Fade in.

 

INT. PATRICIA DE MONTFORTíS OFFICE - LATE AFTERNOON.

 

Patricia is a plastic surgeon, although her office would not suggest it. It is a large space, tastefully decorated in light earth colors. Her desk, with a stunning floral bouquet upon it, occupies the south end. STREET NOISE can be heard.

Patricia herself is sitting on one of the sofas, carefully looking at ROBERT POMETTAíS face. He is a somewhat dissipated man in late middle age. Patricia is in her mid-thirties, a petite brunette with a plain face. She is wearing an expensive, but somewhat rumpled suit. Her socks beneath her slacks donít quite match.

Patricia is pulling at the skin on Robertís face like itís so much meat.

 

PATRICIA

Yes, I donít see any problems arising out of what you want,

Mr. Pometta. Are you allergic to any antibiotics or painkillers?

 

ROBERT

(slightly embarrassed to even be there)

No. Um, will it hurt much?

 

PATRICIA

(carefully)

Well, it might be uncomfortable. But itís nothing that canít

be remedied.

 

Patricia writes some notes on a pad that rests on her knees and then continues touching Robertís face, trying to estimate where incisions would be needed, drawing lines on a face shaped outline on the table.

 

PATRICIA

Youíll look ten years younger. You caught a little too much sun

when you were younger.

 

ROBERT

Yeah, well, we thought it was healthy then, didnít we?

PATRICIA

You might have. You might want to see a dermatologist. Itís a shame

you didnít come to me earlier. Weíre focusing on preventative methods.

 

ROBERT

What, a stitch in time saves nine?

 

PATRICIA

Essentially. Itís less painful, too.

 

Robert wants to change the subject and notices a large bouquet sitting on Patriciaís desk.

 

ROBERT

Those are nice. Did your husband get them for you?

 

PATRICIA

No, a patient. I fixed her hands.

 

ROBERT

What was wrong with them?

 

PATRICIA

Just old age. Liver spots and wrinkles.

 

Robert looks self consciously at his own hands. Theyíre fine, but heís obviously envisioning them old and wrinkled.

 

PATRICIA

Weíll cross that bridge when we come to it.

 

INT. WILLíS PLACE - NIGHT.

 

Willís Place is a trendy working professional bar. Itís well lit,

and an early ROLLING STONES SONG is playing at a comfortable level.

Patricia is there, in the suit she wore to work that day, at a table with LEWIS, a slightly drunk thirty-ish executive whoís getting drunker. Patricia is toying with her drink, the ice in it

has long since melted.

Patricia finally stands up with a smile that is almost painfully false and asks Lewis a question, unheard above the noise of the crowd. Lewis nods carefully and stands to join her. He awkwardly tries to help her with her coat. She puts it on despite his assistance and heads for an exit on near screen left, Lewis following behind her.

As Patricia walks towards the exit, she bumps into a lone patron, MICHAEL WENTWORTH at a small table. Michael is a healthy man in his late forties, with dark hair and eyes, wearing a dark business suit. We can now hear Patricia.

 

PATRICIA

ĎScuse me.

 

Michael says nothing but only smiles at her. Patricia shrugs and continues on her way. Michael turns to watch her leave.

 

FADE OUT MUSIC

 

INT. PATRICIAíS HOUSE - NIGHT.

 

The room is dark punctuated by the flashing light of an answering machine. The door opens and Patriciaís hand reaches around the door frame to turn on the light.

A neat living room, furnished in Scandinavian modern is revealed by the light of a single halogen lamp. The door opens further to allow the entry of Patricia and Lewis.

Patricia guides Lewis to the sofa where they both sit down.

 

LEWIS

Nice place. What did you say you do

during the day?

 

PATRICIA

I didnít.

 

LEWIS

Well, it pays the rent, huh?

 

Patricia nods. Lewis kisses her suddenly, like a teenager. She reciprocates. Things quickly become very hot and bothered. Lewis is moving quickly, as if afraid of being caught. He is trying to unbutton her blouse when she abruptly pushes him away and stands up.

 

PATRICIA

No. I canít do this.

