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VOW TO KILL: CHAPTER TWO

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Thomas Cassidy, a former military intelligence operative seeks answers from a mysterious Arabic notebook in this original screenplay.

VOW TO KILL is an adult thriller with character drama and exciting action sequences. The film is set in 2001, as Cassidy hunts down clues to solve a mystery involving the events of September 11th.

This second chapter further develops Cassidy’s family. He’s finally rebuilt his life after a tragedy and now he’s forced into this chase by a madman on the day of his wedding.

THIS TIME… Cassidy overcomes his first challenge. His training comes in handy during a fight. And we get a few more clues.

My screenplay is presented here in the experimental PICTUREplay format. Images represent characters from the script. These pictures may not always match up perfectly. This is intended to make the reading of a screenplay a little more entertaining. I hope you enjoy.

If you want t0 read the full screenplay email me for the PDF –  thelastfountain (a t ) gmail -dot-com

Click, listen, scroll – to music from JOY DIVISION with “She’s Lost Control”

VOW TO KILL: CHAPTER II – pages 9 – 25


The final photo is timestamped: 08:36AM, 09/10/01   (September 10th, 2001).

FADE:

EXT. STREET – YESTERDAY

Boots walk along an asphalt street.

Thomas strolls down the middle of the road.

DOUGLAS BOOTH portrays THOMAS *here* only

No cars. Just him – smoking that joint.

Alone.

Until Melody runs over.

     MELODY   Thomas. Wait up… Thomas?

Thomas can’t hear her over his headphones.

She catches up, and taps him on the shoulder. He startles and turns to Melody.

SARAH HYLAND portrays MELODY *here* only

     MELODY   I could smell that from down the street.

Thomas, annoyed, removes his headphones.

     MELODY (CONT.) (smirks)   Pass the dutchie to the left hand side?

Thomas doesn’t seem impressed. He doesn’t answer.

They keep walking. Melody examines him.

He exhales a thick cloud, then passes her the joint.

     MELODY   Thanks, bro.

     THOMAS   Shouldn’t you be trying on dresses or some shit?

     MELODY   Been there. Done that.

     THOMAS   Right.

     MELODY   So, you ready for the big day? Mom will be pissed. You still didn’t cut your hair.

     THOMAS   Fuck that.

     MELODY   Whatever. I’m excited.

     THOMAS   You would.

They walk for a bit, sharing an awkward silence.

     MELODY   So… where you headed?

     THOMAS   Nowhere.

     MELODY   Touché. Come on, Tommy, whatchu doin today?

     THOMAS   Same old.

     MELODY   Lemme come.

     THOMAS   Why do you wanna?

     MELODY   Are you okay, Thomas?

     THOMAS   Fuck off, Melody.

     MELODY   I’m just sayin’ if you wanna talk I–

      THOMAS    Talk?

     MELODY   You’re right. Whatever… So you goin to the arcade? Let’s go shoot some videogame bad guys.

 Thomas smiles.

     MELODY   What is this? Kush?

    THOMAS   Good, right?

Melody coughs. A lot. Thomas laughs.

     MELODY   Ya. Good.

click, listen, scroll to NINA SIMONE with “Blackbird”

INT. HOUSE – YESTERDAY

LIAM NEESON portrays CASSIDY *here* only

Cassidy stands in front of a mirror adjusting his tie.

Slender hands reach around his shoulders. It’s Janet. She peeks over and smiles.

     CASSIDY   Just one more appointment.

     JANET   Travel agency?

     CASSIDY   Won’t take long. I’ll be back for lunch.

He turns to face her. They smile large. A quiet moment. Then they kiss.

LEA THOMPSON portrays JANET *here* only

     JANET   I can’t believe it. Tomorrow. It’ll be official. Mrs. Janet Cassidy.

     CASSIDY   I like the sound of that.

     JANET   Me too.

Cassidy’s smile twitches. Thinking.

