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 !  The Faerie King, part 1

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 1.

FADE IN:

INT. MEETING ROOM - MIDNIGHT STAR NEWSPAPER - DAY - EST

An empty conference room is simply furnished with a large table surrounded by plush chairs.

A door opens. The first person to enter is an old IRISHMAN, MR. O'CONNELL. He finds a chair, leans forward on the tabletop and fiddles with a worn woolen cap. The second is CHRISTINE (CHRIS) ROSS, an attractive woman in her thirties. She is dressed casually and carries a REPORTER'S NOTEPAD and PEN in her hands. The third is DANIEL (DANNY) GIOVANETTI, a young man in his twenties, bright-eyed and enthusiastic.

Chris sits opposite Mr. O'Connell, she plops her reporter's pad down unceremoniously and flips it open.

CHRIS
So, Mr. O'Connell, is it? What
brings you here?

MR. O'CONNELL
(heavy Irish brogue)
Something is afoot, I tell you.
Something big. I went to the other
papers, but they wouldn't listen;
so, I came here.

CHRIS
What, exactly, is it you've seen?

MR. O'CONNELL
Iíve seen the Good People, scores
of them, in my pasture last night.

CHRIS
(studies her notes)
You live near Goodenow. Right?
About an hour south of Chicago?

The old Irishman gives a nod of assent.

CHRIS
(continuing)
The Good People. I'm afraid I don't
know that band. Are they like the
Village People?

Danny's pipes up causing Chris to turn.

DANNY
They're faeries from Ireland.

Mr. O'Connell's face brightens. He nods and grins at Danny who is seated to his right.

MR. O'CONNELL
That's right, lad. It appears
I've come to the right place after
all. You're the first reporter I've
met who knew what I was talking about.

CHRIS
(her brow knit in confusion)
Okay, so a crowd of gay and lesbian
Irish musicians were in your field.

DANNY
No. Faeries -- like leprechauns.

There is a dull silence as Chris stares blankly at Danny. Finally, she recovers.

CHRIS
Faeries. Yeah. So, what did these
faeries look like. Did they have,
I don't know -- little green derbies
on or something?

MR. O'CONNELL
(aggravated)
Missy, I'm not talking about some
cartoon character for Yank tourists.
I'm talking about the Good Folk.

Mr. O'Connell turns his head and studies Danny.

MR. O'CONNELL
(continuing)
Tell me, lad, do you know the
story of the Slooa She (slow-ah-
she) -- the faerie host?
(he waits for a response;
when none is forthcoming)
Well, let me tell you about them
then. You remember in the Bible,
the war in heaven between God and
Lucifer? All things in heaven are
in threes, you know. Like the Holy
Trinity. Even the angels were
divided into threes. There was God
and his angels; and there was Satan
and his followers who were thrown
into hell; and there was another
group. They weren't good enough
to stay in heaven nor bad enough to
become demons, so God imprisoned
them on Earth and made them mortal,
though they can live to be thousands
of years old. But they have the same
powers as angels or demons, and to
tell you the truth, they can be a
bit of both at times. They follow
a king who has incredible powers.
(makes the sign of
the cross; speaks an
incantation fearfully)
Bless the King of the Faeries and
may his eyes never rest for long
upon me house.

CHRIS
Okay. Well, you still didn't tell
me what they looked like -- these
sort of half-fallen angels.

Mr. O'Connell studies his cap for a second. He looks uneasy.

MR. O'CONNELL
They'd taken the form of hares.

CHRIS
(startled)
Hares? You mean like bunny rabbits?
Like bunnies in the field?

DANNY
I read about that once. Faeries
can change into any animal they
want to be in a matter of seconds.

MR. O'CONNELL Actually, lad, they change BETWEEN
the seconds; because that is where
they live. Between the seconds of
human time. We only see them when
they want to be seen. They live
around us, among us. But they pay
little attention to humans most of
the time. And, believe me, that's
a good thing. Sometimes they've
been known to seek human women for,
well --
(glances nervously in
Chris' direction)
-- companionship.

CHRIS
(cynically)
Well, that's how it is when you're
on the road. You gotta take it
where you can find it.

DANNY
How many of them were there, Mr.
O'Connell?

MR. O'CONNELL
Scores of them lad. I've never
seen so many in all me life. And
I heard them talking in the old
tongue. They're looking for
someone. For one of their own, I
think. Something has gone wrong
in their world. Something bad
wrong. When the Good People walk
among us, it spells trouble. I
can promise you that.

From the look on Chris' face, she has had quite enough.

CHRIS
Okay. Mr. O'Connell, we really
appreciate you sharing this with
us. You can bet I'm going to keep
an eye out for wild bunny rabbits
running amok in downtown Chicago.

MR. O'CONNELL
(growing agitated)
You think I'm kidding you, lady?
There's nothing funny about the
Good People. They can be friendly,
even kind at times. They can be
mischievous. But God help you if
you ever meet one that's having a
bad day. People need to be warned.
That's why I came here.

Chris stands up slowly and prepares to leave the room.

