>> / Sixth Sense, the

/ Sixth Sense, the

: / Sixth Sense, the.

/ Sixth Sense, the

INT. BASEMENT - EVENING

A NAKED LIGHTBULB SPARKS TO LIFE. It dangles from the ceiling of a basement.

LIGHT, QUICK FOOTSTEPS AS ANNA CROWE moves down the stairs.

Anna is the rare combination of beauty and innocence. She stands in the chilly basement in an elegant summer dress that outlines her slender body. Her gentle eyes move across the empty room and come to rest on a rack of wine bottles covering one entire wall.

She walks to the bottles. Her fingertips slide over the labels. She stops when she finds just the right one. A tiny smile as she slides it out.

Anna turns to leave. Stops. She stares at the shadowy basement. It's an unsettling place. She stands very still and watches her breath form a TINY CLOUD IN THE COLD AIR. She's visibly uncomfortable.

Anna Crowe moves for the staircase in a hurry. Each step faster than the next. She climbs out of the basement in another burst of LIGHT, QUICK FOOTSTEPS.

WE HEAR HER HIT THE LIGHT SWITCH.

THE LIGHTBULB DIES. DRIPPING BLACK DEVOURS THE ROOM.

CUT TO:

INT. DINING ROOM - EVENING

Two place settings are arranged on the living room coffee table. Take-out Chinese food sits half eaten on good china. An empty bottle of red wine sits between boxes of Chinese food.

Anna arrives with the backup bottle and is now wearing a sweater. She hands a collegiate rowing team sweatshirt to Malcolm.

ANNA It's getting cold.

MALCOLM CROWE sits on the floor at the coffee table, his vest and tie on the sofa behind him. A jacket and an overcoat lay on a brirfcase next to him.

Malcolm is in his thirties with thick, wavy hair and striking, intelligent eyes that squint from years of intense study. His charming, easy-going smile spreads across his face. He points.

MALCOLM That's one fine frame. A fine frame it is.

Malcolm points to the HUGE FRAMED CERTIFICATE propped up on a dining room chair. It's printed on aged parchment-type paper. The frame is a polished mahogany.

He slips on the sweatshirt.

MALCOLM How much does a fine frame like that cost, you think?

Anna hands the backup bottle over to Malcolm.

ANNA (smiling) I've never told you... but you sound a little like Dr. Seuss when you're drunk.

Malcolm uncorks the wine and starts pouring in the empty glass.

MALCOLM Anna, I'm serious. Serious I am, Anna.

Anna giggles. She's clearly buzzed herself. Malcolm doesn't get it. Anna takes a few calming sips of her wine. Her attention slowly moves to the framed certificate.

ANNA Mahogany. I'd say that cost at least a couple hundred. Maybe three.

MALCOLM Three? We should hock it. Buy a C.D. rack for the bedroom.

ANNA Do you know how important this is? This is big time. (beat) I'm going to read it for you, doctor.

MALCOLM Do I really sound like Dr. Seuss?

Anna ignores Malcolm and clears her throat. She leans forward her seat and reads the certificate out loud as Malcolm tries to tickle her.

ANNA In recognition for his outstanding achievement in the field of child psychology, his dedication to his work, and his continuing efforts to improve the quality of life for countless children and their families, the City of Philadelphia proudly bestows upon its son Dr. Malcolm Crowe... That's you... the Mayor's Citation for Professional Excellence.

Beat. The power of the words sobers the two of them.

ANNA Wow. They called you their son.

MALCOLM We can keep it in the bathroom.

Anna turns to Malcolm. He smiles.

MALCOLM It's not real, Anna. Some secretary wrote that up. Don't tell me you thought it was real?

Anna's expression becomes serious.

MALCOLM What?

She just keeps staring. Beat.

MALCOLM Don't do the quiet thing. You know I hate it.

Beat.

ANNA This is an important night for us. Finally someone is recognizing the sacrifices you made. That you have put everything second, including me, for those families they're talking about.

Malcolm plays softly with her face. Anna takes his hands and holds them steady.

ANNA They're also saying that my husband has a gift. Not an ordinary gift that allows him to hit a ball over a fence. Or a gift that lets him produce beautiful images on a canvas... Your gift teaches children how to be strong in situations where most adults would piss on themselves. (beat) Yes, I believe what they wrote about you.

Anna lets go of his hands. Anna's eyes are emotional. Malcolm smiles softly.

MALCOLM Thank you.

Anna leans towards him. They hold each other tight. Beat.

MALCOLM What are we hugging about again?

Anna laughs as she wipes her eyes.

ANNA Nothing. There wasn't supposed to be any crying at this celebration. Just a lot of drinking and sex.

Malcolm's charming, easy-going smile returns.

MALCOLM I would like some red wine in a glass.

Anna hands him his glass. He stares at it.

MALCOLM I would not like it in a mug. I would not like it in a jug.

Malcolm looks at Anna surprised at what he said. They crack up laughing. THEIR SWEET LAUGHTER FILLS THE HOUSE.

CUT TO:

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

TWO GIGGLING SHADOWS APPEAR IN THE BEDROOM DOORWAY. They try to turn on the light. It doesn't come on.

MALCOLM Bulb's out.

Anna giggles some more as Malcolm's shadow stumbles across the bedroom.

MALCOLM TURNS ON THE BATHROOM LIGHT.

A SHAFT OF LIGHT falls on Anna as she stands in the corner of the room.

Anna smiles playfully and pulls off her sweater. She sways to a pretend striptease song.

Malcolm can't hold back his grin. He joins in -- slowly peeling off the sweat-shirt. He looks back to Anna. She's stopped her playful dance. She's facing away from him.

He walks towards her. HIS GRIN QUIETLY DISAPPEARS. Malcolm's face turns to rock as his attention is drawn to the SHATTERED WINDOW in their bedroom. The wind moves through the room. A lamp lays broken on the ground by the window.

Malcolm kneels down. Beat. Anna's eyes fill with a quiet awareness.

ANNA He's still in the house.

A SHADOW FROM THE BATHROOM FLATS OVER BOTH OF THEM.

ANNA SCREAMS.

Malcolm spins around. His heart stops.

Malcolm and Anna stare at the bathroom doorwary. They know someone is inside. Beat.

Malcolm slowly starts towards the door. The first thing that comes into view are the clothes on the bathroom floor. Then the figure of a man comes into view. A STRANGER stands bare chested in the back of the bathroom.

NO ONE MAKES A SOUND.

The STRANGER is about nineteen. Drugged out. Pitch black eyes bulging. His body is covered in scars and bruises. His hands are folded in front of him. He shakes ever so slightly. He has a patch of white in his hair.

Malcolm speaks in a very calm voice. Never takes his eyes off the stranger.

MALCOLM Anna, don't move. Don't say a word.

Anna barely nods her understanding.

MALCOLM (to the stranger) This is forty-seven Locust Street. You have broken a window and entered a private residence. Do you understand what I'm saying?

The stranger slowly looks up for the first time. His eyes lock on Malcolm.

STRANGER You don't know so many things.

