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A Day with Death

By
William Beeker
EXT. HELL, MICHIGAN - AFTERNOON
PHIL, 30, wears a jean jacket and a black ski mask. He
strolls casually down the sidewalk.

He reaches a convenience store and holds the door open as an


elderly woman exits.

INT. CONVENIENCE STORE - AFTERNOON

Phil storms in and marches straight for the cash register.


He draws a .357 magnum from his waistband.
The cashier sticks his hands in the air.
Phil hops the counter, opens the register, and stuffs cash
into his jacket pockets.
Phil puts the barrel of the gun to the cashier’s jaw.
PHIL
Open up.

The cashier opens his mouth and cries softly. Phil sets a
twenty-dollar bill in the man’s mouth and nudges his lower
jaw shut using the barrel.
PHIL
You’ve been great, sir.
Phil hops back over the counter, PULLS OFF his MASK, and
tosses it to the cashier. Without the mask, we see that Phil
is an Adonis: big square jaw, glowing smile, and eyes that
you just can’t help but trust--

--Phil FIRES the gun at the cashier’s chest three times.


Phil looks at a security camera near the entrance and gives
a wide grin as he runs out of the store.

EXT. HELL, MICHIGAN - AFTERNOON


Phil shoots his gun in the air as he runs down the sidewalk,
cash flying out of his pockets.
2.

INT. WOODS - EVENING


Phil saunters through the thick woods, twirling his pistol
until he arrives at a tiny one-room cabin.
He pulls out a set of keys but notices something wrong with
the door. He gently pushes it open and cocks his gun.

INT. CABIN - EVENING

Phil jumps into the cabin and points his gun wildly around
the room. RUSTY, 38, sits in a weathered armchair and laughs
quietly at Phil.
Rusty struggles to stand and embraces Phil.

PHIL
How you doing, Rusty?
RUSTY
I’ve been better. I saw you on the
news today.

Phil takes a seat on his bed and Rusty returns to the


armchair.
PHIL
Oh, that was just to pay the bills.
I’ve got something bigger planned,
believe me. What was your last hit?
I haven’t seen you in the news in
awhile.
RUSTY
You killed that cashier.
PHIL
Did they show footage of me taking
my mask off?

Phil moves to the TV set and fidgets with the TV’s antennae.
PHIL (CONT’D)
I threw it right at him. I also put
a twenty-dollar bill in his mouth.
I’m thinking that’s going to be my
new trademark. What do you think?
RUSTY
I think it’s disgusting.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 3.

PHIL
(Crestfallen)
What?
RUSTY
I don’t live that life anymore,
Phil.
PHIL
What do you mean?

RUSTY
I got out.
PHIL
Why?

RUSTY
Two months ago I was diagnosed with
Leukemia.
PHIL
Shit. Is it, you know, terminal?

RUSTY
It is.
Phil sits back down on the bed.

PHIL
Are you doing chemo, or--?
RUSTY
No.

PHIL
No. You need the money? I can help
you out.
Phil pulls out some cash but Rusty refuses it.

RUSTY
I’ve been thinking a lot about
death. In fact, I had a dream
recently that inspired me to visit
you.

PHIL
I was in your dream?
RUSTY
No. In the dream I was in your
cabin, actually. I was sitting in
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 4.

RUSTY (cont’d)
this armchair and someone came
right through that door. I was
expecting it to be you, but it
wasn’t. It was a man in a black
cloak and I asked him who he was
and and says, without moving his
mouth at all, that he’s Death.
PHIL
Really?

RUSTY
He told me to go back to sleep. I
curled up on the floor but he just
kept staring at me. I told him to
leave me alone and he just laughed.
He said I’ve been watching you
since the day you were born and
I’ll be watching you until you die.
Whenever you are alone, remember
that I’ll be watching, I’ll be with
you, and he disappeared.

PHIL
Jesus. You think he’s really
watching you?

RUSTY
I know it. And after seeing you
kill that man I know why my dream
took place in your cabin. I’m
supposed to warn you.

PHIL
I’m fine.
RUSTY
You can only disrespect death at a
distance, Phil. Soon enough he’ll
be too close.
Rusty heaves himself out of the chair.
PHIL
I don’t like this new you.

RUSTY
Listen--
Phil ushers Rusty out the front door.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 5.

PHIL
You’ve gone soft, Rus’.
RUSTY
Before it’s too late.

PHIL
Since Death is following you and
all, I’d appreciate it if you left.
He didn’t say he was watching your
friend Phil too, did he?

RUSTY
Respect him, Phil. I’m warning
you--
Phil slams the door in Rusty’s face.