CHRIS
(sincerely)
Don't worry, Mr. O'Connell, I can
assure you this is JUST the kind of
story the Midnight Star runs on the
front page.
(turns away; then glances back at
the old Irishman)
Oh, I forgot, we have gift T-shirts
at the front desk if you want one.
They have the Star logo on the front
and one of those alien abduction
things on the back.

Chris exits the room and Danny hops up giving Mr. O'Connell a vigorous handshake.

DANNY
Listen, it was a pleasure meeting
you, and I think you did the right
thing, coming here and trying to
warn people like this. You have
a great day.

Danny hurries towards the door in pursuit of Chris.

INT. NEWS ROOM - MIDNIGHT STAR NEWSPAPER - DAY

The walls of the Midnight Star newspaper are decorated with front page, tabloid headlines about alien abductions, Elvis sightings and love children by Bigfoot. This is a newspaper of the absurd.

As Chris walks glumly towards her desk, Danny catches up and puts an arm carelessly around her shoulder. Danny is full of enthusiasm and good cheer, the exact opposite of Chris, who is also not amused by the presence of his arm on her shoulder.

DANNY
Man, you have to be the luckiest
reporter in the world.

Chris uses her thumb and index finger to carefully lift his hand from her shoulder.

Danny takes the hint and withdraws his arm quickly.

CHRIS
Really? How do you figure?

DANNY
Hey, you're just sitting here, and
a story like that walks in off the
street. All I get are testimonials
about alien abductions. The people
I interview are all wackos.

Chris gives Danny a look that just screams, "You've got to be kidding me." She reaches her desk and sits down heavily in front of the computer. Danny steps around to the front of the desk, obviously still excited by the interview.

DANNY
(continuing)
I've got a bunch of good books on
Irish folklore. I bet you could
get some great background notes
on the faeries.

CHRIS
(sarcastically)
You know what worries me about you,
Danny? How is it a guy by the name
of Daniel Giovanetti knows so much
about Irish folklore?

DANNY
Giovanetti was my mother's name. I
was adopted by the Murphys in Ohio.

A barrel-chested caricature of the hard-bitten, old-time newspaper editor storms into the newsroom. It is CARL GRIER (greer), editor and publisher of the Midnight Star. A copy girl must dart to one side to prevent getting plowed under foot, but he doesn't appear to notice her. His eyes are fixed on Chris. He talks fast and loud, and he brooks no interference from anyone on his staff.

CARL
Okay, Ross, what's the scoop on
that old Mick I sent you?

DANNY
(excitedly)
Sir, it was great. Mr. O'Connell
saw dozens of elves who'd taken
animal shapes. They've invaded
our world looking for someone.

Carl stops and looks attentively at Danny, then snaps at him:

CARL
Who the hell are you?

DANNY
Danny Giovanetti, sir, I've been
working here about two months.

CARL
(sudden recognition)
You're that new kid in alien
abductions. Why aren't you
working on testimonials?

Chris waves a hand to get her editor's attention.

CHRIS
Hey, boss, it's my fault. I
asked him to help me with the
interview. He's an expert on
Irish mythology.

Carl looks fiercely, first at Chris and then Danny. He then shouts at Danny so loudly the young man retreats a step.

Startled, the nearby copy girl in the b.g. drops her papers, and they scatter across the floor.

CARL
I don't need any damn research
assistants at this paper. I need
testimonials. You hear me? My
god, man, we've had ten more alien
abductions since noon.
(thumping an index finger
into Danny's chest)
The whole damn world could be on
the brink of invasion! Now, get
down there and get typing!

Danny exits nervously and in a big hurry.

DANNY
Yes sir. Right away, sir.

Carl flails his arms wildly and shouts after him.

CARL
What the hell do you think I'm
paying you for?

Carl turns and lowers his voice. It is as though the tirade with Danny never took place.

CARL
(continuing)
So what is it with these elves
already? What are they looking
for? Love? Elvis? What kind
of animals were they? And don't
tell me they're fuzzy little
kittens or some such crap. I want
a headline with some teeth to it!

CHRIS
The old guy says he's not sure what
they want, but he swears there's a
lot of them prowling around the
Chicago area looking for somebody.
Of course, what he described to me
was a field full of rabbits.

Carl stares at Chris blankly for a moment. Suddenly, he drafts headlines in mid-air with both of his hands.

CARL
Wolves! Elves take shape of wolves!
Ravenous wolf packs seen prowling the
Chicago area! "We won't stop until we
gorge on human flesh, says leader!"

Carl looks at Ross, grins and raises his thick eyebrows in a "How do you like them apples" look.

CHRIS
I'm pretty sure the old guy
said rabbits.

CARL
(in a huff)
He was an old man. It was night.
His eyes aren't what they used to be.

CHRIS
Wolves it is.

CARL
(beaming)
And that's why you're a great
reporter, Ross. You know how to
make a story fit a great headline.

Carl grins victoriously and storms out of the newsroom.

Chris stares sadly at her computer screen, sighs in resignation and begins to type.

EXT. STREET OUTSIDE NEWSPAPER - DAY

It is late afternoon. Chris exits the front of the newspaper building and walks down the sidewalk. Danny emerges, looks around, spots Chris and sets out in hot pursuit.

