The Ghost in the Old Mill Tavern

(This hopefully is the last version Ė a working script for my new film)

 

SCENE 1: Old Mill Tavern Ė evening

 

EST: Old Mill exterior

 

-- Interior shot of Tommy, the bartender, wiping down the bar with tavern reflected in the mirror behind him.

-- Various bar shots

-- Shot of someone at the jukebox playing a selection

-- Shot of Ken and Hank seated at one of the tables.

-- over the shoulder shot of Ken

 

KEN:   I donít know how it happened, Hank, it just did.

            And I canít tell you how sorry I am.

 

(Hank slumps forward, his head hitting the table hard)

 

            Hank?

            Are you all right?

 

(Long shot of Ken waving for Tommy)

 

            Tommy!

 

(Tommy comes over shaking his head)

 

TOMMY: Donít tell me Hank has passed out again.

 

KEN:   I donít think heís passed out

            I think heís dead.

 

(long shot of table, Ken, Tommy in background, Hank in Foreground, an electrical charge rises from Hankís slumped body and into the jukebox.)

 

(fade)

 

Scene Two: Funeral Ė Day light

 

Shots of exterior of church. Hearse. Graveyard burial.

Close up of Ken mourning.

 (fade)

 

 

SCENE 3 Tavern night

 

(long shot of Tommy moving to a table to collect bottles. The bar is empty. The clock shows the time as 4 a.m.

-- match cut of Tommy at table.

-- shot of hand wiping the table with a rag.

-- shot of bottle moving out of his way.

-- reaction shot of Tommy looking puzzled.

-- medium shot of him shrugging

-- close up of his hand and rag

-- bottle moves again

-- reaction shot of him looking startled

-- shot of jukebox coming on with warbly voice

-- reaction shot of Tommyís face concerned then stunned as he looks off street.

-- POV shot of Hankís ghost appearing.

-- reaction shot of Tommy

 

TOMMY: Iíll be a monkeyís uncle.

(fade)

 

SCENE 4: Kenís bedroom Ė early morning

 

-- shot of phone ringing

-- shot of clock saying 4:15 a.m.

-- very close shot of Kenís eyes opening

-- medium match cut of him in bed reaching off screen

-- shot of telephone ringing and hand grabbing receiver

-- close shot of him pulling the receiver to his hear

 

KEN:   Hello?

 

(Cross cut to Tommy with phone at bar)

 

TOMMY: I want you to get down here, Kenny

 

KEN: (squinting off screen Ė shot of clock Ė then Kenís face again)

            But Itís four thirty in the morning

 

TOMMY:  (back to Tommy)

            I know what time it is.

            But Hankís haunting my bar and since heís your friend, youíve got to get him out of here.

 

KEN: (cross cut back)

            All right. Iíll be there first thing after work tomorrow.

 

(fade)

 

scene 5: OLD MILL TAVERN Ė EVENING

 

-- external shot of the bar with 1950s car parked out front.

 

-- Ken and Pauly walk through tables and settle at one.

-- match cut of Ken at table lifting his hand to wave off screen

-- eye line match of Tommy waving back from behind bar.

-- two shot of Ken and Pauly at table.

-- Tommy enters frame

-- shot of Tommy looking down

 

TOMMY: About time you got here.

            My customers have been complaining all night

 

(shot of Ken looking up)

 

KEN    About what?

 

(shot of Tommy)

 

TOMMY:        Your friend, the ghost, of course.

(various shots around the bar with Tommy voice bridge)

 

KEN:  I donít see anything here.

 

KEEP: I did. And thatís what counts

 

PAULY:  And you were sober?

 

KEEP: Donít give me any guff, Garley.

           

            Heís been causing havoc all night, moving glasses when people try to pour beer in them.

 

(Three shot of table with Pauly and Ken seated and Tommy standing)

 

PAULY ; But are you sure itís him and not some other spirit?

 

TOMMY:  (solo of Tommy)

            I know who it is.

 

(shot of Tom approaching jukebox.

-- shot of quarter in slot

-- shot of finger punching button

-- shot of full jukebox with warbly voice coming out of it

-- solo shot of Pauly

 

PAULY: Thatís sweet of you, Tommy,

 

-- shot of table with Pauly and Ken with Tommy entering frame

 

            You putting Hank on the jukebox like that

 

(solo of Tommy looking down)

 

TOMMY: I did no such thing

 

(over Paulyís shoulder looking up at Tommy)

            Thatís supposed to be the Rolling Stones.

 

(three shot of table)

            But it doesnít matter what button you push, they call come up with Hank.

 

PAULY:  Donít you think a ghost would lend a little character to this place?

 

TOMMY:  It donít need character.

