Friday, May 24, 2019

Night Of The Living Rodent


Hey there, crime kids. Happy Friday. It's time once again to take a trip to the dark side, where your most violent fantasies become sins of the flesh, right here, where the hardboiled action is non-stop, at the coolest crime joint in cyberspace ... at That Killing Feeling.

In Chapter 1 of FRANKENSTEIN IN LOVE, science genius nerd Frankie Stein brings a dead rat back to life in his secret basement lab ...


INT. SUBURBAN HOME - BASEMENT - NIGHT
Some cheesy 80’s hair metal ballad
plays on an I-pod stereo.
If I Close My Eyes Forever, indeed.

Your classic wood-panelled rec room.
Now a science lab STUFFED
with a maze of equipment.

Seated at a workbench is FRANKIE STEIN (17).
‘Nerd’ would be compliment.

Think Michael Cera
divided by Jessie Eisenberg.

He’s wearing thick gloves,
sleeves and a big apron.

Frankie looks at a dead RAT
lying on the table, recent roadkill.
Thinking. He nods.

Leans over, starts attaching a series
of electrical cables connected to
suction cups on the rat’s head,
chest, arms and legs. Nods.

Turns to a laptop.
Starts PUNCHING in data.

THE MONITOR
Shows a series of graphs that read
HEART, LUNG and BRAIN.
Each reads zero percent below them.

FRANKIE
Smiles grimly.

FRANKIE
Rat-tastic.

He picks up a syringe.
SQUIRTS it. Looks at the rat.

FRANKIE
You’re going to feel a small pinch.

And INJECTS it.
Frankie then turns to a TRANSFORMER
that the cables are attached to.

He starts flipping a series of switches.
We hear a HUMMING sound.

A NEEDLE
On the transformer starts
moving from left to right.
It approaches the red zone --

FRANKIE
FLIPS DOWN a metal bar, and --

THE RAT
Gets ZAPPED with electricity. BUZZZ.

THE GRAPHS
All JUMP to ONE HUNDRED PERCENT.

THE RAT
BOLTS UP in the air.
LEAPS onto the floor.

Starts DARTING around the room,
looking for an escape.

Frankie watches him.
Then realizes.

FRANKIE
I didn’t close the DOOR.

It goes to the stairs,
starts FLYING up to the first floor.
He CHASES after it.

INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT
Total suburbia brought to you
by the color beige, dimly lit
by the light coming from
the various appliances.

The rat RACES through the kitchen,
ollowed by Frankie.

It gets to a dog door flap
in the back door.
PUSHES through it.

FRANKIE
Shit.

He reaches for the doorknob.

FEMALE VOICE (O.C.)
Frankie, is that you?

The lights FLIP ON.
Frankie’s mother JULIE (40’s)
stands there in her bathrobe.

Once a great beauty, now
a bit washed-out-looking.

But still appealing,
even fresh-scrubbed.
Frankie lets go of the knob.

JULIE
Everything okay?
I heard you running.

FRANKIE
Yeah. I was just coming
up from the lab.

JULIE
Why are you up so late?
It’s after midnight.

FRANKIE
Uh -- I was --

JULIE
Never mind.
One of your experiments, right?

FRANKIE
Uh, yeah -- actually.

JULIE
Have a seat, boy genius.
I’ll fix you a glass of warm milk.

FRANKIE
Could I, uh -- get a beer?

JULIE
Silly boy.

She throws a hand towel at him.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

They Shoot Rednecks, Don't They?


Hey there, crime kids. Happy Saturdaze. It's time once again to take a trip to the dark side, where your most violent fantasies become sins of the flesh, right here, where the hardboiled action is non-stop, at the coolest crime joint in cyberspace ... at That Killing Feeling.

In the final chapter of Ridgeway, Cate escapes from the law by running up a gravel road that -- in a stroke of blind luck -- leads up the mountain right to her house -- where she collapses, then finds a 'special treat' courtesy of Dixie Mafia chief Big Boy ...


EXT. MOUNTAIN RIDGE ROAD - NIGHT
The cops get out. SLAM the doors.
witch on HIGH-BEAM FLASHLIGHTS.

Start heading down the steep canyon,
sweeping big, bright beams of light
through the woods.

AT THE BOTTOM
Cate stares at the dead bear.
In shock. Soaked to the bone.

The rain starts letting up.
Sees the lights approaching.

Starts high-tailing it up the
hill in the opposite direction.

THE COPS
Start racing down the hill,
flashlights bobbing.

GRAB
Somebody’s down there.

RADY
STOP, POLICE.

They get to the bottom.
See the dead bear. Stop.

RADY
Holy shit.

GRAB
Go get ‘em.
I’ll call it in.
Catch up with ya later.

Rady nods.
Starts heading up the hill.

CATE
Huffs and puffs.
Makes it to the top.

Out of breath. Turns around. Looks down.
Sees Rady’s light heading her way.

CATE
Shit.

Pushes through the foliage.
Arrives at a two-lane paved road
that snakes around in a tight U,
then heads up the hill.

An ancient Parks and Recreation
building sits at the turn, lit by
a lone, Victorian-era street lamp.

She looks up the long road
that snakes up the mountain.

CATE
Fuck that.

RACES toward the building,
just as Rady appears on the road.

Sees her go behind the building.
Pulls out his gun.

RADY
STOP, POLICE.

GRABS his radio --
as he RUNS after her.

RADY
Got ‘em cornered.
Call for backup.
I’m at the bottom of Ellis Grade,
in front of the parks and
recreation building.

He approaches the side
of the building. Stops.

RADY
I know you’re back there.
If you come out nice and easy,
you won’t get hurt.
(listens)
Back-up’s on the way.
Might as well give yourself up.

Cate comes RACING around the corner.
CRACKS Ray on the head with
the flat side of a shovel.
He goes down, THWUMP.

RUNS toward the tiny
parking lot in back.

EXT. PARKS AND RECREATION BUILDING - PARKING LOT - NIGHT
A small affair with a gravel road
heading up the mountain behind it.

Cate runs over.
Looks at the sign.

CATE
I don’t fucking believe it.

EXT. FULLER STREET - NIGHT
Spooky in the dim light coming
from houses at the top of
a ridge on either side.
A siren WHOOPS.

Cate JUMPS off the road,
tumbles down into a gully,
just as another POLICE SUV comes
ROARING by in a CRUNCH of gravel.

She climbs back up.
Sees it’s gone.
Then starts RUNNING.

EXT. FULLER STREET - MOUNTAIN TOP - NIGHT
Cate makes it to the top, exhausted.
Sees her house on the corner.
Starts trudging toward it.

INT. KAYLA’S APARTMENT - KITCHEN - NIGHT
Cate lurches to the sink.
Splashes cold water on her face.

Leans against the counter.
Every muscle in her body on fire.

Gingerly walks over
to the bedroom doorway.

Sees the lights are out.
And Kayla, sound asleep.

Goes back to the kitchen counter.
Grabs a bottle of whiskey.

Pours a shot.
Downs it. Pours another.
Does a third for good measure.
Wipes her mouth.

Grabs the bong.
FIRES it up.

Sucks down a big hit.
Holds it in a long beat.

Then BLOWS out the smoke. Sighs.
Grabs the bong. The bottle.
Shot glass. Pads into --

INT. KAYLA’S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
Plops down on the couch.
Pulls out the wad of bills.
Starts counting it.

A small glassine envelope
filled with white powder falls out.
Hits the table with soft thwap.

CATE
Holy shit.

She dumps it onto the coffee table.
Cuts a big, fat line.

Leans over. SNORTS it.
Her eyes grow wide. Then glassy.

CATE
That’s not coke --
FADE TO BLACK

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Rocky Mountain High


Happy Saturdaze, crime slicksters. It's time once again to take a trip to the dark side, where the girls are hot, the drinks are cold, and the hardboiled-pulp-noir action is non-stop, right here, at the coolest crime joint in cyberspace ... at That Killing Feeling.

In the next-to-last chapter of RIDGEWAY, after shooting Dixie Mafia chief Big Boy's former employee in the head, Cate hears sirens approaching and must escape down the mountain during a sudden, violent thunderstorm ...


EXT. MOUNTAIN ROAD - NIGHT
Cate walks down the hill,
boots CRUNCHING on the gravel road.

Hears a siren WHOOP-WHOOP.
Then sees red lights FLASHING.

Starts trying to RUN back up,
but quickly gets winded from
years of too many cigarettes.

She turns, RUNS into the woods --
just as a COP CAR comes
RACING up the road.

EXT. MOUNTAIN SLOPE - NIGHT
Cate DASHES across the steep hillside
through the underbrush and trees. Stops.

Catches her breath. Looks around.
Listens to the crickets CHIRPING.

She hears a twig SNAP.
WHIRLS AROUND.
Sees a FAMILY OF DEER.

Momma, Poppa and two young ones.
Staring at her.

CATE
(whispers)
Wow.

They DASH OFF into the darkness.

EXT. MOUNTAIN GORGE - NIGHT
Cate stands at the top of a gorge.
Looks down at the valley far below.

A woodpecker TAP-TAP-TAP-TAPS
like a machine gun.

CATE
SHIT.

She JUMPS, then TUMBLES
down the steep hill --

and CRACKS into a tree at the bottom.
Gets up. Brushes herself off.

Hears a low GROWL.
A GIANT BLACK BEAR
emerges from the foliage.

Flashes HUGE WHITE TEETH.
She stiffens. Shaking with fear.
This ain’t Gentle Ben.

They stare at each other a long beat.
The beast suddenly REARS UP
on its hind legs, ROARS --
and starts CHASING her.

She SCREAMS. Starts climbing
the tree like she’s on fire.

GRABS at a branch above her,
but it SNAPS off.

The beast SWIPES at her
with a meaty paw.

She tries to WHACK it with the branch,
but it GRABS it away from her. GROWLS.

She GRABS another branch.
Pulls herself up -- just as the bear
SINKS IT TEETH into her boot.
Cate CRIES OUT.

Thunder BOOMS. Lightning CRACKS.
It starts POURING RAIN.

Lightning CRACKS again, illuminating
the bear’s giant teeth and wild, red eyes.

Cate KICKS his head with her other foot,
causing him to ROAR and let go for a moment.

She reaches around.
Pulls the gun from her waistband.

SHOOTS him in the head.

BANG. BANG. BANG.
He SHRIEKS in pain.
Hits the ground with a sickening THUMP.

EXT. MOUNTAIN RIDGE ROAD - NIGHT
A POLICE SUV slowly comes down
the gravel road, search light
sweeping through the woods.
Pulls to a stop.

IN THE CAR
A pair of local COPS exchange glances.

OLDER, FAT COP
Gunshots.

YOUNGER, BEARDED COP
(points)
Came from down there.

OLDER, FAT COP
Fuck it, Rady.
We’re gonna get all wet.

RADY
Gotta dead body back there, Grab.

EXT. MOUNTAIN RIDGE ROAD - NIGHT
The cops get out. SLAM the doors.
Switch on HIGH-BEAM FLASHLIGHTS.

Start heading down the steep canyon,
sweeping big, bright beams of light
through the woods.

Friday, May 3, 2019

The Dixie Mafia


Hey there, crime kids. Happy Friday. It's time once again to take a trip to the dark side, where your most violent fantasies become sins of the flesh, right here, where the hardboiled action is non-stop, at the coolest crime joint in cyberspace ... at That Killing Feeling.

In Chapter 24 of Ridgeway, local redneck mob boss Big Boy takes Cate to a remote cabin high atop the mountain, where he makes her a deal she can't refuse ...


EXT. OZARK MOUNTAINS - GRAVEL ROAD - DUSK
A brand-new red double-dually PICKUP TRUCK
comes BARRELING up the road
in a CRUNCH of gravel.

An ARMADILLO lazily
skitters across the gravel.

The truck ROARS by and SQUISHES it,
CRACKING its shell with a CRUNCH.

EXT. MOUNTAIN CABIN - DUSK
A shack that looks like it’d
fall over if you sneezed on it.

The gravel road runs by it,
then disappears into a tunnel
of trees across the mountain ridge.

Dim light spills out
from behind dingy curtains.

The truck’s doors OPEN.
Out steps Big Boy and Cate.

INT. MOUNTAIN CABIN - NIGHT
Dimly lit by a kerosene lantern.
We see Hoyt, Jib --
and the Kid tied to a chair.

Badly beaten. Covered in blood.
Mouth a ruined mess.

Teeth litter the floor.
Softly whimpering.

Big Boy and Cate walk in.
Jib looks at Big Boy. Grins.

JIB
Finally told us.

Hoyt stares at Cate.
Smacks his lips.

HOYT
Who’s the cunt.

BIG BOY
New business associate.

Big Boy pulls a thick, banded
wad of bills from his pocket.
Holds it in front of Cate’s face.

BIG BOY
Five grand.
Like I promised.

Her eyes light up.
She reaches for it --
but he SNATCHES it away.

Pulls out a GUN.
Offers it to her.

BIG BOY
First you gotta shoot this
piece of shit in the head.

CATE
But what about --

BIG BOY
This man stole from me.
Now he needs to pay the piper.
Do you want the fucking money or not?
(off her look)
You want to write my movie,
you gotta be IN my movie.
(holds up the cash)
Go a long way round here --

She looks at the Kid.
Then at Jib and Hoyt.

Then the money.
Takes the gun in trembling hands.

BIG BOY
Atta girl.

Walks over to the Kid.
Slowly raises it. Pauses.

Looks at Big Boy. He nods.
She takes a deep breath --

Takes aim -- and BANG,
SHOOTS him in the head.

Brains, skull and blood SPRAY the wall.
Big Boy TOSSES her the cash.

BIG BOY
She shoots, she scores.
(off her look)
Londell sent you to
get the dirt on me.
Now the dirt’s on you.
(big grin)
You just did a hit
for the Dixie mob.

A SIREN starts WAILING in the distance.

BIG BOY
Whoops. Gotta go.
(winks)
Don’t spend it all
in once place now, ya hear?

Friday, April 26, 2019

White Trash


Happy Friday, crime slicksters. It's time once again to take a trip to the dark side, where the girls are hot, the drinks are cold, and the hardboiled-pulp-noir action is non-stop, right here, at the coolest crime joint in cyberspace ... at That Killing Feeling.

In Chapter 23 of Ridgeway, Cate takes Halene's trans male son Les to lunch to offer support, but things turn nasty when a gaggle of redneck jocks start making fun of him ...


EXT. SPARKY’S ROADHOUSE - NIGHT
A big, rambling joint that
would make Patrick Swayze proud.

Neon beer signs. A line of
pickup trucks parked in front,
Cate’s red convertible
the fly in the ointment.

INT. SPARKY’S ROADHOUSE - NIGHT
38 Special on the juke.
Picnic tables and booths abound.

Families, couples, old folks.
More than a few cowboy hats.

Cate and Kayla sit in a booth with Les.
A CHUBBY WAITRESS (30’s) with
teased hair takes their order.

CHUBBY WAITRESS
(to Les)
And what would you like to drink?

LES
Can I, uh -- get a beer?

Chubby raises her eyebrows.
Shoots Kayla and Cate a look.

HALENE
How about a Coke?

LES
Okay --

CHUBBY WAITRESS
Be back with your drinks in a sec.

She waddles off.
Kayla looks around.

KAYLA
Well, isn’t this fun.
I haven’t been here in a long time.

CATE
(to Les)
Check out the biker chick over there
with the three-mile hair.
Are those ugly tattoos or what.

Les flashes a hint of a smile. Nods.

A foursome of REDNECK JOCKS (17)
sit down at the next table.

Start fidgeting, chuckling,
adolescent hormones running amok.

