Log Line: A group of strangers wake up in a strange space and seek to discover what binds them together as they are mysteriously killed one by one.

 

 

ACT I

 

INT: ENCLOSED CHAMBER-DIM LIGHTING

 

A young woman in her mid-twenties wakes up to the feel of cold cement against her cheek. She has been drooling in her sleep, and absently wipes it off as she looks around. She closes her eyes as a wave vertigo hits her, and as she tries to roll her neck her body betrays her and she is sent crashing to the floor.

 

O.S. Man’s voice

 

Hey, are you okay?

 

A rough hand gently touches the back of her neck. Her eyes snap open as she tries to move, but she collapses back to the ground, frightened and unable to do much else.

 

O.S. Man’s voice

 

Hey, relax. You’re still groggy so just take it easy.

 

Another hand clamps gently around her shoulder as though to turn her over. The woman stiffens as though she does not like to be touched. VANESSA stiffens further as she speaks.

 

VANESSA

(stiff, talking through clenched teeth)

Get off of me.

 

O.S.  Man’s voice

(sounds irritated)

Fine, have it your way.

 

VANESSA tries to apologize, but her jaw is clenched too tight as she hears the man move away.  It is pitch black in this area, wherever they are, and she cannot see anything, not even her own hands as she tries to raise them. VANESSA tries to rise again but gets only halfway before her balance goes away, and she falls to the ground. Her cheek strikes the cement floor with a hard smack.

 

O.S. Man’s voice

 

See? That’s why I tried to help you. All of had the same problem apparent when we woke up. Do you want help now?

VANESSA feels her cheeks burn with shame as she tries to stand up, but cannot. She knows what she must do.

 

VANESSA

(sighs in resignation)

Yes please. If you don’t mind can you help me up?

 

There is a short snicker that causes VANESSA to blush as the footfalls come in her direction. The stranger sets her up easily before walking off again. As she hisses in pain another chuckle can be heard in the darkness. Realizing it is still dark because her eyes are closed, VANESSA opens them to see nine other individuals, women and men, in an enclosed space that is dimly lit.

She reaches back behind her head to rub a sore spot on her neck, where a lump has risen.

 

MAN 1

 

You too huh? I woke up with a pain inside my skull I still can’t get rid of. I suppose whoever put us here wasn’t too gentle in the doing.

 

VANESSA

(doesn’t answer, her eyelids begin to droop)

 

WOMAN 1

 

Don’t fall asleep. If you’ve got a concussion it’s likely you won’t wake up. (pause) That’s what my mom always told me anyway.

 

MAN 2

(long sigh)

So, anyone have any ideas on how we got here and why?

 

No one answers.

 

WOMAN 2

 

All I know is that I was folding laundry when I felt a sharp pain in the back of my neck and then I dropped. When I woke up I was here.

 

WOMAN 3

 

Me too.  (pause) I was coming out of my home and felt a jab at the base of my skull. (WOMAN 3 points to the spot) Right here. Then the lights went out.

 

MAN 2

 

Where is ‘here’ though?

 

No one speaks. VANESSA looks around, but sees very little. There is no sign of a ceiling, only pitch black without any hint of a solid surface. The light that is present comes from wall-mounted halogen lights. They are high enough to be out of reach.

No one is chained or bound in any way, but the seven women and two men look very ragged.

 

VANESSA

 

I don’t know any of you.

 

WOMAN 4

(laughs loudly)

 

VANESSA

 

Something funny?

 

WOMAN 4

(sits forward)

No one knows anyone in here.

 

VANESSA

(frustrated)

Where is ‘here’?

 

O.S.

 

Here, is where I’ve put you.

 

Everyone begins to look around, searching for a source that that voice came from but finding nothing. The voice is heavily modulated and doesn’t give a hint of gender or age.

 

WOMAN 1

(looking up)

Who are you?

 

O.S.

I’m your tormentor, just as you were all mine at one point and time.

 

There are looks shared around the room as VANESSA frowns.  This is a clue she figures, but one that no one can figure out.

 

MAN 1

(growling voice)

We don’t understand. You mean we all know you?

 

O.S.

 

At one point and time, yes. You’re here to conduct a little social experiment.

 

WOMAN 2

(screeching as she stands, slapping hand against the wall)

You can’t do this!

 

VANESSA notes that the woman’s hand slap produces only a dull smack of flesh on concrete. She thinks that the walls must be a foot thick at least if not more.

 

O.S.

