>> / Green Mile

/ Green Mile. .

: / Green Mile.

/ Green Mile

We each owe a death, there are no exceptions...

A SONG BEGINS, distant as a faded memory on an old Victrola:

Once I built a railroad, made it run... Made it race against
time...Once I built a railroad, now it's done...Brother, can
you spare a dime...

Opening credit sequence

plays against footage of the Great Depression, images
haunting and sepia-toned, defining an era. The bread
lines...the soup kitchens...the dust bowl refugees heading
west with their possessions on their backs and no hope in
their eyes...the strutting gangster royalty flaunting their
bootleg riches...an entire generation of lost youth riding
the rials...the U.S. army troops raining truncheon blows on
the half-starved and forgotten veterans of World War One as
"Hooverville" is set afire in the very shadow of the nation's
capitol...

All these faces, all these lives, in a world not really so
very long ago...

EXT. FIELD - DAY(SLOW MOTION)

...where cattails sway in the sepia-toned heat. A small scrap
of fabric is snagged in the nettles, fluttering languidly...

COLOR BLEEDS SLOWLY IN as mosquitoes swarm and dragonflies
skitter, showing the fabric scrap to be pale yellow...

Suddenly, a MAN WITH A SHOTGUN comes crashing through the
cattails, wiping through frame and exiting...

...then ANOTHER MAN...and ANOTHER...armed with rifles,
plowing through the brush, exiting frame...

...and now comes KLAUS DETTERICK, a farmer one step above
shirt-tail poor, a double-barrel shotgun in the crook of his
arm. He pauses, horrified, seeing the scrap of cloth. He
pulls it loose, turns back, screaming something in anguish...

...and still more men come crashing into view, flooding by us
with dreamlike, slow-motion grace. ONE MAN is leading a team
of DOGS, trying to untangle the leads. DEPUTY ROB McGEE is
shouting for everybody to stay together...

...and under it all, we hear a sibilant, frightening whisper:

WHISPERING VOICE (V.O.)
You love your sister? You make any
noise, know what happens?

And off that horrible voice, we

CUT TO:

INT. GEORGIA PINES NURSING HOME - MORNING(PRESENT DAY)

A CLOCK RADIO spews the morning weather report, abruptly
pulling us into the present with a prediction of rain. PAUL
EDGECOMB, late 70's/early 80's, wakes to another day...

INT. PAUL'S ROOM - MORNING

Paul stands at his bathroom mirror, meticulously buttoning
his shirt. He picks up a hairbrush, starts tidying his hair...

INT. CORRIDOR - MORNING

THE OLD AND INFIRM haunt these corridors like ghosts. A WOMAN
inches along on a walker. A MAN shuffles by with a rolling
I.V. stand. The floor is a limey, institutional green.

Paul comes into view, spry for his age, murmurs an occasional
greeting.

INT. BREAKFAST ROOM - MORNING

DOZENS OF RETIREES are having breakfast, sipping weak coffee
or tea. Some chat and gossip, other are content to keep their
own company, some just stare slackly into space.

Paul enters, sees ELAINE CONNELLY sitting with a few other
ladies, sipping tea. She's 80, refined and elegant, his best
friend here. She gives him a good-morning smile. He gives her
a rakish wink in return, which makes her smiles all the more.

Paul reaches past the people at the counter and sneaks two
pieces of cold leftover toast off a serving plate. He tosses
Elaine another look--catch ya later--and exits.

INT. HALLWAY PAST KITCHEN - MORNING

Paul slips to the back door unnoticed. Identical red plastic
rain ponchos line the wall on pegs. He helps himself to one
and eases outside, making good his escape.

EXT. NURSING HOME - ESTABLISHING - MORNING

Nestled in a valley of wooded hills, a drizzly mist rolling
over the treetops.

Paul appears f.g., coming up the ridge in his borrowed
poncho. He looks back at the valley below, inhales deeply--
this is a man who loves his walks.

He pulls a piece of toast from his pocket and starts to
nibble as he presses up on the ridge...

Low angle: nursing home and ridge beyond

...and we see Paul from a distance, just a speck trudging up
toward the treeline. A PICKUP TRUCK rumbles into frame and
parks, a bumper sticker looming large: "I Have Seen God and
His Name Is Newt Gingrich".

BRAD DOLAN gets out, an orderly in his late 20's/early 30's,
arriving for work in jeans and cheesy plaid shirt. He gazes
up toward the ridge, scowling and muttering softly:

BRAD
Old fuck.

He slams the door and heads for the nursing home...

EXT. WOODS - MORNING

...as CAMERA BOOMS DOWN through the trees to find Paul
wandering a wooded path, munching a tidbit of toast, looking
for all the world like Red Riding Hood in his plastic poncho.

It's silent here, like a church. The only sounds we hear are
the twittering of the birds and the hammering of the
woodpecker.

A RUSTLING SOUND makes Paul freeze. He turns, becomes
transfixed. Softly:

PAUL
Oh, my...

Reverse angle

reveals a magnificent BUCK, not twenty feet away, misty
breath punching the cold morning air. They watch each other
for an endless moment, both standing stock still...

...and then the animal bounds away, vanishing into the
foliage. Paul lets out a breath, shakes his head in wonder.
He takes another bite of toast, moves on...

...and WE PAN WITH HIM to reveal a pair of old wooden storage
shacks along the path up ahead.

INT. SHACK - MORNING

Dark in here, cobwebby and decrepit. We see Paul approaching
outside the grimy window. He steps up to the glass and shades
his eyes, peering curiously in as we

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. NURSING HOME - DAY

Paul approaches the back door, returning from his walk. He
reaches for the knob...and a figure in white lunges from
behind the dumpster to grab his wrist. He whirls, gasping in
fright--it's Brad Dolan, wearing his orderly's uniform.

BRAD
Out for a little stroll, Paulie?

PAUL
Let go...

Paul tries to pull away, but Dolan's got him tight.

BRAD
What's with this poncho you got
on, huh? This isn't yours.

PAUL
I got it off the wall there.
There's a whole row of them.

BRAD
But not for you, Paulie, that's
the thing. Those are for the staff.

PAUL
I just borrowed it. Don't see what
harm it does.

BRAD
It's not about harm, it's about
rules. You probably don't think an
old fart like you has to mind
rules anymore, but that's just not
true.

Brad's eyes keep shifting--he obviously doesn't mind abusing
the elderly as long as he doesn't get caught doing it.

PAUL
I'm sorry if I broke the rules.

BRAD
You got no business up in those
woods anyway, especially in the
rain. What if you fall and bust a
hip, huh? Who you think's gonna
have to hoss your sorry old bacon
back down here? Me, that's who.

PAUL
You're hurting me!

BRAD
What do you do up there, anyway?
You're too old to go jerk off, so
what do you do?

PAUL
Nothing. I just walk, that's all,
I like to walk!