Beat.

MALCOLM There are no needles or prescription drugs of any kind in this house.

The stranger suddenly comes forward into the doorway. Malcolm stumbles back onto the edge of the bed.

Anna sees the stranger for the first time. Her face drains of color.

The stranger looks at Malcolm. He half grins.

STRANGER Are you drunk?

The stranger's stare slides to Anna.

STRANGER Did you get him drunk?

The stranger gazes at Anna. Gazes directly into her eyes. A penetrating, unwavering stare.

STRANGER Do you know why you're scared when you're alone?

Anna's expression instanly changes.

STRANGER I know.

BEAT. THE ROOM GOES SILENT.

MALCOLM What do you want? I don't understand what you want.

The stranger turns and glares at Malcolm.

STRANGER What you promised.

Malcolm stops all movement.

ANNA --My God.

MALCOLM --Do I know you?

STRANGER Let's all celebrate, Dr. Malcolm Crowe. Recipient of awards from the Mayor on the news. Dr. Malcolm Crowe, he's helped so many children... And he doesn't even remember my name?

Malcolm can't speak. Beat. The stranger's face starts to tremble.

STRANGER I was ten when you worked with me.

Beat. Malcolm's intelligent eyes race for answers.

STRANGER Downtown clinic? Single parent family? (beat) I had a possible mood disorder... (beat) I had no friends... you said I was socially isolated. (beat) I was afraid -- you called it acute anxiety... (beat) You were wrong. (beat) Come on, clear your head... Male, nine... Single parent... Mood discorder... Acute anxiety.

Malcolm looks like someone hit him with a sledgehammer.

STRANGER I'm nineteen. I have drugs in my system twenty-four hours a day... I still have no friends. I still have no peace. I'm still afraid.

Tears jump into the stranger's eyes.

STRANGER ...I'm still afraid.

Malcolm stands.

MALCOLM Please give me a second to think.

Malcolm's shaking hands touch his mouth as he stares at the stranger. Beat.

MALCOLM Bed Freidken?

STRANGER Some people call me freak.

MALCOLM ...Ronald... Ronald Sumner?

Tears fall down the stranger's face.

STRANGER I am a freak.

Malcolm looks up at the sound of those words. Something clicks in his head.

MALCOLM --Vincent?

THE ROOM GOES SILENT AGAIN.

MALCOLM Vincent Gray?

VINCENT GRAY stares with surprise through his tears.

Malcolm lets out a deep breath like he just emerged from deep waters.

MALCOLM I do remember you, Vincent. You were a good kid. Very smart... Quiet... Compassionate... Unusually compassionate...

Vincent's eyes burn at Malcolm.

VINCENT You forgot cursed.

VINCENT is fully crying now.

VINCENT You failed me.

MALCOLM (whispers) Vincent... I'm sorry I didn't help you... I can try to help you now.

Vincent turns to the sink. His hand goes in. He turns arund and raises a gun at Malcolm. He FIRES. A VIOLENT, EAR-SHATTERING ECHO. Malcolm clutches his stomach and folds like a rag doll onto the bed.

Vincent instantly moves the gun to his own head. ANOTHER HORRIFIC BLAST SPIKES THE AIR. Vincent crumples onto the bathroom floor.

ANNA'S CHILLING SCREAMS FILL THEIR HOME.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. BENCH - AFTERNOON

The legend, "Two Years Later" appears.

A man flips open a worn file folder on his lap. Handwritten notes fill every line. At the top of the first page reads, "Vincent Gray, age 10, Referred January 19, 1989."

The man's hand touches the name almost reverently.

He glances through the page. Words and phrases are circled throughout the file.

"...Acute anxiety" "...Socially isolated" "...Possible mood disorder" "...Parent status -- Divorced" "...Communication difficulty between mother-child dyad"

The man's hands flip the page. At the top of this new page reads, "Cole Sear, age 8, Referred September 1998."

As the man's fingers move through the notes we again see words and phrases circled throughout this new case history.

"...Acute anxiety" "...Socially isolated" "...Possible mood disorder" "...Parent status -- Divorced" "...Communication difficulty between mother-child dyad"

The hands close the notepad. The hands are slightly shaking now.

WE PULL BACK to reveal the shaking hands belong to Dr. Malcolm Crowe.

Malcolm sits on a sidewalk bench facing a row of brownstone homes across the street. He gazes blankly at the brownstones. Beat.

A door opens. Malcolm is brought out of his trance.

COLE SEAR steps out his front door. Cole is a munchkin of a boy with large, black eyes that seem to take in everything around him.

His hair is dark, with a small patch of jet white on the side. Cole carefully locks the door behind him.

He moves to the bottom of the stairs and looks around nervously. Anxiously.

The eight-year-old child reaches into his pocket and slips on a pair of VERY LARGE GLASSES. They look comical on him.

Malcolm rises to his feet. He smooths out his shirt. Looks down and buttons his jacket.

When he looks up, Cole is gone.

Malcolm barely catches a glimpse of the boy. Cole runs at full speed down the street and turns the corner. TINY SNEAKERS SCREECHING ON THE SIDEWALK.

For a second, Malcolm doesn't react. The second passes. He stuffs the file in his bag and starts running too.

CUT TO:

EXT. STREET - DAY

Malcolm hauls down the sidewalk. He comes to a hard stop at a street intersection. Searches. Spots Cole running into a parking lot.

COLE sprints across the empty lot and reaches the doors of a building. He has to use all his strength to push open the highly ornate doors. He slips inside.

Malcolm jogs into the parking area. His pace slows to a walk and then to stillness as he gazes up at the building. Its old stone and huge towers make it stand out from the modern buildings all around it. Malcolm stares up at the historic Philadelphia church quietly.

A SHOOTING PAIN PIERCES HIS SIDE. Malcolm's hand goes to it quickly. He waits for it to pass before starting for the ornate doors.

CUT TO:

INT. CHURCH - DAY

Only a few people sit and pray in the sea of oak pews.

Malcolm scans the majestic room and finds what he's looking for in the last row of the church.

He moves down the center aisle towards the back.

Malcolm finds Cole playing in his pew with a set of green and beige plastic soldiers. Cole makes the soldiers talk to each other.

COLE (soft) Pro... Fun... Add...

The words are unintelligible.

Cole senses someone. He looks up and sees Malcolm staring at him. The boy immediately goes white. Every cell of his body still with fear.

MALCOLM It's okay, Cole. Don't be frightened.

Cole stays rigid. Hands clutching a handful of plastic riflemen.

MALCOLM My name is Dr. Malcolm Crowe. I was supposed to meet you today. Sorry I missed our appointment.

Malcolm waits for a response. None comes.

MALCOLM Do you mind if I sit down? I have this injury from a couple of years ago and it flares up every once in a while just so I won't forget it.

Beat. Cole slowly slides down the pew, giving Malcolm most of the seat. Malcolm sits.

Cole fidgets with his soldiers. Beat. Malcolm looks over and stares at Cole's glasses. He leans forward to inspect them more carefully.

