Family Apocalypse (My Movie Script)

1    INT. THE JOHNSON’S CAR — DAY

 

Bryan and Amy Johnson are a good-looking couple in their 30s. Amy has long, wavy, light-blonde hair; pale white skin; and sky-blue eyes. Bryan is six inches taller, with straight brunette hair parted in the middle, slightly olive skin, a clean-shaven face, and dark brown eyes. The unhappy couple are thinking about the exact same thing, although an outside observer wouldn’t be able to tell. Amy silently stares ahead over the driver’s wheel while Bryan silently watches parts of London, New York, pass by: woods, farms, houses small and large, and various businesses. It is about 7:05 P.M. on a warm June day, and they are driving from their second marriage-counseling session with Darby, thinking about what they heard during the activity that Darby calls The Be Silent and Listen Game. The opening credits are shown at this time.

 

Cut To:

 

2    INT. DARBY’S OFFICE — DAY

 

The office is neat with many books. Darby (63) sits behind her dark wood desk, facing Amy and Bryan, who are seated next to each other.

 

DARBY

Let’s play a game. I call it The Be Silent and Listen Game. The rules of the game are that each of you will take turns talking and listening for five minutes. While the first one talks, the second one will silently listen; and then while the second one talks, the first one will silently listen. The listener is not allowed to say anything, not even a question or a statement of correction or corroboration, although he or she is allowed to write such things on a pad of paper to discuss after the five minutes are done. So, who wants to speak first?

 

Bryan and Amy awkwardly look at each other and Darby, until Bryan speaks.

 

BRYAN

OK, I’ll go first. I don’t want to offend anyone here. I think you’re both intelligent people, and I’m a plain-spoken person. So I’ll say the truth as I understand it. I apologize beforehand if I offend you.

 

Amy watches Bryan intently as he looks from one woman to another.

 

BRYAN

I was born on Christmas Eve, 1989, and was placed for adoption that very day. Then when I was fourteen, my adoptive father died fighting for George W. Bush in Iraq. Those two events–my adoption and the death of my adoptive father because of an unjust war–made me more philosophical than most people. They made me ask questions like ‘How can we stop having unwanted children?’, ‘How can we stop wars?’, and ‘How can we have better governments?’ Largely to answer those questions and to help improve the world, I went to seminary and became a pastor. If you ever want to learn something well, teach it well. After many years of ministry, I learned Christianity so well that I determined that it and the Bible are approximately 50% false and 10% evil; and that’s being charitable to both of them. We humans should embrace a better philosophy than any supposedly revealed religion. Because I strive to be a true philosopher, I cannot compromise much with religious lies. It is time for us humans to ignore the lies of religion and to cling to the truths that we know for certain. God probably doesn’t exist. If God exists, God remains hidden and silent. We’re on our own and should do the best we can with what we’ve got. Religion was like training wheels for humanity. It got us started, but now it’s time to get rid of it.

 

Bryan pauses. Darby gestures with her hands for him to continue.

 

BRYAN

I love Amy and respect her. She is usually very likable, kind, and wise. We just disagree about religion and how to raise Seth. Amy wants to raise Seth as a Christian, which is fine with me. But I want to be able to tell Seth what I’ve learned and what I believe. Amy can take him to church every Sunday if she wants and tell him what she believes. ‘Let him make up his own mind,’ I say.

 

Bryan looks plaintively at Darby.

 

BRYAN

Do I have to talk for the full five minutes? I’ve pretty much said all I have to say for now.

 

DARBY

No, that’s alright. Let me reset the timer, and then we’ll hear what Amy has to say.

 

Darby resets a small digital cooking timer on her desk.

 

DARBY

There. Go ahead, Amy. Say what you want to say.

 

AMY

Where should I start? I gave up a lot so that Bryan could become the pastor of a Bible church.

 

Amy starts to cry.

 

AMY

I got a master’s degree in Western sacred music from Westminster Choir College and used that degree to get my dream job at Saint Thomas Becket Episcopal Church, here in London, New York. At least it was my dream job back then. At that time, I was (what Bryan used to call) a Cafeteria Christian. I just embraced whatever Christian teachings I liked and ignored the rest. I hadn’t even read the Bible much and just learned Christianity mainly from my Sunday school teachers and my family. I was ignorant. Then I met Bryan. He was so knowledgeable, spiritual, and passionate. I fell in love with him and, through him, with the true God. What I mean is that I came to know and love God more because of Bryan. Our first several years together were wonderful, and I’ll be forever thankful to both Bryan and God for them. After Bryan got ordained, he became the pastor of Maple Falls Bible Church. I quit my job to help him and to grow spiritually. I hate to say it, but the modern Episcopal Church is a den of heresy. Bryan did a wonderful job as pastor at the Bible church, growing the congregation greatly and teaching the soul-saving truth of Jesus. He had a real gift. Sadly, he got arrogant and began thinking that he knew better than the Word of God. He went from a true Christian, to a Deist, to an Atheist. And that was bad enough, but now he wants to teach Atheism to Seth. Oh, Bryan says that Seth can continue to attend whatever church I want to take him to and that I can teach him whatever religion I want. He says that I can teach Seth what I believe while he teaches Seth what he believes. But I can’t stand that! First of all, it will confuse Seth. A child needs a united message from both his parents to deal with these challenging times and this challenging society. Wait. That is actually a secondary consideration. I should’ve said, First of all, Bryan’s Atheism will make our son evil and damn him for all eternity. It’s bad enough that Bryan has traded Jesus for Satan. Now he wants to teach Seth to do the same. I couldn’t stand being without them both for all eternity. I’ll be sad enough in Heaven –or at least relatively sad in Heaven –knowing that Bryan is wailing and gnashing his teeth in the eternal flames of Hell. I’ll be even sadder if the same also happens to my beloved son. It’s my duty as a Christian mother to raise my child right! I won’t stay married to a man who wants to make Seth reject Jesus! Even a man I love–a man who is so wonderful in so many ways. Without God, the goodness of a human is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout. It’s pretty and valuable, but it doesn’t change the pig. Good deeds are just an adornment. They don’t change what we are spiritually. Spiritually, we’re all sinners who deserve Hell. We need to be saved by God incarnate to be truly good. ‘For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith,–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God –not by works, so that no one can boast.’ Compared to God, even the best Christian, even the best Atheist or whatever, is evil. God makes us truly good, and faith in Jesus Christ is how we have the proper relationship with God.

 

Amy pauses in thought.

 

AMY

Well, for now that’s all I’ve got to say.

 

Cut To:

 

3  _ EXT. THE JOHNSON CAR AGAIN — DAY

 

This scene is just a continuation of the first scene, making Scene 2 a flashback. Amy and Bryan continue to silently drive for a minute, until their car stops in front of a modest middle-class house.

 

Cut To:

 

4    INT. THE RADKE HOUSE — DAY

 

The doorbell rings, and Mike Radke opens the door. Bryan and Amy are standing outside. Bryan is physically closer to Mike. Mike is about 30 years old, Caucasian, and skinny with a military-style mustache.

 

BRYAN

Hi, Mike.

 

MIKE

Hey, buddy. What’s up?

 

BRYAN

Not too much. We’re just here to pick up our little guy.

 

AMY

Hi, Mike.

 

MIKE

Hi, Amy. It’s always good to see you. Come on in. Sit down, if you want. The boys are upstairs playing.

 

AMY

We’d love to stay, but we’ve gotta get dinner. Bryan, would you please get Seth?

 

BRYAN

Sure, honey.

 

Bryan walks up the stairs and out of sight to the second floor.

 

MIKE

Hey, did you hear the news?

 

AMY

What news?

 

MIKE

You’ve heard of Reg, right?

 

AMY

That drug that makes people crazy?

 

MIKE

Yeah, that one. Apparently, lots of people in this area are starting to take it and some weird things are happening.

 

AMY

Like what kind of weird things?

 

MIKE

You name it; they do it. Apparently, Reg makes people completely happy while completely removing all their inhibitions.

 

AMY

I like the happy part.

 

MIKE

No kiddin’. But it’s scary what happens when people lose all their inhibitions.

 

Bryan comes down the stairs with Seth (8). Mike and Amy are still standing by the door. Bryan and Seth stand close to them.

 

MIKE

I was just telling Amy about all the crazy people on Reg around here.

 

BRYAN

What do you mean?

 

MIKE

Channel 8 News said there were people on Reg doing all kinds of weird stuff around here.

 

BRYAN

So, what’s new?

 

MIKE

I guess it’s just the number of people involved. Anyway, I want you both to be careful.

 

BRYAN

OK, buddy. We’ll try to avoid both Reg and the Regheads.

 

Speaking to Amy.

 

BRYAN

You ready?

 

AMY

Sure.

 

Amy and Mike hug.

 

AMY

Thanks again, Mike, for watching Seth.

 

Bryan shakes Mike’s hand.

 

BRYAN

Yeah, thanks Mike.

 

Cut To:

 

5   EXT. THE RADKE DRIVEWAY AND THEN THE HIGHWAY THAT PASSES COCHRANE COLLEGE — DAY

 

Amy, Bryan, and Seth (hereafter known as the Johnsons) get into the car and start driving home. Seth points out the car window to the right.

 

SETH

Mom, Dad, what are they doing?

 

On the immaculate lawn outside one of the stately brick buildings of Cochrane College, two college-age people (a man and a woman) are completely naked and doing coitus. Amy and Bryan speak their next lines at the same time.

 

AMY

Oh, my God!

 

BRYAN

What the hell?!

 

Suddenly, a black man (42) with a neatly trimmed goatee smashes face-first into the driver’s side of the front windshield like a bird in full flight. Amy screams, slams the breaks, and the man slides his face off the windshield, leaving a trail of blood.

 

BRYAN

Holy fuck! Stay in here! I’ll take a look.

