Stephen Metcalfe

Passing Fancy

A Screenplay excerpt by Stephen Metcalfe
All Rights Reserved

EXT. COASTAL ROAD – DAY

Mid-Fall on the South Carolina coastline. Pine woods give way

to marshes and coastal inlets. Waves crash on sandy beaches.

An old Volvo station wagon with a one man single scull mounted

on its roof, moves south on Route 17, north of St. John’s Inlet,

South Carolina.

EXT./INT. WINSTON’S CAR – CONTINUOUS

WINSTON BERRY, thirties, is driving. A huge dog – a 150 lb.

Newfoundland – is in the passenger seat, head out the window,

drool flying. A road map flaps under the dog’s hindquarters.

There’s luggage and boxes piled in the back – office supplies,

a computer and printer. The dog comes back across the seat to

lick Winston’s face. More drool.

WINSTON

Yes, I love you too, Hector.

EXT. COAST ROAD – DAY

A road sign. ST. JOHN’S INLET, S.C. – ESTABLISHED 1526. The

Volvo drives past.

EXT. ST. JOHN’S INLET, S.C. – DAY

The Volvo cruises slowly into town. St. John’s Inlet proper

was built in the early seventeen hundreds and it has somehow

escaped the aggressive development that characterizes the South

Carolina coast. Live oaks arch over the streets. Lawns lead

up to antebellum homes.

EXT. ST. JOHN’S INLET – OLD TOWN – DAY

St. John’s Inlet’s Old Town is an area of quaint shops and small

businesses. Hector hangs out thew window as the Volvo passes.

Pedestrians stop and chat along the sidewalk; in no real hurry

to get anywhere. Winston likes that. The Volvo passes under

a banner that crosses Main Street. ST. JOHN’S Cotillion – Nov.

08′- 190th YEAR!!

EXT. ST. JOHN’S INLET – DAY

Winston has parked in a lot down by the water and now he gets

out of the car and closes the door. Hector’s massive head comes

out the open driver’s side window. Winston gives him a last

pet.

WINSTON

It’s okay. I’ll be right back.

He moves on. Hector looks mournful.

EXT. ST. JOHN’S INLET – DAY

Winston is walking a village street. Enjoying the views, the

passing people – the day.

EXT. REALTY OFFICE – DAY

Winston stares. The window is filled photos of available

properties. CARLYLE AND NICHOLS – CAROLINA REAL ESTATE –

SINCE 1860. Winston enters.

INT. REALTY OFFICE – CONTINUOUS

HOBIE NICHOLS, 30’s, and slickly handsome, is on the phone as

Winston enters.

HOBIE NICHOLS

– aw, c’mon, least wait till the end

of the month. Denise… you know I’m

good for it. Eventually. Language

such as this does not become you.

WINSTON

Ahem.

HOBIE NICHOLS

(startled; then:)

Uh, no, financing’s not gonna be a

problem. It’s a beautiful property

and worth every penny.

(An angry buzz)

Fine, we’ll continue this discussion

later.

He hangs up and rises. Hobie has the oily politeness of an used

car salesman.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Hey, there. What can I do for you?

WINSTON

Yes, I was passing by and –

HOBIE NICHOLS

– and you saw the photos in the

window. I take’m myself. P. W.

Nichols. Call me Hobie. And you

are?

WINSTON

Winston Berry.

HOBIE NICHOLS

That’s an unusual name.

WINSTON

…thank you… Hobie.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Now don’t tell me. You want to buy

a vacation home.

WINSTON

As a matter of fact –

HOBIE NICHOLS

You want to build. So smart. And we

can set up the financing.

WINSTON

I’m interested in a rental.

HOBIE NICHOLS

A rental.

WINSTON

Or a short term lease. You do have

them?

HOBIE NICHOLS

It’s the off-season. We’re floating

in’m.

More real estate photos are catalogued on a wall display. Hobie

crosses to it; points one out.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Magnolia Lane. 4 bedrooms, tennis

court, private beach, wine cellar,

two thousand a month.

WINSTON

How about something less

extravagant.

Hobie points to another photo.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Indigo Dunes. 3 bedrooms, garden,

sun room, ocean view –

WINSTON

I don’t need that much room.

HOBIE NICHOLS

I would suggest you and the wife

oughta least see this place.

WINSTON

I’m not married.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Oh?

Hobie glancing at Winston’s wedding ring. Winston

selfconsciously covers it with his right hand.

WINSTON

I’m a widower. And I’m on a budget.

Thanks for your time.

He starts to turn away.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Now wait, hold on, your highness.

We’ll find you something.

He peruses his photos. Winston finds himself staring at…

WINSTON

That one. What’s that.

The photo is tucked in the bottom right hand corner of the

corkboard. Small, edges tattered, black and white. A white

plantation house.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Huh? Oh, no. No, no. That’s

nothing but an old moldy barn. Don’t

even know why it’s here.

He reaches for the photo – but Winston gets it first. There’s

a name scribbled in the border.

WINSTON

Brockton Plantation.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Just a fancy name for a fallin’ down

old mess. Now here. 15 Pope Street

WINSTON

How much is it?

HOBIE NICHOLS

Mister, you do not want it. Now, 15

Pope is 500 hundred a month, we’ll

waive the security deposit and –

WINSTON

I’d like to see this one. Or find

another broker.

Hobie glares. And suddenly both he and Winston turn as the door

opens and a very attractive, light skinned black women, CHARLEY

CUNNINGHAM, 30, enters.

HOBIE

You’re late.

CHARLEY

No, I’m not. I was showing the

Brubaker house this morning.

HOBIE NICHOLS

… and?

CHARLEY

Sold.

HOBIE NICHOLS

(muttering; annoyed it

wasn’t him)

Jesus…

Charley, putting her things on the other desk – a decidedly neat

one.

CHARLEY

(pleasantly; to Winston)

Hi!

HOBIE NICHOLS

My assistant. Charlene Cunningham.

CHARLEY

(correcting Hobie)

Associate.

(To Winston)

And it’s Charley.

She holds out a hand. Winston takes it. Charley’s confidence

and positive attitude is infectious.

WINSTON

Winston. Winston Berry.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Mr. Berry’s interested in a rental.

CHARLEY

Great. We certainly have some.

HOBIE NICHOLS

He’d like to take a look at Brockton

Plantation.

CHARLEY

Well, I’m sure that can be arranged.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Not by me.

Charley’s look at Hobie – you’re unbelievable.

CHARLEY

(to Winston)

Would you like to drive or shall I?

EXT./INT. VOLVO – DAY

The car is making it’s way north. Forests and swampland to the

east, coastal Marsh to the west. Winston is driving. Charley

is in the passenger seat. Hector in the back but his head in

the front – drooling.

CHARLEY

(amused; petting Hector)

You could bottle this.

Winston smiles – but a little nervous – feeling a bit

uncomfortable with this vivacious woman.

WINSTON

Are you from around here?

CHARLEY

Born and raised.

WINSTON

It’s a beautiful area.

CHARLEY

And it’s changing way too fast.

Careful of this turn up here.

The Volvo goes around a tight turn. A green, algae covered pond

is off the driver’s side.

CHARLEY

Wouldn’t want to go skinny dipping

with them.

“Them” are two large alligators sunning on the bank.

EXT./INT. VOLVO – FURTHER ON – DAY

The road narrows as it approaches an old bridge. To the west,

a tributary empties into marshlands and the Atlantic. North

of the bridge and through the trees one can just see an old

plantation house.

CHARLEY

There it is.

EXT./INT. VOLVO – CONTINUOUS

And now, as they come off the bridge –

CHARLEY

The drive is just up here.

Just ahead, vines and vegetation cover brick pilasters that

front an old, crumbling drive.

CHARLEY

Hope you’re not afraid of snakes.

The car makes the turn –

INT./EXT. VOLVO – BROCKTON PLANTATION – CONTINUOUS

– and Winston stares, is awed to silence. It’s as if they have

entered another world. Huge kudzu covered oak trees form an

arc over the drive, blotting out the sun.

WINSTON

…wow.

Through trees heavy with Spanish moss and overgrown vegetation,

Winston catches glimpses of long abandoned fields… of the low

lying structures which were once slaves quarters… of a

dilapidated chapel… of a crumbling rice mill…

CHARLEY

Pretty cool, huh?

WINSTON

It’s a rice plantation.

CHARLEY

Was.

And now as they round a curve in the drive… it appears.

CHARLEY

Now I’m warning you, it needs work.

EXT. PLANTATION HOUSE – CONTINUOUS

The car pulls to a stop. Winston, Charley and Hector get out.

The plantation house is weathered grey with cracked boards and

shutters and broken windows. Vegetation and kudzu vines cover

porch, doors and windows like grasping hands. To the north is

a tributary of the Black River. To the west is marshland and

the open Atlantic.

CHARLEY

What do you think?

WINSTON

It’s incredible. Who owns it?

CHARLEY

The owner died during the civil war,

his wife sometime after. The

property went to the State of

Carolina. They assigned management

to Carlyle and Nichols – Hobie’s

family. They’ve pretty much tried

to forget about it ever since.

WINSTON

Why?

CHARLEY

Because it’s haunted.

As if on cue – a unearthly scream! Winston just about jumps

out of his skin. From high in a tree a blue Heron takes flight.

CHARLEY

Blue Heron. They’re all around

here.

The heron screams again as it passes overhead. Splat.

Something gooey hits Winston’s shoulder.

CHARLEY

Oops. I think this one likes you.

Winston takes out a handkerchief and wipes his shoulder.

WINSTON

What do you mean… haunted.

CHARLEY

One hundred and fifty years ago the

owner’s wife committed suicide here.

They say she hung herself from the

rafters. And then, of course, there

was the psychopath with the chain

saw…

Winston starts as the Blue Heron screams again.

WINSTON

…you’re kidding.

CHARLEY

No psychos. Just kids who come out

there at Halloween to be scared.

Want to go in?

Winston nods.

INT. BROCKTON PLANTATION – CONTINUOUS

The door groans open and Charley and winston enter. The gloom

is filled with swirling dust and clinging old cobwebs. Charley

waving it all away.

CHARLEY

Hope you’re not afraid of spiders.

Let me see if I can find a light

switch.

She moves away. Winston stands… vaguely aware of…

something…. it’s as if the house is breathing. Winston

flinches as an overhead light suddenly comes on and –

CHARLEY

(returning)

There we go. Forty-something years

ago, the state authorized

improvements – electricity,

plumbing, kitchen. I don’t know,

maybe they were going to try and sell

it. For whatever reason –

The light flickers… goes out…

CHARLEY

…the workers did a decidedly rush

job. Now let’s see. Sitting room

there, formal dining room. Five

bedrooms. Ten, you count the

servant’s quarters. And here –

Charley turns to the left and –

INT. LIBRARY – CONTINUOUS

– pulls open the sliding doors to the study.

CHARLEY

– is the library.

Winston peers into the gloom. Moldy leather bound books are

on dark wood shelves. There’s a huge wood desk and rotting

leather chair.

CHARLEY

Want to see more?

Winston nods.

CHARLEY

Come on.

She turns away. A last look. Winston turns and follows.

INT. LIVING ROOM – CONTINUOUS

Charley enters – Winston enters behind her. Curtains are

drawn – the room is dark.

CHARLEY

Here, let me open these curtains.

She moves across the room. Winston turns and –

WINSTON

(starting)

Hah!

Across the room, caught in a single beam of light, a beautiful,

haughty woman’s face glares at him.

CHARLEY

Sorry. Should have warned you.

She opens the curtains. Vine laced light fills the room and

the face is revealed as a large portrait that rests over the

mantelpiece. The woman is an elegantly dressed Southern belle;

Brockton Plantation in the background behind her.

WINSTON

Lady of the house?

CHARLEY

Wife of the original owner. Fancy

Brockton.

WINSTON

Fancy indeed.

BANG!! Again, Winston starts as a sudden breeze BLOWS a window

open – – the curtains billow away from the wall. Dust rises

into the air.

CHARLEY

(Unconcerned)

I guess portraits like this were the

custom at the time. What do you

think?

Winston takes in the room. It’s as if the history of the South

is gathered here. Chipped vases, age-worn rugs, broken china

and cracked, dusty crystal. A old grand piano, now splintered.

Paintings and lithographs from the mid 19th century; most of

them depicting plantation life. Everything covered with a coat

of thick dust.

WINSTON

Incredible. This could be a museum.

May I look upstairs?

CHARLEY

Right this way.

She exits out of the room. The house suddenly seems to shift

in the breeze. It creaks and moans; cries and whispers; the

sounds of an old house in the wind. Winston turns and exits.

IN THE FOYER –

As Winston comes out, Charley is starting up the stairs.

CHARLEY

Coming?

Winston nods. They move up the stairs.

IN THE FRONT DOORWAY –

Hector appears. He enters cautiously. Hector sniffs

cautiously as if that someone is holding out a reassuring hand.

His tail wagging, he enters…

INT. UPSTAIRS – CONTINUOUS

They come off the stairs and move down the hall.

CHARLEY

Actually I’ve never been up here

before.

(Peering through a doorway)

I think this… is the master

bedroom.

She enters. Winston follows. And now, in the hallway behind

them, a loose floorboard creeks – as if someone is following.

INT. BEDROOM – CONTINUOUS

Everything is covered with dust; the huge canopy bed, the

vanity, the chest of drawers and the over stuffed chair in front

of the fireplace.

WINSTON

Amazing. Just amazing.

(The dresser)

May I?

CHARLEY

Be my guest.

He opens drawers in the dresser, peers inside – and out of one

holds up silken petticoats.

CHARLEY

Well, somebody had good taste.

WINSTON

It’s like they were folded yesterday.

He replaces them. Looks around again.

WINSTON

How much is it?

CHARLEY

Four fifty a month plus one month’s

security deposit.

WINSTON

I’d like it for two months.

CHARLEY

In that case, let’s go sign some

papers.

They exit. We look around the room again. And then back to

the dresser. And suddenly, one after another, in quick

succession, the dresser drawers slam shut.

THE FOYER –

Charley and Winston come down the stairs.

WINSTON

Hector? Let’s go.

They exit. Hectors starts to follow. He stops – he looks back

– as if he’s looking at someone – and then he turns and follows

Winston out the door.

INT. THE HOUSE – DAY

Looking out the living room window, we see Winston, Hector and

Charley walking towards the car. We can just hear their voices.

CHARLEY

You mind if I ask you what you do, Mr.

Berry?

WINSTON

I’m a historian. I write books on

the American Civil war. And this

house is as unspoiled as any period

property I’ve ever seen.

CHARLEY

And that’s good?

WINSTON

Better than good. It’s

inspirational. And it’s Winston.

The breeze blows the bedroom curtains against an invisible

SOMEONE who is watching them go. Especially Winston. REVERSE

AND CLOSING ON – The portrait. The face looks different –

thoughtful perhaps.

INT. REALTY OFFICE – DAY

Hobie pulls some realty contracts out of a drawer.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Eight hundred a month.

Charley and Winston glance at one another.

CHARLEY

Hobie, I told him four-fifty.

HOBIE NICHOLS

This is not your commission. Plus I

want both months in advance, non – I

repeat – non-refundable – and I want

a thousand dollar security deposit.

Separate checks.

CHARLEY

This is not only unprofessional, it’s

embarrassing.

HOBIE NICHOLS

(ignoring her)

Well?

WINSTON

Five hundred a month with a five

hundred dollar security deposit.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Seven fifty and seven.

WINSTON

Six and six.

Hobie hesitates.

WINSTON

Some commission is better than no

commission.

Charley trying not to smile. Hobie seeing it.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Six and a half! And not a penny less!

More than Winston was planning on but…

WINSTON

All right. But with an option to buy

at the end of the two months.

HOBIE NICHOLS

What? The property isn’t for sale!

WINSTON

Has anyone ever tried to buy it?

HOBIE NICHOLS

Who’d want to?

(Sarcastic; writing it in)

Fine. Option to buy… shall we say,

oh… 750 thousand? Why not.

(Then:)

What’d your wife die of, Winston,

exasperation?

Pain flickers across Winston’s face. Charley glancing from

Hobie to Winston, realizing…

CHARLEY

(a murmur)

…Hobie.

