Inherently Different

just like you imagined

For your reading pleasure, my work in progress… Love and Death.

                                                         FADE IN:


      A heavy mist hides most of a lonely stretch of road somewhere
      in the mountains. The silence is broken by the faraway sound
      of an engine rising and fading as it shifts from gear to
      gear. The sound grows louder, more urgent until finally...

      A high performance sports car erupts sideways through the
      mist, pulling plumes of it in its back draft. The car seems
      to drift too far left and goes into a sidelong skid.

      It slides left, then right and just when we think the driver
      is regaining control of the powerful sports car, it tips,
      catching its meaty tires in the macadam and rolls over...
      side over side, bits and pieces flying from the wreckage;
      glass, metal and rubber scattering in all directions.

      After a countless number of flips, the car comes to rest
      upside down, next to a signpost that warns drivers of the
      dangerous curves next 15 miles.


      Smoke rises from the wreckage, the quiet that filled the
      scene prior to the car's disastrous entrance returns,
      swallowing up the thunderous crash as if it never happened.

      From the wreckage a moan. The sounds of glass falling, then
      another moan. Amazingly, KIP CARLYSLE, 30s, crawls out from
      the wreckage, slowly and with care.

                                   OC VOICE
                         I know what you're thinking... but
                         don't do it. Panic I mean. Don't do
                         it. It won't help, plus it's really

      Carlysle, blood streaming from a glass encrusted cut above
      his left eye, looks around for the source of the voice.

                                   OC VOICE (cont'd)
                         Over here. Woohoo, this way Mario!

      Sitting on the guardrail across from the wreck is MORT
      GRAVES, 30s, pale skinned, a black coat over a white button
      up shirt tucked neatly into a pair of ill-fitting black
      slacks, white athletic socks and thick soled black shoes. On
      Mort's face are thick, black rimmed glasses hiding pale blue
      eyes that are watching Carlysle passively. 

                         Who... who... 

      Carlysle pauses, licking his lips and tries again.

                                   CARLYSLE (cont'd)

                         What say we tackle that question
                         when you're more composed? 

      Mort stands and brushes broken glass from his pants, then
      strides purposefully up to the twisted piece of metal that
      was once Carlysle's car. He stands above Carlysle who is
      struggling to raise himself up onto his knees.

                                   MORT (cont'd)
                         That was a spectacular crash.
                         Personally, I'm of the mind-set
                         that if you're going to do
                         something, you should do it right.
                         That my friend was done right!

      Mort reaches into the wreckage and pulls a loose control arm
      out. He inspects it for a moment then tosses it
      unceremoniously aside. 

      Mort claps his hands together to get the dust, dirt and grime
      off before offering his hand to Carlysle.

      At first Carlysle looks at the hand unsure of what to do with
      it. Tentatively, he reaches up and grasps Mort's hand,
      letting himself be lifted from the ground. 

                         Is that what happened?

                         Huh? Oh, yeah. Crash. Bad one.

      Carlysle stares at the remains of his car, then at the trail
      of wreckage, and finally at the skid marks that lead into the
      thick, swirling mists some 150 feet away.

                         Do you have a phone? We should call
                         someone. I think I need a doctor.

      Carlysle touches his head wound carefully, pulling his hand
      back to look at the blood.

                         Oh, I don't think anyone can help
                         you at this point. There weren't
                         any survivors.

      Mort takes out a PDA from his coat and begins tapping at the
      screen with his index finger.

                         That fog just came up out of
                         nowhere. Like it was waiting for
                         someone to pop over that rise and
                         into the turn before...

      Carlysle stops abruptly.

                                   CARLYSLE (cont'd)
                         Did you say "no survivors?"

                         You're Kip Carlysle? Of 27 Frontage

      Mort switches fingers a few times looking for a finger more
      conducive to writing. The skin, then muscles, tendons, veins
      and blood vessels disappear revealing a skeletal hand.
      Carlysle doesn't notice.

                                   MORT (cont'd)
                         These gizmos are great but I keep
                         losing the little damned pencil
                         thingy you're supposed to use.

                         What did you say your name was

      Mort makes a few more marks on the PDA screen with his
      skeletal pinky finger and slips the PDA back into his coat as
      the flesh begins growing back on his hand in the reverse
      order in which it disappeared.

                         I didn't. But with the
                         preliminaries out of the way...

      Mort extends his fully fleshed out hand again, this time in

                                   MORT (cont'd)
                         I am the Angel of the Lord, the
                         Destroyer, Mal'ak ha-mashhit to the
                         Jews, Izanami to the Japanese, Enma
                         Daiou to some further East. In
                         Mexico, I am known as La Calaca for
                         some reason even I can't remember.
                         I am the Grim Reaper or the Pale
                         Rider if you believe any of that
                         horseshit in Revelations. Most of
                         my friends just call me Mort.
                         Pleased to meet you. 


