Dark Ascension (Act I)

Contextual note: this was included on a floppy disk of high school-era writing. The filename was, simply, “horror.doc”. Judging from the content, this screenplay dates to circa 2002-2003. The U.K. variant spellings and “symbolic” character names are a product of their time.

***

FADE IN:

INT. HOUSE – DAY

A wide door swings open, illuminating the entry hall. The wooden surfaces are caked with dust, and the house is devoid of furniture. The windows have been boarded up, admitting no light. Two figures (Lupin and Bijou) are silhouetted against the bright daylight that invades the house. They stand there a moment.

LUPIN
What do you think?

BIJOU
I don’t know…

LUPIN
But what do you think?

Bijou takes a step inside and looks around. She is a teenage girl with short black hair. Although she wears vividly colourful clothing, the colour seems drained from the atmosphere, so that her skin is almost the same tone as the dust on the floor.

BIJOU
What am I supposed to say?

LUPIN
Just say what you think.

BIJOU
I don’t think I like it.

Lupin steps inside and grabs Bijou around the waist. He is in his late teens, and dressed in faded and inexpensive clothing.

LUPIN
I know. But this is where we have to be right now. Okay?

BIJOU
I said okay.

Lupin swings the door shut, engulfing them in total blackness. He flips on a flashlight and uses it to search through an old backpack. He draws out another flashlight and hands it to Bijou.

LUPIN
You didn’t.

BIJOU
I would have if you had let me.

Lupin kisses Bijou lightly on the forehead.

LUPIN
I love you anyway.

BIJOU
What are we supposed to do?

LUPIN
Relax. Everything’s under control now.

BIJOU
What do we do while everything’s under control?

Lupin swings his flashlight beam in a circle around the room.

LUPIN
Get used to it.

BIJOU
Is there any way to get some light in here?

Lupin turns the flashlight onto his face.

LUPIN
We have light.

BIJOU
I mean real light.

LUPIN
If we can see out, they can see in.

BIJOU
Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.

LUPIN
Bijou, do you want to be with me?

BIJOU
Of course.

LUPIN
Well, I’m going to be here. Be here with me.

BIJOU
I just wish it could be different.

LUPIN
Of course. We all wish for things to be different. But if we got all our wishes, they would be the same.

BIJOU
What?

LUPIN
Nothing. Come on, let’s see what there is to see.

BIJOU
I can’t see anything with this.

LUPIN
That’s because you don’t know how to use it.

Lupin shines his flashlight on Bijou.

LUPIN
I can see everything.

Lupin wanders over to a corner of the room and examines the walls, while Bijou walks toward the entrance to the kitchen.

BIJOU
How old do you think this place is?

LUPIN
It’s been empty since I knew about it. We used to go down here all the time. It’s just like I remember it.

BIJOU
There’s no refrigerator.

LUPIN
No, they took all the furniture and appliances away a long time ago. If there ever were any.

BIJOU
What are we supposed to do for food?

LUPIN
I brought enough to last us at least a week. You’d better relax. If you’re this tense now, imagine how you’ll be after a couple of days.

BIJOU
You could go out of your mind in a place like this.

Lupin runs his hand along the old wooden wall.

LUPIN
No, there isn’t anywhere else to go.

Bijou freezes, her flashlight pointed at something on the ground. A look of confused apprehension arises in her face.

BIJOU
Lupin? Could you come here?

Lupin has placed his entire body against the wall, feeling it sensually. He turns around and walks toward Bijou.

LUPIN
They don’t make houses like this one anymore…with so much life.

BIJOU
Lupin, I’m not sure what’s going on.

LUPIN
What do you mean?

BIJOU
Have you been in this room already?

LUPIN
Not yet.

Bijou gestures toward the ground with her flashlight. Lupin points his in the same direction, adjoining their beams at one point.

BIJOU
Please, help me understand.

Their flashlights illuminate a few footprints in the dust.