 

LEWIS

Whaí?

 

PATRICIA

You heard me.

 

LEWIS

Are you married or somethiní?

 

PATRICIA

No. But that doesnít mean I

canít change my mind, does it?

 

 

LEWIS

Oh, címon! Weíve been talking all night...

 

PATRICIA

So youíre good conversation. Look, you better go home.

 

LEWIS

(Muttering)

Whole damí evening...

 

PATRICIA

(Tipsy anger)

That doesnít matter! Thatís the way it is. Iíll call you a cab.

 

Patricia picks up the phone on her coffee table and dials a number.

 

LEWIS

Will told me youíre always with someone.

 

PATRICIA

(On Phone)

Hold on a second.

PATRICIA

(To Lewis)

Not tonight. Will you take a taxi or should I call the cops?

 

LEWIS

Tease.

 

PATRICIA

Iím tired and this is stupid. Go back home to your boring wife. Iíve

got to be up in the morning.

(On phone)

Yes, 733 First. Now. Thanks.

 

Patricia hangs up the phone. She takes some money from her pocket and gives it to Lewis.

 

PATRICIA

Here, for the taxi. You can wait outside.

 

Lewis is pissed off but sees no other option. He gracelessly takes her money and stands up.

 

 

LEWIS

I guess I canít call you, huh?

 

PATRICIA

You wonít even remember my name in the morning.

 

She hustles him towards the door.

 

PATRICIA

Good night, Lewis.

 

She getís him out of her house and slams the door shut, making sure itís locked. Patricia sighs wearily and sits at the counter where her answering machine is blinking. She presses the playback button and leafs through a pile of mail as she listens. The first voice is her receptionist at the clinic, MAGGIE.

 

MAGGIE

Hi, Dr. DeMontfort, itís Maggie. Iím just calling to tell you that

youíve got an appointment with Mrs. Huxhold tomorrow

afternoon. Sheís still kind of angry.

 

The machine BEEPS and continues.

 

VOICE TWO is a robot telemarketer that spiels an automatic pitch about insurance despite the absence of any human listener. Patricia angrily presses the delete button. The machine BEEPS and continues.

 

VOICE THREE - MALE

Hello, Dr. DeMontfort, this is Andrew Smith from the

Association for Prevention of Cruelty to Children, and Iím

just calling to thank you for your generous -

 

Patricia presses the delete button before this message ends. Another BEEP. Now it is her partner, Tony.

 

TONY

Hi, Patricia, itís Tony. Can we reschedule Fridayís procedure?

It turns out my wife made plans for us to go away and I just plain

forgot. Iíd really appreciate it. Thanks.

 

The machine gives three BEEPS, announcing that all messages have been played.

Patricia sighs, throws most of the mail she had in her hands into a nearby garbage can and heads for her bedroom, alone.

 

INT. PATRICIAíS OFFICE - DAY

Patricia herself is sitting on the edge of the coffee table, carefully peering at the face of one MRS. ALICIA HUXHOLD, a faded beauty in a Chanel suit. Patricia is frowning as she examines Mrs. Huxhold.

 

PATRICIA

I think you might be exaggerating the problem somewhat. I

still canít quite see -

 

MRS. HUXHOLD

(interrupting impatiently)

Donít tell me Iím exaggerating. Itís there. You didnít do it

right.

 

PATRICIA

I suppose it might be a shade off. Are you sure it isnít the

light?

 

MRS. HUXHOLD

Iím sure. Iíve been looking at it every day for the past two

weeks.

 

PATRICIA

(sighing)

Well, it wouldnít be the first time a nose set off center. Iím -

 

MRS. HUXHOLD

Well, itís the first time for me. What are you going to do about it?

 

PATRICIA

Iíll have to rebreak and reset it.

 

MRS. HUXHOLD

Correctly this time?

 

PATRICIA

Of course. Iíd like to say that when I wrapped you up, your nose

seemed perfect. Are you sure you didnít bump it soon after surgery?

 

MRS. HUXHOLD

Of course I didnít. You made this mistake, not me.

 

PATRICIA

Well, you seem quite sure...