MALCOLM Your eye frames. They don't seem to have any lenses in them.

COLE (soft) They're my dad's. The lenses hurt my eyes.

MALCOLM I knew there was a sound explanation.

Malcolm returns to staring at his lap. Beat.

MALCOLM What was that you were saying before with your soldiers? Day pro fun.

COLE ...De profundis clamo ad te domine.

Malcolm stares surprised.

COLE It's called Latin. It's a language.

Malcolm nods at the information.

MALCOLM All your soldiers speak Latin?

COLE No, just one.

Malcolm smiles at Cole. His eyes drift down to Cole's arms. Malcolm's smile slowly disappears.

Cole's arms are covered in TINY CUTS AND BRUISES. Some almost healed. Some fresh. Malcolm looks around to gather himself. Beat.

MALCOLM I like churches, too. (beat) In olden times, in Europe, people used to hide in churches. Claim sanctuary.

Cole looks up.

COLE What were they hiding from?

MALCOLM Oh, lots of things, I suppose. Bad people for one. People who wanted to imprison them. Hurt them.

COLE Nothing bad can happen in a church, right?

Malcolm studies Cole's anxious face.

MALCOLM Right.

Malcolm and Cole just stare at each other.

COLE I forgot your name.

MALCOLM Dr. Crowe.

COLE You're a doctor. What kind?

MALCOLM I work with young people who might be sad or upset or just want to talk. I try to help them figure things out.

Beat.

COLE Are you a good doctor?

Malcolm smiles.

MALCOLM I got an award once. From the Mayor.

COLE Congratulations.

MALCOLM Thank you. It was a long time ago. I've kind of been retired for a while. (beat) You're my very first client back.

COLE You use needles?

MALCOLM No.

COLE Not even little ones that aren't supposed to hurt?

MALCOLM No.

COLE That's good.

Cole pockets his soldiers and rises from his pew.

COLE I'm going to see you again, right?

MALCOLM If it's okay with you?

Cole thinks it over carefully.

COLE It's okay with me.

Cole and Malcolm just stare at each other.

MALCOLM And Cole, next time I won't be late for you.

COLE Next time I won't be scared of you.

Cole turns and starts to the rear of the church. Malcolm loses himself in his thoughts.

When Malcolm looks back, he sees Cole stop by the exit doors and take a tiny STATUE OF JESUS off the back table. Cole pockets the statue and quietly leaves the church.

Malcolm just sits and stares.

CUT TO:

INT. MALCOLM'S HOME - EVENING

The house is dimly lit. Malcolm has to turn on the HALLWAY LIGHT.

MALCOLM It's me.

He stops before a pile of mail collecting on a thin table. He stares at it blankly. Almost every envelope has "Over Due" or "Final Notice" stamped on it.

CUT TO:

INT. DINING TABLE - EVENING

Malcolm stares down at the remains of a meal on the only place setting on the table.

CUT TO:

INT. BEDROOM - EVENING

Malcolm quietly walks into his bedroom. Only A READING LIGHT IS ON. THE SOFT LIGHT FALLS ON ANNA AS SHE SLEEPS.

Malcolm moves to her side. The sight of her stops him.

He stares at his wife...

She huddles under a blanket, a wad of tissues in her hand. He takes it in silently.

His eyes move to her face... One wisp of hair falls over her soft lips. OUTLINED IN THE SOFT READING LIGHT, Anna Crowe truly looks like an angel.

Malcolm forms a tiny smile.

CUT TO:

INT. HALL - NIGHT

Malcolm turns and moves for a narrow door in the hallway.

THE DOOR KNOB. He tries to open it. IT'S LOCKED. Malcolm reaches into his pockets. Searches for his keys.

CUT TO:

INT. BASEMENT - NIGHT

The empty basement is no longer empty. It's piled with file cabinets and boxes of psychology and medical books. A desk sits in the corner next to the wine racks.

The room still feels unsettling.

Malcolm hunches over one of the books. Rifles through a stack of dusty books. Pulls out a thick text.

The spine of the text reads, "The Meridian Latin Dictionary."

Malcolm sits back at his desk and opens Cole's file. Handwritten on the first page are the words,

"De profundis calms ad te, domine"

Malcolm starts working through the Latin text. As he comes to each word, he jots it down underneath the Latin.

Malcolm translates the last word.

He stares quietly at the paper. The new words reads...

"Out of the depths, I cry to you Lord."

Beat.

MALCOLM (whispers) ...The mass for the dead.

The words seem to hang in the air forever.

CUT TO:

EXT. PHILADELPHIA - DAWN

Old Philadelphia awakens... For a moment, it's like we're back in time.

A golden sun dances on the waters of Penns Landing. Historical old ships sit docked in its harbor... The dark bronze surface of the Liberty Bell reflects the dawn... A majestic Independence Hall stands watch as its city begins to stir... A thirty foot statue of Ben Franklin makes a proud silhouette against the morning sky...

AND THEN 1997 COMES CRASHING IN.

FLUORESCENT HOUSE LIGHTS COME ON IN WINDOWS... Jeeps and hatchbacks start roaming the cobblestone streets... Neon restaurants signs flicker to life... Traffic helicopters make their rounds... CAR ALARMS PIERCE THE AIR.

CUT TO:

INT. LAUNDRY ROOM - MORNING

A hand turns off a radio, shutting off the morning news.

A small dog with two different colored eyes sticks his head out of the dryer, where he plays with the newly-dried clothes.

LYNN SEAR reaches in and pulls out a blouse.

She shakes it in the air and slips it on as she dresses hurriedly for work.

Lynn is a woman in her late twenties. One hundred percent South Philly. Hair teased. She chews on an early morning piece of Trident. Under all of it, Lynn Sear is an attractive and sweet-looking young woman.

Lynn enters THE KITCHEN through a swinging door.

A bowl of cereal and milk sit on a table in an empty kitchen.

Lynn stares at a handful of kitchen CABINETS and DRAWERS that are open.

Lynn shakes her head.

LYNN Cole.

She closes them one at a time before moving to the coffee machine.

Lynn shivers a little. She leans over the thermostat and raises the heat. She returns to her post at the coffee machine.

TINY FOOTSTEPS.

Lynn turns to see Cole standing in his private school uniform.

LYNN Your Cocoa Puffs are getting soggy.

Lynn walks over to Cole. Checks his tie.

LYNN You got a spot.

Lynn unclips the tie. Cole takes a seat at the kitchen table as Lynn walks back into the laundry room.

The dog is gone now. Lynn reaches into the dryer, digging for a new tie. She finds one, then turns and steps back into the kitchen and SCREAMS AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS.

Every cabinet and every drawer is wide open.

Cole sits at the kitchen table. His hands are pressed flat on the tabletop.

He looks shaken.

Neither says anything for a beat.

LYNN (shaken) Something you were looking for, baby?

Beat.

COLE (shaken) Pop Tarts.

Lynn looks over to the open cabinet near the sink. The pop tarts are clearly visible.

LYNN They're right here.

COLE Oh.