      Mort and Carlysle walk into the mist and all features of the
      landscape disappear. Mort looks at his watch and hurries his

                         So you've coming to take me to the

                         Not exactly no. I'm like a civil
                         servant. I only do one small part
                         in the whole process of death. I
                         let you know you're dead, take you
                         to limbo where...

                         Limbo is a real place?

                         Well, of course its real. We can't
                         just have the dead shambling about
                         here and there can we? 

                         No, I guess not, but I thought
                         Limbo was just a mythical place...
                         a metaphor.

                         Limbo is where you'll find out
                         where you're going for the balance
                         of eternity. It is as real as
                         anything you'll experience from
                         here on out.

      Carlysle stops. Mort continues on for a few paces before he
      realizes Carlysle is no longer following. Mort stops and
      faces Carlysle.

                         You don't look anything like how I

                         Oh, yeah...right. You mean with the
                         hooded robe, the sickle and the

      Mort gestures with his hands and the same morphing trick from
      earlier transforms his whole body into something even more
      repulsively skeletal, bigger, blacker and much more in line
      with the typical representation of Death. Huge gray wings
      unfurl from his back completing the image.

      Carlysle is horrified and cringes in fear. Mort morphs back
      into his previous form.

                                   MORT (cont'd)
                         Yeah, that's the usual reaction.
                         Makes getting people to follow you
                         really tough, though.

                         I can imagine.

                         Well honestly I didn't peg you for
                         a traditionalist. Would you prefer
                         that I...

      Mort begins to morph back.

                         No. No this is fine. Really.

                         Yeah, I think so too. Hard to get
                         people to pay much attention when
                         they're pissing themselves with
                         fright. Took me a long time to
                         convince them upstairs that we
                         should ease up on the special
                         effects and concentrate on
                         communication of basic ideas. Well,
                         we're here.

      In the distance a light begins to grow until it cuts through
      the swirling mists surrounding Carlysle and Mort.

                                   MORT (cont'd)
                         Just head in that general direction
                         and you'll be fine.

      Mort points toward the bright white light and begins walking
      in the opposite direction.

                         Wait. You're leaving? I have so
                         many questions.

                         Sorry kid. Ask anyone in white with
                         bushy facial for answers. Good

      He starts away and suddenly turns back as if remembering
      something. He looks at Carlysle's frightened look and thinks
      better about whatever he was going to say.

      Mort shakes his head and disappears into the mist.


      Mort walks in the nothingness, hands in pockets, thinking.

                                   OC VOICE
                         Just now, there with the dead guy,
                         what were you going to ask him?

                         Nothing. Well, nothing you'd be
                         interested in.

                                   OC VOICE
                         Having a bad day, huh? Me? I'm
                         pretty excited about my schedule

      From out of swirling mists of eternity ALBRECHT, a 30
      something man, wearing a green hooded sweatshirt, Doc Martens
      and long dark hair, begins walking alongside Mort.

                         I have three people on my list for
                         today... the first one is a plague
                         that will be transferred by a rabid
                         monkey to a German tourist on his
                         first African safari. Really
                         nothing much to it, just a standard
                         bleeding out of every orifice

                         Later I'll unleash the latest
                         influenza strain. It's not
                         particularly complex either, but
                         after a few thousand versions I'm
                         running out of ideas on that one as
                         you can imagine. But the third? The
                         third one I'm really proud of... 

      He pulls out an old fashioned perfume spray bottle filled
      with black goo and waves it under Mort's nose.

                                   ALBRECHT (cont'd)
                         It starts off as an average looking
                         but persistent rash, then jumps to
                         festering sores and finally
                         excruciatingly painful lesions! The
                         best part? It's transmitted through
                         sex! The fuckers won't know what
                         hit 'em! I just need to find the
                         right carrier and this one could
                         really be the start of something

      Mort waves away the new virus and continues through the mist
      until they appear 


      The teeming masses of the city scamper to and fro, none of
      them paying much attention to the two people who just
      materialize out of nowhere.

                         Where are you going now?

                         You know, you're really a pest when
                         you get all worked up. 

                         I can't help it. I'm living
                         embodiment of Pestilence. It's in
                         my job description.

                         I'm pretty sure annoying me isn't
                         in your job description.

      Just then a beautiful blonde woman in a sun dress passes by
      catching Albrecht's attention. He pokes her purse out and as
      she bends over to pick it up, Albrecht lifts her dress up
      revealing a sexy black thong. He smiles and sprays her bottom
      with the perfume spray bottle we saw earlier. 