DANNY
Hey, Chris, wait up!

Chris stops as Danny approaches.

DANNY
(continuing)
I was wondering if you wanted to
get those books on Irish myths.

CHRIS
Huh? Oh, the books, yeah. Well,
maybe not tonight. I was going to
the Ink and Drink for a beer.

DANNY
I've heard of that. It's where the
reporters from all over the city
hang out, right?

CHRIS
(impatiently)
Yeah. I like to go there after work.
It reminds me there's a real world
out there somewhere, with REAL
reporters chasing REAL stories.

Chris starts to leave, but glances back at Danny standing alone on the sidewalk, looking lost and a tad bit pathetic. She sighs sympathetically.

CHRIS
So, you got a car?

DANNY
On my salary. Are you kidding?

CHRIS
Why don't you come with me and I'll
buy you a drink. Then I'll drop you
off at your place.

Danny beams with satisfaction as he follows Chris.

INT. CHICAGO PUB - DAY

The Ink and Drink is crowded with patrons. It is an old Chicago pub frequented by journalists from every branch of the media. A babble of conversation provides background noise.

Chris grabs a couple of beers from the bar and works her way through the crowd to a table where Danny is waiting for her, smoking a cigarette. There are a pair of empty beer bottles on the table and half-filled glasses.

Chris sits down and slides a beer over to Danny. Her expression exhibits genuine interest.

CHRIS
Let me get this straight. You were
put up for adoption when you were
three months old and ended up with
the Murphys in Ohio.

DANNY
Yeah. A great family. But somehow
I always knew I was adopted.

CHRIS
So you did some research and found
out you came from Chicago. And you
kept digging until you found your
sister and your niece.

DANNY
Yeah. And my grandparents live
with them too.

The look on Chris' face says she is troubled.

CHRIS
And you say your mom died?

DANNY
Back in '85. My sister told me she
took her own life.

CHRIS
Sorry. And what about your father?

DANNY
Nobody knew him. My mother was
raped. That's why I was put up
for adoption.

Chris shakes her head in disbelief.

CHRIS Jesus, what a sad story. How can
you be so cheerful all the time?

DANNY
What's so sad about it? I couldn't
have been raised by better people
than the Murphys. Sure. I wish
I'd met my real mom, but my sister
and grandparents are great people.
On top of all that, I ended up with
a great job.

CHRIS
(disbelief)
Are we talking about the same paper
-- the Midnight Star? THE leading
news source for American psychotics?
(a stern glare)
God, if you were any more upbeat
I'd be forced to shoot you.

A slim, short and, from his general demeanor, obviously gay man strolls by. His name is WES HAMMOND. He eyes Chris first, and then gives Danny an appreciative once over.

Chris rolls her eyes, unhappy with this chance encounter.

CHRIS
Oh, hi Wes.

WES
Chris. Are you going to introduce
me to your friend here?

CHRIS
(sighs; irritated)
Wes Hammond. Danny Giovanetti, or
Murphy -- whichever.

Wes extends a limp-wristed hand in Danny's direction for a greeting.

CHRIS
(continuing)
He works with me at the Star.

Wes snaps his hand back before Danny can take it. It is as though Danny is a poisonous snake.

Wes turns his head in Chris' direction and his expression seems to say an explanation of some sort is in order.

CHRIS
(continuing)
New kid. Copy writer.

Wes appears satisfied but keeps a safe distance.

WES
I'm the managing editor at Chicago
Gay Times. I hope you don't believe
a word Chris told you about us.

DANNY
(shaking his head)
Actually, she never mentioned you.
But we haven't known each other
that long.

A look of devilish glee spreads across Wes' face.

WES
So, Chris didn't tell you she
used to work for us?

Danny shakes his head again, indicating a no.

CHRIS
(growing irritated)
Go away, Wes.

WES
(continuing; beaming)
The Gay Times gave Chris her first
break in big city journalism.

CHRIS
Hey, I worked for the Des Moines
Register!

WES
And you told us they fired you
because you were a lesbian.

Danny appears genuinely surprised by this revelation.

DANNY
You're a lesbian?

WES
That's what she put in her resume.
But we caught her in the supply
room with Monty Greggs.

DANNY
The pro football star? I thought
he was gay.

WES
We did too, until Chris here
exposed his little secret. You
should see the photo we have
in our files.

CHRIS
(snarling at him)
If it hadn't been for that photo,
I'd have taken you to court.

WES
You lied on your resume.

CHRIS
I did not. I tried to be a lesbian.
I just wasn't any good at it, okay?

Wes leans forward and whispers to Danny.

WES
Monty said she wasn't all that
good at being straight either.

When Chris hears this, she snatches up an empty beer glass and appears ready to bean Wes, who scurries away from the table.

CHRIS
(growling after him)
You little worm!

There is a tense moment of silence between Danny and Chris.

DANNY
(cheerily)
I'm really glad you're not a
lesbian.

Chris tenses and then glowers at the young man.

CHRIS
Don't start with me, Danny. A
couple of beers is all you're
getting. Okay?