Even Hobie realizing he’s gone too far.

WINSTON

How should I make out the checks?

INT. BROCKTON PLANTATION – LATE AFTERNOON

The front door swings open and Winston kicks his suitcases

through the door. He enters carrying a hard cover instrument

case, a bag of groceries and a extra-large bag of dog food. A

jumbo box of breakfast cereal pokes out the top of the grocery

bag. He puts things down. He turns into –

THE LIVING ROOM –

The portrait of Fancy Brockton seems to glare down at him.

Winston studies it a moment.

WINSTON

Careful, your face is going to get

stuck like that.

He turns and exits. REVERSE ON – The portrait.

EXT. BROCKTON PLANTATION – NIGHT

A full moon over the marshes. A single light upstairs.

INT. BEDROOM – NIGHT

Winston is preparing for bed by lamplight. He finishes

flossing – and finds himself looking at his wedding ring. He

hesitates… takes it off. He exits…

INT. BEDROOM – NIGHT

Winston is asleep in bed. His wedding ring is now on a thin

cord around his neck. Suddenly – the ring rises off his

chest… it’s as if someone studies it… and then puts it back.

Winston softly murmurs in his sleep.

EXT. BROCKTON PLANTATION – DAY

Establishing. The sound of –

INT. PLANTATION HOUSE – LIBRARY – CONTINUOUS

A ringtone. Kashmir by Led Zeppelin. Winston has been setting

up his office – a laptop computer, a printer, piles and boxes

of reference books and a neat stack of paper on the desk – and

now picks up his cell phone, he sees who’s calling and answers.

WINSTON

Hello, Theo.

INTERCUT – INT. THE MET – COSTUME ROOM – CONTINUOUS

Winston’s brother, THEO BERRY, is a costume designer for the

Metropolitan Opera. His own sense of style tends towards Wasp

old fashion – he favors ties, suspenders, blazers and tweeds.

He is in the process of a fitting; being helped by his assistant,

GUSTAV, who holds out a cell phone on speaker.

THEO

Hold on, Winston, I’m covering a

soprano with a polyurethane sheet!

(The singer; her breasts)

These are new.

SINGER

(Italian accent)

You like-a dem?

THEO

They offset the new wrinkles.

Theo grabs for pins.

THEO

Winston, where are you?

WINSTON

St. John’s Inlet, South Carolina.

THEO

Oh, God, Winston, not Dixie again.

WINSTON

I’ve rented a house.

THEO

(Turn.) What’s it like?

WINSTON

Big, old and empty.

THEO

What a find.

WINSTON

How’s the opera coming.

THEO

The director’s a talentless hack but

I’m being brilliant despite him.

SINGER

Ow.

THEO

(You’re wiggling.) Winston, listen

to me. Can this silly house, come to

New York and spend some quality time

with your big brother.

WINSTON

Theo, we’ve been over this.

THEO

Yes, and we’ll keep going over it

until you realize I’m right. You

cannot keep burying yourself in

books, Winston.

WINSTON

I’m not burying, I’m doing research.

THEO

Whatever it is, it’s not healthy.

GUSTAV

Anton wants the shoulder bare.

THEO

Anton is a tasteless kraut.

Winston turns, suddenly hearing something.

WINSTON

Hold on a second.

Winston moves to the window and peers out.

WINSTON

Someone’s here.

WINSTON’S POV – A car has pulled into the yard.

THEO

Don’t tell me – a neighbor bearing

cookies.

Charley gets out of the car. She has a bouquet of flowers and

a bottle of champagne. She starts towards the house.

WINSTON

No, it’s a woman and she has flowers

and champagne.

THEO

Oh, Winston – and you without a

restraining order.

WINSTON

Stop.

THEO

New York, Winston. Tell me you’ll

consider it.

WINSTON

Gotta go, Theo. Love you.

He disconnects. Theo stares a moment… obviously more

concerned than he’s let on.

THEO

…you too.

EXT. PLANTATION HOUSE – CONTINUOUS

Winston comes to the door as Charley comes up onto the porch.

WINSTON

Well, hey.

CHARLEY

Hi! I hope I’m not interrupting.

WINSTON

Not at all.

(The champagne and flowers)

What’s the occasion?

CHARLEY

Oh, uh – I thought you were probably

a champagne kind of guy but I wasn’t

sure because even though you don’t

seem like a flowers kind of guy, who’s

to say. So I got both.

(The champagne)

Welcome to St. John’s Inlet.

(The flowers)

And my apologies. For yesterday.

WINSTON

…thank you.

A moment.

CHARLEY

…well.

She starts to turn away.

WINSTON

Wait. You want to come in? I can

put this on ice or you can put these

in water.

CHARLEY

A little early for champagne but

let’s see if we can find a vase.

INT. KITCHEN – DAY

Charley arranges the flowers in an old, chipped but very

beautiful vase.

CHARLEY

I should warn you. A lot of people

in town are curious about you.

WINSTON

Why?

CHARLEY

They want to know how it was you were

able to spend the night.

(Looking up; teasing)

I told you, the place is haunted.

(Then:)

There. What do you think?

WINSTON

You’re right, I’m not a flower kind

of guy. But they look pretty good to

me.

Charley smiles, pleased.

CHARLEY

Now we just have to figure out where

to put them.

And before Winston can answer – they hear something. It’s the

sound of the piano – single, random notes.

CHARLEY

The wind?

WINSTON

Not unless the wind plays the piano.

Winston exits the kitchen. Charley follows. The piano notes

continue.

IN THE HALL

Winston, with Charley behind him, moves carefully towards the

living room.

CHARLEY

Could someone be in the house?

WINSTON

They’re not supposed to be.

More notes. Louder.

CHARLEY

Oh, God, I saw this movie.

A sudden discordant, crashing chord – Winston and Charley jump

back – and the music stops. They glance at one another – and

move forward.

THE LIVING ROOM –

Winston cautiously peers in. And sags in relief.

WINSTON

Take a look.

Charlie peers in. Hector is sitting by the piano; tongue

lolling happily.

WINSTON

I didn’t know he played.

CHARLEY

Indigo House. Still available.

Six hundred a month.

WINSTON

I’m fine right here.

They turn away. REVERSE ON – The portrait is now smiling a Mona

Lisa smile.

EXT. PLANTATION HOUSE – LATER

Charley is getting into her car. She calls back towards the

porch where winston stands

CHARLEY

You need anything, let me know!

Charley waves, gets in her car, starts it up and drives away.

Winston watching her go. Liking her… but then thinking of

something… someone else. He goes back into the house.

INT. BROCKTON PLANTATION – CONTINUOUS

Winston enters. The house is silent. And suddenly Winston

sniffs. Sniffs again.

WINSTON

Perfume?

Winston enters the living room.

IN THE LIVING ROOM

Winston cautiously approaches the painting. Stops. Fancy

smiles innocently down at him.

WINSTON

Okay, listen, Fancy pants. I don’t

believe in haunted house and I don’t

believe in ghosts.

(Exiting)

Which is why I’m talking to a

painting… good… real good…

BACK TO – The portrait. It no longer looks amused. THUNDER

crashes as –

EXT. BROCKTON PLANTATION- NIGHT

Lightening cracks and rain beats against the windows of the

house. The house is dark but for a flickering light in the –

INT. KITCHEN – CONTINUOUS

The bottle of champagne is on the kitchen table. Flashlight

in his mouth, Winston is fiddling with the open fuse box.

He doesn’t notice that – CLOSE ON – the champagne bottle begins

to tremble – it’s as if pressure is building – and building…

the foil is melting…

Sparks jump from the fusebox as behind Winston – the cork

explodes from the bottle! Warm, frothy champagne sprays

across the kitchen. Winston stares. What the hell? The

house creaks and moans. Winston looks up. Last night, it

didn’t bother him. Tonight… Winston picks up the bottle and

takes a healthy gulp. Bottle and flashlight in hand, he exits.

MOVING TO – The bouquet of flowers. As if blown by an unseen

breath of air, all the petals fall to the floor.

INT. BATHROOM – NIGHT

Winston settles back in a bath – the tub is a lion pawed caste

iron antique. He’s put the flashlight on the side of the tub

and now he sips some more champagne from the bottle. And then,

he flails in surprise, knocking the flashlight off the tub, as

the bathroom window flies open and wind and rain fill the room.

He gets of the tub, moves to the window and closes it. He turns

back – and FANCY BROCKTON enters in a frightening rush right

through the door.

FANCY

I can abide no more, I – !

And Fancy screams. Because:

FANCY

Sir! You are in the altogether!

___________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

She turns away, horrified. Winston just stares. He can see

through her, through the diaphanous gown, the hair in ringlets.

He tries to make sense of it – and can’t. And so, he faints.

Fancy looks back. Curious, she glances down.

FANCY

(not impressed)

Hmm.

INT. BEDROOM – NIGHT

Winston opens his eyes, blinks, disoriented. And bolts up –

no, it must have been a dream. But then why is he lying on the

bed, bathroom rug under him, blanket over him?

FANCY

Well, you have finally decided to

rouse yourself.

Winston stifles a yelp. Fancy is sitting in a chair across the

room. She seems almost solid now; but not quite. There is an

unearthly glow around her. She is crocheting. Hector is lying

at her feet.

FANCY

Frankly, I am not used to men having

the vapors.

Winston is just numbly staring.

FANCY

You are all right?

Winston barely nods.

FANCY

Good.

(Then:)

Sir, you are again exposing your

manhood.

Winston quickly – and protectively – pulls the blanket up.

FANCY

Oh, now, don’t get silly ideas. I

can’t touch anything living.

Fancy reaches down to pet Hector. Her hand goes right through

Hector’s head.

FANCY

But I do have a way with objects. And

you were fortunate enough to fall on

a rug. Hence, here you are.

With a wave, the crocheting disappears into thin air.

FANCY

Well. You have packing to do. I

suggest you get to it immediately.

D’accord?

She fades… fades… like the Cheshire cast from Alice in

Wonderland, the last thing we see are her glowing eyes. And

then they’re gone. Winston’s clothes are the floor.

Springing up, he grabs them. He trips over his pants as he races

out the door.

THE STAIRCASE

Winston comes hurrying down the stairs. Every shadow is now

ominous, every noise terrifying. He pulls the door open and

runs outside –

OUTSIDE –

Winston races towards the car.

IN THE HOUSE – THE BEDROOM –

Winston has left his clothes, suitcases and possessions. Not

to mention Hector – who looks quite content.

FANCY (V.O.)

Oh, for goodness sake.

Hector wags his tail – thump-thump – on the floor.

OUTSIDE –

Winston clambers into the car. He’s about to start it when –

with a crash of lightening and a crack of thunder – Fancy appears

in the middle of the hood of the car.

FANCY

Sir! You have forgotten your

belongings and your canine!

Winston screams! He starts the with a roar. The car does and

turning fishtail and roars away down the muddy driveway.

TO:

Winston squints, trying to see through the fogged windshield.

Up ahead the lights catch something – no, someone – standing

at in the middle of the driveway. Fancy.

FANCY

I insist you remove your things!

Winston realizes he’s going to hit her. Too late to stop. The

car goes right through Fancy. Winston turns – but she’s gone.

AT THE END OF THE DRIVE –

The car hits the road going fast, too fast. The car skids as

Winston takes the turn. The car roars on.

EXT./INT. THE CAR – CONTINUOUS

Winston is trembling as he speeds over the bridge.

WINSTON

You’re hallucinating. It’s an acid

flashback, that’s all. No, you

never took acid. There’s something

in the water.

He glances right – and screams – Fancy is next to him.

FANCY

I am startin’ to get perturbed.

THE CAR

– fishtails, skidding across the bridge. It would appear no

one is steering.

WINSTON (O.C.)

AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhh!

IN THE CAR –

Winston takes his hands off his eyes. And gets control of the

car. Fancy is gone. Winston tries to wipe the fogged

windshield.

THE CAR

goes around a curve. The wheels barely hold the road. Swamp

and marsh grass off to the side.

AT THE HAIRPIN CURVE IN THE ROAD –

The green muck of the pond is revealed in lightening flashes.

Alligator eyes gleam in the dark. Through the rain, the lights

of the car appear as it approaches fast.

IN THE CAR –

Winston still can’t quite see the road through the fogged

windshield but isn’t thinking clearly enough to slow down.

WINTON

It’s good. It’s all good. Right,

Hector? Hector?

And he turns to look in the back seat –

WINSTON

Hector – !!?

– only to see Fancy sitting there.

FANCY

If y’all are not gonna slow down, at

least be so kind as to look where

you’re going.

Winston turns – and sees the pond ahead – and screaming, hits

the brakes – too late –

THE CAR

– crashes through the flimsy guard rail, goes airborne and lands

with an enormous splash in the middle of the pond. It begins

to sink and settle.

IN THE CAR –

Winston, dazed but unharmed, opens his eyes. Nothing in front

of him… nothing in the passenger seat… nothing in the rear

view mirror… Winston glances down – and sees just Fancy’s head

sitting in his lap.

FANCY

Well, this is mortifyin’.

Once again… Winston passes out. Fancy sighs. She rises, up

and through Winston – up and through the roof of –

EXT. THE CAR –

– where she glances over at the approaching alligators.

FANCY

Albert!? Robert Lee! Y’all go ‘way

now.

The alligators obediently turn and glide off. The rain has

started to let up as a luminescent Fancy rises up and over the

car – which is steadily sinking.

In the car, water is rising on the unconscious Winston.

FANCY

(another sigh)

I am no doubt gonna regret this,

She begins to turn in the air… faster and faster… a

moonlight-silver blur above the pond- water and wind filling

the air; louder, faster, blinding –

EXT. THE POND – MORNING

The storm has wiped everything clean. The car is now at the

edge of the pond, just it’s back wheels in the water.

IN THE CAR –

Winston comes to – slowly and then all at once. He yelps – a

snake is in his lap. He grabs it and throws it out the window.

He looks around, not knowing where he is… and then he

remembers.

EXT. ST. JOHN’S INLET – EARLY MORNING

People stop and stare as a tow truck moves down the street,

towing the muck covered Volvo. An equally muck covered Winston

sits in front seat of the Volvo. Cold anger is starting to

replace fear.

INT. REALTY OFFICE – MORNING

Hobie is again on the phone – Styrofoam cup of coffee in hand.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Baby, just a couple a’ hundred,

that’s all. Just till the ship comes

in. What do you mean it hasn’t gone

out yet.

He doesn’t notice as a wild-eyed Winston appears in the window

behind him, peering in.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Aw, c’mon, baby, you tellin’ me

you’ve never slept with strangers?

Hobie turns, startled, as Winston enters.

WINSTON

Haunted!? It – is – haunted!?

HOBIE NICHOLS

Uh – Baby? I’ll call you back.

He hangs up.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Why, Winston, what a –

(really seeing him)

– surprise.

WINSTON

Haunted should have come before

dilapidated! Ghosts should come

before has a nice view!

HOBIE NICHOLS

All right, all right, calm down.

Jesus, Winston, you look like you

spent the night in a swamp.

WINSTON

I did.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Been there, done that. Come on, sit

down. Here, have some coffee. Go

on, I haven’t spit in it.

Winston sits – sips.

HOBIE NICHOLS

There. Better, huh?

WINSTON

Why didn’t anyone tell me.

HOBIE NICHOLS

If I’m not mistaken, Miss Cunningham

did. You, however, did not care to

listen.

WINSTON

I want to talk to her.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Yeah, well, I’m sorry to say, Miss

Cunningham is no longer in my employ.

WINSTON

You fired her?

HOBIE NICHOLS

She quit. Now then. Because I am

a good samaritan…

He opens a drawer, takes out and hands Winston a check.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Here.

WINSTON

What’s this.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Your security deposit.

WINSTON

I want my rent back too.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Uh-uh. No refunds on the rent.

That was the deal.

WINSTON

I’ll cancel the check.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Already cashed.

WINSTON

I’ll sue.

HOBIE NICHOLS

For ghosts? Winston, I’m a fair man

but let’s not push our luck.

Unless you want people to think

you’re a full blown looney.

Winston rises and heads for the door.

WINSTON

You’ll be hearing from a lawyer.

He exits.

