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Birds - Summer Break 2 - Part 3

written by Jeroen de Jong

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About this story

Published: 09 Nov 1999 | Size: 65 KB (12381 words) | Language: english | Rating: PG-13

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The so-called X-Files continue ...

based on stories and characters created by Winnie Holzman




Exterior camp site. Some relaxed MSCL-music is playing in the background. Angela is still sitting on the tree trunk. We see the view that she is watching: sun is shining on the hills, a part of the forest in the distance is covered in fog. Rickie comes out of his tent and steps bare-feeted in his hiking boots. Angela turns around at the sound of the zipper. She smiles. Rickie looks a little surprised when he sees Angela. Rickie doesn't bother to tie the laces. He walks over to Angela and puts a hand on her shoulder.

RICKIE: [soft, smiling] Hey, good morning.

ANGELA: [raw morning voice] Hey. [scrapes her throat a little, pointing at the incredible view, soft] Just look at that and say I was overreacting yesterday.

RICKIE: [smiling, sitting down beside her] I get your point.

They just sit down and watch the view.



Interior dining room hotel. Scully is sitting by herself having breakfast. The table is set for three. Scully is putting butter on a piece of toast. Gregg and Mulder come in and sit down at the table. Immediately a young waitress comes and pours them coffee.

GREGG: [smiling at the waitress] Thank you.

The waitress smiles back. Mulder frowns - maybe a little jealous - at Gregg.

MULDER: [dry tone, to Gregg] Let me remind you, we keep work and private life strictly separated.

SCULLY: [looks at her glass of orange juice, soft, ironic] Ooh, yeah.

MULDER: [to Scully] What?

SCULLY: Nothing, had a nice night?

MULDER: Well, [looking at Gregg] my roomy didn't snore, that's one thing. But I still don't see why we didn't toss for the only single room in the hotel.

SCULLY: And that's precisely why you're stuck in the F.B.I. basement.

Mulder takes a muffin from the little basket in the middle of the table.

GREGG: [enthusiast] So, what are the plans for today?

SCULLY: [a little strict] I know the picturesque surroundings can be fooling, but this *is* a serious federal case, you know.

GREGG: I know, you're right.

MULDER: [ironic] Yeah. So Scully, what are the plans for today?

SCULLY: [evil look at Mulder] While I have the pleasure to examine some dead bodies, you and Gregg are going to see the crow colonies. And try to find that Vince-guy and see what he knows.

Scully gets up, takes a muffin from the table.

SCULLY: I'm going outside. You two can fight over the waitress.



Exterior hotel terrace. The hotel terrace is completely empty. From the terrace we have a nice view on the surrounding woods and hills. Scully walks a little further from the hotel and sits down on a wooden bench. She puts the muffin on the bench and searches her pockets for something. Then out of nowhere a magpie lands on the bench and tries to take the muffin. (** note: magpies are those remarkable black and white crow-like birds with long tails, size: 18 inch/45 cm. According to stories they tend to steal shiny objects like jewelry, gold etc. and bring that to their nests. **) The muffin is too big for the bird and it drops out of its beak from the bench on the ground. Scully is scared by the sudden appearance of the bird, but when she sees it is going after the muffin she relaxes. The magpie doesn't seem to bother Scully's presence. It looks at the muffin, walks around it, but doesn't start to eat. Then it starts to drag the muffin a few feet away from the bench. Scully looks a little amused at the bird. Then suddenly another magpie comes flying from behind and in its dive it pecks her in the head. Scully gets up, says something like "ouch", puts her hand on her head. The she looks to where the bird went, it has landed and now walks over to the first bird. They are only ten feet from Scully and they look at her with no fear, they seem even a little curious. Scully watches them, completely taken by surprise. She takes her hand from her head and we see a little blood on her hand. Just when she has her head down, a third magpie attacks her on her head. And immediately after that another pecks her in her cheek. The birds are scarily close and Scully seems to panic for a moment. Her cheek is bleeding a little and a drop of blood leaves a trace on her fore head. Scully protects her head with her arms, but there are no more birds coming. The two new birds have joined the previous two and now they start eating the muffin. Scully takes her gun out of her jacket and points it at the four birds, then she starts walking backwards. The birds look curious and fearless at Scully. Then one of the birds starts to crow nervously and flies up fast in Scully's direction. She doesn't hesitate and shoots the bird. When she pulls the trigger, we can only see her determined face. The next shot shows the torso of a headless magpie, covered with blood, lying in the grass right beside the muffin. It looks really macabre. The other magpies have flown away. Scully looks at the dead bird with a blank expression on her face. Then we hear running footsteps on the terrace. Mulder and Gregg enter the shot. Scully puts her gun in her pocket.

MULDER: [little out of breath, sees the blood] Are you ok?

SCULLY: I guess. Three magpies came out of nowhere and pecked me in the head. [pointing] Then I shot the one that went for the rebound.

Gregg walks over the dead magpie. He gets on his heels and takes a close look. He looks around in the grass and he finds a twig. He pokes the headless magpie, which looks really gross, with great interest and turns it over. While the camera focuses on Gregg, we hear Mulder's voice.

MULDER: [off-screen] So, what do you think?

We see the three of them again. Mulder and Scully are looking at Gregg. Gregg gets up, with his back to them.

GREGG: [turns around] Just a headless mag-

Gregg stops talking, wide eyes, devastated look, mouth open. He looks at something behind Scully and Mulder. Mulder and Scully look surprised at Gregg and then they turn around. Then - total silence - we see an enormously impressive shot of a big tree, covered with magpies about thirty yards away. There are at least a hundred of them. And the most eery thing is that they are all completely quiet and sitting still. They seem to look at Scully, Mulder and Gregg. In one second it is clear that there are too many too fight. Scully's arm with the gun hangs flat along her body. Our FBI-friends look really devastated.

GREGG: [soft, with a melody] I know what you want, the magpies have come.

MULDER: [turns around] What?

