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CUT TO: EXT. O’CONNOR’S HOUSE, NIGHT. As O'Connor pulls up to his…

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CUT TO:
EXT. O’CONNOR’S HOUSE, NIGHT.
As O'Connor pulls up to his driveway, he notices that Irene has packed most of her things into her car.  She’s obviously leaving.
He panics and runs inside, repeating “no” to himself.
He crashes in through the front door.  Once inside he sees her packing more stuff up.  She’s been crying, but she’s over it now.
O'CONNOR
What the hell is this?
IRENE
What does it look like?
O’CONNOR
Why?
Irene slams down whatever it is she’s holding and looks at him as if he just slapped her face.
IRENE
Why?  Why?  I can’t believe you just asked that!
O’Connor stares at her.  His eyes have filled with tears.  He tries to talk, but he can’t.  He raises his hands.  They’re shaking.  He knew this was coming, knew it well enough that he had come to grips with it.  But he still wasn’t ready for it.  Not now.  Not now, for christ’s sake!
O'CONNOR
B...But why?
IRENE
Don’t try to pull that crying bullshit on me.  I want out of this...This fiasco.  This thing we’ve been calling a marriage.
O'Connor, stunned, slumps back against the wall and sits down on the floor.  He can’t believe this.  It’s too much.  How could he let it get to him like this when he knew it was going to happen?
O'CONNOR
Please...
IRENE
No.
O'CONNOR
But...
IRENE
I don’t want to hear anything, Ralph.
O'CONNOR
Honey, please.  You’re just sick.  Those goddamn pills are...
IRENE
The only reason I take them is because of you, Ralph.  I’m sick of feeling this way.  I’m sick of it.  I’m sick of life being so painful that I have to pop fucking pills just like my mother, so that I don’t have to pay attention to it.  I’m sick of it.  And I’m sick of you.
She shoves some more stuff into a box and closes it.  The top opens back up.  She tries to close it again.  It opens again.  She starts beating on the top of it, growing more and more violent, screaming.  Then she stops, her tantrum over.
She stands with her hand on her head, trying to get her composure back, breathing deeply.  She’s been trying to avoid this moment for so, so long.  She never wanted this to happen.  She wanted it to work.  Wanted it to be everything she’d been told it would be. 
A husband on the police force.  Respected in the community.  A child.  A child to love.  A child to hold.  A child to take care of.  A child to raise and send off to school and watch grow up, her husband growing old at her side.  But that was obviously never going to happen.  It was over.  The child was never  going to come.  Her life was never what it was supposed to be.  It was never going to be what she had dreamed about.  This whole marriage has been a joke and she’s just been avoiding the punch line.  She can’t take it anymore.  It’s over.  She has to leave.  She can’t pretend anymore.
IRENE
I’m leaving at the end of the week.  I’m gonna go stay with my sister.  I want you out of this house.
O'CONNOR
What?
IRENE
You heard me.  This is my house.  Not yours.  My daddy bought this house for us, but he really bought it for me.  Not you.  You know he hates you.  He’s always hated you.  He always said you were a fuck up.  I never believed him.  Now I know.  I want you out of this house.  Tonight.  You can come get your shit later.  It’ll be at my mini storage.
O'CONNOR
But...
IRENE
No buts, Ralph.  I want you out.  I’m tired of this shit.  I don’t want to be sick anymore.  I don’t want to feel like this.  I thought I loved you, but I don’t.  I don’t want you anymore.
O'CONNOR
What do you want?  I can try...
IRENE
No.  You can’t.  I don’t know what I want.  Except a child.  And I know you can’t give that to me.  We’ve tried so long.  Nothing.
O'CONNOR
We just have to keep trying.  Like you told the doctor.
IRENE
The doctor you hate?
O'CONNOR
That’s beside the point.
IRENE
No, it’s not Ralph.  That’s exactly the point.  I’m tired of your crap.  You don’t know that doctor.  You don’t know anything about him.  Just stuff you’ve heard and you’ve got to flaunt your fucking ideas all over the place.  Oh, I heard about that.  Fuck him.  You don’t know.  You do this all the time.  Why can’t you just learn to keep yoru goddamn mouth shut?
O'CONNOR
You’re leaving me over that?
IRENE
No.  I’m leaving you for a lot of reasons.
O’CONNOR
Like what?
IRENE
Like...Well, don’t worry about it.  I’m just sick of it.
O’CONNOR
You don’t even have a reason.  Please, Irene.  You just need to calm down.  You’re sick.
IRENE
I’m sick of you, Ralph!  I’m sick of all of this.  This is bullshit.
O'CONNOR
Irene, I love you.
IRENE
Stop it!  Just stop it!
O'Connor falls silent.  He stays seated on the floor with his back against the wall.  He puts his hands against his face and shudders into them. 
He gets up off of the floor and starts for the door.
IRENE (CONT’D)
Where are you going?
O’CONNOR
You said you want me gone.  I’m leaving.  I hope you’re happy.
IRENE
Don’t even try to blame this on me, Ralph! 
O'CONNOR
Yeah.
He walks out, leaving the door open.
CUT TO:
INT. BAR, NIGHT, CONTINUOUS.
John goes back to the bar where he spilled his guts before, hoping to see James.  But James isn’t there.  No one seems to recognize him, so he sits down at the table he sat at before.
The same girl walks up.
GIRL
What’ll it be, big boy?
JOHN
Water.
GIRL
Okay.
John sits there in silence.  Maybe James will come in.  James has to know some sort of connection.  It’s a small town and everyone knows everything about everyone in a small town.  He’s got to find out who did this to his son.  He’s got to find out.  It’s all he’s got left.  His son is dead.  The only reason he came back to this place, the only thing that’s kept him going for so long, is gone.  Dead.  He will never see him again. 
He doesn’t feel sadness.  He doesn’t feel much of anything.  There’s just a cold, empty feeling inside him.  He doesn’t know what’s going to fill it.  He wants revenge.  He wants justice.  He’s got to find out.