INT. CABIN - NIGHT


Phil slides the armchair to the center of the room, directly
beneath a noose made out of chain. The chain mixes with
several ropes and wires, creating an intricately woven
contraption. They run along the walls and disappear behind
furniture so it’s difficult to determine their function.
Phil peeks out the dark window and hurries to the front
door. He turns the deadbolt to leave the door open and
strikes a match. He flicks the lights off and ignites a
candle on the coffee table.
Phil sits in the armchair. He glances at his watch and scans
the room.

Phil stands up on the chair.


PHIL
Here I go.

Phil scans the room again and grabs the noose.


PHIL
I’m going to do it.
Phil sticks his head through the noose. He now stands
precariously on his tiptoes at the edge of the chair’s seat.
He loses his balance and nearly falls off the chair with the
noose around his neck.
Suddenly, a gust of wind blows open the front door.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 6.

PHIL
Is that you?
Phil takes a deep breath.
PHIL
I know why you’ve come but I need
help. I need a little more weight
on the other end. I need you to
hold the chain.

Another gust of wind extinguishes the candle and the room


goes dark. Floorboards creak under the weight of footsteps.
Out of nowhere, the candle is reignited.
The flame illuminates DEATH who stands before Phil in a
black hooded cloak. He’s an elderly man with a long tangled
gray beard.
PHIL
It’s you.
DEATH
Good evening.
PHIL
That one right there, I need you to
hold it and lean back on my count.

DEATH
I do not take orders from mortals.
PHIL
It’s the only way you can get my
soul. Woe is me. I can’t go on in
this cruel world!
Death reluctantly grabs a part of the chain and steadies
himself.

PHIL
One....two--
Phil draws the .357 magnum and fires it at the ropes. Death
heaves the chain. The rope is broken by Phil’s bullet and a
chain reaction is set off. Ropes, wires, and chains all tear
through the room in a complex process, during which the
candle is once again extinguished.
Phil scurries from the chair and flicks a light switch to
reveal Death bound in heavy chains and suspended from the
ceiling. He writhes under the weight of the chains and gives
an unearthly howl of anguish.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 7.

Phil frantically pulls an enormous padlock from his dresser


and clamps it shut around the links of two chains.
DEATH
What have you done?

PHIL
It would appear I have outsmarted
Death.
DEATH
Fool! You know not what you do.
PHIL
Lets test it out, shall we?
Phil cocks the handgun and steps outside.

EXT. WOODS - NIGHT


A full moon glows brightly on the dark forest. Phil peers
through the trees.

A bunny rabbit hops out of a bush and onto a path in front


of Phil.
Phil takes aim and shoots the rabbit. The bullet tears
through the bunny, exploding in red mist but the bunny
survives and bolts into the woods.
Phil rushes back inside.

INT. CABIN - NIGHT

PHIL
It worked! I can’t believe it
really worked.
Phil pulls on his jacket and loads his gun with more
bullets.
PHIL (CONT’D)
Rusty made a terrible mistake. He
accepted his fate. Me? I took
control. I’ll be the most legendary
thief in human history. Death tried
to steal my soul, so I stole him!
Phil slams the door on his way out. Death roars in
humiliation.
8.

EXT. HELL COUNTRY CLUB - NIGHT


Wealthy middle-aged couples file out of the country club
after a gala.
Phil approaches the socialites with his gun drawn and a
smirk on his face. He steps right in front of a particularly
older couple and points his gun at them.
The couple raises their hands and the man lets out a yelp.
The other couples notice Phil and his gun and shriek in
horror. A couple dashes towards the parking lot.
Phil fires a shot into the air.
PHIL
Nobody move!

Everyone freezes.
MAN #1
Don’t hurt us, please!

PHIL
Why not?
MAN #1
Take anything.

The man offers Phil his wallet.


PHIL
Is that all you have to give?
MAN #1
What do you want?
PHIL
I want you to know my name. I am
your new god, I am the master of
death!

Phil points the gun at himself and pulls the trigger. The
bullet blows a baseball-sized hole in his chest.
He recovers from the shot and stands tall, showing off the
gaping wound.
A woman crosses herself, a man pukes, and everyone cries in
bewilderment.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 9.

PHIL
Now, who’s going to make the first
donation to the church of Phil?

INT. CABIN - NIGHT


Phil stumbles through the door draped in a gaudy fur coat.
He wears several pearl necklaces and each finger has a gold
ring on it.

Death breathes heavily beneath his chains and sniffs the air
when Phil enters.
Phil sheds the coat and tosses his newly obtained
accessories on the armchair and sits on his bed. He lifts
his shirt to examine the bloody wound in his chest.

Death writhes violently at the sight of the wound and


thrashes hungrily toward Phil.
PHIL
Easy.

Phil uses scissors and dental floss to crudely stitch up the


wound.
He carefully lowers himself into bead.

DEATH
Not well?
PHIL
I’m fine.

INT. CABIN - MORNING


Phil wakes up in agony. His bedsheets and shirt are
blood-soaked and his face is pale.

Death wheezes slowly and appears to be unconscious.


Phil pulls himself out of bed and changes the dressing on
his wound. He turns on the TV and watches a news program.

A reporter interviews several manic witnesses to Phil’s


stunt at the country club. The parking lot is taped off and
forensics examines bullet casings.
On screen, a reporter interviews a doctor.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 10.

DOCTOR
...frankly we’ve never seen
anything like it.
The camera pans over several hospital patients, each one
more mangled and disfigured than the last.
REPORTER
Are these simply unrelated
miracles? Is there something in the
water supply? We’ll find out more
when we interview a victim of the
robbery, after the break.
Phil pulls a new shirt on and loads his gun.
DEATH
Do you realize what you’re doing?
PHIL
Of course.
DEATH
To me?
Phil glances at Death.
DEATH
Depriving me of souls is akin to
depriving you of air.
Phil loads his pistol and storms out of the cabin.

INT. BANK - AFTERNOON

Phil staggers into the bank, his shirt is already bloody and
his face is anemic.
A security guard stands near the door. Two female tellers
operate the counters and a man discusses important finances
with a young couple at a desk to the left.
Phil points his gun at the security guard and forces him
outside. Phil locks the door and marches up to a teller.

Both tellers scream and the man with the couple ducks
beneath his desk. The couple turns to watch Phil.
Phil points his gun at the younger of the two tellers.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 11.

PHIL
I’m...new god...give me money.
Phil stumbles in his place and sweats profusely. The teller
screams and raises her hands in the air.

PHIL
I can’t stand here forever.
She screams louder. Phil rolls his eyes and shoots the
teller in the chest.

Silence.
The teller clutches her bleeding wound and then calmly looks
at Phil. The other teller screams even louder and dives
beneath the counter. Phil shoots the teller again. She
lurches with the force of the shot and falls to the ground.
She climbs onto her chair and onto the counter. She looks
horrified and shows her bloody hands to Phil.
TELLER
What have you done?
Phil backs away.
TELLER (CONT’D)
What have you done to me?

Phil runs into the locked door, flips the lock, and runs
out.

INT. CABIN - BATHROOM - AFTERNOON

Phil soaks in the bathtub. The water is completely red and


he looks lifeless. It’s a strain for him just to breathe.
There’s a knock at the front door.

EXT. CABIN - AFTERNOON


Phil, in a bathrobe, opens the front door to find Rusty.
RUSTY
What did you do?
PHIL
What do you mean?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 12.

RUSTY
You look like hell.
PHIL
I can’t talk about it right now.

RUSTY
Have you been watching the news?
PHIL
No, how’d I look?

A beat.
RUSTY
Cell phone footage was just
revealed of the incident at the
country club.
PHIL
Now you know...that you were wrong
about death.

RUSTY
You won’t get away with this, Phil.
As a friend, you need to
reconsider.
PHIL
I’m doing you a favor.
RUSTY
You can’t escape karma forever.
You’re messing with something
beyond either of our
understandings, I don’t know what
exactly, but there will be
repercussions.
PHIL
And what if I hadn’t? What if I
continued to live out my life as it
was? How much better off would I
be? No one would even know my name.
No one would have any feeling
whatsoever about my life. Even if
people hate or fear me, it’s better
than being forgotten.
RUSTY
I’ll pray for you.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 13.

PHIL
Don’t bother. I’m beyond the help
of any god.
Rusty tries to read Phil’s blank expression and walks off
into the woods. Phil closes the door and recedes into the
cabin.

INT. CABIN - AFTERNOON

Phil turns on his TV to see a BREAKING NEWS report. The


headline reads: PEOPLE: LESS MORTAL THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT.
Video footage shows gruesome would-be suicides and people
deliberately injuring themselves. A panicked man with his
head dangling by a thread of skin cries in terror.

DEATH
You’ve made a joke out of me.
PHIL
You are a joke. As a matter of
fact, you’re life’s punchline.

Phil changes out of the robe and into his casual clothes.
DEATH
Please release me.

PHIL
I appreciate that you used ’please
DEATH
You insolent worm, unchain me now!
You’re meddling with a power beyond
all reckoning.
Phil changes his shirt seconds after putting it on, due to
his continuous bleeding.

