Skin & Bones by Drew McWeeny & Scott Swan
FEAR ITSELF/”Skin & Bones” TEASER EXT. EDLUND RANCH - DAY It’s cold. Very cold. All the mountains in the area are wrapped in storm clouds. From here, we can see most of the surrounding Colorado countryside, including the spectacular peaks of the Sangre De Cristo mountains and the slopes of the Culebra mountains. A MAIN HOUSE, with a huge porch that wraps around three sides of the building. A wide RANCH YARD with a BARN off to one side and a COWHAND’S BUNKHOUSE at the far end. It’s cold enough outside to see your breath. Cold enough that it’s hard to breathe. Even so, two people stand on the front porch, about as far apart as they can be while still sharing the same porch. DEREK EDLUND. 17 years old, a tough kid. world on his shoulders.
The weight of the
TIM EDLUND, his brother, just two years younger, but a child in most ways. Developmentally challenged. There’s an open, trusting innocence to Tim. They’ve been outside for a while.
They’re both freezing.
The door to the house opens and their uncle, ROWDY EDLUND, steps out. Late-30s. Everything about him is rough-hewn, weathered. Eyes wind-burnt into a permanent squint. Skin tanned to leather. One leg is in a cast. Almost all the way up to the hip. Rowdy’s surprisingly mobile, but it definitely slows him down, and he walks with a THUNK! on every other step. ROWDY What are you doing? Neither of them budge. pull him away.
Rowdy grabs Tim by the arm, starts to
DEREK Get your hands off him. Rowdy stops, glares down at Derek.
DEREK You can’t tell us what to do. ain’t your ranch.
ROWDY I can, and I am. DEREK You ain’t our daddy. You just work for him, Uncle Rowdy. ROWDY Don’t have a thing to do with it. Wanna make yourselves sick so your momma’s got more to worry about? TIM Where’s our dad? ROWDY I don’t know, Tim. DEREK If you cared, you’d be out there. ROWDY Out where? Marching around the mountains in the middle of a storm with no idea at all where to look? I wanna find him. But I can’t just go charging out there blind. DEREK Well, in this weather, the sheriff ain’t looking, either, so you tell me what is being done. I heard a long list of what ain’t. Derek takes Tim by the arm and Rowdy lets him go. DEREK (to Tim) Come on. Let’s go. Derek leads Tim inside, leaves Rowdy there on the porch. Rowdy looks out at the desolate mountains, realizing what he must do.
INT. ROWDY’S BEDROOM - DAY Rowdy bundles up, getting dressed for the cold. over at a photo on his dresser.
GRADY, his wife, and his two sons in happier days. In the picture, Grady is just north of 40 years old, thick around the middle from a cushy corporate gig but with a face that has the peculiar tightness of expensive plastic surgery. There’s a soft knock on Rowdy’s door, and ELENA EDLUND steps in. Grady’s wife from the picture. Late 30s. Striking, but she dresses down to de-emphasize how good looking she is. Understated in every way. She’s got an easy smile, but sad eyes. ROWDY Your son just put me on notice. Looks like I’m heading out there. ELENA Storm’s bad. He can see how scared she is. He puts his hand on her shoulder, but even that little bit of physical contact between them is too much, too intimate. He backs off, puts on a forced smile. ROWDY Been bad for days. That’s the problem. Grady’s got half our herd with him. He may own this land, but he doesn’t spend the time here that I do. He’s not a rider. ELENA You mean he’s not a rider like you? (gestures at Rowdy’s leg) ROWDY Your husband’s late. More than a week late. (beat) When we were little, me and him used to play cowboy all the time. He thinks that just cause he owns this spread, he’s a real cowboy. But he ain’t. I am. Grady’s still just playin’. And in these parts that’ll get you killed.
ELENA I know. I’m worried. But part of me thinks that... GRADY! ROWDY Thinks that Grady’s what? ELENA No... he’s there! She points out the window. Rowdy turns and looks and sees a figure staggering across the ranch yard, moving slowly. EXT. EDLUND RANCH - DAY Rowdy piles out of the house as fast as he can with the cast. Elena follows him out onto the porch. Stay here.
Rowdy heads out across the yard. Grady marches along, towards the house, slow but steady, staring straight ahead. He doesn’t seem to see Rowdy, even when he gets close. Grady’s pale, gaunt. Rowdy can’t help but notice DRY BLOOD smeared on his chin and neck. Rowdy reaches out and touches his arm, and Grady finally reacts. He flinches away, looks Rowdy in the eye, and opens his mouth to scream. What comes out, though, is ragged, strangled. ROWDY Grady! It’s me! It’s Rowdy! Grady struggles to get away from him for a moment, but Rowdy holds on, and after a moment, Grady seems to focus, suddenly seeing his brother. Grady collapses, exhausted. Derek and Tim step out onto the porch, see what’s going on. Elena tries to stop them from running out to their father. She manages to grab Tim, but Derek heads down the steps. Rowdy looks down at Grady with his eyes rolled back in his head, mouth open, tongue split and black. Derek runs up, sees his father and stops cold. DEREK What the hell happened to him? END OF TEASER
ACT ONE INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - NIGHT Rowdy and Elena stand side-by-side in the hallway outside Grady’s bedroom. Down the hall, Derek and Tim sit at the top of the stairs, far enough away that Rowdy and Elena can’t hear them as they speak to each other in low, hushed tones. TIM Dad’s okay, right? DEREK Don’t be stupid, stupid. been in there an hour.
Tim tries not to cry, turns away so that Derek can’t see him. Derek’s frustrated with his brother, but he tries to hold back his temper. DEREK I know you don’t understand the way things are. Ain’t your fault. But this is serious, Tim. You gotta be ready for whatever happens. Might not be good. TIM Is he... is he gonna die? Derek watches as Rowdy puts his arm around Elena and pulls her close so she can cry on his shoulder. Doesn’t like that one little bit. DEREK I don’t know. The bedroom door opens and DOC MORGAN steps out. Little man in his 60s. Looks like he was woken up to come up here, and like he can’t believe what he saw. Derek cranes his head so he can see past Doc Morgan. Grady lies on his own bed. The sheet’s thrown back so Tim can see most of Grady’s body. Thin enough to see his ribs under the too-white skin. As Derek stares, Grady suddenly turns his head, so he can look all the way down the hall, directly at his son. Derek jerks back, as if burnt, as Doc Morgan closes the door.