But James never shows up.
A young woman, around the same age as John, spots him.  She’s thin, very thin and not looking too well.  Another meth casualty in a town so full of them no one even notices them anymore. 
She recognizes him, but she can’t quite put her finger on who he is.  She takes a risk and walks up to him.  Her name is Wanda.
WANDA
Do I know you?
John looks up at her.  He doesn’t quite recognize her.  She looks slightly familiar, though.
JOHN
I don’t know.
WANDA
I think I do.  What’s your name?
JOHN
John.
WANDA
That’s right!  John Ellison!  Well, don’t you recognize me?
John stares at her.
WANDA (CONT’D)
It’s me, Wanda Bell.
JOHN
Ah.
WANDA
Well don’t you remember me?
JOHN
Yeah.  You don’t look the same.
WANDA
Well, neither do you.
She sits down at the table with him.  She looks so frail sitting next to John.
WANDA (CONT’D)
What you been up to?
John gives her a look and she realizes what it is she has just asked him.  She puts her hand over her mouth when she remembers what happened to John. 
WANDA (CONT’D)
Oh, I am so sorry.  I wasn’t even thinkin’ about it.
JOHN
It’s okay.
WANDA
Are you doin’ okay?
John shrugs his shoulders.
WANDA (CONT’D)
I’m sure you’re sick of hearin’ people ask that.  I’m sorry.
JOHN
It’s okay. 
WANDA
I know how it is.  When my Pete died, that’s Pete, Pete my husband.  When he died, I had people all over me, up in my face, bringin’ things over to my house.  They sure loved me for a week and then no one cared anymore.  It’s sad, sad world when death is what brings out the best in people.
John nods his head.
WANDA (CONT’D)
Boy, you ain’t lookin’ too good.  Are you sure you’re okay?
JOHN
I’m fine.  Just not sleepin’ much.
WANDA
Where you stayin’?
JOHN
My house.
WANDA
You’re stayin’ there?  Well I just can’t hardly believe that.  I wouldn’t be sleepin’ much neither.  How you stand it bein’ there?
JOHN
It’s hard.
WANDA
I would imagine.  I had to leave town for a while when my Pete died.  I just couldn’t stay in the same house where I knew he lived.  It was so hard to believe he wasn’t there no more.  It was unreal.  When he died, it was like a part of me died.  A part of my soul broke off and went in the grave with him.  It was terrible.  I finally had to come back here, cuz I got into some trouble in the city, had to come back here where my parents was.  Finally moved on out and back into the house where I was livin’ with Pete, before Pete died.  Life ain’t been too good since then.  Mixed up with some bad people, doin’ some bad things that I can’t seem to get away from.  I sure am in one hell of a predicament.  And I’ll tell you, like you said, it’s hard.  It’s real hard.  I get so lonely livin’ in that ol’ house.  I’ve got a friend.  Name a Jim.  We call him Big Jim.  He rents me a room at the motel here in town when I’m gettin’ lonesome, if you know what I mean.  I just give him some money for it afterward.  You uh...  You wanna help a poor lonesome girl out?
Through this entire speech, John isn’t really listening.  He’s almost completely tuned her out.  He can still hear her voice, but it’s muffled and some of it can’t be heard.  It’s when he hears her say something about being mixed up with bad people and doing bad things when he perks up and starts listening to her.  When she asks him if he wants to help a poor lonesome girl out, he doesn’t hesitate for a moment.
JOHN
Sure.  Let’s go.
WANDA
Well damn.  That was quick.  Hang on, let me get my stuff.
John has already gotten up and started walking toward the door.  Wanda comes running after him.
CUT TO:
EXT. MOTEL, NIGHT.
The motel is a bit run down.  Like everything else in the town, it’s seen better days.  There’s only one car in the parking lot.  It’s a familiar one.  It’s O'Connor’s.
John’s car drives up and they get out and go into a room.
CUT TO:
INT. MOTEL, NIGHT, CONTINUOUS.
The room looks just like you’d think it would look, dingy, dimly lit, browns and dark reds.
John looks around, taking everything in.
Wanda turns on the radio and walks up to him, trying her best to look sexy, but failing horribly.  She reaches for his pants, but he knocks her hand away.
JOHN
What the fuck are you doing?
WANDA
What do you mean, what am I doing?  This is what we came here for isn’t it?
JOHN
No!  What’s the matter with you?  Doing that shit.  Don’t you have any goddamn self respect?  What the fuck’s the matter with you?
WANDA
What’s the matter with me?  What’s the matter with you, big boy?  All high and fuckin’ might, fuckin’ holier than thou, think you’re better than me?  How the hell else am I gonna make a livin’ in this hick town?  You’re so smart, tell me that!  Huh?  I didn’t think so!  Just gimmie my goddamn money so I can leave.
JOHN
I’m not giving you any money.
WANDA
Oh, yes you are!
JOHN
I’m not giving you a goddamn thing.  Get the fuck out of here.
WANDA
Motherfucker, I’m not leaving until you...
JOHN
I SAID GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!
Wanda backs away from him.  She’s surprised at the ferocity of his voice.  He hasn’t said more than a few words to her the whole time.  She wasn’t expecting that.
WANDA
I’ll be back.  And you’ll fuckin’ pay.
She leaves in a rage.
John just sits down in the chair in the room.  He sits and waits, listening to the radio.  He doesn’t have to wait long.  His plan is working perfectly.
In about half an hour, Wanda’s “friend” shows up.  He’s a big, burly redneck guy with an eye-patch.  He doesn’t even knock.  He just walks in like he owns the place.  Which he may.  We never find out.  As soon as he walks in, he’s ready to go.
BIG JIM
Get up, boy.
John does as he is told.  Big Jim gets right up in his face.