OUTSIDE –

Winston starts across the street. Hobie appears in the door

to his office. He looks amused now.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Hey, Winston! 15 Pope Street is

still available!! Eight hundred a

month!

WINSTON

Stick 15 Pope Street up your – !

HHOOONNNKKK! A passing truck cuts across FRAME.

EXT. BROCKTON PLANTATION – CONTINUOUS

The car, still dirty, comes up the drive and stops. Winston

sits, the engine idling. Uncertainty gives way to annoyance.

Annoyance to anger and resolve. Winston turns off the engine

and gets out of the car. He strides forward.

INT. HOUSE – DAY

Winston enters. And finds his resolve dwindling. He forces

himself to be brave again.

WINSTON

All right, I know you’re here!

Nothing. He strides into the living room.

IN THE LIVING ROOM – CONTINUOUS

He enters – and sees Hector sitting there. Hector wags his

tail.

WINSTON

(outraged)

You traitor!

Winston turns to the portrait.

WINSTON

Come on. Come out and fight! What,

you only attack guys when their

clothes are off?

FANCY

Frankly, sir, when your clothes are

off, you have an unfair advantage.

Winston turns. Fancy is sitting on the sofa, right behind him.

She looks amused… and seductively beautiful. Winston’s

semi-staggers against the fireplace.

FANCY

You’re not going to go all belly-up

again, are you?

Winston shakes his head.

FANCY

Good boy. We’ve had quite enough of

that.

(Rising)

Now then. You left without packing.

You have my permission to get to it

right away.

(As if to a dog)

Shoo. Go on now. Shoo-shoo.

Smiling, she turns and exits – through the wall.

WINSTON

I’m – I’m not leaving.

Fancy’s head appears out of the wall; facing the ceiling – as

if she’s leaning backwards at an impossible angle.

FANCY

Excusez-moi?

WINSTON

I’m not packing and I’m not leaving.

I’m staying right here.

FANCY

I assure you, you are not.

WINSTON

I’ve rented this place for two

months. If anyone’s going, you are.

Fancy comes back through the wall in her entirety. The room

seems to grow dark. She seems to grow in stature. Her hair

begins to whip as if blown by wind. Her eyes and face become

wildly demonic.

FANCY

This house is mine, you creature, and

you will do as I say.

The horror approaches. Winston musters all his courage –

WINSTON

Schoo you.

Blink – Fancy is herself again, if transparent.

FANCY

Humph. You have courage. We’ll see

how long it lasts.

In a swirling mini-tornedo of choking dust, she’s gone.

Winston coughs, waving it away. He glares at the portrait. He

starts towards it – –

EXT. LIVING ROOM – DAY

The portrait is now gone – just a discolored space on the all

where it was.

INT. LIBRARY – DAY

Hector is lying on the rug. Winston is at the desk, reading.

In his hands is an old leather bound diary; the pages yellow

and curling, the strap and lock broken and worn with age. And

suddenly he hears an outraged scream –

FANCY (O.S.)

Ahhhh!

He steels himself; keeps his attention on the pages of the diary.

FANCY

Where is my painting!?

Fancy’s head has come through the wall and is hanging there like

it’s mounted.

FANCY

You heard me! Where is it!?

WINSTON

(with forced casualness)

Somewhere you’ll never find it.

She slips out of the wall and into the room.

FANCY

If you think hiding things precious

to me will allow you stay, you are

sadly mistaken.

WINSTON

We’ll see, won’t me.

FANCY

Yes. We shall.

(Then:)

What is that, what are you reading?

WINSTON

Your diary.

He holds it up – on the pages, entries are written in a graceful,

feminine hand.

WINSTON

It was in the drawer.

FANCY

Oh! Have you no shame? Those are

my private musings and not for

anyone’s eyes but my own.

WINSTON

Mmm. Your “musings” are

interesting.

FANCY

Well, of course they are, they’re

about me.

(Then:)

What part are you reading?

WINSTON

November 26, 1864. To the south, the

devil Sherman marches to the sea.

The countryside abounds with union

soldiers. A squad of them came today

to do their devil’s work but I stood

them down. Though alone and

helpless, I was determined they would

never subject Brockton Plantation to

their vile humors.

FANCY

And they didn’t. They were cowards.

WINSTON

Quite the read.

(Closing the book)

And I don’t believe a word of it.

FANCY

Then you are a cynic as well as a bore.

However I assure you very word is

true.

WINSTON

I seriously doubt a single women

stood down a squad of Union soldiers.

However cowardly they were, they were

desperate, hungry and probably

hadn’t seen a woman in months. Or is

that the reason you committed

suicide?

FANCY

Suicide? Surely you jest.

WINSTON

People in town, they say you…

He points to a rafter – makes a choking sound. If a ghost can

blush, Fancy does so.

FANCY

I shall say this once and once only.

It was the winter before our ignoble

defeat and we suffered terribly.

Bitter cold. No wood for fire, no

food. I fell ill. In sleep the

angels did call me to my rest. Local

rustics found my body and spread

rumors. My only regret is some

decomposin’ had taken place and I did

not look my best. Now close my

diary, put up my portrait and excuse

yourself from these premises.

WINSTON

Nope.

FANCY

Oh!! This, sir, means war.

And in a woosch of fiery dust, she disappears. Winston smiles

to himself – and continues reading, fascinated.

EXT. BROCKTON PLANTATION – NIGHT

Establishing shot.

EXT. ATTIC – NIGHT

The attic is filled with old furniture and steamer trunks.

Fancy is sitting in front of an open armoire. She holds a stack

of old letters in her lap and is reading one. She looks pensive,

vulnerable… both happy and sad. She suddenly looks up in

surprise, hearing… music.

INT. THE LIVING ROOM – CONTINUOUS

Winston sits, playing the banjo. Hector is at his feet.

Winston doesn’t play traditional bluegrass but rather,

progressive jazz mixed with tonal harmonics.

FANCY

I’ve heard the banjo played many

times but never like that.

Winston looks up, startled. And then relaxes and continues to

play.

FANCY

Who is the composer?

WINSTON

…me.

(He stops playing)

I wrote it for my wife.

FANCY

Am I to assume she is no longer with

us?

Winston nods.

FANCY

And how did she die?

WINSTON

…she was killed in a car accident

a year and half ago.

FANCY

Those noisy things y’all race around

in? I knew they were dangerous.

WINSTON

We were on our honeymoon. In

Chicago, at a train station. I was

unloading bags from our taxi. There

was another in front. She was

between. The one in front suddenly

accelerated backward. The driver

had put it in the wrong gear. She was

crushed between the two cars. She

died on the way to the hospital.

Fancy suddenly seems far away; thinking of something or someone.

FANCY

How horrible. I have no doubt you

loved her very much.

WINSTON

Yes. Very much.

FANCY

Please. Play some more.

He starts to – but then:

WINSTON

Does this mean I’m staying?

Fancy hesitates…

WINSTON

Come on, what’s a couple of months

when you have eternity.

FANCY

You’d have to put my portrait back up.

Rising, Winston move to the grand piano and lifts the sounding

board. He has hidden the portrait within.

WINSTON

It doesn’t do you justice, you know.

She tries not to look too pleased. Then, growing serious:

FANCY

You’d also have to promise not to go

into the attic. If I was to let you

stay, I’d want your word.

WINSTON

Fine. No attic.

(Offering his hand)

So it’s a truce?

FANCY

… truce it is, sir.

Without thinking, Fancy reaches to shake Winston’s hand. Their

hands seem to touch… a glow – and then Fancy’s hand goes right

through Winston’s. An awkward moment for them both. Sitting

back down, Winston picks up his banjo and begins to play again.

The song is instantly recognizable. PULLING BACK –

EXT. BROCKTON PLANTATION – CONTINUOUS

– PULLING OUT THE WINDOW – The sound of the banjo fills the night.

FANCY

(softly singing)

…and we’ll all feel gay when Johnny

comes marching home.

EXT. BROCKTON PLANTATION – DAY

Establishing shot. A sunny day. It’s as if some of the gloom

has left Brockton Plantation.

INT. LIBRARY – DAY

Winston is at the desk, happily working. The desk is now strewn

with his textbooks, papers and recourse material. He stops now

and stretches. He looks at his watch – time for a break. He

rises.

EXT. BROCKTON PLANTATION – DAY

Winston, in lycra top and shorts, comes around the house. He

is carrying the single scull over his head. Hector follows.

INT. THE BEDROOM – CONTINUOUS

A view of Winston’s lycra-covered rear end. Fancy lowers the

glasses and frowns, puzzled. Winston is carrying the scull

down towards the river.

EXT. THE RIVER – DAY

Hector sits as Winston puts the boat in the water. He climbs

in. He locks his oars and begins to skillfully guide the scull

towards the middle of the river.

He looks back over his shoulder. He’s heading up-stream

towards the bridge. He turns back – to see Fancy’s puzzled face

peering at him as if –

FANCY

Have you lost your mind?

She is sitting, light as air, on the prow of the scull, holding

a parasol over her head. Winston starts – – and the scull

capsizes and Winston goes under.

ON SHORE –

Fancy forms out a small dust-devil of earth and grass. In the

middle of the river, Winston is trying to right the scull.

FANCY

How fortunate that you float!

WINSTON

Someone should put a bell around your

neck!

The current takes him downstream towards the open sea.

EXT. OCEAN INLET – DAY

Winston pulls the scull out of the water and onto dry land. The

inlet’s marsh grass gives way to open beach. And now, bent

over, pulling the scull, he backs into – and through –

FANCY

Why on earth would you float in a boat

that tips.

Winston leaps forward, startled. Fancy smiles innocently.

Hector is now at her side.

WINSTON

It’s not a boat, it’s a scull and I

wasn’t floating, I was rowing.

FANCY

Whatever for?

WINSTON

For exercise? Fun?

FANCY

Gettin’ wet is not my idea of fun.

WINSTON

What is?

FANCY

A pleasant walk on the beach.

EXT. THE BEACH – DAY

Winston and Fancy, followed by Hector, walk down the beach –

an incongruous couple; he in workout lycra – Fancy in hoop skirt

and sun bonnet, twirling her parasol.

FANCY

Do you often dress so immodestly?

WINSTON

It’s functional.

FANCY

You look like a pork sausage.

WINSTON

Are you sure you’re allowed to do

this? Leave the house?

FANCY

I can go anywhere I wish as long as

I went there in life.

WINSTON

What if we meet someone?

FANCY

I am seen by those I wish to be seen

by.

They walk past an old man and woman; he’s perusing the beach

with a metal detector and she’s looking for shells.

FANCY

(calling out)

Lovely day, idn’t it?

ANGLE ON – The couple raise their heads as if they’ve heard a

whisper on the breeze. Their POV – just a man walking his dog.

WINSTON

Hi.

Winston looks backward. The only steps in the sand are his and

Hector’s.

FANCY

What precisely is it you do, Mr.

Winston? I assume you are gainfully

employed.

WINSTON

I teach. College history.

FANCY

Correct me if I’m wrong, sir, but I

don’t see any colleges in the

vicinity of Brockton Plantation.

WINSTON

I’m on sabbatical.

(Meaning:)

Taking some time off to write a book.

FANCY

How marvelous. And what do you

write? Fiction? Poetry?

WINSTON

Textbooks.

FANCY

I’m sure they’re just fascinating.

And what is the subject you are

writin’ about?

WINSTON

The post civil war south.

FANCY

(not a favorite subject)

Mmm. Personally I find it a waste a’

time to live in the past. Especially

when in the company of a handsome

gentleman.

WINSTON

Are you flirting with me?

FANCY

Yes, I am. And it feels goooood.

They move on. And now IN A SERIES OF CUTS –

EXT. THE BEACH – DAY

LONG ANGLE ON – Hector, Fancy and Winston walk together. Fancy

never stops talking, not even once.

FANCY

– and then Chubbity Howard – Chubbity

was of the Shreveport Howards –

Chubbity said to Samuel Dunbar – Sir,

I am sure you are mistaken, Miss Fancy

has favored me with her affection. I

just smiled very so pleasant.

Course it wasn’t so pleasant when

they commenced shootin’ at each

other…

EXT. GROVES – DAY

On a path through the groves.

FANCY

– and we called the horse “Little

Horse”, not because it was little but

because Daddy said it was the perfect

size for a little girl such as myself

EXT. FIELDS – DAY

– through the fields –

FANCY

– and so on Saturday evenings we

decided we would read plays to one

another and not to crow, but most

people said my Hamlet was the most

tragic they’d ever experienced –

And finally –

EXT. BROCKTON PLANTATION – DAY

Winston pulls the scull up onto the lawn.

WINSTON

Woof. That’s that.

Fancy stands watching, as ephemeral as a cloud.

FANCY

Woof indeed. You are a most pleasant

conversationalist.

WINSTON

That’s nice but you did all the

talking.

FANCY

Then you are a good listener which my

favorite kind.

Rising, Hector begins to bark. Winston turns. Hobie Nichols

is coming up the rutted drive in a rusting, decrepit old

convertible – honk-honk!

FANCY

Oh, dear God. It’s him again.

WINSTON

You know each other?

FANCY

He and the shameless carpetbaggers

who spawned him are old friends.

And blink – she’s gone.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Winston! Hey!

Hobie, parking and getting out of the car – looking around

nervously –

HOBIE NICHOLS

Glad I caught you.

A stick rises off the ground off the ground like a snake –

HOBIE NICHOLS

I was in the neighborhood and –

– and jams itself between Hobie’s legs –

HOBIE NICHOLS

Ahhh! –

He crashes to the ground. Alarmed, Winston moves to Hobie.

WINSTON

Are you all right?

HOBIE NICHOLS

Fine!

Winston help him up.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Something I need t’ talk to you about.

WINSTON

Come on in.

He turns away. Hobie looks around nervously.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Think I’d rather stay here.

WINSTON

I’ll get us some lemonade.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Not thirsty!

WINSTON

Come on!

HOBIE NICHOLS

Oh, God….

Hobie reluctantly hobbles after him. Pop! Fancy appears

behind them. She stamps her foot in fury.

FANCY

Lemonade!? Did you fall out of a

stupid-tree as a baby and hit every

branch on the way down!?

INT. HOUSE – DAY

Winston hands Hobie a glass of lemonade.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Don’t suppose you got a beer, do ya?

WINSTON

Fraid not.

Hobie sips the lemonade – and puckers painfully – and pulls the

old, cracked sugar bowl across the table.

WINSTON

So what do you want to talk about,

Hobie.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Penance, Winston.

WINSTON

Penance.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Your situation, your impassioned

plea for help.

Hobie takes out and holds out a photograph.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Seaview Lane. Three bedrooms, ocean

front, all the amenities.

Twenty-three hundred a month but for

you… even trade. Your lease for

this one. So I can sleep nights.

Winston hears Fancy’s voice – Hobie does not. Or does he? He

looks around nervously.

FANCY

He is lyin’ like a no legged dog!

WINSTON

What’s the catch, Hobie?

HOBIE NICHOLS

Catch? No catch. I don’t want you

bein’ bothered, that’s all.

FANCY

By who?

WINSTON

By who-m?

HOBIE NICHOLS

Trespassers… tourists… real

estate brokers.

Hobie doesn’t notice that the spoon rises out of the sugar bowl,

seemingly by itself, and begins spooning sugar into his glass

WINSTON

Why would, uh, real estate brokers

come out here, Hobie?

– and more – and more.

HOBIE NICHOLS

For an appraisal, that’s all. See,

damnest thing happened? Filing your

lease? It reminded some clerk at the

state office, they actually own the

place. And well…

Hobie reaches for his lemonade, drinks – and chokes.

HOBIE NICHOLS

(coughing)

…the state budget being what it

is… the powers that be… want to

sell.

FANCY

Stop me ‘fore I knock this man’s teeth

out and dare him to swallow’m.

Sensing something, Hobie again looks around nervously.

WINSTON

I have a lease, Hobie.

HOBIE NICHOLS

For another month and a half, yes –

WINSTON

With an option to buy for seven

hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

HOBIE NICHOLS

That was a mistake on my part.

WINSTON

Still.

HOBIE NICHOLS

I don’t have to tell you, Winston, the

property is worth a twenty times that

much. And as the state’s agent, ten

percent of the sale price is

rightfully mine.