Janet notices. She raises an eyebrow.

     JANET   What? Tell me.

     CASSIDY   You think Alan would approve of me?

     JANET   What?

     CASSIDY   You know. Raising his daughter? Taking care of you?

     JANET   Yeah. I think so.

     CASSIDY   Sorry.

     JANET   No, no. Don’t be. And Marilyn? What of her? You think she’d approve of me?

Cassidy can’t answer. He’s conflicted. He forces a smile.

     CASSIDY   Of course.

They kiss. Their hands caress another. They separate and stare into one another’s gaze.

She runs a soft hand across his cheek.

EXT. GRAVEL ROAD – TODAY

Cassidy traces his hand across her cheek, like Janet did.

He walks towards the vacant vehicle: a white Sedan. His tux is slung over his shoulder in its protective sleeve.

He sips his bottled water and looks to the sun. He shields his eyes with one hand.

He checks his watch: 10:23AM.

INT. CAR – MOMENTS LATER

The car door opens – rusty and noisy.

Cassidy tosses the tux into the backseat.

He plops into the frontseat.

He looks around for some sort of clue. He flips the visor down to block the sun.

He notices his reflection. He’s got a day’s worth of stubble. He looks disheveled.

He cranks his neck. He examines his jawline in the mirror. A tiny dot of blood. An injection site.

     CASSIDY   Dammit.

He checks the car again. A key is in the ignition.

He lifts the armrest and peers inside. Nothing.

He reaches across and opens the glove compartment. A sheet of paper is inside. He retrieves it.

The page is typed with driving instructions.

Cassidy starts the car engine.

click, listen, scroll – JERRY GOLDSMITH score for WARLOCK

EXT. STREET – BIT LATER

The white Sedan drives down a city street. It’s covered in dust and dirt.

The car honks as it weaves through morning traffic.

The street signs are all in Arabic. Small English text accompanies each sign.

This is an ethnic region of downtown America. People from all races shop the streets.

INT. CAR – CONTINUOUS

Cassidy wipes some sweat off of his brow.

He peaks out through the windshield, peering up to the storefront signs.

He looks to the driving instructions in one hand, while he drives with another.

He swerves the vehicle, barely avoiding traffic, and skidding into a parking spot.

EXT. SIDEWALK – MOMENTS LATER

Cassidy stares up at a storefront with Arabic signage, his protected suit slung over his shoulder.

There are some hardcover books stacked in the window.

A teenage boy, TARIQ (17), walks down the sidewalk, handing out flyers to passerbys.

Cassidy looks down to the instructions, then folds it up and puts it in his pants pocket.

He checks his surroundings.

Tariq continues down the sidewalk, getting closer.

Street vendors haggle with customers.

Cassidy gathers his thoughts. He checks his watch.

Tariq approaches Cassidy.

ABHI SINHA portrays TARIQ *here* only

     TARIQ   Do you have any experience with Allah? Our creator. Our protector.

     CASSIDY   Uh. So to speak.

     TARIQ   There’s daily seminars at the Bayview Mosque open to all faiths. Listen to our voices. Understand Islam.

     CASSIDY   Islam?

     TARIQ   It means peace. Come learn more and see the world through new eyes.

     CASSIDY   Sorry, kid, I’m a little busy.

     TARIQ   We are never too busy for understanding.

     CASSIDY   Insha Allah.

     TARIQ   You speak Arabic, sir?

     CASSIDY   A little. I spent time over in– over there.

     TARIQ   Do you bare witness to our prophet?

     CASSIDY   Like I said, I’m bus– Here, kid. I’ll take a flyer.

     TARIQ   Wait. Do you actually want it?

     CASSIDY   I know you’re just doin your job. So. Lemme help. I’ll take the flyer.

     TARIQ   Do you bare witness– 

     CASSIDY   Heh, you speak Arabic, right?

     TARIQ   Of course. My parents brought us over here when I was just–

     CASSIDY   Can you help me? I need something translated.