GREGG: [still looking at the tree] Nothing. Just some song that I've known like forever, but only now I know what it means.

CUT back to the tree. The magpies are still sitting quietly in the tree. It is a really threatening sight. This shot lasts for five seconds. Then we hear a distant, low crowing noise and we CUT to:



Exterior hills. The five friends are walking on a path over a hill that's covered with grass and rocks. In the distance we see a large forest. Angela and Sharon are walking a few feet behind the others. Angela looks up to where the crowing noise comes from. High up in the air we see a big black bird, floating.

ANGELA: [to Sharon, pointing] See that?

SHARON: Yeah, is that an eagle or something?

ANGELA: I don't know, you're the one that's got an A in biology.

SHARON: [correcting] A minus, that is. [pauses] And it's been a while since we've done anything on birds. Let's ask Brian.

ANGELA: [fast] Don't go through all that trouble.

Sharon frowns at Angela, like she's putting more meaning to Angela's remark that there actually is.

ANGELA: [insecure] I don't want to look too stupid, you know.

SHARON: [sighs] You won't, 'cause I'll ask. [loud] Hey, Bri. Is that bird an eagle?

Brian, Rickie and Rayanne stop and look in the sky. The bird is still floating around. In the meanwhile Angela and Sharon catch up with them.

BRIAN: [turning to Sharon] Well -

RAYANNE: [interrupting, casual] Just take a good look at it. Short body, big head, hooked wings, and *obviously* it's all black. So, it's not an eagle, Cherski. [pauses] It's a raven.

They all look surprised at Rayanne. Rayanne looks satisfied, then she takes of her baseball cap and looks casual again.

RAYANNE: Before I turned into the real cool person that I am today, like when I was twelve, I had a crush on this guy in my class, who had this whole bird watching thing going.

RICKIE: [laughing] And obviously *that* didn't work out.

RAYANNE: Hey, I was twelve. That's an age when you're still allowed to do irresponsible things, right?

ANGELA: Crushing on a probably really cute, innocent boy is irresponsible to you?

RAYANNE: Duh! Of course. [pauses] So, he wasn't really interested in me. But before I realized that - [apologizing] hey I wasn't as smart as I am today - [normal voice] I went on some bird trips with him. And learned a lot, like to impress him.

SHARON: What was his name?

RAYANNE: Eeh, let me think. [pauses]

ANGELA: Oh, shut up. You don't have to think for that.

RAYANNE: [smiling] OK, his name was Tom, or Thomas actually.

ANGELA: And that was your first crush? Tom the bird guy?

RAYANNE: Well, yes. And my last. Although I didn't refer to him as Tom the bird guy.

SHARON: What? You mean -

RICKIE: [interrupting] Are you talking about Tommy Manders?

RAYANNE: [surprised] Yeah, so?

RICKIE: [mouth open] Tommy Manders is that really cool guy at Ben & Jerry's. I worked a few times with him, the last couple weeks. [pauses] You know he's the guy with the little sunglasses and the tight T-shirts. He told me once he went on a bird trip to Canada, to see colonies of American Eagles.

Rayanne looks unpleasantly surprised.

SHARON: Oh, Rayanne. [poking her] That guy is really cute.

RAYANNE: [mumbling] Well, he sure changed.

SHARON: I bet he recognized you.

RAYANNE: [irritated] Hey, if we keep standing and chatting here any longer, we may as well put these backpacks on the ground and take out our knittings.

Angela and Sharon protest, but Rayanne takes the lead and walks further on the path. Rickie and Brian follow her. Sharon and Angela follow still giggling a little. Camera goes up to the sky. The raven turns, claps its wings a few times and then it floats in the same direction as the gang is walking.



Exterior porch of a big house. Karen (** see: Summer Break **) is sitting in a swing bench at one end of the porch. She is wearing a short, white summer dress and a non-matching green and white baseball cap. In one hand she has a big glass of ice tea, in the other hand a cordless phone. She is talking in it.

KAREN: [surprised] So, you're saying that the first bird was distracting her and then the other one attacked her?

CUT to: interior car. Mulder is driving, Gregg is on the phone. They are driving on a bad uphill forest road. During the scene we switch between the car and the porch.

GREGG: Yeah, that's how it happened.

KAREN: That's weird, Gregg. That's too intelligent for a magpie.

GREGG: I know. What do you think?

KAREN: I really don't know. I mean, magpies planning an attack. It's almost like the raptors in Jurassic Park. I want to see this.

GREGG: You're not coming over, you've just recovered from the gunshot wound.

KAREN: [irritated] Two things, Thomas. You are not my dad and I have *just* decided to write my thesis on bird behavior. So I have a total obligation to come over. And I am drawn to danger, remember?

Before Gregg can answer Mulder makes a sudden maneuver with the car (loud break sound, tires shoving through sand and stones) to avoid a fast driving pick-up truck that is coming from the other direction. Gregg drops the phone. We catch a glimpse of the other driver: it's the bird-girl. She is really racing. Mulder stops the car and turns his head to look at the pick-up truck.

MULDER: [exhausted] Jesus.

Gregg picks his phone up from the floor and listens, it's dead.

GREGG: Could you see the driver?

MULDER: No. But he sure was breaking one mountain rule.

GREGG: And what's that?

MULDER: That uphill traffic has priority.

Mulder sighs and pulls up, Gregg puts the phone in his pocket.



Interior so-called hospital. Scully is examining a dead body of an old person, probably the old man Skinner referred to. She is wearing a white hospital coat and plastic gloves. The light is semi-dark in that typical X-Files way. The room Scully is has a few bookshelves, some iron racks filled with medical stuff. The body lies on white blanket on an iron roll-away table. A few feet away are two other roll-away tables with a wrapped dead body on it. From a little distance we can see various dark spots on the pale body. Scully clicks on a tape recorder, walks around the body and starts to talk. While she talks she carefully looks at the body, sometimes touching it with a gloved hand.