How is he?
DOC MORGAN Alive. Which seems like a small miracle, if you ask me. How long did you say he was missing? Ten days.
DOC MORGAN And he’s the only one who came back? ROWDY Right. (beat) How do you suppose he survived all this time? DOC MORGAN He must have found something to eat out there. What I have no idea. ELENA Doc... will he be okay? DOC MORGAN I don’t see why not. you keep him hydrated rest. He should come to his old self in no
As long as and let him back around time.
Elena seems relieved, barely able to believe the news. ELENA Did he say anything? DOC MORGAN Yes he did. He said he’s hungry. INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT Elena finishes up the soup she’s cooking. Sets a plate, with soft fresh-baked bread and butter on the side, then dishes up the soup. Puts it on a tray. And the whole time, she’s brushing off tears. Rowdy walks in, pushing Derek in front of him.
ROWDY Here you go, Mom. Derek would love to carry that tray up to his dad. ELENA Is that so? Rowdy puts his hand on Derek’s shoulder. is enough to make Derek wince.
Just that pressure
DEREK Yes, mom, I’d love to. ROWDY Look at that. Derek takes the tray from his mother and heads upstairs. Once he’s gone, Elena steps into Rowdy’s embrace, buries her face in his chest, and just lets go: all the tears, all the tension, everything out at once. ELENA Doesn’t even look like himself. His eyes. Something’s not right. It’s like he’s... somebody else. ROWDY He’s just been through a lot. That’s all. ELENA God, if he wasn’t so fragile right now, I’d go up there and I’d strangle the life out of him. ROWDY However mad you are, just remember... he’s paying for it. And I’m probably just as mad at him as you are... but until he’s up and around, all that has to be backburnered. There’s a loud THUMP and a CRASH from upstairs. DEREK (upstairs) Dammit!
INT. GRADY’S BEDROOM - NIGHT Elena steps into the room. Derek kneels on the floor, trying to clean up the soup his mother made, the entire tray spilled. Grady lies in bed, unmoving. ELENA What did you do? DEREK He did.
ELENA Your father’s very sick. You have to help with these things. You can’t just... Derek stands up, immediately furious. DEREK He knocked the tray out of my hand! On purpose! He pushes past her so he can storm out. but Derek sidesteps her and leaves.
She grabs for him,
She turns back to look at Grady, who still hasn’t moved. His eyes aren’t even open. In fact, until she gets closer, she can’t even see his chest moving, and he looks dead. She feels his forehead. Feels his cheeks. by the texture of his skin, by his color.
She reaches past him to adjust his pillow. His eyes flutter slightly, open just a bit. air, once, twice.
Grady sniffs the
She doesn’t notice that his eyes are open. He opens his mouth, very slightly. His awful black tongue pokes out, like an independent living thing --- and he licks the underside of her arm! She flinches away, instantly creeped out, and takes a step back from the edge of the bed. G-Grady?
ELENA Baby, are you awake?
He’s so soft that Elena instinctively steps closer again, leaning in close so she can hear him. ELENA What is it? What can I get you? GRADY ... taste good... She shudders, but Grady’s eyes are already closed again. He’s either asleep or too worn out to keep the eyes open. EXT. EDLUND RANCH - NIGHT Someone walks across the yard of the ranch, bundled up. Huge, imposing, moving with purpose. INT. FRONT ROOM - NIGHT A heavy knock on the front door. Derek and Tim appear at the top of the stairs. past them, checking his watch.
He stomps down the steps, leg hurting him with each step. He pauses before he opens the door, looks back up the stairs. You two.
ROWDY Go to bed.
He waits until they duck back out of sight, then opens the door. The figure we saw in the yard stands in the doorway, filling it almost completely. Rowdy takes a step back, and EDDIE BEAR steps in. A huge slab of a guy, older, in his 60s, but in incredible shape. INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - NIGHT Eddie follows Rowdy down this dark hall. ROWDY If I hadn’t broken my damn leg, he never would have volunteered to handle the cattle drive. What does he know about cattle? He may own this place, but he never actually visits. You know how hard it can be in the mountains. And he goes out playing cowboy like a jerk. At the end of the hall, Rowdy opens the door, stopping to let Eddie walk past him.
INT. GRADY’S BEDROOM - NIGHT Elena sits in a chair in the furthest corner of the room from her husband. Shawl in her lap, knitting in her hands. Asleep, exhausted, passed out at this point. Grady’s wide awake.
Unmoving in his bed.
Eddie stands on the threshold of the room. Looks in at Elena. Looks in at Grady. Grady’s eyes roll around and fix on Eddie. When he moves, Grady’s eyes follow. Locked on. Eddie walks across the room to where Elena is asleep, and he puts one hand gently on her shoulder. She jerks back from Eddie’s hand, then realizes where she is. How is he?
ELENA He won’t eat. Can you help him? Hope so.
They both look over at Grady. His eyes still locked on Eddie Bear. With his mouth hanging open, thick ropy drool on his cheek, it almost looks like Grady’s smiling. EDDIE Do me a favor. Wait downstairs. He doesn’t offer any explanation. Rowdy helps Elena up. Eddie waits for both of them to leave, waits for the door to close. Only then does he turn to look at Grady again. Grady stares back at him.
EDDIE What do you got t’say for yourself? Grady’s voice is much stronger than it was when he was trying to talk to his wife. Firm. Surprisingly solid. GRADY You’re scared. Maybe.
EDDIE Should I be?
He walks closer to Grady’s bed. Grady doesn’t answer. Just watches him, and now he really does seem to be smiling. But it’s a flat, mirthless smile, almost a twitch. Eddie looks down at Grady. He can see how every vein shows through his almost translucent skin, how he seems to be drying out. EDDIE When I was a boy... six years old or so... my family lived on the res... and one of my uncles, he got lost in the mountains during a flash snowfall. They sent out a search party or two, but a missing Indian wan’t no big thing to the sheriff’s office. Just wrote him off. When he did show up, it was weeks gone by. He didn’t look right. Not at all. GRADY How did he look? EDDIE He looked... like you. GRADY You don’t look much different yourself, Eddie Bear. At least tonight you managed to walk inside the room. That night in 1942, you stood outside the door. Nobody could get you to step one foot inside. Afraid. EDDIE Yeah, well... I was a kid. GRADY You look just the same right now. EDDIE I ain’t scared of you no more. Grady sits up. One motion. His legs flung around off the side of the bed, sitting inches from Eddie. To Eddie’s great credit, he doesn’t move. You were.
