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The Blair Witch Files Pilot Act 1

Credits
Teaser



ACT ONE

INT. FARMHOUSE KITCHEN

CAPTION
Eldersburg Maryland, 1939

LOUISE IRWIN, a thin, 13 year old girl lies on a cot in a small room under the stairs of her Aunt's house.

MARY (OS)
Louise! Where'd you get to?!

Louise winces at her Aunt's angry tone and doesn't answer.

MARY (OS)
Charlie! Rebecca! Where's your cousin?

There is a flurry of footsteps in the hall outside the room, and then the door opens. A ten year old boy, CHARLIE pokes his head in.

CHARLIE
She's under the stairs!

MARY (OS)
Louise come into the kitchen! Now!

INT. MARY'S KITCHEN -- MOMENTS LATER

Louise sullenly enters the kitchen. Mary looks at her with disgust. Louise's dress is a shabby affair.

MARY
You look like a ragpicker's brat.

Louise looks down at her dress.

LOUISE
Mother was going to make me a new one.

MARY
Well she won't be doing that anymore will she. And don't expect me to.

Louise fights back her grief.

LOUISE
I can sew a little. I'll do it.

MARY
Oh? And what are you going to use for material? Don't expect me to buy it. Any money your parents left will go to bury them. And you think Frank left me anything? Ha! With what your daddy paid him to work on that stinking farm I'm lucky to have a roof over my head.

LOUISE
It's not a stinking farm! Don't call it that!

MARY
How dare you take that tone with me! You're just as bad as your parents were! They killed my Frank and now I got two kids to raise by myself. Well I won't raise you too.

Louise suddenly looks frightened, not sure what to expect.

LOUISE
I-I won't be any trouble.

MARY
You sure won't. Because you won't be here!

She grabs a long and sharp pair of scissors from the counter and points them at Louise.

MARY
My Frank's dead! And now you're gonna pay!

She advances on Louise.

Louise turns to run, but Mary grabs hold of one of her braids and yanks her back. Louise screams and tries to get loose, but fails.

MARY
Shut up. Don't you move. You want me to slice an ear off?

Roughly, she begins to cut Louise's braids off.

The cousins look on, bewildered.

REBECCA
Why are you giving Louise a haircut Mama?

MARY
Never you mind. Charlie, run upstairs and get me one of your shirts and a pair of overalls.

Charlie rushes off as Mary continues to cut Louise's hair. He soon returns and laughs.

CHARLIE
You sure look awful Louise.

Rebecca laughs.

MARY
Hush. Go upstairs now both of you. I got to go out for awhile.

They leave, and Mary throws the overalls at Louise.

MARY
Put those on.

EXT. MARY'S HOUSE -- MOMENTS LATER

Louise is pushed out the door by Mary. With her hair newly cut, and in the shirt and overalls, she can pass for a boy.

MARY
It's a good thing you're skinny. Now get in the car.

EXT. ORPHANAGE -- LATER

The car pulls up at the end of a dirt driveway. At the end of it stands a depressing looking building. There is a sign out front that says: OAKBRIDGE HOME FOR BOYS.

INT. CAR -- CONTINUOUS

Mary reaches across Louise and opens the passenger side door.

MARY
Get out.

LOUISE
What?

MARY
You heard me.

She shoves Louise, sending her tumbling to the ground.

MARY
Tell them your name is Lee and act like a boy. I'm not keeping you and there's no other place in Carrol County that'll take you.

EXT. ORPHANAGE -- CONTINUOUS

Before Louise can object again, Mary slams the car door, and peels out. Louise tries to chase the car, but only gets a few steps before she gives up.

Finally she wipes her eyes and goes to the front door of the orphanage, knocking on the door.

The door opens and YOUNG HARPER sneers down at her.

YOUNG HARPER
Who are you?

Louise is intimidated by his manner.

LOUISE
I'm Lee.

YOUNG HARPER
(mocking)
What do you want Sissy Boy?

LOUISE
I want to stay here. I got no place else to go.

ALMA (OS)
Harper!

A woman appears in the doorway behind Young Harper.

ALMA
Get on out back. It's almost supper time and Mr. Ketterly says you haven't finished your chores yet.

YOUNG HARPER
Yes ma'am.

He gives Louise one last sneer, then goes off into the house.

Alma gives Louise an inquisitive look.

ALMA
I'm Alma Ketterly. Who are you?

LOUISE
I'm Lee Irwin. I, my folks are dead, they died three days ago. So I came here.

Alma looks out at the empty road.

ALMA
How?

LOUISE
I walked from Eldersburg. Can I stay here?

Alma's brother GUS appears beside her in the doorway. He looks at Louise.

GUS
Who's this?

ALMA
Name's Lee Irwin. This is my brother Gus, we run this home together.

She turns to Gus.

