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 !  Cursed, part 4

An Original Comedy Screenplay By

John H. Leeper

** Note - Terms used in spec scripts:
O.S. = Off Screen
V.O. = Voice Over
EST = Establishing Shot
INT = Interior
EXT = Exterior
POV = Point Of View
INSERT = A Camera Shot Usually Focusing On An Object


PART 4.

INT. LINNIE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

The interior of Linnie's apartment foyer. From the opposite side of the door to there is an awful racket as someone struggles with the lock from the opposite side.

The door swings open and Linnie stumbles in with the bird cage cradled in one arm and a grocery sack full of video tapes in the other.

She has her keys in her left hand; but when she tries to put them on the lobby table, she misses and they fall to the floor.

Linnie bends down and tries to retrieve them only to spill a couple of video tapes from the grocery bag. She stumbles drunkenly to her right and lands heavily against the wall.

Linnie sighs deeply and stands there with her legs apart for balance, catching her breath.

Linnie puffs hard and decides to set the bag of video tapes on the lobby table only to miss it again and have the tapes crash to the floor and scatter.

LINNIE
(frowning at the tapes)
Oh, phooey!

She throws the cover back from the bird cage and looks at the five rats inside.

LINNIE
(continuing)
Are you guys all right in there?

She heads down the hallway only to stagger and slam the cage heavily against the wall.

From inside the cage the rats protest loudly.

SIMULTANEOUS DIALOGUE:

CEDRIC
Ouch!

CONNAUGHT
Look out! Look out!

ARGYLL
Ach, not again.

BACK TO SCENE

CEDRIC
(with great frustration)
For heaven's sake! Malcolm!

MALCOLM
I do spells, not miracles.

CONNOR (O.S.)
Get your foot out of me eye, you
bloody Scot!

Linnie recovers her balance and makes it down the hall to the bedroom.

INT. LINNIE'S APARTMENT BEDROOM - NIGHT

Linnie staggers into the bedroom and deposits the bird cage atop a chest of drawers unceremoniously. She tosses the cover aside, unlocks the cage door and spreads her arms wide apart - a female version of St. Francis of Assisi.

LINNIE
(with gusto)
You're free little furry creatures
of the sewer.

She places her purse on the chest beside the cage and yanks out the vodka bottle.

She leans drunkenly on the chest with an elbow as Cedric crawls out of the cage.

LINNIE
(continuing)
When you were a man - before you
became a disgusting rat - were you,
like, really handsome?

CEDRIC
(chortling)
Ah-hah, well, I must say, I caught
the eye of several young ladies at
court. I was considered one of the
finest dancers in the land.

Linnie downs the last drops of vodka from the bottle. She uses her index finger and rubs Cedric's chest fur softly.

LINNIE
I bet you were. I bet all of you
were handsome devils.

Linnie stand up and spins around in the center of the room.

LINNIE
(continuing)
Wouldn't this have been a great
dream if we'd just found that old
socrcerer. Then, I could have drunk
that magic potion and changed you
back into warrior heroes.
(abruptly stops twirling)
Then I'd have five warrior heroes
in my bedroom, and the curse on me
would be over.
(freezes and stares into space
as she ponders new possibilities)
Whoa!

Inside the bird cage Malcolm, the wizard rodent, is SHAKING, MUTTERING and GROANING.

Argyll looks through the open door of the cage.

ARGYLL
What are you doing?

MALCOLM
(straining)
Trying to keep the princess standing.

ARGYLL
Are you daft, man? We're home now.

Malcolm exhales loudly.

Linnie, still looking into the distance, lost in a sordid little fantasy, suddenly acquires a glazed expression. She drops the empty bottle onto the floor at her feet and falls face first onto the bed, her body as stiff as a board. She is out cold the instant Malcolm's spell is gone.

INT. LINNIE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Linnie lies on her back in bed, sound asleep. She wears her street clothes, but has drug a thin coverlet over her body.

Something stirs her back to life, and she opens her eyes wearily. Her face shows that she is disoriented.

Linnie looks down her torso and, under the coverlet, between her thighs, there is a little hump, bouncing up and down furiously.