Cassidy pulls out the notebook from his pocket.

     TARIQ   My uncle, Shihab, will be mad if I don’t hand these out.

     CASSIDY   Where is he? Can I talk to him?

     TARIQ   He’s at home, I think.

     CASSIDY   I’ll pay you. If you help. It won’t take long.

     TARIQ (interested)   Pay?

     CASSIDY   Yeah. Please. Take a look.

Tariq takes the notebook. He opens it. And begins to read it to himself.

Cassidy awaits anxiously. He taps his foot. He watches the other passerbys.

A man in a green truck looks away once Cassidy notices him.

Tariq stops reading, and looks up from the notebook. Slowly.

     TARIQ (worried)   Who… are you?

Cassidy doesn’t answer. He furls his brow. He checks his surroundings, suspicious.

Tariq notices. He hesitates.

Cassidy grinds his teeth. He doesn’t want to answer.

     TARIQ (cautious)   Where’d you get this?

     CASSIDY   Why? What does it say?

     TARIQ (anxious)   I gotta go. Sir.

     CASSIDY   No wait. What is it?

     TARIQ   I’ll get in trouble.

     CASSIDY   Listen. Call me Cass. Someone gave me this. They told me it would help me find someone. I need–

     TARIQ   Are you from the wars?

     CASSIDY (hesitant)   What? I– Look, kid, a long time ago I fought in a pointless war. Yes. But– Why do you need to know?

     TARIQ   I better go.

     CASSIDY   Wait. Heh, what’s your name?

     TARIQ   Tariq.

     CASSIDY   Tariq? Good. Like I said, I’m Cass. Well, Thomas Cassidy. My wife is in trouble. I need your help.

     TARIQ   You don’t have a wedding ring.

     CASSIDY   Smartass.

Tariq laughs. Cassidy smiles with him.

He swings his tuxedo around and opens the protective sleeve, revealing what’s inside.

     CASSIDY   See. Wedding tux.

     TARIQ   If you say so. But, how do I know it’s yours?

The two stare down one another. Tariq has his arms folded.

Cassidy retrieves his wallet. There’s only $20 inside. He exhales in frustration.

Tariq taps his foot.

Cassidy looks to his watch, takes it off and holds it out.

     CASSIDY   Here. Payment. Happy now?

Tariq remains hesitant.

     CASSIDY (CONT.)   Listen, Tariq, believe it or not, later today I’m getting married.

     TARIQ   Why are you here then?

      CASSIDY   Someone… Made me.

Tariq looks Cassidy up and down, suspiciously. He looks to his wrinkled and battered shirt and tie.

He examines the helpless expression on Cassidy’s face. He looks to the expensive looking watch.

Tariq takes the watch and flips it over and over in his hand. He smiles.

     TARIQ   This book. It’s from bad mens.

     CASSIDY   What does this have to do with Marilyn?

Tariq sifts through the pages of the notebook.

     TARIQ   I can read more later… The watch?

     CASSIDY   Keep it. I trust you… Insha Allah.

     TARIQ   Okay. I talk. Well. My uncle. He warns me. These bad people try and get us when we’re young. This book. It talks of them. These mens look for fighters.

Tariq keeps quiet as an elder Arabic wan walks by him. The teen scans the area, suspicious.

     TARIQ    Cass? Are you going to hurt someone?

     CASSIDY   I’m just supposed to meet someone.

     TARIQ   Don’t… Leave. Go home.

     CASSIDY   I can’t. They’ll all die.

     TARIQ   You die. You stay.

     CASSIDY   Why?

     TARIQ   They are serious mens.

     CASSIDY   So am I.

click, listen, scroll – JOY DIVISION with “Transmission”

INT. ARCADE – YESTERDAY

Videogame soldiers get blasted away.

Thomas and Melody stand at an arcade machine with fake guns in their hands. They shoot at the large screen, cheering and laughing as they play the game.

