Sreekumar Natarajan

Danse Macabre

DANSE MACABRE

By

Sree Natarajan

“Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;

Psalm 140: 1-3″

SUPER FADES IN:

EXT. QUITE SUBURBIA – ONE WINTER AFTERNOON

Streets are empty and trees are bare. Overcast sky foreshadows an imminent rain. It looks peaceful for a moment but suddenly silence is punctuated by police siren wailing from different directions and screeching sound of tires.

EXT.  RESIDENTIAL STREET – AFTERNOON

Drake runs for his life along the sidewalk, he holds a bulging brown bag hastily covered.  Sweat pours over his face and every inch of his body is tensed up. His forearms have tattoos and are flaying vigorously to get momentum.

When he runs wind blows his tea-shirt and shows the outline of a gun hidden. He looks around in fast head spins as he runs. Fortunately for him nobody sees him.

HIS POV

An intersection. Sound of sirens on his face!

EXT.  RESIDENTIAL STREET (continuation)

He makes an about turn and runs back. He looks as if he is trapped. He turns around.

HIS POV

Straight ahead are parked cars that could spring into life any time.

Suddenly he spots a gloomy looking rundown house with blinds drawn and dark: may be just few hundred feet from the cul-de-sac where he stands. There are no cars on the driveway; green moss has pretty much taken over. A garbage bin empty or otherwise sits abandoned on one side of the driveway. Without loosing a second he sprints towards the back of the house.

As he runs into the dilapidated garage adjacent to the house he sees an old lady on the sidewalk looking at him, he freezes for a moment yet continues to move towards the house.

EXT. BACKYARD

Drake opens the backyard door quietly.

INT. BACKYARD

Messy backyard and it looks like no gardener has ever put his feet there.

He pulls his gun and cautiously closes the creaky wooden door behind him. He hears the police siren up-close. There is no time to loose. He stays closer to the wall and slowly slide towards wire fenced back door with gun drawn. Holding his upper body back he extends his right foot to gently push the door open. To his surprise it wasn’t locked.

Door opens but suddenly a clamor, a cat jumped with a “hurt meow” and something spilled behind the door. Oops!  He freezes. More meows from inside.

Sirens still audible in the background. Drake hesitates for a second but decides to test his luck with the devil inside than the deep sea outside. He opens the door.

INT. HOUSE – LIVING ROOM AFTERNOON

He looks at the mess he had just caused. Cat food and milk are all over the floor. He bends down to pick up the spilled plate.

SUDDENLY from behind a heavy blow strikes his head and he falls down with a cry and looses consciousness.

A tall dark figure walks out of the shadow holding a shotgun. The figure is in full black Burqa, Muslim head dress that covers from head to toe. The figure drags Drake’s lifeless body towards the inside room

INT. HOUSE – INSIDE A SMALL ROOM

A room bereft of furniture except a stool at a corner. Drake’s head is propped against a wall.

A dim fluorescent lamp throws light on his face. It looks like a bucket of water has already poured over his head. Drake looks like a wet hen. A small trace of blood has channeled on his forehead.

Drake’s POV:

A mop and some wet blood stained clothes in a corner closer to the sink. Just below the sink, on the floor a neatly folded umbrella lays horizontally.

Drake’s feet and hands are folded to the back and duct taped.  “Danse Macabre” could be heard faintly in the background.

Drake tries hard to focus. In  a vague haze he sees the man in Burqa brings a chain, some old cotton clothes, a menacing blade and place them carefully on  the stool. He sees his brown bag also on the stool.

The figure in Burqa walks towards mirror above the sink and in a flash opens the veil.

Drake sees the reflection on the mirror. Oh God.  It is a man, a cross dresser from Hell? Don’t know. Don’t want to know.

The man applies lipstick and turns towards Drake.

MAN

You know what; no bitch has ever…ever come through my backdoor.

(a long beat)

Seeing the revulsion on Drake’s face he furiously turns to the mirror and applies more blood red lipstick.

MAN

(pointing to Drake’s head)You know what I don’t want you

going into the dungeon with all those hair.

The bitch I had last time had blisters all over the head. (directly)

You get to take a shower once a year.

He goes to the cupboard and brings a shaving cream and foams it on Drake’s head. Drake struggles to get the sick man off of him. The man gets angry. He pulls a blade from his pocket and closes on Drake’s throat.

MAN

Are you gonna be a bad boy? Uh? Uh?

The man presses the blade on Drake’s throat and blood oozes from there.

DRAKE

What the fuck are you doing man? Please let me go. Oh Jesus.

I did no harm.