Linnie's eyes grow wide with terror. She SCREAMS loudly, and scrambles out from under the coverlet. She is still wearing her PANTS.

Linnie tumbles off the side of the bed and hits the floor with a loud THUMP.

On the bedside tabletop Cedric, Connor and Malcolm appear.

CEDRIC
What on earth is going on here?

From underneath the coverlet, Argyll, the Scottish rat, crawls into the open.

MALCOLM
(frantically)
Argyll, what were you doing in the
princess' bed?

ARGYLL
I couldn't help meself. It's been
a thousand years.

CEDRIC
You brainless Scot. Are you trying
to ruin everything?

Linnie is lying face down on the floor. She GROANS and is out cold again

INT. LINNIE'S BEDROOM - DAY

Linnie wakes up, still face down on the floor beside the bed. As soon as she sits up, the hangover hits her, as do the aches and pains of sleeping on a hard floor overnight. She MOANS pathetically and grabs her head.

Disoriented, she looks around and shakes her head wearily.

LINNIE
God, what a dream.

It is with the greatest of effort that Linnie climbs to her feet, using the bed and wall for support. From the look on her face and her constant MOANS, she is suffering badly.

Linnie stumbles towards the kitchen.

INT. LINNIE'S KITCHEN - DAY

Linnie enters the kitchen and heads straight for the refrigerator. She doesn't even notice the FIVE RATS ON THE COUNTERTOP who watch her quietly.

Linnie pulls cubes of ice from the freezer and applies them to her forehead.

She walks past the rats again, reaches into a cupboard filled with medicines and fishes through assorted bottles until she finds the Pepto Bismol. She shakes it vigorously, removes the cap and starts to chug it down.

As she turns in the direction of the rats, Malcolm speaks.

MALCOLM
Perhaps, I could be of assistance,
your ladyship.

Linnie spews a cloud of antacid into the air and out her nose. She backs up to the wall and stares at the rats in wide-eyed horror. Her mouth is coated in pink liquid.

LINNIE
(frightened whisper)
Oh, my god.

CEDRIC
At your service, my lady.

Linnie advances nervously, reaches a hand out and pokes Cedric lightly in the belly with the tip of her index finger. She then snaps her arm back in fear.

LINNIE
You're real. I'm not dreaming.
(hit by a wave of nausea)
Oh, god . . .

Linnie wheels to the sink behind her, drops her face deep into the well and barfs loudly, several times.

CEDRIC
I really believe Malcolm can help
you, my lady.

Linnie looks back at the five rats pathetically, turns on the faucet and splashes water on her face.

Suddenly, she remembers the night before and her face twists into an angry scowl.

LINNIE
Say, last night, did one of you get
into bed with me?

The rats glance nervously at one another.

CEDRIC
Certainly not, your ladyship. You
must have been dreaming.

Linnie eyes them suspiciously, but turns away to splash more water on her face.

Cedric, Malcolm, Connor and Connaught glare at Argyll.

INT. LINNIE'S LIVING ROOM - DAY

Linnie, disheveled and sick, sits in front of a coffee table where assorted kitchen herbs, bottles of condiments and a jug of brandy is sitting. She pinches and pours them, one by one, into a glass. Malcolm and Cedric are on the coffee table nearby.

MALCOLM
Now, just a dash of that peppery
liquid, and then, the brandy.

Linnie picks up first Tabasco and then the jug of brandy and pours them into the glass.

MALCOLM
(continuing)
Excellent. Now, if you'll just
pull a bit of hair from my flank.

LINNIE
(appalled)
What?!

MALCOLM
You know what they say - hair of
the rat that bit you!

LINNIE
I thought it was hair of the dog
that bit you?

MALCOLM
Sorry. That would only cure warts.

Linnie looks at him unconvinced.

CEDRIC
The potion works quite well. To
tell you the truth, it was the
reason we chose him for our quest.

LINNIE
You picked him to fight a sorcerer
because he could cure a hangover?

MALCOLM
It's not easy to cure hangovers. I
don't even think Mandar can do it.