Suddenly, the room FREEZES IN PLACE. There is no music, no ambient noise, no motion from anyone save for Danny, who looks around in surprise. It lasts for only a couple of seconds and then, everything in the pub returns to normal time.

DANNY
(confused; disoriented)
Chris?

Chris sees the frightened expression on Danny's face.

CHRIS
What?

Danny starts to say something, but catches himself.

DANNY
Nothing.

A pair of Ken and Barbie clones suddenly stroll by their table. It is ROBERT CASSIDY, a reporter with the Chicago Tribune, and his girlfriend MELODY SUMMERS, a blonde-haired beauty and talk-show host for an ABC affiliate Chicago television station.

Chris recognizes Robert instantly.

CHRIS
(excitedly)
Robert Cassidy? With the Chicago
Tribune?

The fellow stops and looks at Chris curiously. Obviously, he doesn't know her.

CHRIS
(continuing)
Christine Ross. We went to
Columbia together. You were a
year ahead of me.

Cassidy studies her but still can't make the connection.

CHRIS
(continuing)
Dr. McCright's class -- the
economics of publishing.

Cassidy tries again to place her but to no avail.

CHRIS
(continuing)
I sat three rows behind you.

There is a light of recognition in Cassidy's eyes.

CASSIDY
Oh, yes, you were the girl who
came to class in a bikini because
you claimed Dr. McCright was
giving grades for sexual favors.

Chris nervously coughs. This is not a pleasant subject.

CASSIDY
(continuing)
When did you finally discover
Dr. McCright was gay?

CHRIS
(muffled confession)
At the disciplinary hearing.

CASSIDY
You really should have done a
little more investigative work
before you made that charge.

Chris appears to be frozen with embarrassment as Cassidy's memory starts to kick into high gear.

CASSIDY
(continuing)
That's right. And didn't you break
a story in the student newspaper
about a girl who vanished after a
drunken party at a frat house?
You said foul play was involved.

MELODY
(shocked)
My god. What happened?

CASSIDY
Nothing. The girl and one of the
frat boys had eloped. That's all.
I remember that. The cops were
everywhere.
(suddenly curious)
Why did you write that story before
checking with the police?

Chris mutters as though she has a mouth filled with marbles.

CHRIS
I thought someone else would break
the story before I did.

CASSIDY
Accuracy is everything in this
business, you know.

Chris really wants to change the subject and thrusts a hand in towards Melody.

CHRIS
Hi, Chris Ross.

Good manners dictate that Cassidy abandon his reflections on the good old days.

CASSIDY
I'm sorry, this is Melody Summers.
She has a morning talk show with
the ABC television affiliate here.

Melody accepts a SUPERFICIAL handshake from Chris.

MELODY
I've been trying to get Cassidy to
leave that silly old newspaper and
become a television reporter at our
station. He is so good. He could
go to the network in a year.

Cassidy acquires an air of intellectual superiority.

CASSIDY
I'm a real reporter. I stay where
the big stories are; and that's
the Tribune.

Melody cuddles up to him and pouts.

MELODY
I broke a story on Monty Greggs.
He was named Chicago's gay man of
the year. Guess what? He isnít
all that gay.
(raises her eyebrows)
I saw a picture of him DOING it
with some bimbo in a supply closet.
It's too bad they had her face air-
brushed out.

Danny turns and looks at Chris who is deeply alarmed by the new direction of this conversation.

CASSIDY
I broke the story about two of our
illustrious city aldermen with
their hands in the insurance reserve
fund. They both should do time.

Danny, upbeat as ever, chimes in and points to Chris.

DANNY
Chris here broke the story on a
three-headed goat born in Idaho.

There is a dull silence as all eyes turn to Danny.

Chris looks at him too, but there is murder in her eyes.

DANNY
(continuing; cheerfully)
Yeah, some cult group raised it.
And its fur had these ancient
symbols on it about the world
coming to an end.

Chris tries to kick him viciously under the table.

Danny looks at her in confusion.

CASSIDY
Where do the two of you work?

SIMULTANEOUS DIALOG:

CHRIS
I freelance.

DANNY
The Midnight Star.

BACK TO SCENE

Melody laughs hysterically for a second, but then gets a very serious expression on her Barbie face when she notices the blank looks from Danny and Chris.

MELODY
Oh, I thought you were kidding.

Cassidy is extremely amused by this revelation.

CASSIDY
The Midnight Star? Somehow, I
should have guessed.

Danny instantly grows defensive for Chris's sake.

DANNY
Hey, what's wrong with the Star?
We're a great newspaper.

Chris hisses at him through clinched teeth.

CHRIS
Danny. That's enough.

CASSIDY
It's imaginative. I'll say that
for it, but we try to deal in
facts at the Tribune.

DANNY
I've talked to a dozen people in
Chicago alone who've been abducted
by aliens. I haven't seen a story
on that in your paper.

CHRIS
(desperate)
Danny!

Melody is starting to get nervous and tugs on Cassidy's arm.

MELODY
Come on. We need to get a table.

Suddenly, The room FREEZES IN PLACE again. There is no sound, no motion from Chris, Cassidy or Melody. Danny jerks his head about studying each of their faces in turn with growing alarm.