BOOM! Hector’s jumbo bag of dog food explodes, raining kibble

down on Hobie.

HOBIE NICHOLS

(Pushing the papers across

the table)

43 Seaview! Now take it for free!

Hobie’s chair, with Hobie in it, suddenly slides back across

the floor and slams – boom – into the wall. The legs of the

chair shatter and he crashes to the floor. Hobie scrambles up,

wildly looking around –

HOBIE NICHOLS

I know you’re here! Well, you don’t

scare me this time! I’m sellin’ this

dump and you are gone!

– a drawer opens and a collection of old but still lethal knives

and forks rise into the air. Hobie’s eyes widen. Whoosch!

The knives and forks streak towards him – and slam into the wall,

each one barely missing him. Screaming, Hobie bolts from the

kitchen – Winston following –

WINSTON

Hobie –

IN THE HALLWAY – CONTINUOUS

Hobie races down the hallway.

WINSTON

Hobie, wait –

He turns back, stumbling backwards towards the door –

HOBIE NICHOLS

There will be no deals! Not without

my involvement!

Behind him, he carpet rolls up. Moving backwards, Hobie

doesn’t see it. He trips and falls – the carpet catches him

and snaps like a whip, sending him through the screen door –

OUTSIDE –

– onto and off the porch and rolling into the yard. Hobie

scrambles up and runs for his car. Old dead branches and stones

rise up off the ground. Winston comes out of the house to see

Hobie being swatted by a cloud of flying branches and debris.

Hobie stumbles to his car and leaps in. He starts it up –

HOBIE NICHOLS

You’ll be hearing from my lawyer!

Branches, rocks and dirt chase him down the drive. And then

he’s gone. Winston looks up as thunder booms in the distance…

and then fades. Winston turns back in.

INSIDE –

He enters. Looks around.

WINSTON

Fancy? Fancy, where are you?

IN THE ATTIC –

Fancy sits in front of the open armoire, fighting tears.

WINSTON (O.S.)

Fancy?

As if speaking to someone in the armoire:

FANCY

What am I gonna do?

EXT. BROCKTON PLANTATION – NIGHT

Establishing.

INT. DINING ROOM – NIGHT

Hector lies, curled up on the floor as Winston puts dinner down

on the table. He’s grilled a steak, made salad. He’s found

linen and silverware, he’s lit a candle. He sits. He pours

some red wine. Hector’s tail thumps on the floor.

FANCY

My, that looks delicious.

Winston looks up. Fancy is now sitting, transparent, at the

opposite end of the table.

WINSTON

(the wine)

May I offer you some?

FANCY

Would that I could.

WINSTON

How you doing?

FANCY

How would you be at the prospect of

unwanted solicitors bidding on your

property?

WINSTON

Not very good.

She rises, looks fondly around the room. Then:

FANCY

He seemed concerned you might buy it.

WINSTON

No, he’s worried somebody might try

and buy it through me.

FANCY

I don’t understand.

WINSTON

Someone lends me the money and I buy

the property. I sell it back to them

at a better price and keep the

difference. Everyone comes out

ahead. But I would never do that.

FANCY

I believe you. You could a’ course

buy it yourself.

WINSTON

I don’t have the money to buy

anything.

FANCY

Yes, but perhaps when you publish

your book…

WINSTON

No one buys them. Other historians.

Teachers. Students who have to.

I’m sorry.

(a moment)

What would happen if the house were

gone?

FANCY

I would be gone with it.

WINSTON

I’m sorry.

FANCY

As am I.

(a moment)

Enjoy your dinner.

She fades as she moves back through the wall. Winston sips his

wine, lost in thought.

EXT. THE BRIDGE – DAY

The Volvo crosses the bridge adjacent to Brockton Plantation.

EXT. ST. JOHN’S INLET – DAY

The Volvo moves through town.

INT. REALTY OFFICE – DAY

Winston makes his way up the sidewalk. He hesitates… he

enters.

INT. REALTY OFFICE – CONTINUOUS

Hobie is sitting at a desk, his feet up, reading from Magnum

magazine. He looks up as Winston enters. Alarmed, he puts his

feet down, straightening in his chair.

HOBIE NICHOLS

What a’ you want.

WINSTON

Charley. I’d like to see her.

HOBIE NICHOLS

I bet you would.

(Raising his magazine)

You might find her at the school bake

sale.

EXT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL – DAY

A tree dappled building that looks like it’s been there a long

time. Tents and stands selling everything from old records to

barbecue have been set up on the lawn. Families move from booth

to booth, browsing and buying.

TO:

Winston is part of the throng. He moves through the genial

crowd looking for –

CHARLIE

– is under a tent selling baked goods with half a dozen school

children. She gives a customer her change –

CHARLEY

You take care now.

– and looks up to see Winston. She smiles.

CHARLEY

Well, well. May I interest you in

some butterscotch cookies?

WINSTON

Normally my favorite. But today…

(perusing the wares)

What… is the most fattening thing

you have here?

She picks up a healthy piece of –

CHARLEY

Pecan pie.

WINSTON

Two.

CHARLEY

Who’s the second one for?

WINSTON

…you?

Two of the little girls helping Charlie whisper to one another

and giggle.

TO:

Charlie and Winston walk among the crowd, eating their pie from

plates.

WINSTON

This is nice.

CHARLEY

You mean old fashioned.

WINSTON

I like old fashioned.

CHARLEY

I do too.

Some children pass, among them the little girls from the bake

stand. They nod and smile at Charley; and again, whisper and

giggle and glance at Winston.

WINSTON

Am I missing something?

CHARLEY

They think you’re my boyfriend.

Winston isn’t sure how to respond to that.

CHARLEY

How’s the pie?

WINSTON

My compliments to the chef.

CHARLEY

Thank you.

WINSTON

You made this?

Charlie nods.

WINSTON

(mouth full)

It’sdelgiouz!

They continue on.

WINSTON

So listen, I wanted to ask you about

something.

CHARLEY

What’s that?

WINSTON

Ghosts.

CHARLEY

What, are we believing now?

WINSTON

No. If there were such things… why

do you think they’re here?

CHARLEY

I wouldn’t know. But I know someone

who does.

(a beat; smiling)

My grandmother.

EXT. FARMHOUSE – DAY

Establishing. Somewhat isolated. Small but very neat.

Flowers and plantings and herb gardens everywhere.

INT. FARMHOUSE – DAY

Something hot is poured into cups. By MRS. JONAH CALLOWAY, a

very old, black woman.

GRANDMA JONAH

Sassafras tea. Good f’ the blood.

She, Charley and Winston are sitting in the living room. The

furniture is old and rough hewn. The curtains and doilies

brightly patterned as is the old woman’s frock. Not counting

the cats, Grandma Jonah lives by herself.

GRANDMA JONAH

Now where were we?

WINSTON

You were talking about Georgetown

County.

GRANDMA JONAH

That’s right. Georgetown County,

and St. John’s township in

particular, is the most haunted place

in the entire United States of

America. You can look it up.

CHARLEY

Why do you think that it is, Gram?

GRANDMA JONAH

Oh, child, there is such a history of

blood in these parts. Of guilt and

pain and sorrow. For black folks and

white folks alike.

WINSTON

You believe there are ghosts then,

Mrs. Calloway?

Grandma Jonah laughs as if this is a silly question.

GRANDMA JONAH

Y’know what limbo is, Mr. Winston?

WINSTON

Purgatory.

GRANDMA JONAH

I’d rather think of it as a bridge.

Between here… and there. For

some, it’s a hard bridge to cross.

They’ve things unresolved. Things

unfinished. And until they make’m

right, with themselves and with the

good lord, they can’t pass over.

(Sipping her tea)

Why you so curious about ghosts, Mr.

Winston?

CHARLEY

He’s living out at Brockton Manor,

Gram.

GRANDMA JONAH

Oh, well, now. That is a ghost and

a half, that one is. Fannie Turner

Brockton – Fancy. Father, a

planter. A good man, good to his

people. Not like her husband.

WINSTON

You make it sound like you knew them,

Grandma.

GRANDMA JONAH

My great-grandmomma and

great-grandaddy did. James and Ash

Beacham was slaves on Brockton

Plantation.

(Laughing)

I’m a hundred and three years old, Mr.

Winston.

Winston glances at Charley who nods.

CHARLEY

She’s not my grandmother. She’s my

great-great-great grandmother.

WINSTON

Tell me about the husband.

GRANDMA JONAH

Robert Brockton. He was a drinker,

a gambler, a philanderer. He was an

unkind man. Cruel to his wife, cruel

to his slaves.

WINSTON

Why did she marry him then?

GRANDMA JONAH

Hard to say. Money, position.

Whatever reason, it wasn’t enough.

Something happened at Brockton

Plantation. Something so terrible,

nobody’d ever talk about it. They

never have.

Silence. It’s as if she’s woven a spell. Winston rises and

moves to clasp the old woman’s hands.

WINSTON

Thank you, Grandma Jonah.

GRANDMA JONAH

You come visit me again.

WINSTON

I will.

GRANDMA JONAH

And Mr. Winston? Let’s be honest.

There’s no such things as ghosts.

(Eyes twinkling)

Is there.

EXT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL – DAY

Winston’s Volvo comes to a stop at the curb.

IN THE CAR – CONTINUOUS

Winston turns off the engine. A moment.

CHARLEY

Well. This has been a nice

afternoon.

WINSTON

Yes, it has. Yes.

CHARLEY

May I say something?

WINSTON

Sure.

CHARLEY

You seem to be a man with a few ghosts

yourself.

Winston is silent.

CHARLEY

You might not believe it, but sooner

or later it’s gonna get better.

WINSTON

I don’t think you’re in a position to

tell me that.

CHARLEY

I think I am. My husband was killed

two years ago. He was a soldier in

Afghanistan.

WINSTON

I didn’t know.

CHARLEY

Now you do.

Winston notices that those little girls from the bake stand are

across the lawn, staring them and giggling again. Charley gets

out. She leans back in.

CHARLEY

The one on the right’s Jesse… my

daughter.

Smiling, she closes the door. Winston watches as she moves

towards the little girls – greets/is greeted – they move on.

Winston drives away.

EXT. BROCKTON PLANTATION – LATE AFTERNOON

The Volvo comes up the drive and stops. Winston gets out,

staring. A small mountain of luggage is on the ground – airline

tags from La Guardia – and suddenly realizes –

WINSTON

Oh, no…

He runs for the house –

WINSTON

Theo!

He runs up onto the porch and into –

INT. THE HOUSE – CONTINUOUS

Winston enters in a rush.

WINSTON

Theo?!

Winston bolts for the living room.

WINSTON

Don’t touch –!

INT. LIVING ROOM – CONTINUOUS

Winston enters –

WINSTON

…anything…

Theo, in blazer and slacks, turns from studying the portrait.

THEO

What are you shouting about?

WINSTON

Nothing. What are you doing here?

THEO

Visiting, of course.

He looks back – the portrait does not look happy.

THEO

Shirley Temple looks like she’s

trying to pass a prune pit.

(Moving past him)

Come on and help me with my bags.

Winston looks towards the portrait – which now has a murderous

expression on its face. Oh-oh -!

WINSTON

Theo –

He turns – and is face to face with –

FANCY

This is not a hotel.

WINSTON

It’s my brother.

FANCY

He is a Nancy-boy.

WINSTON

Yes. Yes, he is.

FANCY

They have this mad compulsion to

rearrange furniture.

WINSTON

(Moving towards the door)

He’s not staying.

INT. FOYER – A SHORT TIME LATER

The door opens. Theo enters carrying two small bags. Winston

totters in behind him, carrying the big ones.

WINSTON

– how long?

THEO

Couple of weeks. Maybe longer.

Till I get another opera.

WINSTON

What happened to Don Giovanni?

THEO

I quit. The director was Hitler with

a shoulder fetish.

(Sniffing)

Is that perfume I smell? Winston.

All right, where is she?

He starts up the stairs. Winston follows.

THEO

Hello? Come out, come out where ever

you are!

WINSTON

It’s… incense, Theo. I’ve been

burning incense.

THEO

Whatever for? You haven’t begun

smoking pot, have you?

WINSTON

No.

THEO

Oh. Well, you should.

TO:

Theo comes off the landing and moves down the hall.

WINSTON

Theo, I’m not sure this going to work.

THEO

Oh, relax, this is going to be fun.

We can pretend we’re kids again. My

dolls can attack your soldiers in the

middle of the night.

WINSTON

Guest room’s on the left, Theo.

Blink. Fancy is suddenly in front of them.

FANCY

That is my room.

Theo walks right into her. Theo stops, surrounded by her – it

makes him look like he’s wearing a hoop dress. He shivers as

if hit by a cool breeze.

THEO

(looking around)

Whew, this drafty old bitch could use

some holes plugged.

He moves on – out of Fancy –

THEO

And that is not incense, Winston.

That is perfume. Expensive, old

perfume.

He turns into the bedroom –

THEO

Galimard?

FANCY

Molinard, thank you very much and I

– it – is not old.

Blink – she’s gone.

WINSTON

Wait!

Winston rushes forward and into –

IN THE BEDROOM –

Theo is throwing his bags on the bed as Winston enters.

THEO

Hmm? Wait for what?

WINSTON

Nothing, no – Theo, uh – I’m glad

you’re here, really, but – I planned

on doing some work.

THEO

That’s the problem. All you do is

work. Now don’t worry, I’m not going

to bother you too much.

He takes off and carefully folds his blazer.

THEO

Maybe just a dinner or two in town and

a brotherly chat on occasion. Oh,

and I want to meet that girl of yours.

Fancy’s face suddenly pops up – just the face – like a pie in

the middle of the floor.

FANCY

Girl? What girl?

Winston jerks back, having almost stepped on it/her.

THEO

The one who hand delivered champagne?

I already like her.

WINSTON

(to Fancy)

She’s not my girl. And it’s none of

your business.

Fancy frowns and disappears as:

THEO

Winston. Since when have you been

anything but my business. Who’s for

a dry martini?

He exits. Winston starts after him – and jerks back as Fancy

appears in front of him.

FANCY

Martini?

INT. THE LIVING ROOM – LATER

Ice chatters in a stainless steel shaker as Theo stirs, then

pours. His expensive leather travel bar kit is open on the

table.

THEO

Voila.

He pours into two clear, unbreakable polycarbonate martini

glasses – he pops in olives.

THEO

Perfection.

He hands a glass to Winston.

WINSTON

You travel with all this?

THEO

Never without it. Cheers.

They sip. Theo sighs with satisfaction and settles onto a

couch. He holds his glass chest-chin high.

THEO

So. Tell me all about you.

Blink – a translucent Fancy suddenly appears next to Theo.

WINSTON

I’m… good.

She sniffs the contents of the Theo’s glass.

THEO

Talked to Mom and Dad?

Winston watches, amused, as she jerks back in surprise.

WINSTON

A little.

Like a curious cat, she sniffs again. Theo raises the glass

through her head and sips.

THEO

Dad still seems to think I’m going to

learn to play golf and give him

grandchildren.

WINSTON

In that order.

THEO

They’re worried about you, you know.

Do they have reason to be?

WINSTON

Theo…

THEO

That’s not an answer.

Theo puts down his glass and takes out an expensive, silver

cigarette case.

THEO

Mind if I smoke?

WINSTON

I thought you quit.

THEO

Tried. It’s impossible in the

theatre. I limit myself to two a

day.

He lights up. Fancy coughs at the smoke.

THEO

(looking at the fixtures)

You know, I hate to say it but one

could really do something with this

place. It has good bones.

WINSTON

I think so.

THEO

(cigarette ash)

Oops.

Theo rises to look for an ashtray. Winston watches as Fancy

leans forward and picks up the glass. She sips. Her eyes

widen. Little fireworks go off translucent tummy. She likes

it.

THEO

(finding a tea cup)

This’ll do.

She quickly drinks the rest. She puts it down the glass. Theo

settles back onto the couch and reaches for it. He starts to

drink – and looks at the empty glass in surprise. Odd. Oh,

well.

THEO

(rising)

Who’s ready for another?

Fancy stifles a small hiccup.

EXT. THE HOUSE – NIGHT

Establishing.

INT. BATHROOM – NIGHT

Theo is showering. Soaping and shampooing. Singing in

Italian — “You Are Sixteen Going on Seventeen” – from The Sound

of Music – at the top of his lungs.

ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SHOWER CURTAIN –

Fancy’s head peeks up out of the toilet bowl. She is drunk.

She rises unsteadily into the room. Theo’s toiletry bag is open

and his expensive sundries line the edge of the sink. Fancy

stares at them. What is that? A foil wrapped condom rises out

of the toiletry bag and into the air. Fancy studies it. The

condom unwraps itself. The foil falls to the floor. The

condom floats in front of Fancy’s eyes. And then she blows a

small puff of air at it and – phwoop! – it expands into a phallic

shaped balloon. Fancy’s eyes grow wide as she realizes what

it is. A moment later, the condom is flying around the bathroom

like a punctured rocket. Trying to evade it, Fancy loses her

balance and falls and –

INT. KITCHEN – CONTINUOUS

Winston, doing dishes, turns with a start as Fancy falls upside

down through of the ceiling – and abruptly stops. She hangs,

cut off at the waist by the ceiling.

FANCY

Please. Don’t mind me.

IN THE BATHROOM –

Her legs, petticoats and hoop skirt rise from the bathroom

floor. The feet kick feebly.

IN THE SHOWER –

Theo turns off the water.

DOWNSTAIRS –

Winston tries to pull her down – but his hands pass through her.

He studies her a moment.

WINSTON

I’d say you’re stuck there till

summer.

FANCY

Don’t be silly.

She puffs out her cheeks and strains and –

UPSTAIRS –

– Fancy’s lower body disappears with a – POP! – into the floor

just as — Theo opens the shower curtain. He steps out,

reaches for a towel – and stops. Something’s wrong. He looks

through the open door into the bedroom.

IN THE BEDROOM – CONTINUOUS

Hector sits on the floor staring back. The open condom droops

from his muzzle.

DOWNSTAIRS – CONTINUOUS

Fancy sits up in a heap of hoop skirt and petty coats. She

pushes her hair up out of her face.

WINSTON

I’ve never seen a drunk ghost before.

FANCY

You may refer to me as an apparition,

thank you. And I am not drunk, I am

inebriated.

She tries to get up – and sits back down.

WINSTON

Can apparitions be carried to bed?

FANCY

Doubtful. But they can pointed in

the right direction.

WINSTON

Come on.

He turns away. Fancy rises – up and out of her hoop skirt and

petticoats. In flowing white undergarments she floats

gracefully after Winston – her ankles and feet, mist.

IN THE HALL –

Fancy follows Winston down the hall. She spins gracefully in

the air, humming to herself. The curves of her hips and breasts

are just discernible through the diaphanous undergarments.

WINSTON

Don’t look now but your womanhoods

are showing.

FANCY

A gentleman would not look.

WINSTON

I guess I’m no gentlemen.

FANCY

Then tonight! I am no lady.

And giggling she spins – right through the wall.

WINSTON

Fancy?

He moves to –

INT. LIVING ROOM – CONTINUOUS

Winston peers in. He watches as Fancy spins and swirls

gracefully in mid-air – her hair and garments flowing –

FANCY

Do you think I’m beautiful, Winston?

WINSTON

Very.

FANCY

And charmin’?

WINSTON

Most of the time.

FANCY

Do you desire me passionately?

WINSTON

What man wouldn’t

– and she floats happily down to a settee.

FANCY

That is the right answer.

She settles back, curling up on the settee.

FANCY

I’m glad you’re here, Winston. I I

didn’t realize how lonely it’s

been… for so long.

WINSTON

Me too.

Closing her eyes with a sigh, she sleeps.

THEO

What…

Winston turns. Theo is in the doorway.

THEO

– are you doing?

WINSTON

Nothing.

THEO

We need to talk about your dog.

Hector, condom in mouth like chew toy, growls.

EXT. BROCKTON PLANTATION – DAY

Establishing. Windy blows through marsh grass. There are

white caps on the waves. Storm clouds in the sky.

INT. THE LIBRARY – CONTINUOUS

Winston is working at his desk; unsatisfied with it. He stops,

wondering what the point is. Theo appears in the doorway. He

is wearing an expensive rain jacket and carrying a small

notebook computer.

THEO

Hey. You mind I take the car to town?

I’m sure I have a thousand e-mails and

though I’m sure you haven’t noticed,

this house does not have wi-fi.

WINSTON

Sure. Go ahead.

THEO

If I’m not home by midnight, don’t

come looking for me.

He exits. Winston starts to go back to work. And stops. He

rises and moves to the window to watch Theo drive away. A window

starts banging somewhere in the house. It bangs again.

Winston turns and moves into –

– THE FOYER – CONTINUOUS

WINSTON

…Fancy?

No answer. The window bangs again. Winston starts up the

stairs to investigate.

AN UPSTAIRS HALLWAY – DAY

Winston moves down the hall to the door to the attic. The

banging is coming from up there.

WINSTON

Fancy, are you there?

He reaches for the doorknob, expecting to find it locked. It’s

open. Winston hesitates. He hears the banging again. He

opens the door and starts up the stairs.

THE ATTIC STAIRS – DAY

Winston climbs the dark, creaking stairs into the attic.

INT. THE ATTIC – CONTINUOUS

Winston stops at the top of the stairs. The attic is filled

with dusty old furniture and cobweb covered trunks. More

banging. At the far end of the attic, a window has come open.

Winston moves to it, closes it. He turns back. And sees the

partly open armoire. Curious, Winston moves to it. As he

opens it, light illuminates the old black and white photo hung

inside. It’s from the mid 1800’s and is of a handsome,

distinguished, formally dressed black man. At the bottom of

the armoire, Winston sees rolled pages bound in tattered, yellow

silk. He unwraps one of them. The paper is yellow with age.

The penmanship is fluid and perfect.

WINSTON (V.O.)

…my heart, frozen in my chest. My

tears, ice. Only your breath can

save me. Only you, turn me back to

flesh and to blood…

Winston stares at the portrait of the black man.

INT. KITCHEN – LATER

Winston ponders what he’s seen. The kettle whistles on the

stove and taking it, he pours hot water into a tea cup.

FANCY (O.C.)

My head –

He turns.

FANCY

– feels like it’s falling off.

Indeed it is – she’s carrying it in her hands.

FANCY

And the weather, I fear, is but a

reflection a’ my stomach.

WINSTON

You have a hang-over.

FANCY

I shall never partake of the demon rum

again.

Putting her head back on –

FANCY

You’re not workin’.

WINSTON

No. I’ve been thinking about what

you said. Books, facts. Me.

FANCY

Come on with me.

(Fading away)

Come on!

He hesitates.

IN THE HALL – CONTINUOUS

Winston enters from the hall. He hesitates. He continues into

the –

THE LIVING ROOM – CONTINUOUS

Winston enters.

WINSTON

Fancy?

No answer. Nothing. He starts to exit – and stops. The

portrait. There is no one in it. Winston moves closer. He

peers into the corners of the painting. And suddenly it’s as

if a wind takes him and stretches him off his feet and –

WINSTON

Whoaaaa!

– into the portrait.

EXT. BROCKTON PLANTATION – DAY

Winston stops with a jolt. He looks uncertainly around. And

can’t believe his eyes. The plantation, both house and

grounds, are as they were in 1859. Slaves are working, tending

the gardens, doing chores. It’s spring and the smell of

honeysuckle is in the air.

FANCY

Why, Mr. Winston. How nice of you to

come callin’.

He turns. There she is.

WINSTON

This is… impossible.

FANCY

Obviously not.

A strongly built, middle-aged black man leads a horse and

carriage towards them.

JOHN BEACHAM

G’day, Miz Fancy.

FANCY

Why, good day, John Beacham. How’s

Pegasus?

JOHN BEACHAM

Oh, she in fine mettle, ma’am. That

mash you made her, brung her back real

good.

FANCY

(to Winston)

Shall we? Unless you’d rather walk.

As he gets in, Winston nods to John Beacham –

WINSTON

Uh… hi.

– who acts as if he’s not even there.

FANCY

He can’t see or hear you. In here,

you’re the ghost.

Gideon helps Fancy into the wagon. He climbs up himself and

with a flick of the rains starts back down the drive.

EXT. THE RICE FIELDS – DAY

The carriage moves down a well trod dirt road. Slaves are

planting rice shoots. Some look up as the carriage passes.

They smile and greet Fancy. She returns their greetings with

warmth and personal questions. Winston looks around. The

people, the fields, the sound of the birds.

WINSTON

Am I dreaming this?

FANCY

If you are, would it make it less

real?

The carriage moves on.

EXT. THE RICE MILL – DAY

A stone building and chimney where the rice is milled and bagged.

More workers. The carriage passes, followed now by a laughing

throng of black children.

WINSTON

Tell me about the man in the

photograph.

FANCY

(with difficulty)

You promised me you wouldn’t go up

there.

WINSTON

A window was banging. I’m sorry.

(Then:)

He wrote you letters.

FANCY

Did you read them?

WINSTON

No.

A moment. CLOSING ON:

FANCY

His name… was William Grace.

INT. MANOR HOUSE – 1800’S – DAY

A planter presents a black woman and her six year old son to

Fancy’s father. Six year old Fancy peeks around a doorway.

The boy sees her – looks away – and then looks back.

FANCY (V.O.)

He was the son of a house servant sold

by a neighboring planter. Obviously

the man’s son.

The children stare at one another.

EXT. MANOR HOUSE – PORCH – DAY

Six year old Fancy is playing checkers with a stoic looking

William. In one move she jumps most of pieces and removes them

from the board. She smiles, feeling very superior.

FANCY (V.O.)

My momma was dead and I had no

brothers and sisters, so Daddy

decided that William would be my

companion –

INT. THE MANOR HOUSE – DAY

A make-shift classroom. Fancy and William, still 6, are

practicing their penmanship. Peering over, Fancy takes

Williams’s hand and helps him properly grasp the pen.

FANCY (V.O.)

– and schoolmate.

A black girl, 12, is cleaning. She frowns, resentful.

INT. THE MANOR HOUSE – DAY

The same room. An arithmetic problem on a page. And now –

PULLING BACK – we see that is now a twelve year old William who

is helping twelve year old Fancy solve the problem. Looking

in from the adjacent room, Mr. Turner is intrigued.

FANCY (V.O.)

William took to schooling – much more

so than I did –

EXT. THE HOUSE – DAY

Mr. Turner and William sit under a tree, surrounded by books

and specimens. Mr. Turner is lecturing.

FANCY (V.O.)

– and Daddy being ever a teacher, took

it upon himself to teach William

math, science and literature.

EXT. THE PORCH – EVENING

The checkerboard. A king jumps across the board and pieces are

removed – by eighteen year old William. Across from him,

eighteen year old Fancy looks annoyed.

FANCY (V.O.)

He didn’t notice that our friendship

had turned into something else.

They both laugh; the annoyance an act. Fancy reaches out and

touched William’s hand. His fingers entwine with her own. And

then Frankly abruptly pulls her hand away. The resentful

servant, now in her 20’s and coldly attractive, is watching

them. Fancy rises and moves quickly away.

FANCY (V.O.)

Something that could never be.

EXT. TURNER PLANTATION – DAY

Fancy, now twenties, is in a carriage with a middle aged man,

ROBERT BROCKTON. He whips the horse forward. Fancy looks

back. At her father and the servants. And at William, who

stands at the end of the porch, watching them go. Fancy quickly

turns back. She and Brockton ride on.

FANCY (V.O.)

And so it was I came betrothed to

Robert Brockton.

EXT. BROCKTON PLANTATION – DAY

A group of slaves – mostly old men, women and children – carry

their meager possessions and move in a single line towards the

slave quarters. Past – in a carriage – Brockton and Fancy.

FANCY (V.O.)

War came. Daddy fell on hard times.

Those of our people that did not run

away, he was forced to sell.

Among the new arrivals are the female house servant and towards

the end of the line, dressed in a white man’s formal suit of

clothes…. is William.

FANCY (V.O.)

Mr. Brockton, in his benevolence took

them off his hands.

The armed, whip bearing plantation men coldly stare at the

passing slaves.

FANCY (V.O.)

No one ran from Mr. Brockton.

William looks towards Fancy as he passes… Fancy looks away.

FANCY (V.O.)

Daddy died shortly thereafter.

EXT. PLANTATION – DAY

In nothing but ragged pants, William, with one or two older

slaves, works in the fields under the hot sun. William looks

up as Fancy passes on horseback. She stares at him… and

again, looks away.

FANCY (V.O.)

William was put to work in the fields.

Imagine. A man who knew Latin and

French –

INT. PLANTATION HOUSE – NIGHT

Fancy sits in silent torment. There are vases of flowers in

the room.

FANCY (V.O.)

– a man who could tell you how flowers

grew.

She abruptly rises.

EXT. SLAVE VILLAGE – NIGHT

William sits staring at the sky. At the north star.

FANCY (V.O.)

And why the north star was so bright

in the sky at night.

Hearing something, he rises. Fancy appears out of the dark –

and stops. And then they rush into one another’s arms –

TO:

Fancy and Winston.

FANCY

A man who for eight years had written

me the most beautiful letters.

INT. BROCKTON PLANTATION – NIGHT

Brockton, drunk, sits in a chair. The resentful, female

servant is in his lap and she whispers passionately into his

ear. His face darkens.

FANCY (V.O.)

Letters wasted on a fool.

INT. SLAVE CABIN – NIGHT

On a thin mattress under a ragged blanket, Fancy and William

lie in one another’s arm. Both sit up as the door is flung open.

Brockton enters. He stares a moment, then gestures. Men rush

in behind him, pull William to his feet and drag him from the

cabin. Fancy, trying to stop them, is pushed aside.

EXT. THE PLANTATION – NIGHT

From the light of a bonfire – shapes and silhouettes – a bound

black man – a circle of rabid, white men swinging bullwhips,

cutting him to pieces, driving him forward – Fancy, crazed and

screaming, held back by slaves – Brockton watching – a noose

set around William’s neck – the rope thrown over a tree limb

– men pulling William into the air — Fancy screaming –

EXT. PLANTATION HOUSE – DAY

Brockton, now in the uniform of a confederate officer, rides

away from the run down plantation house with a number of

uniformed men. He doesn’t look back.

FANCY (V.O.)

Some weeks later, Robert Brockton,

who for three years had managed to

avoid it, went off to war.

Fancy, ghostly pale with eyes like a dead woman, stands at an

upstairs window, watching him go.

BACK TO:

Fancy. Winston and Fancy. The carriage stopped now.

FANCY

He was shot for cowardice at

Appomatox and if there is God, he has

consigned that man to hell. If there

is God.

Silence. Finally:

WINSTON

Is this why you’re still here?

Because of William.

FANCY

Would that it were so.

WINSTON

What then?

FANCY

That’s something I hope you’ll never,

ever know.

The rumble of thunder –

INT. LIBRARY – LATE AFTERNOON

Winston wakes with a start. His head is on the desk where he

obviously fell asleep. But how did he get here then? It was

real. It had to be. He begins to write.

EXT. COAST ROAD – DAY

It’s a gorgeous, sunny day. The water sparkles. The Volvo

crosses the bridge and drives on.

INT. THE CAR – CONTINUOUS

Winston, driving. Theo in the passenger seat.

THEO

Now admit it, isn’t this better than

moping around the house?

WINSTON

I wasn’t moping.

THEO

Yes, you were. Mope, mope, mope.

Theo glances at Winston, then glances away, smiling. They

drive on. In the back seat — the seat belt rises as if by itself

and closes with a soft click.

EXT. ST. JOHN’S INLET – DAY

The streets and sidewalks are busy. The Volvo passes under the

banner – ST. JOHN’S COTILLION – – 190th YEAR!!

EXT. ST. JOHN’S INLET – DAY

They’ve park in a small public parking lot. Theo and Winston

get out of the car.

THEO

First stop, the hardware store.

WINSTON

Why?

THEO

Because, Winston, the plumbing in

your house is antiquated and you are

in need of a toilet plunger.

WINSTON

I am?

THEO

Hush.

They move on. Behind them, the back door of the car opens…

and closes.

EXT. ST. JOHN’S INLET – DAY

Theo and Winston move down the street past the shops, stores

and pedestrians. Behind them, a discarded newspaper rustles

as if by a breeze. A cat stares – then leaps away with yelp.