 

I already have. Now, to the experiment. This chamber will fill up periodically with water, which will be stored for no less than two minutes at a time. In order to survive the you will be allowed to hold your breath or, attempt option B.

 

WOMAN 3

(snarls as she sounds afraid)

That’s not an experiment, it’s torture!

 

O.S.

 

Beyond the darkness of your chamber there are eight holes drilled into the ceiling. Each hole is two inches in diameter and will offer enough room to breathe into once the chamber is filled. But since there are more people than there are holes, you will have to decide to share, or allow two your number to hold their breath. Also keep in mind that the walls are quite thick and are built to absorb sound, so screaming will only ruin your chance at surviving. The experiment starts now.

 

WOMAN 2

(panicked)

Wait!

 

A blaring noise can be heard, almost like an alarm but not quite. After this the sound of something heavy being dragged away can be heard from above, and the lights get steadily brighter as they eventually reveal the holes that have been spoken of far above on the ceiling. The ceiling looks to be about fifteen feet in height if not more, and the walls offer no hand or footholds to climb. Even as they are looking for something beyond the holes the first drops of water hit a few of them.

The drops become a trickle, then a deluge as water begins to pour down into the center of the room in a steady stream. Everyone but VANESSA springs to their feet, some of the panicking and others just watching the water fall. She remembers in that moment that she is wearing a filmy skirt and blouse, as it is already beginning to paste itself to her skin.

Just then VANESSA perks up as a memory hits her. She was going somewhere the night she had been hit over the head, but the memory eludes her as the water continues to rise.

One of the men rushes over to her suddenly.

 

MAN 2

(shouting over the sound of the rushing water)

Get up! Get up now or you’ll be sucking water soon!

 

VANESSA

(still sitting)

What do you remember before coming here?

 

VANESSA stands to her feet as the MAN helps her. A sudden chill grips her as she stand too close to the heavy stream of water.

 

MAN 2

 

Not much! I just remember that I was walking around outside my home and I felt a sharp pain in the back of my neck! After everything went black I woke up here!

 

VANESSA

 

Where do you live?

 

MAN 2

 

We need to get ready to tread some water!

 

VANESSA

(not looking away)

Where?

 

MAN 2

 

I’ve got a house with my girlfriend and her kids, one of them is mine, out in Vancouver, Washington! (pause) Where’re you from?

 

VANESSA

 

Portland!

 

The MAN nods but says no more about it.

 

WOMAN 3

 

We’ve got to find those holes!

 

Everyone goes in their own direction, gravitating towards where the holes are as the water continues to rise. Eventually the water rises high enough that they need to start kicking to stay afloat, but as VANESSA watches she sees that a few of the others are beginning to panic. She does nothing but tread water as she seeks to find one of the holes. The darkness has returned and the holes are now harder to find.

 

MAN 1

 

Eight holes! We’ve got to survive with eight holes for air!

 

WOMAN 3

 

No shit!

 

The water continues to rise.

 

CUT TO:

 

 

INT: ENCLOSED CHAMBER-DIM LIGHTING

10 MINUTES LATER…

 

VANESSA and the others are seated against the wall. All of them have survived save for one person. He is lying face down on the concrete floor, his face turned towards her, left in his own little spot. It is the man she was speaking to before the chamber flooded.

 

WOMAN 3

(weak, pitiful voice)

Did anyone know his name?

 

No one sits next to each other. Everyone is shivering at least a little.

 

MAN 1

 

Does it matter? He’s dead, and no one here knows each other anyway.

 

WOMAN 4

 

My name is JENNIFER, but everyone calls me Jen. I’m from Portland, Oregon. I was going to pick up my kid from daycare. I’d just gotten in my car when I felt a sharp pain-

 

MAN 1

(replies with sarcasm)

In the back of your neck? Yeah, me too. Anyone else?

 

There are a few muttered “yes’s” that can be heard from the others. VANESSA is getting an idea as she rises to her feet and walks over to the corpse.

 

MAN 1

 

What’re you doing?

 

He shies away from her as VANESSA digs into the dead man’s pocket, looking for his wallet. She finds it on the first try as she then moves away.

 

WOMAN 4

(shouts)

Have some fucking respect!

 

VANESSA

(turning around to glare at the younger woman)

Shut your hole.

 

The wallet has a New England Patriots logo on the front, and a driver’s license inside that has REVOKED stamped across it. VANESSA reads past the red ink to see the man’s name and address. The license reads: Morgan, Clinton. Age: 38. It has a Vancouver address.

 

VANESSA

(drops the wallet)

His name was Clinton. Happy?