He looks about the pub and, glimpses something that causes him to stare in wonder.

LARGE BROWN RABBIT
In a corner of the pub, isolated from patrons, a large brown rabbit stands on its hind legs beneath a vacant table staring straight at Danny.

Danny closes his eyes tightly and opens them again.

The pub corner is empty save for the table and chairs.

At that instant, sound and motion return in a flash, and Danny, disoriented, jerks his head around in all directions trying to figure out what happened to the rabbit.

Danny bends over hurriedly and looks under the tables and chairs for the rabbit.

It appears to Cassidy, Chris and Melody that Danny has either seen or heard something and they start looking around as well.

CASSIDY
(to Danny)
What?

Danny is totally distracted as he speaks to Cassidy, never looking at him.

DANNY
Did you see that?

CASSIDY
See what?

Danny turns towards Chris, who has completely lost patience with him, and points towards the empty corner of the pub.

CHRIS
(angrily)
What's the matter?

He starts to tell her what he has seen, but thinks better of it when he looks again towards the empty corner of the pub.

DANNY
Nothing.

Danny quickly picks up his glass of beer and eyes it with suspicion.

Cassidy and Melody are growing alarmed by Danny's behavior and retreat a step in unison.

CASSIDY
(nervously)
Maybe we'd better get a table.
(nods at Danny)
And thanks for that tip on the
aliens. I'll look into that.

The two start to make a hurried departure.

CHRIS
(desperately)
You can sit with us.

This elicits and instantaneous reaction from Melody.

MELODY
No, no! That's all right.
We don't want to intrude.

Melody tugs at Cassidy, pulling him away from the odd pair.

CHRIS
Why don't I drop by the Tribune.
We could have coffee, talk about
the good old college days. Rah!
Rah! You know? I could bring
you a resume.

Chris sags back into her chair in defeat and closes her eyes.

CHRIS
(continuing; ruefully)
God. Why do I even try?

She glares at Danny accusingly.

CHRIS
(continuing)
Why couldn't you be abducted
by aliens?

Danny is still examining the contents of his beer glass.

DANNY
I think maybe I've had a little
too much to drink. Could you
take me home?

CHRIS
(incredulously)
You've only had three beers.

Chris looks at him in total exasperation, reaches into her pocket and produces some bills she tosses on the table.

CHRIS
(continuing; resignation)
Come on. You've done about as
much damage here as you can do.

She gets up to leave and gathers her belongings.

INT. APARTMENT BUILDING STAIRWAY - NIGHT

Chris and Danny are climbing a long stairwell in an apartment building. Chris is in the lead.

Chris abruptly stops and turns back towards Danny.

CHRIS
All I ever wanted was to be a
reporter. My folks wanted me to be
a doctor like my sister. But no,
I thought I could change the world
if I just worked for a big paper.
Now look at me.

She starts climbing the steps again as though her legs are made of lead.

DANNY
Hey, you are a great reporter.
And the Star IS a big newspaper.
I'll bet we have more readers
than the Tribune.

Chris stops and turns back to him again.

CHRIS
Thank you, but I'm not sure all of
the Star's readers actually qualify
as human.

DANNY
(emphatically)
There's nothing wrong with the
Star. You're just looking at
things all wrong.

CHRIS
Oh, puh-leeze, don't start with
me on the power of positive
thinking again, okay?

At the top of the stairs, Danny stops at a door on his left, pulls out a set of keys and unlocks the bolt.

He steps inside followed by Chris.

INT. DANNY'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

The interior of the apartment is small, cramped and aged. But it is clean, and everything has a place.

Danny and Chris enter the living room area. Danny's GRANDFATHER and GRANDMOTHER are sitting on a sofa watching television. They don't even glance in the direction of Chris and Danny.

DANNY
Hello. Sis?

Danny's sister, MEGAN (MEG), pokes her head out of the nearby entrance to the kitchen and looks surprised when she sees Chris. She is tall, youthful and beautiful; but she has the careworn face of someone who has struggled in life.

MEG
Danny, you didn't tell me you were
bringing a friend home. I would
have cleaned up.

Chris is startled to hear this revelation.

CHRIS

This isn't clean? I must be a
bigger slob than I thought.

DANNY
This is Christine. We work
together at the Star.

Chris approaches Meg, extending a hand the latter accepts in greeting.

CHRIS
Call me Chris.

Danny walks across the room towards his grandparents who are still completely absorbed in some television show.

DANNY
Gramps, grandma. How was your day?

When Danny reaches the sofa and leans forward to give his grandmother a kiss, she suddenly produces a giant CRUCIFIX and places it between their faces. Then, she scowls at him as though Danny is her mortal enemy.

Grandpa doubles up a fist and looks malevolently at Danny.

GRANDPA
Try that with me. I dare you.

Danny reluctantly unpuckers and retreats from the sofa. Grandma and Grandpa return to their television program.

Chris eyes this exchange with concern.

A bedroom door swings open with a bang and out races Meg's six-year-old daughter, Rene. She dashes into Danny's arms.

RENE
(with great delight)
Uncle Danny, you're home!

Danny bends down and Rene grabs him around the neck in a forceful bear hug.