 

Amy starts mumbling a prayer, and Seth remains sitting in the backseat, wide-eyed with shock. Bryan steps out onto the road. With the passenger-side door still open, he leans his head in and speaks to Amy.

 

BRYAN

Lock the doors.

 

Bryan closes his door, and Amy locks the doors.

 

Cut To:

 

6    EXT. THE AREA AROUND AMY AND BRYAN’S CAR — DAY

 

Bryan starts walking around the front of the car to where he assumes the man is lying on the road dead or unconscious. Instead of finding the man that way, the man forces himself to stand up and runs off the road to the right, apparently continuing the crossing that he started before he hit the windshield.

 

BRYAN

Hey! Where are you going?! Are you alright?!

 

The man just silently runs away without looking back, like a wounded deer. It is impossible for Bryan or the audience to tell if the man is sane or insane, scared or not scared. Bryan surveys the scene. It is absolute mayhem. Various people are running–some looking ecstatic, others terrified. One laughing man (40) is chasing a laughing girl (10) with a chainsaw until, a moment later, he slices her deeply between her neck and shoulder. Elsewhere, a woman (71) gleefully throws molotov cocktails from a second-story window. Four other women (apparently three ecstatic college students and one ecstatic professor) are holding down a pot-bellied middle-age man in a gray suit while an ecstatic boy (15) is injecting him with a syringe full of red liquid. The man looks terrified and is struggling all he can. The air is filled with the sound of laughter, screams, shouts, crashes, explosions, sirens, and gunfire. Bryan looks down the highway, and sees that traffic has stopped and the nearest intersection has a multi-vehicle collision. At least one of the vehicles is smoking while another one is on fire. A woman and man are engulfed in flames near the accident. The woman is running haphazardly, screaming in agony. The man happily shouts, “Hey, look at me! I’m doing jumping jacks!” while he exercises. Bryan looks to the right, left, and back of his car. His car is now largely penned in by all the commotion. Just then, a college-age, frat-boy-looking man starts running toward Bryan, laughing and holding a syringe above his head in his right hand like a knife.

 

FRAT BOY

Hey, brother! Are you one of us?!

 

Bryan runs to the passenger-side door, yelling,

 

BRYAN

Amy! Let me in! Let me in!

 

Bryan reaches the door a second before the frat boy reaches him. Holding the door handle, Bryan kicks the frat boy in the lower stomach. The kick knocks the frat boy backward enough for Bryan to barely have enough time to get in the car and start closing the door.

 

Cut To:

 

7   INT. INSIDE THE JOHNSON’S CAR — DAY

 

The frat boy reaches his left arm into the car, saying

 

FRAT BOY

Don’t be scared, man! It’s wonderful!

 

Bryan slams the door on the frat boy’s arm. The frat boy just laughs, saying

 

FRAT BOY

See! I don’t feel any pain anymore!

 

Holding the door as closed as he can, Bryan yells to Amy.

 

BRYAN

God dammit, Amy! Start driving! Start driving!

 

AMY

Where?!

 

BRYAN

Anywhere! Drive over the curb and onto the grass! We’ve gotta get out of here!

 

Cut To:

 

8   EXT. THE AREA AROUND THE JOHNSON’S CAR, TO THE RIGHT OF THE HIGHWAY — DAY

 

Amy does as told as fast as possible. The frat boy’s arm slips out the door, and the car bumps up and down, indicating that it ran over his body. After that, the car bumps up again, going over the curb onto the road verge and sidewalk, through a chain-link fence, and onto a grassy college intramural field. The car stops about twenty yards off the highway because of the damage it just sustained.

 

Cut To:

 

9   INT. INSIDE AMY AND BRYAN’S CAR — DAY

 

BRYAN

Let’s get Seth and start running!

 

AMY

Where should we go?!

 

BRYAN

I don’t know. We could hide in some woods, Anderson House, or Beckley Cemetery.

 

AMY

What’s Anderson House?

 

BRYAN

It’s the area of the campus next to the cemetery–real isolated with a sunken garden and a big telescope. I took you there before.

 

Amy thinks for a second.

 

AMY

No, let’s go to the college bookstore. My friend Lidia is the manager there.

 

SETH

(crying and scared)

Where are we going, Mommy?!

 

Amy faces Seth

 

AMY

Shh, shh, baby. Everything will be alright. Mommy has a friend who will help us.

 

BRYAN

Good idea. Ready?

 

AMY

Yeah.

 

BRYAN

Let’s roll!

 

Cut To:

 

10   EXT. CLOSE UP OVERHEAD VIEW OF THE WHOLE CAR. PULLS BACK AT A MEDIUM SPEED TO REVEAL A 100-YARD RADIUS AROUND THE CAR, INCLUDING MOST OF THE INTRAMURAL FIELD, A DINING HALL, AND A CLASSROOM BUILDING. — DAY

 

Bryan lovingly grabs Seth from the backseat and carries Seth against his chest. Seth trustingly clings to Bryan for dear life. The three start to run together deeper into the campus.

 

Cut To:

 

11  EXT. A MIX OF CHARACTER CLOSE-UPS AND WHAT THE CHARACTERS SEE — DAY

 

The three hurriedly pass scenes of mayhem, similar to those described before. Such scenes are happening all over campus. Most of these include people who look like college students and faculty. Among other things, they see a college woman (19) using her right hand to scoop feces from the back of her underwear and happily smear it on a window of the college library as if she is pretending to be a gifted and inspired artist. Her pants are around her ankles, but her underwear is still fully pulled up because she is using her left hand to hold it up. In a grassy quad, approximately twenty people are having a massive orgy. Clothes are strewn everywhere, and most of the participants are totally naked. Many corpses and much trash litter the ground.

 

Cut To:

 

12   EXT. THE FRONT OUTSIDE AREA OF THE BOOKSTORE — DAY

 

The bookstore is yet another stately brick building, although the lights are off and a few of its windows are smashed. The Johnsons hurry up the steps to its main door. Amy frantically tries to open the door, but it is locked.

 

AMY

Shit!

 

BRYAN

What do we do now?!

 

A grinning male professor (55), taking a leisurely stroll on the sidewalk which passes the front door of the bookstore, bothers to stop and briefly teach a lesson to the Johnsons.

 

PROFESSOR

You know, it is amazing how much pain we were always in. Constant pain. That is probably why–or at least one reason why–people who have near-death experiences feel such pleasure. It is not necessarily that they are in Heaven. It’s that their spirit, what the ancient Egyptians would call their ka, is free for the first time in its terrestrial existence from the constant pain of the body. Hmmm.

 

Bryan and Amy look alarmed by the professor. After the professor says “Hmmm,” he silently continues his stroll, contemplating this grand idea that just occurred to him. When the professor walks away, Bryan and Amy look at each other with confused relief.

 

BRYAN

(making a sound of relief)

Wshew!

 

AMY

Let’s go to the side door. It might be open, and it’s more out of sight.

 

The three walk down the stairs and then to the left of the bookstore.

 

Cut To:

 

13  EXT. THE SIDE OUTSIDE AREA OF THE BOOKSTORE — DAY

 

Bryan tries to open the door with a free hand, only to discover that it too is locked.

 

BRYAN

Fuck!

 

AMY

Wait. I have a cellphone.

 

Amy pushes a couple of the phone’s buttons and then starts talking into it.

 

AMY

Hi Lidia?! . . . Thank you, Jesus! This is Amy. . . . Yeah, I know. Listen. Bryan, Seth, and I are trapped outside next to that side door of the bookstore. You know that door to the left of the main door that leads directly to the lowest level of the bookstore? . . . I know; I know it’s dangerous. Please let us in. . . . No, I don’t think anyone is watching us now. It’s safe but not for long. . . . OK, hurry!

 

Lidia, a Puerto Rican-American woman (48), opens the door.

 

LIDIA

Quick! Quick! Come in!

 

Cut To:

 

14  INT. THE LOWEST FLOOR OF THE BOOKSTORE — DAY BUT VERY DARK

 

The Johnsons quickly and silently enter. Lidia hurriedly closes and locks the door.

 

LIDIA

Come on in away from the door. Jeremy and I’ve been hiding here since all this madness started.

 

The Johnsons notice a Mexican-American college man (20) standing among the shelves of the bookstore. The man has thick-rimmed glasses, a patchy beard, and long hair in a ponytail.

 

LIDIA

Jeremy, these are my friends, the Johnsons.

 

Jeremy gives a quick, mild wave.

 

JEREMY

Nice to meet you–not under these circumstances, though.

 

LIDIA

Jeremy and I have been sitting behind that bookshelf over there. It’s out of sight, and there’s enough room for all of us. Let’s sit and exchange news.

 

Cut To:

 

15   INT. BETWEEN THE BOOKSHELF AND THE WALL — DAY BUT VERY DARK

 

All five people are sitting in a circle on the floor, facing each other.

 

JEREMY

What’s it like out there?

 

AMY

Horrible. People killing, dying, fornicating on the grass. Unspeakable evil and destruction.

 

JEREMY

That’s what I figured.

 

BRYAN

So, what’s your story.

 

LIDIA

Jeremy and I were working down in the cellar–that’s this room–when a bunch of people burst into the bookstore upstairs and started injecting employees and patrons with some red stuff.

 

JEREMY

It was blood–their blood. That’s how the drug is stored and transferred.

 

LIDIA

Jeremy knows a lot about Reg. He’s been studying it in psychology class; and being a young college student, he’s more in tune with the drug culture than I am. Anyway, I knew there was a problem, so I told Jeremy to hide, walked up the stairs, peeped over the edge, and saw enough to go hide as well.

 

JEREMY

Yeah, we turned off the lights and hid. Some Regheads ran down the stairs and did a little bit of damage, but I guess they got bored because they left after a couple of minutes.