BIG JIM (CONT’D)
That’s what I thought, boy.  I hear you tryina get outta payin’ Wanda.
He pushes John, who doesn’t do anything.  He just stares.
BIG JIM (CONT’D)
Well, boy, I got news for you.  I don’t let shit like that happen to my girls.  You fuck with her, you’re fuckin’ with me.  And I don’t fuckin’ like that shit.
He pushes Jon again and that’s when John finally snaps.  He grabs Big Jim and slams him into the night stand, then into the wall.
Big Jim yells and screams for John to let him go until John pulls his knife.  It’s a big knife.  He puts it right against his eye.  His one good eye.  Puts it right up to the bottom of it, pressing it int othe space between his eye and his cheekbone.  As soon as this happens, the pimp shuts his mouth.
JOHN
You know what this is?
Big Jim doesn’t say anything.  He’s terrified.
JOHN (CONT’D)
I don’t hear you answering me.
BIG JIM
A knife!  Fuck, it’s a fuckin’ knife!
JOHN
No.  It’s real fuckin’ sharp.
BIG JIM
Oh fuck, man, please don’t kill me.
JOHN
I won’t have to if you tell me what I want to know.
BIG JIM
Waht?  Fuck, what?
JOHN
Where do you get your supply from?
BIG JIM
What supply?
John pushes the knife slightly.  Big Jim groans, about to puke.
BIG JIM (CONT’D)
I don’t get no supply.  I just deal in girls.
John pushes the knife a little harder, bringing out a little trickle of blood.
Big Jim freaks out and tries to get away from John.  John has to shove him harder against the wall.
JOHN
You better be careful, buddy.  You could lose an eye doing that.
BIG JIM
Oh fuck!  Please!  I can’t breathe!
JOHN
Yes you can.  If you can talk, you can breathe.  So start fucking talking.
BIG JIM
Weasel.  His name is Weasel.
JOHN
Where do I find him?
BIG JIM
Oh fuck!  In the city!
JOHN
Where?
BIG JIM
I told you!
JOHN
That’s a big city, buddy.  You better tell me where if you wanna keep that fuckin’ eye.
BIG JIM
By the...  Fuck!  By the old theater!
JOHN
When?
BIG JIM
Tomorrow.  I’m supposed to see him tomorrow!  Tomorrow night.
John lets him go.  He puts his knife up.  Big Jim slumps down to the floor.  John leaves, slamming the door.
CUT TO:

CUT TO:
INT. MOTEL, NEXT DAY, DIFFERENT ROOM, CONTINUOUS.
We see the door of the motel room.  It’s the exact same as the one we watched slam shut the night before when John left.
Someone is pounding on this door relentlessly. 
Eventually, we see officer O’Connor step into frame.  He’s only wearing his boxers and an undershirt.  He opens the door and bright sunlight comes spilling into the room.  He holds his hand out to block the sun from his eyes.
CUT TO:
EXT. MOTEL, DAY.
We now see O'Connor in a reverse shot.  He looks like hell.
CUT TO:
INT. MOTEL, DAY, SAME, CONTINUOUS.
The person responsible for the knocking is Thompson.  She’s got a box of doughnuts.
THOMPSON
You look like shit.
O'CONNOR
Thanks.
Thompson walks into the motel room and plops the box of doughnuts onto the bed and sits down in a chair. 
O'Connor stares out into the world for a few moments and then turns around and shuts the door.
O’CONNOR (CONT’D)
What’s up?
THOMPSON
Oh, death, war, depression, the usual.  Heard there was some trouble here last night?
O'CONNOR
Oh?
THOMPSON
Yeah, didn’t you hear it?
O’CONNOR
I didn’t hear a damn thing last night, except the sound of my whole goddamn life falling apart.
THOMPSON
What are you talking about?
O'CONNOR
I’m talking about Irene.  Why the hell do you think I’m in this fuckin’ shit hole?  You think I like it here? 
THOMPSON
Look, if you two had a fight again, that’s fine, but we’ve got a job to...
O'CONNOR
Irene is leaving me.  It’s not fighting anymore.  There’s no he said, she said bullshit.  Not anymore.  She’s packing her shit up and she’s leaving.  Told me I have to be out of the house, too.  So don’t talk to me about my fucking job, okay?
THOMPSON
Your job is going down the shitter.  You better watch your ass.  I had to sneak around to get this paperwork for you.  If they catch on, it’s both our asses.
She hands him some paperwork that was underneath the box of doughnuts.  She then gets up and starts to walk out.
O'CONNOR
Where are you going?  How did you get this stuff?
THOMPSON
I have my ways.  And I have things to do.  I don’t have time to sit around and listen to you yell at me all day.
O'CONNOR
Look, I’m sorry, okay?  I’m just under a lot of pressure right now.
THOMPSON
I understand.  If you need me, just call.  I’ve gotta get the crusier back.
She leaves, shutting the door loudly behind her.
O'Connor looks down at the box of doughnuts and shakes his head.  He’s not even close to hungry.
He starts looking through some of the paperwork, rubbing his eyes.  He feels like shit.  He knows he’s about to get fired, so he’s got to move fast.  He’s gone behind a bunch of people’s backs to get this paperwork and he needs to find out a few names of people in the big city who were selling stuff here in his town.  One of them is a guy named Jackie Luger, also known as Weasel.
CUT TO:
EXT. CITY, NIGHT, CONTINUOUS.
We now see Weasel, looking pretty much just like he did in the photo.  He’s small and jittery. 
He walks around town until he gets to the place where he’s supposed to meet up with the Big Jim.  The place is between two buildings.  A small strip-mall kind of place and a big, old theater. 
He doesn’t see the pimp where he usually sees him, so he walks around to the back and that’s when John steps out.
JOHN
Your name Weasel?
Weasel doesn’t say anything.  He figures John is a cop, or a fed and starts running.  He darts up a flight of stairs that leads to the top of the theater, but John is right on his tail. 