RENE
(continuing)
I missed you so much.

Danny reaches into his pocket and produces a small necklace.

DANNY
Look what I bought for you today.

Rene snatches the necklace from his hand. It is a green and silver four-leaf clover.

DANNY
(continuing)
The shop owner said it's made from
magic stones somebody found on a
faerie hill in Ireland. That means
it will always bring you good luck.

Rene beams with joy as she puts the chain around her neck.

RENE
Thanks, Uncle Danny.

With a child's innocent love, she grabs him around the neck again and hugs him fiercely for a second time.

RENE
(continuing)
I'll always wear it. I love you
Uncle Danny.

Meg smiles at her daughter, but, at the same time, is impatient with her.

MEG
Tomorrow is a school day. You
were supposed to be asleep thirty
minutes ago.

Rene ignores her mother, releases her grip on Danny and looks up at Chris innocently.

RENE
Are you my uncle's girl friend?

CHRIS
No, honey, we work together at
the paper.

MEG
Iím Megan. I'm Danny's half sister.
But everyone just calls me Meg.
And this is my daughter, Rene.
(nods to her daughter and
then towards the couch)
And those are my grandparents.

Both grandparents simultaneously GRUNT acknowledgements.

MEG
(continuing)
I put supper away, but I could pop
something in the microwave if
youíre hungry.

Danny tussles with Rene, who GIGGLES loudly in response.

DANNY
I have my dinner right here.
I'm going to gobble up a little
girl. Arrrr . . .

Danny pretends to bite Rene on the arm who SQUEALS with delight and begins to run around the apartment, pursued by Danny.

MEG
(irritated)
Danny, donít get her worked up.
She was supposed to be asleep half
an hour ago.

Rene stops and lets Danny catch her. She looks back at her mother with a very serious expression on her face.

RENE
I canít go to sleep, mommy. There
are monsters in my closet.

MEG
(frowning)
Oh, stop that. There are no
monsters.

RENE
(defiantly)
There are too. They're short
monsters with big scales on
their heads; and they have horns.

DANNY
Why don't I just go in there with
you and scare those old monsters
out of your closet?

RENE
Will you tell me a story?

DANNY
You bet I will.

Meg shouts after them as they head for the bedroom.

MEG
Don't you tell her any more of
those Irish fairy tales. That's
why she's seeing monsters now.

Rene and Danny disappear into the bedroom and shut the door.

Meg sighs heavily. She looks tired.

CHRIS
Listen, I could go for a cup of
tea, if you don't mind. Long day,
if you know what I mean.

Meg turns and heads back into the kitchen.

MEG
I'll heat some water. It won't
take a second.

Chris follows Meg.

INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT

Meg goes to the overhead cupboard and pulls down a pair of cups and saucers.

She turns to the gas stove and lights the eye beneath a teapot.

MEG
What do you do at the Star?

CHRIS
I'm an investigative reporter.

Meg CHUCKLES, but when she sees Chrisí deadpan face, she catches herself.

MEG
Sorry. I thought they just sat in
a room and made all that up.

CHRIS
(expressionless)
Three-headed goats with birthmarks
in ancient Sumeric that read, The
world ends in 2006. You think we
could make that up? There aren't
that many creative minds left in
America. It's all real.

Meg stares at Chris not knowing what to say.

Suddenly, Chris flashes her a devilish grin and then resumes her poker face.

Meg realizes she is being put on and laughs warmly as she gathers ceramic milk and sugar containers and puts a teabag into each cup.

Meg lowers her voice and points surreptitiously towards her grandparents in the next room.

MEG
(whispering)
My grandparents believe every word.

CHRIS
Your grandparents are shrewd and
perceptive people.

Again the deadpan expression of Chris throws Meg off, but, ultimately, she chuckles again and shakes her head.

CHRIS
(continuing)
How old is your daughter?

MEG
Rene is six. How about you? Do
you have children?

CHRIS
Oh no. Motherhood is definitely
NOT for me. As badly as I cook,
Human Services would probably
have me arrested for child abuse.

Chris screws her face into a look of concern and points towards the next room.

CHRIS
(continuing)
I couldn't help but notice, your
grandparents don't seem to get
along well with Danny.

Meg rubs her forehead nervously. It is obvious this subject is an embarrassment to her. She looks coolly at Chris.

MEG
Did Danny tell you anything about
his life?

Chris
He told me about being put up for
adoption when he was a baby and
about what happened to your mom.

Meg sighs heavily.

MEG
My mother was fifteen when she was
raped. Somehow, my grandparents got
it in their heads she was raped by
the devil and Danny is Satan's own
child.

This revelation draws raised eyebrows from Chris. She recovers quickly, however.

CHRIS
My guess would be theyíre wrong
but after spending an evening with
your brother, I can see where they
might make that mistake.

MEG
He couldn't have shown up at a
better time for us. My husband
left us two years ago and, a few
months back, my grandparents had
to move in. Danny came to the
door one morning and offered
to help. If it wasn't for him,
I don't think I could pay all the
bills. Besides, Rene LOVES him.

CHRIS
And what do you do for a living?