Cole gets up from the table. Takes his pop tarts. Doesn't make eye contact.

COLE What are you thinking, Momma?

LYNN Lots of things.

COLE Anything bad about me?

Lynn leans down.

LYNN Look at my face.

Cole does.

LYNN I wasn't thinking anything bad about you, got it?

He looks at her eyes. Beat.

COLE Got it.

THE DOOR BELL RINGS.

COLE (soft) That's Tommy, Momma.

Cole quietly kisses his mother on the cheek and starts out.

LYNN Don't you want this?

Cole turns to see Lynn holding the pop tarts. He walks back and takes them from her before leaving.

Beat. Lynn glances to the kitchen table. Her gaze stops on the TWO TINY HAND PRINTS OF SWEAT formed on the table's surface.

Lynn stands motionless in the kitchen. She looks up and wraps her arms around her shivering shoulders.

CUT TO:

EXT. BROWNSTONE STREET - MORNING

TOMMY TAMMISIMO is a tough-looking, eight-year-old Italian kid who waits at the bottom of Cole's brownstone stairs in his school uniform.

Cole emerges from the brownstone and moves down the steps. Lynn's face appears in the kitchen window.

The two boys begin their walk down the street to school. Tommy puts his arm around Cole. Lynn waves. Cole waves back.

When the two boys turn the corner and are out of Lynn's sight, Tommy rips his arm away.

TOMMY Hey freak, how'd you like the "arm around your shoulder" bit. I just made it up. Went with it. That's what great actors do. It's called improv.

Tommy starts to run ahead, he turns and back pedals.

TOMMY (taunting) Be careful... I hope no one jumps out and gets you.

Tommy runs away.

Beat. Cole looks around nervously.

CUT TO:

EXT. ST. ANTHONY'S ACADEMY - MORNING

The last uniformed boys and girls rush into the front doors of St. Anthony's Academy as the FINAL BELL SOUNDS.

Cole is the last one to go in. He stands alone on the sidewalk. He looks like he'd rather be anywhere but there.

Beat.

He buries his hands in his pockets and begins a quiet walk by himself into the school.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. COLE'S HOME - AFTERNOON

The front door CREAKS open as Cole walks in after school. He looks around before closing the door. His eyes stop on Lynn seated in the open doorway of the den. Malcolm is seated with her. They both look up.

Lynn comes out. She reaches Cole -- kneels down in front of him.

LYNN (whispers) How was school, baby?

Cole shrugs.

LYNN (whispers) You know, you can tell me things if you need to.

Cole doesn't respond. Beat.

LYNN (whispers) Well, you know what I did today?

Cole shakes his head "No."

LYNN (whispers) I won the Pennsylvania Lottery in the morning. I quit my jobs. Ate a big picnic in the park with lots of chocolate mouses pie and then swam in the fountain all afternoon... (smiling) What did you do?

Cole starts to smile too. He thinks.

COLE (whispers) I was picked first for kickball teams at recess. I hit a grand slam to win the game and everyone lifted me up on their shoulders and carried me around cheering.

Cole and Lynn smile at each other. Beat.

Lynn tries to hide the utter sadness behind her smile.

LYNN I'll make triangle pancakes. You got an hour.

Lynn takes Cole's school bag and jacket before moving to the kitchen.

CUT TO:

INT. DEN - AFTERNOON

The den doubles as a playroom. Boxes of old toys sit in the corner. A small, plastic, multi-colored table sits on the rug.

Cole appears in the doorway. Malcolm sits up and smiles.

He points to the chair on the other side of the coffee table.

MALCOLM You want to sit?

Cole nods very softly, "No."

MALCOLM Don't feel like talking right now?

Cole nods again very softly, "No."

MALCOLM How about we play a game first?

Cole looks a little more interested.

MALCOLM It's a mind-reading game... Did I mention I could read minds?

Cole nods, "No."

MALCOLM Here's the game. I'll read your mind. If what I say is right, you take a step forwards the chair. If I'm wrong, you take a step backwards the doorway. If you reach the chair, you sit. If you reach the door, you can go. Deal?

Cole tilts his head, then nods, "Yes."

Malcolm presses his fingers to his temples like a vaudeville magician. He closes his eyes tight.

MALCOLM Just after your mom and dad were divorced, your mom went to a doctor like me and it didn't help her. And so you think I'm not going to help you.

Beat. Cole, surprised, takes a small step forward.

MALCOLM You're worried because she said she told him things. Things she couldn't tell anybody else. (beat) Secrets.

Cole takes a step. Malcolm opens his eyes. He looks right at Cole.

MALCOLM You have a secret. But you don't want to tell me.

Beat. Cole takes another step. The next step will put him at the chair. Malcolm lowers his fingers from his temple.

MALCOLM (whispers) You don't have to tell me your secret if you don't want to.

Malcolm smiles. Returns his fingers to the mind-reading position. Malcolm looks to Cole's arm. Cole is wearing A LARGE SILVER WATCH. It swims on his thin wrist. It could probably slide up to his shoulder. Malcolm closes his eyes.

MALCOLM Your father gave you that watch as a present before he left.

Cole takes a step BACK. Beat. Malcolm lowers his hands surprised.

COLE He forgot it in a drawer. It doesn't work.

Beat. Malcolm puts his fingers to his temple. This time a little bit slower. He gazes at Cole's school uniform.

MALCOLM You don't like to say much at school. You're an excellent student however. You've never been in any kind of serious trouble.

Beat. Cole takes a slow step back. Beat.

COLE We were supposed to draw a picture. Anything we wanted... I drew a man. He got hurt in the neck by another man with a screwdriver.

AN UNCOMFORTABLE SILENCE OVERTAKES THE DEN.

MALCOLM You saw that on T.V., Cole?

Cole answers by taking a small step back. Beat.

COLE Everybody got upset. They had a meeting. Momma started crying. (beat) I don't draw like that anymore.

MALCOLM How do you draw now?

COLE I draw people with smiles, dogs running, and rainbows. (beat) They don't have meetings about rainbows.

MALCOLM (soft) I guess they don't.

Malcolm looks down at Cole's feet. They're almost at the doorway. One more step and he's there. Cole is very still. He doesn't move at all.

COLE (whispers) What am I thinking now?

Malcolm takes his time before speaking. He just stares. No fingers to the temple. No games. He just stares. Beat.

MALCOLM You're thinking... (beat) I don't know what you're thinking, Cole.

Cole quietly takes a step back into the doorway of the other room.

COLE (whispers) I was thinking... you're nice. (beat) But you can't help me.

Cole's tiny figure steps away. Malcolm stares helplessly at the empty doorway where his client used to stand.

THE DEN IS SUFFOCATED WITH SILENCE.

CUT TO:

INT. RESTAURANT - EVENING

Malcolm hurriedly enters a spacious, dimly-lit Italian restaurant. He stops in the dining room and searches the many candle-lit tables. He finds Anna.

Anna sits alone at a corner table. The remains of her half-eaten dinner lay on the only place setting on the table. A small PIECE OF CAKE WITH A CANDLE in it sits untouched.