INT. HARDWARE STORE – DAY

Theo and Winston enter.

THEO

Ahhh. I love hardware stores. One

feels… safe.

Theo is looking at a browsing carpenter.

WINSTON

Come on.

They move into the store.

INT. STORE – DAY

A machine agitates a can of paint. Winston and Theo pass. And

suddenly Win stone comes back, staring in surprise. Halfway

down the isle he sees Charley – seemingly waiting on a customer.

Seeing him, she waves.

CHARLEY

Winston!

THEO

Oh, Winston.

WINSTON

The… champagne.

THEO

And a Nubian princess to boot.

WINSTON

Don’t embarrass me.

THEO

You mean more than usual?

Winston starts forward. Theo follows.

TO:

Charley finishing with her customer –

CHARLEY

If this isn’t the right finish, you

bring it back.

He nods and moves away. Charley turns to Winston and Theo.

CHARLEY

Hi!

WINSTON

Hi. What are you doing here.

CHARLEY

Working. See?

She’s wearing a name tag on her shirt – CHARLEY.

CHARLEY

I needed a job and my family owns this

place.

THEO

Ahem-ahem?

WINSTON

Charley, this is my brother, Theo.

Theo, Charley.

THEO

(taking her hand)

Dearest Charley. Winston rightly

speaks highly of you and he has come

to discuss lunch.

CHARLEY

Has he.

WINSTON

It’s… a little early for lunch.

THEO

And much too late for breakfast.

What shall we do?

CHARLEY

Punt?

THEO

(to Winston)

I like her.

The paint can suddenly erupts and paint flies everywhere.

EXT. THE HARDWARE STORE – DAY

Theo, Charley and Winston come out.

THEO

I’ll check my e-mail and meet you both

back here in about an hour. Unless

you find better things to do.

Hint-hint.

Off he goes. A moment as Winston and Charley look at one

another. We sense neither is displeased to be here.

WINSTON

Well.

CHARLEY

Well. Shall we?

WINSTON

I… guess we should.

They turn and –

FANCY

No one indeed.

– Winston starts and steps back in surprise.

FANCY

Humph. Not unattractive. For a tom

boy.

WINSTON

Uh – Charley, I, uh – need to make a

phone call. Can you give me a

minute?

CHARLEY

Sure.

WINSTON

Could you… wait across the street?

FANCY

And on a first name basis. Which,

early in a relationship is a sign of

disrespect.

CHARLEY

(a bit puzzled)

…okay.

She moves away. Winston fumbles with his cell phone, pretends

he’s dialing a number – then, as if talking to someone on it:

WINSTON

What are you doing here?

FANCY

Are you talkin’ t’ me?

WINSTON

Who else would I be – yes, I’m talking

to you! How did you get here?

FANCY

In your loud, little carriage, a’

course. I told you, I can go

anywhere as long as I was there when

alive.

(The hardware store)

This is used to be a livery stable…

and was much more attractive.

A fat man with an ice cream cone walks right through Fancy from

behind. Fancy jumps as if goosed.

FANCY

Sir!

His ice cream jumps up off the cone, hits him in the face and

falls to the sidewalk. He looks around in disbelief.

WINSTON

Don’t do that.

THE MAN

I didn’t!

Winston turning away, back on the phone –

WINSTON

Look – this doesn’t work. Go home.

Just – go home!

Winston turns and steps into the street.

FANCY

Winston.

Winston looking up to see — a car bearing down on him – and

suddenly the car splits in half – right down the middle between

the driver and his wife – each side of the car going right around

Winston

IN THE CAR –

The driver holding on for dear life – maps flying –

BACK TO –

– and then the car goes right back together again. Seamless.

Winston, frozen. Some people staring uncertainly. The driver

and his wife not sure what just happened. It happened so fast.

Fancy giving Winston a smug smile.

WINSTON

…come on.

He turns across the street to join Charley.

CHARLEY

What happened, are you all right?

WINSTON

Fine, yeah. Crazy driver. Shall

we?

Fancy – all parasol and bustle – follows.

EXT. ST. JOHN’S INLET – DAY

Winston, Charley and Fancy move down the street. Fancy looking

at people in amazement; all the characters of a tourist town

on the weekend.

CHARLEY

So how’s your ghost?

WINSTON

Hmm? Oh, uh – she hasn’t been a

problem.

FANCY

Well, thank you for that.

CHARLEY

Maybe she’s attracted to you, huh?

FANCY

Hardly.

Winston, trying to ignore her – trying to focus…

WINSTON

How’s your daughter?

CHARLEY

She wants you to know that history is

her favorite subject.

(Then:)

I told her about you.

Winston, not responding because — two boys on skateboards are

bearing down on Fancy. Winston almost jumping out of his skin

WINSTON

Ahh!

– as one of them passes right through her. Charley, looking

at him strangely.

WINSTON

Sorry. I thought they were going

to… hit us.

CHARLEY

(they weren’t near them)

…okay.

They move on. Fancy stopping to stare at a colorful

sight-seeing bus complete with mega-phoned tour guide. She

sees that Winston and Charley have moved on ahead. She hurries

to catch up.

TO:

Winston and Charley are approaching the banner that crosses Main

Street.

CHARLEY

Look.

ST. JOHN’S COTILLION – 190th YEAR!!

CHARLEY

The Cotillion.

FANCY

The Cotillion!

CHARLEY

In the eighteen hundreds it was this

silly debutante ball for the

daughters of all the rich, white

planters.

FANCY

Silly? It was the social event of

the year!

CHARLEY

Now it’s just our annual charity

event. Everybody dresses up like

Scarlet O’Hara and gets to play Gone

With the Wind. Not bad though if you

like to dance.

Gone. Fancy doesn’t understand the reference but she

understands the word – and Winston is aware that she does as

FANCY

It is gone, isn’t it.

Fancy suddenly seeing what’s all around her – two leather clad

bikers passing on Harley’s – a mother holding a leash… with

her five year old at the end of it – a young couple with matching

tattoos and piercings.

FANCY

I shouldn’t be here. I don’t belong

to this time and place.

A soft whoosh of scattered paper… She’s gone. Winston, just

staring. Feeling as if he shouldn’t be here, isn’t a part of

this either.

CHARLEY

(softly)

…Winston?

WINSTON

Hmmm?

CHARLEY

You’re rockin’.

Kashmir coming from his pants. Winton takes out his cell phone,

glances at who’s calling, then answers.

WINSTON

Theo, what’s up.

INTERCUT: EXT. A RESTAURANT – CONTINUOUS

A view overlooking the water.

THEO

I am! I have a date.

Theo waves. Across the room, the handsome carpenter from the

hardware store is buying drinks at the bar.

THEO

Think you can carry on without me?

WINSTON

Sure.

THEO

Don’t wait up.

Winston disconnects. He looks at Charley who is regarding him,

concerned.

WINSTON

Do you like to fly?

EXT. THE HARBOR – DAY

A small plane does an arcing turn over the harbor.

IN THE PLANE –

Winston is at the controls. Charley is beside him. Both wear

headphones. They shout to be heard over the engine.

CHARLEY

Where did a history teacher learn to

do this?

WINSTON

Boy Scouts! Aviation Merit Badge!

He goes into a banking turn.

EXT./INT. THE PLANE – DAY

IN A SERIES OF CUTS – They fly down the coastline, looking down

at the sun on the water, the waves crashing against the shore.

WINSTON

Ready to take over?

CHARLEY

What?

WINSTON

Come on, take the wheel.

CHARLEY

No!

WINSTON

All yours!

And Charley shrieks as Winston sits back, taking his hands off

the wheel but keeping his feet on the rudders.

CHARLEY

I can’t fly!

WINSTON

Don’t know until you try!

Terrified but excited, Charley tentatively takes the wheel

that’s in front of her.

WINSTON

Just keep it level!

She does. On they go.

EXT./INT. THE PLANE – A SHORT TIME LATER

Winston now pointing down at –

WINSTON

There it is!

Brockton Plantation. Isolated, alone. Surrounded by pine and

coastal plain. Beautiful.

CHARLEY

She freed them, you know. Before she

died, Fancy Brockton freed every

slave that was still on that

plantation. Gave them what

possessions they could carry and what

money she had. Let them all go.

A quiet moment.

WINSTON

Hey, Charley.

(a beat)

You’re flying.

She realizes – oh, my God! – she is! She shrieks in delight.

The plane continues back up the coast.

EXT. BROCKTON PLANTATION – LATER

Wind blows through the trees Winston’s car comes up the drive

and stops. Winston jumps out and starts towards the house. He

is whistling to himself; feels happy. Tail wagging, Hector

pads up in greeting and Winston kneels to rub his ears.

WINSTON

Hey, buddy, how you doin’? Me too.

He continues up and onto the porch.

INT. PLANTATION HOUSE – CONTINUOUS

Winston enters.

WINSTON

Theo? Theo, you here?

No answer. And then, softer:

WINSTON

Fancy?

INT. ATTIC – DAY

Winston comes up the stairs. Fancy is in front of the armoire,

holding an old, elegant ball gown in her lap.

WINSTON

Hi.

FANCY

I hope you’ll forgive me for this

afternoon. Taggin’ along is not my

usual modis operandi.

WINSTON

(the dress)

What’s that?

FANCY

A dress I once wore.

WINSTON

To the Cotillion?

FANCY

All a’ polite society did attend.

They came from Charleston. Atlanta.

Everyone lookin’ their finest.

Introductions’d be made. A lady’s

dance card’d fill. It was a night of

magic.

(Putting the dress aside)

You should attend.

WINSTON

I don’t dance.

FANCY

You’re jokin’.

WINSTON

Not a step. Maybe you could teach

me.

FANCY

Mr. Berry… the only thing I know

about dancing… is everything.

They beam at one another.

EXT. BROCKTON PLANTATION – DAY

Establishing. MUSIC as:

INT. THE LIVING ROOM – CONTINUOUS

Hector sits, watching. Winston is jumping and hopping around

the living room, trying to follow instructions.

FANCY

Run, step, step, step, hop! Run,

step, step, step! You’re hoppin’

when you should be steppin’, sir!

WINSTON

Is this a waltz?!

FANCY

The Schottische. In 1857 it was all

the rage. Again!

(Clapping her hands)

Run, step, hop, step, run, step, hop

EXT. THE HOUSE – DAY

Chopin’s Mizurka #5 for solo piano. The Mizurka is a stylized

folk dance in triple meter with a lively tempo.

FANCY

Accent on the third beat! The third,

sir! Have you no rhythm?

Theo is at a bedroom window looking down onto the lawn. Winston

is jumping around, as if he’s being chased by bees.

EXT. THE BEACH – DAY

The Redowa is a Waltz with a turning, leaping step. Fancy is

walking beneath her parasol. Winston is behind her, looking

like something out of Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal.

INT. THE HOUSE – NIGHT

Winston appears in a doorway. He dances down the hall. The

Varsouvienne is a promenade but Winston, rose in mouth, makes

it a tango.

FANCY

There are wings on your feet, sir,

veritable wings!

Winston passes Theo who stares at him as if he’s lost his mind.

EXT. THE HOUSE – DAY

The music is by the “Waltz King” Johann Strauss II. The Gallop

is a country dance in fast 2/4 time and is a forerunner of the

polka. Winston dances, enjoying it. Fancy is conducting

Winston – and the music – with her hands.

FANCY

Close, sir! The end is in sight!

Theo comes out onto the porch. He watches, worried about

Winston. And now as he watches, it’s if he sees the shimmering

flicker of a woman caught by sunbeams – there, gone; there, gone

again.

WINSTON

(stopping; breathless)

I have to rest.

FANCY

You’ll wish you hadn’t. You’ll

wish you’d spent every spare moment

of your life dancing.

A moment. Winston holds out his arms.

WINSTON

May I have this dance, Miss Fancy?

Fancy hesitates –

FANCY

I’d be delighted, sir.

She reaches for his hand. And it passes right through Fancy’s.

Determined, Winston tries to “take” Fancy in his arms, but it’s

impossible. Both are disappointed.

FANCY

You’re going to do very well. At the

Cotillion.

She turns and walks away; fading as she goes.

EXT. THE HOUSE – BEDROOM – CONTINUOUS

Winston, in a nice, if old fashionable suit, tries to the knot

of his tie in the mirror – the lengths keep coming out wrong.

He looks at his reflection uncertainly.

THEO

“Frankly my dear, I don’t give a

damn”.

Winston turns. Theo stands in the doorway, dressed as Rhett

Butler, right down to a fake Clark Gable moustache.

WINSTON

Bette Davis?

THEO

Clark Gable, thank you, and Ashley

Wilkes better look out. You ready?

WINSTON

I’ll be right down.

THEO

I’ll be in the car, palpitating.

Theo turns away. A moment.

WINSTON

Fancy?

IN THE MIRROR – She is sitting in a chair behind him.

FANCY

You look very handsome.

WINSTON

I don’t have to go tonight.

FANCY

(rising)

Course you do.

As she rises and approaches, Winston’s tie knots all by itself

as if invisible fingers are doing it for him.

FANCY

There. You go and enjoy yourself.

WINSTON

See you later then.

FANCY

Yes, you will.

She looks very pleased with what she has in mind.

EXT. ST. JOHN’S INLET – NIGHT

The town is decorated as if for a party. The streets are crowded

with locals and tourists, many of them in traditional Southern

dress. There is music and lights in the distance. Winston and

Theo walk towards the town green.

EXT. TOWN GREEN – NIGHT

In the center, lit up like a Christmas Tree, is the St. John’s

Society Hall – a 200 year old antebellum mansion, now a museum

and town meeting place.

EXT. ST. JOHN’S SOCIETY HALL – NIGHT

The lawn is crowded with people in costume and elegant dress.

Winston and Theo move through the crowd.

THEO

There he is. Hank!

Across the lawn, the carpenter, HANK, is with some other gay

men. He looks up. He grins and waves.

THEO

Be still my heart.

WINSTON

Go. I’ll see you later.

THEO

You’re sure?

WINSTON

Go.

Theo moves away. Winston turns, looking for someone.

EXT. ST. JOHN’S INLET – MAIN STREET – CONTINUOUS

Some little girls in period dress are playing. And now, seeing

someone pass, they stop and stare – awed. Only there’s nothing

there. The girls run to their mother.

LITTLE GIRL

Mommy, look at the beautiful lady!

MOTHER

What lady, honey, there’s no one

there.

FURTHER ON:

On a quiet part of the cobbled street, shoes appear out of thin

air, the feet walking – then the hem of the dress – and now as

the figure moves on – Fancy – all of her in a magnificent, period

piece gown and shawl appears. Hair cascades in ringlets down

her back.

EXT. ST. JOHN’S SOCIETY HALL – CONTINUOUS

Charley is at the entrance to the building, sitting with other

costumed ticked takers at a table. Her concession to costume

is a bare shouldered, semi-hoop dress that on her looks modern

indeed. She hands a couple their tickets and looks up as –

WINSTON

I’d like to buy a ticket, please.

CHARLEY

(an amused smile)

That will be twenty dollars.

Winston hands her bills.

CHARLEY

And this is forty.

WINSTON

Forty dollars – two tickets.

Charley tries not to smile – Winston did this with the pie.

CHARLEY

Who’s the second one for?

WINSTON

You.

Rising, Charley turns to a man behind her. He is in a white

plantation suit.

CHARLEY

Herb, can you take over for awhile?

HERB

Sure thing.

Charley comes around the table.

WINSTON

(Offering his arm)

Shall we?

CHARLEY

I think we should.

They enter into –

INT. ST. JOHN’S SOCIETY HALL – CONTINUOUS

The entry room is large, ornate and filled with history.

Winston and Charley join the crowd that’s moving towards some

large open doors. We FOLLOW them as they move through the entry

room and into –

INT. THE BALLROOM – CONTINUOUS

Lights swirl across the ceiling and floor. Helium balloons

form clouds. At the end of the ballroom, an orchestra plays.

Tables and food and drink stations ring a vast dance floor upon

which couples dressed in period clothes swirl. Winston and

Charley are swallowed by the crowd.

EXT. ST. JOHN’S SOCIETY HALL – NIGHT

A soft hush seems to move through the milling crowd. People

look up from their conversations and stare transfixed as Fancy

passes. She is vivid and real and in her period attire, fits

right in. She politely nods as she moves towards the hall

entrance.

AT THE ENTRANCE

The costumed ticket takers look up from their table as if

startled. REVERSE ON –

FANCY

Good evenin’, sir.

FANCY

I would like to attend the

festivities, if y’ please.

THE COLONEL

Do you… have a ticket.

FANCY

No, I’m afraid not. Is this a

problem?

THE COLONEL

No… no, you go right on in.

FANCY

Thank y’all so much.

THE COLONEL

Thank you.

With all eyes on her, Fancy turns away. CLOSE ON – Her gown

just touches the table and passes right through it.

IN. ST. JOHN’S SOCIETY HALL – CONTINUOUS

Fancy enters, nodding at people, very self assured. She looks

happily around the room.

FANCY

Why it hasn’t changed a bit.

She moves towards the ballroom. Across the room, Theo stands

with a group of chatting people. He sees Fancy – and suddenly

looks puzzled. He’s seen this woman somewhere before – where?

IN THE BALL ROOM –

Hobie is at one of the bars.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Hit me again.

BARTENDER

You’re going a little fast, sir,

aren’t you?

HOBIE NICHOLS

You a bartender or a baby sitter?

The bartender shrugs and pours. Looking across the room, Hobie

sees Winston and Charley enter. He drinks, angrily.

IN THE BALL ROOM –

Winston takes champagne off a passing waiter’s tray and hands

one to Charley.

WINSTON

Here we go.

She takes it. They clink glasses. They sip.

WINSTON

You look beautiful.

CHARLEY

You clean up nice yourself.

Again, they clink glasses. And drink – and Winston, glancing

towards the ballroom sees Fancy enter. No, it can’t be.

CHARLEY

Now that is a costume.

WINSTON

Wait – you mean – you see her?

CHARLEY

Of course, I see her, she’s gorgeous.

Do you know her?

WINSTON

Yes. Would you excuse me a minute?

He moves away.

AT THE BAR –

Hobie takes a gulp of his drink – and chokes on it as – he sees

Fancy. He stares in disbelief; then loses Fancy as people move

between them. The people move on – – she’s gone.

TO:

Winston comes through the crowd – and stops and looks around.

There’s an adjacent sitting room off the ballroom. He moves

towards it.

INT. SITTING ROOM – CONTINUOUS

Winston enters. No one’s there. The room has a sense of age.

Old paintings on the wall. Winston starts to leave.

FANCY (O.C.)

I knew’m all.

He turns back. Fancy is staring up at a portrait of a young

man. She turns, looking at the others.

FANCY

They were the pride of the South.

WINSTON

What are you doing here?

FANCY

Why, attending the party, a’ course.

WINSTON

You’re letting people see you.

FANCY

Why not. Tonight I fit in.

She touches his cheek – there is soft, translucent glow where

her hand his face.

FANCY

Save me a dance.

She exits. A moment. He follows her –

EXT. BALLROOM – CONTINUOUS

– and comes out to find her gone. And Hobie there.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Where is she?

WINSTON

Where’s who?

HOBIE NICHOLS

You know who I’m talking about. Her.

He pushes by Winston – pokes his head into the sitting room –

nothing.

HOBIE NICHOLS

I saw her.

WINSTON

I think you’ve had too much to drink.

HOBIE NICHOLS

I know what I saw!

(Then, realizing:)

You two got something going,

don’tcha. That’s why you’re staying

on out there. This crazy man has

taken up with a ghost!

People staring now.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Well, you can both start looking for

another place to live. As of noon

Tuesday, you are gone from Brockton

Plantation and she is outta there for

good.

(Gloating)

Oh, yeah. I got a buyer, Winston.

National Resort Club. I’m going to

be their number one man in St. John’s

Inlet.

WINSTON

What about the house.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Fourteenth fairway. Too bad.

(Then:)

You want to hit me?. Go ahead, give

it your best shot. And then I’ll sue

your ass.

Forcing himself to turn away, Winston exits the room.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Don’t go away mad, Winston, just go

away!

(Then:)

Fore!!!

Laughing he turns – to see Charley glaring at him. Charley

rears back and – POW!

INT. ENTRY ROOM – NIGHT

Winston come out of the ball room and hurries through people,

towards the exit.

EXT. ST. JOHN’S SOCIETY HALL – CONTINUOUS

Fewer people now; most are inside. Winston comes out and down

the walk.

EXT. ST. JOHN’S SOCIETY HALL – CONTINUOUS

Winston comes across the lawn. Confused and breathless, he

slows to a stop.

FANCY

Where you going, Winston?

He turns. She is sitting, serene and beautiful, on a bench.

WINSTON

Home. I’m going home. I’m going

back to my research and my books.

FANCY

That nobody reads.

WINSTON

That nobody reads, yes! And my

papers that get thrown away and my

classes that nobody cares about!

Including me!

(Faltering)

… including me.

(Then:)

I don’t know what to do anymore.

FANCY

I do. Live.

INT. BALL ROOM – NIGHT

Winston enters. The orchestra is now playing a waltz and the

dance floor is full. People stare as he passes.

TO:

Charley looks up.

CHARLEY

I thought you’d left.

WINSTON

That’d be kind of silly, wouldn’t it.

CHARLEY

I think so.

WINSTON

May I have this dance, Miss

Cunnginham?

Winston and Charley move to the dance floor.

ON THE DANCE FLOOR –

It’s as if the other dancers make a place for them. They turn

to look at one another. Winston holds out his arms – first

position. Charley takes his hand, puts a hand on his shoulder.

They begin to waltz.

At the edge of the circle, Fancy appears. No one sees her now.

She is translucent. She is mist. She watches a moment and then

she moves forward. She reaches out to lightly touch the high,

clasped hands – they circle as a trio for a moment – and then,

Winston turns Charley into Fancy’s body, the two women merging

and –

CLOSE ON –

FANCY

Hello, Winston.

Winston is now dancing with Fancy.

WINSTON

Fancy…?

FANCY

Yes.

WINSTON

Where’s… Charley?

FANCY

Right here.

She looks towards a mirror on the ballroom wall. Winston

follows her gaze. In the mirror, Winston is dancing with

Charley. Winston turns back. It’s Fancy in his arms.

WINSTON

How is this possible?

FANCY

I have no idea. All I know is that

I can touch you. And it feels good.

They dance.

IN A SERIES OF DISSOLVES –

The CAMERA is constantly CIRCLING – to anyone glancing in their

direction it is Winston and Charley enjoying this wonderful

evening. To Winston, it is he and Fancy. He and Charley.

Fancy. Charley. They waltz to and out the open doors to the

terrace.

OUTSIDE TERRACE – NIGHT

They are alone now. Turning. Slowing to a stop. Just

holding one another… and then they kiss. The CAMERA CIRCLING

– Winston and Fancy. Charley and Winston. Fancy. Charley.

Winston. Stars in the night sky above.

EXT. BROCKTON PLANTATION – MORNING

Establishing. Charley’s truck and Winston’s Volvo in front of

the house.

INT. BEDROOM – MORNING

Charley is peacefully asleep in a bed. She stirs, opens her

eyes. Winston sits in a chair, close to the bed. He has

watching over her. She feels this – feels that she has been

kept safe. She softly smiles.

CHARLEY

Hey.

WINSTON

Hey. How you feeling?

CHARLEY

Good. Real good. You?

WINSTON

I’m good too.

CHARLEY

Did we, uhmmm…?

WINSTON

No.

CHARLEY

Well, that’s good because if we did

I’d at least want to remember it.

WINSTON

Charley, what would you do if you

found yourself involved with two

different people. One is very real.

The other is ethereal and

unattainable. Both are remarkable.

CHARLEY

I would love them both.

WINSTON

I do.

EXT. THE HOUSE – DAY

Winston and Hector stand watching as Charley’s truck moves away

down the driveway. Winston waves. And then he turns back

towards the house.

WINSTON

Fancy?

INT. THE HOUSE – DAY

Winston enters. The house is silent.

WINSTON

Fancy?

He moves up the stairs.

IN THE ATTIC –

Winston comes up the stairs into the attic. No Fancy. The

armoire door is open. Winston stares at the portrait of

William. And for the first time really sees it. The strong

nose, the copper complexion. Winston suddenly turns away.

EXT./INT. WINSTON’S CAR – DAY

Winston drives. Intent. Remembering the way.

EXT./INT. WINSTON’S CAR – DAY

The Volvo turns onto a side road –

EXT. GRANDMA JONAH’S HOUSE – DAY

The Volvo pulls into the yard of a familiar house/cottage. And

what he sees is an ambulance – flashing lights, paramedics.

Getting out of the car, he hurries forward.

INT. A HOSPITAL HALL – DAY

Winston sits, back against the wall, waiting. He looks up as

Charley comes out of hospital room. He rises.

CHARLEY

She’d like to see you.

He starts past her.

CHARLEY

Winston…

He immediately turns and takes her in his arms.

CHARLEY

I’m glad you’re here.

She lets him go – nudges him towards the door.

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM – DAY

Winston enters the doorway – peeks in. He enters. Grandma

Jonah lies in the hospital bed, eyes closed, oxygen tubes at

her nose. Winston moves to the bed.

WINSTON

Grandma

She opens her eyes – softly smiles. She looks very tired but

alert. Aware.

WINSTON

How you feeling?

GRANDMA JONAH

Old.

No self pity. Acceptance.

WINSTON

She’s real, Grandma. The ghost at

Brockton Plantation. You knew that,

didn’t you.

GRANDMA JONAH

No. I didn’t. Till now.

WINSTON

Do you know about William?

GRANDMA JONAH

Oh, my, you have been busy.

(Then:)

The story of Fancy Brockton and

William Grace been whispered in these

parts since before I was born. Least

among colored folk.

WINSTON

Why did they keep it a secret?

GRANDMA JONAH

Mr. Winston, even twenty years ago

you and Charley, walkin’ down the

street together, the ruckus it’a

caused? Imagine fifty, a hundred

years. Be crazy to suggest such a

thing.

WINSTON

I saw a portrait of him, Grandma.

William looks like you.

GRANDMA JONAH

…does he now.

WINSTON

You’re not going to tell me, are you.

GRANDMA JONAH

You keep lookin’. Maybe you’ll find

it out for yourself.

With a soft sigh, Grandma closes her eyes.

EXT. BROCKTON PLANTATION – DAY

The Volvo comes up the drive, stops and Winston gets out. He

stares a moment, then strides towards the house.

INT. PLANTATION HOUSE – CONTINUOUS

Winston enters. He calls up the stairs.

WINSTON

Fancy!?

He turns into the living room. Theo comes out of the kitchen

to peer down the hall. He looks hung-over.

INT. LIVING ROOM – CONTINUOUS

Winston looking around.

WINSTON

I know you’re here!

THEO

(entering)

Who are you talking to?

Winston gestures towards the painting above the fireplace.

WINSTON

Her.

He exits. Theo stares at the painting a moment, then follows.

THEO

Winston?

IN THE FOYER – CONTINUOUS

Winston is calling the stairs as Theo comes out.

WINSTON

Fancy, we need to talk!

THEO

Winston, you’re talking to thin air.

WINSTON

No. I’m talking to a ghost.

THEO

Oh… does he have a brother?

WINSTON

She.

Winston starts up the stairs. He follows.

UP STAIRS – CONTINUOUS

Winston moves down the hall. Theo, following.

THEO

Winston, I want you to listen to me.

I have the number for a wonderful

therapist in New York. We’ll go

together…

WINSTON

I’m not making this up, Theo.

THEO

Of course not.

WINSTON

Theo, she’s haunted this house for

over a hundred and fifty years.

THEO

Winston, please, this is crazy.

WINSTON

Am I crazy, Fancy? Am I?

FANCY

No need to bellow, Winston.

WINSTON

Show him.

FANCY

You’re sure?

WINSTON

I’m sure

Pop! She appears behind Theo. Theo freezes. It’s as if he

can feel her presence behind.

WINSTON

Turn around. She won’t hurt you.

Theo slowly turns. And stares. Fancy is translucent.

FANCY

Good day, sir.

THEO

I — I saw you last night.

FANCY

Yes, you did.

THEO

You’re… in the painting.

FANCY

Yes, I am.

THEO

She… she’s…

WINSTON

Is a ghost.

THEO

Fabulous dress.

Theo faints.

INT. PLANTATION HOUSE – DAY

Theo lies on a couch. Winston puts a cold cloth on his forehead.

THEO

At least I’m no longer hung-over.

WINSTON

Takes a little getting used to.

THEO

Winston, are you in love with a ghost?

WINSTON

There’s not much future in it, is

there.

Theo closes his eyes. Winston turns away.

EXT. PLANTATION HOUSE – DAY

Winston comes out onto the porch. He pauses a moment, then

starts down the drive towards the old slave village.

EXT. SLAVE QUARTERS – DAY

Winston walks through the crumbling slave village. One cottage

is still mostly intact – it is Williams. Winston moves towards

it.

INT. SLAVE CABIN – CONTINUOUS

Fancy hovers over the wooden bed frame, looking out the open,

rough framed window. She looks up as Winston enters.

WINSTON

I thought I might find you here.

She looks away.

WINSTON

This was William’s?

FANCY

Truth, there are times I feel more at

home here than I do in the house.

Winston looking around. Dust motes in the air – light from the

broken roof. Old, broken scraps of rough hewn furniture. An

old wooden cradle. Winston giving it a soft rock. Listening

to the creak of it; wood against wood floor.

WINSTON

You and William had a child.

FANCY

Yes.

INT. SLAVE CABIN – NIGHT

Fancy lies, breathless and exhausted, on the rough straw

mattress. Ash Beacham places a newborn into her arms.

FANCY (V.O.)

A little girl. Beautiful like her

father.

Fancy tenderly kisses the baby’s head.

WINSTON (V.O.)

You didn’t keep her.

But then she hardens herself…

FANCY (V.O.)

No. I was afraid of consequences.

Of my… position… in polite

society.

She hands the baby back to Ash who places the child in the rough

cradle.

TO:

Winston and Fancy.

WINSTON

And the child?

EXT. BROCKTON PLANTATION – NIGHT

The slaves have been freed and are leaving the plantation. They

carry what possessions they have. James and Ash Beacham carry

the swaddled baby. From the porch of the house, Fancy watches

them go.

FANCY (V.O.)

Given to people I knew would love her

and raise her as their own.

INT. BEDROOM – NIGHT

Some two months later. Fancy looks weak and sick – sick in her

soul as well as her body.

FANCY (V.O.)

I betrayed my dear William.

We see now that there is a silk sheet around her neck. It is

knotted to the rafter above her. She stands on a chair.

FANCY (V.O.)

I betrayed myself.

She steps off the chair and falls OUT OF FRAME.

TO:

Winston and Fancy.

FANCY

But most of all, I betrayed my own

flesh and blood.

(Looking at Winston)

And that is why I cannot rest.

It hits him.

WINSTON

James and Ash Beacham.

FANCY

What did you say?

WINSTON

You gave your daughter to James and

Ash Beacham.

FANCY

How could you know that?

WINSTON

Grandma Jonah told me – she told me

without saying so. Fancy, your

daughter had children. And they had

children and – that woman last night

– my god – she’s probably your

great-great-great…

(running out of “greats”)

– great-great granddaughter.

FANCY

I can scarce believe that.

WINSTON

You better. This house belongs to

her. Your descendents, they’re the

rightful owners. We just need

proof. A birth certificate, a

record of baptism. Anything that

connects you to them.

FANCY

Oh, my goodness.

WINSTON

What.

Fancy turns. Across the room are loose boards in the floor.

The boards rise.

FANCY

Go look.

Winston moves to look into the space beneath. In it are several

old leather bound books. Winston picks one up. The golden

dust rises with him, surrounding him in light.

WINSTON

What are these?

He turns. She’s gone. Then:

FANCY

My diaries, Winston – the real ones.

The story of Fancy Brockton. And

William Grace. And Mercy. Our

daughter.

EXT./INT. VOLVO – DAY

IN A SERIES OF CUTS and to the MUSIC of A BANJO – – Winston speeds

north on Interstate 26. Dialing a number on his cell phone.