LUPIN
It’s nothing. Don’t worry.

BIJOU
What if there’s somebody else here?

LUPIN
There can’t be. Nobody knows about this place except me and a few other people, and I know where they are.

BIJOU
What if someone else knows? What if somebody finds out that we’re here?

Lupin holds up a small key.

LUPIN
I have the key, remember? This is the original. I know where all the copies went.

BIJOU
Then what are those? Ghosts?

LUPIN
Probably.

Bijou hits Lupin in the chest with her flashlight.

BIJOU
This isn’t funny. I’m worried.

LUPIN
I’m sorry. They’re probably…they must be left over from when I was little. With all the windows boarded up, it must take a while for the dust to settle in here.

BIJOU
Oh…

LUPIN
Bijou, this isn’t going to work if you can’t trust me. We’re in absolutely no danger here. Okay?

BIJOU
I said okay.

LUPIN
Are you hungry?

BIJOU
Yeah.

Lupin grabs Bijou seductively.

LUPIN
How hungry?

Bijou hits Lupin with her flashlight again.

BIJOU
Go get me a sandwich.

LUPIN
I think I’ll get three. One for me, one for you, and one for…Them.

BIJOU
Go.

Lupin goes back into the entry hall. Bijou takes one last doubtful look at the footprints.

CUT TO:

Lupin and Bijou sit cross-legged in the middle of the kitchen, eating sandwiches. Their flashlights are by their sides, shining on each other.

BIJOU
If I have to eat peanut butter every day, I’m going to die.

LUPIN
It’s the only thing that’s easy to pack and lasts.

BIJOU
I don’t know why I let you kidnap me.

LUPIN
Because you love me, and you hate your parents. And please don’t use that word. I don’t like to think of you as a kid.

BIJOU
Good, because I’m not.

LUPIN
Just think about where we’ll be after we get out of here.

BIJOU
You make it sound like we’re in prison.

LUPIN
We are if we leave before I get my call. I am, at least.

A door creaks elsewhere in the house.

BIJOU
What was that?

LUPIN
A door creaking.

BIJOU
Why?

Something watches Lupin and Bijou from around a doorway. They appear in high-contrast technicolour, and their speech is garbled. The unseen observer turns away from this scene and walks down a dark hallway. Lupin and Bijou resume their conversation in the previous washed-out colour scheme.

BIJOU
I don’t believe in them either. I’m not a little girl.

LUPIN
So there has to be a logical explanation.

BIJOU
But you don’t know what it is.

LUPIN
Not specifically. It could be anything. Bijou, I…

BIJOU
Do you hear footsteps?

Lupin listens.

LUPIN
You really need to relax, Bijou. I don’t want you tense.

BIJOU
I’m sorry. It’s just that I’ve never had to worry about being caught before. I’ve never done anything wrong before.

LUPIN
I’m the one who will get in trouble if they find us. You’re still a minor, remember?

BIJOU
I hate that law.

LUPIN
It’s still there.

Lupin and Bijou resume eating in silence. After a few seconds, they hear footsteps, very close.

BIJOU
Lupin…

LUPIN
I know.

BIJOU
There were no footprints by the front door. When we came in. They were only in this part of the house.

LUPIN
Shh!

Lupin and Bijou listen. The footsteps have stopped.

LUPIN
Turn off your flashlight.

BIJOU
Lupin…

LUPIN
You have to trust me, Bijou.

Lupin and Bijou shut off their flashlights. The room is pitch black. The footsteps resume. As they get closer, Lupin turns on his flashlight. It catches a glimpse of a white figure, but the figure moves quickly away. Bijou turns on her flashlight, and she and Lupin shine the light wildly around the room. They occasionally catch a flash of white, but it moves away. Finally, both beams centre on Echo, a teenage girl in a white dress, with long, blonde hair. She stares at them fearlessly.

ECHO
Hello. I have candles.

FADE OUT

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