose a simple trade. Grange sights his weapon. CROSSHAIR POV - ERIC AT THE ALTER Bluring as Grange resights. Eric is not the target. Blur FINDS the crow at the far end of the nave, perched in front of a giant stained glass window. NEW ANGLE - GRANGE -- squeezing off two quick, SILENCED shots. ANGLE - STAINED GLASS WINDOW -- the first shot blows a hole in some pastoral religious presentation. TINKLE of glass. ANGLE - ERIC -- Spinning at the quiet !pfut! sound, to witness. ANGLE - INCOMING DART - ("CROWVISION") SPinning and hissing venomously. ANGLE - ERIC DUCKS As before, but the crow is not as fast. TIGHT ANGLE - THE CROW As it catches the dart and goes down in a flurry of feathers. LOW ANGLE - ERIC AT ALTER - INCLUDE TV His knees buckle. Sympathetic PAIN from the hit. LAO (O.S./FILTERED) You intended to finish this evening in the cemetery. I am here to help you on your way. ANGLE - RESUMING GRANGE IN GALLERY Swapping his tranquilizer gun for a more lethal rifle, similarly scoped. He sights the fallen Eric in a spray of green light. HIGH ANGLE - HAND HELD - ERIC AT ALTER Groping for support to drag himself back to standing. GRANGE (O.S.) I've got him if you want him. LAO (O.S./FILTERED) No shooting. GRANGE (into headset) Move in, guys. HIGH ANGLE - THE SANCTUARY -- as Lao Guards #3 and #4 move into light, closing on Eric's position in the center of isle. Both wield calico's and one bears a sword. CLOSE ANGLE - ALTER -- Lao makes his entrance from shadow wearing a brisk pugilist get-up, a practical fighting outfit. Makes a show of drawing the killing blade. LAO I wish to possess what you have now. ERIC I want the girl. Unharmed. Now. LAO I know. That is why I will prevail. Mr. Grange... ? Eric CRAMPS UP, CLUTCHING his throat in obvious pain. ANGLE - GRANGE AT STAINED GLASS WINDOW Holding the crow by the neck, TIGHTLY. He plucks the tranq dart from the its body. ANGLE - RESUMING ERIC AS LAO MOVES IN CLOSER Crashing to one knee, invisibly bludgeoned, struggling to breathe. Lao has no fear, walking around the stricken Eric. LAO Sooner or later, my action were destined to bring me a genuine Fury. And it turned out to be you. At last. I appreciate your abilities as few mortals can. That's why I desire them. ERIC You're too late. There was a guy outside - on the stairs - you really need to talk to. But he turned to dust and blew away. (beat, gasping) I don't have any power for you to take. LAO I don't believe that. Lao motions to Grange with the killing blade. Grange RELAXES his deathgrip on the crow. MOVE IN CLOSE on Eric so we may perceive a palpable degree of relief. LAO (CONT'D) Time for you to die for me. (beat) Funny, how the dead can still bleed. How they need air. Eric IMMOBILIZED as Lao DRAWS BACK the Blade. To Grange: LAO (CONT'D) Break its neck. ANGLE - RESUMING GRANGE AT WINDOW as he prepares to do dirty on the bird. Over his shoulder, we PUSH in to the BULLETHOLE from the first dart until we're in TIGHT CLOSE-UP of an eye watching through the hole. EXT. CHURCH - OBVERSE OF WINDOW - NIGHT Albrecht digs through a sling bag of weaponry, trying to simultaneously monitor the peephole, muttering sotto to himself. ALBRECHT Had to go get yourself hip-deep in shit, didn't you, my friend. It begins to rain. Albrecht glances resentfully toward the sky. ALBRECHT (CONT'D) Give it a rest, huh? A hefts a machinegun, clipped over and under. CUTS LOOSE on full auto into the Madonna on the window. INT. CHURCH NAVE - NIGHT As the window EXPLODES toward Grange and he sucks big hits from behind, DROPPING the crow. The bird hits the ground, flapping weakly. LAO GUARDS #3 & #4 exchange a look and whip up their Calicos, RETURNING FIRE. EXT. CHURCH - NIGHT Albrecht takes cover as a lot of religious stuff is noisily destroyed all around his position. Chunks of the window continue to disintegrate. INT. CHURCH ALTER (NIGHT) Eric tuck-and-rolls out