ALMA
He wants us to take him in.

GUS
We already got twenty.

ALMA
One more won't hurt. And if we take him the state will give us more money. We can use it.

Gus shrugs, and Alma opens the door wider.

ALMA
You'd better come in. But you'll have to do your share of the work, just like all the other boys.

INT. ORPHANAGE FRONT HALL -- AFTERNOON

Louise stands in the front parlor of the orphanage, with Alma. There are cleaning supplies nearby.

ALMA
What did I tell you when we took you in last week Lee Irwin? I said you'd have to do your share of the work.

Louise looks around, confused. The room is spotless.

LOUISE
Yes ma'am.

Alma bends down and pulls up a corner of the rug. Underneath is dust.

ALMA
When I say I want the parlor floor cleaned, I mean all of it. Not just the part the rug don't cover. I gave you this chore because you're too puny to do any of the heavier ones. You oughta be glad you're not out chopping wood.

LOUISE
I am.

ALMA
Then act like it. Now get this floor cleaned properly.

INT. ORPHANAGE STAIRWAY -- EVENING

Louise is on her way upstairs when Young Harper and RANDALL appear at the bottom of the stairs.

YOUNG HARPER
Hey Lee!

Louise stops and looks back.

YOUNG HARPER
Where do you think you're going?

LOUISE
Upstairs, where does it look like?

RANDALL
Ooh, the sissy boy's trying to be tough.

Louise turns her back to them and continues upstairs.

INT. ORPHANAGE DORMITORY -- MOMENTS LATER

It's your typical orphanage bedroom, with rows of beds along the walls. JOHN and TEDDY, two of the older boys are standing in the middle of the room. Louise enters, but freezes when she sees them. Young Harper and Randall enter after her, blocking her escape.

LOUISE
What are you doing in here?

TEDDY
Aren't you supposed to be peeling potatoes for supper? I heard Mrs. Ketterly telling you too.

LOUISE
I finished. Go look in the kitchen if you don't believe me.

JOHN
So what are you going to do now? Take a nap?

LOUISE
None of your business.

YOUNG HARPER
I bet I know why he came up here. He has to use the bathroom. What I can't figure out is why he won't use the bathroom downstairs. Or the outhouse.

RANDALL
Yeah Lee. How come you always gotta come up here when you gotta go?

Louise knows her secret is in danger.

LOUISE
I don't have to go.

Teddy holds up a jug of water.

TEDDY
Yeah? I bet you will after you drink this.

The boys grab her and Teddy forces her to drink the water in the jug.

INT. BATHROOM -- MOMENTS LATER

Louise is forced into the bathroom by the boys.

YOUNG HARPER
I bet you have to go to the bathroom now!

LOUISE
I don't!

RANDALL
Then we'll just have to wait.

He leans against the doorframe, blocking the way out.

JOHN
Sure. Got nothing better to do anyway.

Louise grits her teeth, and grimaces, but finally a wet spot appears on her pants.

Harper reaches out and tugs down her jeans before she can stop him. They all gape as she tries to adjust her clothes.

YOUNG HARPER
No wonder you act like a sissy. You're a girl!

They all begin to laugh, and Louise begins to cry.

LOUISE
Please don't tell the Ketterlys. Please I got nowhere else to go.

RANDALL
(in falsetto)
Oh boo hoo! Please don't tell!

From out in the hall heavy footsteps can be heard.

GUS (OS)
What's going on in there?

Harper shoves Louise behind him and the other boys all block her from view.

Gus appears in the doorway, looking suspicious.

GUS
I asked what's going on? Are you boys up to something?

YOUNG HARPER
No sir Mr. Ketterly. Everything is fine. Just fine.

Gus snorts skeptically and leaves. Harper turns and looks at Louise with shrewd contempt.

INT. ORPHANAGE DORMITORY -- NIGHT

CAPTION
Two Years Later

Louise and the boys are all in the dorm. Louise is lying in one of the beds, while the boys are crowded around one of the others. The whisper conspiratorially.

YOUNG HARPER
Did you get the stuff?

JOHN
Yeah, it's right here under my bed.

TEDDY
You sure the old hag didn't see you?

JOHN
If she did you'd be getting ready to bury me.

The boys laugh.

Then Harper goes over to Louise's bed and stands over her. She opens her eyes and he immediately clamps his hand over her mouth.

YOUNG HARPER
We're tired of having you around. You never did belong here. And even that blind bat Alma's got to notice pretty soon that you're a girl. She'll know we kept your dirty little secret and likely punish us all. So tonight we're gonna get rid of you for good!

He drags her from the bed, getting her in a choke hold.

Frantically, she struggles and manages to get her mouth free long enough to bite his hand.

YOUNG HARPER
You little weasel! I oughta just stomp your lights out right here!

RANDALL
No Harper, we gotta stick to the plan!

Louise struggle's harder, trying to scream.

JOHN
She's making too much noise! Let's get her out of here right now!

TEDDY
Too risky. Gus and Alma will hear us dragging her down the stairs for sure.

YOUNG HARPER
No they won't. Watch this.

Harper pulls a pocket knife from his pocket and opens it. He holds it up for Louise to see.

YOUNG HARPER
Now, we're going to take a little walk. And we're going to be really quiet aren't we girly?

Terrified, Louise nods.

EXT. WOODS -- MORNING

It's still dark, though lightening. The boys escort Louise through the trees.

LOUISE
Please let me go. I won't tell, I'll give you all my bread and to all your chores I promise!

RANDALL
We don't want your bread. We just want you gone. You don't belong at Oakbridge, you never did. And now you're growing up, it's even worse.

JOHN
Yeah we don't like having a girl around.

LOUISE
Then let me go! I'll leave Oakbridge and never come back. Please don't kill me!

This surprises the boys.

YOUNG HARPER
Kill you? Ha! We got something much better in mind for you.

EXT. CLEARING -- CONTINUOUS

They drag her into a clearing where there's some clothes.

YOUNG HARPER
It's about time you started dressing like a girl Miss Irwin, so we got you some fancy new clothes.

They strip her and shove the dress on her. Then John holds her face while Teddy clumsily applies lipstick and rouge.

Finally Young Harper puts a bonnet on her, and they tie her to a tree. Humiliated, Louise begins to cry.

TEDDY
Aww, don't cry, you'll ruin your makeup.

RANDALL
Yeah, we want you to look your very best.

YOUNG HARPER
Bye bye Miss Irwin. We'll be seeing you again real soon.

EXT. CLEARING -- MORNING

The sun has fully risen and there's frost on the ground. Louise is still tied to the tree, having fallen asleep despite her discomfort.

ALMA (OS)
Lee! Lee Irwin!

Louise jerks awake, gasping.

EXT. WOODS -- CONTINUOUS

Alma tramps through the woods, holding the collar of her coat close to her neck. She's not happy.

ALMA
Are you out here? Answer me!

Young Harper and Randall are crashing through the woods as loudly as possible, laughing. Teddy and John follow nervously behind.

ALMA
Teddy! John! Stop dragging your feet or we'll be out here all day! Lee! Lee Irwin! Answer me I say!

GUS (OS)
Alma! Get up here quick!

EXT. CLEARING -- MOMENTS LATER

Gus is standing in the clearing staring in shock at Louise. Alma and the boys join him. The boys are greatly amused, Alma is as shocked as Gus.

ALMA
Oh my Lord.

Louise looks down at the ground, unable to look at them.

ALMA
Oh my Lord. You're a girl.

She rounds on the boys, angry.

ALMA
How long have you known about this? Answer me!

GUS
For heaven's sake Alma that's not important! Look at what we have here! A girl! At the Oakbridge Home for Boys! What if the state finds out we've had her all this time? They'll close us down for sure!

Alma looks at Louise, and her face softens a little.

ALMA
What'll we do?

GUS
We got to get rid of her before anyone finds out. There's a place in West Virginia, Babcock Orphanage for Girls. You take her there tonight.

ALMA
What should I tell them?

GUS
Nothing. Just drop her off. Let her show up on their doorstep just like she showed up on ours.

He glares at the boys.

GUS
And no one breathes a word of this. Clear?

The boys nod, Harper and Randall looking triumphant.

Gus begins to untie Louise.

GUS
You keep your mouth shut too. Anyone finds out you've been living in a Boy's Home you will never be able to hold your head up. Once Alma drops you off, we never want to hear from you again. Understand?

Louise nods, her teeth chattering in the cold.

EXT. ROAD -- LATER

A blizzard has sprung up, reducing visibility and covering the road with snow. A car goes as quickly as can possibly be safe along.

INT. ALMA'S CAR -- CONTINUOUS

Alma grips the steering wheel, squinting at the road. She glances once at Louise, who sits meekly in the passenger seat.

A sudden gust of wind rocks the car, causing it to swerve and skid. Alma screams.

EXT. ROAD -- CONTINUOUS

The car spins like a top before going off the road and slamming head on into a large tree.

EXT. ROAD -- LATER

The police are at the scene where the car is wrecked. There is a body on a stretcher, covered in a blanket. Gus is there too.

POLICE OFFICER
She died instantly. There's no doubt about that.

Gus swallows.

The officer pulls the sheet away from the head. Alma's lacerated face stares up.

Gus turns away.

GUS
That's her. It's my sister.

Gus goes to the car, noting the closed doors, and the head sized hole in the windshield. The trunk is open, and there's a small fist sized hole in the passenger side window. But there is no sign of Louise.

He looks into the surrounding forest.

END ACT ONE

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