Grady pushes himself into a stand.
GRADY You will be. And now, standing, it’s obvious that something’s gone even more wrong. Grady’s thinner. His fingers longer. And pale. Eddie reaches down to his belt, and quickly slides his knife out of its sheath. He holds it down, by his side, so Grady can see it. This is one big-ass knife. This is a knife you use if you feel like fighting a bear. Eddie doesn’t even gesture with it. EDDIE How ‘bout you sit yourself back down? Two of us keep talking. Cause that’s all this is right now... two of us talking. Grady stands there for a moment, swaying a bit. Just long enough to let Eddie know that he’s thinking about it. Then sits back down. EDDIE Glad to see you’re feeling better. GRADY Oh, I’ll bet you are. EDDIE If you’re feeling well enough to get out of bed, then you won’t mind when I tell Rowdy that I quit. You’ll get along fine without me. GRADY You a quitter, Eddie? EDDIE I’m old as hell. That ain’t no accident. I’ll quit. I’ll run. I’ll tuck tail. Whatever you call it. But if you are what I think you are... I don’t want to be here. GRADY Then go. You’re just a broken-down drunken no-account injun, anyway. Ain’t like you’re gonna be missed. Eddie backs away. Finally tucks the knife back into the sheath around the time he reaches the door.
EDDIE You’re gonna have to eat. Grady lays back into his bed, settles in. GRADY
Soon. INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT
Rowdy and Elena sit at the table, waiting, lost in thought. They both look up as Eddie steps in, expectant. ROWDY Can you help him? Nope.
EDDIE Don’t think no one can.
Eddie heads for the door. ELENA At least tell me if he’ll eat. Eddie pauses at the door, horrified by the question. Yeah.
EDDIE I’d say that’s a sure thing.
INT. TIM AND DEREK’S ROOM - NIGHT The boys lay in their beds.
There’s a sound. Something low and distant. Some sort of baying, a separate sound being carried on the wind. Derek sits up, almost challenging the window, daring something to happen. Tim, though, keeps his head under his pillow. He’s crying softly. The last few days are taking their toll. INT. ROWDY’S BEDROOM - NIGHT Rowdy lays on his bed, but the covers are still made, and Rowdy’s still fully dressed. He looks at his own window, at the night outside. There’s that sound again. And finally it becomes obvious what we’re hearing --- cattle, crying out in pain!
INT. COWHAND’S BUNKHOUSE - NIGHT Eddie Bear stands up and crosses to his double-wide windows. Wipes away what frost and condensation he can, and peers out into the night. The cattle sounds are so loud here it’s almost like they’re right at the door. Just outside. Eddie can’t see anything, though. He looks again. Catches a glimpse of someone out there, backlit for a moment by the main house. And then it’s gone.
Lost in the darkness again. SHOCK CUT TO:
EXT. COWHAND’S BUNKHOUSE - MORNING Eddie Bear stands on his porch, stares out at the ranch yard. A DEAD COW, slaughtered, lies frozen to the ground. Eddie looks up towards the main house. second floor windows to see --- Grady.
Watching him. END OF ACT ONE
Looks up at the
ACT TWO INT. FRONT ROOM - DAY Rowdy stands by the window, on the phone. dead cow from here.
He can see the
ROWDY I’m tellin’ you somebody came on to our property and slaughtered one of our cattle. Last night. For no damn reason. (beat) I don’t know who. That’s why I’m callin’ you. Why don’t you come out here and look for yourself? Do a little investigating? (beat) Maybe Thursday, huh? Rowdy listens, trying not to loose his temper. ROWDY Uh-hu. Right. Thanks... (hangs up; sighs) ... for nothing. Rowdy turns away from the window and finds Derek in the doorway to the room, listening to his conversation. ROWDY Hey, Derek... you hear anything last night? DEREK Last night? No. But I’ve heard plenty on other nights. ... what?
DEREK Never mind, you dumb sumbitch... Derek turns and storms out.
Exasperated, Rowdy follows.
EXT. EDLUND RANCH - DAY Derek knows Rowdy can’t keep up, intentionally walks fast. ROWDY Get back here! Derek turns on Rowdy, starts back towards him.
DEREK Where do you get off telling me anything? My dad had to buy this ranch for you to run ‘cause you’ve screwed up everything you’ve ever touched, and he takes a loss on it every year just so you have a place to live. Rowdy steps in, grabs Derek by his shirtfront. ROWDY Got a mouth on you, boy. DEREK So do you. Maybe you should keep it off my mother. Derek takes a swing at Rowdy, punching him in the face far harder than either of them expects. Rowdy rocks back a bit, and Derek flinches, a little amazed by his actions. Rowdy pulls Derek close, wipes the blood from his lip, and practically snarls at him. ROWDY ... and a pretty decent right hook. You should be in there right now, trying to keep your mother happy, and instead, you’re pickin’ fights with me when all I want to do is keep this place from falling apart. DEREK I know what’s goin’ on. What’s been goin’ on. I see the way she looks at you. You can fool Tim. But you can’t fool me. They stare each other down for a long moment. DEREK Be a whole lot easier if my dad just died, wouldn’t it? Rowdy has no response.
He lets go of Derek, pushes him away.
ROWDY You don’t know what you think you know, kid. Derek marches back into the house.
INT. COWHAND’S BUNKHOUSE - EVENING Rowdy sits across a card table from Eddie Bear. They both drink coffee, using the mugs to warm their hands. ROWDY ... thinkin’ maybe I’ll hire a few new guys for a month. Finish up what’s left of the herd. EDDIE (barks a laugh) You cain’t hire nobody right now. ROWDY Well, you’re quitting, and we still got livestock needs looking after. EDDIE And you still got that thing sitting upstairs in your house. ROWDY That thing is my brother. EDDIE Yeah, well... that’s debatable. Eddie stops what he’s doing and looks over at Rowdy, and for the first time, Eddie seems like an old man. Frail. Afraid. EDDIE Where do you think everyone else is? The cattle? The horses? Chuck and Jasper and Billy J? You think they’re all still out there? Just wanderin’ around? And what about that cow in the yard? You think it died of natural causes? ROWDY I don’t know what happened to that cow. And I ain’t about to jump to conclusions. EDDIE Grady survived ten days in them mountains. And he’s the only one came back. Now, how is that?