Linnie is so desperate to feel better she reluctantly reaches for Malcolm and pulls a pinch of hair from his side. With her nose curled in disgust, she flicks the hairs into the glass.

Malcolm stands on his hind legs and the amber stone around his neck glows and there is more humming. The contents of the glass begin to bubble, steam and foam.

CEDRIC
Now, drink.

Linnie hesitates, put off by the bubbling, dark brew.

CEDRIC
(continuing)
Please, your ladyship, we have so
little time left. Drink the potion.

LINNIE
(nose curled in disgust)
If I wasn't dying anyway, I wouldn't
do this.

Linnie picks up the glass and down it. Then, she shakes her head in disgust and starts SPITTING rat hairs from between her teeth and rubbing her tongue with her sleeve.

Suddenly, her expression changes from revulsion to amazement. She has been cured!

LINNIE
(continuing)
That's amazing. It's gone. It's
like I never had a drink. Wow! I
can't believe it.

Linnie stands up quickly and sits down again, twice in rapid succession, trying to see if it makes her dizzy. Nothing happens. She stares with awe at the glass in her hand.

LINNIE
(continuing)
This is incredible. I feel great.

CEDRIC
Excuse me, your ladyship, but we
are on a bit of a tight schedule
here. Last night, you were very
interested in some black boxes
from an eating establishment.

LINNIE
Huh? Oh, we have a computer program
at headquarters that compares faces
of known felons with people caught
on camera. The security camera at
the restaurant showed the entrance
to Reiser Towers. I thought it
might give me a clue.
(amazed at herself)
I can remember all that clear as a
bell. Malcolm, that potion is great.

MALCOLM
Thank you, your ladyship, you see I . . .

Another memory surfaces in Linnie's brain, and she suddenly scowls angrily.

LINNIE
Hey, wait a minute. One of you WAS
in bed with me last night. Where's
that little Scottish rat?

Argyll, watching from a nearby countertop, instantly scurries to safety behind some flower pots.

INT. BOSTON P. D. VICE SQUAD ROOM - DAY

Linnie sits in front of her computer in the vice squad room transfixed by what is on the monitor. Beside her on the desktop is the bird cage, covered with its cloth drape.

Maria approaches and sits on the edge of Linnie's desk, eyeing the cage curiously.

MARIA
I called your place last night when
Carlos and I got back from dancing.
Where did you go?

LINNIE
(looks up; distracted)
Huh? Oh - I went downtown to a
restaurant.

Maria absent mindedly lifts the cover on the bird cage to look inside. When she sees the five rats she hops away from the desk in startled surprise.

MARIA
Oh, my god!

Maria stares in shock at the bird cage while Linnie continues her computer search, oblivious to her friend.

MARIA
(continuing)
I thought you were afraid of rats?

LINNIE
(glances at Maria, then the cage)
Yeah. Only, not them. They're okay.

Linnie returns to her preoccupation with the computer.

MARIA
(pointing to the cage)
So, is this like, some kind of therapy?

LINNIE
Huh? Yeah. Therapy.
(fascinated by the computer screen)
You want to hear something weird?
There's a big law firm downtown:
Reiser, Simms and Hershfeldt. Its
client list is a yearbook for the
bad boys of Wall Street. The firm's
been investigated by the SEC, the FBI,
even our office on alleged blackmail
charges. In all cases, the charges
had to be dropped because all the key
witnesses either disappeared or died
suddenly of natural causes.

MARIA
(shrugging)
What's that got to do with us?

Linnie turns and gives Maria the resolute look of a seasoned investigator hot on the trail of a crime.

LINNIE
I don't know yet. Maybe I
just smell a rat.

INT. BOSTON P. D. TECH OFFICE - DAY

Linnie enters the technology office of a cohort at Boston P.D., a computer geek called ROOSTER. He has spiked hair like a rooster's comb, dyed red, and a goatee.

LINNIE
Hey, Rooster, did you run that
recognition program like I asked?

Rooster has been leaning back with his feet against the table's edge, sucking on a tootsie pop. He grins broadly at Linnie, places his hands into his armpits and flaps his arms as though they were a bird's wings.