 

WOMAN 4

(sulking)

You don’t have to be a bitch about it.

 

VANESSA

(snorts)

It’s what I do. Now that we know two of our names, anyone else want to volunteer?

 

 

VANESSA looks around the room. No one seems to want to speak. Then MAN 1 speaks.

 

MAN 1

 

I’m PHILLIP REDDENTHAL. I live in Vancouver, and I was just getting home from work when I felt the pain in my neck. I thought a bee stung me at first, but when the lights went out, well, I guess you all know the rest.

 

O.S.

 

Anyone not with us?

 

VANESSA

 

CLINTON is gone. He wasn’t able to make it up to the holes.

 

One of the women twitches at the mention of the name, and VANESSA sees it. She says nothing about it.

 

VANESSA

(looking up, speaking sarcastically)

Does that make you sad?

 

Something drops through the ceiling, hissing and spitting blue, crackling arcs of electric current. They all realize what it is too late to move, and as it hits the wet floor the taser sends an electric jolt across the floor, touching all of them as several of the women cry out. VANESSA is knocked to the floor as her body locks up in spasms. Eventually the taser shorts out.

 

O.S.

 

That was just a taser. The next time I’ll try a live wire when the chamber is filled. Does that make you sad?

 

VANESSA can only jerk and spasm as she waits for the electric current to fade. She reasons however that she has struck a nerve.

 

END OF ACT I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACT II

 

INT: ENCLOSED CHAMBER-DIM LIGHTING

1 HOUR LATER

 

The room fills up again, and everyone makes their way to the top. Once it empties they are all still alive, but CLINTON’S corpse is gone. No one saw it being moved, and no one noticed the change in pressure that should have occurred if someone had entered the chamber.

VANESSA keeps an eye on the others. There are three that are from Vancouver and two from Portland that she knows of.

 

PHILLIP

(looks at WOMAN 2)

So what’s your story? Who are you and where are you from?

 

WOMAN 2

 

My name is CANDACE, and I was just getting home. I’d gone for a run around town and was walking up my front walk when I heard footsteps behind me, and then, here. (sniffs) I was supposed to be going to work the night shift. I live in Brush Praire and work in Jantzen Beach at the Doubletree as a waitress. I didn’t get to clock in. They must be missing me by now.

 

PHILLIP

(shakes his head)

Likely they’ll think you just skipped out on them. Any chance of anyone else being missed?

 

A few heads rise at this remark, but no one except CANDACE speaks as she shakes her head.

 

CANDACE

(panicked voice)

No, no, no. They know me well enough. They know I never do a no-show without a good reason. I always call, always call. They know me, they know I like my job.

 

VANESSA

 

I don’t think we’ve been here that long.

 

PHILLIP

 

What makes you say that?

 

VANESSA

(looking around)

Something like this had to have taken time to set up. I couldn’t even say what this place is, but it’s a well used system it seems like. It had to have required some planning and a certain level of effort to get us all in here, especially without any undue harm.

 

PHILLIP

 

Other than the obvious lump on the back of our necks.

 

VANESSA

(nods)

Whoever it is has to have known our routines well enough to know where we would be and when. It can’t be just dumb luck, that would be too dangerous.

 

WOMAN 1

(snorts and chuckles derisively)

Regular detective aren’t you? Well Sherlock, maybe you can tell us the best way of this goddamned hole then.

 

VANESSA and PHILLIP look to the woman, a rough-looking female that seems to have been beaten down by life. VANESSA walks over to her, stopping when she is with arm’s reach.

VANESSA

 

What’s your name?

 

WOMAN 1

(scowls)

My name is JEAN BURLESON, and I asked you a question.

 

VANESSA

(waves this off)

Where are you from?

 

JEAN

(looks to PHILLIP)

Is this bitch for real?

 

VANESSA bristles a little at the woman’s tone, but doesn’t react otherwise.

 

PHILLIP

(smiles and shrugs)

I think it’s about as real as it can get. It might be best if you just answer the question. Right now she seems to be the only with any ideas on what’s going on.

 

JEAN

(looks up to VANESSA)

Is that right? (cocks her head) Well I’m from Vancouver too missy. Is that helpful?

 

VANESSA

 

What were you doing before you woke up here? Do you remember?

 

JEAN

(leans a little closer to VANESSA with a leering smile)

You really want to know sweets? (she eyes VANESSA up and down as she says this.

 

PHILLIP

 

Are you a dyke or something?