 

Patricia goes to her desk and picks up a large appointment calender that is sitting upon it. She flips through many pages before speaking.

 

PATRICIA

I have some time free, oh, three weeks from tomorrow.

 

MRS. HUXHOLD

Three weeks? I canít wait three weeks.

 

PATRICIA

Thatís the earliest time I have.

 

Mrs. Huxhold gets up as if to leave.

 

MRS. HUXHOLD

Maybe you can find me a better time when my lawyer calls you.

 

PATRICIA

I donít think thatíll be necessary -

 

In the middle of that last word, they are interrupted by MAGGIE, Patriciaís secretary, who walks into the room without knocking. She is holding a manilla folder. Her twenty-something prettiness is marred by her anxiety

 

MAGGIE

Dr. DeMontfort, Sacramento General called. Theyíre swamped and

they just got a pediatric trauma and well - look.

 

Maggie opens the manila folder and holds it out to Patricia. A Polaroid photo falls out of it, that Patricia picks up and peruses. She is shocked by what she sees and talks to Maggie.

 

PATRICIA

Is he stable?

 

MAGGIE

Yes, heís fine except for...that. He got dragged along Second Avenue

for almost a hundred feet.

 

Patricia looks at her watch and briefly glances at Mrs. Huxhold who is watching this.

 

 

PATRICIA

Call Sacto and tell them we can do it. I think Tony and Peter are

just finishing up with Don, go warn them. Call Andrea and get her in

here, sheís good with kids.

 

MAGGIE

But itís -

 

PATRICIA

Offer her time and a half. Theater Two should be clean, tell

Tony and Peter to prep it. We should be ready for this in about

thirty minutes. Got it?

 

Maggie nods but makes no motion to leave. She glances at Mrs. Huxhold and speaks to Patricia.

 

MAGGIE

(quietly)

Sure, but Sacto warned that this kidís family doesnít have coverage.

 

PATRICIA

So what? Weíll find a way around it. If Tony squawks, Iíll cover it.

Iíll have to cover Andrea, anyway.

 

Maggie nods and turns to leave.

 

MRS. HUXHOLD

What is this? You canít find room for me for three weeks, but you

can take an uninsured-

 

PATRICIA

(poise gone)

Here, Mrs. Huxhold, take a look at this.

 

Patricia crosses back to Mrs. Huxhold and angrily thrusts the Polaroid into her hand. Mr. Huxhold looks at the photo, gasps and blanches.

 

INSERT - Photograph of young child with newly mangled features.

 

PATRICIA

I can fix your nose tonight or next month. But if that boy doesnít

get some reconstruction within the next seventy-two hours...

 

Patricia takes the photo back from Mrs. Huxhold.

 

MRS. HUXHOLD

I didnít realize...

 

PATRICIA

Of course you didnít. I have to go.

 

Patricia brusquely pushes past Mrs. Huxhold, Maggie following in her wake.

 

INT. OPERATING THEATER - DAY.

 

A small, well equipped surgical theater. One nurse, PETER is prepping the theater. Patricia enters, wearing surgical garb and conversing with her similarly garbed colleague TONY, a middle aged man with the optomism of a teenager. Another nurse is behind them.

 

PATRICIA

- canít leave a kid like that, can we?

 

TONY

Of course not...I was wondering -

 

Their discussion is interrupted by the entrance of the patient, a seven year old boy, NICHOLAS. He is still conscious and in pain. His crying sets all present on edge. He is accompanied by the anaesthesiologist, ANDREA.

 

PATRICIA

Put him to sleep, Anne.

 

ANDREA

Just a second.

 

Nicholasí crying ceases as he is carefully drugged by Andrea. Patricia and Tony both assess the damage.

 

PATRICIA

What were you asking just now?

 

TONY

Oh. I was wondering if you settled things

with Huxhold.

 

PATRICIA

(Carefully)

Everythingís fine. Iím doing her over

PATRICIA

(Cont)

tomorrow.

 

TONY

Last thing?

 

PATRICIA

Yes, if you could help out, sheíll appreciate it.

 

TONY

Sure, Patricia. Anything for a friend.