ROOSTER
(cocky as can be)
Cock-a-doodle-doooo! You bet,
and guess who I found.

Rooster grabs a CD and pops it into his computer. He taps the mouse and pictures of people entering and exiting the Reiser Towers entrance race by at high speed.

The day images turn to night and the entrance appears deserted until a man dressed in janitorial clothes comes out of the building. He is joined by a much shorter fellow whose back is to the camera.

Rooster freezes the frame and zooms in on the face of the janitor. It is the serial rapist, Frank Mann.

LINNIE
(drawing close to the screen;
a whisper of amazement)
Frank Mann.

ROOSTER
(pleased with himself)
Your little buddy, the serial rapist.

LINNIE
The chief said he worked downtown
as a janitor.

Linnie draws close to the screen and looks anxiously at the image. The little man in the picture has a hand extended in mid-air in the direction of the rapist's face, fingers spread.

LINNIE
(continuing)
I wish I could see this guy's face.

ROOSTER
(grinning again)
Ask and ye shall receive. Look at
the glass behind him.

Rooster places the pointer over a blurred area on the screen. He drags across it and zooms in for a closer look. It is obviously the reflection of someone's face in the glass at the entrance to Reiser Towers.

The image begins to clear gradually. It is the face of Thaddeus, A-K-A Julius, Reiser.

LINNIE
(a whisper)
Julius Reiser - J. R.
(a look of dread to Rooster)
Frank Mann carved the initials J. R.
into each of his three victims.

ROOSTER
You think this guy had something to
do with those rapes?

LINNIE
I don't know what to think, Rooster.
But I'll bet three people in town do.

INT. STAIRCASE - TENEMENT APARTMENT BUILDING - DAY

Linnie is in the filthy hallway of a run down apartment building. She climbs a flight of stairs holding the bird cage in her hand and stops before a doorway at the top.

She knocks on the door, TWICE. Momentarily, there is sound of latches being opened and a young, attractive BLACK GIRL opens the doors and eyes Linnie with deep suspicion.

LINNIE
I'm looking for TANYA CURTIS.

BLACK GIRL
Who wants her?

Linnie fishes into a pocket for her badge and flips it out.

BLACK GIRL
(continuing)
You got a warrant or something?

LINNIE
Ah, watching "Judge Judy" are we?
Look, I just wanted to ask her a
couple of questions. I'm the one who
caught the guy that raped her.

The girl looks indecisive, then gives in, opens the door.

INT. TENEMENT APARTMENT - DAY

The apartment is cluttered and dingy. The black girl leads Linnie through the cramped hall to a bedroom door.

The door opens into a small bedroom where Tanya Curtis is lying in her bra and panties. Her midsection is swathed in BANDAGES.

Tanya has been napping. She starts, and looks up quickly as her roommate and Linnie enter.

BLACK GIRL
This cop says she caught the guy
who cut you up.

Linnie sets the covered cage on the bed and sits beside it.

TANYA CURTIS
(turning her face to the wall)
I heard about it on the news. What
do you want from me, a thank you card?

LINNIE
Actually, I just had a couple of
questions about the case. You were
his last rape victim. No one's been
able to figure out why he cut the
initials J R into all three of his
victims. Do you have any ideas?

TANYA CURTIS
(bitterly; touching her bandaged
stomach)
No.

LINNIE
It's funny. I talked to the other
two women he assaulted. I got the
impression they were really afraid
something - or maybe, someone.

TANYA CURTIS
I don't know nothing.

LINNIE
You don't know Julius Reiser?

Instantly, the black girl and Tanya come to attention. Linnie struck a nerve.

TANYA CURTIS
(obviously scared)
I don't know anyone by that name.

LINNIE
(looks perplexed)
Are you sure? Little short guy.
Corporate lawyer. Works downtown.

Tanya shakes her head in fear.

There is a loud SQUEAK, and Linnie looks at the covered bird cage. She appears to talk to herself.

LINNIE
I agree. But WHY is she lying?

Linnie throws the coverlet back revealing the five rats inside the bird cage.

BLACK GIRL
(startled)
Jesus!