ROWDY Do you honestly expect me to believe that my brother, who almost died, and hasn’t the strength to even get out of bed, killed a cow in the middle of the night with his bare hands? EDDIE A cow ain’t the only thing he’s killed. And he’s whole lot stronger than you think. INT. GRADY’S BEDROOM - EVENING Elena moves around the room, cleaning up, gathering dirty clothes and empty dishes. Careful, she stays far enough away from the bed so that Grady can’t grab her unexpectedly. Grady’s wrapped in more than one blanket. them, even though he’s sweating.
Grady opens his eyes. He seems different, though. speaks, his voice is a hoarse croak. ... baby?
Elena turns and looks at him, and when she sees the way he’s looking at her, tears spring to her eyes. Grady?
She gets closer, and now she’s sure:
GRADY Where am I? What happened? ELENA You’re home. And... I don’t know what happened. You’ll have to tell us. What’s the last thing you remember before waking up here? Grady has to really think about it. GRADY We got lost. Turned all around. Had to hole up in a shallow cave to stay warm. I remember... Grady twitches, the memory just below the surface.
GRADY There was more and more wind... and soon I couldn’t even keep the fire lit. I had to eat... I had to... Grady shakes his head, trying to clear it. GRADY ... and then... I don’t know. I remember... a voice. At my ear... and in my head... all I wanted to do is sleep, but the voice kept telling me not to. “You have to get up. You have to keep moving.” And I knew that if I went to sleep, I’d die up there. “I’ll save you,” the voice said. “Just get up. Let me in, and I’ll help you. I’ll get you off this mountain.” ELENA ... “let me in”? INT. COWHAND’S BUNKHOUSE - EVENING EDDIE You ever hear of The Wendigo? ROWDY Sounds familiar. EDDIE The spirit of the lonely places. A hateful thing that lives in the cold winds of the high mountains. It gets inside people when they’re weak, starving. Once it gets inside a man... that’s it. ROWDY What the hell are you taking about? EDDIE I’ve seen this before. When I was a kid. My uncle. And the longer he stayed alive, the worse his hunger got. Eventually, goats and sheep weren’t enough for him. People went missing. We all knew. We just pretended not to.
ROWDY But you don’t really believe your uncle had a ghost inside of him. EDDIE Not a ghost. Not exactly. I know there are some people who think that the Wendigo is just something the Cree made up to explain the rare but not unheard of examples of cannibalism that happened during the longer winters. ROWDY But you don’t think so. EDDIE It’s real. And no matter how much it eats, it always wants more. The more it eats, the stronger it gets. By the time my father and the elders tried to cast the Wendigo out, it was strong... so strong. I didn’t go into the room with them. I was too afraid. I was just a kid. But I could hear it. Through the walls... (shakes his head) Once the Wendigo is in you, your body is no longer your own. Your hunger can’t be stopped or controlled. Except by death. INT. GRADY’S BEDROOM - EVENING Elena crosses to the door, opens it. ELENA Rowdy! Come up here! Grady’s awake! She turns back --- and is startled to find Grady standing, wide awake, eyes fixed on her, no more than a foot away from her. He holds the blankets wrapped tightly around himself. And she knows. This.
Right away. Grady.
INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - EVENING She backs out of the room, slowly, making sure she doesn’t turn her back on him, down the hallway, slowly, surely. Grady emerges from the room, walking slowly. ELENA Just lay down, honey. Doc Morgan...
GRADY Don’t need a doctor.
I feel fine.
Grady pulls one arm out from under the blankets that he holds around himself, and as he walks, he reaches out, drags his hand along the wall. His nails leave deep furrows in the wallpaper. ELENA Please, baby... go back to bed. He reaches out and grabs her by the throat. His face mere inches from hers, she can see that his lips are cracked, rotten, like he’s starting to decay. He opens his mouth, revealing an awful black tongue. SH-SHOOOOK! There’s the unmistakable sound from behind Elena of a shotgun being pumped, the shell being chambered. She looks behind her. shotgun in his hands.
Rowdy stands at the top of the stairs,
ROWDY Let her go. Grady snaps his jaws shut. Or what?
Rowdy shakes his head.
Doesn’t want this to happen.
ROWDY Don’t make me answer that question. Grady lets go of Elena. Please.
She runs, gets behind Rowdy.
ROWDY Go to bed, brother.
Grady lets out a noise, part bellow, part scream. It’s not human, and both Rowdy and Elena step back, bracing themselves for what he might do. Grady turns and heads back into his room, slamming the door behind him. There’s another one of those screams, the sounds of furniture being thrown around the room in fury. INT. COWHAND’S BUNKHOUSE - EVENING Eddie Bear sits on his bed. He can hear the sounds of Grady’s tantrum all the way out here. After a moment, as the sounds show no sign of decreasing, Eddie stands up and crosses to his footlocker. He reaches in and takes out a huge sharp work hatchet. INT. FRONT ROOM - EVENING Rowdy and Elena hurry down the stairs. They back into this room and get far away from the door. Rowdy keeps the gun close and ready. Just in case. Elena’s shaking, woozy. She can’t believe what just happened. Rowdy holds her arm to keep her from collapsing. You okay?
ELENA His mouth... and that sound... Answer me.
ROWDY Are you okay?
ELENA Yes... I... I think so. ROWDY Where are the boys? There’s another crash from upstairs. More of Grady’s crazy screaming. The sound of splintering wood. ELENA (dawning horror) Oh, god... END ACT TWO
ACT THREE INT. TIM AND DEREK’S ROOM - NIGHT Tim lays curled into a ball, all the way up against the wall, in his bed. The sounds from Grady’s bedroom are awful, louder here. Animal and insane. TIM ... makehimstoppleasemakehimstop... Derek tries to get Tim up, but Tim doesn’t want to move. DEREK Tim, we need to go.