The water on the stove begins to boil. Meg picks it up and pours the steaming liquid into the pair of cups.

MEG
Iím a clerk at the Illinois Gaming
Commission.

CHRIS
So, can you give me a line on a
good horse?

Meg chuckles again as she puts the two cups on the table.

MEG
Sorry, I work in casino regulation.

CHRIS
Really? I've read about some big
Native American casino that's
about to open. Were you involved?

Meg brings over the sugar and cream containers and raises her eyebrows in look of dismay.

MEG
Oh, my god, don't get me started.
That's all we've been worked on
the past six months.

Meg sits down, stirs her tea, and it is obvious the conversation is turning to shop.

Chris lights a cigarette and prepares to listen.

INT. RENE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Rene bounces happily about the bed while Danny lies next to her on the mattress watching, deeply amused.

He pulls back the covers and she immediately hops beneath them. He tucks her in.

Rene suddenly becomes serious.

RENE
Uncle Danny, is your new girlfriend
really slow?

Danny wrinkles his brow, confused.

DANNY
Chris is NOT my girlfriend, and I
havenít chased her yet, so I don't
know how fast she runs. Why?

RENE
I heard some slow shes were coming
and you showed up with her.

Danny closes one eye and grimaces at the child.

DANNY
Slow shes? Where did you hear that?

Rene points towards her closet door.

Danny looks in that direction, even more confused.

DANNY
What?

RENE
The monsters in my closet. They
were whispering about slow shes.

Danny has to think about this for a few seconds but, finally, a revelation dawns.

DANNY
Do you mean Slooa She?

Rene shrugs her shoulders - an "I guess so" gesture.

DANNY
(continuing; bemused)
That's what the Irish call the
Faerie Host.
(glancing curiously at the
closet door)
Maybe we'd better find out what
those old monsters want, huh?

Danny hops up from the bed and heads to the closet door.

RENE
Be careful, Uncle Danny. They
don't look very friendly to me.

Danny looks at her in feigned alarm and makes a gesture with his hand at about waist level.

DANNY
You said they were short, right?
(raising his hand high)
Not really big monsters.

RENE
They're about my size.

DANNY
I can take them!

Danny approaches the closet stealthily, flattening his back to the wall like a super spy. He cuts his head sharply from side to side in a big act intended to amuse a small girl, reaches for the closet handle and yanks open the door.

INT. CLOSET - NIGHT

A dozen grotesque faces stare back at Danny from within a dark void. The creatures are no taller than Rene and have scaly foreheads and horns growing from their skulls. They are dressed in rough-spun green costumes of ancient design.

The flock of odd beings suddenly reach for Danny in unison with outstretched arms and clawed hands.

INT. RENE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Danny spins around and slams the door shut, bracing his back against it to hold the creatures inside the closet.

Rene SCREAMS loudly.

DANNY
(terrified; shouting)
Jesus! Rene, run! Get out of here!

Still screaming, Rene hops out of her bed and darts towards the living room door.

Danny waits for an instant and then dashes after her.

INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Danny's bewildered grandparents struggle from their chairs as Rene runs to them squealing fearfully. Danny is close behind.

GRANDFATHER
(startled)
What the hell?

DANNY
Get a gun! Get a gun!

Rene runs into her grandmotherís arms.

GRANDFATHER
What's going on?

DANNY
Something's in Rene's room!
Where's your gun?

Grandpa is so flustered he can't think clearly.

He motions towards a chest of drawers near the television.

GRANDFATHER
I -- I think it's in the drawer.

Meg and Chris enter from the kitchen, startled.

Danny frantically digs through the top drawer of the chest, scattering its contents wildly onto the floor while the grandparents hold Rene.

MEG
(alarmed)
Danny, what's going on?

Danny is starting to lose it completely.

DANNY
Are we the only family in Chicago
that doesn't own a gun?

Rene dashes to her mother and grabs her tightly.

RENE
Mommy, mommy! The monsters tried
to get Uncle Danny.

Meg gives Danny an accusing look.

MEG
Monsters? What's she talking about?

Danny yanks out another drawer, turns it upside down and empties it onto the floor searching for the pistol.

DANNY
She was right! Monsters ARE in
her closet!

Meg begins to get frantic.

MEG
Danny, you're scaring Rene.
There are no monsters!

DANNY
(hysterically)
They sure as hell ain't the
Muppets!

Grandpa reaches under the sofa, fishes out an ALUMINUM BASEBALL BAT, and shakes the thing resolutely in the air.

GRANDPA
I'll bet its those damn rats.
I saw one in the basement last
week the size of a cat!

Grandma puts a hand to her throat in fear.

GRANDMA
Oh, my god!

RENE
No, grandpa, itís monsters.

DANNY
(nodding hastily)
It's the truth. I never saw
anything like them.
(waves hands wildly)
They're ugly little things with
horns all over their heads.

Grandpa's face changes from an expression of confusion and alarm to one of doubt and anger, directed at Danny, and he slowly lowers the baseball bat.

Chris, who has been taking all this in, nods and looks at Danny, still with the deadpan expression.

CHRIS
Horny little ugly guys, huh?
(to Meg)
Could be ex boyfriends of mine.