of the way as we go CLOSE on Lao, screaming. LAO I said no shooting! Then he's ducking bullets himself as Albrecht STEPS IN through the blown out window, the machine gun stuttering on slugs. The sanctuary comes apart around Lao. He RETREATS to the alter and EXITS whence he came. TIGHT ON PEW -- ERIC DIVES just as Guard #4 comes after him with the sword, which chomps into the wood and gets stuck there. Guard #4 releases it and cross draws his Calico as ERIC springs back into the frame -- STRAIGHT UP. TIGHT ON GUARD #4 as Eric's lancing foot propels him backward before he can fire. INTERCUTS -- ALBRECHT AND GUARD #3 scrambling to reload. Guard changes magazine; Albrecht swaps clips. ANGLE - DOWN LENGTH OF PEW -- Guard #4 slides. Sits up with his gun as Eric, down-pew, grabs the sword. ANGLE - ALBRECHT AT WINDOW firing now with a gun in each hand. RESUME ERIC AND GUARD #4, who eats it from Albrecht's gunfire, but not before he puts a round through Eric. Eric staggers back from the impact but keeps his feet. RESUME ALBRECHT as he tosses away the dry pistol. His machine gun jams, he fights to get the clip. ANGLE - GUARD #3 -- reloaded and rising, having caught Albrecht dead-bang in the open by the window. MOVING ANGLE - WITH ERIC -- A complex leap with the sword flashing. He lands near Guard #3 and SLASHES UPWARDS, blade up. CLOSE-UP - GUARD #3 -- screaming in pain, gaping DOWN O.S. TIGHT ON ALBRECHT - looking UP, following the trajectory of something AIRBORNE toward him. CLOSE-UP - GUARD #3'S Calico spinning mid-air with Guard #3s HANDS still attached, severed mid-forearm by Eric's devastating strike. ANGLE - ALBRECHT drops Guard #3 -- to REVEAL Eric in the background. Eric salutes Albrecht with the tip of the sword. WITH ALBRECHT as he moves into the nave, which has been torn apart by gunfire. Hazy smoke. Two dead guys. And Eric. ALBRECHT You sorta looked like you might need my help. ERIC This isn't your place. This isn't your fight. And I don't need your help. ALBRECHT You're welcome. ERIC Leave here. Don't do this. I don't want you here. ALBRECHT The hell you say. This isn't just about you any more. Eric stares dead-on at Albrecht, acidly, then BREAKS the Guard's sword, dropping the pieces and turning his back on Albrecht, who pursues Eric to: INT. SPIRAL STAIRCASE - TO BELL TOWER - NIGHT The crow FLAPS UPWARD through the void. Eric grabs the thick bellrope, testing it. A final look to Albrecht. ERIC Don't interfere. ALBRECHT You're bleeding, man. You can't make it. Eric shinnies up the bellrope, ignoring Albrecht. ON ALBRECHT Watching as Eric dissappears from view, fast.. Grumbles. ALBRECHT You won't mind if I just take the stairs, then, smartass... He hefts his arsenal bag of hardware and begins to plod up the steps. ANGLE - MOVING WITH ERIC ON THE ROPE -- A weird perspective of speed climb. Zip! All the way to the top. EXT - CHURCH ROOF - NIGHT Slanted, shingled, slippery, dark. Lightning deep in the turbid clouds. The crow circles as Eric RISES INTO FRAME. ERIC Here I am. DOWNFRAME lightning STRIKES the ornate LIGHTNING ROD (large, Victorian, lance-like) at the far end of the roof from the bell tower. SILHOUETTING Lao and Elly standing in front of it. Elly flinches at the strike. LAO Can you fly, Crow man? INT. BELLTOWER SPIRAL STAIRS - RESUMING ALBRECHT He stops his ascent to light a cigarette. ALBRECHT I ain't cut out for this superhero shit. EXT. CHURCH ROOF - RESUMING LAO - NIGHT Lao SNAPS Elly's free handcuff to the dimly glowing lightning rod and advances, one foot on either side of the peak of the roof, his blade brandished. CLOSE MOVING SHOT - ERIC -- Hands up to grapple, but weaponless. He spiders to meet Lao, suddenly PICKING UP SPEED and RUNNING along the precarious peak. Lao sees him coming, braces to strike, but Eric executes a BROAD FLYING LEAP right over Lao's head. ERIC LANDS, SLIPS, sprawls sideways, clinging