John grabs the side of the stairs and heaves himself up and he’s right with Weasel.  He pulls Weasel down as he tries to climb to the top of the building and sits on top of him and stabs him in the chest and stomach several times, bringing the knife in his hand down extremely hard, so hard that he has to work it back out each time. 
We see a close up of Weasel’s face. 
WEASEL
Please, stop hurting me.
We can only barely understand what it is that Weasel is saying.  His mouth is already full of blood. 
JOHN
Where do you get your supply?
WEASEL
Please don’t hurt me.  Please don’t kill me.
John stabs him again.  He leaves the knife in this time.
JOHN
I don’t have to kill you if you just give me the information I need. 
WEASEL
Please.
JOHN
I just need a name.  Who do you get your supply from?
WEASEL
Please don’t kill me.
John moves the knife around inside of Weasel, who moans in pain.
JOHN
Just give me the name.
WEASEL
Miller.
JOHN
What?
WEASEL
Miller.  Miller!  His fucking name is Miller.  Please stop hurting me.
JOHN
Where do you meet him?
WEASEL
Oh, god, please!
JOHN
Just a few more seconds and this’ll all be over.  Where do you meet him?
WEASEL
Outside of town.  By the old animal shelter.  On the North end of town.  You can’t miss it.  Please.
JOHN
When?  When do you meet him?
WEASEL
Wednesday nights.  Eleven.  Oh god.  Oh god.
JOHN
Thanks.
John pulls the knife out of Weasel and stands up, dusting off his knees and wiping the blood off of the blade on Weasel’s shirt.  He steps over him and leaves him at the top of the stairs, walking down and heading back for his car.
He doesn’t care if anyone finds Weasel.  He’s just a parasite.  He’s just one little rung on the ladder that’s going to take him to the top, to stop the bullshit that caused the death of this son.  One step closer to finding the man who actually did it.  That’s all he cares about.  He just wants to find the man who killed his son.
He still has no idea the man who killed his son is already dead.
CUT TO:
INT. O'CONNOR’S CAR, DAY, CONTINUOUS.
Officer O’Connor is driving his car.  He’s got the radio on.  He’s out of uniform.  He’s off today.  He’s had a lot of time off lately.  They’re trying so hard to make him quit, but it’s not working.  Not yet.  He’s got this one last thing to do before he can call it quits and let the bastards back at the station have their way.
He’s in no hurry with his driving.  He’s taking it slow.  It’s a slow kind of day.  He sings along with the radio as he drives to his destination. 
He pulls up at a building and sits there for a moment. 
CUT TO:
EXT. TOWN, DAY, CONTINUOUS.
A man named Rodney, a local drug dealer, is standing outside in a narrow alleyway between two groups of apartments.  There is a small shed at the end of the alley.  Rodney is standing in front of this shed.  A skinny kid is talking to him.
RODNEY
Man, this chick had the biggest tits I’ve ever seen.  I mean f-uh-kin huge!
The kid laughs.  His mouth is full of rotten teeth.
KID
Really?
RODNEY
Would I lie to you, man?  Would I lie?
KID
No.  I guess not.
RODNEY
You better know not, son.  Anyone in this business, asky anyone in this business, what are they gonna tell ya?
The kid doesn’t answer.
RODNEY (CONT’D)
They’re gonna tell you Rodney Lee don’t tell no fuckin’ lies.  That’s what they’re gonna say.  No fuckin’ lies. 
Rodney is trying his best to act cool.  He’s seen too many gangster movies and thinks he’s hot shit.
RODNEY (CONT’D)
So, anyway, like I was sayin’, this chick had fuckin’ huge tits.  So I fucked her.
KID
So, did you give her a discount, like she wanted?
RODNEY
Hell no, I didn’t.  Told that bitch if she was gonna fuck that bad, she had to pay extra next time.  Rodney Lee don’t give no fuckin’ discounts and that ain’t no lie, neither.
The kid smiles again.
KID
Man, this one time, I was gonna do it with this girl, who was really hot, and I was about to, you know, put it in her, and I jizzed all over the place.  Didn’t even get to do it or nothin’.  Man, that’s funny.
Rodney looks over at the kid like he’s just been slapped in the face.  He puts his arm around the kid and draws him in close.
RODNEY
Now, I’m wonderin’, why, THE FUCK, did you just tell me that?  I don’t wanna know that shit about you, you nasty motherfucker.  You keep that nasty fuckin’ shit to your nasty fuckin’ self.
KID
I’m sorry.
RODNEY
You fuckin’ kids these days, man.  You ain’t got no fuckin’ tact.  You know what tact means?
KID
Uh...
RODNEY
I didn’t think so.  You get on out of here, boy.
KID
But...  But I haven’t gotten my stuff yet...
RODNEY
You ain’t gettin’ shit until you can come back and tell me what the fuckin’ word tact means.  Get outta here, now!  Fuck off!  Shit, motherfuckers these days don’t even know their own goddamn language.
O'Connor walks up after the kid walks away.  Rodney obviously knows who he is.  He lets his shoulders fall back and drops his head back, opening his mouth and rolling his eyes.
RODNEY (CONT’D)
Oh, christ, officer.  What’ve I done this time?  Did I kill any kids this time around?
O'CONNOR
No, but I can arrange that.
RODNEY
Just like a fuckin’ pig.
O'Connor smacks Rodney on the face and points a finger at him.
O'CONNOR
Watch your ass, boy.  This ain’t fuckin’ fun and games.  You better tell me what I wanna know and you better tell me the fuck now.
RODNEY
Hey, hey,  don’t make me start screamin’ motherfuckin’ police brutality here.
O'CONNOR
I’ll give you fuckin’ police brutality, you little faggot.
RODNEY
Hey...
O'CONNOR
Shut the fuck up, Rodney.  When’s the last time you saw Big Jim?
RODNEY
Man, I ain’t...
O’Connor pulls out a pair of pliers.