INT. FRONT ROOM - NIGHT Rowdy and Elena both jump as the front door SLAMS open --- and Eddie Bear steps in, hatchet in hand. INT. TIM AND DEREK’S ROOM - NIGHT Derek’s drags Tim off the bed by the back of his shirt. Tim has no choice but to start moving on his own, just to keep the shirt from choking him. Derek keeps his firm hold, though, pulling Tim toward the door, then kicking it open -INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - NIGHT -- and toward the front stairs, keeping an eye on the door at the end of the hall, Grady’s room, where the crazy awful sounds continue unabated. Just before they reach the front stairs, the door to Grady’s room begins to open. Derek pours on the speed, pushing his brother ahead of him toward the stairs, Tim yelling the whole way -INT. FRONT ROOM - NIGHT -- and then down, the two of them practically losing their footing as they stumble-slide down the front stairs. They stop when they see Rowdy and Elena together. And then they see Eddie Bear.
And his hatchet.
And for a moment, no one knows what to say. Then Grady bellows in the upstairs hallway, much closer than his room, and he still sounds furious, out of control. ROWDY What’s on your mind, Eddie? Eddie tests the weight of the hatchet in his hand, looks upstairs toward the sounds of screaming. EDDIE You know it’s gotta be done. The sounds above them suddenly stop. Completely. There’s nothing from upstairs at all. Almost like Grady’s listening to them. EDDIE Get out of here.
All of you.
ROWDY We’re not leaving you alone in the house with him. EDDIE Yes, you are. That’s exactly what you’re going to do. That’s good enough for Elena. She reaches out and takes Tim by the hand, steers him toward the door. ELENA Derek... come on... Derek hesitates, then relents. Rowdy and Eddie stand together. You, too.
Follows his mother and Tim. Still silence from upstairs.
ROWDY I’m not going to ask you to handle this by yourself. He’s my brother. EDDIE That’s why you’ve gotta go. Look, if I screw this up, you’re going to have to kill him. But that should be our last resort.
ROWDY I don’t like this.
Any of it.
EDDIE Me, neither. EXT. EDLUND RANCH - NIGHT Elena and the two boys cross the yard, quickly. Rowdy steps out the front door and follows close behind. INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - NIGHT The hallway’s empty. Except for Grady’s.
Every door stands open. Closed again.
Eddie walks directly down the hall. Doesn’t even glance in the other rooms. Goes straight for that closed door. INT. GRADY’S BEDROOM - NIGHT Eddie pushes the door all the way open. Grady’s not in his bed. He doesn’t appear to be in the room at all. Eddie turns to go --- and Grady lunges out of the hallway from behind him! Grady grabs Eddie, lifts him, throws him across the room hard enough to crack the paneling on the wall. Eddie lifts the hatchet, tries to push himself to his feet. Grady lashes out with enough force to whip Eddie’s head around, smash him into the wall. Eddie slams the hatchet down on Grady’s foot. On Grady’s cry of fury and pain -SHOCK CUT TO: INT. COWHAND’S BUNKHOUSE - NIGHT Derek sits by the window, like he’s on guard. main house.
Elena sits on one of the beds, trying to console Tim. Rowdy checks his watch for what must be the thousandth time.
ROWDY Enough of this. I’m not sitting here waiting. If Eddie’s not back, he’s not coming back. It’s been two hours. Rowdy walks over and holds out the shotgun for Derek. Take it.
DEREK I ain’t gonna kill my father if that’s what... ROWDY You love your mom and your brother? Of course.
ROWDY Then shut up and take it. If I don’t come back you need to protect them. Take it. Derek finally reaches up and takes the weapon. ELENA Rowdy, if you’re going up there you’ll need that gun. ROWDY I’ll get another out of the rack. Tim looks up at Rowdy, and he can see that this poor kid’s just barely hanging on in there. TIM Don’t hurt him. Please. bad. He’s just... sick.
Rowdy runs his hand through Tim’s hair, like a father would to his son, then turns and walks out. EXT. COWHAND’S BUNKHOUSE - NIGHT Rowdy steps out, dreading what he’s about to do. Elena also steps out of the bunkhouse, closes the door, and walks up behind Rowdy. She puts a hand on his back.
When he doesn’t turn around, she lays her head against his back. He still doesn’t turn, staring at the house. ROWDY Tell the boys the truth. For me. When the time’s right. If I don’t come back, I want them to know. Someday they’ll understand. Before she can say anything, Rowdy walks away, marches across the wide open ranch yard. He keeps his eyes on the main house as he approaches. windows upstairs. Looking for anything.
Elena heads back inside the bunkhouse. INT. FOYER - NIGHT The front door stands open.
Just an inch.
Rowdy pushes it the rest of the way open, steps inside. Stops. Listens. He crosses to a phone on a small table in the foyer, picks it up, tries it. No dial tone. Rowdy’s not surprised. INT. FRONT ROOM - NIGHT Rowdy walks across the room to the gun rack. Takes his keys out, unlocks the rack, and takes out a high-caliber rifle. He hears a sound from upstairs.
Listens closer. Hears it again. A scratching, flopping something. Rowdy heads into the hall, upstairs, gun up -INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - NIGHT -- and steps off the top step into the upstairs hallway, rifle up, ready to fire. Stops, horrified, at the sight of Eddie, on the floor in a wide puddle of blood, struggling like a fish drawing its dying breaths. Rowdy bends down next to him.
Sets the rifle aside.
He tries to stem the flow of blood from Eddie’s wounds, but it’s too late, and they’re too deep. Eddie tries to say something, tries to catch his breath. Rowdy leans in closer.
EDDIE ... shouldn’t... have... tried... For a moment, Eddie almost seems to focus, like he can see Rowdy, like the pain rolls back for a moment. EDDIE ... he’ll... eat... you all. And then, very quietly, Eddie dies. Rowdy snatches up the rifle, furious now. He cracks the rifle to make sure it’s loaded. ROWDY
He checks each room before he moves past it. The whole time, he keeps an eye on Grady’s closed door. Once he’s sure each room is clear, he steps up to Grady’s door. He turns the knob, testing to see if it’s locked. It opens easily. He uses the barrel of the rifle to push the door all the way open. INT. GRADY’S BEDROOM - NIGHT Rowdy steps in and stops, surprised. Grady lies in bed, blankets piled on top of him. Blood on his hands.
A little at the corners of his mouth.
ROWDY Who do you think you’re fooling? Get up out of that bed. Can’t.
GRADY Too sick.
ROWDY YOU KILLED EDDIE BEAR! Grady shakes his head. scalp, eyes rolling.