     MELODY   Fuck ya. We win.

     THOMAS   Uh, it doesn’t work like that. Wanna play again?

     MELODY   Let’s play somethin else.

     THOMAS   I thought you liked the gun games?

     MELODY   Not as much as you. It’s in your blood.

     THOMAS   What?

      MELODY   Duh. You’re a natural born killer.

     THOMAS   Like Woody Harrelson?

     MELODY (laughs)   No. Like your dad, dude. You’re a born soldier, man.

     THOMAS (winces) Whatever.

     MELODY   Whatever? Yeah right. Didn’t you just apply for the–

     THOMAS   Not now, Mel. Drop it.

     MELODY   Geeze. That time of the month or what?

Thomas tries to keep a not impressed reaction. But it fails. He can’t help but laugh. Melody joins in.

     MELODY   Come on. Let’s get some munchies.

     THOMAS   I like the way you think, Melly.

EXT. STORE – BIT LATER

Melody and Thomas exit the convenience store with a bagfull of munchies.

     THOMAS   Dude needs to learn English.

     MELODY   Harsh. You need to find a slower way to say your brand of smokes. Shit. That was like in fast forward, bro.

     THOMAS   Whatever. “Bro”.

They walk down the street. Melody bites into a Twizzler.

      MELODY   So… You bringin Leah to the wedding tomorrow?

      THOMAS   Leah?

     MELODY   Yeah. Leah, as in don’t call me Leia, I ain’t no princess, Leah… I thought you two were back together again?

     THOMAS   We’re on and off. Right now. That switch is stuck to off.

     MELODY   What?

     THOMAS   She says I’m slippin.

     MELODY   Tommy? Maybe she’s right.

     THOMAS   Not you too.

     MELODY   Why don’t you wanna talk about it? 

     THOMAS   My mom’s dead. What else is there to say. She’s gone. Forever.

     MELODY   Talking helps. That’s how, ya know, I got over m-my Dad.

     THOMAS   I just wanna forget it ever happened.

      MELODY   I know… But it did.

     THOMAS   Mel, your mom is great. But. I’ll never call her “Mom”.

     MELODY   I’m not sayin you should. But. She’s there for you. In that same way she was.

     THOMAS (cold)   It’s not the same.

They walk down the street. Not saying any more on the subject. Melody watches Thomas with curiousity.

     MELODY (clears throat)   You wanna see Evanescence play? Courtney’s got an extra ticket. I can call once we get back–

     THOMAS   What?

     MELODY (smiles)   You heard me. Concert. Music. Loud. Fun. Want some?

     THOMAS   I dunno.

     MELODY   Come on. We’re family now. Let’s do something fun.

     THOMAS   Fuck it… That chick has a pretty heavy band. Shit. I’m down.

     MELODY   Cool beans.

Thomas can’t help but smile. Melody pinches his cheek like a grandmother. He shoves her away, playfully.

click, listen, scroll – JERRY GOLDSMITH score for RAMBO II

INT. BOOKSTORE – TODAY

A hardcover book: ARABIAN DISCOURSE ON METHOD – CLASSICAL SCIENCE. Cassidy lifts it up.

He flips the text over, reading the back. His tux is slung over his shoulder.

He sets it down next to another book resting on the store’s front counter: IRAQ – THE CRADLE OF CIVILIZATION.

     CASSIDY   Any luck?

He turns to a bearded man, MO (30s), sitting behind the counter. He reads Cassidy’s Arabic Notebook with intent.

     CASSIDY (clears throat)   Mo? Any luck with the translation?

Mo lowers his glasses. He strokes his beard a moment, examining Cassidy.

     MO   Who gave this to you?

     CASSIDY   What does it matter?

     MO   Is this a joke of some sorts? I do not take it lightly when–

     CASSIDY   This is serious… Is it that bad?

     MO   Yes… 

Mo tucks the notebook into his light jacket.