O'CONNOR
Now, goddammit Rodney, you see these?  You know what they are?  They’re a pair of pliers.  You want me to use them on you?
RODNEY
Man, fuck you.  You ain’t gonna do nothin’.
O'CONNOR
Really?  Why don’t you go ask Damien Walker about that.  I think he’s still got a bit of a limp.
RODNEY
Motherfucker, just listen, okay?  Ain’t no need for violence here.
O'CONNOR
I know.  This is up to you, Rodney.  You can tell me what I want to know, or I can start hurting you.  Whatever you want.  It’s up to you, because either way, I’m gonna get what I want...  Now tell me.  When’s the last time you saw Big Jim?
RODNEY
I ain’t seen him in a while.  That one-eyed motherfucker’s been scared.
O’CONNOR
What do you mean?
RODNEY
I mean, the motherfucker’s been scared.  I don’t think I can make it much clearer than that.  Someone roughed him up and almost put his good eye out.
O'CONNOR
Oh?  And what was this about?
RODNEY
What?  The fight?
O’Connor gives him a look like he’s about to slap the shit out of him.
RODNEY (CONT’D)
Okay, the fight.  I don’t know.  Heard some big motherfucker askin’ jumped him at the motel the other night.
O'CONNOR
That’s all?
RODNEY
Yeah.  Yeah, that’s all.
O'CONNOR
What about the guy?
RODNEY
What guy?
O’CONNOR
The guy who did it?  What about him?
RODNEY
What do you mean, what about him?  He was just some fuckin’ guy.  Jim hadn’t never seen him before.
O'CONNOR
Someone from out of town?
RODNEY
I don’t think so.  that little hooker Jim’s got hangs out at the Jug, she said she knew him.  Went to school with him or somethin’.  That’s all I know.
O'CONNOR
What’d he look like?
RODNEY
I don’t know.  Jim don’t remember much.  He’s only got one eye to see through and that had a knife shoved into it the whole time.  A big guy, though.  That’s all he would say.  A big guy with a knife, wantin’ to know where he got his shit from.
O'CONNOR
What? 
RODNEY
Damn I hate repeatin’ myself.  Big motherfucker wanted to know where Big Jim gets his shit from.
O'CONNOR
Why?
RODNEY
Hell, I don’t know.  Don’t rightly care.
O’CONNOR
Did he tell him?
RODNEY
If you had one eye and some crazy motherfucker had a knife shoved into it, would you fuck around and not tell him what he wanted to fuckin’ know?
O’CONNOR
I told you to watch it with that smartass shit, Rodney.  Who did he tell him?  What name did he give?
RODNEY
Man, I ain’t tellin’ you that shit.  What is this?  Some kind of half-assed fuckin’ shake down?  I ain’t tellin’ you anyone.
O'Connor shakes his head and clamps the pliers hard into Rodney’s balls.  Rodney grunts and holds still, his eyes bugging out of his head.
O'CONNOR
You’re gonna tell me what I wanna know, or I’m gonna rip your fuckin’ sack off.  You got it?
Rodney is breathing fast and heavy now.
RODNEY
Yeah.  Yeah.  I’ve got it.  Please let me go!
O’Connor lets off and Rodney grabs his balls and leans back against the shed, closing his eyes.
O'CONNOR
What’s the name?  You’d better start talkin’, if you don’t want...
RODNEY
Shit, man!  Gimmie a fuckin’ second!
O'CONNOR
You’ve got ten seconds to start talkin’, Rodney.
RODNEY
Fuck!  Weasel!  He told him fuckin’ Weasel.  But that won’t do you no good.
O’CONNOR
Why?
RODNEY
Cuz Weasel’s fuckin’ dead.
O'CONNOR
Dead?
RODNEY
Dead.  As in, he ain’t alive no more.  Oh Jesus, I think my sack’s bleedin’.
O'CONNOR
How did he die?
RODNEY
Stabbed to death.  Miller’s dead, too.
O’CONNOR
Same thing?
RODNEY
Yeah.  Cut him up pretty bad.  Boys at the pool hall said some big motherfucker did it.  Big motherfucker with a beard.  Showed up where Weasel usually met him, at the barn outside the animal shelter.  Cut a couple of his boys up, let the rest of ‘em go.
O'CONNOR
What did he want?
RODNEY
Wanted to know who it was supplyin’ this area.  Miller told him.  He always was a fuckin’ pussy.
O’CONNOR
Why did he want to know?
RODNEY
How the fuck should I know?  None of Miller’s boys said anything.  But they’re all worried.  Said the meeting’s not gonna happen this week.
O'CONNOR
What meeting?
RODNEY
Why don’t you go ask your fellow boys in blue?  They know a hell of a lot more about that shit than I do.
O'CONNOR
We’ll see about that.  Thank you for your time, Rodney.
(hands him the pliers)
Here, you can keep these.
He walks away.  Rodney throws the pliers down and flips O'Connor off and limps away.
CUT TO:
EXT. POLICE STATION, LATER, CONTINUOUS.
O'Connor is now waiting outside the police station.  The sheriff walks out.  His a big, fat, pompous Southern man who looks like he’d be a sheriff.  When he sees O’Connor walking up, he stops in his tracks and puts his hands up.  His name is Ordell.
ORDELL
Now, dammit, O'Connor, I don’t have time for any of your bullshit today.  I’ve got work to do.
O'CONNOR
Then you’d better make fuckin’ time.  Something big is going down and I wanna know about it.
ORDELL
Unless it concerns parades or parkin’ tickets, it ain’t none of your goddamn business, now get ouf of my damn way.
O'CONNOR
I know you know, Ordell.  Tell me about it.
ORDELL
I don’t know what the hell you’re talkin’ about.
O'CONNOR
You know goddamn well what I’m talkin’ about, Ordell!  I talked to your little buddy boy Rodney today.  He told me some pretty interesting things.