 

LIDIA

Oh, but they had a field day upstairs! There was screaming and shouting and smashing and crashing and insane laughing and talking. Then, after what seemed like an hour, although it might’ve only been ten minutes, it got silent. Eventually, I scoped out the upstairs and the top floor, saw they were empty, turned off the lights, and locked the front door.

 

A silent moment of contemplation passes.

 

BRYAN

(looking at Jeremy)

What do you know about Reg that we might not?

 

JEREMY

Around 1993, an antidepressant called Happillin was invented; and it became very popular. Eventually, 1 in 100 Americans were taking it. Rumor has it that some junkies in New York City discovered that they could get very high if they injected blood from a Happillin user directly into themselves. And the more junkies used this tainted blood, the stronger Happillin became in their own blood. After a while, Happillin-blood became so strong that it deserved a new name; so people started calling it Reg. Reg is short for Restraints Gone. I guess the rumors are true. It seems that the Regheads only need their blood and some kind of syringe to make others Regheads.

 

AMY

How can Regheads tell who is and who’s not a Reghead?

 

JEREMY

From what I can tell, Non-Regheads can successfully impersonate Regheads for a while. But it’s impossible to act Regged up all the time without actually being Regged up, and that’s usually how normal people get caught by the Regheads.

 

BRYAN

(looking at Amy)

Maybe that’s why that professor-looking man didn’t attack us. He thought we’re Regheads like him.

 

Amy nods in agreement.

 

SETH

(clinging to Bryan’s arm)

Daddy, I’m scared.

 

BRYAN

I know, son. We all are. But we’re safe for now.

 

Everyone is silent for a moment.

 

BRYAN

What should we do now?

 

LIDIA

I don’t know about you all, but Jeremy and I are staying right here until someone rescues us.

 

JEREMY

That’s right! It’s crazy out there. I suppose that the government is working right now to get the police and the military to shoot all those Regheads. They can’t be cured, ya know.

 

AMY

Have you heard of any such rescue effort?

 

LIDIA

No. Unfortunately, we don’t have access to any TV or radio here. But we do have our cell phones. The last I checked, there was a Presidental Alert that said something like ‘This is not a test of the National whatever. Martial law has been declared until further notice. Stay inside and avoid contact with any suspicious-looking people.’

 

BRYAN

If it’s a Presidental Alert, the whole nation might be affected.

 

Amy silently checks her cell phone.

 

JEREMY

I talked with my brother on the phone, and he said many urban areas in the United States and Canada have had a Reg apocalypse. That’s what the news reporters are calling it.

 

AMY

Hey, my cell phone isn’t getting any reception any more.

 

Lidia, Bryan, and Jeremy all check their cell phones too.

 

LIDIA

Mine’s dead.

 

JEREMY

Same with mine.

 

BRYAN

God dammit!

 

Amy looks at Bryan with pleading eyes.

 

AMY

What are we gonna do, Bryan?!

 

BRYAN

Lidia, keep Seth with you while Amy and I talk in private.

 

LIDIA

Come over and sit by me, Seth. I wanna tell you a story.

 

Seth looks uncertainly at Amy and then Bryan.

 

BRYAN

It’s alright, son. Lidia and Jeremy will take good care of you, and your mother and I will be close by. You’ll even be able to see us.

 

Seth sits next to Lidia, and she begins to talk with him. Following Bryan’s lead, Amy walks hunched over and sits on the floor behind another bookshelf–one that is about ten yards away from where they were sitting before.

 

Cut To:

 

16   INT. BETWEEN THE OTHER BOOKSHELF AND THE WALL — DAY BUT VERY DARK

 

The camera focuses on either Bryan or Amy’s face as they talk and listen.

 

BRYAN

It’s going to be night soon.

 

Amy looks through the parts of the windows that are visible and notices that it is dusk.

 

AMY

Yeah.

 

BRYAN

I’m thinking that it’s not safe here with this high population of college kids. I think we would be safer at Mom and Drake’s house. Many more people live and work at Cochrane College than Lamar Avenue.

 

AMY

But that’s a three-mile hike from here.

 

BRYAN

I know, but it’ll also be dark.

 

AMY

I’d rather stay here where it’s safe.

 

BRYAN

I’m not leaving you two alone, and I couldn’t forgive myself if something bad happened to Mom or Dad that I could’ve prevented.

 

AMY

But think of all those Regheads between

us and them!

 

BRYAN

But think of all the Regheads who will eventually return to this bookstore. Besides, we can get some sleep, wake up in the middle of the night, and take the more sparsely populated streets. I’ve lived here since I was a baby. I know all kinds of hiding places and people who can help us.

 

AMY

How certain are you that you can get us there safely?

 

BRYAN

(crying a little)

Please don’t make me choose between you and Seth, and Mom and Drake! I need to make sure you are all OK.

 

Amy pauses to think.

 

BRYAN

(pointing to the area around the

door)

Look, if you need another reason, just look at that building across the street. I can’t see it, but I can smell the smoke and feel the heat, and I can see fire-shadows dancing. I’m pretty sure it’s on fire. That fire could spread to this building, or those fuckin’ weirdos might decide to torch every building on campus!

 

AMY

Alright, Bryan. We’ll do it your way.

 

AMY

(managing a smile and a twinkle in

her eyes)

We’re not divorced yet.

 

BRYAN

(smiling affectionately and

gratefully)

Thanks, Amy. You’re a great wife. Oh, two more things. One, all things being equal, if it seems like a Reghead is watching us, all three of us should look very happy–maybe even do something weird.

 

AMY

Agreed. What’s the other thing?

 

BRYAN

I think we should gag Seth before we start our journey. Being a young kid, he lacks impulse control and experience. So he might accidentally say or do something that will attract unwanted attention.

 

AMY

No one is going to gag my son! Besides, what if something happens and he needs to communicate with us?

 

BRYAN

Are you sure?

 

AMY

Listen. You got your way because we’re actually making this dangerous trip. Now, it’s time for me to get my way. Don’t worry about Seth. I’ll talk with him and tell him to be perfectly silent while looking happy and acting weird if we’re looking happy and acting weird.

 

BRYAN

Alright! Alright! Go talk to Seth, but let’s be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. Who knows what will happen? I’ll try to find some kind of weapons.

 

Cut To:

 

17   INT. BETWEEN THE FIRST BOOKSHELF AND THE WALL — NIGHT AND

VERY DARK

 

Amy, Seth, and Lidia are sitting in total darkness on the floor. Bryan and Jeremy join them with a flashlight and some metal rods. Jeremy is holding the flashlight with his left hand on the front so that his fingers largely obscure the light. In his right hand is a metal rod. Noises of chaos outside and light from the fire across the street flood the bookstore.

 

BRYAN

(handing a metal rod to Amy first

and Lidia second)

This is the best that we could find. They’re metal rods from bookshelves. Oh, Jeremy and I also found two boxcutters.

 

Bryan and Jeremy sit on the floor with the others, and Jeremy turns off the flashlight.

 

JEREMY

Might as well conserve the batteries.

 

AMY

Does anyone mind if we join hands together and pray?

 

LIDIA

I think prayer is a great idea right now.

 

Everyone in the group sits in a circle and holds hands.

 

AMY

Heavenly Father, we just want to thank you for all the good things that you have given us during this time of trial. We thank you for sparing our lives and giving us this place of shelter. And we ask you to protect us and our loved ones. May this horrible time of testing pass, and may we be safely reunited with our friends and family soon. We just ask you to heal the sick and the wounded, and to be merciful to those who have died in this apocalypse. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.

 

Jeremy, Lidia, and Seth say amen; but Bryan doesn’t.

 

SETH

Mommy, what’s an apkra-lips?

 

AMY

That’s apocalypse, baby. It is a word that can mean at least two things. According to the last book of the Bible, the Apocalypse is when things get very bad until Jesus comes and fixes everything. The righteous go to Heaven, the wicked go to Hell, and God renews and perfects the Earth. I’m not sure if this is the capital-A apocalypse mentioned in the Bible. A lower case-a apocalypse is when things get very bad, but the final events of Revelation–that’s the last book of the Bible–have yet to happen.

 

SETH

How will we know if the big apocalypse is happening?

 

AMY

Well, we true Christians will be raptured–magically taken to Heaven so we don’t have to endure the worst of what will happen on Earth.

 

SETH

One minute we’re here; one minute we disappear, right?

 

AMY

That’s right, baby.

 

BRYAN

Since no one has disappeared yet and we have a long journey ahead of us, we should probably get some sleep. I’m a light sleeper, especially when I sleep on the floor. So if you don’t have any objection, Amy, I’ll sleep a little if I can and wake you two up in a little bit. Sound good?

 

AMY

Yes, dear.

 

BRYAN

Well, let me kiss my beloved wife and son then.

 

Taking care to not bump into each other, Amy and Bryan hug and then then give each other a peck on the lips. After that, they both hug Seth and kiss him on the cheek.

 

BRYAN

Sleeping would be ideal, but, under the circumstances, resting might have to do. Seth, my boy, sleep if you can. But if you can’t sleep, rest.

 

SETH

OK, Dad.

 

BRYAN

Goodnight, everyone.

 

EVERYONE BUT BRYAN

Goodnight.

 

Cut To:

 

18   INT. BETWEEN THE FIRST BOOKSHELF AND THE WALL — NIGHT AND VERY DARK. ABOUT TWO HOURS HAVE PASSED.

 

The five residents at the bookstore are all sleeping or resting at 11:33 P.M. when the loud sound of breaking glass arouses everyone except for Seth. Apparently, a group of Regheads are breaking the main doors of the bookstore (which are mostly made of glass) and talking.

 

SOME YOUNG WOMAN

Hahahaha! There’s no light, but I wanna read!

 

SOME OLDER MAN

Well, baby, you can try to read braille.