Brad lashes out and grabs Paul's other hand, which he's been
holding tightly clenched shut.

BRAD
Come on. Open up. Let Poppa see.

Paul uncurls his fingers, revealing the crushed remnants of
a bit of toast, his palm slick with a greasy oleo smear.

ELAINE (O.S.)
Paul?

They turn. Elaine stands just inside the screen door with a
cup of tea. Brad's eyes become calculated, wondering how much
she's seen. Elaine keeps her tone level, betraying nothing:

ELAINE
I saw you coming back, thought
you'd like some tea.
(beat)
Are you coming in?

PAUL
Mr. Dolan and I were...chatting.
About the weather. I think we're
through now.

Brad lets Paul loose, leans close:

BRAD
Paulie? You tell anyone I squeezed
your po' ol' hand, I'll tell 'em
you're having senile delusions.
Who you think they'll believe?

Brad walks off. Paul turns, watches him go. The screen door
opens and Elaine steps out, her face pale. Paul gives her a
strained, though grateful, smile as we

CUT TO:

INT. TV ROOM - DAY

Jerry Springer's on the tube, whipping his studio audience
into a frenzy. PAN OFF TO REVEAL DOZENS OF OLD FOLKS watching
on couches and folding chairs. An old black fellow named PETE
is grousing to a GROUP OF ELDERLY LADIES...

PETE
Why we always watch this crap?

ELDERLY LADY #1
It's interesting.

PETE
Interesting? Bunch'a inbred
trailer trash, all they ever talk
about is fucking...

...and WE CONTINUE PANNING to Paul and Elaine sitting near
the back, talking quietly as Paul rubs his bruised hand:

ELAINE
We should report him.

PAUL
That might just provoke him all
the more, make things worse for
everybody.

ELAINE
It's not everybody he has it in
for, Paul. It's you.
(off his look)
What did you do to provoke him in
the first place? Nothing. He's
just an abusive bully, and should
be made to stop.

PAUL
Ellie, please...

Pete

is at the TV, switching channels while:

ELDERLY LADIES
...no, the Movie Classic channel
is further down...past the Home
Shopping...keep going...

He finds the Movie Classic channel, which is playing an old
black and white musical--"Top Hat," with Fred Astaire and
Ginger Rogers. A delighted reaction:

ELDERLY LADY #2
Oh! This is wonderful...

Paul

idly shifts his gaze to the TV...and his expression goes
slack with recognition and dismay. Elaine sees the look in
his eyes.

He glances away...even briefly considers walking out...but in
the end, he can't help himself. The past just caught up with
him with a freight-train wallop, and, for one, he decides to
ride the rails...

He looks back at the TV. On screen, Fred and Ginger have
begun their famous "Cheek to Cheek" number, with Astaire
singing in that sublime, easy-go-lucky way of his:

FRED ASTAIRE
Heaven, I'm in heaven...and my
heart beat so that I can hardly
speak...

SLOW PUSH IN on Paul, watching. He'd like to take his eyes
off the screen, but the movie has him in a grip tighter than
Brad Dolan's. Elaine is watching him with puzzled concern:

ELAINE
Paul? What is it?

No response. All he can hear is that music, all he can see
are those dancers. The figures on TV are gliding with
ghostlike grace in their silvery, phosphor-dot world of long
ago...

Paul abruptly bursts into tears.

The room goes quiet, everything comes to a standstill. All
eyes turn, some concerned, others merely curious. Paul just
sits sobbing into his hands, shoulders heaving.

ELAINE
Paul...my God...

ORDERLY
(rushing over)
What is it? What's wrong?

PAUL
It's okay...I'll be okay...

Another orderly appears--Brad Dolan. He puts his hand on
Paul's shoulder and leans close, feigning concern.

BRAD
S'matter, Paulie? Why the boo-hoo-
hoo? Something nasty happen?

Elaine shoves his hand away, eyes flashing with anger.

ELAINE
Mr. Edgecomb will be perfectly
fine without your help, thank you.

Brad back off with a "hey, suit yourself" gesture. Elaine
helps Paul to his feet and leads him out.

CUT TO:

INT. SUN ROOM - DAY

Paul is staring out the windows, pensive and drained. It's
raining now, pattering the glass and the lawn beyond. Elaine
waits across from him, wishing he would speak. Softly:

PAUL
I guess sometimes the past just
catches up with you, whether you
want it to or not. It's silly.

ELAINE
Was it the film?
(off his look)
It was, wasn't it?

PAUL
I haven't spoken of these things
in a long time, Ellie. Over sixty
years.

She reaches out, gently takes his hand.

ELAINE
Paul. I'm your friend.

PAUL
Yes. Yes you are.

Paul wonders if he's even up to talking about it after all
this time...and decides that perhaps he is:

PAUL
I ever tell you I was a prison
guard during the depression?

ELAINE
You've mentioned it.

PAUL
Did I mention I was in charge of
death row? That I supervised all
the executions?

This does come as a surprise. She shakes her head.

PAUL
They usually call death row the
Last Mile, but we called ours the
Green Mile, because the floor was
the color of faded limes. We had
the electric chair then. Old
Sparky, we called it.
(beat)
I've lived a lot of years, Ellie,
but 1935 takes the prize. That was
the year I had the worst urinary
infection of my life. That was
also the year of John Coffey, and
the two dead girls...

FADE TO BLACK

In blackness, a title card appears:

"The Two Dead Girls"

CUT TO:

EXT. GEORGIA COUNTRYSIDE - DAY (1935)

HUNDREDS OF PRISONERS work the fields, pickaxes rising and
falling in waves, a prison song being sung in cadence with
the work. GUARDS patrol on horseback, rifles aimed at the sky.

A late 20's Ford PRISON TRUCK comes chugging into view along
the road, kicking up a long trail of dust in the heat. It
seems to be riding unusually low on its rear suspension.

EXT. COLD MOUNTAIN PENITENTIARY - ESTABLISHING - DAY

A Depression-era prison in the south. The prison truck sways
down the rutted dirt road toward the main gate...

INT. E BLOCK TOILET - DAY

...while Paul Edgecomb, early 40's, stands in a cramped
toilet in his guard's uniform, trying to piss. His face is
pained, his forehead beaded with sweat.

INT. E BLOCK (THE GREEN MILE) - DAY

BRUTUS HOWELL(nicknamed "Brutal" for his intimidating size,
but he's actually rather thoughtful by nature) stands at the
entry door of the cellblock, peering out through a viewing
slot. He sees the prison truck arrive at the main gate.

He turns and nods to fellow guard DEAN STANTON sitting at the
duty desk, then cross the Green Mile--a wide corridor of
faded green linoleum running some sixty paces top to bottom,
with four large cells to a side.

Brutal steps to the bathroom, listen a moment, knocks softly.