 

JEAN

(snorts as she leans back, seems to dismiss PHILLIP)

The only thing a man’s good for is what’s between his legs, and any real woman can do without that limp little thing. (looks at VANESSA) You want to know what I was doing sweetheart? I was tongue deep in-

 

VANESSA

(steps back, looks disgusted)

I get it. I get it.

 

JEAN

(chuckles, holding up her hands in mock surrender)

Oooh, well lookie here. Little Miss thong up my crack is a genuine prude! Who would’ve guessed?

 

VANESSA tugs at her skirt to help it cover her upper legs.

 

JEAN

 

What, should I say who, were you doing before you came down here, hmm?

 

VANESSA

(realization dawning in her eyes)

Wait, you were with someone?

 

JEAN

 

Yes and no. My bitch and I were already done and she’d hit the road like I told her to. I was about to fall asleep when I felt the pain in my neck, and then nothing.

 

Only a few minutes later the water begins to rush into the chamber again, and VANESSA is no closer to figuring out what they all have in common.

 

PHILLIP

 

Here we go again.

 

CUT TO:

 

 

INT: ENCLOSED CHAMBER-DIM LIGHTING

2 HOURS LATER

One of the unidentified women is crying. No one tells her to stop as she sits with her head in her hands, wailing away. Eventually her sobs taper off.

 

WOMAN 3

 

My, my name is Amy, and I don’t belong here. I don’t, don’t belong here.

 

VANESSA is paying attention, and speaks up as AMY finishes.

 

VANESSA

 

Where are you from AMY?

 

AMY

(shuddering)

Beaverton. I’m from Beaverton, out near Sunset High School. I work at the Costco over by TV Highway.

 

VANESSA

 

What were you doing before you got here AMY?

 

AMY shakes her head as she tries to remember. Just then the voice returns.

 

O.S.

 

Having fun playing detective? I feel it prudent to tell you that one of the holes has been covered over and will not be in use for your next swim. Now I understand that this means that you’ll need to work together again or allow someone else to perish, but I’m confident that you’ll do as expected.

 

PHILLIP

 

And what are we expected to do?

 

O.S.

 

You’re expected to survive.

 

VANESSA

 

How do you know all of us?

There is silence for a long moment. The others are now looking at VANESSA. Instead of an answer the water begins to pour down again. VANESSA notices the lack of a stream of water from above, which means the speaker was telling the truth.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT: ENCLOSED CHAMBER-DIM LIGHTING

30 MINUTES LATER

 

AMY is the next to be found dead. She is found lying face up on the concrete with a look of horror on her face. There are bruises that ring her throat.

 

PHILLIP

(yelling at JEAN)

Look at the marks and look at your thick porkpie hands bitch! You could’ve helped her survive and instead you saved your own ass!

 

Three of the remaining women are holding PHILLIP back as he tries to attack JEAN. She is standing her ground and not backing down.

JEAN

And why would I waste a fine piece of ass like her?! It was probably you! Where were you when we were all fighting just to breathe?

 

 

VANESSA

(speaking calmly)

He and I shared a breathing hole.

 

Two of the women are sitting against the wall, as of yet unidentified. One of them is heavyset and the other is pretty but kind of plain.

 

VANESSA

 

You two haven’t said a lot since we started talking. Now would be a good time to start.

 

WOMAN 5

 

I don’t anything to say.

 

VANESSA

 

Your names and where you’re from would be a good start.

 

WOMAN 5

 

What does it matter? It won’t help us get out of here. Just leave us alone.

 

VANESSA

(eyebrows raised)

‘Us’? You two are an ‘us’?

 

WOMAN 5

(looks disgusted)

No! But since she’s not speaking either I spoke for both of us.

 

The other woman looks at the speaker, leaning her head back as she speaks

 

WOMAN 6

 

My name is Margo and I live in Portland. Good enough?

 

VANESSA

(nods as she turns to the other woman)

 

WOMAN 5

(rolls her eyes)

Oh Jesus Christ, fine. My name is PEPPER and I live out in Milwaukie. I’m a Capricorn and I enjoy binge-watching Netflix on rainy days and I’m a caregiver at a Foster Care home. Is that good enough?

 

VANESSA

(walks away a few steps)

We were all taken from somewhere, and as near as I can tell the range is from Brush Prairie in Washington to Milwaukie in Oregon. That’s not a humongous jump.

 

MARGO
So what’s that mean?

 

VANESSA

 

It means our kidnapper, whom I hope is listening, is either limited in their geographical influence, or knows all of us from their dealings in whatever city we were grabbed. The bastard knew us all in some capacity,

that’s my theory.