INTERCUT: INT. HOSPITAL WAITING ROOM – CONTINUOUS

Charley answering her cell phone.

CHARLEY

Hello?

WINSTON

Charley, it’s me. How is she?

CHARLEY

She hasn’t woken up yet. They’re not

sure she will.

WINSTON

Charley, I need the names of your

family going as far back as you can

remember.

TO:

The skyline of Columbia, the capitol of South Carolina, is in

the immediate distance

EXT. DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY – DAY

The South Carolina Department of Archives and History is one

of the most comprehensive state archives in the nation.

Winston, who has been here before, parks the Volvo, gets out

and hurries towards the entrance.

INT. DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY – DAY

Winston shows his credentials and enters.

INT. REFERENCE ROOM – DAY

Winston is at the staff counter.

WINSTON

– genealogy for a Charlene Cunngham.

Father, Marion. Mother, Denise —

INT. REFERENCE ARCHIVES – DAY

Winston works – – using the computer to direct him to –

TO:

– the stacks. Pulling thick, bound copies of county census

records off a shelf –

TO:

– sitting at a table going painstakingly through them –

TO:

The stacks. More records.

TO:

– birth and death certificates –

TO:

– to bound books of county wills –

TO:

– consulting with the staff advisor –

STAFF MEMBER

– no record of Cunninghams before

1944. No Calloways or Beachams at all

TO:

– using a computer to direct him to old newspaper records –

TO:

– micro-film of judicial records – Winston rubbing his eyes in

fatigue – and continuing on –

TO:

— land holdings. And finally:

INT. REFERENCE ARCHIVES – DAY

Winston, tired, is at a computer.

STAFF MEMBER

Dr. Berry? We’re going to be closing

soon. Any luck?

WINSTON

(it’s come to this)

Deed titles. St. John’s township.

1870-1903.

STAFF MEMBER

Beautiful area. Some wonderful, old

cemeteries there.

Winston suddenly thinking of something. He begins to work

again, with renewed energy. Unbelievable – so simple when you

know where to look – –

EXT. STATE BUILDING – NIGHT

Establishing. Late – only a few lights on. The Volvo comes

into the nearly empty lot and Winston parks and gets out. He

hurries towards the building entrance.

INT. STATE BUILDING – NIGHT

Winston makes his way down a hall of offices, hoping people are

still here. He sees that a door is partly open. He pokes his

head in

INT. OFFICE – CONTINUOUS

A pleasant looking black man, in loosened tie and rolled up

shirtsleeves, stands behind a desk, filing some papers. He

looks up.

MILLER

Can I help you?

WINSTON

I’d like to make an appointment to see

an Assemblyman or someone in the

state legislature.

MILLER

Kind of late for appointments.

WINSTON

I know but it’s very important. I

can be back first thing in the

morning.

MILLER

No need. I’m Bob Miller. What can

I do for you?

INT. MILLER’S OFFICE – NIGHT

Miller and Winston sit opposite sides of Miller’s desk.

Winston passing him photocopies of microfilm. They’re of old

headstones.

WINSTON

In the late 1930s, the WPA recorded

names, birth dates, and death dates

from gravestones in cemeteries

across the state.

Another photocopy.

WINSTON

This was taken at Willow Creek

Baptist Cemetery. St. John’s Inlet,

South Carolina. Part of your

district, sir.

CLOSE ON – THE PHOTO COPY – in faded, worn letters:

WINSTON

Mercy Grace. 1865 to 1927.

Daughter of James and Ash Beacham.

Wife of Travis Henry Lee.

More copies.

WINSTON

These are church records. Mercy

Grace was the mother of Henry Beacham

Lee and Rebecca Lee Taylor. Great

grandmother to Isaac Holmes and

Jediah Holmes. And to Mrs. Jonah

Holmes Calloway.

MILLER

You’ve been doing some homework.

(Handing the copies back)

What does all this have to do with the

people of Georgetown County, Dr.

Berry?

WINSTON

Everything.

EXT. BROCKTON PLANTATION – DAY

Establishing. We hear the sound of Fancy’s voice humming a hymn

as –

EXT. THE SLAVE VILLAGE – BROCKTON PLANTATION – DAY

– we MOVE towards the slave cabin where William lived, where

Mercy was born –

INT. SLAVE CABIN – DAY

– MOVING towards the diary – – the words to the hymn beginning

now –

FANCY (V.O.)

Awake, my soul, and with the sun –

INT./EXT. VOLVO – MOVING – DAY

Winston behind the wheel – driving fast – leaning on the horn

– passing cars –

FANCY (V.O.)

– thy daily stage of duty run –

INT. ATTIC – DAY

Fancy is going through William’s letters, touching them as if

for the last time.

FANCY (V.O.)

Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise

MOVING towards the photo of William.

FANCY (V.O.)

– to pay thy morning sacrifice.

EXT. GRAVEYARD – DAY

MOVING TOWARDS – A headstone – Mercy Grace –

FANCY (V.O.)

Had I your Wings, to Heaven I’d fly.

INT. REALTY OFFICE – DAY

Hobie Nichols, his broken nose bandaged, takes the photo of

Brockton Plantation off his display and tosses it into a

wastebasket. He looks up at the clock on the wall. It’s

10:30.

FANCY (V.O.)

But God shall that defect supply.

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM – DAY

Charley also stands at the window, looking out. She turns now

to look at Grandma Jonah who is asleep in the bed.

FANCY (V.O.)

And my Soul, wing’d with warm desire

EXT. HIGH WAY – DAY

Winston slows to a stop. He gets out of the car. Cars are at

a stand still ahead of him as far as he can see.

FANCY (V.O.)

= shall all Day long to Heaven aspire.

INT. COFFEE SHOP – DAY

Theo is with Hank, his carpenter friend. They’ve been talking

– talking about something important – and now Theo reaches

across the table and gently puts his hand on Hank’s.

FANCY (V.O.)

Lord, I my vows to Thee renew –

INT. LIVING ROOM – DAY

MOVING towards the portrait of Fancy.

FANCY (V.O.)

Disperse my sins as morning dew.

EXT. HIGHWAY – DAY

Winston still hasn’t moved. And now he gets in the car, pulls

across the meridian and goes back in the opposite direction.

FANCY (V.O.)

Guard my first springs of thought and

will.

INT. HOSPITAL WAITING ROOM – DAY

Charley answers her cell phone. Listens – nods in surprise –

hangs up and reaches for her things –

FANCY (V.O.)

And will Thyself my spirit fill.

The hymn ends as –

EXT. ST. JOHN’S INLET – DAY

Establishing. A quiet Tuesday morning. A black town car makes

it way down Main Street.

INT. REALTY OFFICE – CONTINUOUS

The clock on the wall – 11:30. Hobie impatiently smoking –

peering out the window into the street. And now he sees the

limo approaching and he hurries towards the door –

EXT. REALTY OFFICE- CONTINUOUS

He comes out, tossing the cigarette aside as the limo pulls to

a stop. Several men in sports jackets and slacks get out of

the car. One of them holding a thick briefcase.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Gentlemen! You’re early! Must be

one of the advantages of having a

private plane.

EXT. THE HIGHWAY – DAY

A shadow passes overhead – that of a small, low-flying Cessna.

INT./EXT. CESSNA – CONTINUOUS

Winston is at the controls. The traffic jam beneath him goes

on for miles. He flies on.

INT. REALTY OFFICE – DAY

The men make themselves comfortable.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Anyone want coffee? Or maybe we’ll

just all go for lunch post deal.

The men glance at one another – lunch with Hobie doesn’t seem

high on the list.

EXECUTIVE 1

What happened to your face?

HOBIE NICHOLS

Oh, uh – I walked into a door.

EXECUTIVE 2

I assume you’ll want a lawyer

present.

HOBIE NICHOLS

No need. I am the legal

representative of the state.

Executive 2 puts a five inch pile of legal documents on the desk.

EXECUTIVE 1

You’ll want to read these yourself

then.

Hobie stares balefully at the pile – shit….

EXT. AIR FIELD – DAY

Charley stands by her car, waiting. She looks up as a Cessna

roars overhead. She turns and runs for the airfield.

EXT. TARMAC – DAY

Charley is waiting as The Cessna taxis to a stop. The engine

coughs off and Charley moves forward as Winston quickly gets

out. Winston holding a sheaf of papers.

WINSTON

What time is it!?

CHARLEY

Five to twelve!

WINSTON

Let’s go!

CHARLEY

You going to tell me what this is

about?

WINSTON

Trust me.

INT. REALTY OFFICE – DAY

Hobie puts down the last of the contracts.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Looks okay to me.

He hasn’t understood a word of it but he has noticed that –

HOBIE NICHOLS

However I don’t see anything about my

position with the company here.

Executives 1 and 2 look to Executive 3 – the boss.

EXECUTIVE 3

It’ll be a position commensurate with

your skill level.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Gimme a pen.

EXT. ST. JOHN’S INLET – DAY

As the town hall bell strikes noon, Charley little truck comes

down Main Street, heading towards the realty office. It skids

to the curb in front of the realty office and Winston leaps out,

papers in hand. Charley follows.

INT. REALTY OFFICE – DAY

Hobie scrawls his signature on the last of the papers.

HOBIE NICHOLS

There we are, all done.

EXECUTIVE 1

All right. We’ll get these signed

and notarized and they will be

official.

Winston enters, Charley two steps behind him.

WINSTON

Getting a little ahead of yourself,

aren’t you, Hobie?

EXECUTIVE 3

Who’s this.

WINSTON

My name is Winston Berry. I’m the

tenant at Brockton Plantation.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Was. What, you here to exercise your

option, Winston? Well, you’re too

late.

WINSTON

I don’t think so. This is an

injunction, Hobie, issued this

morning by the State Legislature.

(Reading)

No sale of the property known as

Brockton Plantation will take place

until the courts of South Carolina

have determined its legal and

rightful owners.

The execs glance at one another.

EXECUTIVE 3

Mr. Nichols?

HOBIE NICHOLS

He’s bluffing. There are no

rightful owners.

WINSTON

Yes, there are. You, Charley.

CHARLEY

…what?

WINSTON

You and your family are the heirs of

Fancy Turner Brockton and her

daughter, Mercy Grace. Brockton

Plantation belongs to all of you.

Charley looks dumfounded.

WINSTON

(reading another paper)

In addition, the state of South

Carolina confers on Brockton

Plantation an immediate historical

designation. The property may not

be altered or developed in any way

that changes its significance to

scholars and citizens alike.

(Looking up)

So what’s it going to be, Hobie?

Hobie glances nervously at the executives.

HOBIE NICHOLS

I don’t believe it.

WINSTON

(to executive 3)

Don’t. We’ll see you in court.

Executive 3 stares at Winston, trying to take his measure. And

then, rising –

EXECUTIVE 3

Gentlemen.

He turns for the door. The others quickly follow suit.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Wait, no – we have a deal –

Executive 2 tosses the pile of legal contracts towards the waist

basket.

HOBIE NICHOLS

Guys, we can get around this!

He moves around the desk, follows them towards the door.

HOBIE NICHOLS

This is in no way, shape or form

should effect the agreement we made

for my employment opportunities – !

He follows them out the door. Charley, looking at Winston.

CHARLEY

Is it true?

Suddenly – Kashmir. Winston takes out and answers his cell

phone.

WINSTON

Hello. You’re sure? Thank you,

sir.

(Disconnecting; a moment:)

It is now.

He tosses the papers onto the desk. They are blank.

WINSTON

It is now!

Moving towards one another, Winston and Charley embrace.

EXT. BROCKTON PLANTATION DAY

The Volvo comes up the drives and stops. Winston leaps out –

Charley gets out the other passenger side –

CHARLEY

Winston, this is a little much.

WINSTON

Come on, I want you to meet her. Come

on!

Taking her hand, he leads her towards the house.

INT. PLANTATION HOUSE – DAY

Winston and Charley enter.

WINSTON

Fancy? Fancy, we did it!

Total silence.

CHARLEY

Winston…

Winston hurries into –

THE LIVING ROOM –

WINSTON

Fancy!?

Charley enters as –

WINSTON

Fancy, where are you!?

CHARLEY

Winston, there’s no here.

Winston turns to the portrait. She is gone.

WINSTON

No. Don’t leave….

And suddenly, with a rush of wind and light, Winston and Charley

are pulled from the living room into the painting.

EXT. BROCKTON PLANTATION – DAY

Winston blinks. He looks around. Everything he sees is bright

and vivid and more than perfect.

CHARLEY

Winston…

WINSTON

Sshh. It’s all right.

Trembling, she points. A horse drawn carriage is approaching

up the raked, pebbled drive. As it gets closer, Winston sees

that it is being driven by William Grace. It pulls to a stop.

WINSTON

…William?

WILLIAM

Hello, Winston.

WINSTON

Hello.

WILLIAM

Hello, daughter.

CHARLEY

…hello.

WILLIAM

Little hard to believe, isn’t it.

Charley nods. William glances towards the house.

WILLIAM

Women. Always waiting on them.

Fancy comes out of the house, out onto the porch and gayly down

the steps. She is dressed for travel.

FANCY

Are you all talking about me?

WILLIAM

Now why would you think that?

Fancy moves to Charley.

FANCY

I never saw her full grown… But I

suspect you look just like her.

She kisses Charley’s cheek. She turns to Winston.

FANCY

Mr. Berry.

WINSTON

Miss Fancy.

FANCY

Time to go.

WINSTON

Do you have to?

FANCY

Oh, yes. It’s time. No more a

shadow in the dark. No more caught

between noon and the north star. I

have you to thank for that.

WINSTON

I’ll miss you.

FANCY

And I you. But we never lose the

people we love. They’re in our

hearts. Always. And we’re in

their’s.

(To Charley)

You take care of this man, you hear?

Charley nods. Fancy turns back to Winston. An unspoken moment

between them. Fancy moves to the carriage and gets in.

William clucks at the horses. The carriage starts and they move

away down the drive. Charley and Winston watch it go. And

suddenly Fancy rises, calling back –

FANCY (CONT’D)

And Winston! Write a book!

She waves. The carriage seems to be moving towards a golden

light. And then it glows like a setting sun – and disappears.

WINSTON

I will.

A rush of wind and streaming light –

EXT. THE PLANTATION HOUSE – DAY

Winston is back. But the house is now pristine and the grounds

beautiful. It’s a year and half later and this is Winston’s

home now. There are people here. It’s a festive outdoor party

– a book signing. Winston is not surprised.

He looks around. He sees Theo and Hank. He sees Grandma Jonah

being helped towards a picnic table by Charley’s father, Marion.

Sees Hector being swarmed over by a litter of puppies that look

just like him. He turns as –

CHARLEY (O.C.)

Hey, baby.

Charley is enormously radiantly pregnant. She offers Winston

a plate of cookies.

CHARLEY

What are you thinking about?

WINSTON

Just feeling happy.

He takes a cookie.

JESSE

Daddy – !

Charley’s daughter, Jesse, rushes up with a friend.

JESSE

Gwendolyne wants to know if you’ll

sign your book for her.

WINSTON

Love to.

Gwen hands Winston a hard cover book. Winston looks at it with

pleasure. On one side of the cover is the photo of William

Grace, on the other is the portrait of Fancy.

NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER – DEATH MARKED LOVE – The letters

of William Grace, the diaries of Fancy Brockton. Edited by

Winston Berry.

Winston signs the inside of the cover. Hands it back.

WINSTON

There you go.

CHARLEY

(handing Jesse the plate)

You go pass these around now.

JESSE

Thanks, Dad.

GWENDOLYN

Thanks, Mr. Berry.

The girls move away. The cry of a bird. Winston looks up. A

Blue Herron flies overhead. Then – it’s become a secret joke

between them –

WINSTON

Shall we?

CHARLEY

We should.

We watch as arms around one another, they move across the lawn

towards the house – greeting friends, being greeted – being

congratulated for the book.

And now – with ever increasing speed, we PULL BACK –

– across the lawn

– down the drive – further and further –

– and out of THE PICTURE FRAME – and into the living room of

the plantation house – – to stare at the portrait of FANCY TURNER

BROCKTON.

She is smiling.

FADE TO BLACK.