SCULLY: [monotone, bored] Well, this third one is David Cooper, eighty-three years old, male. His body is covered with about [pauses] thirty to forty wounds. Most wounds are on his arms and his face. Probably caused by birds pecking him.

Scully feels the wounds on the right arm. The camera goes up to the face and we see - horror!! - that the eyes are missing. Instead of the eyes there are two black holes. Scully looks also at the face.

SCULLY: The eyes are missing. Probably taken away by the birds. [feels the neck] What killed him is one bigger wound in his neck right on the carotid artery. It is probably caused by multiple pecking. This wound made Mr. Cooper bleed to death. Just like the two kids.

Scully puts the blankets over the body and ties it together with the attached strings. She takes off her gloves and throws them in a metal can.

SCULLY: [sighs, mumbling] Done.

Then she clicks off the tape-recorder and walks out of the room. From inside the room we see the door close again. The camera moves to the wrapped-in body Scully was examining. We hear some distant crowing and then CUT to:



Exterior woods. Mulder and Gregg are standing on a hill top, beside the car, looking with binoculars at a crow colony, that is about three hundred yards downhill. CUT to closer look, as through the binoculars. There is a lot of activity in the colony, dozens of birds are flying around and over the trees. Hundreds of crows are sitting in the trees, shaking their feathers, crowing, hopping from one branch to another. There are a lot of nests and parts of trees are white because of the birds' droppings. One thing is clear: there are a *lot* of crows down there. CUT back to the previous shot, Mulder and Gregg looking down. Gregg puts his binoculars down.

GREGG: [thoughtful] And the weirdest thing is that neither carrion crows nor magpies colonize.

MULDER: [surprised] They don't?

GREGG: No, only young crows sometimes live together, but as soon as they start nesting, they find a mate and stick together. Crows are pretty monogamous. [pauses] *And* they are really fond of their territory, they're big defenders. To competitors of their own kind, that is. That's why these crows are so weird, they break like every crow rule there is.

MULDER: Any explanations from the busloads of ornithologists?

GREGG: No, there doesn't seem to be an enormous food supply in their colonies. So, they have to fly far each day to find food. Which is really inefficient. And against nature. I mean, if you have to fly hours and hours each day to get enough food, you'd go and live somewhere where there's enough. Normal crows and magpies are opportunists, you know, they live where there's food. They're easy adjusters.

MULDER: You think they killed the people for food?

GREGG: [shaking his head] Naah. Imagine that bunch of crows eating a dead body, there wouldn’t be anything left to identify.

Mulder's cellphone rings in his pocket. He puts down the binoculars and reaches for it.


It is Scully. She is standing outside of a little hospital/clinic building beside her car, talking in her cellphone. She's wearing sunglasses. During the scene the shots switch several times between Scully and Mulder.

SCULLY: It's me. Found anything?

MULDER: No, just a couple of thousand crows and magpies violating nature's laws. Hitchcock would have loved this place.

SCULLY: No signs of aggression?


SCULLY: I think we've got a big problem, Mulder. If it wasn't for those magpies this morning, I'd say someone was playing around with us.

MULDER: Why? What have you found?

SCULLY: Those kids and the old man are murdered. Not just pecked to death.

MULDER: What do you mean?

SCULLY: The victims bled to death, through a hole in the carotid. The bodies show relatively few pecking wounds and the eyes are missing. I'd say they were pretty efficient. They blinded the victims first and then killed them as fast as they could. [pauses] And they didn't do it for food. Except for the eyes and a few missing pieces of tissue, the bodies are completely intact. [pauses] This is weird, Mulder.

MULDER: Very weird. [pauses] OK, we're on our way to Vince. Try to find out who discovered the dead bodies. Maybe there's a lead. And ask around if anybody knows why these birds are here in the first place.

SCULLY: And I'll prolong our reservations in the Vineland Inn. [sighs] I'm afraid this is going to take a while. [pauses] Bye. You're buying this afternoon.

MULDER: We'll see.

Mulder puts his phone away and walks to the car. Gregg is still looking at the crows.

MULDER: Let's go, I've got some more stuff to adjust your crow behavior theory.

Gregg turns around and walks to the car. Then we hear a loud engine sound and the old pick-up truck with the bird-girl behind the wheel comes racing by. Mulder and Gregg get a good look at her face, but she only has eyes for the road. Two seconds, and she's gone again, leaving a cloud of dust.

GREGG: [eager] Want to go after her?

MULDER: [smiling] Some other time. Let's see Vince.

They both get into the car and drive downhill, the opposite direction as the bird-girl.



Exterior woods and hills. Angela, Brian, Rickie, Rayanne and Sharon are sitting in the grass near the edge of a wood. The trees are about twenty feet away. Plates, bread, tins of tuna are scattered between them. Angela and Rickie are eating a sandwich, Brian is putting on the stove, Sharon and Rayanne are lying in the grass with their eyes closed.

RAYANNE: [mumbling, singing, bluesy] Mmm, hmm. My baby he's so vain, he's almost a mirror, na na. My baby he's so vain, he's almost a mirror and I na na nana na sends me the shivers. Down my spi-i-ihi-ine. My baby he's so vain, he's almost -

SHARON: [interrupting] Could you stop that, you only know one line of that song. What is it anyway?

RAYANNE: [finishing, singing] Almost a mirror. [getting up, to Sharon] I don't know, just some song that was in this really nice Australian movie. They only had one line of the song in it, so that's why *I* only know one line to it.

RICKIE: Was that that movie with those two girls? Those film students?

RAYANNE: Yeah, but I can't remember the title. It was something long and inexplicable.

RICKIE: It was something like "Love and" eh - [thinking] another few words.


Brian leans over to the middle of the circle they are forming and picks up a small plastic bag. He gets out a packet of instant tomato soup.

BRIAN: OK, the soup will be ready in five minutes.

ANGELA: [smiling at Brian, enthusiast] Yum.

SHARON: Hey Krakow, [throws the map to him] take a look at the map. There are a few options from here. Through the woods, over [pointing] that hill or through the valley.