 

JEAN

 

Oh yeah? Then tell me this sugar tits, how come none of us know each other then? You’d think if this puke pulled only people that they knew then at least one or two of us would recognize each other.

 

VANESSA

(ignores JEAN)

PEPPER what did you say you did?

 

PEPPER

(blows out a breath)

I work for a Foster Care home. I was taking out the trash when I felt a jab in my neck, and then nothing.

 

VANESSA

 

In Milwaukie.

 

PEPPER

(nods)

 

JEAN
(irritated)

What’s the goddamn point you’re trying to make woman?

 

VANESSA

 

My point is that if someone who knew us did this then they would know where we were, when to hit us, and that we wouldn’t be missed.

 

CANDACE

 

But I’ll be missed. I didn’t show up for work and they’ll miss me. That means they’ll call my mom, and she’ll miss me, then she’ll call the cops, and they’ll be looking, and then-

 

JEAN

(shouting)

Oh shut up! We haven’t been here that damned long!

 

PHILLIP

(growling at JEAN)

And how would you know?

 

JEAN looks at PHILLIP and grumbles under her breath.

 

PHILLIP

(shakes his head)

What was that?

 

JEAN

(shouts at PHILLIP)

I said I’m a diabetic! I need a shot every hours or so or I start to get the shakes. And I haven’t felt so much as a twinge since we woke up here.

 

PHILLIP and VANESSA give each other a strange look, but say nothing.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT: ENCLOSED CHAMBER-DIM LIGHTING

30 MINUTES LATER

 

The water comes again and recedes in 30 minutes. The voice comes again.

 

O.S.

Everyone still with us?

 

VANESSA looks around. AMY’S body is missing. There is still no sign of egress from the room.

 

VANESSA

 

AMY’S gone. But I supposed you knew that already, TRENT.

 

All eyes are on VANESSA now. The voice is silent for several moments.

 

JEAN

(frowning)

You know a TRENT? So do I.

 

PHILLIP

(shaky, unsure voice)

TRENT FARLAINE?

 

PEPPER

 

Is his dad ABEL FARLAINE?

 

O.S./TRENT

 

I guess I should have known you’d figure out eventually.  Of all of you in there I suppose VANESSA is the smartest.

 

CANDACE

(shouts loudly)

TRENT??! You took me from my home?? What the hell is wrong with you?!

 

TRENT

 

Oh pipe down CANDACE. None of you have any room to stand on indignation. Each one of you was selected for this little experiment for a reason, and a very good one I might add.

 

JEAN

 

What possible reason could you have for killing innocent people?! You snot-nosed little puke! Who the hell gave you the right to play with others’ lives?!

 

TRENT

 

Oh come on now, sis. It was you who gave me the idea.

 

PHILLIP

(looks at JEAN with obvious mistrust)

‘Sis’?

 

JEAN is stunned to silence. She looks at her fellow captives, her mouth works without any sound as she tries to sort out what just happened.

 

 

TRENT

 

Don’t be so modest JEAN. I had to wait for the right time

to get you after all. Right when you were done with that

little guttersnipe you enjoy so much I slipped a needle in your neck and, for good measure, I knocked you over the head.

 

JEAN

(whispers as she shakes her head)

I never, goddammit, I never-

 

PHILLIP

(shouting as he comes closer to JEAN)

You never what?!

 

JEAN

(holds up a finger but won’t look at PHILLIP)

Back off old man. Just back off now or you’ll be singing soprano for the rest of your life, all two seconds of it.

 

For a moment it looks like PHILLIP wants to see if JEAN will make good on that threat. But after another moment he storms off to the other side of the space.  VANESSA looks mildly conflicted. She never knew that TRENT had a sister.

 

VANESSA

(raises her voice)

Truth time. How does each of you know TRENT?

 

PHILLIP

(sighs as he leans against the wall)

I worked for his dad as part of a painting company. He was on the same crew as me and to be honest we didn’t get along too well.

 

TRENT

(his voice, no longer modulated, booms into the chamber)

You’re an idiot PHIL. Each day you came to work either drunk, stoned, or both, and wanted to do things your way, not the company way.

 

PHILLIP

(angry now as he shouts upward)

That didn’t mean you had to get me fired! You ratted me out to your old man and he fired me right on the spot!

 

TRENT

 

As he should have.

 

CANDACE

(voice quavering slightly)

I, I worked with him years ago, but we kept in touch. But why TRENT?