 

Patricia takes a deep breath and regards her patient.

 

PATRICIA

Thanks. God, what a mess.

 

INT. WILLíS PLACE - NIGHT.

 

Patricia is back at Willís Place. The bar is not as crowded

as it could be. Patricia sits at the bar, talking to the owner/bartender WILL. INANE CHATTER soaks the air, almost drowning out the MUSIC - this time itís "Dear Prudence" by The Beatles.

Michael Wentworth is also at the bar, sitting two seats away from Patricia. Patricia does not notice him, but he is listening to her conversation.

Michael is in his mid-forties, good looking, but not breath-takingly so. His accent is neutral and his speech is always clear. He never raises his voice. He wears an expensive European suit and does not carry a briefcase. He is a man of quiet intensity and poise, with the charisma usually associated with demagogues and psychotics.

 

PATRICIA

...and then we got a kid looking like hamburger.

 

WILL

Uh-huh.

 

PATRICIA

So my dayís been awful. Yours?

 

WILL

Well, you know, the usual.

 

Michael has turned to pay attention to Patricia during this sterling conversation.

MICHAEL

I think you need some ice cream.

 

Patricia is a little startled and then laughs.

 

PATRICIA

Yeah, that would be nice. Thatís what

I usually have when Iím feeling down.

 

MICHAEL

I donít have any ice cream, but...

 

He reaches into the pocket of his slightly old-fashioned suit.

 

MICHAEL

...I happen to have this. Here.

 

Michael hands her a Swiss chocolate bar.

 

PATRICIA

Hey, wow. Thanks.

 

She unwraps the bar and eats it with somewhat guilty pleasure.

 

MICHAEL

You donít have it very often?

 

PATRICIA

I canít.

 

MICHAEL

Diet?

 

PATRICIA

Sort of.

 

MICHAEL

(To Will)

Another, please.

 

Michael gives the drink he receives to Patricia.

 

 

PATRICIA

Thanks. Bourbon?

 

MICHAEL

You donít like it?

 

PATRICIA

(Shrugs)

Itís what I usually drink.

 

MICHAEL

That doesnít mean you like it.

 

PATRICIA

I canít drink something I donít like too fast.

 

MICHAEL

Iím Michael. Your day canít have been that bad.

 

PATRICIA

Patricia. It might have been. I got real close to being sued.

 

MICHAEL

Things are settled, now?

 

PATRICIA

They should be tomorrow.

 

MICHAEL

Well, then, whatís to worry about?

 

PATRICIA

I think I messed up something else.

 

MICHAEL

And that would be...?

 

PATRICIA

I donít know. Iím doing something Iím good at, but my best...crap.

 

MICHAEL

What else could you do?

 

PATRICIA

Nothing, Iím not qualified.

 

MICHAEL

What would you like to do?

 

PATRICIA

Have another drink.

 

MICHAEL

And beyond that?

 

PATRICIA

I never plan more than two drinks

ahead.

 

MICHAEL

I see. And tomorrow? More chocolate

and bourbon?

 

PATRICIA

You bought them both.

 

MICHAEL

You didnít have to take them. What are you

going to do tomorrow?

 

Patricia stares at him, a long level gaze. She swallows a deliberate mouthful of her drink.

 

PATRICIA

Break some dowagerís nose.

 

MICHAEL

Really?

 

PATRICIA

Yes.

 

MICHAEL

Is this a hobby of yours, or just a special treat?

 

PATRICIA

I get paid for it. Well, not the dowager.

 

PATRICIA

(Cont)

Thatís fixing a previous mistake.

 

MICHAEL

You donít think you made a mistake.

 

PATRICIA

No, no I donít. But sheís got a bigger lawyer than me, so...

 

MICHAEL

Suppose that wasnít the case. What would you do?

 

PATRICIA

(Laughs)

Tell her to go to hell.

 

MICHAEL

You should have.

 

PATRICIA

Oh, yeah. And Patricia would then kiss her career goodbye.

 

MICHAEL

It would be worth it. Youíd survive.

 

PATRICIA

Survive? I donít know how.

 

MICHAEL

Youíve gotten this far.