LINNIE
(puzzled)
What? You scared of rats? I used
to be terrified of them.

Linnie opens the cage door, reaches in and pulls out Malcolm.

LINNIE
(continuing)
But I found out they're not so bad
once you get to know them.

The black girl jumps up and heads for the door. Suddenly, the DOOR SLAMS SHUT by itself!

Wide-eyed with fear, the two girls freeze, turn their heads slowly, and stare at Linnie.

The chair the black girl was sitting in SLIDES ACROSS THE FLOOR in her direction with no one touching it.

LINNIE
(continuing; to black girl calmly)
Why don't you have a seat?

TANYA CURTIS
(fearfully)
Did HE send you? I swear to god,
I didn't tell the cops nothing. I
swear. Don't hurt me.

Linnie absent mindedly rubs Malcolm's head.

LINNIE
No. Julius and I are on opposite
sides of the law. I want you to
tell me everything about your
relationship with him; and don't lie,
because I'll know if you're lying.

TANYA CURTIS
(breathless with fear)
He'll kill me.

Linnie raises Malcolm to her face and softly kisses his head.

LINNIE
(as though to herself)
Maybe we need one more
demonstration.

INSERT: VASE

There is a vase filled with ARTIFICIAL FLOWERS sitting on the bedside table. It begins to vibrate and rattle. Suddenly, it EXPLODES into a hundred pieces.

BACK TO SCENE

Tanya and her black roommate YELP in fear.

Linnie calmly stares at Malcolm and strokes his fur gently.

LINNIE
(softly)
Now, about Julius.

The two terrified women stare open mouthed at one another.

INT. A BOSTON PUB - THE BAR - NIGHT

Linnie sits alone at the end of the bar in a Boston pub. The uncovered cage is sitting on the counter beside her with the five rats inside.

A male BARTENDER walks up and gives the rats a startled look.

LINNIE
Get us a couple of beers, okay?
(turns to the cage)
What do you guys want?

There is a chorus of squeaks from the rats.

LINNIE
(continuing)
They want something dark.

BARTENDER
Hey, you can't bring animals in
here. It's against the law.

LINNIE
(flashing her badge)
Listen, buddy, these are highly
trained police rats on special
assignment.
(reacts to bartender's expression)
That's right. They protect and serve
your ass. Now get them one of those
imported beers. They'll like that.
I'll take a Bud Light.

The bartender hesitates, but yields to Linnie's air of authority. He moves down the bar and searches a cooler for beers, glancing towards Linnie who is carrying on what appears to be a one-way conversation with the rats.

LINNIE
(continuing; gleefully)
God, Malcolm, you were great back
there. That thing with the vase was
incredible. You really are amazing.
(brings her hand to her chest)
Thank you. I thought I played
Glenda pretty darn well.

From the wide-eyed stare of the bartender, he is really starting to get nervous about this situation.

LINNIE
(continuing)
Hmm? Oh, she was the Good Witch
of the North.
(two beats)
Not a real witch. She was in "The
Wizard of Oz."
(two beats)
It's a movie. I'll rent the video
sometime.

The bartender returns with two bottled beers and a pair of glasses.

LINNIE
(continuing; gruffly)
You think they can crawl into that
glass?

The bartender looks under the counter and produces a clean glass ashtray. He puts it on the counter and pours the dark ale into it.

BARTENDER
I'm not putting my hand in there.

LINNIE
(exasperated)
Oh, for crying out loud. What? Are
you afraid of a few little rats?

The bartender raises his hands and backs away.

Linnie opens the cage and sticks the ashtray full of beer inside it.

LINNIE
(continuing; derisively)
Wimp!

The rats readily take to the beer.

The bartender stands close by keeping a sharp eye on Linnie.

Linnie pours her own beer, looks up and notices him.

LINNIE
(continuing; disgruntled)
Do you mind? We're having a private
conversation here. This is official
police business, okay?

Reluctantly, the man backs away, convinced Linnie is nuts.

Linnie shakes her head in disgust.