 

TRENT

 

Ah CANDACE. You might have been left off the list of people to include if not for one thing. You screwed me over when it came to advancing in our place of work all those years ago. You stood in my way when I wanted something, and now you get to pay the price.

 

CANDACE

(whimpering)

After seven years? You told me we were good, that we were friends. (shouting now) What the hell?!

 

TRENT

(sounding irritated)

Oh shut up already CANDACE, you’re boring me. Just in case the rest of you don’t feel like confessing I’ll save you the trouble and tell you why the rest of you are here.

JENNA, you’re a stupid little bitch that ran back to your sniveling ex even after I did what I could to make you happy. JENNY, you’re easy, and I mean that in every possible way. I tried to show you another way to be happy and you laughed at me.  You LAUGHED AT ME!!

 

JEAN

(scoffs and turns her head)

Oh cry me a river.

 

TRENT

(shouting, his voice is booming into the room)

Shut your goddamn muff-eating mouth JEAN!

MARGO, I told you more than once that I didn’t want you around. And what did you do? What did you do you dumb bitch?! You stalked me and came to my parents’ home time and again! PEPPER, you tried to cheat my parents time and again, bilking them for as much as you get in supplies and pay advances, only to turn around and do it again!

And JEAN, ah JEAN, the dark horse of the family, the one who never shows up in pictures, or conversations because she cut herself off from the family.

 

JEAN

(shouts back)

That’s a goddamn lie! You’ve got no idea what happened! You were only in junior high when I was kicked out!

 

TRENT

(voice simmering with anger)

When you left, you mean? I remember very well sister. Dad gave you an ultimatum, shape up or ship out.

 

JEAN

(stands up and shouts)

You spoiled, privileged little shit! They gave you everything and left me out in the cold!
TRENT

 

You put yourself there.

 

JENNA

(standing up as she shudders)

What about the rest of us? We’d forgotten about you, at least some of us. So why attack us like this now?

 

TRENT chuckles, and the sound fills the room like the malevolent voice of a cruel god.

 

TRENT

(sounding amused)

Oh JENNA, you want to know why? Why would I do this? (pause) Because I can. Just to stir the hornet’s nest a bit, there is one of you in this room who knows what’s going on and why, but it’s up to the rest of you to find them. Oh yeah, two more holes have been plugged, so be good kids and share, or don’t, it’s just as entertaining.

 

The thump of the audio being turned off is loud over the unseen speakers as the group begins to look at one another with obvious mistrust. VANESSA keeps her place as the others begin to look at each other with suspicion.

The water comes again not long after. Two more streams are missing from the whole. As the water reaches her ankles, VANESSA keeps a close watch on the others.

 

VANESSA

(raising her voice)

Why were you kicked out JEAN?

 

She doesn’t expect a response, but JEAN surprises her and speaks.

 

JEAN

(shuddering slightly)

I came out to my parents when I was in high school! I told them I was a lesbian and they freaked out. My father said I needed to straighten up my life or find another place to live. My mother tried to help me but she couldn’t understand. I left, and TRENT was there alone with them. Our father didn’t want him making the same decision so he made an example out of me. He cut me completely out of their lives.

 

VANESSA says nothing for a moment. She thinks about her home life and how it’s not any better. Her eyes turn to PHILLIP, who is shuddering on the other side of the chamber.

 

VANESSA

(to PHILLIP)

What about the rest of you? It would seem the right time for an explanation. What else have we got to lose?

 

PHILLIP

(snarls at VANESSA)

Stuff it you bitch. How do we know you’re not the mole? You showed up last after all.

 

VANESSA

(isn’t fazed as she looks around)

And I had as little memory as the rest of you.

 

CANDACE

(standing to her feet, her voice strengthening slightly)

But you figured out things so fast. Too fast.

 

VANESSA

(to CANDACE, growing irritated)

I used my goddamn brain. If the rest of you hadn’t been wallowing around you might have come to the same deductions I did.

 

JEAN

(to VANESSA)

How did you know it was TRENT?

 

VANESSA

(tensing just a bit)

I guessed. (pauses) I’m not the fucking mole here. How do we know you’re not?

 

JEAN stands to her feet and cocks her head at VANESSA. By now the water level is at their knees.

 

JEAN

(chuckles without humor)

Me? He’s got no reason to reconnect with me. When he did find me I told him to piss off and deal with his own problems. My brother and I haven’t got anything in common other than the same bitch of a mother. But you, I’d imagine he got his little carrot wet a few times and decided it was worth the return trip. Yeah? He’d be more than willing to put you down here just to screw with us I’d imagine.