(a long beat)

MAN

Wait a second….Did I hear that before? (Imitating)

DRAKE

For God’s sake man let me go.

MAN

Yes I do remember that. It was a long time ago, a very long time

….(beat) A little boy in the dungeon, alone, scared bruised. I still

remember looking out through a slit opening and seeing the

Minrate of Ibn Tolone. I could hear the call for noon prayer

.                                                       MAN

I know the assholes next door perhaps kneeling in prayer.

(beat) I hated the irony.

DRAKE

(with feeling)  Sorry man, that is terrible. I am…uh

MAN

Feel sorry for your own ass …

DRAKE

(choking)Listen, growing up in the project, it ain’t no

different.

MAN

There is a big difference. A wealthy white boy

vacationing in  Goddam Cairo  and  getting fucked…and you.

DRAKE

It is the same innocence, isn’t it?

MAN

Did you pump shotgun through their bad ass?

DRAKE

No, man I am done with this life. I am tired of

running away from one pathological maniac

into another. Na, I am not gonna kill no body. I

forgive you man if you let me go.

MAN

I like that, pathological maniac. But you know what no

bitch has ever escaped from  my dungeon, you gonna be my

sultan.

Door bell rings. The man listens. He briskly walks towards the sink and picks up a piece of paper and wipes his lipstick. He exits in a hurry.

INT. LIVING ROOM

The man parts the blind slowly and looks out side.

EXT. HOUSE

A cope stands on the driveway expecting someone to open the front door.

INT. LIVING ROOM

The man looks thoughtful.

MAN

Shit!

All these happen in quick motion. The man throws his Burqa and opens a dresser and picks up an artificial mustache and sticks it on his face. He gets his reading glass from the table top and puts it on. He has metamorphosed into a middle aged gentle man in few seconds.

OS

Bell rings again.

MAN

Coming.

INT. SMALL ROOM

Drake focuses on the umbrella that lies few feet from him. Drake crawls like a Seal sliding along the floor. He moves his face towards the handle of the umbrella and moves it with his teeth.

With his mouth he turns the umbrella towards a position where its pointed metal tip could touch the duck tape on his feet. He works furiously one hole at a time on the duck tape.

EXT. HOUSE

POV of Drake through the blind opening:

Cop talks to the man, whose back faces Drake.

(O.S)

Sound of the front door closing.

Desperation on Drake’s face.

CUT TO:

INT. LIVING ROOM

The man removes his mustache and puts it back.

INT. SMALL ROOM

The man opens the door and enters. Drake is gone. He looks at the floor, lather traces on the floor.

EXT.  CEILING ABOVE BACKDOOR LANDING

Drake hangs on the ceiling bars with the help of the Umbrella while his feet bear the weight. Drake hangs precariously just above the door his hands are still tied behind with duct tape. Lather from his head drops one drop at a time, he agonizes it but can’t help.

EXT. BACKDOOR LANDING

The man looks to the backyard. He was about to step down the landing, a drop of lather falls on his face. He feels it with his fingers ands looks up.

SMASH CUT:

EXT. BACKDOOR LANDING

Drake lets loose his grip on the umbrella and falls on his face. Drake had something else in his mind he bites off Man’s tongue. The man is in such agony and pain. Blood spurts out from his mouth like a fountain.

Drake spits out whatever piece of his bad tongue into the ground. Drake’s mouth drips blood like a vampire who just had a fresh kill.

DRAKE

Look what you made me do. (spit)

DRAKE

Mother fucker , you say sultan now,

with your broken piece of bad tongue. Say it.

Drake is about to run for his life, he remembers his brown bag. He runs inside.

INT. CORRIDOR

When Drakes runs inside he notices a cop’s uniform hanging on the corridor wall. He freezes. He continues to run inside.

INT. ROOM

He picks up his brown bag and uses the blade to cut the duct tape.

He picks up his gun and runs.

INT. LANDING

Drake comes out with his brown bag, the man without tongue blocks him.

Drake pulls his gun pointing to the man’s head.

DRAKE

Don’t make me do this mother fucker.

Drake fires a gun at the man’s feet.

EXT.  SIDEWALK

Cop walks towards his car. Cop hears the gun shot and spins around and draws his Gun and run towards the house.

EXT. BACKYARD ENTRANCE

Drake runs towards the street, blood profusely flow from his head and mouth..

EXT. DRIVEWAY

Blood drips from Drake’s mouth as he run towards the street and SUDDENLY freezes seeing the cop.

Cop points gun at Drake.

COP

(yelling)  Stop right there mother fucker.

(under his breath)  Rough day uh?

FADE OUT: