WHO’S CALLING? by Dillon Higgins Adapted from “Sorry, Right Number” by Stephen King

ACT I

FADE IN:

20 year old babysitter, DANI WILLIAMS, is sitting on the couch, eating popcorn, drinking Dr. Pepper, binge watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix.

She is so intensely staring into the screen, she doesn’t even realize her phone ringing right next to her. The boy she’s babysitting, 10 year old MARK HANNIGAN, walks into the room.

MARK

Hey, DANI, are you just gonna let that ring forever are you gonna answer it?

(MORE)

She doesn’t even acknowledge his existence.

MARK (cont’d)

HEY! DANI… Are you alive over there?

She snaps out of the trance-like state and looks down to see her phone blasting “Call me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen and caller ID pops up “DAT GIRL RHI RHI.”

DANI shoos MARK out of the room and answers her phone.

DANI

Hey, girl! How ya doin?

RHI RHI

Hey! I’m good, you wanna get outta the house tonight? The girls and I are heading over to Chad’s place, his parents are out of town so you know what that means.

DANI

I wish! Ugh, but I’m here watching MARK while his parents are at that party.

RHI RHI

Wait… MARK HANNIGAN? The kid whose dad is the hottest software engineer EVER?

DANI

YES! Oh my God, I would pile drive his wife’s face into the ground if it meant I could get with him.

RHI RHI

Be careful, he’s a big deal. That house could be bugged!

DANI

(LAUGHS)

No, of course I wouldn’t actually do that. Hear that NSA? I would not actually piledrive Mrs. Hannigan’s face into the ground if it meant I could smash her husband! That better?

RHI RHI

Oh, yeah. You’re all good now.

(muffled audio of other girls asking her to hurry up)

Hey, have fun with the whole babysitting thing, I gotta go. And let me know if “Mr. Sexy-ggan” gives you some nerd thrashing.

DANI

Oh, I’ll tell you all about it, girlfriend. Have fun, bye.

SHE HANGS UP THE PHONE, AND SETTLES BACK IN TO HER SHOW.

CUT TO:

INT. MARK’S ROOM

HE’S PLAYING WITH HIS VINTAGE G.I. JOE’S HIS MOM BOUGHT FOR HIM.

CUT TO:

HALLWAY

REVEALING HOW DEADLY QUIET THE HOUSE IS, BESIDES THE BIG 65 INCH FLAT SCREEN BLARING IN THE FRONT ROOM.

FADING BACK INTO THE FRONT ROOM, WE SEE DANI STARTING TO WATCH A HORROR FILM. SHE IS NOT GOOD WITH SCARY, SHE JUMPS AT EVERYTHING THAT MOVES, AND WE SEE HER TERRIFIED EXPRESSION EVERY TIME A CHARACTER DOES ANYTHING.

DURING THE MOST SUSPENSEFUL SCENE OF THE MOVIE, HER PHONE RINGS AND SHE JUMPS UP TO HER FEET, THROWING POPCORN EVERYWHERE. VISIBLY FLUSTERED, SHE TRIES TO CALM HERSELF DOWN BEFORE ANSWERING THE PHONE. NO CALLER ID, “206-143-3284”

DANI

Hello?

VOICE

(SOBBING)

…Get him…and get out.

DANI

Excuse me? Who is this?

VOICE

PLEASE! JUST GET HIM AND GET–

THE VOICE CUTS OUT AND THE CALL IS DROPPED.

DANI

(SHOCKED and RATTLED)

Um… okay, then?

SHE SITS BACK DOWN AND CONTINUES HER MOVIE TRYING TO DISREGARD WHAT JUST HAPPENED.

SHE NOTICES THAT MARK HAS BEEN QUIET FOR A LITTLE BIT. SHE WALKS DOWN THE HALL AND TURNS THE CORNER TO MARKS ROOM ONLY TO FIND NO TRACE OF HIM.

DANI

(YELLING AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS)

MARK?

(MORE)

SILENCE.

DANI (cont’d)

(ANNOYED)

MARK! THis isn’t funny, where are you?

(MORE)

MORE SILENCE.

DANI (cont’d)

(PLEADING)

MARK, seriously, just come out. THIS IS NOT OKAY!

SHE WALKS ALL AROUND THE HOUSE SEARCHING FOR HIM, SHE CHECKS HIS PARENTS ROOM, THE LAUNDRY ROOM, THE BASEMENT, AND THE SPARE ROOM. NOTHING.

