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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

unproduced screenplay: ‘Cat & Mouse’ Part 10

(Cat & Mouse begins here)

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EXT. MILWAUKEE ALLEY – FLASHBACK – NITE – RAIN

Neon lights reflected in puddles. Behind a dripping Dumpster and near a slick brick wall, a woman, dead on the wet ground, looking like she’s sleeping peacefully.

END FLASHBACK
INT. THE AGENT’S CAR – CONTINUOUS

  • THE AGENT
  • Yes, of course I saw her. I’ve seen all the victims.
  • THE JOURNALIST
  • But you can’t have seen have my sister dead in the alley. The local PD didn’t call you in until after the second murder in Milwaukee, when they suspected they had a spree killer on their hands. You can’t have seen her unless… Oh my God.
  • THE AGENT
  • Be quiet.
  • THE JOURNALIST
  • We’re not going to Omaha, are we?
  • THE AGENT
  • Of course we are.
  • THE JOURNALIST
  • Denver’s closer.
  • THE AGENT
  • I prefer Omaha.
  • THE JOURNALIST
  • I can’t believe this is happening.

The Agent stares at him in the mirror and says nothing.

  • THE JOURNALIST
  • You’re gonna pin this all on me… and you’re gonna get away with it.
  • THE AGENT
  • Shut up.
  • THE JOURNALIST
  • What will it be? I resisted somehow, right, and you had to shoot me? Or maybe I tried to escape? I’ll be dead and the case’ll be closed. And you’ll go home. Home to your empty house.
  • THE AGENT
  • Shut the fuck up!
  • THE JOURNALIST
  • Oh Jesus. Why? Why did you have to kill her? She was a good person. She just liked people too much. Is that why you killed her?

The Agent stares forward, at the road, for a long silent moment. Then:

  • THE AGENT
  • Your sister… she was a whore.
  • THE JOURNALIST
  • What?

INT. MILWAUKEE BAR – FLASHBACK – NITE

A down-to-earth working-class watering hole, the kind that cops and firemen hang out in.

The gang of cops from the seminar, including the Colorado Cop, raise a toast to the Agent, in the middle of the rowdy bunch. A good time is being had by all.

The Journalist’s SISTER sits off in one corner, watches the cops and the Agent.

  • THE AGENT
  • (voiceover)
  • Was she a cop groupie? Yeah? Did she always hang around cop bars? They’re good places to find guys who’re fucked up.

LATER

The bar is quieter, emptier. It’s late.

Two last straggling cops bid farewell to the Agent, who now sits at the bar. He waves goodbye to them, at the door, and notices the Sister, in the corner.

She smiles at him. He returns the smile.

LATER

The Agent and the Sister sit together at the bar, talking.

The Agent fingers his wedding ring; she notices; he shrugs and says something to her; she gasps and places a sympathetic hand on his arm.

  • THE AGENT
  • (voiceover)
  • She knew exactly how to zero in on a man’s weaknesses. Liked people? She played them.

LATER

The Sister leads the Agent by the hand toward the bar’s exit.

EXT. MILWAUKEE ALLEY – FLASHBACK – NITE – RAIN

The Sister pulls the Agent into an overhang in the alley, to get out of the light rain. The street beyond the alley is deserted — they’re completely alone.

She pushes him up against the wall, playfully, and he doesn’t resist.

She kisses his mouth lightly. He doesn’t kiss her back but doesn’t move to get away, either.

She lifts his hand up to her waist, the other to her breast, and presses herself against him, drapes her arms around his neck.

  • THE SISTER
  • I can help you feel a little better…

She kisses him, softly. He gives in to it, returns the kiss — then removes her arms from his neck, breaks the kiss.

  • THE AGENT
  • No.

But he doesn’t seem to mean it. She laughs and kisses him again, more demanding this time.

  • THE AGENT
  • (voiceover)
  • She looked so much like my wife…

He returns the kiss again, matches her intensity, hands now on her shoulders — then breaks the kiss again, more forcefully.

  • THE AGENT
  • No.

She thinks it’s a game, and attacks him violently, kisses him ferociously. He responds in kind.

His hands move to her neck.

His hands massage her neck passionately.

INT. THE AGENT’S CAR – CONTINUOUS

The Agent stares at the road ahead.

EXT. MILWAUKEE ALLEY – FLASHBACK – NITE – RAIN

Neon lights reflected in puddles.

Behind a dripping Dumpster and near a slick brick wall, the Sister, dead on the wet ground.

She lies on her side, facing the wall — she might almost be asleep.

Half her mane of long brown hair lies along her arm, the other half flows down her back.

END FLASHBACK

INT. THE AGENT’S CAR – CONTINUOUS

The Agent, remembering…

INT. THE AGENT’S HOUSE – BEDROOM – FLASHBACK – MORNING

The Agent stands at the door of the bedroom, on his way out to interrogate the DC Child Killer. He gazes lovingly at his sleeping wife.

HIS WIFE

her back to us, deeply asleep.

Half her mane of long brown hair lies along her arm, the other half flows down her back.

It is the same pose as all the murder victims.

END FLASHBACK

INT. THE AGENT’S CAR – CONTINUOUS

Silent tears running down the Agent’s face. He meets the Journalist’s gaze in the mirror.