      She reacts as if stung, rising up and pulling her dress down
      in the same movement. She looks around staring right through
      Albrecht. She continues on her way throwing accusing glances
      all around. Albrecht and Mort are obviously invisible to the

                         Go forth and multiply!

      Albrecht hurries to catch up with Mort who has kept walking.
      A ballet of sorts is taking place in front of Albrecht and
      Mort as people and objects somehow cause people to deviate
      from their path to avoid collisions with the invisible
      Albrecht and Mort.

                                   ALBRECHT (cont'd)
                         You didn't answer my question.

                         I'm doing my job, which is what you
                         should be doing.

                         Hey, I'm a multi-tasker. One down
                         three to go. Man is her boyfriend
                         gonna be pissed! Of course, she has
                         no idea he's been cheating on her
                         with a few different women. I guess
                         this will even up the score.

      Mort stops outside a brownstone apartment building and pulls
      out his PDA and taps the screen a few times.

                         Do me a favor, go away.

                         Please, please, please let me
                         watch! C'mon, c'mon,

                         No. I've got a few million of these
                         things to do today and you're not

                         I promise I'll just watch, won't
                         touch a thing, please, please,
                         pretty please?

      Mort looks at Albrecht and seeing his excitement, caves to
      his request.

                         Okay. Just this one and then you're
                         gone. No talking, no questions, no
                         spreading botulism, dusting the air
                         with ricin or infecting anyone with
                         STDs while we're up there. Deal?

      Albrecht puts his left hand on his heart, his right hand in
      the air, fingers in a boy scout oath and

                         I promise on my mother's grave.

      A third arm, hiding behind Albrecht's back, has
      the fingers on its taloned hand crossed.

      Satisfied Mort disappears into the apartment building.


      Mort jogs up the stairs, effortlessly slipping around two
      burly delivery men carrying a new refrigerator up the steps. 

      Albrecht is having a difficult time, breathing hard, sweating
      and clearly out of shape. He passes the two delivery men who
      seem to be having an easier time despite their load.

                         We're granted powers of
                         invisibility, omnipotence and
                         teleportation. Hell, we have wings,
                         we could fly for Christsakes. Why
                         are we taking the stairs?

                         I like the illusion of humanity
                         more than the conveniences of our
                         powers. Besides its healthier.

                         You're the embodiment of death! We
                         can't die no matter what we do!

                         If that's true, a few flights of
                         stairs won't kill you.

      Albrecht leans against the railing, head down on his arm,
      panting like a dog.


      KATHLEEN KENNY, late 30s, brunette, a few years past perky,
      but still spry, hustles to and fro preparing to cook. She
      flies to the stove where she turns the knob on the burner
      which fails to light and she fails to notice.

      She goes to the sink where she is peeling a potato, sending
      the peels into the sink. She turns on the faucet and flips
      the switch for the disposal which fails to turn on. She
      frowns and flips it off and on a few times with no response
      from the appliance.

      She frowns and leans over the sink trying to get a look
      inside the drain. As she does so she knocks over a bottle of
      dish soap which starts spilling out onto the floor.

      She reaches into the drain unaware that she has left the
      disposal switch in the on position. She wiggles her hand
      around in an effort to free the blockage that is preventing
      the disposal from functioning. 

      She pulls her hand out and leans back over the sink trying to
      get a look inside her drain. It is too dark to see inside.

      Kathleen leaves the room, barely missing a puddle of dish
      soap building on the linoleum floor.

      Mort and Albrecht watch her leave from their perch on top of
      the counter separating the kitchen from the dining room. Pots
      hang from a rack on the ceiling above them.

                         I thought for sure the disposal was
                         going to be it. Start up while her
                         hand was inside, chew up her
                         fingers and spit her ring out at a
                         gazillion miles an hour and into
                         her head. How's it going happen?
                         The gas? She going pass out from
                         the fumes?

      Mort puts a finger to his lips, shushing Albrecht as Kathleen
      returns holding a lighter.

                                   ALBRECHT (cont'd)
                         Oh man... she going blow up? Burn
                         to death?


      Kathleen flicks the lighter a few times with no result.
      Nothing seems to be going right for the woman.

      She steps back to assess the situation. The ceiling above her
      explodes as something big pushes through spraying plaster in
      all directions. Whatever was above her just moments ago comes
      crashing down with a heavy thud.

      It is the fridge we saw earlier.

      Panicked shouts from above hide the sounds of falling

                         Didn't see that coming.

                         No one ever does. That's kinda the


      Mort hops off the counter and extends a hand down out of
      frame into the hole in the floor.

                         I know what you're thinking... but
                         don't do it. Panic I mean. It won't
                         help, plus it's really annoying.

      A bloodied hand rises up from somewhere under the fridge and
      grasps Mort's hand. 