He’s feverish, hair plastered to his
GRADY Had to... had to do it...
Rowdy gets a little closer. them off.
He grabs the blankets.
This is our first real view of Grady since he’s come back. The first time without blankets. The first time we can see his body. He’s painfully thin. Skin like milk. Each bone stands out in sharp detail, practically pushing through. In fact, it’s wrong to call him Grady at this point. This is THE WENDIGO. WENDIGO You see? I’m still hungry. I can’t help it, Rowdy. Help me. Please... brother... Rowdy shakes his head.
Doesn’t want to believe his own eyes.
He raises the rifle, points it in the Wendigo’s face. ROWDY You mean that? You really want me to help you? Rowdy clicks the safety off on the rifle. WENDIGO Look at me. Look at what I am. Rowdy puts his finger on the trigger. WENDIGO Set Grady free. Let me in, Rowdy. Never.
The Wendigo reaches up and puts one hand around Rowdy’s head. Its disturbingly long fingers wrap around Rowdy’s head completely. WENDIGO Let me in. Grady’s body can’t take much more of this. We’ll leave Elena and the boys here. I promise. We’ll go somewhere else to find food. Rowdy looks into the Wendigo’s face. There’s still so much of it that is Grady, just enough that’s still human.
ROWDY Sorry... brother... but I just don’t believe you. SLASH! The Wendigo lashes out and cuts Rowdy, across both his arms, cutting deep into muscle and tendon. He drops the rifle, screams -SHOCK CUT TO: INT. COWHAND’S BUNKHOUSE - NIGHT Elena and the boys sit huddled together in one bed. Outside, the wind rattles the building. They hear a cry, louder than the wind. The Wendigo’s scream.
Tim buries his face in his mother’s shoulder. ELENA Derek, you and your brother get out of sight. Hide. DEREK What about you? Elena stands, takes the gun from Derek, and walks towards the bunkhouse doors, gun up. ELENA I’ll be fine. TIM No, mom, please, don’t... ELENA Derek, get your brother and hide. Derek grabs Tim and runs to the furthest point from the door. Together, they crawl under the bunk there. There’s another cry from outside. Elena checks to make sure the shotgun’s ready. She’s shaky, but she stands firm, looking at the door, ready. BOOM! Something hits the outside of the door.
She jumps, stumbles back a few steps. BOOM! Something hits the door again. ELENA GRADY, GO AWAY! She glances over towards the corner where the boys are hiding. She can’t see them from where she is. They can see her, though. At least, most of her.
And they can see the door.
BOOM! The third hit knocks the door loose from its hinges, and for a moment, it stands there, independent of the frame --- and then falls flat with a massive THUD! Elena tries to hold her ground, crying now. ELENA Please, Grady... please go away... The Wendigo steps in, fills the doorway. Wearing clothes now, layers of winter clothes piled on top of each other. Elena closes her eyes, finger tight on the trigger. ELENA ... pleasepleaseplease... She pulls --- and then finally releases the trigger. She can’t do it. Sobbing, she lowers the gun. The Wendigo pushes the rest of the way in so she can see that it’s dragging something. When she sees that it’s Rowdy’s body, she opens her mouth to scream, but she’s so shocked nothing comes out. WENDIGO ... brought dinner... Now she screams.
Screams like she’s never going to stop. END ACT THREE
ACT FOUR INT. FRONT ROOM - NIGHT The Wendigo drops the shotgun into the gun case and slams it closed so it automatically locks. SHOCK CUT TO: INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT WHAM! The Wendigo slams Rowdy’s body down onto the huge butcher’s block island in the middle of the kitchen. Elena stands as far away from the Wendigo as she can. Still crying. She watches as he moves around the kitchen to where there’s a butcher’s block. He grabs a cleaver from it and whips it across the room at her. It sticks in the counter. She screams, just a little. WENDIGO (points at Rowdy) Cook it. She shakes her head.
Can’t imagine what it’s asking.
The Wendigo lashes out and punches the side of the steel refrigerator, bashing in the entire side. COOK IT!
She tries to pull the cleaver free. weight into it.
Has to put her whole
She finally works it free, and she turns to look down at Rowdy’s body. Rowdy...
The Wendigo lashes out again. Again. Beating the refrigerator out of shape with each blow. WENDIGO IT’S! JUST! MEAT! COOK IT! She reaches out and closes both of Rowdy’s eyes. She takes a moment to gather herself, trying to regain some composure. Finally, she lifts the cleaver and, as she brings it down --
INT. COWHAND’S BUNKHOUSE - NIGHT -- Derek and Tim slip out from their hiding place. still crying. Inconsolable.
TIM I want to wake up, Derek. I don’t wanna have this dream no more. DEREK We have to help mom. TIM No! I can’t! I want to stay here! DEREK She’ll die! Do you want that?! Tim shakes his head. DEREK He took the gun. He’s still smart enough to do that. We’ve got to get into the house and figure out a way to get mom away from him. TIM Don’t make me go in the house. DEREK I’m not going to make you do anything. But I have to go. Derek walks across the room to the doorway. Tim, who hasn’t moved an inch.
Looks back at
DEREK Stay here and keep quiet. INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT Elena works with a grim determination, never looking down at what she’s doing. Detaches herself from the physical act. As a result, we shouldn’t see much of it either. cutting and chopping is done OFF-CAMERA.
She sets aside the work with the body for a moment to start filling a large cooking pot with water. She steals a quick glance across the room at the Wendigo. Suddenly, something occurs to the Wendigo.
WENDIGO Where are... my boys? Elena looks away, not wanting to answer. on the stove, turns it on.
She sets the water
ELENA If this family still means anything to you... stop this. Please. She looks back at him.
Past tears now.
The Wendigo flicks its wrist, spattering Elena with the gore off its fingertips. It practically growls a single word: WENDIGO ... hunnnnnnngry.... INT. FRONT ROOM - NIGHT Derek crouches behind a couch, out of the Wendigo’s line of sight. He can see the gun rack from where he is. He also sees Rowdy’s discarded jacket on the kitchen floor. INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT The Wendigo takes a step towards Elena. As she moves to put some distance between her and the Wendigo again, she spots Derek. He’s quietly moving out of his hiding place, across the open floor. Towards Rowdy’s jacket. She steels herself for what she has to do. She starts to dump the chopped-up Rowdy into the pot of water, still not looking at it. Again, the body parts are all OFF-CAMERA. She picks up the cover for the pot and slams it on, drawing the Wendigo’s full attention. Once she knows he’s looking at her, she tries to smile at him. Tries to speak with some degree of warmth. ELENA Are you still in there, baby? She starts to move toward the Wendigo instead of away from it. She tries to look like she’s not afraid.