BRUTAL
Paul? Prisoner.

PAUL (O.S.)
Christ. Gimme a minute.

Brutal waits patiently, a bit embarrassed. He finally hears
a THIN TRICKLE, accompanied by a stifled groan of pain.

BRUTAL
You all right in there?

PAUL (O.S.)
For a man pissing razor blades.

The door opens, revealing Paul's pale and sweaty face.

BRUTAL
You should'a took the day off,
gone to see the doctor.

PAUL
With a new arrival? You know
better. Besides, it's not as bad
as it was. I think it's clearing
up.

They hear the truck HONKING as it rumbles up outside. Paul
gives them a nod to resume their positions. Paul walks down
the Mile, passing the cells where two inmates reside--the
first is ARLEN BITTERBUCK, a Washita Cherokee; the second is
EDUARD DELACROIX("DEL"), a skinny Cajun.

DEL
New boy coming in, boss?

PAUL
Never you mind, Del, you just keep
your nose quietly on your business.

Paul arrives at the end of the Mile, takes up a position at
an empty cell. (Down at this end, past the cells, is E
Block's version of the "hole" -- a padded room where violent
inmates are sent to cool off. It isn't used very often...in
fact, at the moment, it's doubling as storage space.)

Brutal

peers out the viewing slot as the truck stops outside.

BRUTAL
Damn, they're riding on the axle.
What'd they do, bust the springs?

GUARDS PERCY WETMORE AND HARRY TERWILLIGER OF E BLOCK emerge
from the back of the truck and step down, turn back...

Tighter angle on back of truck

We get our first glimpse of the new inmate as a pair of
GIGANTIC BLACK FEET step down into the yard...and the rear of
the truck bounces back up on its springs where it belongs.

Brutal

sees what's coming, eyes widening slightly.

BRUTAL
Paul? You might wanna reconsider
getting in the cell with this guy?

PAUL
Why's that?

BRUTAL
He's enormous.

PAUL
Can't be bigger than you.

Brutal tosses him a look--just wait. He swings the door open
in a hot flood of daylight, giving us our first good look at:

John coffey

is a huge black man, nearly 7 feet tall and 300 pounds, his
massive head shiny and bald, his skin a tapestry of old
scars, his prison overalls (the biggest size they had) ending
at mid-calf. He looks dull and confused, as if wondering
where he is and how he got there. Percy and Harry lead him
toward E Block in shackles. Percy's got his hickory baton out
of it custom-made holster, hollering:

PERCY
Dead man walking! Dead man walking
here!

Inside the cellblock

Paul can't see them approach from where he stands, but he can
certainly hear Percy:

PAUL
Jeezus, pleeze-us, what the hell's
he yelling about?

Up by the door, Brutal just rolls his eyes. Percy is the
first one through the door, still hollering...

PERCY
Dead man walking!

...then Coffey enters, ducking low to get through, his shadow
blotting out Brutal and Dean as his massive frame fills the
door. Everything hangs suspended for a moment, a look of
"hold shit" written on everybody's faces. Percy keeps yanking
on the big man's cuffs, leading him along with a cry of:

PERCY
Dead man walking! Dead man--

PAUL
Percy, that's enough.

Percy falls reproachfully silent. Paul doesn't dignify it,
just motions for them to come on. The procession comes down
the Mile, with Brutal and Dean bringing up rear.

BRUTAL
You sure you wanna be in there
with him?

PAUL
(looks to Coffey)
Am I gonna have trouble with you,
big boy?

Coffey shakes his head slowly. Paul takes the clipboard
transfer papers from Harry, turns and enters the cell.

Coffey just stands outside the cell and waits, as if he
doesn't understand the concept. Paul motions him to come on
in. Coffey starts to comply, but Percy raps him smartly with
the tip of his hickory baton to get him moving faster.

Coffey flinches, enters the cell. Paul stares angrily at
Percy, who stands slapping his hickory baton against the palm
of his hand like a man with a toy he's itching to use.

PAUL
Percy. They're moving house over
in the infirmary. Why don't you go
see if they could use some help?

PERCY
They got all the men they need.

PAUL
Why don't you just go make sure?
(off his look)
I don't care where you go, Percy,
as long as it's not here at this
very moment.

Percy flushes red, the baton hovering near his palm. He looks
like he's about to say something, but thinks better of it and
stalks angrily up the Mile instead...

...and sees Del at his bars, smiling. Infuriated, Percy
swings his baton and smashes Del's fingers with a LOUD CRACK.
Del jerks back, howling in pain:

DEL
OWW, GOD, HE BUS' MY FINGERS!

PERCY
Wiped that grin off your shitpoke
face, didn't I

PAUL
Goddamn it, Percy! Get the hell
off my block!

Percy throws Paul a look of disdain--your block, huh? He
swaggers out. Del's on his knees, weeping from the pain:

DEL
Oww, damn, boss, he done bus' my
fingers for true...

PAUL
We'll get it looked at, Del, now
keep yourself quiet like I said!

Del falls silent, moaning over his hand. Paul turns to
Coffey, who looks unsettled by all the commotion.

PAUL
If I let Harry take those chains
off you, you gonna be nice?

Coffey nods. Harry enters to remove Coffey's shackles.

PAUL
Your name is John Coffey.

COFFEY
(deep and quiet)
Yes, sir, boss, like the drink,
only not spelt the same.

PAUL
So you can spell, can you?

Coffey shakes his head. Harry steps out.

PAUL
My name is Paul Edgecomb. If I'm
not here, you can ask for Mr.
Terwilliger, Mr. Howell, or Mr.
Stanton...those gentlemen there.
(beat)
This isn't like the rest of the
prison. It's a quiet place, we
like to keep it that way.

Coffey considers this carefully, puzzled.

COFFEY
It weren't me making all the
noise, boss.

PAUL
(eyes narrowing)
You having a joke on me, John
Coffey?

COFFEY
No, sir.

Paul sees he isn't joking, continues:

PAUL
Your time here can be easy or
hard, depends on you. If you
behave, you get to walk in the
exercise yard every day.

We might even play some music on
the radio from time to time.
Questions?

Coffey doesn't miss a beat, as if he's been waiting to ask:

COFFEY
Do you leave a light on after
bedtime?

Paul blinks. It's the last thing he expected. Coffey smiles
uneasily, as if they might think him foolish for asking.

COFFEY
Because I get a little scared in
the dark sometimes. If it's a
strange place.

Paul looks to his men. The guards are trading glances.

PAUL
It's pretty bright in here all
night long. We keep half the
lights burning in the corridor.

COFFEY
Cor'der.

Coffey looks confused. Paul points to the lights lining the
ceiling of the Green Mile in wire mesh cages.

PAUL
Right out there.

Coffey nods, relieved. Then he surprises everybody by
offering Paul his hand, as if to show proper manners. Paul
hesitates, oddly touched, then surprised his men even more by
accepting. Coffey's hand swallows his. Coffey shakes gently,
lets go.