     MO (CONT.)   It very bad.

Cassidy watches him carefully.

Mohammed rises from the chair. He removes his glasses and sets them on the counter.

     MO   This book is not for your eyes. Who gave it to you?

     CASSIDY   I can’t tell you that.

     MO   Oh. I see. Who you take this from?

     CASSIDY   Take?

     MO   You CIA? FBI?

     CASSIDY   I told you already. Now tell me. What does it say?

Mo laughs as he walks around the counter. His hands glide across its surface.

Cassidy watches him.

     CASSIDY (calm)  Mohammed?

Mo smiles an odd smile, as his left hand reaches under the counter, grabbing an elegant letter opener.

Its sharp tip glints.

     CASSIDY (soothing)  Look, like I said before, I was told to come here.

     MO (sneering)   Whoever told you that, must not like you very much, Mr. Cassidy.

     CASSIDY (stern)   Mo?

Mo LUNGES at Cassidy with the piercing letter opener.

Cassidy KNOCKS Mo’s forearm away.

In that same motion, he drops the tux, and flat-palm SHOVES Mo in the chest.

Mo stumbles back a step.

Enough time for Cassidy to grab that thick text from the counter. He WHIPS it into the blade hand.

The bladed letter opener drops. Mo winces in pain.

Cassidy grabs a pen from the counter. He picks up another book to defend with.

Mo rises, the letter opener tight in his grasp.

     MO   How did you find that? What happened to him?

     CASSIDY   I don’t know. This was forced on me.

     MO   Lies!

Mo charges Cassidy again.

He dodges a series of swipes. One careems off his book.

Cassidy swings the book up and STRIKES Mo’s jaw.

He SLAMS his elbow into the blade hand. The blade falls.

Cassidy has the pen pressed under Mo’s Adam’s Apple.

     CASSIDY   I don’t want to hurt you.

     MO   Liar. Do it.

     CASSIDY   I just want answers. What does it say about Marilyn Cassidy?

     MO   Americans. You are so selfish. You think this is about you–

Cassidy pushes the sharp tip of the pen into Mo’s neck. Applying a little more pressure.

     CASSIDY (near whisper) This pen requires very little pressure to perforate your Adam’s Apple. I told you, I don’t wanna hurt you… But I will… Tell me. Where is my wife!

     MO   This book has nothing to do with your bitch wife.

Cassidy swishes at the air, twirling the pen around and jamming it into Mo’s arm.

It pierces the flesh.

Cassidy drags the weapon across the arm, trailing a long gash behind.

     MO   Fuck you.

     CASSIDY (twists pen)   What? Didn’t catch that.

     MO   His diary. Okay… That’s what it is.

     CASSIDY   A diary? Who’s?

     MO   I don’t know.

Cassidy raises the pen again. Ready to strike. Threatening.

     MO   Okay. Okay. They’re coming. Here.

Mo crumbles to the ground. Upset. He breathes heavy.

     CASSIDY   What? Tell me.

Mo bangs on the rug below him. Upset. Fighting tears.

      MO (sad, lyrical)   “Home of the brave”… They’re–

Mo notices the intricate pattern on the rug. His mood shifts. His culture stares back at him.

     MO   They’ll do it without me.

Mo grabs the letter opener, fallen on the ground.

Cassidy notices. He lunges for Mo.

It’s too late.

Mo savagely plunges the tip into his neck.

Cassidy rushes to his aid. It’s pointless. He stops.

Blood sprays out onto the tux’s protective sleeve.

Cassidy looks for something to help with Mo’s injury.

Mo coughs. Blood speckles his face. He smiles that odd smile. And dies.

Cassidy stares down at the dead man. A combination of perplexity and compassion.

He reaches inside the dead man’s jacket and retrieves the Arabic notebook.

He checks his watch: 11:44 AM.

EXT. BOOKSTORE – BIT LATER


///to be continued…


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