Brian unfolds the map and studies it. Rayanne is mumbling the same song again. Rickie and Angela have finished their sandwich and lean backwards, against their backpack. After a few moments Brian looks up.

BRIAN: Well, we're about half-way to Peaksville now and there *are* three options. The valley is the longest route, but also the easiest one. Over the hill means climbing a lot [looks at the map again], but we'll get a spectacular view and it is the shortest route. Through the woods is just a little longer, but a lot easier.

RAYANNE, SHARON AND RICKIE: [fast, loud, at the same time] Woods.

The three of them start to laugh. Angela looks a little disappointed at Brian. She shrugs.

BRIAN: Well, that's set then.

Brian folds the map and leans back toward the stove. He lifts the lid of the pan and puts it back again. Then we hear a loud sound of breaking branches. Angela looks up, a little scared. The camera moves towards the trees and after a few tension-filled moment with a lot of wood breaking sound, a guy comes through the trees. Two seconds later a girl follows him. They look relieved. They are about twenty-five years old, wearing hiking-shorts, tank tops, baseball caps and big backpacks. Their arms and legs are covered with bleedy scratches. They look pretty tired. The girl has blond hair, put together in a pony tail. She looks kind of tough with her shorts, tank top and wounded limbs. The guy is one head taller than the girl. He has a stubble and his shoes are covered with dried up mud. They don't seem to notice Angela and her friends. The girl says something in a language we don't understand and then she puts her head against the guy's shoulder. He smiles and mumbles something in the same language. Then he looks up and sees the Angela and the rest, who are all staring at them. The girl looks up too and then they walk over towards them.

GIRL: [slight accent] Mind if we sit here for a while.

ANGELA: [fast, making room for them] No, not at all. Sit down.

GIRL: Thanks.

They take off their backpacks and sit down, but it causes them some pain and their faces show it.

RICKIE: Are you ok? What happened?

GUY: [same slight accent] We're ok *now*. We just walked three miles straight through the forest. Through the undergrowth, that is. [looks at his arms] Although it looks like we were attacked by a bunch of killer-bushes.

RAYANNE: [smart] I don't know where you are from, but in the US we have *paths*, you know.

Brian and Rickie give Rayanne and evil look. The girl looks at Rayanne with a bored look on her face.

GIRL: [irritated] Oh, really? Then I hope you're not going to Peaksville today. You'd be disappointed in the state some of your US paths are in.

BRIAN: So, what happened?

GIRL: [to Brian] The path we were walking on crossed this big swamp in the middle of a forest. The problem was that the bridge across the swamp was gone. We tried to find a way around the swamp, but we couldn't. It seemed to go on forever in both directions and we couldn't go through it either. So, we kept walking along the swamp until after about two miles or so we came at this part of where the other bank was only like three meters away. That's about nine feet. We threw our backpacks to the other side and then jumped over ourselves.

GUY: And then we walked to here using our compass, since it would be a waste of time walking back to the path.

The girl says something in their own language and the guy smiles.

ANGELA: So, where are you guys from?

GIRL: Oh, yeah, we should introduce ourselves, since we've busted in on your lunch party. My name is Wendy, this is Jeroen, we're from Holland.

JEROEN: As in The Netherlands.

Angela looks a little surprised and then she introduces themselves.

ANGELA: [pointing] Oh, well. That's Brian, Rickie, Sharon and Rayanne. My name is Angela. We're from Three Rivers, Pittsburgh.

RAYANNE: As in Pennsylvania.

Softly we hear a water boiling and the lid dancing on the pan.

BRIAN: You guys want some soup?

JEROEN: That'd be great.

WENDY: Yeah, I'd love some.


Brian puts the instant soup in the pan and starts to stir it. Jeroen leans back and opens the top compartment of his backpack. He gets out two mugs, spoons and a first aid kit. He opens the kit and hands some cotton swab and a white plastic bottle to Wendy. She opens the bottle, puts some liquid on the swab and starts cleaning the biggest scratches.

ANGELA: So, are you like on vacation?

WENDY: Well, yes, at least for this week. Ouwh! [looks at her arm, mumbles some bad words in Dutch]

JEROEN: The last three months we have been working in Cucumber National Park. [proud] We were assistant-rangers. You know, helping out visitors and campers. Driving around in Jeeps, seeing if no one is breaking any park rules. That kind of stuff.

WENDY: Which is like really cool. We took one week off to make a trip here. Next week we go back to work for another two months and then [pauses]

JEROEN: [smiling] We'll drive to California.

WENDY: [enthusiast] We've planned to make some hiking trips at Grand Canyon and Yosemite.

JEROEN: And then we'll lay down on the beach and never get up again.

They all look really impressed at the two Dutch hikers.

RICKIE: That's cool.

JEROEN: [smiling] Isn't it?

Brian gathers their iron and plastic mugs and poor the soup in them. Sharon hands the mugs around. In the meanwhile they keep talking.

ANGELA: How is Holland?

WENDY: Very small, but nice.

JEROEN: Nice is the perfect word. [looks at the scratches on his legs] You won't get any of these in Holland.

Suddenly Wendy turns around an gets a pair of small binoculars out of a side pouch of her backpack. She looks through it and says something in Dutch to Jeroen. She hands him the binoculars and he nods. Angela looks at them in surprise. Jeroen puts the binoculars down again. He is looking at a big black bird high up in a tree, about three hundred yards away.

JEROEN: [explaining] Finally we see the raven we've been hearing all morning.

Rayanne nods frowning. Like she wonders what the fuss is all about.

WENDY: [catching Rayanne's look, explaining] Normally we wouldn't freak out over a raven, but it's just that this is like the only mountain range in the US where they don't live.

JEROEN: Probably because of the huge crow colonies around here.

Jeroen looks through the binoculars again.

JEROEN: This one even has a white chest. I've never seen that before. [to Wendy] You?

Wendy shakes her head. Jeroen hands her the binoculars. She looks and nods.

RAYANNE: Can I look for a second?