Paul steps from the cell. Brutal slides the door shut, locks
it. Coffey stands a moment as if unsure what to do, then
sinks onto the cot with his hands clasped between his knees.
He looks up at Paul, his voice soft as a whisper:

COFFEY
Couldn't help it, boss. I tried to
take it back, but it was too late.

Paul turns, leads his men up the Mile...

PAUL'S INNER OFFICE

...and they enter a few moments later. Paul is furious, but
keeping a lid on his temper:

PAUL
Dean, run Delacroix up to the
infirmary and see if his fingers
are broken.

BRUTAL
Course they're broken, I heard the
damn bones crack. Goddamn Percy.

HARRY
You hear what he was yelling when
we brought the big dummy in?

PAUL
How could I miss it, Harry? The
whole prison heard.

This makes Brutal snort, breaking the tension--the others
can't help smiling.

BRUTAL
You'll probably have to answer for
sending him off the Mile. He's
gonna cause you trouble over this,
you mark me.

PAUL
I'll chew that food when I have
to. Right now I wanna hear about
the new inmate...aside from how
big he is, okay?

BRUTAL
(smiles)
Monstrous big. Damn.

PAUL
Seems meek enough. Looks like they
sent us an imbecile to execute.

HARRY
Imbecile or not, he deserves to
fry for what he done. Here...

Harry tosses a pair of manila envelopes bound with rubber
bands on the desk before Paul--Coffey's file.

HARRY
...make your blood curdle.

CUT TO:

EXT. E BLOCK PRISON YARD - DAY

A small are reserved for inmates of the Mile, fenced-off from
the main prison yard. Arlen Bitterbuck walks the perimeter
under the watchful eyes of guard BILL DODGE.

We find Paul sitting by himself on the bleachers with
Coffey's file on his knees, thoughtfully unwrapping his brown-
bagged sandwich. PUSH SLOWLY IN as he begins to read...

EXT. DETTERICK FARM - DAWN (FLASHBACK)

...and we see Klaus Detterick walk from his house to the barn
with a milking pail, a solitary figure against a brightening
horizon. He disappears into the barn...

...and we hold for a long moment, the house silent
b.g.,chickens clucking and scratching in the front yard...

...until a WOMAN'S SCREAM shatters the silence. Klaus
reappears, dropping the pail, running toward the house...

PAUL ON BLEACHERS

...as Paul turns the page, keeps reading...

INT. DETTERICK HOUSE - DAWN (FLASHBACK)

...and Klaus bursts in to find his wife MARJORIE absolutely
frantic with terror:

KLAUS
WHAT? GOD SAKES, WHAT?

MARJORIE
THE GIRLS! THE GIRLS ARE GONE!

She drags him through the house to a screened-off porch area
where their 12 year old son HOWIE is pointing and shouting--

HOWIE
Papa! Papa, look! The blood!

--and Klaus freezes there, stunned to see blood spattered on
the floor and the screen door hanging off its hinges...

KLAUS
Oh my God.

PAUL ON BLEACHERS

...as Paul absently takes another bite of his sandwich, not
really tasting it, keeps reading...

INT. DETTERICK HOUSE - DAWN (FLASHBACK)

...plunging us back into the screaming chaos: Klaus grabbing
up shotgun shells, Howie loading the .22 rifle he got for
Christmas, Marjorie sobbing incoherently...

KLAUS
GODDAMN IT, WOMAN, GET ON THE
PHONE NOW! YOU TELL 'EM WE HEADED
WEST! MIND WHAT I'M SAYING! WEST,
Y'HEAR?

...and she goes stumbling through the house, grabbing for the
phone as her men disappear toward the porch b.g.:

MARJORIE
Central! Central, are you on the
line? Oh, God, please, somebody
took my little girls...

OUTSIDE THE HOUSE

Klaus and his son race from the house, following spatters of
blood across the yard...

PAUL ON THE BLEACHERS

...as Paul lets out a long breath, turns the page...

EXT. COUNTRY ROAD/FIELD - DAY (FLASHBACK)

---and we see CARS AND TRUCKS pulling up, MEN jumping out
with rifles, pouring down the incline toward the field where
Klaus is hollering and waving his arms. Deputy McGee comes
sliding down from the road, taking charge at the top of his
lungs--

McGEE
I WANT ALL THE WEAPONS UNLOADED,
Y'HEAR? TAKE OUT YOUR SHELLS, I
WON'T HAVE A MAN SHOT BY ACCIDENT
TODAY! BOBO, WHERE THEM DOGS?

--and the dogs come bounding out of the back of a truck,
howling down the incline to lead the chase...

VARIOUS ANGLES

...which takes us through the cattails and bulrushes...to the
spot where Klaus finds the little scrap of pale yellow
fabric, turns and screams...

KLAUS
Oh, Lord, this belongs to my
Katie...

...and they keep going, stopping abruptly as they find: A
blood-drenched area of tramped grass. A little girl's bloody
nightgown hangs in the low branches of a tree. Some of these
strong men look like they might throw up or faint at the
sight of it. Their blood freezes in their veins as an INHUMAN
HOWLING commences up ahead. It's like nothing they've ever
heard before, raising the hackles of men and dogs alike.

PAUL ON BLEACHERS

...as Paul quietly turns another page, shaking his head...

PAUL
Jesus.

EXT. FIELD - DAY (FLASHBACK)

The men reload their weapons. Everybody's terrified. McGee
starts off, the other following his lead toward--

THE RIVER

--where they emerge from the treeline, drawing ever closer to
the source of that INHUMAN HOWLING...

...and they stop, gazing in horror:

John Coffey sits on the riverbank in bloody overalls, his
huge feet splayed out before him. He's making that inhuman
howling sound, face twisted in monstrous grief, pausing
occasionally to take in a great hitching breath of air.

Curled in his massive arms are the naked bodies of
Detterick's 9 year-old twin girls, their once-blonde hair now
matted to their heads with blood.

A tableau. The men staring. John Coffey howling. A train
puffing smoke across the landscape.

Klaus Detterick breaks the moment, lunging down the riverbank
in a headlong rush. The others try to grab him, but he shrugs
them off and throws himself on Coffey with a scream of
inarticulate rage, kicking and punching, fists flying. Coffey
barely seems to notice.

The others catch up with Klaus, drag him off. He falls to his
knees on the riverbank, sobbing into his hands. Howie runs to
him, throws himself into his father's arm. They hug each
other tightly, overwhelmed with grief.

A semblance of quiet descends, except for Coffey's
heartbroken wailing. A ring of rifle toting men forms around
him, though he hardly seems aware of it. McGee steps forward,
uncertain:

McGEE
Mister.

Coffey goes quiet at once, eyes still streaming tears.