Anna stirs sugar in her coffee as Malcolm sits in the seat across from her. She gently stops stirring, but doesn't look up. Beat.

MALCOLM I thought you meant the other Italian restaurant I asked you to marry me in.

Anna isn't laughing. Not even close.

MALCOLM I'm so sorry. (beat) I can't seem to keep track of time.

Anna quietly takes a sip from her coffee.

MALCOLM It didn't go well today. Spent some time after trying to get my head together.

Anna looks around for the waiter.

MALCOLM They're so similar, Anna. They have the same mannerisms. The same expressions. The same thing hanging over them. (beat) It might be some kind of abuse.

That makes Anna turn back. She glances across the table, then looks down.

MALCOLM There are cuts on Cole's arms. Fingernail marks, I think. Looks like defensive cuts.

Malcolm demonstrates by holding up his arm to shield his face.

MALCOLM (beat) Possibly a teacher, neighbor. (beat) I don't think it's the mother. Just a gut thing. The way she deals with him. It doesn't fit. (beat) Hard to say this early. Could just be a child climbing a lot of trees.

Malcolm loses himself in his thoughts. The waiter drops off the check on the table. Anna grabs it before Malcolm and quickly signs it.

MALCOLM I know I've been kind of out of it for a long while and you resent it. You do. I know you're mad. I know it's put some distance between us.

Beat.

MALCOLM But I'm getting a second chance here. I can't let it slip away.

Anna waits till he's done and rises from the table. She pushes her chair in hard and walks away without a word. Malcolm sits alone and stares at the piece of cake with a candle on it.

MALCOLM (soft) ...Happy Anniversary.

CUT TO:

EXT. FRONT STEPS - AFTERNOON

Cole is seated on the front stoop of his brownstone. On the steps and on the landing are his plastic soldiers in the grips of a war.

Malcolm sits with his bag and overcoat on the step next to him. Malcolm just observes quietly. Beat.

Cole glances up as he plays. Sees Malcolm's expression.

COLE You want to ask me a question?

MALCOLM See, this is why I lose at poker. Yes, I do have a question.

On the step are two rows of soldiers facing each other. To one side are a couple soldiers covered by a tissue. Malcolm points to them.

MALCOLM What happened to those two? Being under tissue paper can't be a good thing.

Cole removes the tissue.

COLE That's Private Jenkins and Private Kinney. They got killed. Private Jenkins has a baby girl that was born seven pounds, six ounces. He's never seen her. He wanted to get back to Blue Bell, Pennsylvania and hold her...

Cole points to the other soldier.

COLE Private Kinney's wife is really sick -- she has something called a brain anism.

MALCOLM (soft) You mean aneurysm.

COLE Yeah, Private Kinney needed to get back safe to take care of her.

Beat. Cole's face becomes emotional. Tears fill his eyes.

COLE It's sad they died, isn't it?

Malcolm falls into silence and stares at his client. Beat. Cole wipes his eyes quickly.

COLE Don't look at me. (beat) I don't like people looking at me like that.

Malcolm takes in Cole's gesture and expression.

COLE Stop looking at me.

Malcolm looks down.

MALCOLM Where should I look then, Cole?

COLE Look over there.

Cole points to the corner of the street. Malcolm slowly turns. He sits in profile to Cole. Beat.

MALCOLM It's very unusual for someone your age to understand the kind of problems that Private Jenkins and Private Kinney have or even to be thinking about them at all...

Malcolm continues to stare at the street. Beat.

MALCOLM It is okay if I look back now?

Cole doesn't answer.

MALCOLM Tap the foot once for "No" and twice for "Yes."

Cole taps his foot once.

Malcolm sits patiently. Beat. They don't say anything for a while.

MALCOLM You wouldn't want to take a walk, would you?

Cole looks up from his soldiers. Malcolm stares at the far side of the street.

Cole taps his foot twice.

CUT TO:

EXT. STREET - AFTERNOON

The two of them walk down a row of brownstones across from a park where children Cole's age are playing.

COLE I walk this way to school with Tommy Tammisimo.

MALCOLM He your best buddy?

Cole almost smiles.

COLE He hates me.

MALCOLM You hate him?

Cole shakes his head, "No.!

Malcolm thinks for a bit.

MALCOLM Your mom set that up?

Cole nods "Yes."

MALCOLM You ever tell her about how it is with Tommy?

COLE I don't tell her a thing.

MALCOLM Why?

COLE Cause she doesn't look at me like everybody and I don't want her to. I don't want her to know.

MALCOLM Know what?

COLE That I'm a freak.

Malcolm stops walking. The words hit him hard. He stares at Cole.

MALCOLM Listen to me. You are not a freak. Don't you believe anybody that tells you that. It's bullshit and you don't have to grow up believing that.

Beat. Cole is surprised.

COLE You said the "s" word.

MALCOLM Yeah. Sorry.

Malcolm's face is filled with emotion. Cole is suddenly hit by Malcolm's passion. Beat. Cole nods slowly as he looks at Malcolm with different eyes.

They start walking again in silence. They turn a corner and move down another street. Cole spots an old man with a cane standing at the gate of a brownstone.

COLE Is it okay if I do something? I have to do something.

Malcolm nods "yes" as they continue walking. Cole slows as they approach the old man. As we get closer, we make out the man can barely see.

COLE Hi, Mr. Marschal.

MR. MARSCHAL leans over his gate and stares at Cole for a few seconds.

MR. MARSCHAL Guten Tag, Cole.

Mr. Marschal has a thick German accent. The old man squints down the block with a concerned expression.

COLE What's wrong?

MR. MARSCHAL Mrs. Marschal. She went food shopping. She's running late.

Beat.

COLE Ich Habe Durst.

Malcolm's eyes dart to Cole.

MR. MARSCHAL Wunderbar! Where did you learn to speak German?

COLE I just know a couple lines.

MR. MARSCHAL Yes, you may have a drink. What would you like?

COLE Lemonade, please.

Mr. Marschal smiles at Cole before walking back inside his house. Cole turns back to Malcolm.

COLE (sad) Mr. Marschal gets real lonely.

MALCOLM What about Mrs. Marschal?

COLE (whispers) She died a long time ago.

CUT TO:

INT. MR. MARSCHAL'S LIVING ROOM - MORNING

This brownstone has been home to the Marschal's for many, many years. It's filled with a lifetime of memories. Memories shared by two people.

Two rocking chairs sit side by side near the windows that overlook the street... A corner table displays fancy wooden chess set. The game half-finished, frozen in a layer of dust... An easel stands before a piano. The incomplete water color painting of a smiling elderly woman sitting on the piano bench sits sadly on the faded yellow paper.

Malcolm takes in the living room silently. He stands near the open door.

Cole walks through the room. Tiny eyes searching carefully. He leans behind the sofa looking for something. Malcolm watches Cole with a crinkled brow.

Cole peeks behind the old piano crammed against the wall.

MR. MARSCHAL Maybe Jill will play for us when she gets back.