Wendy looks surprised, but in a good way, and hands her the binoculars.

WENDY: Sure. Interested in birds too?

RAYANNE: [casual] Just a little.

Sharon is going to say something, but Rayanne gives her a look from hell. Rayanne looks through the binoculars and mumbles something agreeing. Sharon wants to look too and then the binoculars pass through the whole group.

RAYANNE: So, you're ornithologists?

JEROEN: [laughing] I wouldn't say *that*.

WENDY: It's just for fun. Like a hobby.

JEROEN: But we're serious enough to make a detour to see the colonies near Vineland Town.

Angela hands him the binoculars and he takes another look at the raven. CUT to shot through binoculars. The raven is real close now and it's white chest is very clear. It claps its wings and flies away.


Exterior shabby house. Vince is sitting on the steps of his front porch, Mulder and Gregg are looking at him. They have been talking for a while.

VINCE: You know, these crows have been here forever. Nobody knows why.

MULDER: What about that voodoo-man you talked about yesterday?

Vince looks up at Mulder with a weird smile on his face.

VINCE: You actually believed that?

MULDER: I don't know what to believe. Just tell me the rumors.

VINCE: Well, ok. But just let me say that voodoo is such a strong word. Fact is that there lived a man for about thirty years in a cabin in the woods. By himself. Another fact is that he died about two months ago. Rumors say that he could talk with the birds. He had this huge raven, with a white chest, living with him.

GREGG: And he talked to the raven?

VINCE: That's the rumor, I can't say I've ever seen it myself. I don't believe anybody has.

MULDER: And the cabin is now deserted?

VINCE: No. His granddaughter moved in.

MULDER: Where is this cabin?

VINCE: Four or five miles from the spot where you have been doing the bird watching.

MULDER: OK, let's pay this girl a visit.

VINCE: [pointing at the blue Ford Mondeo behind them] You'll need more than that to get to the cabin.

Mulder smiles. Loud engine sound and then CUT to:



Interior topless Jeep. Mulder is behind the wheel, driving a bad and steep forest road. Scully is beside him, looking a little uncomfortable and a little irritated by Mulder’s macho-driving. Mulder is smiling. The sun is shining bright, they are both wearing sunglasses.

MULDER: I told you this case was a guy-thing.

Mulder puts the Jeep in a lower gear and with a loud roar of the engine, the Jeep takes a steep curve in the road. And then they reach the cabin of the bird-girl. The pick-up truck is parked beside it. Mulder stops the car.

MULDER: We're here.

SCULLY: [sighs] Thank god.

Scully takes off her sunglasses. She gets out and walks to the door. She knocks and waits. After a few seconds she knocks again. Mulder walks towards her.

SCULLY: [to Mulder] Nobody's home.

Scully feels the door. It is locked.

MULDER: [pointing at the truck] That's the car that almost shoved me off the road.

Scully sits down on the trunk-bench beside the door.

SCULLY: [sighs] This is going to be fun.

Mulder walks around the cabin, trying to look in through the windows. The curtains are all closed, so he can't see much. Then he walks over to truck and looks in the back. There is not much in it, just a scoop and some rope.

MULDER: [to Scully] Want to come back later?

SCULLY: And drive the track of terror again? No way. [pauses] We'll just sit here and wait for her to show up.

Scully gets into a comfortable position and closes her eyes.



Exterior woods and hills. Angela and the others are still sitting in the grass with the Dutch hikers. Jeroen is showing something on the map to Brian and Angela. Rickie is helping Wendy with some Band-Aids.

JEROEN: [pointing] So, I guess here is the best way to cross the hilltop. The view will be great. And from there you'll put the compass on seventy-five degrees like I showed you. Right?

Brian is nodding. And turns the moveable rings of the compass he has in his hands. Angela looks a little bored.

JEROEN: In that case you'll save at least two and a half mile, so you'll be sooner in Peaksville.

ANGELA: [less bored] How's the campsite in Peaksville?

JEROEN: It's nice. There are even a few legal fire-places, so you can toast marshmallows.

ANGELA: [enthusiast] Cool, I haven't done that in ages. [thinking] I even got my second ki- [stops, embarrassed]. Never mind.

JEROEN: [frowns] Whatever. [pauses] So you know how to put the compass on seventy-five degrees, right?

BRIAN: [certain] Yeah.


ANGELA: I'm glad we've met you guys. I wouldn't have known what to do, if we had come across that bridgeless swamp.

JEROEN: Turning around is always the safest option.

ANGELA: And the most boring.

Jeroen smiles. He turns to Wendy and Rickie.

JEROEN: Are you about done or should we call an ambulance?

WENDY: [evil look with a smile] Just shut up. If *I* had taken the lead this morning we'd probably wouldn't have looked like this.

Angela folds the map, Brian puts away the compass. Rayanne gets up and seems a little nervous.

RAYANNE: [to Wendy] So, you got our addresses, right?

WENDY: Yeah, we'll send some postcards.

RAYANNE: Just remember, you can skip Death Valley. It's hot and it sucks.

WENDY: Thanks.

Wendy gets up and puts the first aid kit in Jeroen's backpack. On her arm are four Band-Aids. Sharon is putting all the garbage in a plastic bag and ties it. Then she puts it in a side pouch of her backpack. They all start putting their backpacks on. Rayanne is singing again.

RAYANNE: [singing] My baby, he's so vain, he's almost a mirror. Na na -

JEROEN: [interrupting] You actually know that song?

RAYANNE: [surprised] Not really, it was just in this movie that Rickie and I -

JEROEN: [interrupting again, enthusiast] "Love and other catastrophes." Right?

RICKIE: [smiling] Yes. *That* was the title.

Wendy rolls her eyes at Angela and Sharon, who look not-understanding. Jeroen has his back to Wendy and is focussed on Rickie and Rayanne. Wendy makes an evil smile and goes a few times horizontally with her index finger over her throat and mouths "shut up". Angela and Sharon look at her with big eyes, almost laughing.