McGEE
Mister? Can you hear me?
(Coffey nods)
You have a name?

COFFEY
John Coffey. Like the drink, only
not spelt the same.

McGee hunkers carefully down, watching for any sudden moves.

McGEE
What happened here, John Coffey?
You want to tell me that?

COFFEY
I couldn't help it. I tried to
take it back, but it was too late.

McGEE
(pause)
Boy, you are under arrest for
murder.

McGee spits in Coffey's face...

PAUL ON BLEACHERS

...as Paul looks up with a slight start, jarred from his
reading to find WARDEN HAL MOORES standing before him.

HAL
I interrupt?

PAUL
I'm just about done.

Paul stows the file as Hal settles onto the bleachers.

PAUL
How's that pretty gal of yours?

HAL
Melinda's not so well, Paul. Not
so well at all. Got laid up with
another headache yesterday. Worst
one yet. She's also developed this
weakness in her right hand.

PAUL
Doctor still think it's migraines?

Hal gives a slight shake of his head.

HAL
I'll be taking her up to Indianola
next day or so for some tests. Had
X-rays and the like. She is scared
to death. Truth to tell, so am I.

PAUL
If it's something they can see
with an X-ray, maybe it's
something they can fix.

HAL
Maybe.

He pulls a letter, hands it to Paul.

HAL
This just came in. D.O.E. on
Bitterbuck.

Paul glances toward Bitterbuck, scans the letter, nods.

PAUL
You didn't come all the way down
here just to hand me a D.O.E.

HAL
No. I had an angry call from the
state capital about twenty minutes
ago. Is it true you ordered Percy
Wetmore off the block.

PAUL
It is.

HAL
I'm sure you had reason, but like
it or not, the wife of the
governor of this state has only
one nephew, and his name happens
to be Percy Wetmore. I need to
tell you how this lays out?

PAUL
Little Percy called his aunt and
squealed like a schoolroom sissy.
(Hal nods)
He also mention he assaulted a
prisoner this morning out of sheer
petulance? Broke three fingers on
Eduard Delacroix's left hand.

HAL
I didn't hear that part. I'm sure
she didn't either.

PAUL
The man is mean, careless, and
stupid. Bad combination in a place
like this. Sooner or later, he's
gonna get somebody hurt. Or worse.

HAL
You and Brutus Howell will make
sure that doesn't happen.

PAUL
Easy enough to say. We can't watch
him every minute, Hal.

HAL
Stick with it. May not be much
longer. I have it on good
authority that Percy has an
application in at Briar Ridge.

PAUL
The mental hospital?

HAL
(nods)
Administration job. Better pay.

PAUL
Then why's he still here? He could
get that application pushed
through...hell, with his
connections, he could have any
state job he wants.

Hal has no answer. Paul look off toward Bitterbuck.

PAUL
Tell you what I think. I think he
just wants to see one cook up
close.

Hal follows Paul's gaze, takes his meaning.

HAL
Well, he'll get his chance then,
won't he? Maybe then he'll be
satisfied and move on. In the
meantime, you'll keep the peace.

PAUL
Of course.

HAL
Thank you, Paul.

Hal rises, slapping yard dust off his trousers.

PAUL
You give Melinda my love, okay? I
bet that X-ray turns out to be
nothing at all.

Hal walks off looking like he's got the weight of the world
on his shoulders. Paul looks at the letter again...

TIGHT ON LETTER

...which is head: Date Of Execution."

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. PAUL'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Paul is at the kitchen table in the wee hours of the morning,
drinking buttermilk and listening to SOFT MUSIC on the radio.
JANICE EDGECOMB appears, shuffling sleepily downstairs.

JAN
Paul?

PAUL
Hey, you. Music too loud?

JAN
No. There's just this big empty
spot in the bed where my husband
usually sleeps.

PAUL
He said to tell you he's having a
little trouble with that tonight.

She comes into the kitchen, strokes his hair. There's an easy
familiarity and a deep love between these two.

JAN
Worried about Melinda and Hal? Is
that what's got you up?

PAUL
Yeah, that. Things.

JAN
Things.

She sits on his lap and gives him a crooked smile--you're not
getting off that easily.

PAUL
Got a new inmate today. Big,
simple-minded fella.

JAN
Do I want to hear what he did?

PAUL
No. One sleepless member of this
family's enough.
(softly)
The things that happen in this
world. It's a wonder God allows it.

She gives him a tiny kiss above his left eyebrow, in that
special spot that makes him prickle.

JAN
Why don't you come to bed? I've
got something to help you sleep,
and you can have all you want.

PAUL
Don't I wish. I've still got
something wrong with my
waterworks, I don't want to pass
it on.

JAN
You see Doc Sadler yet?

PAUL
No, because he'll want me to take
sulfa tablets and I'll spend the
rest of the week puking in every
corner of my office. It'll run its
course all by itself, thank you
very much for your concern.

She kisses that spot above his eyebrow again. He smiles.

JAN
Poor old guy...

DISSOLVE TO:

IN TIGHT ANGLES: Copper plugs are cleaned, switches are
oiled, circuits are tested...

INT. EXECUTION CHAMBER - NIGHT

...as maintenance is performed on Old Sparky by JACK VAN HAY
and a small crew. Paul is carefully sanding a connector plug.
Dean is waxing Old Sparky's wooden arms to a gleam.

Paul and Dean pause, thinking they hear a LAUGH drifting in
from E Block...and then Brutal calls softly to them:

BRUTAL (O.S.)
Paul? Dean?

INT. E BLOCK - NIGHT

Paul and Dean enter to find Brutal trying not to wake the
cons in their cells by laughing too loudly. They follows his
gaze down the Mile, see nothing, turn to him like he's crazy.

BRUTAL
I guess the legislature loosened
those purse-strings enough to hire
on a new guard.
(off their looks)
Look again. He's right there.

Paul and Dean look again and this time they see it:

A tiny brown mouse is coming up the Mile. It trots a short
distance, peers right and left as if checking the snoring
inmates in their cells, then makes another forward spurt.

PAUL
He's doing a cell check.

This gets them all trying not to laugh. The mouse draws ever
closer. Dean starts to look worried.

DEAN
It ain't normal for a mouse to
come up on people that way. Maybe
it's rabid.

BRUTAL
Oh, my Christ. The big mouse
expert. The Mouse Man. You see it
foaming at the mouth, Mouse Man?

DEAN
(dubious)
I don't see its mouth at all.

That does it--Paul and Brutal burst out laughing. The mouse
stops before them and peers up, curling its tail primly
around its paws as if to wait. The guards fall silent,
fascinated. Bitterbuck stirs in his cell, sits up to watch.

Brutal tears off a piece of his half-eaten corned beef
sandwich, holds it delicately out with two fingers. The mouse
rises up, appraising the morsel with shiny black eyes.