 

VANESSA feels her cheeks redden as JEAN speaks, but she manages to keep her composure.

 

VANESSA

(even voice)

TRENT dumped me not that long ago. I could have cut his balls off for the way he did it. If I saw him now I would on principle.

 

JEAN

(smiling sarcastically)

That’s a fine speech, but I don’t think I buy it.

 

VANESSA

(feeling angry now, clips her words as she speaks)

I don’t really care, because I’m not selling it.

 

MARGO

(yells at VANESSA and JEAN)

Enough! Both of you! This isn’t helping any of us! The water’s rising and we need to make a decision on what to do!

 

PHILLIP

(looking at everyone with distrust)

And what do you propose sunshine?

 

MARGO

(looks around the room)

Who’s the mole?

 

JEAN

(glaring at VANESSA)

We’re looking at her.

 

VANESSA

(clenches her fists)

You can kiss my ass with that. I was dumped in here same as you. Maybe we should be asking you a few questions.

 

JEAN

(sneers back at VANESSA)

Like what? I’ve got nothing to hide.

 

PHILLIP

(eyes JEAN with suspicion)

Except that you’re TRENT’S sister. I never knew he had a

sister either. That seems damn suspicious to me.

 

JEAN

(turns an incredulous look on PHILLIP)

Are you shitting me? You’re going to back her on this one?

 

PHILLIP

(shakes his head, shudders)

I’m not backing anyone. I just want to survive this is all.

 

MARGO

(eyes downcast)

Open your eyes already old man. None of us are getting out of here.

 

JEAN

(looks back to VANESSA)

Except the mole.

 

VANESSA

(smirks)

Making plans already?

 

The water is at hip level and rising. No one moves.

 

INTERLUDE

 

INT: CONTROL ROOM-WELL LIT

 

TRENT, a blond-haired young man in his mid-twenties sits at a computer terminal, watching on several cameras as the individuals in the water-filled chamber struggle to breathe through the available holes, or hold their breath. The water is murky enough that visibility is only a few inches in front of their noses, and the interior lights have been dimmed.

A single FEMALE figure approaches TRENT from behind.

 

FEMALE

(wincing as she rubs a spot on the back of her neck)

Did you have to hit me so hard?

 

TRENT

(smirks)

You can take it.

 

FEMALE

That’s not the point. I wanted to make it real, not painful.

 

TRENT

(shrugs)

Sometimes reality hurts.

 

FEMALE

(chuckling)

You’re such an ass sometimes.

 

TRENT

(raises eyebrows)

And yet you keep coming back.

 

FEMALE

(shrugs)

I can’t help it. I like what I’m getting.

 

TRENT

(leans back in his chair, smirking)

I know.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT: ENCLOSED CHAMBER-DIM LIGHTING

 

VANESSA and the others are submerged, but cannot see each other. The water is incredibly murky and despite the close confines there is no visibility. Even the lights do not help.

No one has made a move yet as far as she can tell. Her heartbeat has accelerated as she keeps herself by the back wall, her lungs burning as she struggles to hold her breath.

She feels movement in the water to the left of her, but cannot see anything. She waits, and watches.

 

END OF ACT II

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACT III

 

 

INT: ENCLOSED CHAMBER-DIM LIGHTING

 

The waters have receded, and two more bodies are floating as the level drains out from the room. The drains are located in the floor where the walls meet the concrete, but they are too small to crawl through, and yelling has done no good.

JEAN and PEPPER are dead, their bodies floating in the water until it finally drains from the room completely. It is PHILLIP that rolls them over despite the fact that they all recognize them both by now.

 

PHILLIP

(mutters as he steps away from JEAN)

Miserable bitch anyway.

 

JENNA

(rocking back and forth)

That’s goddamn cold.

 

PHILLIP glares at her, but JENNA is staring straight ahead as she tries to warm herself.

 

MARGO

(hisses as she speaks)

No fucking respect.

 

PHILLIP whirls around as he glares at MARGO. He takes a step in her direction.

 

You want respect? (gets louder) You want respect?! Take a good look at that drowned piece of shit! For all we know she was the mole! For all we know it’s because of her that we’re here!

 

MARGO

(glaring up at PHILLIP)

How do you figure that one genius?

 

PHILLIP

(points up at the ceiling)

You heard him! He said that it was her idea from the get go!

 

JENNA

(shouting to be heard)

He could be lying too!

 

PHILLIP is fed up as he looms over JENNA, who immediately goes quiet. PHILLIP still reaches down and slaps her, hard, as she is knocked to the floor.