JEROEN: [unaware of Wendy, enthusiast] That is one of my favorite movies. Remember when they all sit upstairs and tell each other their three favorite films and the reasons why?

Rickie and Rayanne nod.

JEROEN: I just love it when that Ari-guy says "Alphaville, for its distopian vision."

He starts to laugh a little.

WENDY: Hey, let's go. If you stop talking now, we will still be able to reach Vineland Town before dark.

JEROEN: [turns around] Just a minute.

WENDY: Forget it. Write about it in a letter. [to the others] Goodbye, guys. Have a nice trip.

SHARON AND ANGELA: You too. Goodbye.

JEROEN: [apologizing] Apparently we've got to go. Enjoy the view and don't get lost.

BRIAN: We won't. We've got a compass, right?

JEROEN: That's right. So, just enjoy, ok?

Rayanne pokes Jeroen in the shoulder.

RAYANNE: Have fun at the crow colonies. [softer] Could you send me a picture of them. Like for personal reasons?

JEROEN: [frowning, soft] Sure. [aloud, to everyone] Bye.



Jeroen and Wendy walk away, after a few seconds they turn around one more time and wave. The others wave back and start walking the opposite direction. Angela watches Wendy and Jeroen walk away.

ANGELA VO: Just two people walking. No complications. [pauses] So, it *can* be that simple.

Rayanne comes and stands beside her. She is also staring.

RAYANNE: Want to become a park ranger?

ANGELA: [looking up from her thoughts] Huh?

RAYANNE: Just like them, become a park ranger and then travel the country. Or maybe Europe, I bet they have park rangers in Holland too.

ANGELA: They graduated first. [pauses] From *college*.

RAYANNE: You got to take a stretch with these things.

ANGELA: [turning around, smiling] Oh, really?

RAYANNE: [following] Mwaah, maybe. [pauses, happy] So, what did you think of this Jeroen-guy?

ANGELA: [surprised] What? Why?

RAYANNE: [looking down] Just asking.

ANGELA: [smiling] I think he was a bit goofy, like getting all excited over that movie. And he was a little too eager with the map and the compass. I liked Wendy a lot better.

RAYANNE: Well, I thought he was ok.

ANGELA: [hesitating] Well, yes, maybe. [casual] But he had a stubble and this bird-thing going, so you're no longer objective.

Rayanne gives Angela a push with the side of her backpack and Angela trips and stumbles a few feet. She doesn't fall. Rayanne quickly runs past her, Angela follows her, trying to get her.



Exterior cabin. Mulder and Scully are sitting on the bench. Scully is still sitting with her eyes closed. Mulder is throwing little stones at a bigger stone that is about ten feet away. He misses over and over and then finally he hits the big stone. His face shows an almost childish expression of victory. Then off-screen we hear footsteps and a kind of rough girl's voice.

GIRL: Can I help you?

CUT to bird-girl who is walking over to them. Scully and Mulder look up. Scully blinks her eyes a few times.

SCULLY: Do you live here?

GIRL: Yeah.

MULDER: [shows badge] I'm agent Mulder, this is agent Scully. We're with the FBI.

GIRL: [casual] Wow. [pauses] I'm Anna Brown, but you probably know that already.

MULDER: We didn't, but you saved us a question. By the way, nice driving this morning.

ANNA: [casual] I was in a hurry. [smiling] But I think you managed just fine.

SCULLY: You know about the people from Vineland Town who presumably are killed by crows?

ANNA: Yes. It's all over town. Wait a sec.

She gets out a key and opens the door. She gets in the house and a few seconds later she comes back, carrying three small bottles in one hand and an iron bowl filled with water in the other. She hands the bottles to Scully and Mulder.

ANNA: Want some lemonade?

MULDER: [eager] Thanks.

Scully takes the bottle too and smiles at Anna.

SCULLY: Thanks.

ANNA: It's too hot to not drink.

Anna walks a few feet from the cabin and puts the bowl near the trees in the shade. Scully frowns at Mulder. She walks back and sits down in the grass, in front of Mulder and Scully.

ANNA: And somebody send you over, 'cause they think that I have something to do with it, right?

MULDER: The word goes that your granddad could talk to birds.

ANNA: [frowning] And you believe that?

SCULLY: It doesn't seem any stranger than the fact that crows are totally acting against their natural behavior.

ANNA: These crows have always been weird. I mean, there are Cherokee myths that go back five hundred years ago, that talk about crow colonies. These birds have been here *forever*.

SCULLY: But they haven't been killing anybody before.

ANNA: Isn't that something that could have been expected?

MULDER: Maybe. [pauses] Can you tell me why people think that your granddad could talk to birds?

ANNA: Sure.

Anna turns her back to Scully and Mulder, but she does not get up. She starts to whistle the same low tone again, as she did before. She holds it for about half a minute and then she starts over again. Then there is some sound of moving branches in the trees and suddenly the raven comes out of one of the trees that was pretty near them. He floats down, which is from such a small distance a pretty majestic sight. It lands about twenty feet from Anna. Anna gets a hazelnut out of her pocket and holds it up to the raven. He comes walking towards her and we can see how his white chest and beak are covered with dried up blood. Mulder and Scully look at each other, but they do not say anything. The raven picks the hazelnut from Anna's flat hand. She mumbles something to him. The raven walks over to the iron bowl of water, puts the nut on the ground and starts to drink and clean itself. Anna turns to Mulder and Scully.

ANNA: [casual] That's how my grandfather did it. One raven he could communicate with. A little. And so can I. When I call him, he comes. He lets me pet him and sometimes he brings me little gifts. Like blackberries or pretty stones.

MULDER: What about the blood?

ANNA: [casual] Well, he *is* a scavenger after all. He has probably been eating from some dead animal.

SCULLY: Probably?

ANNA: [angry] What are you suggesting?

SCULLY: Linking a raven with blood stains to three people pecked to death isn't that hard.

ANNA: [angry] Oh really? Just tell me what kind of birds attacked you this morning, agent Scully. And how did they do it?