to the peak of the roof. Lao hurries in to slash with the blade, as Eric averts. The steel RINGS. Eric converts his dodge into a low spin kick that DUMPS Lao. Eric SPREAD-EAGLES to keep from falling. Distantly, Lao similarly saves himself. NEW ANGLE -- THE FIGHT -- Here comes Lao, crabbing back toward the peak. Eric ROLLS to Elly's position, GRABS the lightning rod and tries to wrest it loose. SIZZLE OF FLESH as Eric's hands are scorched: the metal is still blue-hot. MOVING WITH LAO as Eric battles to free the lightning rod. Lao closes up distance, gives a warcry and prepares to swing as - Eric WRENCHES the rod loose and turns to deflect Lao's blow. The weapons spark as they meet... and there goes Elly, her handcuff freed, SLIDING DOWN THE ROOF SLOPE. ANGLE -- ROOF SLOPE -- WITH ERIC as he dodges Lao by using the lightning rod to vault down to where Elly is about to slip off the roof. With the rod embedded in the roof, Eric hangs on, and elly hangs on to Eric. UP ANGLE -- LAO, a dark figure against the night sky, raising the sword. LAO Face me! Eric guides Elly to the top of one of the flying buttresses. When he looks up, Lao is gone. ANGLE - BELL TOWER -- Albrecht's head pokes up at last. Looks around, finally spots Eric below and to the left. YELLS, serio-comic. ALBRECHT Is he dead yet? INSERT - ALBRECHT'S HOLSTER as Lao's hand draws Albrecht's gun quickly. ANGLE - ALBRECHT AND LAO --Lao has blindsided Albrecht. LAO No. You are. He jams the gun into the base of ALbrecht's neck and fires three times. CLOSE ANGLE - ERIC - He's too far away to matter. Shock. INSERT - ALBRECHT'S CIGARETTE as it rolls down the slope, trailing sparks, snuffing out. ANGLE - ERIC holding onto the lightning rod as lightning CUTS the night above him. ANGLE -- LAO AT BELL TOWER, triumphant and a bit wild, SHOUTING. LAO You've caused another death, Mister Draven! The girl will die as well -- because of you! ANGLE - ELLY ON FLYING BUTTRESS The base of a triangle - Lao, Eric, Elly. ELLY You go to hell, you pervert! RESUME ERIC Rage over the loss of Albrecht. He RISES, hurting but mad as hell. GLARES UP toward Lao. ERIC And how many lives have you destroyed? LAO I took yours from you. Your little girlfriend? I took hers, too. Your meaningless, petty life? I took it so that tonight your existence might gain a purpose. You're no avenger. You're mine. PUSH IN TIGHT ON ERIC. Eyes alight with hatred for Lao. ERIC (to himself) You're right, I'm not an avenger. Not any more. As lightning strikes, Eric Fires his gaze TOWARD THE SKY. HIGH ANGLE - LAO ON ROOFTOP - ("CROWVISION") SEEING the crash dive toward Lao through the row's eyes. ANGLE - LAO ON ROOFTOP As the crow wings down INTO FRAME and lights on Lao's head, CLAWING! CLOSE-UP -- THE CROW ON LAO'S HEAD slashing with its claws. Pecking out Lao's eyes. WITH ERIC -- on the roofslope as he totters but maintains his climb, the crow/Lao UPFRAME B.G. RESUME LAO -- as the crow abandons him. Lao STAGGERS AND FALLS down the roof - toward Eric. SLANTED ANGLE -- ERIC AND LAO -- Eric ARRESTS Lao's fall, fisting lapels and bringing him nose to nose. Fury. ERIC Time for a sacrifice. Lao's face is a hideous bloody mask with black holes where the eyes used to be. He smiles gruesomely. LAO I don't need eyes to take what I want from you. He EMBRACES Eric and RAMS the killing blade deep into Eric's back! ON ERIC as he looks down to see the blade protruding from his sternum. Tight grimace. A lot of pain. ERIC Can you fly? He pulls Lao into a BACKWARD ROLL down the roof, HOLDING HIM TIGHT. MOVING ANGLE -- INTERCUTS -- ERIC AND LAO FALL Eric lands on his back, forcing the blade THROUGH himself and INTO Lao. Eric completes the roll and KICKS Lao off INTO SPACE, the killing blade still embedded in him! WITH LAO as crashes, sliding, sprawling down PAST Elly's position. Gets to his knees atop the flying buttress. Sees the blade in