 

SOME YOUNG MAN

My dick is covered with braille. Wanna read it?

 

YOUNG WOMAN

Fuck yeah!

 

Apparently, the young man and the young woman start hugging, kissing, and rolling around on the glass-covered porch.

 

OLDER MAN

Well! I’m not gonna miss out on this!

 

Apparently, the three of them are having an orgy.

 

BRYAN

(talking to Amy in a whisper)

I think it’s time for us to get going.

 

Seth has been sleeping in Amy’s arms as she lies on the floor next to him.

 

AMY

(in a whisper)

OK, love.

 

Amy gently shakes Seth awake.

 

AMY

Wake up, Sethipoo. It’s time for us to go to Grandma and Grandpa’s.

 

Seth groans, then speaks.

 

SETH

OK.

 

BRYAN

(in a whisper)

Hey, Lidia, Jeremy, are either of you two awake?

 

JEREMY

(in a whisper)

Yeah.

 

BRYAN

(in a whisper)

Thanks for the hospitality. Give our regards to Lidia. I need you to open the cellar door for us, so you can lock it behind us. There are at least three Regheads at the main door, so be careful.

 

JEREMY

(in a whisper)

Will do.

 

Cut To:

 

19  EXT. OUTSIDE THE CELLAR DOOR — NIGHT.

 

The Johnsons walk out the cellar door, and Jeremy silently closes the door behind them. The lock and latch both make a clicking sound one after the other. The Johnsons look around. About the only light available comes from the burning academic building across the street, plus the stars in the night sky. The silhouettes of 23 Regheads are facing the building, holding hands, and singing campfire songs.

 

AMY

(in a whisper)

It looks like the city has lost its power.

 

BRYAN

(in a whisper)

That’s good for us. The less we can see, the less we can be seen. Seth, hold Mommy’s hand and don’t talk no matter what. You have to be completely silent until we reach Grandma and Grandpa’s house. And remember, if Mommy or me start laughing and acting strange, you start laughing and acting strange.

 

SETH

(in a whisper)

OK, Dad.

 

BRYAN

(in a whisper)

Let’s do like we planned. Walk up to Main Street and turn left at Washington Park.

 

Carrying a rod, Bryan leads, followed by Amy who holds Seth’s hand with her right and her own rod with her left. Cutting across a lawn, they follow the street up the hill for about 30 yards, until they reach Main Street. Then they cross the road, where there are only some trees and park benches overlooking Cicero Lake far below. After that, they go left, walking mainly on the sidewalk. About 100 yards down the street are two cars, parked in the middle of the street with their lights on, pointing diagonally so that they intersect on a tree on the same side of the street on which the Johnsons are walking. Dangling from the tree is a corpse. Four Regheads appear to be playing piñata with it.

 

BRYAN

(whispering)

Just follow my lead.

 

Bryan starts silently walking like an Egyptian (as in the Bengal’s video of “Walk Like an Egyptian”) across the street to the darker side where the car lights aren’t shining. Amy and Seth follow his lead. It is uncertain if anyone sees them or not, but they cross the road safely. They then resume walking as they were before.

 

Cut To:

 

20   EXT. NEAR A SMALL PARK — NIGHT.

 

BRYAN

(whispering)

I think that’s Washington Park. Let’s make a left here.

 

They turn left on the sidewalk. Amy’s foot slips off a curb onto the road.

 

AMY

Ouch!

 

SOME UNSEEN WOMAN

Who’s that? Hehehe!

 

AMY

Hahaha! You’re fuckin’ mother.

 

UNSEEN WOMAN

No need to be rude, sugar pie.

 

AMY

Sorry, pooky bear; but I can’t stop to play. I’ve got to kill my mother.

 

UNSEEN WOMAN

I understand! Hehehe! Have a nice murder!

 

The Johnsons keep walking around the small park and then take a left on Washington Street.

 

BRYAN

(speaking to Amy in a whisper)

Great acting!

 

AMY

(whispering)

May God forgive my vulgarity.

 

Cut To:

 

21  EXT. MONTAGE — NIGHT

 

A montage condenses most of the rest of the three-mile journey, showing the family walking through the darkness, some burning houses and cars, some Regheads being weird, and some random people scurrying.

 

BRYAN

(whispering)

This is Brook Street. Let’s make a right here.

 

Brook Street dips down, then up. At its lowest point is a small bridge that goes over a brook. Centered on the bridge is what looks like a rave. There are flashing multi-colored lights, a DJ playing electronic music, a power generator, and about thirty people dancing in weird, liquid ways.

 

AMY

(whispering)

I think we should go another way.

 

BRYAN

(whispering)

This is the only road nearby that crosses the brook. Let’s cut through a backyard or two. I know these backyards or at least used to. We used to sled here in the winter.

 

Cut To:

 

22   EXT. THREE HOUSES NORTH OF THE INTERSECTION OF BROOK AND EVANS STREETS — NIGHT.

 

BRYAN

Let’s cut through this yard. Be careful, because it slopes down steeply in back and there are trees.

 

The Johnsons grope their way over the driveway, into the backyard, and down its grassy slope. They are less than a block away from the rave, and the lights of the rave partially illuminate their journey. The Johnsons reach the bank of the creek, slide down into its knee-deep water, and climb up the other side. Then they walk up the steep grassy slope of another backyard.

 

SETH

Are we almost there, Dad?

 

BRYAN

Yes. Don’t talk unless you have to.

 

The second backyard becomes a side yard, and the Johnsons reach the sidewalk that runs in front of this other house. They have successfully bypassed the rave!

 

SETH

(whining)

I’m tired.

 

Someone on the front porch shines a flashlight on them.

 

MYSTERY MAN

Who’s that? . . . Why, it’s a little boy and his mommy and daddy. Hi, little boy. Hi, mommy! Hi, daddy! You’re pretty. Hehehe! I’m gonna fuck you up the ass, little boy.

 

SETH

No!

 

BRYAN

Get behind me, Seth!

 

MYSTERY MAN

Watch the flashlight.

 

The mystery man sprints down the porch steps and throws the flashlight to his left while charging straight for Seth. The movement of the flying light is enough to distract Bryan a little while the mystery tackles Bryan into Seth. All three of them fall to the ground. Amy and Seth scream, and Bryan starts clubbing the mystery man with his rod. The mystery man starts scratching Bryan’s face like a crazy cat, and Bryan howls in pain. Still standing, Amy carefully joins the fight by whacking the mystery man with her rod whenever she thinks that she will probably hit him and not Bryan. After a few minutes of intense fighting, the mystery man is knocked unconscious; and Bryan viciously hits him repeatedly on the head to ensure that he will never hurt anyone ever again. In other words, Bryan kills him. Bryan and Amy turn their attention to Seth, who is lying on the ground.

 

AMY

Are you OK, honey?

 

SETH

(crying)

I don’t know, Mommy! I think that he stuck me in the chest with something.

 

Bryan picks up the discarded flashlight and shines its beam on Seth’s chest. A mostly-empty syringe is sticking out from it. Only a little blood remains in it.

 

BRYAN

Oh, my God!

 

Amy gasps. Bryan pulls out the syringe.

 

BRYAN

Just lay still, son, and try to relax. How do you feel?

 

SETH

Sleepy. Very, very sleepy.

 

Seth closes his eyes for a minute and then abruptly opens them. He sits up straight and then speaks.

 

SETH

(yelling)

Let’s party!

 

BRYAN

(speaking to Amy)

Hold him down!

 

Amy complies with all her strength as Seth struggles to get up and celebrate.

 

SETH

Help! Help! This lady won’t let me go!

 

Bryan takes off his t-shirt, uses the boxcutter to rip part of it into a long strip, and tries a gag around Seth’s mouth. Seth starts turning, punching, and kicking even more. Bryan uses the boxcutter to tear two long strips from the mystery man’s blue jeans, and ties Seth’s ankles together and Seth’s hands behind his back.

 

AMY

Oh, my God, Bryan! What are we going to do?!

 

Bryan hugs her while she cries.

 

BRYAN

Let’s carry Seth to my parents’ house and figure out what to do after that.

 

Amy shines the light on Bryan. His face and now-naked upper body are badly scratched.

 

AMY

Are you alright, Bryan?

 

BRYAN

Everything but my left eye works fine. Let’s fix me up at Mom and Drake’s. Turn off that flashlight. We don’t want to attract attention.

 

Bryan slings Seth over his right shoulder, and they walk up Castle Street, moving left from the intersection of Castle and Brook Streets.

 

Cut To:

 

23  EXT. A MIDDLE-CLASS HOUSE ON LAMAR AVENUE — NIGHT.

 

Amy is in the lead with a rod in one hand and the flashlight in the other, set to off. Bryan is walking with Seth slung over his shoulder. A Honda SUV is sitting in the driveway. The Johnsons walk to the right of it to get to the front door. Amy easily opens the screen door, only to discover that the front door itself is more than open.

 

AMY

The door’s been knocked in.

 

Bryan puts Seth down on the porch and takes his own rod from under his belt, where it has been stuck like a sword in a sheath.

 

BRYAN

Give me the flashlight and get behind me.

 

Amy complies.

 

Cut To:

 

24  INT. BRYAN’S PARENTS’ HOUSE — NIGHT.

 

BRYAN

Mom! Drake! It’s me, Bryan!

 

No response. Bryan walks in and turns on the flashlight.

 

BRYAN

Hello! Is anyone home?!

 

Then he sees the corpses of his parents on the living room/dining room floor, riddled with wounds of various kinds.

 

BRYAN

Oh, my God! No! No! No!

 

Bryan and Amy bend down to check their pulses.

 

AMY

(crying)

Oh, baby, I’m so sorry. I’m so very, very sorry.

 

Bryan hugs his lifeless mother and starts weeping uncontrollably.