She points towards grandpa.

CHRIS
(continuing)
But on second thought, I'm going
to vote with you on this one.
I've seen rats in this town that
could carry off a Doberman.

While Danny still frantically fumbles through the drawers, Chris moves to control and quiet the situation.

CHRIS
(continuing)
Listen folks, the only way to
clear this up is for us to go
in there en masse, and take a
look see.

She makes a broad gesture directing grandpa and his bat towards the bedroom door.

CHRIS
(continuing
If you would kindly lead the way.

Reluctantly, a scowling grandpa heads towards the bedroom door followed by the rest of the group.

Hastily, Danny, who is at the end of the line, fishes through the litter on the floor and produces a FLY SWATTER. He looks at it and throws it down in disgust. Then, he snatches a CANDLESTICK HOLDER from a table.

Danny touches grandma on the shoulder who starts, turns and scowls at him. She hastily produces a crucifix from inside her blouse and shoves it into Dannyís face.

Danny backs away and rolls his eyes.

INT. RENE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

The clump of nervous humanity enters the bedroom and carefully inches towards the closet door with Grandpa out front.

When grandpa reaches for the handle, Danny startles him.

DANNY
Careful! They tried to grab me.

Grandpa turns slowly and glares at him.

Chris, being the least affected, strides around the group, steps in front of the closet door and grips the handle.

CHRIS
Ready?

Grandpa nods at her and raises the bat like Babe Ruth.

Chris yanks the door open and steps aside. Inside, there is a closet filled only with clothes and childís clutter. The diminutive demons have vanished altogether.

Grandpa reaches inside the door and flicks on a light. He looks around anxiously. Nothing.

There is a SQUEAK from the floor of the closet.

A PINK SWEATSHIRT lies on the floor of the closet. From beneath it, a small, gray mouse appears. It squeaks a second times and scurries away in fear.

INT. CLOSET IN RENE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

A disgruntled clump of humanity is framed in the doorway.

All adult eyes turn accusingly towards Danny.

Danny pushes his way into the closet. He shoves aside clothes and taps the walls of the closet with the candlestick holder looking for some secret passage through which the odd beings might have made their getaway.

He turns towards the dour faces in the doorway that stare angrily at him.

Danny is at a loss to explain any of this.

DANNY
They were in here. I swear to
you. There were monsters in this
closet.

Grandpa gets a malevolent look in his eyes. Slowly, he raises the baseball bat again. He wants desperately to pop Danny a good one.

-- END PART ONE --

--Back to Top--

 !  Sidebar Information /
Fan Fiction

Brad Renfro

In this script, Brad Renfro plays the part of Danny. To read a brief biography, go to Brad Renfro >>.


Janeane Garofalo

In this script, Janeane Garofalo plays the part of Chris. To read a brief biography, go to Janeane Garofalo >>.


Irish mythology says there were once three bands of angels. Following a war in heaven, one group fell into hell and became demons. Another, not good enough to stay in heaven nor bad enough to become demons, were banished to Earth and became "The Faerie Host." These angels could take human women as lovers, and their offspring sometimes had magic powers.

Danny (Murphy) Giovanetti, a copywriter for "The Midnight Star," a newsstand tabloid of the absurd, doesn't know it, but he is half human and half faerie. In fact, his father was the most powerful faerie of all: the king of the third angel band.

While Danny is writing testimonials about alien abductions and his friend Christine Ross is dreaming of a big story that will get her hired by a "real" newspaper, an event of monumental proportions has occurred. Danny's biological father, the faerie king, has died, and his offspring are searching for his replacement. Succession isn't merely hereditary. A test of power is involved, and all of the king's legitimate heirs have failed it. So, the faeries come for Danny, whose life is suddenly turned upside down by their attempts to capture him.

As human friends and family members come to the conclusion that Danny is losing his mind, his powers of magic begin to emerge. By accident he grants his friend Chris her dearest wish, the biggest story to hit Chicago in decades. A drug cartel is using a local casino to launder money and both police and government officials are involved.

Realizing millions of dollars are at stake, a Columbian drug lord sends his henchmen to deal with the threat to his plans and, inadvertently, triggers the ultimate transformation in Danny from human to faerie. Danny is, indeed, the faerie king, the most powerful of his kind, and, like all faeries he can be both angelic and demonic in behavior.

A climatic battle pits supernatural power against bullets, the drug lord and his accomplices against Danny and the faeries. Danny ascends to the golden throne of the Faerie Host and faces the emissaries of the other two angel bands. At that meeting the ultimate purpose of human existence is revealed. Chris sees the biggest story of all time unfold in front of her eyes, but, unfortunately, she will not be permitted to write it. The Faerie King is more than an action comedy. It is a sweeping tale that addresses eternal issues such as hope, love, family ties and the struggle between good and evil.

Select any one of the links below to go to another part of
The Faerie King >> 1 | 2 | 3 | 4


Children's author, singer, tankerman, newspaperman, John H. Leeper has help many positions in his 55 years on this earth.
To see a photo and learn a little more about him, go to John H. Leeper >>

  |   1 | 2 | 3 | 4   |  

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