Ordell turns and grabs O’Connor by his collar and gets right up in his face.
ORDELL
Now you listen to me, boy.  This ain’t even about a job no more.  If you don’t mind your own goddamn business, I’m gonna drive around town with you strapped to the hood of my fuckin’ car.  Or maybe your partner?  Or how ‘bout your wife?
O'CONNOR
You leave my wife out of this...
ORDELL
Mind your own business, boy and you ain’t got nothin’ to worry about.  Now get outta my goddamn way.  I’ve got fuckin’ work to do.
He walks off, leaving O’Connor standing alone in the parking lot.  We hear Ordell get into his car and peel out of the driveway.  O'Connor watches him as he leaves.  He turns and bumps into Thompsons.
THOMPSON
What the fuck was that all about?
ORDELL
Never mind.
He turns to walk back to his car and gets in.  Thompson hurries to catch up with him, getting in on the other side.  O'Connor looks over at her.
O'CONNOR
What do you want?
THOMPSON
A ride home.  Plus, I’ve got something for you.
O'CONNOR
What?
THOMPSON
I can’t give it to you here.  Let’s get out of here.
O'Connor stares at her, not moving.
THOMPSON (CONT’D)
Come on, let’s get out of here.
O'Connor waits a moment more and then starts his car and pulls out of the parking lot.
CUT TO:
INT. O'CONNOR’S CAR, LATER, CONTINUOUS.
The car is parked by a levee outside of town.
O'CONNOR
How did you manage to get this information?
THOMPSON
Don’t worry about it.  Let’s just say no one knows this stuff is gone yet and leave it at that.
O’CONNOR
Christ, Thompson, you’re gonna get fired.  Quit trying to help me with this.  This is my fight.
THOMPSON
Look, will you just shut the fuck up and let me finish?
O’CONNOR
Okay.
THOMPSON
Okay, now Ordell is in this up to his neck.  All three rolls of it.  If you can catch him there, you’ve got him and your worries are over.
O'CONNOR
This sounds kinda fishy.  Where did you hear this?
THOMPSON
Straight from the horses mouth.  This vigilante’s got them all scared, so they’re meeting here.  Right here in town.  That’s in jurisdiction.  That’s a major bust for you.  Do you see what I’m getting at?
O'CONNOR
This all sounds grand and all, but do you have any idea how hard it is to bring down a cop?  Especially a sheriff?
THOMPSON
I thought you wanted to do this?  Are you backing out?
O'CONNOR
I didn’t say I was.  I’m just saying this isn’t going to be as easy as you’re making it out to be.
THOMPSON
I’ve thought long and hard about this, just like you have.  I’m not just leaping headlong into oblivion here.  Okay?
O'CONNOR
Okay.  Okay.  What about the vigilante?
THOMPSON
He’s only been hitting people in the city.  He’s probably going to stay there.  As far as they know, he thinks the meeting is still gonna happen in the city.
O'CONNOR
He knows about the meeting?  Christ, was I the only one who didn’t know about it?
THOMPSON
Sounds like it.  He found out from the men he beat up and cut up a few days ago.  But they told him the old location.  City cops are gonna be waiting for him there.  Then this’ll all be over. For us and for them.
O'CONNOR
We’ll see about that.
He gives Thompson a look.  There’s just something fishy about this whole thing and he can’t quite put his finger on it.  The other guys at the station would never let her get her hands on this kind of stuff.  He can’t quite wrap his head around the idea that she just walked out with it when they weren’t looking. 
He doesn’t have time to worry about it, though.  If he’s going to do anything with what’s left of his career, he has to do this.  He has to end it on a good note, with a big bang.  He can’t fizzle out.  His wife may be leaving him.  His job may be fucked, but he’s going to do this one last thing.  They’re gonna remember him for something.  Some people kill presidents to get remember.  He’s going to do this.
CUT TO:
EXT. ABANDONED BUILDING, CITY, EVENING.
We see a building, long abandoned.  No cars pass by on this street.  We’re in a forgotten part of the city. 
CUT TO:
INT. ABANDONED BUILDING, CITY, EVENING.
The inside of the building looks even worse than the outside.  It’s dark, dank, junk piled up everywhere, dust covering everything in a thin layer, like skin. 
John enters this place with a flashlight and a bag.  He waits until he’s inside before he turns his light on.  He doesn’t want anyone to see him. 
To his right, just near the back door, rotted wooden steps lead down into a basement.  It’s pitch black down there.  We can feel the dustiness of it, smell it, taste it.  His light flicks on and we see the stairs leading down.  He slowly takes them.
CUT TO:
INT. MOTEL, EVENING.
O'Connor is sitting on the edge of the bed at the motel.  He looks up at himself in the mirror.  He can’t hide the fact that he’s scared out of his mine.  He’s busted small time crooks and drug dealers before, but he’s never done anything like this.  There’s a good chance he’s not going to make it out of this.  That’s what’s keeping him in his motel room, keeping him rooted on the edge of his bed. 
His nerves are shot.  This is the moment he’s been waiting for his whole life.  This is the moment where he’s going to prove his worth as a police officer. 
He has to do this, but the fear is eating away at him.  He’s had a few drinks.  He has a few more.  He’s got the radio on the alarm clock turned on and turned up loud.  He’s on the verge of tears.  There’s a cold, sinking fear in his stomach.  He can’t get away from it.  It’s growing, the cold feeling.  It’s overtaking him and he has to keep it down.  He takes another drink to burn the cold down and wipes his mouth and gets up.
He walks into the bathroom and turns the light on.
CUT TO:
INT. ABANDONED BUILDING, CITY, EVENING.
We see John’s flashlight as it comes into frame. 
The basement is big.  It covers the entire bottom of the building.  Concrete pillars stand in various places, wooden boards wedged between some with dusty jars and rusty cans sitting on them. 