Mulder and Scully look surprised.

ANNA: Yeah. News travels fast around here. [pauses] This is just one raven, probably the only raven living around here. There are thousands of crows and thousands of magpies. Now you can make another suggestion.

MULDER: What do you think?

ANNA: [still angry] I don't know and to be honest, I don't care.

Anna looks a little arrogant at Mulder and Scully. A phone breaks the silence. The raven looks up and flies away. Scully picks up the phone.

SCULLY: [in phone] Scully. - Yes. - OK. - Take it to the clinic. - We'll be there in twenty minutes. - Bye.

Scully gets up and walks over to the iron bowl where the raven was drinking. She gets a small plastic bag out of her pocket and starts to put some feathers in it that are lying around the bowl. Then she turns to Mulder and Anna.

SCULLY: I don't know what to believe, but one thing that can't be doubted is that the police just found another body pecked to death. [to Mulder] A forty year old man that was running through the woods. They're choosing stronger victims. [pauses, to Anna, strict] I'd like you to come with us, to answer some more questions.

ANNA: [sighs] It's not that I have any choice, or anything?

MULDER: [smiling] Well, actually, you have. But I wouldn't take it.



Interior small police building. Mulder and Scully enter with Anna walking reluctantly between them. Gregg is standing at the reception desk, talking to a police officer in his fifties. Gregg looks up as Mulder and Scully enter. He looks a little surprised at Anna.

GREGG: Hi. [to Scully] The body is in the examination room of the clinic. [introducing] This is sheriff Dexter, he was away for the weekend.

DEXTER: I came back as soon as I heard you came over. [pauses] We've always wondered about the birds, you know. Like why they were here. We never thought this was going to happen.

SCULLY: Well, it is. And it's getting worse. I want you to make a extermination plan. What do you need to kill as many of these birds as possible in a short period of time.

Dexter and Gregg look really surprised.

DEXTER: Are you serious?

SCULLY: Just make a plan. I'm not saying we'll go through with it. Just in case the birds really are going to take over. [to Gregg] Do you know anything about pesticides and stuff like that?

GREGG: Well, yeah. I mean, natural venoms -

SCULLY: [interrupting] Fine. Go and help sheriff Dexter. But wait [takes plastic bag out of her pocket] See if this blood is human or animal. Let me know right away. [to Mulder] Give her [look at Anna] something to drink, I'll be back in a minute.

Scully walks out. The others are left a little perplexed by her sudden action.



Interior examination room. The only sound we hear is a low-profile background tension-suggesting synthesizer music, typical for The X-Files. Scully walks around the dead body, looking carefully at the pecking wounds around the neck and talking. It is clear that this man was very strong, his body is muscular. The eyes of the man are missing. Scully puts the covers over the naked body, wraps the straps together and turns the cassette-recorder off. She looks a bit tired.



Interior small interrogation room police building. Anna is sitting at a table. Mulder is walking around. Scully comes in and closes the door. Scully seems a little angry and impatient. She sits down right across Anna, Mulder sits down beside Scully. Scully takes a deep breath and loosens up a little.

SCULLY: Look, Anna. I don't believe you or your raven are directly involved in these killings.

Anna shows a hint of relief, but she doesn't speak.

SCULLY: Agent Thomas is analyzing the blood to back-up this feeling. [pauses] But I *do* believe that you know more than you wanted to tell us. And you need to tell us, 'cause these birds are not going to stop killing people. They're choosing stronger victims and get more efficient. The man I just examined, had only half of the pecking wounds the first victim had. These birds are not fooling around.

ANNA: [sighs, giving in] Look, my grandfather spent the last twenty five years of his life trying to find out why those birds were there. He believed it must have been some natural radiation or something. Something stronger than the birds itself. Something that kept them here, in spite of the lack of food in the immediate surroundings. But he didn't find anything. [pauses]

MULDER: What did he die of?

Anna looks up at Mulder, her eyes get a little teary.

ANNA: The doctor said natural causes. He was eighty-three years old. But I think he died because he was too tired of it all. [pauses, crying a little] I think he saw it coming. The killings and all. And he blamed himself for not being able to find the secret and prevent it.

SCULLY: How did learn that he had died?

ANNA: [smiling through her tears] The raven was tapping my window the morning my grandfather didn't wake up. It had flown one hundred miles in one night. By seeing the raven I knew something was wrong with my grandfather. Somehow the raven told me he had died.

MULDER: And then you came here, just like that?

ANNA: Pretty much. Finally I had a reason to leave the trailer park. I hitch-hiked all the way to Vineland Town. And when I finally got to the cabin I was used to the idea that I would find my grandfather dead. I was the only one at the funeral. My parents didn't even bother to show up.

Mulder gets up and walks out of the room.

SCULLY: What's the thing with you and the raven? Did you have to learn it?

ANNA: No, it was just something I could do. I can feel how he feels, he feels how I feel. That's it. And maybe it's this strong, 'cause he and I are about the same age. [pauses, smiling] See, my grandfather rescued the father of this raven from a trap. He took him to the cabin, took care of the wounds and set it free again. The raven kept coming back from time to time and he and my grandfather could communicate a little, I think. On the day that I was born, the raven came to my grandfather with something in its claws. He put it in front of my grandfather and there it was: a little, one week old raven, with a few white feathers on its chest. My grandfather accepted the gift and raised the young raven. As it grew up, my grandfather saw less and less of the older raven. And one time the older raven came flying over, making a circle and that was the last my grandfather saw of him.

Anna smiles at Scully. Scully looks a little uncomfortable. Then Mulder comes back in, carrying a tray with glasses and a bottle of orange juice.

MULDER: We're ready for a drink, right?

Anna nods. Scully looks thoughtful.

SCULLY: Why don't you have a name for the raven?

ANNA: [smiling] My grandfather sometimes said: "People make pets of everything they can't compete with." [pauses] That's why.

Mulder and Scully look thoughtful, Anna just smiles.