BEEFY REDNECK JOCK
Hey. There’s that man-girl.

Les stiffens. Cate turns and looks.

KAYLA
So, Les. How’s everything at school?

LES
Okay, I guess.

KAYLA
I remember when I was sixteen,
I was confused about -- who I was.

LES
(low, urgent)
I’m not confused. I’m a boy, and
it freaks my parents the fuck out.
(off Kayla’s reaction)
I know why we’re here tonight.
I’m not stupid.

COWBOY HAT REDNECK JOCK
(loud)
Think she’s gonna get
herself a fake dick?

PIMPLY-FACED REDNECK JOCK
You mean like a strap-on?

They burst into GALES OF LAUGHTER.
Cate WHIRLS around.

CATE
Excuse me. What did you say?

COWBOY HAT REDNECK JOCK
Fuck off, lady.
I ain’t talking to you.

CATE
You were making fun of our friend.

BEEFY REDNECK JOCK
Why don’t you go fuck yourself.

Cate’s face turns red. She gets up.
Grabs the bottle of ketchup.

SMASHES it on the edge of the table.
Jabs the blood-red, jagged,
broken glass in his face.

CATE
What did you say?

Everyone in the restaurant turns and looks.

PIMPLY-FACED REDNECK JOCK
(to Beefy)
Fucking bitch is crazy.

CATE
Got that right, you fucking
red state NRA-sucking,
Hee Haw piece of white trash.
Apologize to my friend --
before I clean the floor
with your banjo neck.

BEEFY REDNECK JOCK
Fuck you, cunt.

Cate HURLS the bottle across the room.
It SMASHES into a window, SHATTERING it.

GRABS the edge of their table.
FLIPS it over, sending everything
CRASHING to the floor.

The jocks JUMP to their feet,
ready to fight.

Cate LEAPS UP on her table.
Starts BEATING her chest. Then HOWLS.

CATE
AHHH-OOO, AHHH-OOO, AHHH-OOO, AHHH-OOO, --

They stare, wide-eyed.
She smiles, evil.

Puts her hands in front of her
like a dog. Starts BARKING.

CATE
ROOF, ROOF, ROOF, ROOF, ROOF --
(growls)
GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR --

They exchange looks, freaked out.
Get the hell outta there.

The other patrons stare at Cate,
open-mouthed.

CATE
The fuck you looking at?

INT. CATE’S CONVERTIBLE - NIGHT
Cate starts the engine.
Kayla sits in the passenger
seat, still in shock.

Les sits in the back.
Flashes a big grin.

LES
That was fucking COOL.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Johnny On The Spot


Hey there, crime kids. Happy Friday. It's time once again to take a trip to the dark side, where your most violent fantasies become sins of the flesh, right here, where the hardboiled action is non-stop, at the coolest crime joint in cyberspace ... at That Killing Feeling.

In Chapter 22 of RIDGEWAY, local sheriff/Dixie Mafia crime boss Big Boy gets a call from police chief Willa Knox, revealing that they're in cahoots ...


INT. SHERIFF’S OFFICE - NIGHT
Small-town law enforcement decor.
Pale yellow cinder block walls.

The signed picture of
KD Lang is a nice touch.
So are the bowling trophies.

Willa’s at her desk chomping
on nicotine gum, on the phone.

WILLA
Zane? It’s Willa --

INTERCUT WITH:

INT. BIG BOY’S OFFICE - NIGHT
Big Boy sits back in his
chair smoking a stogie.

Feet up on the desk.
Phone on his lap.

BIG BOY
Willa Knox.
How’s the lady sheriff doin’ tonight?

WILLA
Getting ready for my
big date with Jack Daniels.
How about your own bad self?

BIG BOY
Movin’ and shakin,’ hot stuff.
What’s up?

WILLA
Wanted to give you a heads-up.
Londell Kirven told me his
sister-in-law’s shackin’ up
with a screenwriter from LA
who just moved here.
Said she’s gonna write
a TV show about Echo,
and he suggested she talk to you.
Said she might be able to
‘dig up some dirt.’