John takes everything in.  It’s big, but there’s a lot of things in the way, so it’s good and bad.  Good because he can hide better and because they won’t be able to scatter as easily.  Bad because there’s things for them to hide behind.  Protection.
He checks the sturdiness of some of the boards.  One of them breaks with hardly any weight applied to it.  The others hold, though. 
He turns the flashlight to the ceiling, taking even that in.
CUT TO:
INT. MOTEL, EVENING.
O'Connor is looking at himself closely in the mirror in the bathroom.  He doesn’t look too good, but it’s gonna have to do. 
He splashes some cold water on his face. 
CUT TO:
EXT. MOTEL, EVENING.
We see the door of O'Connor’s motel room opening and then we jump to a shot of his car door closing.  We see his hand pull down the gear shift.
CUT TO:
INT. ABANDONED BUILDING, CITY, EVENING.
We see John’s hands as he hides various weapons about the basement, getting ready for what’s to come.
CUT TO:
EXT. MOTEL, EVENING.
We see O'Connor’s car’s tires spin as he pulls out of the parking lot of the motel.
CUT TO:
INT. O'CONNOR’S CAR, LATER, CONTINUOUS.
He’s waiting.  The sun is going down in the distance.  The bright colors are leaving the sky.  The darkness is settling in and getting comfortable and he’s still scared to death. 
He’s tapping his steering wheel nervously.  The cold feeling is still there.  It’s almost completely taken over his body.  He rubs his eyes and sighs and the fear is taking over.  He keeps an eye on the glowing radio clock.  Thompson is late.
He picks up his phone and moves through the names until he gets to Thompson.  He tries to call her, but she doesn’t answer.  He swears and tosses the phone into the passenger seat.
The phone rings almost as soon as it lands.  He picks it up and answers it, not even thinking about who it might be.
O’CONNOR
Thompson, where the fuck are you?
IRENE (O.S.)
Ralph, it’s me, Irene.
O’CONNOR
(hesitant at first)
Hey, what’s up?
IRENE (O.S.)
Eh, nothing much.  How are you?
O'CONNOR
I’m okay, I guess.
IRENE (O.S.)
Are you busy?
O'CONNOR
Not yet.
IRENE (O.S.)
Busy with Thompson.
O'CONNOR
It’s not like that.  I have a job to do.  It’s probably gonna be my last job.
IRENE (O.S.)
What do you mean?  Are they firing you?
O'CONNOR
No, they’re not firing me.  But I’ve got a feeling my career isn’t going to last much longer.  Not after what I’m about to do.
IRENE (O.S.)
What are you doing?  Tell me now.
O’CONNOR
I can’t tell you that, dear.  It I make it out of this, I’ll tell you when it’s over.
IRENE (O.S.)
If you make it out of it?  What are you talking about?  What are you doing?
O'CONNOR
It’s just a bust.  Don’t worry about it.
IRENE (O.S.)
I don’t believe you.
O'CONNOR
Well, I’m sorry.  I can’t help you anymore than that.
IRENE (O.S.)
I want you to promise.
O'CONNOR
Promise what?
IRENE (O.S.)
I want you to promise that you’re gonna make it out of this.
O’CONNOR
Why?
IRENE (O.S.)
Because I love you, Ralph.
O'CONNOR
I thought you hated my guts and wanted me gone.
IRENE (O.S.)
That was then.  I have something important to tell you.
O’CONNOR
What’s that?
IRENE (O.S.)
Well, it’s...
O'Connor notices a car pulling up.  It’s Ordell.
O'CONNOR
Hold on a second!
He holds the phone against his chest, blocking off the light.  He watches as Ordell gets out of his car, putting his hat on.  He walks into a building.
IRENE (O.S.)
(yelling)
Goddammit, Ralph!  I have to tell you this!
O'CONNOR
(to himself)
Fuck, she was right.
(back on the phone)
Sorry, dear.  This is about to go down.  I can’t talk anymore.
IRENE (O.S.)
You promise to me, Ralph O'Connor!  Promise me you’ll make it through this and come home tonight!
O'CONNOR
I don’t have a home anymore.
IRENE (O.S.)
Yes you do!  You have to promise me!
O'CONNOR
Okay.  I promise.
IRENE (O.S.)
Promise me one more thing.
O'CONNOR
What is it?  Christ, I can’t wait any longer.
IRENE (O.S.)
Promise me you’ll stop by the store and buy something.
O'CONNOR
Dammit, Irene, just tell me.
IRENE (O.S.)
Buy some pickles and ice cream.
O’CONNOR
Why do you want...
When he realizes what it is she’s talking about, he stops dead in his tracks.  He can’t say anything.  His eyes have filled with tears.  His bottom lip quivers.
IRENE (O.S.)
Are you there?  Are you there?
O’CONNOR
(barely audible)
Yeah.
IRENE (O.S.)
Promise me.
O'CONNOR
I promise.
Irene hangs up.  O'Connor sits there with the phone still at his ear.  A smile is working its way onto his face.  After all the shit he’s been through.  That they’ve been through.  All the fights and arguments.  All the trouble at work.  After everything that’s happened to him in the last few years of his life, it’s really going to happen. 
He puts the phone down.  He puts his hand over his mouth to contain his joy.  He can’t keep himself from crying.  Not just a few tears, but actually crying.
Another car pulls up outside and he then remembers that he’s here for a reason.  But he can’t do it.  He knows he can’t do it now.  There’s no questioning the matter.  He can’t die now.  He can’t lose his job this way.  He’s got a family to think about now.  It’s not just himself. 
He shakes his head.  He’s going home.  He’s going to live his life.  He’s going to raise his child.  He’s going to love his wife.  He’s going to grow old with the two of them.  He’s going to die a happy old man watching his child grow up to become whatever it was he or she was going to become and he starts his car.  There’s no turning back now.  He’s going to leave this bust to Thompson if she wants it, even though she hasn’t shown up yet.