 

Cut To:

 

25   INT. THE MASTER BEDROOM — DAWN.

 

Bryan and Amy are lying in bed in the master bedroom. Seth is nowhere to be seen.

 

BRYAN

Aw, shit. I was hoping it was just a nightmare.

 

Amy hugs him.

 

AMY

Me, too, love. What’re we gonna do?

 

BRYAN

Stick to the plan. Let’s lay Mom and Drake to rest together, listen to the car radio, and take it from there.

 

Amy and Bryan carry Bryan’s mother and stepfather one by one and lovingly lay them on the master bed together, facing the ceiling. Bryan makes the corpses hold hands–Mom’s right is placed on Drake’s left–and then covers the corpses with a thick blanket.

 

BRYAN

It’s not as good as burying them, but it’s much quicker and safer.

 

AMY

(rubbing Bryan’s back)

I know, my love. I’m sure they understand.

 

BRYAN

Well, Mom and Drake, I guess this is goodbye. I’m sorry I couldn’t save you. I really tried. You were great parents and excellent people. I couldn’t ask for better, and I owe you practically everything that is good in my life. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I’ll miss you greatly.

 

AMY

Amen.

 

Cut To:

 

26  INT. SUV — DAY.

 

Bryan and Amy sit in the front seat, listening to the radio.

 

RADIO

This is the president of the United States. More and more areas of our great nation are being affected by the Reg Crisis, and your government is doing everything that it can to maintain order and find a cure. Unfortunately, we seem a long way from a cure right now, and much of our healthcare system is overwhelmed. If you know someone who has been contaminated by Reg, do not bring him or her to a medical facility. I repeat: If you know someone who has been contaminated by Reg, do not bring him or her to a medical facility. There are three reasons for this. 1) Many (if not most) American medical facilities are overwhelmed treating non-Reg patients, 2) there is nothing that our medical facilities can do to help those contaminated by Reg, and 3) many of our medical facilities have been captured or destroyed by those contaminated by Reg. All people who are contaminated by Reg will be shot on sight. Hide if you can, and avoid travelling if you can. This is the greatest crisis that our nation has ever faced. But our nation has faced and overcome many great crises before. We will prevail. Keep hope, and keep safe. Listen for more official government broadcasts over the radio, and be on the lookout for government news printed on leaflets, which will be dropped from the sky. The American government will keep you informed as much as possible. May God soon deliver the United States of America and the rest of humanity from this most horrible disaster.

 

Amy and Bryan exchange worried glances.

 

Cut To:

 

27  INT. GUEST BEDROOM — DAY.

 

Seth lies bound and gagged on the bed, smiling and struggling to be free. He is wearing his dead grandfather’s pajamas and bound by real ropes. Bryan and Amy stand over him with the best smiles they can muster.

 

AMY

Hi, Sethipoo. How are ya doin’, baby? We’re gonna clean you and make you more comfortable. The less you struggle, the less we’ll have to restrain you.

 

Bryan pulls back the blanket that has been covering Seth and looks very disgusted.

 

BRYAN

Jesus Christ! He pissed and shit himself again!

 

AMY

Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain!

 

BRYAN

He’s not my Lord.

 

Amy silently gives Bryan an angry look.

 

BRYAN

Sorry about that. I’m stressed out of my skull.

 

AMY

Apology accepted. Do you have that clean gag ready?

 

Bryan nods yes.

 

AMY

Seth, honey, are you hungry?

 

Seth, still grinning, nods yes.

 

AMY

Well, we brought some of your favorite food: strawberry Pop Tarts. You can eat them and drink some water if you don’t talk loudly. If fact, if you keep quiet, you’ll never have to wear a gag again. Do you understand?

 

Seth, still grinning, nods yes.

 

AMY

(looking hopefully at Bryan)

OK, let’s give it a try.

 

Bryan takes a large jackknife and carefully but quickly cuts the gag off.

 

SETH

(yelling as loudly as possible)

Hahahahaha! You’re a stupid poopy face! Help! Help! My parents are mean! Help!

 

Bryan ties the new gag around Seth’s mouth.

 

BRYAN

How the hell are we gonna feed him?! We can’t just let him starve or dihydrate to death!

 

AMY

I guess that we’ll just have to put him in a sound-proof room with food and water. But where are we gonna find such a room?

 

BRYAN

Larry’s cabin.

 

AMY

What’s that?

 

BRYAN

You know Larry, the guy who owns Saint Patrick’s Day Pub?

 

AMY

You mean the bar where it’s always Saint Patrick’s Day?

 

BRYAN

Yeah. Larry has this place across from the entrance of Simpson State Park. It’s very isolated. We can put all the supplies we need in the SUV and hide out there until a cure is discovered. Larry always lets the gang stay there during the trout derby.

 

AMY

Alright. Let’s do it.

 

Cut To:

 

28  EXT. SUV — DAY.

 

The SUV travels swiftly down Barbarino Road, with woods on the left and the middle school and high school on the right. Bryan can be seen in the driver’s seat and Amy in the front passenger’s seat. Many supplies can also be seen through the back windows. Yet there is enough space for Seth to lay on the floor between the front seats and the back seats.

 

Cut To:

 

29   INT. SUV — DAY

 

Bryan glances at rearview mirror and sees a white car behind him.

 

Cut To:

 

30   EXT. SUV AND WHITE CAR — DAY

 

Bryan keeps driving 40 mph but starts weaving back and forth over the middle of the road as if he is drunk. The car behind him slows down, uses its blinker, and turns right onto a side street.

 

Cut To:

 

31   INT. SUV — DAY

 

AMY

That driver used his blinker. I guess

that he, or she, isn’t a Reghead.

 

BRYAN

(now driving on the right side of

the road without weaving)

It’s good to know some people are still normal.

 

AMY

Who knows? Maybe most people are.

 

BRYAN

Here comes Gilbert Road.

 

Cut To:

 

32   EXT. SUV — DAY

 

The SUV turns right from one semi-country road to another.

 

Cut To:

 

33   INT. SUV — DAY

 

BRYAN

If I remember right, I can take a right at London Oaks Golf Course and avoid downtown London until I get to Route 95A. 95A leads to the cabin.

 

Bryan glances at his rearview mirror and sees a black pick-up truck behind him. The truck keeps getting closer. Bryan turns the car wheel right.

 

Cut To:

 

34   EXT. SUV — DAY

 

The SUV turns right onto Genesee Street. The truck also turns right onto Genesee Street, screeching in the process.

 

Cut To:

 

35   INT. SUV — DAY

 

BRYAN

Get ready. I think there’s gonna be a car chase.

 

Cut To:

 

36   EXT. SUV AND BIG TRUCK — DAY

 

The SUV starts speeding up, and the truck speeds after it. The SUV takes a sudden left turn into a large parking lot of a long-abandoned and rundown factory. The truck follows and clips the back of the SUV. The SUV does a 360˚ spin and drives back onto Genesee Street, heading back to Gilbert Road.

 

Cut To:

 

37   INT. SUV — DAY

 

Amy is shown screaming, Jake (hog-tied in the back) is shown smiling maniacally, and Bryan yells.

 

BRYAN

Holy fuck! That was a close one!

 

The truck starts driving along side the SUV. Its driver is a bald Caucasian man with black sunglasses and a long white goatee. Definitely shirtless and perhaps completely naked, the truck driver is leaning toward his passenger-side window, which is open, looking back and forth between the front window and Bryan. The truck driver calmly gestures for Bryan to roll down his window and chat. Bryan rolls down his window while keeping the SUV going straight at a constant speed.

 

TRUCK DRIVER

(grinning)

Wanna race?!

 

Bryan forces a crazy smile.

 

BRYAN

Fuck yeah!

 

Cut To:

 

38   INT. SUV — DAY.

 

Bryan’s foot is shown pressing the gas pedal completely down.

 

Cut To:

 

39   EXT. VEHICLE RACE — DAY

 

For a moment, the SUV has the lead. It turns right, back onto Gilbert Road with the truck trailing it. Some Reghead driving a red sports car with the roof down sees the race and decides to join in the fun.

 

Cut To:

 

40   INT. SUV — DAY

 

AMY

(panicking)

There’s another car following us.

 

BRYAN

(with controlled panic)

Yeah, I see it.

 

Cut To:

 

41   EXT. THE THREE CARS — DAY

 

Gilbert Road ends at a perpendicular junction with Route 12. The SUV takes the turn to the right, skidding as it goes. The truck is just a nose behind the SUV at the turn, while the sportscar (driven by a 12-year-old girl with long blond hair, wearing a Cat Woman costume) weaves left and right to find a way around the competition.

 

Cut To:

 

42  INT. THE SUV — DAY

 

Bryan turns the steering wheel to the left.

 

Cut To:

 

43   EXT. THE THREE CARS — DAY

 

The left side of the SUV rubs against the right side of the truck, and the truck is momentarily forced onto the left shoulder. But the truck driver steadies his vehicle, sticks up his middle finder toward Bryan, and takes the lead. The SUV gets into the left lane behind the truck, allowing the sports car to pass on the right. Cat Girl blows Amy a kiss as she passes. The SUV continues at full speed down the road for about 100 yards, trailing behind the two other vehicles.

 

Cut To:

 

44   INT. THE SUV — DAY

 

Bryan’s foot is shown pressing the brake while his hands are shown turning the wheel to the right.

 

Cut To:

 

45   EXT. THE SUV — DAY

 

The SUV does a 180˚ turn, speeding away from the competition down Route 12.

 

Cut To:

 

46  EXT. THE TRUCK AND SPORTS CAR — DAY

 

The sports car, followed closely by the truck, enter downtown London, which looks as if 100 fraternities and sororities partied there last night. Cat Girl pulls over to celebrate her victory.

 

CAT GIRL

(bouncing up and down on her seat

with her knees still under the

steering wheel, fists raised high in

victory)

Hehehehehe! I won! I won! I won! Let’s do it again!