 

PATRICIA

Only because thereís always been someone else to tell me what to do.

 

MICHAEL

Sorry?

 

PATRICIA

Oh. Wunderkinder. Sped through school. Parents told me they

wanted a doctor. Mentor recommended cosmetic surgery.

Classmate told me about my current practice. Others tell me what they

want done to their face. I donít think Iíve - crap. What am I telling you this for?

 

MICHAEL

Because you like my face?

 

PATRICIA

Iíve worked on better.

 

MICHAEL

(Laughs)

Ouch.

 

PATRICIA

Iím sorry. Sort of. Guess Iím kind of bitchy tonight.

 

MICHAEL

No, just honest.

 

PATRICIA

Only when Iím drinking.

 

MICHAEL

Honesty isnít that difficult, even sober. Not really. Thatís only your

second drink tonight. You usually stop after two.

 

PATRICIA

Youíve been watching?

 

MICHAEL

Yes.

 

Patricia physically retreats at this, like a wary cat.

 

MICHAEL

Iím not trying to lure you with chocolate.

 

Patricia relaxes, somewhat.

 

PATRICIA

That would be a first. Chocolate, I mean.

 

MICHAEL

If you donít want to get picked up, you

shouldnít come to places like this.

 

PATRICIA

My biker leathers are at the cleaners.

 

MICHAEL

A biker and a surgeon? What an interesting

combination. What else do you do?

 

FADE OUT MUSIC.

FADE TO BLACK.

 

FADE IN

INT. PATRICIAíS HOUSE - NIGHT.

 

Blackness reigns, punctuated by the flashing red eye of the message machine.

Once again, the door is cracked open and Patriciaís hand reaches around to flip on the light. The door swings wide open and Patricia enters the house, alone. She ignores her blinking answering machine, drops her briefcase on the ground and walks, somewhat unsteadily, to her bedroom, not quite slamming the door as she goes.

 

 

INT. OPERATING THEATER - LATE AFTERNOON.

 

Patricia, Tony, and two assistants, wearing their usual surgical greens are regarding the blissfully quiet form of Mrs. Huxhold.

 

PATRICIA

I still think sheís imagining things.

 

TONY

If she doesnít like it...

 

EXT. SACRAMENTO BUSINESS DISTRICT - SAME DAY. AFTER SUNSET.

 

Michael, wearing a dark trench coat over an immaculate Saville Row suit, is walking through commute clogged streets. His eyes are upon a windblown female ahead of him.

The woman is a plain, thirty-ish brunette, running end of the day errands. There is a superficial resemblance to Patricia, but her walk isnít as brisk and her suit is cheaper. She carrys a briefcase and an armload of dry cleaning. She steps into a deli and Michael pauses, standing aside from impatient pedestrians, waiting for her to exit.

 

INT. OPERATING THEATER - CONCURRENTLY

 

Patricia and Tony are still at work on Mrs. Huxhold

 

PATRICIA

(Wearily)

This is her third cosmetic procedure.

I think she looked better before.

 

TONY

Customerís always right, Trish.

 

PATRICIA

Shut up, Tony.

 

EXT. SACRAMENTO ALLEY - EVENING.

 

Michael is in a silent struggle with the young woman he has been following. He has managed to drag her into an alley. Her dry cleaning, briefcase and pastrami sandwich are on the ground.

There is little sound, they are far enough away from the thinning evening traffic for nothing except the occasional CITY NOISE to reach them.

Fear keeps the woman silent and wide eyed. Michael is intent upon grappling with her, not conversation. His intentions beyond that are not clear.

 

INT. OPERATING THEATER - EVENING.

 

TONY

I guess this isnít the time to tell you she wants another eye tuck?

 

PATRICIA

What?

 

EXT. SACRAMENTO ALLEY - EVENING.

 

Michael and the woman are still struggling. She manages to reach into her coat pocket and reach the tiny spray bottle of mace her boyfriend gave her. She sprays Michael full in the face and pauses, expecting a reaction.

There is none. Michael is not affected, but he takes advantage of the moment and SNAPS her neck with an angry movement. He shows no regret, and gently lowers the body to the ground.