            I got a buyer who wants to build condos on the property and that

last thing I need is for Hank or any ghost to scare him off.

 

KEN:  You think thatís why Hank came back?

 

TOMMY:  Hank spent more time here than he ever did at home.

            He once threatened to haunt me if I ever did what Iím doing now.

 

 

PAULY: And you want us to do what?

 

(solo of Tommy)

 

TOMMY: Get rid of him.

 

(Tommy exits shot)

 

 

PAULY ; And you wonder why I hate this place

 

KEN:   So did Hank.

 

PAULY: Yeah, thatís why he came here every night

 

KEN: He came here because he had no place else to go

            He was always looking for a better circle of friends

 

PAULY:   Thatís pretty rich since you and me were his only friends.

 

KEN:   Then if anybody can talk him into leaving, we can.

 

PAULY:  This isnít like the good old days, Ken.

            Weíve not here to drive him home because he had too much to drink.

            Heís dead. He doesnít need a designated driver.

 

KEN:    If we canít help him nobody can.

 

PAULY: So what exactly did you have in mind, bright boy?

 

-- solo shot of Pauly at table looking off screen towards Ken

 

KEN:   We find out why heís so upset and help him

 

(reverse over Kenís shoulder of Pauly)

 

PAULY: We both know why heís upset. It was that girl he was always going on about Ė whatís her name who dumped him.

                       

KEN:   Peggy.

            Her name was Peggy

            Hank loved her deeply.

            He never got over her taking off with another man

 

PAULY: So? What do you propose?

           

KEN:   We should go find her and bring her back here

(fade)

 

SCENE 6 Greenwich Village day time

 

Montage of scenes from Washington Square, St. Marks Place, and eventually, to East. 5th Street, where Pauly and Ken come to the front door of Hankís old haunt, then into the hall and up the stairs, pausing before a tenement door

 

PAULY: You must be out of your freakin mind.

            Itís been more than 30 years since they lived here.

            She canít still be here.

 

KEN:   Maybe not.

            But someone might remember here and where she went

 

(Ken knocks on the door. A muffled voice sounds from behind)

 

RESIDENT:     Go away

 

KEN:   Iím looking for Peggy.

            She used to live here.

 

RESIDENT:     Go away or Iíll call the cops

 

(The door across the hall opens slightly, a nose and eye appear at the opening)

 

MAN:  I know where she went

 

 

SCENE 6: Upstate New York Ė Day time.

 

ETAB: Ken and PAULY and KEN are standing in front of a deserted farm Ė foreclosure sign posted on the fence

 

PAULY: I told you, this was crazy.

            Itís been 30 years

            Communes are a thing of the distance past.

 

KEN:   I suppose we can go back to the little town we passed through to see if anyone knows where this group went.

 

PAULY: You saw how the locals eyed us when we passed through.

            We start asking questions, they might burn us at the stake.

(fade)

 

SCENE 7  the small town, afternoon

 

ETAB: Car parked in front of a new age shop called ďthe witchís BrewĒ

 

MASTER: Ken and Pauly in car.

 

PAULY: Youíre kidding me, right?

 

KEN:   Peggy always fancied herself as a white witch.

            This would make sense.

(fade)

 

SCENE 8: The shop Ė afternoon

 

ETAB:  a pan shot of a store full of dream catchers, fairy statues, dragons, unicorns and such.

 

MASTER: (Ken and Pauly at counter, behind which is a middle aged, but clearly still hippie-like Peggy stands)

 

 

PEGGY: I wondered how long it would take for you to find me

 

KEN:   Hankís dead.

 

PEGGY: I  know, I felt his passing.

 

PAULY: The problem is he hasnít completely passed.

 

PEGGY:  What do you mean?

 

KEN:   We think heís haunting The Old Mill, and we need your help to set him free.

 

PEGGY; No way, Iím through with you guys.

            I have my own life here, a good life, more than I ever had back there.

 

KEN:   You must have loved Hank once.

 

PEGGY: Of course, I loved him.

            The trouble is, he didnít live me.

 

PAULY: (Snorts)

            Youíre crazy, Lady.

            He went to the grave talking about nobody but you.

 

PEGGY: (After a pause)

            All right

            Iíll come

 

 

SCENE 9  Graveyard night

 

Etab: Gate to graveyard.

 

Master shot: Ken, Pauly and Peggy making their way through the graves to the right one

 

PAULY: Are you sure all this is necessary?

 

PEGGY: We have to get soil from his grave for this to work.

 

PAULY: Canít we do this in day light?

 

PEGGY: Itís midnight or never.

 

(But when Peggy reaches out to pinch some dirt, skeletons and spirits come out of the dark.)