DEAN
Aw, Brutal, no! We'll be hip-deep
in mice around here...

BRUTAL
(to Paul)
I just wanna see what he'll do. In
the interests of science, like.

Paul shrugs. Brutal drops the scrap. The mouse grabs it and
eats, sitting up like a dog doing a trick.

The mouse turns and scurries back down the Mile, vanishing
under the restraint room door at the far end. Dean throws
Paul an "I told you so" look.

DEAN
He's in the damn restraint room.
You know he's gonna be chewing the
padding out of walls and making
himself a nice little nest.

Brutal give Paul a sheepish look--well? Paul sighs.

PAUL
All right. Let's get the damn
mouse.

They stride grimly down the Mile to the restraint room door,
men on a mission. Coffey's awake now, peering from his cot.

COFFEY
Saw me a mouse go by.

PAUL
It was a dream. Go back to sleep.

COFFEY
Weren't no dream. It was a mouse
all right.

PAUL
Can't put anything over on you.

Paul unlocks the door, revealing a padded room filled with
storage: cleaning supplies, buckets of paint, mops and
ladders, you name it. Brutal shrugs off his jacket. Paul
grabs a mop from a steel bucket, hands it to Dean.

PAUL
Dean, watch the door. He tries to
get past you, whack him.

DEAN
Brutal or the mouse?

BRUTAL
Har har, Mouse Man.

Brutal and Paul start doing the heavy lifting, muscling an
unused filing cabinet out the door...

DISSOLVE:

...and they finally relay the last few heavy buckets of paint
onto the Mile. Paul and Brutal catch their breath, scanning
the empty restraint room. Their eyes go glaringly to Dean.

PAUL
You let him get past you.

DEAN
No I didn't, I was here all the
time!

BRUTAL
Then where the hell is he?

They move slowly into the room, peering into every nook and
cranny, utterly mystified. Brutal shakes his head.

BRUTAL
Three grown men. Outsmarted by a
mouse.

DEAN
Well, bright side is, all this
commotion probably scared him off
for good.

PAUL
Yeah, that's right. That's the
last we'll see of him...

FADE TO BLACK

IN BLACKNESS, A TITLE CARD APPEARS:

"The Mouse on the Mile"

CUT TO:

INT. E BLOCK - DAY

A low, static shot. Green floor stretching before us. Harry
and Bill Dodge are at the desk b.g., doing paperwork and
filing chores. Percy is idling nearby, whistling softly and
combing his hair...

...and into this quiet shot, deep in foreground, creeps the
mouse. He starts walking the Mile as before...

...right toward Percy.

COFFEY

stares through his bars as the mouse goes by...

PERCY

keeps combing his hair, unaware...

DEL

sits quietly picking his nose in his cell. The mouse appears
outside the bars, cruising inexorably up the Mile. Del turns
slowly, watches the mouse go by...

PERCY

still grooming himself, still unaware...

THE MOUSE

keeps coming closer. ANGLE UP to Bitterbuck peering through
his bars, watching him go by...

PERCY

keeps working that comb--and freezes at the sound of a TINY
SQUEAK. His head swivels slowly...

...and there's the mouse. Staring at him.

That moment of eye contact reveals an enmity older than time
itself. If mice have a natural enemy, Percy is it.

PAUL
You little son of a bitch.

Harry and Bill glance up from their work.

HARRY
Well, I'll be damned. There he is,
big as Billy-be-frigged. I thought
Brutal was pulling my leg.

BILL
That's a goddamn mouse.

HARRY
Yeah. Brute said he was in here
last night begging for food, came
right up to the desk.

BILL
My ass. Give him some room, Percy,
see what he does.

Percy takes a few careful steps back, eyes never leaving the
mouse. (Percy's hand starts easing toward the handle of his
baton.) The mouse comes up to the desk as before.

HARRY
Brave little bastard, gotta give
him that.

Harry breaks off a small piece of cracker and drops it. The
mouse picks it up, starts to eat. (Percy's hand inches ever
closer to his baton).

BILL
Here, lemme try.

Bill drops a piece of cracker. The mouse ignores it
completely, keeping its beady little eyes on Harry. (Percy's
hand starts easing his baton from its holster.)

BILL
Maybe he's full.

HARRY
(grins)
Maybe he knows you're just a
floater. Gotta be an E Block
regular to feed the E Block mouse,
don'cha know...

Harry drops another piece--and sure enough, the mouse starts
to eat. Harry's smile fades. He and Bill trade a look.

HARRY
I was just kidding ab--

Percy lets rip a BELLOWING WAR CRY ("Yaaaahhh!") and launches
his baton like a spear, scaring the crap out of everyone.

The mouse ducks (yes, actually ducks) and the baton sail over
his head close enough to ruffle its fur, bouncing off the
floor. Apparently remembering a pressing engagement
elsewhere, the mouse takes off in a flash toward the
restraint room.

Percy roars with frustration and takes off after it, trying
to squash it with his heavy work shoes, leaping and stomping
with great big galloping strides, missing the mouse by
inches...

...and thus is the Green Mile traversed, with Percy stomping
and hollering like a spastic flamenco dancer, the convicts
yelling at their bars, the mouse zigging and zagging like Jim
Thorpe heading for the endzone...

The mouse wins, zipping to safety under the restraint room
door. Percy pounds his fist against the door in frustration:

PERCY
FUCK!

He fumbles with his keys, unlocks the door, yelling all the
while:

PERCY
I'M GONNA RIP YOUR DISEASED HEAD
OFF, YOU LITTLE PIECE OF SHIT!

OUTSIDE E BLOCK

Paul and Brutal are arriving for work--they pause, hearing
PERCY'S YELLS drifting from the windows. The regular CONS in
the yard are drifting curiously to the fence, wondering if a
riot's brewing. Paul and Brutal take off running--

INSIDE E BLOCK

--and rush in to find:

HARRY
Percy met your mouse.

Harry points. Percy's down at the far end, rummaging wildly
in the restraint room, tossing shit out onto the Mile.

PERCY
It's in here somewhere! I'm gonna
squish the little son of a bitch!

He starts muscling the filing cabinet out the door, kicking
buckets out of his way. Brutal calls out to him:

BRUTAL
Percy, we already tried that--

PERCY
What? Whad'ja say?

BRUTAL
I said--

Paul stops Brutal with a look--don't you dare stop him.

BRUTAL
--uh, knock yourself out. Hope you
nail the bastard.

Paul crosses his arms and smiles, leans back against the desk
to wait...

DISSOLVE:

...and Percy hauls the last of the stuff out, exhausted. He
steps back in and looks around, unable to believe there's no
mouse cowering in the corner. Paul and the men approach,
keeping straight faces, navigating the crap in the corridor.

BRUTAL
Gosh. Ain't in there, huh? Don't
that beat the mousie band?