 

The truck pulls next to her car on the right.

 

TRUCK DRIVER

That wasn’t a fair race! I think the SUV driver’s a Normal! He drove the other way!

 

Cat Girl looks down Route 12 behind her.

 

CAT GIRL

Let’s get ‘em!

 

Cut To:

 

47   EXT. THE SUV — DAY

 

The SUV passes a sign on the right of Route 12 that says, “London Oaks Golf Course,” with an arrow pointing right and a painting of a golfer teeing off. The SUV turns right and speeds down the road with the golf course on both sides.

 

Cut To:

 

48   INT. THE SUV — DAY

 

In the rearview mirror, Bryan sees the sports car closing in on him with the truck behind.

 

Cut To:

 

49   EXT. VIEW IMMEDIATELY BEHIND AND ABOVE THE TRUNK OF THE SPORTS

CAR, FACING FORWARD — DAY

 

Cat Girl stands up with a pistol in her right hand while driving with her left. She starts firing at the SUV, and the rear window of the SUV shatters.

 

Cut To:

 

50   EXT. VIEW OF AMY THROUGH THE PASSENGER WINDOW OF THE SUV — DAY

 

Amy

Good Lord! She’s got a gun!

 

Bryan

That’s fine, cuz I got a plan.

 

Cut To:

 

51  INT. VIEW OF SUV–DAY

 

Bryan’s foot is shown slamming on the breaks.

 

Cut To:

 

52   EXT. THE SUV AND SPORTS CAR — DAY

 

The SUV stops almost immediately with a long screech, and the sports car slams into it. Cat Girl flies over her front window and smashes into the hatch of the SUV, splattering her brains like a watermelon dropped from a five-story roof. Some of the front of the sports car is strewn on the road. The SUV resumes its forward course, gaining speed by the second.

 

Cut To:

 

53  EXT. THE TRUCK — DAY

 

The truck drives to the right of the wrecked sports car, hitting the sports car’s front with the truck’s rear as it passes. The main part of the sports car spins off the road to the left.

 

Cut To:

 

54   INT. THE SUV — DAY

 

The view is what Bryan sees through his front windshield. Two vehicles are parked on the road. A stretch Limo is facing the SUV on the left shoulder, and a Volkswagon Beetle is parallel to the Limo, occupying the entire right lane. A concrete construction barrier blocks the entire right shoulder. It doesn’t look like the SUV will be able to thread the needle between the two vehicles.

 

Cut To:

 

55   EXT. THE SUV — DAY

 

Amy and Bryan are shown from the vantage point of the front hood of the car through the front windshield.

 

BRYAN

Brace for impact!

 

AMY

Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit!

 

Cut To:

 

56   EXT. THE AREA BETWEEN THE LIMO AND BEETLE — DAY

 

The view is from the sky, showing all the Limo and Beetle, and not much else. Many sparks fly as the SUV scraps through the gap. The truck tries to follow but, because it is wider, gets stuck in three stages, which, all together, only last a few seconds. The first stage is a violent crash that propels the nearest part of the two vehicles outward while it propels the farthest part of the vehicles inward–nearest and farthest from the first point of impact that is. (For the record, due to the concrete barrier, the Beetle gets moved less than the Limo.) The second stage is slowing momentum. The truck scrapes like the Titanic on the iceberg and gets somewhat intertwined with the two vehicles. The third stage is a complete stop, with the front end of the truck sticking out from the farthest point of impact.

 

Cut To:

 

57   INT. VIEW OF THE DRIVER’S SEAT FROM THE FRONT PASSENGER’S SEAT

OF THE TRUCK — DAY

 

The driver’s side airbag inflates as the truck driver’s face slams into it. In two seconds, the airbag completely deflates.

 

TRUCK DRIVER

God damn mother-fuckin’ shit!

 

Cut To:

 

58   INT. VIEW DOWN THE ROAD FROM THE DRIVER’S SIDE OF THE TRUCK —

DAY

 

The truck is stopped, but the truck driver can see that the SUV is badly damaged and moving slowly–only about ten mph–down the road.

 

TRUCK DRIVER

Well, hot damn! Time to use Big Bertha! Hahahaha!

 

The truck driver reaches in the backseat of his truck and pulls out a surface-to-air-missile launcher. Because the driver’s side door is pinned shut against the rear of the Limo, the truck driver climbs with the launcher out the driver’s side window onto the trunk of the Limo.

 

TRUCK DRIVER

Hehehe! Glad I got this thing from the armory. Hope it works.

 

Cut To:

 

59  INT. SUV — DAY

 

Amy looks at the rearview mirror.

 

AMY

That Reghead’s stopped and is pointing some kind of weapon at us!

 

BRYAN

Nothing we can do now but keep going.

 

Cut To:

 

60   EXT. THE SUV — DAY

 

Looking at the SUV from its right side, the SUV is shown limping along. It is only about forty yards from the truck driver.

 

Cut To:

 

61   EXT. THE TRUCK DRIVER — DAY

 

The truck driver is shown from the side pressing buttons and pulling the trigger multiple times. Although he is amused, he is also frustrated.

 

TRUCK DRIVER

(grinning ecstatically)

Well, fuck me! How do I get this piece of shit to work?!

 

The truck driver lowers the launcher to quickly study it and then presses a couple more buttons.

 

TRUCK DRIVER

There, that oughtta do it.

 

Cut To:

 

62   EXT. THE TRUCK DRIVER — DAY

 

The truck driver is shown from the front, somewhat farther away; implying that this could be the view of him from the SUV.

 

Cut To:

 

63   EXT. THE TRUCK DRIVER — DAY

 

The truck driver’s head and trigger finger are shown from the right side, this time closer than before, so that most of his body cannot be seen. The focus is on his face and trigger finger.

 

TRUCK DRIVER

Say cheeeeeese!

 

Cut To:

 

64   EXT. THE TRUCK DRIVER — DAY

 

As before, the truck driver is shown from the front, somewhat farther away; implying that this could be the view of him from the SUV. His body, the truck, the Limo, and the Beetle all disappear in a blinding burst of fire. Somehow, the truck driver managed to make the missile more of a fiery, trapped grenade that killed him than a projectile that would kill the Johnsons.

 

Cut To:

 

65   INT. BRYAN AND AMY AS SEEN THROUGH THE FRONT WINDSHIELD — DAY

 

The windows around the SUV light up with a large, blinding fireball. Bryan squints and partially raises his left hand to protect his eyes. Amy completely covers her face with her hands.

 

Cut To:

 

66   EXT. THE FRONT OF THE SUV — DAY

 

The SUV is seen emerging from the explosion, scorched but intact and moving. The viewpoint of the camera is about twenty yards off the ground and stays stationary, following the SUV as it passes. It shows the SUV going about ten mph from the front view, side view, and then back view. The fireball ends, leaving flaming pieces of debris on the road. The SUV is shown driving down the road, past and over some flaming debris, to an uncertain future.

 

Cut To:

 

67   EXT. LARRY’S CABIN — DUSK

 

The SUV creeps up a dirt road and turns onto a grass “driveway” to the right. Larry’s cabin is painted white and in good condition. The inside cannot be seen at this time, but it consists of a living room, bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom. On the side farthest from the driveway, is a covered area that starts from the end of the bathroom and ends with a wall, making a type of garage. In the covered area is a riding lawnmower. The mower partly accounts for the relatively low grass of the area immediately surrounding the cabin. Beyond that cut area is a forest of tall trees. Surrounding the cabin are disturbing arrangements of naked parts from realistic baby dolls. Amy and Bryan step out of the SUV, and Bryan waits for her next to one of these arrangements. Amy sees it and says:

 

AMY

What the hell is that?!

 

Bryan laughs.

 

BRYAN

Larry put those up to scare people away. He’s also an artist. Or at least he was. He likes to make interesting and amusing art. You’ll see inside. Our first order of business should be to make a sound-proof jailcell for Seth. About a half mile up the road is an abandoned farmhouse. I suppose we could fix up the cellar there.

 

AMY

Good idea, except it’s getting late. Let’s try to feed and hydrate Seth like we planned. He has to be very hungry and thirsty by now.

 

BRYAN

Wait here. I have to get the key.

 

Bryan walks to the left corner of the front of the cabin, picks up a fist-size fake rock, opens it, and takes out the key. He unlocks the door.

 

Cut To:

 

  1. INT: LARRY’S CABIN — TWILIGHT

 

Bryan walks in, flips on the light switch next to the door, and Amy walks in behind him. The interior is very neat with new wood paneling and floors. Bryan points to the wall over the sofa in the living room at what looks like the head of a woolly mammoth, except its ears are made of two copper dustpans, its trunk is made out of the tube of a large vacuum cleaner, and its fur and eyes are cartoonishly fake.

 

BRYAN

I told you that Larry was an artist. He loves to make sculptures out of junk. Take a look at the door of the bathroom.

 

Amy looks at the door and sees that it is completely painted to reveal an underwater scene from nearby Cicero Lake. A fishing line leads from the top of the painting to a hook with a worm. A lake trout is looking at the worm hungrily. The bottom of the door depicts sand and seaweed. In the sand is a partly imbedded used can of Old Milwaukee Beer. Amy rolls her eyes and sighs.

 

 

 

 

Cut To:

 

  1. INT: CABIN KITCHEN — TWILIGHT

 

Bryan and Amy carry Seth and gently put him on the kitchen floor.

 

BRYAN

(smiling)

Hey, little man. You must be hungry and thirsty. We’re gonna put some food and water on the floor here, and take off your gag. But before we do, we want you to know that we’re in a remote cabin in the woods. Yell all you want. No one but us will hear you. The better you behave, the nicer we’ll treat you. If you get obnoxious, we’ll just leave you alone so that you won’t drive us crazy.