 

PHILLIP

(shouting)

Now what?! Say something else you stupid little-!

 

MARGO and JENNY are there in the next instant, followed by CANDACE. VANESSA stands by watching.

 

PHILLIP

(still shouting)

Let me go!

 

PHILLIP manages to weasel out of their grips, taking several steps back.

 

MARGO
(one hand up to keep PHILLIP away)

That’s not helping anything. Just keep your damned hands off of her and everyone else from now on.

 

PHILLIP

(sneers)

Or what? Huh? Or what? What’re you bitches gonna do?

 

VANESSA hears and feels a grumbling sound in her stomach. She is just now becoming hungry, which means they have been in this place for quite some time. She hasn’t eaten in the last six hours or so she figures. She gives a hopeless look, realizing that hunger should be the last thing on her mind.

 

FADE TO BLACK:

 

FADE IN:

 

The water comes again, then drains again, then comes again. During this second purge VANESSA notices that JENNY has perished, her sightless eyes finding hers as VANESSA discovers the woman after bumping into her. JENNY’S dead, vacant gaze seemed to mock her as it says “I got out and you didn’t.”  PHILLIP lying on his front, not moving. She thinks perhaps that he might have finally met his end, but is surprised when he rolls over with a sudden gasp of air. He even goes so far as to berate himself for not having the guts to go through with a suicide.

VANESSA refuses to talk with anyone after this. Even when PHILLIP calls out to her she says nothing. She notices that all of them are shivering, but water isn’t that cold. As she listens very closely she hears the sound of wind whistling through an opening somewhere, but in the dim lighting she can’t see it. VANESSA won’t search for it as she sees looks of suspicion cast her way.

 

FADE OUT:

 

FADE IN:

 

DREAM SEQUENCE: INT: VANESSA’S APARTMENT-MASTER BATHROOM

 

VANESSA is standing at the mirror, getting ready for something, perhaps a night on the town, speaking to someone that is not in the scene.

 

VANESSA

 

I’m so glad you came back.

 

OS

 

You were worth it.

 

VANESSA gasps in pleasure as a shadowy figure appears behind her, placing a silver chain with a pendant of a mother and child around her neck. She begins to wake as in her memory she sees TRENT put the needle into her neck before clubbing her in the back of the head. As her head nods forward her face becomes submerged and she wakes up with a start.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT: ENCLOSED CHAMBER-DIM LIGHTING

 

VANESSA comes awake suddenly as she lifts her face out of the water, which is now at about hip level. She gags as the chill water rushes into her open mouth, choking her as she spits it out. She furiously wipes at her eyes with the heels of her hands to clear them, not wanting to take her eyes off of the others for a moment if she can avoid it.

It’s only when she clears her vision that she realizes that there is no one left.

VANESSA stands alone in the chamber, and the water is still rising as she notes the streams coming down from above.

 

VANESSA

(nervously speaking)

Hello?

 

She feels foolish for calling out, but something is making the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. She moves forward, thinking to find the others floating somewhere nearby, but she sees nothing. She sees a faint ripple just ahead of her, but as she moves in that direction she senses motion behind her. Cold, starving, and unable to move fast enough, she cannot turn around in time as a voice speaks to her.

 

FEMALE

(cold, cruel voice)

He was always mine you silly bitch.

 

The last thing VANESSA feels is the impact of a large, heavy object as it crushes in the back of her skull. She falls face first into the water. The last thought she has is that she was fool for letting TRENT back in the door.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT: CONTROL ROOM-WELL-LIT

 

TRENT sits at the controls, smiling at his handiwork as VANESSA’S body floats in the empty room. He can hear as the door to the room opens and CANDACE walks in, tying her hair up in a long tail as she leans over the back of his seat.

 

CANDACE

(sighs)

So I’m safe, yes?

 

TRENT

(grins)

With me? Always.

 

CANDACE

(nibbles on his ear playfully)

It’s not just because I’m hot and you’re horny, yeah?

 

TRENT

(scoffs)

If that was the case then you’d be floating down there with the others. No matter what happened between us, we’re square as far as I see it.

 

CANDACE smiles, which seems to make TRENT nervous for just a moment. But then she leans her head on his shoulder and things seem to be okay.

 

CANDACE

(a twinkle in her eye as she speaks)

So what now? I don’t suppose there’s anyone else you such a huge grudge with, is there?

 

TRENT

(mild shrug)

The day’s still young.

 

END ACT III

 

The End

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.