PAULY: RUN!

 

(the three flee as the monsters pursue until the three are out of the graveyard and leaning against a tree.)

 

PEGGY: Itís worse than I thought.

 

KEN:   What do you mean?

 

PEGGY: Thereís a dark force guarding Hank

            And itís a woman.

 

 

SCENE 10: The old mill, evening

 

ETAB: A shot of the old mill with Kenís old car parked out front.

            Interior of bar, others at table, reflected in the mirror,

            Table is covered with burning candles.

 

MASTER: Ken, Pauly, on either side with Peg in the middle of the round table.

 

TOM (Cut away to Bar)

            You sure this sťance is necessary?

 

PAULY: If you want Hank to leave, this is the way Peg says we have to do it.

(to peggy)

            So whatís next?

 

PEG:   Buy him a drink to start.

 

PAULY:  For Christís sake, Peggy.

            Do you want to make us look like fools?

            In public?

 

PEG:  Just do it, will you.

            You know what he drinks.

 

PAULY:  Barkeep!

 

TOM: (comes over) What will it be?

 

PAULY:  A rum and coke for our invisible friend.

 

KEEP:  (Frowns then goes off and comes back bearing the drink, then leaves again.)

 

PAULY: Okay, what now?

 

PEG:   We wait.

 

PAULY: For what?

 

PEG: For that

            (he points to the moving glass)

 

PAULY:  Stop kicking the table, Ken

 

KEN:  Iím not.

 Canít you smell his cologne?

 

PAULY (sniffs): My God!

                        Iíd recognize that heap stuff anywhere.

            (the glass rattles violently)

 

PEG: I wouldnít make any of your usual rude remarks, Pauly.

 

PAULY: (looking around) All right. Iím behaving myself.

 

    (then to PEG) What does he want?

 

PEGGY: (in a trance-like state)

            Iím not sure I know, but Hankís here.

            So is the woman

 

KEN:   Who is she?

 

PEGGY: An old lover?

            A demon?

            I canít tell.

            But sheís latched onto Hank and wonít let him go.

 

KEN:   So what do we do?

 

PEGGY: We have to take him away from her

 

KEN:   How?

 

PEGGY: By showing how much we care about him

 

PAULY: For Christís sake

            Hank was a barfly.

            Nobody cares about him.

 

KEN:   Of course, we care about him.

            Thatís why weíre here.

 

PAULY: Then weíre the only friends heís got Ė since heís not around to buy anybody else a round a drinks.

 

KEN:   Thereís more to Hank than just the booze.

 

PAULY: Name something.

 

KEN:   He liked to sing.

 

PAULY: Donít I know it.

            He haunted me with that even before he died.

            If I heard him sing ďTake me home Country Roads,Ē one more time, I might have killed him myself.

 

PEGGY: Maybe if we sing to him, heíll get the message.

 

PAULY: No way Iím singing that song Ė even for Hank.

 

KEN:   He used to sing other songs.

 

PEGGY: I remember him singing ďBorn FreeĒ

 

PAULY: Thatís just as bad.

 

PEGGY: If we donít free him, things could get worse around here.

 

KEN: (lowering his voice and glancing over at Tommy who is washing the bar)

            Worse?

            How?

 

PEGGY: He could haunt more places and people.

 

PAULY: Why the hell would he do that?

 

PEGGY: For vengeance.

 

PAULY: Hank doesnít have any gripes with me.

            Iím not the one who messed around behind his back

 

(He looks at Peggy, then at Ken)

 

KEN:   Thatís old news, Pauly.

            We  never meant for it to hurt him like it did.

 

PAULY: None the less, he ached over it Ė right up to the night he died.

            I donít have to tell you, you were there.

 

PEGGY: This isnít helping.

            Letís just sing and set him free.

 

PAULY: And if I sing, he wonít haunt me?

 

PEGGY: He wonít haunt anybody.

            Heíll go home to a more peaceful place.

 

PAULY: Fine!

            Iíll sing.

            But you start, Ken.

 

KEN: (With a wavering uncertain voice)

            Born Free, as free as the wind blows

 

PAULY: As free as the grass grows

 

PEGGY: Free to follow your heartÖ

 

(The room starts to go nuts. Chairs fly. Bottles break. Tom yells from behind the bar)

 

TOMMY:  Youíre wrecking my place!

 

(But the three continue to sing, and then a evil womanís face appears like a cloud exploding from one wall)

 

DEMON: No, you can not have him!

            Heís mine!

 

PEGGY: Keep singing!

            Itís working!

 

(The three keep singing. Camera cuts away to outside and above the roof as a single light rises, Hankís face showing in the beam as it vanishes into the sky)

 

---- END ---

 


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