DEATH
There’s only one relief from your
suffering.
Phil throws on his jacket, tucks his gun into his inner coat
pocket and stumbles out of the cabin.
14.

EXT. CABIN - AFTERNOON


Phil grabs an axe from a pile of chopped wood.

EXT. HELL - STREET - BANK - EVENING

Phil trudges down the sidewalk, using the axe as a cane.


A car crashes into a building; a man jumps from a
skyscraper, stands, and limps away; police sirens wail;
fires bursts from windows; and disfigured people stagger
absently through the streets.
Phil reaches the bank he previously attempted to rob.

INT. BANK - EVENING


Phil opens the front door to witness three robbers in black
jumpsuits firing guns wildly around the lobby. Two of them
use knives to hack the man behind the desk to pieces.

The head of the teller rests on the counter and the other
robber dances with her headless corpse. The head screams
helplessly.
The man with the corpse notices Phil and drops the body.

ROBBER #1
It’s you.
Phil backs out of the bank and the robbers run after him.

EXT. HELL - STREET - EVENING


Phil stalks down the sidewalk. The robbers walk behind Phil.
ROBBER #1
Hey, how’d you do it?
ROBBER #2
Does it hurt?
PHIL
Leave me alone.
ROBBER #1
If you’re a god, why is everyone
else immortal too?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 15.

ROBBER #3
Maybe we’re all gods.
Robber #2 punches #3 in the shoulder.
ROBBER #1
I can’t believe you didn’t steal a
car. I would’ve gone straight for a
car.
Phil turns and points his pistol at the robbers. They
chuckle nervously.
PHIL
You think this is funny?
ROBBER #2
Well, it’s not exactly scary
anymore, is it?
ROBBER #1
How’s your chest doing by the way?
Looks painful.

ROBBER #2
I didn’t think you’d be in so much
pain.
ROBBER #1
Me neither. I thought you were
master of death.
ROBBER #3
What does being master of death
have to do with being in pain?

ROBBER #1
Everything!
ROBBER #2
Sorry about our friend, he’s a
little slow.
ROBBER #1
You’re our biggest inspiration,
sir.

ROBBER #2
What did you think of our work at
the bank?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 16.

PHIL
Why did you do that to the teller?
ROBBER #1
That’s our calling card.

PHIL
That woman was still alive.
ROBBER #2
Obviously, thanks to your work.

PHIL
She was screaming in pain but when
I came in...
ROBBER #2
I wonder if she feels the pain in
her body, I mean the nerves don’t
connect to her brain or whatever,
right?
PHIL
You shouldn’t have done that.
The robbers laugh.
PHIL (CONT’D)
She’s doomed to live in unending
pain. Forever. Don’t you--
Phil coughs blood into his hand.
ROBBER #1
Are you okay?

PHIL
I’m fine.
ROBBER #2
You’ll always have our support.
PHIL
What?
ROBBER #2
Every prophet needs disciples.
PHIL
No. Leave me alone.
Phil aims his pistol at the robbers.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 17.

ROBBER #1
We’ve devoted ourselves to you,
sir. There’s no going back.
PHIL
I need to go before it’s too late.
Phil staggers away, the robbers follow.
ROBBER #1
How did you do it?

PHIL
Stop following me!
ROBBER #1
I told you, we can’t stop
following--
Phil shoots Robber #1 in the leg.
ROBBER #1 (CONT’D)
Son of a--

Robber #1 whines in pain, grips his leg.


ROBBER #2
What did you do that for?

#2 and #3 lower #1 to the ground and attend to his wound.


Phil hobbles away.

INT. CABIN - EVENING

Phil staggers into the cabin and drops the axe. He stumbles
to his dresser and tosses the drawers.
PHIL
I’m sorry.

Death pants wearily.


Phil retrieves a key and sticks the key in the padlock,
turns it, and lets the lock fall to the floor.

Death drops from the ceiling and lands gracefully. He shakes


the chains from his body and gives a piercing howl as he
stretches his ancient limbs.
Death puts on his hood and walks to the front door.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 18.

PHIL
Wait.
Death stops and faces Phil. He’s pale, sweaty, and soaked in
blood.

PHIL (CONT’D)
You can’t leave me like this.
DEATH
You’ve disrespected something
beyond either of us.
PHIL
Please, forgive me. I can’t live
with this pain.

DEATH
I warned you.
PHIL
Please, help me.

Death chuckles dryly. He turns and walks out the door.


Phil slides to the floor.
He stares vacantly at the door.

A gust of wind blows open the door to reveal the bunny


rabbit from earlier lying dead.
THE END

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