That’s when she knocks on his passenger side window.  He jerks his head over and smiles when he sees it’s her.  He unlocks the door and she gets in. 
Thompson is surprised by his tears.  He’s losing it.  She smiles back at him to humor him.
THOMPSON
Sorry I’m late.
O'CONNOR
It’s okay.  Listen, Thompson, I can’t...
Thompson cuts him off with a deafening gunshot.  O'Connor’s head erupts, spewing blood all over the window behind him, his hopes and dreams spilling out in a hot stream of dark red liquid.
CUT TO:
INT. ABANDONED BUILDING, CITY, NIGHT, CONTINUOUS.
Back in the building where John is waiting for the meeting going on where O’Connor just bit the dust. 
Several men have gathered and they’re waiting on someone.  Their names are:
Morgan.  He’s the sort of ring-leader of the group.  Killed his father when he was thirteen.  He’s been busted for selling meth three times.  Alleged child molester, but he’s never been busted for that.
Neil.  Meth head.  Busted more times than any of the rest of them.  Got busted once for making counterfeit money, but the charges were dropped when he pinned a murder on an innocent man the cops wanted to bring down
Terry.  Another meth dealer.  He’s been busted so many times for trying to pick up undercover female cops posing as hookers, they don’t even bother with him anymore.  He’s never going to learn.
Frank.  Meth dealer, just like the rest.  Ex-military.  Dishonorable discharge.  A rap sheet so long it looks like the big family bible everyone hides in closets.
Telly.  Prostitution.  Drug dealer.  Child molester. 
They’re all snitches.  They’ve done their share of terrible things, but the police protect them as long as they do what they tell them to do.  They’ve all been called here to do something, but none of them know exactly what.
MORGAN
So, does anyone even know what we’re doing here?
NEIL
All I know is porky pig told me to come here.  Supposed to be some kind of meeting.
MORGAN
That’s why we’re all here.  So none of you know exactly why we’re here?
TERRY
Not me.  I’m just here.  I do what they say, I stay out of jail.
TELLY
Yeah.
MORGAN
Christ.  This don’t feel right.
NEIL
Keep your pants on, Morgan.  I’m sure they’ve got some job for us to do that they’re too scared to do themselves.
MORGAN
Don’t tell me what to do, Neil.  I’m not a fuckin’ moron, so watch your fuckin’ ass or you’re not gonna have to worry about going back to fuckin’ jail.
NEIL
You’ve got a lot of talk, Morgan and not much else.
MORGAN
I’ll show you fuckin’ talk, you little fuckin’ faggot.
Morgan and Neil are about to go at it when someone walks into the room.  His name is Leon.  He’s wearing a suit.  Black.  He’s balding.  He’s in his thirties, but he looks like he’s in his late forties.
LEON
Cut the shit.  Let’s get this over with.
He walks in and sets a briefcase down on the table in the middle of the room.
MORGAN
What’s this shit all about, Leon?
LEON
You’ll find out soon enough.
He opens the brief case and looks up.
LEON (CONT’D)
Shit.  I forgot something.  I’ll be right back.
He walks out of the room.  The men stand in their places for a moment and then they descend upon the briefcase.  It’s empty.
MORGAN
Shit.
NEIL
What the fuck is this shit, man?
Telly wanders off, mad.  That’s when John drops down into action. 
He drops down behind Telly and slits his throat.  Telly falls to his knees, blood spewing from his throat.  He makes horrible gagging noises, wet, disgusting.
That’s when everyone else notices the fact that they’re not alone.  Someone is in the room with them and he means to kill them.  All.
Now they understand why they’re here.  It’s been a set up.  Not only for John, but for them as well.
MORGAN
What the fuck?
Morgan pulls a gun out and fires.  John ducks behind some wooden shelving.  The bullet blows some of the wood away in splinters. 
John pulls another, smaller knife out of one of the places he hid his weapons and throws it at Morgan. 
He catches it in the throat.  His face is a horrid mask of pain and surprise.  He falls to his knees, dropping his gun.
Terry and Frank are the only two left. 
Terry is frozen in his tracks.  His hands are up.  He’s shaking.  He’s done some bad shit in his time, but he’s not used to this.
John starts walking toward him. 
Frank jumps him, knocking him down, screaming at him.  They struggle and John uses his big knife to stop him.
In this mess, Morgan has managed to get up, holding his throat.  He stumbles his way out of the room.
John gets up and casually slits Terry’s throat as he walks by.  He throws the knife down and picks up the gun that Morgan left behind, following him out.
CUT TO:
EXT. CITY, NIGHT, CONTINUOUS.
Once outside, Morgan is running down to the train yard.  He runs past several old, decaying buildings and across the tracks.  He ends up in front of a decrepit looking building.
John has been following him the entire time, but he hasn’t taken any risky shots with the gun he picked up.
Once Morgan stops by the old building by the tracks, John takes a shot that hits Morgan in the leg.  He does a sort of half-assed flip and lands on his back.
John stops once he’s hit him.  He breathes deeply and then starts off toward Morgan.  Right when he gets up to him and he’s about to say something, a shot rings out and John’s head erupts.  He falls to his knees, dead right beside Morgan’s broken, bleeding body. 
Morgan tries to laugh at him, but his throat is bleeding too badly.  It’s a very sickening sight.
Leon comes running up to Morgan and John.
LEON
You okay, Morgan?
(notices how badly he’s been wounded)
Jesus.  Hang on, man.  There’s an ambulance on the way.  It’s gonna be okay.  We’ll fix you up but good.
The camera pulls back slowly.  We see an ambulance with it’s red lights flashing as it pulls up.  We see several men loading Morgan ontoa stretcher. 
John is beside him, dead.  No one is helping him and thus John’s story ends with no fulfillment, no proper conclusion.  He never gets what he wants and life will now move on without him, just like it did the whole time he was away in that damn war.















* * *