 

AMY

(teary eyed)

Seth, darling, please eat and drink as best as you can. We love you and miss you. We want our old son back.

 

Amy kisses Seth on the forehead, and Bryan does likewise. Then Bryan unties the gag.

 

SETH

Your breath smells like butt! Set me free, God dammit.

 

BRYAN

(straining to have complete calm)

Well, that’s a bad start. Amy, please put the water on the floor.

 

Amy places a camelback backpack on the floor near Seth.

 

AMY

(holding up the blue tube of the

backpack)

Suck on this blue tube to get water.

 

Bryan puts a tray with beef jerky, apple slices, Doritos, and cheese cubes near Seth

 

BRYAN

And here is a delicious selection from the four food groups.

 

SETH

Fuck you, dickhead!

 

BRYAN

(wagging his head as if indicating

no and clicking his tongue)

Tsk, tsk, tsk–such a potty mouth. Your mother and I are gonna step outside and let you eat and drink by yourself.

 

Bryan and Amy walk outside and close the door.

 

CUT TO:

 

  1. EXT. BETWEEN CABIN AND SUV — NIGHT

 

AMY

(snuggling up to Bryan to get a hug)

I hope that he’ll drink and eat.

 

BRYAN

(holding Amy affectionately)

He probably will. Most of the Regheads would have dropped dead by now if they had completely stopped eating and drinking. Hopefully, a lack of an audience will help Seth remember that he’s thirsty and hungry.

 

Amy and Bryan silently listen for sounds coming from the cabin. There are none. This indicates that Seth is consuming his water and food.

 

CUT TO:

 

  1. INT. THE CELLAR OF THE AFOREMENTIONED FARMHOUSE — DAY.

HOWEVER, MUCH OF THE LIGHT COMES FROM A CAMPING LANTERN.

 

A montage shows Bryan and Amy preparing the cellar to be a homey jailcell for Seth. They clean it; put a bed, a rug, a bookshelf, books, a Franklin stove, and barred windows in it; and seal it with a sturdy door with a strong lock. The door is between the kitchen on the first floor and the stairs that lead to the cellar/jailcell. The montage also shows Amy and Brian continuing to care for Seth. They feed, bathe, and clothe him; and wash and dry his clothes. Seth does not improve mentally. He is still ecstatic and very non-compliant.

 

Cut To:

 

  1. INT. THE JAILCELL — NIGHT. THE ONLY LIGHT COMES FROM A

CAMPING LANTERN.

 

Holding hands, Bryan and Amy stand in the jailcell, admiring their handiwork.

 

AMY

Well, we’re finally done. Let’s put Seth into his new home.

 

Cut To:

 

  1. INT. THE JAILCELL — NIGHT. THE ONLY LIGHT COMES FROM A

CAMPING LANTERN THAT AMY IS HOLDING WHILE SHE STANDS AT THE

TOP OF THE STAIRWAY.

 

Bryan carries Seth into the cellar and gently places him facedown on the floor next to the bed. Facing Seth’s ankles, Bryan sits with Seth’s butt securely between Bryan’s knees so that Bryan’s weight will pin Seth to the floor without hurting Seth. He unties the rope around Seth’s ankles, and Seth starts playfully kicking. Then, holding Seth down to the ground by pushing on Seth’s back with one hand, Bryan turns to face Seth’s head. Still sitting on Seth’s butt, he removes Seth’s gag.

 

SETH

(smiling and singing)

I love you, Daddy! Let me go! I love you, Daddy! Let me go! I love you, Daddy! Let me go! Please, please, please let me go!

 

BRYAN

(while untying the rope around

Seth’s wrists.)

Well, aren’t you sweet today? I love you too, son; and someday I’ll let you go. Until then, prove to me that I can trust you. You can start by getting on your bed and staying away from the stairs.

 

With Seth’s left arm tightly gripped with Bryan’s left hand, Bryan guides Seth toward the bed. However, Seth strains to run up the stairs.

 

BRYAN

(smiling with some amusement)

No, Seth. Go to the bed, not the stairs.

 

Seth does not comply.

 

BRYAN

(looking up at Amy)

Go to Plan B.

 

AMY

  1. Goodnight, Sethipoo.

 

Keeping the jailcell door open, Amy steps off the top step next to the door, one hand on the door and the other hand still holding the lantern. Bryan guides Seth near the stairs, puts a foot on a lower step, and shoves Seth away from the stairs.

 

BRYAN

(running up the stairs)

Goodnight, son!

 

Cut To:

 

  1. INT: FARMHOUSE KITCHEN, NEXT TO THE JAILCELL DOOR — NIGHT

 

Bryan runs into the kitchen from the stairs. Amy slams the jailcell door shut, starts locking it, and Bryan helps her complete the task.

 

Cut To:

 

  1. EXT: OUTSIDE THE ABANDONED FARMHOUSE — DAY

 

It is the morning of the next day, and Amy and Bryan are walking from the area outside the farmhouse into the farmhouse, carrying food and water for Seth.

 

Cut To:

 

  1. INT: FARMHOUSE KITCHEN, NEXT TO THE JAILCELL DOOR — DAY

 

Bryan and Amy come to the locked door of the jailcell. Bryan knocks on it.

 

BRYAN

Good morning, Seth. Please step away from the door. We’ve brought food and water for you. I love you, son. But if you’re on the stairs when I open this door, I’ll hurt you.

 

Amy and Bryan wait for a response and hear nothing. Bryan unlocks the door and carefully opens it.

 

Cut To:

 

  1. INT: JAILCELL — DAY

 

The camera focuses on Bryan and Amy walking down the stairs. Their faces change from expressions of mild worry to complete horror.

 

BRYAN

Oh, my God!

 

Amy screams. Bryan and Amy rush down the stairs to help Seth. Seth is lying unconscious on the jailcell floor in a pool of his own blood because he purposefully banged his head against the franklin stove repeatedly to force his parents to set him free. Amy feels for Seth’s pulse.

 

AMY

He’s still alive. It’s a lot of blood, but I think he’ll be OK.

 

Bryan takes off his shirt and uses it as a makeshift bandage to slow Seth’s bleeding.

 

BRYAN

Let’s clean him up and hogtie him again. I guess that we’ll have to make Seth’s room like a padded one in an insane asylum. Can you stitch together a straight jacket?

 

AMY

I think so.

 

BRYAN

  1. Somehow, we’ve got to make the heat of the stove get to Seth without Seth misusing the stove. It gets cold at night all year round, and summer will eventually turn to winter.

 

Cut To:

 

  1. FIXING THE JAILCELL MONTAGE — DAYS AND NIGHTS

 

A montage is shown with the following scenes: Amy and Bryan struggling to carry a mattress out of a rural house; Bryan and Amy driving with another mattress strapped to the SUV; Amy and Bryan finding a pick-up at another farmhouse, putting many long thick boards in it, taking the pick-up, and leaving the SUV; Amy alone in the cabin, stitching together a straight jacket; Bryan alone in the jail cell, hammering the thick boards into a large frame within the cellar (the boards extend from the floor to the ceiling forming a large cube); hogtied Seth eating and drinking like a dog on the floor of the cabin kitchen; Bryan and Amy finding food and a shotgun at another rural house; Amy and Bryan taping padding on the wooden parts of the frame that would be within Seth’s reach; Bryan and Amy adding a padded door and doorframe to the cube; and Amy and Bryan attaching chain-link fence around the frame.

 

Cut To:

 

  1. THE FINISHED CUBE — DAY

 

Bryan and Amy sit exhausted in the cube. The cube occupies most of the jailcell without allowing Seth access to anything that could hurt him, including the stone walls and the franklin stove. The floor of the cube is covered with two queen-sized mattresses.

 

BRYAN

(sighs)

Well, that was a lot of work. I hope it’s worth it.

 

AMY

(indignant)

What do you mean?!

 

BRYAN

Ah . . . I mean that I hope it’s best for Seth.

 

AMY

What else can we do for now, except keep him safe and alive until a cure is found?

 

BRYAN

If a cure is found.

 

AMY

Well, we wouldn’t be in this mess if we’d stayed in that college bookstore! It’s all your fault!

 

BRYAN

All my fault?! No! It’s your fault because you wouldn’t let me gag him then!

 

AMY

Don’t you dare blame this on me!

 

BRYAN

Then don’t you dare blame this on me!

 

AMY

(somewhat calmly)

I should’ve divorced you long ago.

 

BRYAN

Divorce?! Divorce?! It’s not too late to divorce!

 

AMY

(somewhat calmly)

What do you mean?

 

BRYAN

(somewhat calmly)

I mean that, whenever you want, you can put your things in the truck and leave.

 

AMY

Why should I have to leave?! Why don’t you leave?!

 

BRYAN

Because I’m not going to abandon our son!

 

AMY

Well, I’m not going to abandon our son either!

 

BRYAN

Then I guess we’re stuck being fuckin’ married, so we might as well make the best of it!

 

Amy storms out the cube, up the stairs, and into the farmhouse kitchen.

 

Cut To:

 

  1. IN WOODS OUTSIDE THE FARMHOUSE — DAY

 

Amy is obviously angry and wants to scream. Instead, she walks a little into some woods outside the farmhouse, falls to her knees, and starts praying.

 

AMY

Glory to you, God, my creator and sustainer. Please help me. Bryan is driving me nuts! He blames me for getting Seth regged up, and it’s at least equally Bryan’s fault! Ohhh! Sometimes I know that I’d be better off without him–Bryan I mean. But what can I do? I could kill Bryan. . . . But that would be wrong. Besides, I need him to get Seth and me through this apocalypse. I could steal Seth and leave Bryan. But I might get caught, and I can’t handle Seth by myself. Help me, Lord! Please help me! Give me the wisdom and love to deal well with this situation. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.