JUST WHEN SHE’S ABOUT TO GIVE UP AND CALL THE POLICE, SHE WALKS BACK OUT TO THE FRONT ROOM TO GRAB HER PHONE AND MARK JUMPS OUT FROM THE LONG DRAPES ON THE WINDOW AND SCARES HER HALF TO DEATH.

DANI

(SCREAMS BLOODY MURDER)

WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!?

MARK

(LAUGHING)

Did I scare you?

DANI

(FRUSTRATED)

YES! I LOOKED ALL OVER FOR YOU, I THOUGHT YOU WENT MISSING!

(SIGHS)

It’s time for you to go to bed.

MARK

(FEELING BAD)

I’m sorry…

DANI

It’s okay, kiddo.

SHE WALKS HIM TO HIS ROOM AND TUCKS HIM INTO BED. SHE TURNS OUT HIS LIGHT, AND WALKS BACK TO THE FRONT ROOM, STILL FEELING WATCHED. AS SHE APPROACHES THE END OF THE HALLWAY, SHE HEARS HER PHONE RINGING. SHE CHECKS THE CALLER ID, “206-143-3284”

SHE HESITATED TO ANSWER, BUT FELT LIKE SHE HAD TO PICK UP. SO SHE ANSWERED THE PHONE.

DANI

Hello?

VOICE

(SOBBING)

You need to leave. Get him and leave.

DANI

Who is this? What are you talking about?

VOICE

PLEASE! JUST LE-

CALL DROPPED.

DANI

What the hell is that about…?

SHE THROWS HER PHONE DOWN, RIGHT AS IT HITS THE TABLE, A LOUD THUD SOUNDS FROM DOWN THE HALL.

AS SHE TURNS THE CORNER TO CHECK ON MARK, HER EYES SPRING WIDE OPEN IN REACTION TO WHAT SHE SAW. THE BOYS LEFT ARM RIPPED OFF, HIS NECK SNAPPED, AND TORSO CRUSHED. PICKING UP THE MUTILATED CORPSE, IT WALKS OUT, BRUSHING UP AGAINST THE GIRL, SCARRING HER FOR LIFE.

FADE TO RIGHT PANNING SHOT OF A CEMETERY:

MAN (V.O.)

(SLIGHT REVERB)

We are gathered here not to mourn the death, but to celebrate the life of MARK HANNIGAN. A young man who not only cared for everybody that he knew, but those that he didn’t, as well. We are not to feel as though he has been taken from us, but rather taken to a better, safer place…

(THE MAN CONT MUFFLED)

TEARS ROLL DOWN HER BLANK FACE. THE SIGHT OF MARK’S LIFELESS BODY AT THE TIME OF DEATH AND NOW BEING LOWERED INTO THE GROUND BREAK HER SPIRITS.

FADE TO BLACK

ACT II

TITLE CARD: 5 YEARS LATER.

DANI, NOW 25, IS LIVING IN DERRY, MAINE, HAVING BECOME A SHORT STORY WRITER. SHE HAS SOMEWHAT SUCCESSFULLY REPRESSED HER MEMORIES FROM SEATTLE, FOR NOW.

FADE TO:

EXT. TRACKING SHOT OF DANI’S CAR – MID DAY

DANI IS DRIVING HOME FROM THE CONVENIENT STORE LISTENING TO “STARBOY” BY THE WEEKND. SHE PULLS INTO THE DRIVEWAY OF HER SMALL TOWNHOUSE, WAITS FOR THE SONG TO END, AND TAKES HER BAG OF DRINKS AND SNACKS INSIDE.

SHE WALKS IN THE DOOR, HER ORANGE SCOTTISH FOLD CAT, “MAXWELL,” RUNS DOWN THE HALL AND JUMPS UP ONTO THE TABLE TO HIS FOOD BOWL.

DANI

(OPENING THE FOOD CRATE)

You hungry big guy?

MAXWELL MEOWS

DANI (CONT’D)

(PETTING HIM)

There you go, buddy.

SHE WALKS AWAY FROM THE TABLE OVER TO THE COUCH AND SITS DOWN.

SHE SITS THERE FOR A MINUTE FLIPPING THROUGH TV CHANNELS THEN GRABS HER NOTEPAD AND PULLS OUT HER CRATE OF VINYLS FROM UNDER THE MAPLE COFFEE TABLE 2 FEET FROM THE COUCH.

“THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 1 MIX” PLAYS WHILE SHE STARTS BRAINSTORMING IDEAS.

AS SHE WRITES DOWN CONCEPTS FOR HER NEW STORY, HER OLD MEMORIES OF SEATTLE START RUSHING BACK TO HER.