ELENA You were today. When you looked in my eyes... I could see it was you. You’re not gone completely. As she gets closer, the Wendigo backs away, freaked out, not sure what she’s doing. He snaps his jaws at her a few times. She glances quickly at Derek, afraid to look at him too long and tip the Wendigo off. He’s in the kitchen now. About five feet from the jacket. Moving quietly. Watching the Wendigo carefully. ELENA I want my husband back. She reaches out to touch him as she gets closer. ELENA ... please... Grady... She’s only a few feet away from the Wendigo now. Derek reach the jacket. Carefully, he reaches into the first pocket. The keys shift, giving a slight jingle. ELENA ... you let it in.
Tell it to go.
The Wendigo lashes out, one powerful blow to her chest. She cries out as she’s thrown across the room, hitting the cabinets so hard that one of them breaks. She collapses to the floor, sucking air desperately, trying to catch her breath. She puts one hand to her chest, afraid something’s broken or collapsed. Derek quietly draws Rowdy’s keys from the pocket. Even with her eyes rolling wildly in pain, she sees Derek, sees him backing off now. Out of the room. Then gone. She finds her voice.
Forces herself to speak.
ELENA ... can’t kill me yet... The Wendigo bares its teeth at her, makes a bizarre clacking sound, sucking at its own teeth.
ELENA ... not done... cooking. The Wendigo glances over at the stove.
Sniffs the air.
The Wendigo smashes both fists down on the butcher’s block, splintering it. INT. FRONT ROOM - NIGHT Derek hurries over to the gun case. Searches the keychain.
Finds the right key.
He slides the key into the lock. as he turns it.
Looks over at the kitchen
The CLICK! it makes seems incredibly loud. INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT Loud enough to get the Wendigo to look in the direction of the front room for a moment. Elena pushes herself to her feet, lets out a strangled growl of pain as she does so. The Wendigo watches her try to catch her breath. In pain. She takes down a large soup bowl. Finds a ladle in a drawer. She takes the lid off the pot and looks inside. We don’t see what’s cooking, but she barely holds back the bile that rushes up her throat. She gags a little, looks away for a moment while she fights the urge. Finally, she dishes up what’s in the pot. She walks across the kitchen to the table and sets the soup bowl down. Okay.
ELENA Here it is.
The Wendigo crosses in two quick steps and stands over the table, glowering down at it. Another.
ELENA You haven’t even eaten that one.
ELENA You just asked me to cook it. can have it all. Please...
WENDIGO ANOTHER! FOR YOU! Tears spring to her eyes as she backs off. ELENA ... but... I’m not hungry... E A T!
She sees there’s no room to argue. She takes down another soup bowl. And as she dishes up another helping of Rowdy, she sobs openly, shaking, spilling it. INT. FRONT ROOM - NIGHT Derek tries to open the gun case, just an inch, but the hinge on it squeaks, incredibly loud. INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT The noise makes her hands shake a little bit more as Elena brings the bowl up to her face and inhales loudly. ELENA Mmmm... smells good... She almost retches, but holds it back. She walks back to the table, making sure the Wendigo keeps its eyes on her as she goes. ELENA You told me to cook it. I did. sit down now... and let’s eat.
She sits down at the table. The Wendigo moves over to its spot at the table, looks down at its bowl of “soup.” Eat.
She picks up a spoon from the table. in front of her.
She considers the bowl
INT. FRONT ROOM - NIGHT Derek tries to open the case again. even louder.
The hinge squeaks again,
INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT The Wendigo turns, sure it heard something. Elena gets a big spoonful from her bowl. Look.
ELENA I’m eating.
Brings it up to her mouth. The Wendigo watches her closely. INT. FRONT ROOM - NIGHT Derek uses the sound to pull the case all the way open. He pulls out a shotgun, cracks it. No shells.
He sighs as he pulls the keys loose and looks at the drawers on the gun case. Each of them locked as well. INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT Elena can’t do it.
She gags, drops the spoon.
The Wendigo laughs at her, a hysterical sound. It buries its face in its own bowl and slurps loudly tries to get it all in its mouth as quickly as possible. INT. FRONT ROOM - NIGHT Derek works quickly. He unlocks the first drawer, opens it, doesn’t worry about the sound anymore. He finds a box of shells, grabs it out of the drawer. He fumbles it open and drops it, shells spilling everywhere. INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT The Wendigo doesn’t hear anything over the sounds it’s making as it comes up from the bowl, mouth full of pieces of Rowdy, chewing with enough force that Elena can hears the bones in the meat cracking with each bite.
INT. FRONT ROOM - NIGHT Derek shoves shells into his pocket, then pushes two of them into the shotgun. INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT The Wendigo finishes everything in its bowl, throws it against the wall where it shatters. She pushes the bowl away. No.
Can’t even look at it.
ELENA I can’t. I won’t.
The Wendigo jumps up, knocks the table out of the way. Pushes its face right up in front of Elena. She slaps the Wendigo across the face, as hard as she can. It actually shrinks back from her a little. She raises her arm and swings again. This time, the Wendigo catches her arm mid-swing. INT. FRONT ROOM - NIGHT Elena screams as Derek snaps the shotgun closed. the kitchen, gun up --
He runs for
INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT -- and finds the Wendigo holding his mother by the wrist so she dangles a few inches off the floor, face-to-face. She screams, in pain and afraid. The Wendigo smells her, then licks her underarm, the same place it licked earlier. She keeps screaming. HEY!
The Wendigo and Elena turn at the same moment to look at Derek. The Wendigo just smiles. Run.
DEREK Put my mother down, you bastard. The Wendigo laughs.
DEREK I SAID PUT HER DOWN! BLAM! Derek squeezes the trigger, maybe on purpose, maybe accidently. The gun barrel belches fire and the Wendigo catches the blast in the shoulder. The Wendigo throws Elena across the room like a rag doll. She bounces off the far wall with tremendous force and falls the floor. The Wendigo takes off running out the back door, vanishing into the night. Derek runs to Elena.