Cole turns to find Mr. Marschal standing with a glass of lemonade. Cole takes it from his shaking hands.

COLE Thank you.

Mr. Marschal shuffles over to the sofa. Takes a seat.

Cole begins surveying the room again. Beat. His eyes finally come to rest on a plant seated in the corner. He stares at it... THE LEAVES OF THE PLANT SHAKE SLIGHTLY FROM A BREEZE.

Cole puts down his glass on a table and walks over to the plant. Cole kneels down and starts to push the potted plant aside. THE POT SCREECHES ON THE WOODEN FLOOR.

Malcolm calls to Cole under his breath.

MALCOLM Cole--

MR. MARSCHAL What's going on there?

Mr. Marschal strains to see across the room.

Cole doesn't answer either of them. Instead, he continues to push the plant aside revealing AN AIR VENT. Cole gently reaches over and takes off the metal face. It slips right off.

Cole's hands disappear into the darkness of the vent. They reemerge holding a STACK OF NOTEBOOKS.

Malcolm becomes very still.

Cole rises to his feet and carries the notebooks over to Mr. Marschal. Cole carefully places them on his lap.

MR. MARSCHAL Is this for me?

Mr. Marschal fingers the notebooks then reaches for his thick glasses hanging from his neck. He places them on the tip of his nose and inspects the notebooks six inches from his face.

MR. MASCHAL What's this? Jill's keeping a diary.

Malcolm takes an involuntary step forward.

Mr. Marschal starts flipping through the notebooks.

MR. MARSCHAL She's full of surprises...

He gets to the last book. His hands become still as he stares at the final page of writing.

MR. MARSCHAL (whispers) She hasn't written anything for some time.

Beat. Mr. Marschal slowly looks up from the notebooks. Looks up to Cole. Cole just stands quietly.

Mr. Marschal's eyes slowly fill with tears of realization. They gently spill down his weathered face.

MR. MARSCHAL Oh no...

Cole takes a deep breath. Trying hard not to cry himself. The sight of Mr. Marschal weeping shakes Cole.

Cole softly lays his hand on Mr. Marschal's silver hair. Mr. Marschal reaches up and clutches his small hand.

They stay like that for a while. Beat. Mr. Marschal lets go and brings the notebooks tighter to his body.

Cole quietly walks to Malcolm who stands motionless. He stares down at Cole in a daze.

Cole turns his head, crying.

COLE (softly) Stop looking at me.

CUT TO:

INT. BASEMENT OFFICE - NIGHT

Malcolm sits still in his office chair. His eyes are fixed at a point in space. He brings a slim, black tape recorder to his mouth.

CLICK.

MALCOLM April or March of Eighty-seven. Two weeks into sessions with Vincent Gray. I was treating a couple, Donald and Robin Wagner, who had lost their child to Leukemia. They were waiting with Vincent in the reception room of the downtown clinic. They were alone together maybe fifteen minutes. When I entered the room, all three were crying. The Wagner's progress from that afternoon was dramatic and sudden .... As if some door had been opened for them. (beat) I'm not at all clear what happened in those fifteen minutes. But I now believe Vincent tried to tell me something, show me something and I didn't listen. (beat) Cole Sear allowed me to witness something today. (beat) This time I'm going to listen.

A long silence. CLICK. The tape recorder turns off.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. BROWNSTONE - NIGHT

Lynn holds a laundry basket on her hip as she fiddles with the thermostat in the hall. The house is cold. Lynn wears a winter jacket in the house.

Lynn turns and moves into the shadowy hallway. No lights. The house seems somewhat ominous. Beat.

Lynn's eyes dart to an open guest room like she just saw something. She stares in the doorway until a SOUND TURNS HER IN THE DIRECTION OF THE FAMILY ROOM.

She picks up balled-up boy's sweat socks and dirty T-shirts laying on the carpet. When she reaches the end of the hall, she HITS A LIGHT SWITCH. The hall LIGHTS UP REVEALING A WALL OF PHOTOS. Lynn forms a tiny smile.

Snapshots of Cole and Lynn's life hang before her eyes.

Cole's birthday parties... Lynn and Cole at an amusement park... Cole under the Christmas tree... Cole on Lynn's shoulders in a pool... Cole with a group of neighbors at a barbecue...

Lynn takes a step forward. Lynn's face betrays the fact that she notices something she never noticed before. She touches a photo of three-year-old Cole.

WE MOVE INTO THE PHOTO -- COLE'S FACE SMILES AT US. LYNN'S FINGER GENTLY BRUSHES A THIN STREAKS OF LIGHT THAT CURVES IN THE BACKGROUND BEHIND COLE. THE STREAK OF LIGHT IS BLURRED, LIKE SOMETHING CAUGHT IN MOTION.

Lynn looks to the adjacent photo -- the barbecue photo -- Everyone stands with hot dogs and sodas. Lynn searches the picture. Her eyes suddenly stop at the TINIEST BLUR OF WHITE LIGHT STREAKING AROUND COLE.

WE MOVE FROM FRAMED PHOTO TO FRAMED PHOTO -- EACH THE SAME -- SOMEWHERE HIDDEN IN THE FRAME, SOMEWHERE NOT EASILY SEEN, LYNN FINDS A BLUR.

Lynn takes it all in curiously.

CUT TO:

INT. COLE'S BEDROOM - AFTERNOON

Lynn moves into Cole's room with the laundry basket balanced on her hip. The Walkman headphones on her head blares A MUFFLED TECHNO DANCE BEAT. Lynn starts picking clothes up around Cole's room.

This bedroom is an eerie place. The shadows seem to make shapes and figures. All the furniture is wood -- old fashioned. The lamps, the paintings on the wall -- antiques as well.

The most striking feature of the room, however, is the homemade tent created from bedsheets and blankets tied to chairs and bureaus. It takes up a large corner of the room.

A sign hangs over the bedsheets.

"DO NOT ENTER"

Lynn grabs the spiderman P.J.s that drape over the tent.

A German Shepherd Puppy sleeps on the pillow. SEBASTIAN lifts his head sleepily and peers at Lynn before returning to his slumber.

Lynn slowly reaches for a picture frame that peeks out from under Cole's pillow. Slides it out... It's a VACATION PHOTO of a couple. Lynn and Cole and a man. The man looks in every way a larger version of Cole.

The picture has a visible effect on Lynn. She lets out a shaky breath before returning the photo to its hiding place.

Lynn pulls a pair of school uniform pants off the wooden roll cover desk next to the bed.

The desk is covered with loose leaf papers filled with writings. Lynn's eyes are drawn to the papers.

Her curious gaze turns serious. Her mouth opens a tiny bit involuntarily.

THE PAPERS are strewn with lines of handwriting. Countless lines. Thousands of words... Some horizontal, some vertical... The writing moves in arcs and flows in various size -- written at great speed -- every word connected by a single pen stroke -- everything written in one continuous motion.

Lynn slowly spins the papers, taking in some of the phrases...

...Christ break the freaking glass oh no God no what the hell is going on Quiet the damn baby I'll cut you I swear it someone stop the burning I'll kill you I'll kill all you bastard...

The words go on and on.

Lynn removes her hands from the paper. She pulls her headphones off slowly.

THE MUFFLED TECHNO DANCE BEAT FILLS THE DEAD SILENCE OF THE EERIE ROOM.

CUT TO:

INT. DEN - AFTERNOON

Malcolm stares as the rain pelts the windows of the den.

MALCOLM ...So your dad lives in Pittsburgh with a lady who works in a toll booth.

COLE (o.s.) What if she has to pee when she's working? You think she just holds it? MALCOLM I don't know. I was just thinking the same thing.

Beat.

COLE (o.s.) You ask a lot of questions about my dad today. How come?

Cole is playing behind the couch. All we see is the top of his head.

MALCOLM Sometimes, we don't even know it, but we do things to draw attention. Do things so we can express how we feel about issues... Divorce or whatever.

Every now and then we get glimpses of things Cole is playing with peeking over the back of the couch, but we can't quite make out what he's doing.

MALCOLM One night, as an example... leave something on a desk for someone to find.

The top of Cole's head stops moving.

MALCOLM Cole, have you ever heard of something called free-writing? Or free-association writing?

Cole shakes his head, "No."

MALCOLM It's when you put a pencil in your hand and put the pencil to a paper and you just start writing... You don't think about what you're writing... You don't read over what you're writing... You just keep your hand moving.

Cole has become very still. He looks right at Malcolm.

MALCOLM After awhile if you keep your hand moving long enough, words and thoughts start coming out you didn't even know you had in you... Sometimes they're things you heard from somewhere... Sometimes they're feelings deep inside... (beat) Have you ever done any free- association writing, Cole?

Beat. Cole nods, "Yes."

MALCOLM What'd you write?

COLE Words.

MALCOLM What kind of words?

COLE Upset words.

Beat.

MALCOLM Did you ever write any upset words before your father left?

Beat.

COLE I don't remember.

Malcolm watches him carefully. Beat. Malcolm waves the question off casually.

MALCOLM Can you do something for me?

Malcolm smiles. He rises and grabs his coat.

MALCOLM Think about what you want from our time together. What our goal should be?

COLE Something I want?

MALCOLM If we could change something in your life, anything at all, what would you like that to be?

Cole's brow furrows as he thinks about it carefully.

MALCOLM You don't have to answer now.

Malcolm heads for the door, stops when Cole emerges from behind the couch. Cole is wearing his father's jacket, it hangs to the ground like a dress.

COLE Instead of something I want, can I have something I don't want?

Malcolm turns back to Cole. Malcolm nods "Yes." Beat.

COLE I don't want to be scared anymore.

Cole's sad eyes stare up at Malcolm.

CUT TO:

INT. BASEMENT OFFICE - NIGHT

The surface of Malcolm's desk is covered with open texts. Malcolm pours over a thick reference book.

He circles a phrase...

"...resulting bruises and abrasions on arms and legs may, in fact, be self-inflicted."

Malcolm appears disturbed by the thoughts running through his head.

ANNA'S MUFFLED VOICE CARRIES DOWN THE STAIRS.

His face turns up to the ceiling.

MALCOLM (loud) Are you calling me?

WE HEAR ANNA'S FOOTSTEPS MOVE ACROSS THE BASEMENT CEILING. WE HEAR THE FRONT DOOR OPEN.

ANNA (o.s.) What? You don't see enough of me at the store?

Malcolm gets up and moves closer to their voices as he stretches his legs.

MAN'S VOICE (o.s.) On my way to the flea market in Amish country. Thought maybe you want to come. Show me how to buy at these things.

ANNA (o.s.) I trust you... Besides, I don't know if I'm up for the Amish today. You can't curse or spit or anything around them.

Malcolm smiles at Anna.

MAN'S VOICE (o.s.) I thought you'd want to get out. You've been kind of down.

Malcolm slowly stops smiling.

ANNA (o.s.) That's very sweet. I'm okay.

MAN'S VOICE (o.s.) Do you think I should stop by on my way back? Show you what I got? It's not a problem.

Malcolm shakes his head in disbelief.

ANNA (o.s.) You know that's probably not the best idea. I'll just wait to see them in the store.

MAN'S VOICE (o.s.) Okay. Fine. Understood. (beat) I'm off then.

ANNA (o.s.) Don't step in the horse manure.

MAN'S VOICE (o.s.) Thanks.

WE HEAR THE FRONT DOOR SHUT.

Malcolm moves to the narrow basement window.

INT./EXT. MALCOLM'S HOUSE - DAY

We see SEAN, an attractive young man in his late twenties.

He gets into his car across the street. He just sits there for a moment before putting his forehead to the steering wheel.

MALCOLM (under his breath) Give it up, kid.

Malcolm turns away from the window as Sean's car starts up and pulls away from Malcolm's house.

CUT TO:

INT. CLASSROOM - DAY

STANLEY CUNNINGHAM is a teacher in his late forties. He writes a question on the board.

MR. CUNNINGHAM Can anyone guess what city was the capital of the United States of America from 1790 to 1800?

Mr. Cunningham turns and stares at his class of eight and nine year old private school students. They stare back at him blankly.

Cole rests his chin on his desk and watches the class with big eyes.

MR. CUNNINGHAM ...I'll give you a hint, it's the city you live in.

The class says the answer in unison.

CLASS Philadelphia.

MR. CUNNINGHAM Right... Philadelphia is one of the oldest cities in the country. A lot of generations have lived and died in this city... Almost every place you visit has a history and a story behind it. (beat) Even this school and the grounds they sit on... Can anyone guess what this building was used for a hundred years ago, before you went here, before I went to this school even?

Stanley Cunningham looks over the class of blank faces. He's just about to answer his own question when he sees a hand go up. Mr. Cunningham looks surprised to see who it is.

MR. CUNNINGHAM Yes, Cole?

COLE They used to hang people here.

Mr. Cunningham furrows his brow. Beat.

MR. CUNNINGHAM That's not correct. Where'd you hear that?

COLE They'd pull the people in crying and kissing their families bye... People watching would spit at them.

Beat.

MR. CUNNINGHAM Cole, this was a legal courthouse. Laws were passed here. Some of the first laws of this country. This building was full of lawyers. Lawmakers.

COLE They were the ones who hanged everybody.

Mr. Cunningham chuckles. Cole's face turns cement grey.

MR. CUNNINGHAM I don't know which one of these guys told you that, but they were just trying to scare you, I think.

Tommy Tammisimo leads the class in a wave of snickering.

Cole glances up. Sees all the eyes on him. He glances at the teacher who is still staring.

COLE I don't like people looking at me like that.

MR. CUNNINGHAM Like what?

COLE Stop it!

Mr. Cunningham sees the traumatized expression on Cole's face and instantly stops smiling.

MR. CUNNINGHAM I don't know how else to look--

COLE You're a stuttering Stanley!

Mr. Cunningham's face becomes still. So does the classroom.

MR. CUNNINGHAM Excuse me?

COLE You talked funny when you went to school here. You talked funny all the way to high school!

The class falls into stunned silence. Mr. Cunningham takes an involuntary step towards Cole's desk.

MR. CUNNINGHAM What--

COLE You shouldn't laugh at people. It makes them feel bad.

Mr. Cunningham moves closer to Cole.

MR. CUNNINGHAM How did you--?

COLE Stop looking at me.

Cole covers his eyes with his hands.

MR. CUNNINGHAM Who have you been s-speaking to?

We see Cole's mouth under his covered eyes.

COLE Stuttering Stanley! Stuttering Stanley!

MR. CUNNINGHAM Who!

Mr. Cunningham is standing right over Cole's desk now.

COLE Stuttering Stanley!

MR. CUNNINGHAM S-ssstop that!

COLE Stuttering Stanley! Stuttering Stanley!

MR. CUNNINGHAM S-ssssstop it!

COLE Stuttering--

MR. CUNNINGHAM --Shhhhhhut upppp you fffffffreak!

MR. CUNNINGHAM SLAMS HIS HAND ON COLE'S DESK. Cole's hands drop from his eyes. The teacher's face is burning red.

The children in the room are frozen. Completely startled.

Cole's eyes are filled with tears.

Mr. Cunningham's expression drains of anger as Cole Sear begins to cry.

CUT TO:

INT. ANTHONY'S LIBRARY - SAME AFTERNOON

Cole is seated in the school library by himself. He sits at a long center table near the windows. His head is laying on his folded arms on the table.

Malcolm peeks his head in the door -- unsure if he's in the right place. He spots Cole and enters the room. He silently takes a seat across from Cole. The eight-year-old looks up. Cole's eyes are hard -- filled with anger.

MALCOLM Hey, big guy.

Cole stares for a second.

COLE I don't want to talk about anything.

Cole lowers his head. Malcolm just sits and thinks.

THE SOUND OF BOYS PLAYING SPORTS ON THE FIELD OUTSIDE FILTER IN THROUGH THE LIBRARY WINDOWS.

Cole turns his head and stares at the windows. Malcolm takes in the sad vision of this boy. It affects him. Beat.

MALCOLM Do you like magic?

Cole's face softens a bit. He turns from the windows and looks to Malcolm. Beat. Cole nods, "Yes."

Malcolm pulls out a penny from his pocket. He places it in his right hand.

MALCOLM Watch the penny closely.

Malcolm closes his hand around the penny.

MALCOLM I do the magic shake...

Malcolm shakes his hand in circles. Cole watches his hand carefully.

MALCOLM And suddenly the penny has magically traveled to my left hand...

Cole looks to Malcolm's closed left hand. Malcolm doesn't open it.

MALCOLM But that's not the end of the trick. With another magic shake, the penny travels into my shirt pocket...

Cole's eyes lock on Malcolm's shirt. Malcolm taps the pocket but doesn't open it.

MALCOLM But that's still not the end!... I do a final magic shake... and suddenly... The penny returns to the hand where it started from.

Malcolm opens his right hand. The penny sits quietly in the center of his palm.

Cole looks at the penny and then up to Malcolm's face. Beat. Cole cracks a smile.

COLE That isn't magic.

MALCOLM What?

COLE You just kept the penny in that hand the whole time...

MALCOLM Who me?

Malcolm smiles a mischievous smile. He places the penny on the table. Cole stares at it and then looks to Malcolm.

COLE I didn't know you were funny.

MALCOLM I forgot myself.

Malcolm and Cole share a warm look.

THE SOUNDS OF KIDS LAUGHING AND PLAYING OUT ON THE FIELD COME POURING INTO THE ROOM AGAIN.

Cole's expression changes back to sadness as he looks to the windows. Malcolm leans across the table and whispers.

MALCOLM Cole...

Cole looks at Malcolm.

MALCOLM One day... (beat) You're going to sound just like them.

Beat. Cole's chin starts to tremble. His voice cracks.

COLE (whispers) Promise?

Beat.

MALCOLM (whispers) Promise.

Malcolm and Cole sit in silence and listen to THE SOUND OF CHILDREN PLAYING.

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY - EVENING

Malcolm sorts through the many bills on the mail table.

WOMAN (o.s.) Malcolm, sit your cute butt down and listen up. (beat) Are you listening?

Malcolm turns AT THE SOUND OF THE WOMAN, and moves into the empty living room where the T.V. is on. A blanket lays crumpled on the sofa.

THE WOMAN'S VOICE IS COMING FROM A VIDEO PLAYING ON THE VCR. IT'S A WEDDING VIDEO. A LARGE WOMAN IN A BRIDESMAID DRESS STANDS HOLDING THE MICROPHONE. IN THE BACKGROUND, WE CAN SEE THE DANCE FLOOR.

BRIDESMAID (T.V.) No doubt about it. Anna's like my sister. You better make her happy... And I'm not talking about -- mmm this tastes like real butter -- kind of happy... I'm talking about Julie Andrews twirling around like a mental patient on a mountain top -- kind of happy.

THE LARGE BRIDESMAID BECOMES VERY EMOTIONAL.

BRIDESMAID (T.V.) You're really lucky. She's got so much love for you. Don't tell her I told you, but she said she loved you from the first time she met you on the street. She'd do anything for you. (crying) I love you guys. (more crying) My nose is running. Why isn't someone getting me a tissue?

THE WOMAN HANDS THE MICROPHONE TO SOMEONE OFF SCREEN. THE CAMERA PANS AWAY FROM HER AND ZOOMS IN ON THE DANCE FLOOR. MALCOLM AND ANNA ARE SLOW DANCING. THEY'RE WHISPERING AND LAUGHING WITH EACH OTHER. THE HAPPINESS FROM THEM IS TANGIBLE.

Malcolm can't help smiling as he stares at the flickering images. He turns and looks down the hall to their bedroom.

CUT TO:

INT. BEDROOM - EVENING

Malcolm moves into their bedroom.

THE SOUND OF A SHOWER CAN BE HEARD FROM THE BATHROOM.

Malcolm moves to the bathroom door and opens it slowly.

CUT TO:

INT. BATHROOM - EVENING

Malcolm steps into the bathroom quietly. He stares at the silhouette of Anna's body through the smoked glass of the shower. Anna stands still, her head tilted back.

Malcolm watches quietly. By his experience, it's clear he's taken by his wife's beauty.

Malcolm starts towards the shower when his eyes glance to the sink. Malcolm locks on a tiny bottle resting on the marble surface.

He reaches out and picks it up. The label on the plastic bottle reads,

"Zoloft Anti-depressant" "To be taken twice daily"

Malcolm gently puts down the plastic bottle. He gazes at the still figure of his wife as the water covers her.

Malcolm leaves the bathroom. He makes sure not to make a noise with the door as he closes it shut.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. DARREN'S HOUSE - DAY

Colorful balloons flutter in the wind in front of an old grey stone home.

>>>

/ Sixth Sense, the.
Copyright 2005-2017. ! ! homeenglish@mail.ru