 

INT. OPERATING THEATER - EVENING.

 

PATRICIA

She wants more?

 

TONY

Yeah, another eye tuck next month. Said she wants to keep ahead

of the crowís feet.

 

Patricia savagely slashes Mrs. Huxholdís face with the scalpel in her hand. Another murderous swipe cuts her throat and the operating table is suddenly red, too red.

 

(Simultaneously)

TONY

Jesus Christ, Patricia!

 

PATRICIA

Stupid bitch. Stupid, stupid, bitch.

 

NURSE ONE

Jesus! Clamp, gauze, anything.

 

Patricia pushes herself away from the failing Mrs. Huxhold, still clutching the scalpel. The nurses are trying to staunch the life flowing out of Huxholdís throat. Tony faces Patricia, but dares not approach her.

 

TONY

I guess it was the wrong time to tell you that. Can I have

the scalpel. Please?

 

Patricia shakes her head, moves away from the carnage towards the theaterís only doorway.

 

NURSE ONE

Call Sacto General! We gotta take her in!

 

Patricia whirls and runs out of the room.

 

EXT. SACRAMENTO ALLEY - EVENING.

 

Michael is just pushing his victimís body into a dumpster, and

brings the lid down with a loud CLANG. Simultaneously, a hitherto unnoticed back door is SLAMMED open by Patricia.

 

Michael steps back into shadows and watches Patricia as she pulls off the bloody surgical gown she is still wearing at throws it blindly into the same dumpster. The scalpel that she is still compulsively clinging to, is dropped on the ground.

Patricia stands dazed for a moment, unaware of Michaelís presence. She leaves the alleyway for the street and Michael follows discreetly.

 

EXT. WILLíS PLACE - EVENING.

 

Itís a dirty, blustery evening. The constant wind is pushing garbage into the paths of the few pedestrians out in this weather.

Willís place is announced in a squiggle of blue and green neon in a gentrified part of town, but the new paint and lamposts canít do much to hide the beggar on the corner.

Patricia initially pauses outside the bar, and then continues on her way. Unseen by her, Michael follows at a discreet distance.

 

INT. PATRICIAíS HOUSE - EVENING

 

Patricia, windblown and desolate, enters her house and looks at it as a stranger might. The answering machine is blinking furiously but she ignores it. She sits down and stares stonily at nothing for a long moment.

The WIND can be heard WHISTLING outside, causing odd BUMPS and CREAKS.

 

Patricia picks the answering machine up and hurls it across the room. It collides with a vase on the coffee table with a loud CRUNCH.

Patricia stalks around the room and stops at a desk. Her oversize appointment calender follows the machine with a THUMP against the wall. Then a prescription pad and a jar of pencils, CLATTER to the floor. A stack of floppy discs and medical journals SLITHER down. The phone RINGS harshly. Patricia yanks the phone cord out of the wall. The RINGING stops abruptly.

She looks about herself, slowly sinks down into a chair.

A KNOCK at the door interrupts Patriciaís silent stillness. She opens the door to reveal Michael, looking windblown as she, but existing with the poise that Patricia has lost.

 

PATRICIA

Michael?

 

MICHAEL

Yes. May I come in?

 

PATRICIA

How did you-

 

 

MICHAEL

Iíll tell you soon. We donít have much time.

 

PATRICIA

I know. And this isnít-

 

A police SIREN fades in, through and out of this moment. Patricia looks over her shoulder, back at Michael. Michael has the same slightly conspirital air as he wore when he last spoke with her.

 

MICHAEL

I have something for you.

 

PATRICIA

What?

 

MICHAEL

If you let me in, Iíll show you.

 

PATRICIA

I donít have time for games!

 

Patricia hand on the front doorknob is white with tension.

 

MICHAEL

This isnít a game, Patricia.

 

Patricia starts visibly at that.

 

PATRICIA

I know!

 

MICHAEL

Please.

 

A long second stretches by. Patricia moves fractionally, preparing to shut the door on Michael. He holds the door open.

 

MICHAEL

I need you. Please.