She’s still alive.
This kid, so tough all the time, so determined, just breaks like glass when he sees his mother banged up like this. Mom.
DEREK Please. Don’t die.
ELENA (weak) Protect... Tim. Don’t worry... about me. I’m... fine... DEREK You’re not fine, mom. There’s a sound.
The cry of the Wendigo.
Elena grabs her son by the arm firmly, pulls him close. Go.
She releases him and falls back. Derek knows she’s right and runs out the way the Wendigo left. END ACT FOUR
ACT FIVE INT. COWHAND’S BUNKHOUSE - NIGHT Tim cowers under one of the beds.
He hears footsteps on the steps up to the bunkhouse. He watches as the Wendigo walks into the bunkhouse. see the creature’s feet and legs.
Even worse, he can hear its diseased whisper, almost like it’s inside Tim’s head. WENDIGO Tiiiiiimmmmm... come out, boy. Tim pushes himself back further into shadow. The Wendigo starts to flip beds, toss them aside. Tim can hear it more than see it. The Wendigo moves through the bunkhouse, tossing bunks randomly. WENDIGO Tiiiiiiimmmm... It sounds like the Wendigo’s getting closer. around, but there’s nowhere for him to go.
Tim closes his eyes. Covers his ears. He doesn’t want to see or hear this. Can’t take any more of it. The noises of things being smashed continue for a few moments, then abruptly stop. After a moment, Tim cautiously removes his hands from his ears. Listens for a moment. The only sound is the wind outside. Tim waits another moment. Finally has to see for himself. He crawls out from under the bed. He moves up into a crouch and looks around the room. Everything appears to be clear. He turns, keeps turning --- and comes face-to-face with the Wendigo, perched on top of the bed where Tim was hiding, waiting for him! Tim screams.
He jumps up and runs for the door.
The Wendigo leaps off the bed, though, and in two quick steps, he catches up to Tim.
He reaches out and grabs the boy by the wrist, wrenching him around. Tim screams again. Tim fights and scratches and kicks and tries to bite, but it does no good at all. The Wendigo doesn’t even seem to notice Tim’s efforts. Derek steps up into the doorway, gun up. DEREK LET HIM GO! The Wendigo turns. Pleased to see Derek. It pulls Tim around so he’s between Derek and the Wendigo. There’s no way for Derek to fire the gun. WENDIGO Glad you’re here. The Wendigo wraps its fingers around Tim’s throat and slowly squeezes. Don’t.
The Wendigo keeps squeezing, cutting off Tim’s air completely. WENDIGO We should be together. All of us. Your mother, Rowdy, you and Tim... inside of me. To make me stronger. The Wendigo lifts Tim off the ground by the neck. He struggles to survive, but he hasn’t much fight left in him. DEREK Daddy... let him go... please... WENDIGO (laughs) Daddy? I’m not your daddy. Suddenly, Tim pulls with his last bit of strength. The Wendigo’s not expecting it, either, so Tim’s able to pull the creature’s other hand to his mouth --- and Tim bites a couple of the Wendigo’s fingers clean off! Shocked, furious, the Wendigo lets loose an unearthly howl and flings Tim across the room. And in that moment, Derek fires!
The shotgun blast hits the Wendigo in the chest. Knocks it back into the wall, and then it drops. Not moving. Derek runs over to his brother, who lays curled in a ball, sobbing. DEREK We don’t have time for that right now. Get up. GET UP, TIM! He hauls Tim to his feet. The two of them walk over, cautious, and look down at the Wendigo’s prone figure. For the moment, the Wendigo almost looks like their father again. His face slack like this, all of the malice is gone, and he just looks sick, used up. Come on.
DEREK We have to go.
EXT. COWHAND’S BUNKHOUSE - NIGHT They stumble out onto the steps. TIM What are we going to do now? DEREK Mom’s hurt bad. There’s no phone, so we have to leave. Get off the mountain. Bring help. I’ve got Rowdy’s keys. We can use his truck. TIM Uncle Rowdy said we aren’t supposed to drive his truck. Ever. DEREK ROWDY’S DEAD, TIM! HE’S DEAD! HE WON’T CARE IF WE BORROW THE DAMN TRUCK! OKAY?! That shuts Tim up. Derek looks back in, at his father’s body on the floor. Knows how hard this has been on Tim, how insane this all is. I’m sorry.
TIM I don’t mean to ask so many questions. I’m just... DEREK Yeah, I know. Me, too. Let’s go get the keys and Mom and get moving. Okay? Tim glances back at their father one last time. The Wendigo is gone. Derek...
WHAM! The Wendigo slams into Derek like a freight train. Hits him hard enough to send the shotgun skittering off. The Wendigo grabs Derek with both hands and lifts him off the ground, bringing him up to face him. There’s nothing left of Grady now. Whatever this thing is, it’s pure animal, pure anger. Dangerous and awful and dying, the skin around its mouth already rotten and decayed. It starts to shake the living shit out of Derek. As it roars again, opening its mouth to take a bite out of Derek’s neck --- the barrel of the shotgun is suddenly jammed up all the way to the back of the Wendigo’s mouth --- by Elena. She pumps the shotgun, tears in his eyes. ELENA You’re not my husband. EXT. MOUNTAIN RANGE - NIGHT BLAM! The blast echoes like thunder. EXT. COWHAND’S BUNKHOUSE - NIGHT The Wendigo’s on the ground.
Elena and her boys take a moment to catch their breath as the wind kicks up around them. Derek sits up, in great pain.
Tim helps him to his feet.
They look at their mother, who hasn’t moved at all. stands there holding the shotgun on Grady’s body.
Derek puts his hand on the gun. She won’t let it go at first, but he finally manages to take it from her. It’s over.
INT. ROWDY’S TRUCK - NIGHT The three of them huddle together in the cab, cold. Derek sits behind the wheel, starts the engine, lets it idle for a moment. He flips on the headlights, illuminating Grady’s body on the ground a few yards away. Elena can’t take her eyes off it. EXT. EDLUND RANCH - NIGHT Derek puts the truck in gear and starts to drive off. And as the vehicle disappear into the darkness, there’s a sound. Very faint, but definitely there, just at the edge of hearing, carried on the wind. The distant sound of a Wendigo’s cry. FADE TO BLACK