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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

unproduced screenplay: ‘Cat & Mouse’ Part 11

(Cat & Mouse begins here)

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INT. AIRPORT CONCOURSE – A FEW DAYS LATER

The Journalist, travel bag over his shoulder, strolls through the concourse.

A newsstand features racks of HEADLINE magazine. He picks up a copy:

THE COVER

shows the Agent’s ID photo, blown up and grainy, with the coverline “MIND OF A COP, MIND OF CRIMINAL.”

The Journalist flips through the issue with a grin on his face.

  • THE JOURNALIST
  • Hello, Pulitzer number 2.

He pays for the issue and continues toward his gate.

He grins.
INT. POLICE STATION – FLASHBACK

The Assistant Director and the Journalist pore over the Agent’s backup material: the map with the red line heading west, forensics reports, crime-scene photos.

The Journalist picks up crime-scene photos:

The jogger, her body dumped like a ragdoll in the undergrowth, arms and legs at odd angles.

The Bartender, thrown like rubbish in the trees.

The Sister, her body in a broken heap behind the Dumpster.

None of the women look like they’re sleeping — none have their hair arranged in any particular way.

The Assistant Director eyes the photos, shakes his head.

  • ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
  • I never knew what he was talking about, “The killer lays them out so pretty.”
  • THE JOURNALIST
  • There’s something there we don’t see.
  • ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
  • His guilty conscience, I’d say.

END FLASHBACK

INT. AIRPORT CONCOURSE – CONTINUOUS

The Journalist’s grin widens.

INT. MILWAUKEE LECTURE HALL – FLASHBACK

The Journalist stands at the rear of the auditorium during the Agent’s seminar, reads a copy of USA TODAY: the headline blares “TRAGEDY FOR FAMED FBI AGENT.”

END FLASHBACK

EXT. MILWAUKEE ALLEY – FLASHBACK – NITE – RAIN

The Journalist peeks into the alley from the sidewalk, watches:

The Agent and the Sister come together, kiss, push apart, again, again.

The Agent’s hands caress her neck for a long moment, while they kiss.

The Agent pushes her away, violently.

  • THE AGENT
  • No!

She lands on the ground, shaken but unhurt, while he stalks away, out of the alley, and is gone.

THE JOURNALIST

looks at the “Sister” sitting on the ground.

His breathing quickens. He covers his mouth in horror as his eyes widen.

  • THE JOURNALIST
  • (to himself)
  • Oh…

The Journalist approaches the “Sister,” helps her up, pulls out his business card while she straightens herself out.

  • THE JOURNALIST
  • Miss, you don’t know me, but I’m from “Headline” magazine…

Series of shots:

A) the Journalist strangles his “sister”

B) the Journalist stares at her body on the ground; his look of horror changes to one of excitement

C) the Journalist drags her body behind the Dumpster

D) the Journalist takes a photograph of the body

END FLASHBACK

FLASHBACKS

Series of shots: the Journalist’s POV from the driver’s seat of his VW Beetle:

A) the girl in the tavern parking lot smiles in the passenger-side window at him

B) he drives slowly past the jogger, pulls over to stop in her path

C) he watches the Bartender exit the honky-tonk into the deserted parking lot

INT. AIRPORT CONCOURSE – CONTINUOUS

The Journalist’s grin grows even wider as he approaches his gate. On a TV at the gate:

TV NEWS CLIP

The Colorado Cop, surrounded by reporters.

  • THE COLORADO COP
  • I had some suspicions that I needed to share with the authorities in charge of the case.

FLASHBACKS

Series of shots: the Colorado Cop’s POV as:

A) he sees the Journalist lurking in the rear of the Milwaukee lecture hall

B) he looks beyond the Agent leaving the cop bar with the Sister to see the Journalist in a far booth

C) he sees the Journalist talking to the Agent in TV news coverage of the jogger’s funeral

END FLASHBACKS

INT. AIRPORT CONCOURSE – CONTINUOUS

The Journalist, on line at the gate, watches the TV:

TV NEWS CLIP

INT. NEWS STUDIO

The Agent appears on archive footage of the Sunday morning news talk show we’ve seen previously.

  • THE AGENT
  • There are monsters in the world, but the kind of monsters I catch don’t particularly scare me. What they do is horrifying, but it’s predictable, and so we can find them and stop them. It’s the monsters that we never even know about, the ones that are uncatchable, that scare me.

END CLIP

The Journalist smiles at the pretty, young FLIGHT ATTENDANT with long brown hair who takes his ticket.

  • FLIGHT ATTENDANT
  • Heading home, sir?
  • THE JOURNALIST
  • I am.
  • FLIGHT ATTENDANT
  • (flirty)
  • And was your trip to Nebraska for business or pleasure?

He considers this for a moment.

  • THE JOURNALIST
  • Both.

FADE OUT

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