his own chest. CLOSE-UP - ELLY - she sees it all happen. RESUME LAO - a regretful look toward Eric. He PLUMMETS off the roof edge. ANGLE - ERIC SLIDES DOWN ROOF -- He slows, stopping when Elly is in frame. He clutches his own chest. Regards his own shaking hand, drenched in his won blood. Glazed. ON ELLY, as she finally gets the duct tape off her mouth, trying to get to Eric. She flails and cries out. ELLY Don't let me fall! CLOSE-UP -- their hands finally meet and GRASP TIGHT. EXT. CEMETERY - NIGHT (LATER) (RAIN) A low angle TRACKING SHOT (as when we first met Elly). Eric's and Elly's feet pass graves. Eric's pace is slow, crippled, limping. They STOP at a grave where elly BENDS INTO FRAME to steal the flowers there. Eric is bloody and out of it. She helps him walk. ELLY Now do you get to see her? Shelly, I mean. ERIC In a better place. I hope. ELLY You're not gonna come back, are you? Eric's response is halting and uncertain. But he tries to give her hope. He reaches for Shelly's ring around her neck, holds it up to her. ERIC I don't know if I can. But you have this... and you know where to come. ELLY You mean you'll, like' dig your way out of the grave? Euww. Eric is amused by this in spite of his grievous injuries. He grasps Elly's face in his hands and bends, painfully,to kiss her on the forehead. ERIC For you, I'll try. Promise. MOVE WITH ERIC Spent, empty, he holds the rose determinedly, but he's never going to make it the few yards back to his own grave. So close. His legs finally go and he collapses onto the humus. One groping hand tries to drag him further. ERIC Leave me now. ANGLE - ELLY Tears on her face. She can't watch this. She TURNS and drops the flowers on Shelly's grave. ERIC'S POV - HIS OWN GRAVE Still too far away to matter. RESUME ERIC ON GROUND He gives it up, his face sinking into the wet grass for a beat before SHELLY'S HAND intrudes INTO FRAME to GRASP his hand. No ethereal glow, no heavenly choir... just a near-dead Eric's blank-faced astonishment, and he moves forward. ANGLE - ELLY - SHELLY'S GRAVE BG She struggles to get her hood up against the rain and roughly wipes the moisture from her face with her sleeve. She turns toward Eric's grave. Then, surprised, she looks close. ANGLE - ERIC'S GRAVE Eric is gone. The white rose lies neatly on the top of the undisturbed earth there. HIGH ANGLE - CEMETERY Emphasizing that Elly is now ALONE in the graveyard. LOW ANGLE on Elly, ROSE in the foreground -- She walks OFF. HOLD the rose. CUT TO: INT. DARLA'S APARTMENT - DAY (OVERCAST) A grey day but no rain. Elly stands wistfully by the window, her doll on standby. The apartment is in order and perhaps we notice a few new items. Gabriel the cat, miraculously ALIVE, is sprawled on a chair, licking himself. Darla BUSTLES INTO FRAME B.G. Her wardrobe more upscale, her hair done. Her manner is hectic but natural. DARLA Worktime, kiddo. First day, new job, gotta go. This does not get the expected smile from Elly. DARLA (CONT'D) You sure you're gonna be okay? Elly turns from the window and NODS silently. ELLY'S POV - OUTSIDE The aforementioned grey day in the city. ANGLE - DARLA AND ELLY AT THE WINDOW. Darla comes up. Arm around Elly. Cheer up; he attitude much more connected and loving. PUSH IN ON ELLY so we know she is clutching SHelly's ring tightly in her hand. Darla looks past Elly, out the window. DARLA At least it finally stopped raining. ELLY It can't rain all the time. Darla kisses Elly on the temple and it out the door. Elly OPENS her hand to consider the ring. She looks back out the window -- ANGLE - THE CROW ON THE LEDGE Elly is looking right at it. Same crow. We're positive. So is Elly. It TAKES WING and flies away. EXT. CEMETERY - DAY An UP ANGLE from Eric's grave toward the tree as the crow FLIES INTO FRAME and perches there, shucking water. PUSH IN on the crow. Watching. Waiting. SLOW FADE TO DEAD BLACK.