Percy keeps scanning the restraint room. The others all look
to Paul, waiting for him to speak--you're the boss.

PAUL
Percy. You want to think about
what you were doing just now.

PERCY
(turns, glaring)
I know what I was doing. Trying to
get the mouse. You blind?

HARRY
You also scared the living crap
out of me and Bill. And them.

He cocks a thumb at the inmates in their cells.

PERCY
So what? They aren't in cradle-
school, case you didn't notice...

(directed at Paul)
...although you treat them that
way half the time.

BRUTAL
We don't scare 'em any more than
we have to, Percy. They're under
enough strain as it is.

PAUL
Men under strain can snap. Hurt
themselves. Hurt others. That's
why our job is talking, not
yelling. You'll do better to think
of this place like an intensive
care ward in a hospital--

PERCY
I think of it as a bucket of piss
to drown rats in. That's all.
(scans their faces)
Anybody doesn't like it can kiss
my ass. How's that sit?

Brutal steps forward, wanting to slug the little bastard.
Percy shies back, but keeps his bravado up:

PERCY
Try it. You'll be on the bread
lines before the week is out.

PAUL
We all know who your connections
are, Percy...
(steps close)
...but you ever threaten a man on
this block again, we're all gonna
have a go. Job be damned.

PERCY
Big talk. You done?

PAUL
Get all this shit back in the
restraint room. You're cluttering
up my Mile.

They turn and walk away, leaving Percy as we

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. E BLOCK - NIGHT

A SLOW TRACKING SHOT OF THE GREEN FLOOR takes us past a tiny
scrap of break...and then another...and then past a mousetrap
primed with a scrap of bacon...

...and we keep following a long trail of bread scraps and
mousetraps until we come to Percy, alone on the Mile,
carefully laying the last mousetrap down...

...and he scoots back against the desk to wait, crouched and
holding his breath, eyes riveted to the restraint room door
for any sign of his furry nemesis...

...and CAMERA BOOMS SLOWLY DOWN off his face, dipping down to
floor level...

...where the mouse is revealed under the desk, peering in the
same direction as Percy, wondering what the hell's so
interesting down there. It hops further out to see...

ANGLE OF PERCY FROM FLOOR LEVEL

...and the mouse enters frame, hopping out a few more steps,
mouse and man staring in the same direction.

A long beat. Percy turns, looks down at the mouse. The mouse
turns, looks up at Percy...

...and all hell breaks loose again. They race the Mile as
before, Percy hollering and stomping all the way, mousetraps
snapping and flying up into frame as they go charging wildly
past the cells.

The mouse wins again. Percy pauses, furious...and sees Coffey
staring at him from his cell.

COFFEY
Saw me a mouse go by.

Percy loses it, kicking and punching the restraint room door
in a screaming rage as we

FADE TO:

INT. E BLOCK - DAY

Paul appears at Bitterbuck's bars with a group of guards.

PAUL
Arlen? Your daughter and her
family are here.

Bitterbuck steps from his cell. Bill Dodge escorts him off
the block. The moment they're gone:

PAUL
Let's move. I want at least two
rehearsals before he gets back.

INT. VISITOR'S ROOM - DAY

Bitterbuck is led in. His DAUGHTER rises...an awkward
hesitation...and she touches his face, kisses him. He takes
her hands, kisses them, tries not to cry. The rest of the
family is there: SON-IN-LAW, GRANDCHILDREN, COUSINS. They
form around him, murmuring hellos, shaking hands...

INT. E BLOCK - DAY

...while TOOT-TOOT takes Bitterbuck's place in the cell. He's
a wiry and toothless old trusty, crazy as a tick. He sits:

TOOT
Sittin' down, sittin' down,
rehearsing now! Everybody settle!

He glances to Paul--okay, hit it.

PAUL
Arlen Bitterbuck, step forward.

Toot springs to his feet and steps from the cell.

TOOT
I'm steppin' forward, I'm steppin'
forward, I'm steppin' forward...

Toot turns, shows the top of his head to Dean.

PAUL
Is his head properly shaved?

DEAN
No, it's dandruffy and it smells.

PAUL
I'll take that for a yes. All
right, Arlen, let's go.

Toot starts up the corridor, ringed by guards.

TOOT
I'm walkin' the Mile, I'm walkin'
the Mile, I'm walkin' the Mile...

PAUL'S INNER OFFICE

Toot throws himself to his knees as soon as they enter:

TOOT
I'm prayin', I'm prayin', I'm
prayin'. The Lord is my shepherd,
so on an' so forth...

PAUL
Toot, you have to wait till I tell
you to pray.
(Toot waits)
Okay, pray.

TOOT
Still prayin', still prayin'...

HARRY
Paul, we're not gonna have some
Cherokee medicine man in here
whoopin' and hollerin' and shaking
his dick, are we?

PAUL
Well, actually--

TOOT
Still prayin', prayin', gettin'
right with Jesus...

HARRY
Do it quietly, you old gink!

Harry slaps Toot upside the head to shut him up.

PAUL
As I was saying, I don't believe
they actually shake their dicks,
Harry. Be that as it may, Mr.
Bitterbuck is a Christian, so we
got Reverend Schuster coming in.

DEAN
Oh, he's good. Fast, too. Doesn't
get 'em worked up.

PAUL
On your feet, Toot. You've prayed
enough for one day.

TOOT
Gettin' to my feet, walkin' again,
walkin' on the Green Mile...

EXECUTION CHAMBER

They enter. Brutal is waiting for them, gun drawn. Percy
peers out from behind the partition wall from the switch room.

PERCY
What do I do?

PAUL
Watch and learn.

Paul motions Percy behind the wall. Percy sighs, takes his
spot next to Jack Van Hay, peers through the wire mesh as
Toot plops into Old Sparky, wriggling his skinny ass to get
comfy.

TOOT
Sittin' down, sittin' down, takin'
a seat in Old Sparky's lap...

Paul and Dean kneel to apply the ankle clamps. Brutal steps
in from the side, pressing down on the condemned man's left
arm to keep him in place until the ankle clamps are secure.
Harry moves in from the other side, securing the right arm
clamp.

TOOT
Gettin' clamped, gettin' clamped,
gettin'--ow, shit, watch the skin!

Paul signals "ankles secure." Brutal holsters his pistol,
applies the final clamp to the left arm.

BRUTAL
Roll on one.

BEHIND THE PARTITION

Van Hay mimes turning the generator knob up, whispering:

VAN HAY
"Roll on one" means I turn the
generator up full. You'll see the
lights go brighter in half the
prison...

RESUME MAIN CHAMBER

as Brutal steps before the "condemned" and pronounces:

BRUTAL
Arlen Bitterbuck, you have been
condemned to die by a jury of your
peers, sentence imposed by a judge
in good standing in this state.

Do you have anything to say before
the sentence is carried out?