 

Michael is almost humble. He touches Patriciaís arm gently. She shrugs helplessly and stands aside to let him in. He surveys the obvious wreckage without comment, and sits down on her sofa.

 

PATRICIA

So what do you have?

 

Michael places the bloody scalpel Patricia left in the alley on her coffee table. Patricia sits heavily on the edge of the coffee table.

 

PATRICIA

How did you...?

 

MICHAEL

I have good timing.

 

PATRICIA

(realization)

You followed me.

 

Michael nods. Patricia looks desperately at the phone that has been torn out of the wall.

 

PATRICIA

Why?

 

MICHAEL

You tell me.

 

PATRICIA

What?

 

MICHAEL

You know whatís happening. I donít. You

tell me why I found that.

 

PATRICIA

Youíre crazy.

 

MICHAEL

Itís quite possible. Tell me what happened.

 

PATRICIA

Are you-

 

MICHAEL

Iím not a cop. Tell me.

 

PATRICIA

Meat with credit cards.

 

MICHAEL

What?

 

Patricia folds up within herself. Her elbows rest on knees, her chin rests on a clenched fist. She is staring at the ground, a hunched mockery of herself.

 

PATRICIA

Thatís all they are anymore. One less, now.

 

Michael smiles. He seems oddly pleased by this statement.

 

MICHAEL

I thought as much.

 

He looks around the room, noting the damage once more. He moves closer to her.

 

MICHAEL

Donít stop now, youíre almost there.

 

PATRICIA

What?

 

MICHAEL

Youíve reached a pivotal point. Most people never get this close.

 

PATRICIA

Close to what?

 

MICHAEL

Truth. Freedom. I want to help you. I can guide you through this.

 

PATRICIA

Iím in enough trouble as it is.

 

MICHAEL

And how do you plan to get out of it?

 

PATRICIA

Get out of it? How can I?

 

MICHAEL

Precisely. You can only go forward. Iíve

been there before you, I can show you the way.

 

Patricia tried to move away from him, but she is already on the edge of the table and she is reluctant to move too far.

 

MICHAEL

Weíve both killed. Iíve more experience, but you have potential. I

can bring that to fruition.

 

PATRICIA

Oh shit...

 

Patricia jumps up and moves away from this soft spoken lunatic. Michael sighs and does not follow her.

 

MICHAEL

Patricia, if I was going to kill you, I would have done so

already.

 

He holds out his empty hands.

 

MICHAEL

You canít go back. No-one can. If you stay here, youíre going to

suffer. You can only go forward.

 

Patricia is still backing away from Michael. A KNOCK at the door breaks the moemnt. Michael glances at the door and ignores it.

 

MICHAEL

And Iím the only one who can take you forward.

 

The KNOCKING continues. Loud and peremptory.

 

MICHAEL

Penance is an outdated concept.

 

The KNOCKING is even louder, more demanding. Patricia moves to answer the door, but keeps and eye on Michael. He leans back on the sofa, a man at ease.

 

MICHAEL

Iím not going anywhere.

 

Patricia opens the door to SCOTT MILNE, a tired 2nd grade dectective who needs a vacation. Heís wearing pants and a shirt that should have been thrown into the laundry basket eighteen hours ago. His tie is almost tacky and he does not suffer fools gladly.

 

MILNE

Dr. DeMontfort?

PATRICIA

(sighing)

Yes?

 

MILNE

Detective Milne, Sacramento PD. Weíd like-

 

PATRICIA

To the station?

 

Milne nods.

 

PATRICIA

I have to get my bag. Come in.

 

Milne follows her into the house as she fetches her purse. Milne notices the mess and Michael with a curious frown. Michael says nothing, his gaze is upon Patricia.

 

PATRICIA

(to Michael)

No, and get out.

 

Michael stand, finally acknowledging Milne.

 

MICHAEL

I donít want to cause a scene.

 

Milne opens his mouth to ask a question, but is cut off by Patricia.

 

PATRICIA

Too late. Go.

 

Michael precedes the three of them as they leave the house. Patricia turns off lights as she passes through the room, leaving the house in wind muttering darkness.