BIG BOY
Got it under control.
Already met with her.

WILLA
Well, look at you.
Johnny on the spot.

BIG BOY
You know what they say.
Play with fire, and
you might get fucked.

WILLA
Anything I can do to help?

He thinks a moment. Grins.

BIG BOY
How about you send a
pair of constables to
the old McClung shack
at the top of Prospect
around midnight?

WILLA
And why am I sending them?

BIG BOY
‘Suspicious activity.’

WILLA
An ‘anonymous tip.’

BIG BOY
Much appreciated.
Now, the question is,
what are we gonna do about Londell?
He keeps poking his nose
where it don’t belong.

WILLA
He’s an officer of the law, Zane.

BIG BOY
For the time being.

Friday, April 12, 2019

The Horrors Within


Hey there, crime kids. Happy Friday. It's time once again to take a trip to the dark side, where your most violent fantasies become sins of the flesh, right here, where the hardboiled action is non-stop, at the coolest crime joint in cyberspace ... at That Killing Feeling.

In Chapter 21 of RIDGEWAY, hipster junkie couple Zeek Moon and Sugar Hart run out of heroin, so Zeek convinces Sugar to go see a certain biker dealer and trade sex for smack ...


EXT. SHITTY COTTAGE - DUSK
A tiny, grimy cottage on
a steep mountain road.

Filthy white picket fence.
Recycling bin filled with
empty beer cans. f

Dense foliage hides
the horrors within.

Across the street, a motley crew
of LOCALS drink beer and
play a game of horseshoes.
One hits the stake with a CLANK.

INT. SHITTY COTTAGE - DUSK
Shades drawn. Piles of crap
everywhere that would do Hoarders proud.

A tiny boom box plays twangy alt country.
A BOY (20) and GIRL (19) sit on the bed,
cross-legged, sharing a smoke.

BOY
I’m sick, Sugar.
Need more brain damage.

Meet ZEEK MOON, mountain-punk-hipster.
Natty in faded denim,
Edwardian blouse and a bowler.

Greasy hair frames an angelic face.
He wipes his nose, rubs it on his leg.

SUGAR
But we just got a sack.

Meet SUGAR HART,
striking in artfully
ripped black hose and
blue velvet minidress.

Mass of tangled black
hair down to her ass.

Pale as moonlight and
sweet as honeysuckle.

ZEEK
All gone, honey pie.
(smiles)
How bout you go down to the Cathouse
and do one of them bikers again?

SUGAR
Aw, Zeek.
Those guys are nasty.
Still have bruises from the last one.

ZEEK
Maybe go see Hoyt again?

SUGAR
Isn’t there a way to score
without me having to fuck somebody?

ZEEK
Well, if you hadn’t lost the gun --

Pause.

SUGAR
Alright, alright.
I’ll go see Hoyt.
(beat)
He smells so bad.

ZEEK
Hold your nose.
It’ll be over before you know it.

SUGAR
He does come fast --

She gets up.
Goes to the door.

ZEEK
Attagirl. Go get ‘em.

Puts her hand on the knob.
Shoots him a look. Leaves.

He pulls out a cigar box
out from under the bed.

Opens it. Pulls out a spoon,
syringe and a length of rubber tubing.

Takes a glassine envelope
out of his pocket.

Holds it up to the light.
FLICKS it with his finger.

Dumps some of it on the spoon.
LIGHTS it with a flick of his Zippo.

Smoke rises as the magic powder
turns liquid, then bubbles.

He places a piece of cotton on it.
Then expertly draws it into the syringe.
Squirts it. Taps it with a finger.

Ties the rubber hose
around his upper arm.
YANKS it tight.

Rolls up his sleeve, revealing a
junkie’s road map of dead veins,
boils and scabs.

Hunts for a spot. No luck.

Thinks a moment.
Takes off a shoe,
revealing a filthy, hairy foot
with long, yellow nails.

Takes a deep breath --

and PLUNGES it between his toes.
CRIES OUT in pain.