      Mort is once again scribbling notes in his PDA standing in
      the swirling mists of eternity. Off to the side, lies down,
      everything but his knees hidden under a layer of mist,
      Albrecht contemplates what he's just seen.

                         It's all just so unpredictable.

                         You get used to it.

                         How many do you do every day?

                         Too many to count. That's why I use
                         the gizmo. 

                         So, each death, every death?

                         C'mon, we've been over this before.

      Albrecht pops up out of the mist to stand next to Mort who
      turns to face him.

                         Humor me.

                         No, not each death, every death.
                         Just the ones that need me to lead
                         them from there to here. Sometimes
                         there's a lot, sometimes there's

      Mort barely pays attention, whatever it is he's doing on his
      PDA is taking most of his attention.

                         How many is that? I mean, time
                         waits for no man.

                         Time is a suggestion. I can be in
                         every yesterday and every tomorrow
                         at the same time if I needed to.
                         Luckily that doesn't happen too

      Albrecht nods, understanding everything and nothing at once.

                         So like you're not on a... a...

      The words fail him.

                         Deadline? No. Why are you so
                         interested in this stuff all of a
                         sudden, anyway. 

                         Just something Bosch said.
      Mort looks up for the first time.

                         Bosch? He talked to you?

      Albrecht freezes up, clearly saying more than he should have.

                         Hey, look at the time! Got to run.

      With a puff of greenish smoke Albrecht is gone.

      Mort taps a few more times on the PDA screen and slips it
      back inside his coat pocket.

      Behind him a door rises from the mists of eternity.

      Mort straightens his cuffs, opens the door and enters...


      DESTINY, 20s, blonde, and currently tied to the chair with a
      hood over her head, sits in a patch of ground illuminated by
      the light from the skylight above. 

      She struggles against her bonds, but it's no use. She's the
      knots are too tight. Sweat is beading on her forehead above
      the blindfold.

      All around her are large shipping containers stacked nearly
      to the ceiling. From one of these many containers with open
      doors, high above her...

      Mort watches patiently, but after a few moments, he loses
      interest. He wanders deeper into the container and begins
      looking around at the random items. 

      He spins the blades of a fan...shakes the dust off a lamp,
      lifts a dusty book from a pile and leafs through it as if
      visiting a garage sale. He opens a cabinet door and a bowling
      ball rolls out, falls soundlessly onto a large cushion, and
      rolls off toward the edge. Mort dives for the ball catching
      it just as it plummets off the edge.


      Above her, half in and half out of the container, Mort hangs
      onto the bowling ball.

      Somewhere a door opens and footsteps echo. The footsteps get
      louder until JIMMY MONK steps into the pool of light.
      An elegant suit, an expensive haircut and boyish face can't
      seem to hide Jimmy's cold eyes any more than the tailored
      suit jacket can hide the gun he carries in a shoulder

      Jimmy rips the hood roughly from Destiny's head and we see
      that she is stunning. Grace Kelly come back to life.

      ON MORT

      Beads of sweat roll down his hand and the ball slips slightly
      in his grip. Mort looks at Destiny and his eyes go wide with


      Nothing but contempt for Jimmy shows in her eyes, but even
      this look can't do much to dampen her beauty.

                         Sorry to keep you waiting
                         sweetheart. You miss me?

      Jimmy walks into the shadows of an open container and comes
      back with a chair, and sets it down in front of Destiny. He
      makes a great show of pulling out his handkerchief to dust
      off the chair so he won't soil his expensive suit. He
      unbuttons his coat and pulls out a mean looking .45 caliber.

                                   JIMMY (cont'd)
                         We didn't get too much time to talk
                         you and I. I bet you feel

      Jimmy reaches out and caresses her cheek. For her part,
      Destiny reacts with suitable revulsion.

                                   JIMMY (cont'd)
                         Look, no big speeches, okay. You
                         messed with the wrong fella okay?
                         Mister B says no hard feelings.

      Jimmy levels the gun at Destiny's face.

      Above them, Mort struggles with the bowling ball until...

      He lets go. On purpose or by accident isn't immediately
      apparent, but the ball does drop with sickening speed.

      With a loud crash it hits the edge of another container some
      twenty feet below and takes a lucky bounce.

      ON JIMMY

      Surprised he turns toward the sound. 

      The bowling ball connects Jimmy's head.

4 thoughts on “just like you imagined”

  1. Great stuff, Ed. My internal read-o-meter goes in two directions – “How much more of this do I have to read?” or “Hey, what gives, I need to see the rest!” This definitely falls into the latter category. Speaking of my read-o-meter, you never posted the rest of your screenplay that you gave us a sample of 4 or 5 months ago. What gives?

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