Wide shot, crumbling store front with broken windows and letters missing from sign reading Aaron’s Farm and Garden, parking lot is has a few rusted cars, tall grass grows between cracks in the asphalt.

MAX, a rugged mid thirties man with black hair, cautiously approaches store, forces door, covers his mouth and nose with handkerchief and steps carefully through dirty, bloody store vestibule to the inner store.

Inner store, looted, dirty, roof caving in in some areas

MAX

calling out into the store

Hello?

Silence, MAX explores the store. Finds small orange tent with lit camping lantern.

MAX

softly, toward the lamp

what are you doing here?

MAX clicks off the lantern, something clatters to the ground, MAX whips around

MAX

Loudly

Hello? Is someone there?

Something moves in the store, MAX stares at the spot unsure

MAX

Frightened

Is someone there?

FIGURE, dark and hard to make out, appears far a head of him, MAX takes a step back holding his breath. FIGURE approaches slowly, MAX’s heart pounds in his chest.

FIGURE becomes clearer, young woman wearing over sized rust colored hoodie and jeans

MAX

Lets out a sigh of relief

Hey

FIGURE

very unsure, rubs the hem of her hoodie

H-hey

MAX

smiles

You don’t need to be scared, miss. I’m here to bring you home.

MAX offers FIGURE his hand, she flinches back and shakes her head.

FIGURE

I-I am home

MAX

confused

Here? This is your home?

FIGURE

nods, bites her bottom lip

Mama made my home here

MAX

Mama? Where is she?

FIGURE hesitantly points to an area with a caved in roof.

MAX

Under the roof?

FIGURE

nods, looks at her feet

Mama warned me about the roof there…Mama didn’t heed her own advice

MAX nods in understanding and steps towards FIGURE, FIGURE takes a step back

MAX

Can you take me to where you live?

FIGURE

Mama said no strangers, strangers lead to bad things.

MAX

runs a hand through his hair

Well, I’m Max, what’s your name?

FIGURE

softly, hesitantly

Shaun

MAX

Well Shaun, now I’m not a stranger. Can you show me to your home?

SHAUN hesitantly nods and points to the tent.

SHAUN

Home. Right here.

MAX looks around and nods, a few pieces of roof fall behind SHAUN

MAX
Well, how about we pack up your stuff and get you to safety?

SHAUN

I’m safe here.

MAX

Look, Shaun, the roof of this place is collapsing and the blight is rampant in this quadrant. Come with me, I’ll take you to a safe zone.

SHAUN

Louder, more firm

I’m safe here.

MAX

You don’t know that, though. Please Shaun, I was sent to get you.

SHAUN

Stares intently at MAX

If you really did come for me where is the book?

MAX

Book? What Book?

SHAUN

The book of pictures you carry with you.

MAX

unnerved, puts down back pack and pulls out ratty sketch book

You mean this?

SHAUN takes the book and flips threw it before handing it back with a firm nod.

SHAUN

I knew you were coming, Maximilian

MAX

takes a step back, stares at SHAUN, confused and scared

How do you… No one knows…

SHAUN pushes passed MAX and enters the small tent, returns seconds later with a book

The cover is sky blue with black branches and delicate white flowers, the gold lettering on the spin has worn away long ago leaving small traces of the letter

SHAUN

Holds the book close

The book is never wrong. The book knows everything and everything happens the way the book says.

MAX nods feeling numb, slowly he sits on the ground and looks up at SHAUN

MAX

Tell me more about this book, Shaun.

SHAUN

Mama said not to tell outsiders about the book and its powers

MAX

Please, please tell me. There have been rumors of this book and now you say this one in your hand is the one I have been seeking for years. Tell me about it please.

SHAUN

Sits down across form MAX

I can only tell my students, will you be my student Maximilian?

MAX

Nods eagerly

Yes, Yes I will be, just please tell me about this book.

Before Shaun can start an ungodly scream echoes in the crumbling store, MAX shoots up and looks around, SHAUN soon joins him.

MAX

We need to go, now. Quickly.

SHAUN quickly packs her bag, storing the book safely away before allowing MAX to escort her out of the building and away from the scream.

Clouds have begun to gather over head

SHAUN

looking up

We must hurry to shelter, it’ll rain soon.

MAX

Looks up

But its just water

SHAUN

No, its not. This far from the safe zones the rain is an acid that burns the skin and melts most things over time.

MAX looks at her intently for a moment.

SHAUN

Mama taught me many things.

MAX nods, motions for her to follow and begins leading her to a wide, crumbling cross road . He pauses a moment, glancing at the sky before leading her across the intersection to a large house-esque structure, the sign marking it as a bank.

MAX

once inside bank

We’ll be safe in here for a little while. We’ll wait out the rain. I’ll work on getting the radio set up.

SHAUN

A radio is a bad idea. It will draw unwanted attention.

MAX looks up at her, the book is in hand and open to a page half way threw. MAX sighs and nods.

SHAUN

We should stay right here. A convoy will come passed tomorrow. They will help us.

MAX

Is there anything that book doesn’t know?

SHAUN

The book knows all and everything happens as the book says it will.

MAX

Has it ever been wrong?

SHAUN

shaking her head

It has never been wrong. Not once, it even knew mama would die.

SHAUN closes the book, packs it away, sits down in an old worn chair. Silence is interrupted as MAX sets up his small tent for added protections from the elements.

SHAUN

directed at MAX

You don’t have to be so sorry for me, mama’s been gone a long time now. Its ok.

MAX

glances at SHAUN

I know what its like to loose someone important, its never “ok” again.

Silence returns, the rain starts and SHAUN curls up, willing herself to sleep while MAX keeps watch.

Advertisements