LINNIE
(continuing; to the rats)
So, here is what we have so far.
Julius Reiser uses prostitutes to
entertain his clients. He videos
everything so he can blackmail them.
Three girls get a little greedy, so
Reiser sends Frank Mann out to make
an example the others won't forget.

Cedric looks up from the ashtray of beer.

CEDRIC
But that doesn't tell us where
Mandar is hiding, and we only have
twenty-four hours left.

LINNIE
Yeah. Tanya said once a month Reiser
hired a lot of girls for a big party.
Tomorrow is supposed to be the night.
She said they were always taken to a
big room underneath what she thought
was an old warehouse, but she was
blindfolded when they took her there.

CEDRIC
Didn't you catch that fellow named
Mann in an old warehouse?

Linnie stops for a second to ponder that possibility.

LINNIE
(a whisper; to herself)
No. It couldn't be that easy.

INT. HALL OF RECORDS - DAY

A FEMALE CLERK leads Linnie into an enormous room where ancient Deed Book Indexes are stored in metal shelves.

The female clerk checks the alphabetical listings atop the vertical stacks, pulls out a huge book and places it atop a nearby table.

FEMALE CLERK
This is the index you're looking
for, officer.

The female clerk turns to exit.

FEMALE CLERK
(continuing)
Call if I can do anything more
for you.

LINNIE
Thank you.

Linnie flips page after page and runs her fingers down the entries. She pulls a slip of paper from her pocket and cross references it with the index notations.

Cedric's head pops out of Linnie's coat pocket.

CEDRIC
Have you found anything?

Linnie doesn't answer, running her hand through ledger entries until she stops suddenly.

LINNIE
Look at this. 1929. The warehouse
property is sold to someone named
Darius Mann.

She turns more pages hurriedly and then stops again.

LINNIE
(continuing)
1940. Darius Mann transfers the
warehouse to Thaddeus Reiser.

LINNIE
(continuing; turning more pages)
1946. Thaddeus Reiser puts the
property into the holding company
that owns it now. What do you want
to bet Darius Mann is a long lost
relative of our rapist, Frank?

Cedric crawls half way out of Linnie's pocket and speaks to her excitedly.

CEDRIC
Darius Mann. Dar - Man. Mandar.
Have no doubt, your ladyship, he
would use his own offspring to
achieve his dark ends.

Linnie closes the index book slowly.

LINNIE
I think we should crash a party.

-- END PART FOUR --

--Back to Top--

 !  Sidebar Information /
Fan Fiction

Kathy Griffin

In this script, Kathy plays the part of Linnie. To read a brief biography, go to Kathy Griffin >>.


Evangeline (Linnie) Baker has a problem. She is thirty-five years old, and she is still a virgin. It is not Linnie's fault. She is attractive, intelligent and witty. She has a good job as a Boston vice cop, and she really likes men. In fact, since Linnie was in high school, she has tried hard to lose her "unsullied" status; but there seems to be nothing she can do about it. Any time a man starts to feel amorous towards her some bizarre, inexplicable and, often, painful accident befalls him. Eventually, Linnie comes to the conclusion that she is cursed. And, she is right.

When Linnie was only three years old, a pack of six Boston sewer rats placed a magic spell on her designed to keep her a chaste virgin until the day arrived when she could help them return to their true forms. One thousand years ago, a brave band of warrior heroes, accompanied by a neophyte wizard, set out to do battle with an evil sorcerer who was ravaging the British Isles. Unfortunately, they lost.

Linnie discovers the terrible wizard still walks the Earth seeking positions of power where he can cause the greatest harm to the most people. Naturally, in America, he heads a powerful corporate law firm for Wall Street.

Linnie must overcome her life-long fear of rats in order to help this small band of rodent heroes locate the dread sorcerer, break the spell, return to their true human forms and defeat the evil wizard once and for all. Only then can Linnie hope to have a normal love life.

Select any one of the links below to go to another part of
Cursed >> 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5


John Leeper is an heirloom tomato farmer, children's author, religious scholar and former Mississippi River rat now living in Northwest Tennessee. Check out his website at www.guruofthegarden.com. Click here to see his full bio. John H. Leeper >>

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