EXT. THE FULTON LAWN - DUSK
(JESSE FULTON, GREG FULTON, LOUISE FULTON, A MOVER, MARY ZOMBIE)
JESSE IS MOWING THE FRONT LAWN ON A RIDING MOWER. HIS FATHER, GREG, IS PRUNING SOME TREES. SUDDENLY A HUGE YELLOW MOVING TRUCK PULLS INTO THE DRIVEWAY NEXT DOOR. JESSE TURNS AND LOOKS. HE IS SO EXCITED HE JUMPS OFF THE MOWER AND RUNS UP TO HIS FATHER. OF COURSE, THE MOWER IS STILL PUTTERING ALONG.
(pointing at the moving truck)
Dad! Look at that.
GREG STOPS HIS PRUNING AND LOOKS
Well, I'll be. Someone bought the Joneses' house.
So we have someone new to keep up with?
Quiet, boy. Well, if they're new to the neighborhood maybe we should invite them to the barbecue.
And by "we" you mean me.
Smart as a whip, that's my boy. Now get your ass over there.
What about the mower?
What about...my mower!
THE MOWER IS PUTTERING DOWN THE STREET. GREG THROWS HIS PRUNING SHEARS AND TAKES OFF WILDLY AFTER THE MOWER. THE SHEARS, OF COURSE, SHATTER A WINDOW.
LOUISE'S VOICE (O.S.)
JESSE FOLDS HIS HANDS BEHIND HIS BACK AND WHISTLES AS HE WALKS OVER INTO HIS NEIGHBOR'S YARD. HE LOOKS IN THE BACK OF THE TRUCK, WHICH IS ALMOST EMPTY. THERE IS ONE OBJECT LEFT, WHICH COULD BE A HUMAN HEAD WRAPPED IN BROWN PAPER AND TWINE. JESSE EVER-SO-SLOWLY REACHES INTO THE TUCK TO PICK UP THE HEAD SHAPED OBJECT. SUDDENLY, THE MOVING TRUCK ROARS INTO LIFE AND JESSE JUMPS BACK. HE LOOKS AT THE MOVER DRIVING, WHO IS PALE WHITE AND OBVIOUSLY FRIGHTENED TO DEATH. THE DRIVER BACKS THE TRUCK OUT OF THE DRIVEWAY SO FAST THAT HIS TIRES SHRIEK.
Hey, wait! There's still stuff in the back!
THE TRUCK FLIES DOWN THE SUBURBAN STREET AT 60 MILES PER HOUR OR MORE. THE HEAD-SHAPED OBJECT FLIES OUT OF THE BACK. JESSE WALKS UP TO THE OBJECT AND PICKS IT UP. SLOWLY HE TAKES THE TWINE IN HIS FINGERS AND STARTS TO PULL, WHEN MARY'S HANDS TAKE THE OBJECT FROM HIM. JESSE JUMPS, BUT WHEN HE SEES MARY HE IS STARTLED BY HOW PRETTY SHE IS.
Oh, thank you. I was afraid they had forgotten to bring this in.
(in the throes of puppy love)
Yeah...hey, you know, that guy looked terrified when he drove off.
(rolling her eyes)
Oh, yeah. My dad has that effect on people. I'm Mary. Mary Zombie. We're new here.
Jesse Fulton. I've lived in Willberry all my life...unfortunately.
THEY SHAKE HANDS. JESSE'S HEART IS THUMPING.
Oh, it doesn't seem that bad here. Nice lawns, big houses, everybody has a car. It's a lot better than Haiti was.
You're from Haiti? You're lucky. I've never even been out of Willberry.
I'll tell you about it sometime. I need to go inside though, it's time for breakfast.
Breakfast? It's almost seven. You mean dinner.
Oh, yeah, that's what I meant. Sorry about my English.
BEHIND THEM, THE LAWNMOWER PUTTERS SLOWLY BY ON THE STREET. JESSE'S DAD IS SWEATING AND HUFFING AND PUFFING AS HE RUNS AFTER IT.
Damn you, John Deere!
THE TWO KIDS STOP FOR A MINUTE TO WATCH THE MAN CHASE HIS PRIZED MOWER OFFSCREEN. THEN THEY TURN BACK TO EACH OTHER.
Oh, that reminds me, my dad's having a big block party tomorrow. There'll be burgers and ponies and crap like that. He wanted me to invite you and your family. I'd...really like it if you'd come.
Well, I'll tell my parents, but they don't like to come out much. Bye, Jesse.
MARY STARTS UP THE LAWN TOWARDS HER DOOR.
(calling after her)
Hey, wait! What's in that package?
(over her shoulder)
Just a vase!
MARY DISAPPEARS INSIDE HER HOUSE. ALL OF THE WINDOWSHADES ARE CLOSED AND THE HOUSE IS UTTERLY INSCRUTABLE FROM THE OUTSIDE. WHEN HE'S SURE SHE CAN'T SEE HIM, HE STAGGERS BACKWARDS, CLUTCHING HIS HEART.
She touched me...I'll never wash this hand again.
HE HOLDS UP THE HAND HE SHOOK MARY'S HAND WITH AND LOOKS AT IT. IT IS COVERED WITH A GROSS PUS AND THERE ARE A FEW MAGGOTS ON IT.
JESSE WIPES HIS HAND ON HIS SHIRT IN DISGUST.
"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov
Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."
Enter your e-mail address in the box below and click "Subscribe" to join Stephen Kozeniewski's Mailing List for Fun and Sexy People. (Why the hell would anyone ever want to join a mailing list?)