  • THE AGENT
  • I never saw her again. They wouldn’t even let me see her body…

The Journalist says nothing.

The Agent takes his cell phone from his jacket pocket, punches numbers.

The Journalist sees:

THE PHONE

has no power — its screen is dead.

The Agent throws the phone onto the car floor.

  • THE AGENT
  • Fuck!
  • THE JOURNALIST
  • You killed all those other women. Why did you kill them? All those beautiful women who looked like your wife?
  • THE AGENT
  • No. No.
  • THE JOURNALIST
  • Yes. You did.
  • THE AGENT
  • I looked at them and I saw her. She was the only one. The only one. I tried… I tried… No…
  • THE JOURNALIST
  • You killed them. You killed them all.
  • THE AGENT
  • No… Oh God what have I done?
  • THE JOURNALIST
  • And you killed the bartender last night. You came back and you killed her. You killed her.
  • THE AGENT
  • I… No, no…

EXT. HONKY-TONK BAR – FLASHBACK – NITE

The parking lot, deserted but for the Bartender’s car.

The Agent holds the door of her car open for her, pinning her between him and the car.

They kiss, deeply, passionately.

His hand reaches to her hair, loosens her red scarf to let her hair flow free.

He lets the scarf fall to the ground as he wraps his arm around her waist, pulls her body against his.

END FLASHBACK

INT. THE AGENT’S CAR – CONTINUOUS

  • THE AGENT
  • No…
  • THE JOURNALIST
  • Yes. You killed her. You’re in the zone, all right. You sick fuck. You’ve been doing this for so long you’ve become one of the monsters. Oh Jesus. Jesus.
  • THE AGENT
  • No… No, I didn’t. You did it. You killed them. I don’t know why. But you’re going to prison and I’m going home. I’m going home.
  • THE JOURNALIST
  • You killed them. You killed them and you’re so fucked up you don’t even realize it.
  • THE AGENT
  • No…

INT. POLICE STATION – FLASHBACK

The Agent sees the Colorado Cop near the front door, looking lost.

END FLASHBACK

INT. THE AGENT’S CAR – CONTINUOUS

  • THE AGENT
  • No…

INT. MILWAUKEE LECTURE HALL – FLASHBACK

In the crowd of admirers around the lectern, the Agent exchanges a grin with the Colorado Cop.

INT. MILWAUKEE BAR – FLASHBACK – NITE

Series of shots:

A) the cop party dwindles, the Agent explains something with pointed vehemence to the Colorado Cop, one of the last stragglers

B) the Agent at the door of the bar, arm around the Journalist’s Sister, looks toward the back of the bar and locks gazes with the Colorado Cop, who comes out of a back room

END FLASHBACK

INT. POLICE STATION – FLASHBACK

The Colorado Cop makes eye contact with the Agent.

END FLASHBACK

INT. THE AGENT’S CAR – CONTINUOUS

The Agent stares out the windshield at the unbroken stretch of empty road ahead.

  • THE AGENT
  • No…

The Agent meets the terrified gaze of the Journalist in the mirror.

  • THE AGENT
  • No…

The Agent takes his hands off the wheel and reaches under his jacket for his service weapon.

EXT. RURAL ROAD

The Agent’s car wavers across the dotted yellow line and comes to a stop in the middle of the road.

A GUNSHOT

Splatter of red across the rear window.

A long beat.

A pounding comes from the rear passenger side of the car.

The door is kicked open by the Journalist.

The Journalist stumbles away from the car, unsteady on his feet, struggles to regain his balance while handcuffed.

INT. THE AGENT’S CAR

The Agent’s right hand, covered with blood and brain matter, lies on the passenger seat. It still loosely grips his service weapon.

His fingers twitch once.

The Agent’s eyes, his head leaned back in his seat, stare sightlessly into nothingness.

EXT. RURAL ROAD – LATER

Cops and feds wander an area surrounded by police and federal cars, lights flashing.

In the distance, the Agent’s car is in the middle of the road. Paramedics load his body-bagged body onto a stretcher.

The Journalist, now uncuffed, is comforted by a paramedic.

The Assistant Director and the Police Chief huddle together, shocked.

  • ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
  • I knew he was going through a rough time, but I don’t believe this. That reporter… he was the suspect, goddammit! Can we believe him?
  • POLICE CHIEF
  • Why would he have eaten his gun if not…?
  • ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
  • My God, he was… he was one of the good guys.
  • POLICE CHIEF
  • He did seem… more than distracted. Tormented. But then, I didn’t know him before…
  • ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
  • I was starting to wonder… He wasn’t seeing things clearly. I just thought it was too much work too soon after his wife…
  • POLICE CHIEF
  • We’ll never know why he did it now.
  • ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
  • Why did he end it like this?
  • POLICE CHIEF
  • It was his only way out.

PRESS AREA

Cameras and reporters, corralled behind the police line. The Colorado Cop talks into microphones.

  • REPORTER
  • You’re way out of your jurisdiction, officer–
  • THE COLORADO COP
  • I had some suspicions that I needed to share with the authorities in charge of the case. But… well, they’re moot now. It’s over.

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