 

Cut To:

 

  1. IN AND AROUND THE FINISHED CUBE (A.K.A. IN THE JAILCELL) — DAY

 

Bryan is angrily pacing and talking. He wants to yell loudly, but he keeps his voice down because he knows that what he might say is likely to upset Amy if she hears it and, thus, make a bad situation worse.

 

BRYAN

God damn! Fuckin’ shit! Jesus Christ! Cunt licker! What did I ever do to be cursed with heterosexual-ity? Women are a big headache. A man has a simple choice: Be lonely or be annoyed. Fuck! . . . Oh shit, I should be thankful that I have a relatively good woman in this fuckin’ apocalypse. The dating scene beyond our little compound is probably shittier than an isolated monastery.

 

Bryan falls to his knees on the floor of the cube and starts pounding it with his right fist (remember that it is covered by a thick mattress).

 

BRYAN

(softly yelling)

Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuckiddy fuck fuck!

 

Bryan calms down and walks up the stairs to find Amy.

 

CUT TO:

 

  1. OUTSIDE THE FARMHOUSE — DAY

 

Bryan sees Amy on her knees with her back to the farmhouse. He walks toward her, and she stands up and walks toward him.

 

BRYAN

Well, that could’ve gone better.

 

AMY

Yeah.

 

BRYAN

Maybe it’s good that we expressed ourselves. Being a parent is hard enough, but being a parent to a Reghead in the Regocalypse is even harder.

 

AMY

I suppose.

 

BRYAN

Honey, we’re all we’ve got, and Seth needs us both.

 

AMY

(thinking of saying one thing but

saying another)

Uhhh . . . that’s true. I just don’t know what to do.

 

BRYAN

Do you think we should just let him go? We could drive him out to an abandoned road and push him out the truck–carefully of course.

 

AMY

How can you say such a thing?!

 

BRYAN

I’m just exploring all our options.

 

AMY

Well, stop exploring that one! I don’t care if we die taking care of Seth! We’re gonna do what we can to help him. We’re not gonna abandon him.

 

BRYAN

(grinning happily)

I’m glad to hear it. Let’s keep Seth alive and safe until a miracle happens.

 

AMY

I thought you didn’t believe in miracles.

 

BRYAN

Science has miraculously cured more than one disease.

 

AMY

(smiling slyly with good humor)

That’s OK. God created science.

 

Bryan laughs. They hug and kiss.

 

Cut To:

 

  1. THE STRUGGLING WITH SETH FOR A YEAR MONTAGE — DAYS AND NIGHTS

 

While Pachelbel’s Canon in D plays, a silent montage is shown with the following scenes, with written words to indicate the month. July: Seth flails in the cube while Amy and Bryan bring him food and water. August: While Bryan is obliviously harvesting blackberries in the woods, a Reghead woman charges at him with a syringe and Amy shoots her in the forehead. September: Seth is sick with a fever. Bryan holds his head with a cool cloth, and Amy takes his temperature with an ear thermometer. October: Amy picks up a leaflet from the government that says, “A military refuge has been established in Hammondsport, New York. All Normals welcome. No Regheads allowed.” She shows it to Bryan. He thinks about it and shakes his head no. November: Amy and Bryan are crying in the living room of the cabin as snow falls. They hold each other affectionately. December: Amy lights all nine candles on a birthday cake that says “Happy Birthday, Seth!” Seth spastically rocks back and forth. They sing “Happy Birthday” to Seth, and Bryan blows out the candles for his son. January: Amy and Bryan are being chased by a mob of Regheads down a snow-covered road. Right when they are about to get caught, an army attack helicopter appears and kills all the mob but two. Those are the two closest Regheads to Bryan and Amy. Amy shoots one with the shotgun, and Bryan buries a machete in the head of another. Bryan and Amy wave thank you to the pilot. The pilot gives a thumbs up and flies away. Amy and Bryan jump up and down and gesture to get him to fly back, but he doesn’t. February: Bryan picks up a leaflet from the government on a snowy field that says, “The CDC announces another step toward a cure for Reg Contamination.” He looks up with hope in his eyes. March: Bryan and Amy stop foraging from some cars near a barn to hide from a weird parade coming down the highway. The parade consists of many vehicles, including school buses. Some of the vehicles are decorated comically, such as the car covered completely with stuffed animal with a long periscope sticking out of the roof so that the driver can see; some are decorated bizarrely, such as the bus filled with garbage and the oddest paint job ever; and some are decorated grotesquely, such as the school bus covered with blood and bones. A trippy menagerie of Regheads accompany the vehicles on foot. April: The trees around her have spring leaves, and Amy watches an army attack helicopter in the distance, just like the one that recued them in January, get blown up by a surface-to-air missile. May: While out foraging in a rural house, Bryan watches as a family drives by in a different-color SUV than his parents used to own. A woman is driving, and a man sits behind her in the back. The SUV stops in front of the house, and the man pushes out a nine-year-old girl. She is obviously a Reghead and starts running in spastic circles in the road. The SUV drives off, and Bryan walks away from the window deep in thought. June: Only the outside of the cabin is shown.

 

Cut To:

 

  1. INT. CABIN KITCHEN — DAY

 

Amy is in the kitchen, preparing fresh asparagus to eat. Fresh spinach and strawberries are also near her. Bryan bursts through the door. Amy is startled.

 

AMY

Ah! You scared me!

 

BRYAN

Sorry about that, love; but I’ve got the best news!

 

AMY

What happened?!

 

BRYAN

I was out tending the garden, and I saw a couple of these plastic bags on the ground.

 

Bryan holds up a clear plastic bag with a white box on the inside. The box has the words “CURE FOR REG CONTAMINATION” on it.

 

BRYAN

See for yourself!

 

Amy grabs it from him and inspects it.

 

AMY

It’s a cure?

 

BRYAN

Yeah, I guess so. It came with a flyer that says it is. Supposedly, all we need to do is just inject this medicine one time and Seth’ll be cured.

 

AMY

That sounds too good to be true.

 

BRYAN

I know, but apparently the government dropped these packages all over the place.

 

AMY

Well, what’ve we got to lose?! Let’s try it!

 

Cut To:

 

  1. INT. THE CUBE — DAY

 

Amy and Bryan are shown injecting Seth’s arm with a syringe full of clear liquid. They then watch Seth’s face hopefully. In thirty seconds, Seth’s eyes go from crazy to sane. He starts crying tears of relief.

 

SETH

(speaking sluggishly)

Mom, Dad, my brain has changed. My crazy is gone.

 

Bryan and Amy happily hug Seth.

 

BRYAN

Welcome back, son!

 

AMY

I love you so much!

 

SETH

(still crying but speaking less

sluggishly)

I remember it all . . . like a long nightmare.

 

Bryan gently strokes Seth’s hair from forehead to nape.

 

BRYAN

Hopefully, your nightmare is over forever.

 

Cut To:

 

  1. OUTSIDE THE CABIN — DAY

 

A couple of days later, all three Johnsons are wearing different clean clothes and looking healthy and happy. They are near the cabin. Seth is normal and happily playing with toy vehicles near the garden. Amy and Bryan are sitting on foldout camping chairs, happily watching him. It is a perfect June day.

 

AMY

I guess we should be seeing Normal soldiers marching by soon to force the Regheads to get healed.

 

BRYAN

I think you’re right.

 

AMY

Wow! Was that an ordeal! I thank God with all my heart that we got through it.

 

Bryan reaches out and holds her hand.

 

BRYAN

Well said.

 

AMY

Sorry about mentioning God. I mean, I’m sort of sorry. I know you’re an Atheist, and I should be respectful of your belief.

 

BRYAN

I appreciate your . . . ah . . . concern. Feel free to mention God all you want, as long as you’re respectful to everyone who can hear you. And you just were. It’s more important what people do than what they believe. Even Saint Paul teaches that love is greater than faith: ‘Faith, hope, and love abide

–these three, but the greatest of these is love.’

 

AMY

First Corinthians Chapter 13–one of the best passages in the Bible.

 

BRYAN

One of the best passages in all literature.

 

AMY

Oh, that reminds me. I was reading the Bible earlier, and I marked a passage to share with you.

 

Amy stands up, walks into the cabin, walks out with a Bible, and sits back down.

 

AMY

It also comes from First Corinthians.

 

Amy opens the Bible to the marked page.

 

AMY

Is it OK if I read this passage to you? I mean no offense by it. In fact, I think you’ll sort of like it.

 

Bryan laughs good-naturedly.

 

BRYAN

Don’t worry, my love. I have read the Bible from cover to cover before and studied it in depth. It won’t hurt me.

 

Amy laughs good-naturedly as well.

 

AMY

That’s true. You were a pastor for many years. Anyway, the passage is First Corinthians Chapter 7 . . .

 

Amy looks at the open Bible

 

AMY

Verses 10 through 17. “To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them.”

 

BRYAN

(smiling)

Right now, I like Saint Paul.

 

Amy laughs.

 

BRYAN

Well, if there’s anything that this apocalypse has taught us, it’s that there are much more important things than what divides us. I would much rather have a philosophical disagreement with my good wife and the mother of my child than to lose that good wife or my child.

 

AMY

I think I can say, ‘Amen to that!’ Much work can be required to be a good spouse and parent, but it’s totally worth the effort. What does it profit someone to gain the whole world but to lose her or his family?

 

BRYAN

Don’t you mean to say soul?

 

AMY

My soul is more important to me than my family, but my family is more important to me than anything else in the world. I absolutely love my husband and son!

 

Amy gives Bryan a big hug. Bryan hugs Amy as well, and they continue hugging while Bryan speaks with tears going down his cheeks.

 

BRYAN

And we absolutely love you too!

 

Seth silently joins the hug without any prompting. All three Johnsons are smiling and crying tears of joy. The screen fades to black. The credits roll.

 

THE END