SHE TAKES OUT HER PHONE AND STARTS DIALING NUMBERS AT RANDOM. IT RINGS FOR A FEW SECONDS BEFORE A YOUNG LADY ANSWERS, SEEMING SOMEWHAT SHAKEN UP.

YOUNG GIRL

Hello?

DANI

(SOBBING)

You need to leave. Get him and leave.

YOUNG GIRL

Who is this? What are you talking about?

DANI

PLEASE! JUST LEAVE!

THE CALL DROPS BEFORE SHE COULD FINISH.

SHE TRIES TO CALL THE NUMBER BACK, BUT IT WENT STRAIGHT TO VOICEMAIL.

PHONE

(MUFFLED)

You have reached the voicemail box of DANI WILLIAMS.

(SHE HANGS UP)

HER EYES FADE IN AND OUT. SHE BEGINS TO HYPERVENTILATE AND SHE PASSES OUT.

FADE TO BLACK

FADE BACK IN:

SHE WAKES UP STANDING IN THE FRONT ROOM OF THE HANNIGAN HOUSE, UNABLE TO MOVE. WATCHING HERSELF FROM 5 YEARS AGO. SHE IS SITTING ON THE COUCH, LOST IN HER EPISODE OF GREY’S ANATOMY.

PRESENT DANI

(MOTIONLESS)

GET UP! GET UP! GET HIM AND LEAVE!

SHE SEES MARK WALK IN FROM THE HALLWAY.

MARK

(MUFFLED)

Hey, DANI, are you just gonna let that ring forever are you gonna answer it?

HE WALKS CLOSER TO HER, HOPING TO CATCH HER ATTENTION. THE DARK FIGURE WALKS PARTIALLY AROUND THE CORNER AND STICK HIS HEAD OUT THEN GLANCES OVER TO WHERE PRESENT DANI IS.

SHE STANDS THERE COMPLETELY SPEECHLESS AND HELPLESS.

MARK

(MUFFLED)

HEY! DANI… Are you alive over there?

AS PAST DANI SNAPS OUT OF HER TRANCE-LIKE STATE, THE FIGURE STEPS BACK INTO THE HALL.

SHE TRIES SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS, CRYING HYSTERICALLY AS PAST DANI SHOOS MARK AWAY AND ANSWERS HER PHONE.

OVERLAPPING DIALOGUE:

PAST DANI

(MUFFLED)

Hey, girl! How ya doin?

(PAUSE FOR A FEW SEC – CONT)

I wish! Ugh, but I’m here watching MARK while his parents are at that party.

PRESENT DANI

SAVE HIM! GET HIM OUT!

SHE COMES TO TERMS WITH THE FACT THAT SHE CAN’T DO ANYTHING. SHE WATCHES ON, SOBBING IN PURE AGONY.

FADE TO BLACK:

ROLL CREDITS.

FADE INTO:

EXT. DANI PRESENT HOUSE

DERRY POLICE AND PARAMEDICS LINED UP DOWN THE STREET. ENTIRE PROPERTY BLOCKED OFF BY CAUTION TAPE.

CROSSFADE:

INT. WALKING DOWN THE HALLWAY

DETECTIVE NELLS, LEAD ON THE CASE, APPROACHES THE LEAD FORENSICS INVESTIGATOR, BILL COLLINS.

NELLS

What do we have here?

BILL COLLINS

Her name is DANI WILLIAMS, 25 years old.

NELLS

Do we know what all happened?

BILL COLLINS

Well, we still have a few tests to run. But from what we can tell by looking around, no forced entry of any kind, no wounds, she had to have just collapsed on the ground.

NELLS

Did she overdose on something?

BILL COLLINS

(MOTIONING TO THE BODY)

We won’t know for sure until we get the blood test results back, but she doesn’t have inflamed veins, no puncture wounds to signify any needles. She must’ve been upset about something because her cheeks and eyes are swollen, probably crying.

NELLS LOOKS AT THE BAGGED UP PHONE IN COLLINS’ HAND.

NELLS

Is there anything on there that’s useful?

BILL COLLINS

Not really, no outgoing or incoming texts that tell us anything, the last call made was to a disconnected number in Seattle.

NELLS

Seattle? Hmm.

CUT TO:

THE TWO MEN LOOK DOWN AT THE BODY.

NELLS

Thank you, Bill.

BILL COLLINS

No problem.

NELLS WALKS AWAY FROM THE BODY AND DOWN THE HALL.

CAMERA FADES TO BLACK.

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