TOOT
(gleefully)
Yeah! I want a fried chicken
dinner with gravy on the taters,
I want to shit in your hat, and I
got to have Mae West sit on my
face, because I am one horny
motherfucker!

Brutal tries to hold on, but it's impossible--he cracks up.
Everybody falls apart, howling helplessly with laughter. Even
Jack Van Hay is guffawing behind his partition.

Only Paul is reining it in--he's a little too pissed to go
with it. He waits until the laughing fit starts to pass, then:

PAUL
Shut up, Brutal. That goes for
everybody. I want quiet in here.
(turns)
Toot, another remark like that,
I'll have Van Hay roll on two for
real.

BRUTAL
(beat, gently)
It was pretty funny.

PAUL
That's why I don't like it.
Tomorrow night we're doing this
for real. I don't want somebody
remembering a stupid joke like
that and getting going again.
(off their looks)
Ever try not laughing in church
once something funny gets stuck in
your head. Same goddamn thing.

BRUTAL
Sorry, Paul. You're right. Let's
keep going. Harry...

Harry takes a black mask and snugs it down over Toot's head,
leaving only the crown of his head exposed. Brutal takes a
large sponge, dips it in a steel bucket, mimes soaking it...

BEHIND THE PARTITION

PERCY
What's with the sponge?

VAN HAY
You soak it in brine, get it good
and wet. Conducts the electricity
directly to the brain, fast like
a bullet. You don't ever want to
throw the switch on a man without
that.

RESUME MAIN CHAMBER

as the sponge is placed atop Toot's head. Harry now lowers
the steel cap and Brutal secures the straps.

BRUTAL
Arlen Bitterbuck, electricity
shall now be passed through your
body until you are dead, in
accordance with the state law. God
have mercy on your soul.
(to Van Hay)
Roll on two.

BEHIND THE PARTITION

Van Hay mimes flipping the switch, looks to Percy:

VAN HAY
And that's that.

RESUME MAIN CHAMBER

Toot can't resist--he starts bucking and flailing:

TOOT
Now I'm fryin'! Fryin'! Geeaaah!
Fryin' like a done tom turkey!

Paul rolls his eyes at Brutal. Brutal shifts his gaze past
him and nods--look behind you.

BRUTAL
One of the witnesses showed up a
day early.

Paul turns. Sitting on the door sill, watching them with
beady eyes, is the mouse. Paul turns back, addresses the room:

PAUL
All right, let's go again and do
it right this time! Get that idiot
out of the chair...

HIGH WIDE ANGLE OF EXECUTION CHAMBER

Brutal and Harry start undoing Toot's clamps. Everybody
relaxes, drifting from their positions...

DISSOLVE TO:

SAME ANGLE AS ABOVE - NEXT NIGHT

...and the room is now quietly filling up with WITNESSES
trickling in. People speak in whispers, if at all.

INT. BITTERBUCK'S CELL - NIGHT

Bitterbuck, the top of his head now shaved, is speaking
quietly as Paul listens:

BITTERBUCK
You think if a man sincerely
repents on what he done wrong, he
might get to go back to the time
that was happiest for him and live
there forever? Could that be what
heaven is like?

Paul doesn't think so--but that's not what Bitterbuck needs
to hear, so the lie comes easy:

PAUL
I just about believe that very
thing.

Pause. Bitterbuck smiles.

BITTERBUCK
Had me a young wife when I was
eighteen. Spent our first summer
in the mountains. Made love every
night. She'd just lie there after,
bare-breasted in the firelight,
and we'd talk sometimes till the
sun come up.
(beat)
That was my best time.

Brutal appears at the door, checks his pocketwatch, nods to
Paul. Bitterbuck takes a deep breath, getting himself ready.

PAUL
It'll be fine. You'll do fine.

INT. EXECUTION CHAMBER - NIGHT

THE SPONGE is pulled sopping wet from the bucket of brine,
dripping a trail of water across the floor. Brutal places it
atop Bitterbuck's head. Water courses down the sides of the
condemned man's mask and neck, pooling on the floor.

The cap is lowered, the straps secured. All we hear now is
the sound of Bitterbuck's BREATHING growing louder and faster
under the mask...until, softly:

BRUTAL
Roll on two.

WHAM! The switch is thrown. Bitterbuck surges forward against
the straps, riding the powerful current.

Some witnesses turn away. Paul and Brutal maintain grim eye
contact with each other, waiting.

Behind the partition, Percy watches through the mesh with
gleaming eyes, wishing he could see better.

Van Hay kills the current. Bitterbuck goes limp. A DOCTOR
steps forward, checks for a heartbeat, shakes his head.

BRUTAL
Again.

The switch is thrown a second time. Bitterbuck surges forward
again, riding the current all the way...

CUT TO:

INT. E BLOCK ACCESS TUNNEL - NIGHT

Bitterbuck's dead face stares up at us from a gurney. A hand
reaches down, gives his cheek a squeeze. TILT UP to:

PERCY
Adios, Chief. Drop us a card from
hell, let us know if it's hot
enough.

Brutal knocks Percy's hand away, shoves him aside.

BRUTAL
He's paid what he's owed. He's
square with the house again, so
keep your goddamn hands off him.

He draws the sheet over Bitterbuck's face, wheels the gurney
down the tunnel. Percy throws a look to Paul.

PERCY
What's up his ass?

PAUL
You, Percy. Always you.

Paul brushes past him, but:

PERCY
You gotta hate the new boy? That
the way it is around here?

PAUL
(turns back)
Why not just move on? Go to Briar
Ridge.
(off his look)
Yeah, I know about it. Sounds like
a good job.

PERCY
I might take it, too. Soon as you
put me out front.

Paul cocks his head--excuse me?

PERCY
You heard me. I want Brutal's spot
for the next execution.

PAUL
(beat)
What's with you? Seeing a man die
isn't enough? You gotta be close
enough to smell his nuts cook?

PERCY
I wanna be out front, is all. Just
one time. Then you'll be rid of me.

PAUL
If I say no?

PERCY
I might just stick around for
good, make me a career of this.

Paul just shakes his head in wonder and walks away.

FADE TO:

INT. COFFEY'S CELL - DAY

Coffey's lying on his bunk, weeping quiet tears. He stirs at
the sound of GIGGLING. He sits up, peers curiously through
the bars. Softly:

COFFEY
Del?

AT THE GUARD STATION

Paul glances up from writing in the daily log. Silence now.
He goes back to writing--and the GIGGLING comes again.

PAUL
Delacroix? That you?

No answer. Just more giggling. Paul rises, walks down the
Mile to Delacroix's cell--and stops, staring in through the
bars.

PAUL'S INNER OFFICE

Brutal and Dean are having lunch. Paul pokes his head in.

PAUL
You are not gonna believe this.

>>>

/ Green Mile.
Copyright 2005-2017. ! ! homeenglish@mail.ru