Exterior cabin. Scully stops the Jeep and she and Anna get out.

SCULLY: [knocks the hood of the Jeep] Maybe I should get one of these myself.

ANNA: They do come in handy from time to time.

They walk over to the bench and sit down. The raven flies down immediately. It lands and walks over to Anna and Scully.

SCULLY: [casual] That blood on him was magpie blood. And it wasn't old.

ANNA: I know. [long pause] He always comes too late. When the damage is already done. [looks at Scully] He knows when they're killing.

SCULLY: [surprised] He does?

ANNA: [nods, sad] And when *he* knows, *I* know. But I can't do a thing about it. Neither can he. [pauses] He tries to kill the birds that killed and I just call the police and tell them where they can find a dead body.

SCULLY: Anonymous.

ANNA: Yes. I'm don't want to be the local psychic. I'm just continuing the work of my grandfather. Alone. [sighs] But I never knew there would be so much pressure.

The raven comes closer. He walks towards Scully and drops a small, smooth black stone in front of her shoes. He looks up, almost looking for an answer. Scully doesn't know what to do. Then she slowly reaches out and strokes the head of the raven. After a few seconds the raven shakes its head and walks back again. Scully picks up the stone and looks at it. It is really beautiful.

ANNA: He knows you killed that magpie. [pauses] He is thanking you for that.

Scully looks a little surprised at Anna and then at the raven, who is looking at her from a distance. Scully encloses the stone in her fist. Then suddenly a cloud blocks the sun and a wind begins to blow. The raven crows loud. Scully and Anna look up at the sky. A big dark cloud fills the sky.

SCULLY: I should be going.

ANNA: Before it starts to rain.

They both get up and walk to the Jeep.

SCULLY: Just call *me* next time.

ANNA: I will.

Scully gets in the Jeep and puts on the safety belt. Then she starts the engine.


Anna waves and Scully pulls away. Anna watches her drive away.



Exterior hills. Beautiful, wide panoramic shot. It has started to rain. In the distance we see five tiny people walking uphill, close to the top. As the camera gets closer, the weather gets worse and the clouds get thicker. The sound of roaring wind fills the scene. At the moment we see the hikers are Angela and the others they're walking in a fog with a sight of less then one hundred and fifty yards. They are walking close behind each other. Brian at the lead, then Angela, Rayanne, Rickie and Sharon. They have put on raincoats, but are still in their shorts. Their faces are tired and weary. The camera sticks with Angela. She doesn't have her hood on, so her hair is sticking to her face. She looks really beat.

ANGELA VO: It's been some time since I have felt this alive. I mean physically. [pauses, strikes some wet hair from her fore head, looking at the sky] And it sucks. I'm cold and I have pain like, everywhere. [pauses] But at the same time, this is as basic as you can get. Just walking here. Just being here. Trying to get the next foot in front of the other. [pauses, smiling, aloud, singing, although her voice gets carried away by the wind] I want you to come, walk this world with me. Dust to dust, oh, dream to dream. I want you to come, I want you to come, I want you to come, walk this world with me.

While Angela is singing, they reach a wooden sign at the top of the hill. It says "Kidsty Pike, 2056 ft." They all get together, looking really lost. Sharon is trying to get something from under her raincoat.

RAYANNE: So much for the view.

SHARON: [enthusiast] Get near the sign, guys.

BRIAN: For the lamest picture ever.

SHARON: [pleading] We'll laugh about this when we're home.

RICKIE: Yeah, right.

They get together anyway and Sharon takes a picture. She quickly puts the camera back under her raincoat. Angela gets close to Brian.

ANGELA: Now, let's get the compass.

BRIAN: [takes it out] I've got it here.

Rayanne hands out sweets. Angela takes one and puts it in her mouth.

ANGELA: [full-mouth] OK. [looking at the red needle of the compass] Turn your body to the north [they both turn].

BRIAN: Now put the ring at seventy five degrees.

Brian turns the ring of the compass.

ANGELA: And now turn your body until the lines at the bottom of the compass are parallel with the needle.

They turn again.

ANGELA: [triumphant] And now you're standing with your nose in the right direction.

Angela takes the compass from Brian and makes a few steps in the right direction. Then she turns around to the others.

ANGELA: OK, let's go.

They start to walk again, across the hill, into the valley. Although because of the fog/clouds, we can't see nothing of that valley. We watch them disappear in the fog.



Interior dining room hotel. Mulder, Scully, Gregg and Karen are sitting at a table. Outside it is pouring like hell. In the middle of the table is a basket of bread and they're drinking wine.

MULDER: [to Karen] You sure look better than the last time I saw you.

KAREN: Well, I don't run into bullets everyday. [more serious] Yesterday, I've spent all day behind my computer logging into every library system I could think of, but there are absolutely no studies that could help us. [to Scully] And what happened to you this morning. That's like - [can't find a good word]. Birds just don't have the brain to pull such a stunt.

MULDER: Yeah, Scully. It's a shame you blew off the head of that magpie, otherwise we had something to examine.

GREGG: [to Scully] Did Anna said something new to you, when you drove her back to her cabin.

SCULLY: Not much. [thoughtful] She's a good girl, who just went through a difficult time.

KAREN: And what about that talking to birds stuff?

SCULLY: I don't know. I really don't.

Mulder frowns at Scully, while she takes a sip of the wine.



Interior cabin. Rayanne and Brian are trying to get a fire going in the fireplace. Angela and Sharon are putting all their wet clothes on one pile, since the cabin is too small to dry them. Rickie comes out of a big box bed with doors in one of the walls. He is smiling.

RICKIE: [enthusiast] This is huge, we can all sleep here. It's gonna be fun.

Rayanne and Brian look at each other with a slightly disgusted look on their faces.

RAYANNE: I don't think so.

RICKIE: [pleading] Oh, come on.

RAYANNE: No way I'm going to sleep in one bed with Krakow. Jesus, that handcuff thing at the Chase house nearly blew my reputation.

Angela looks in some of the cupboards above the sink, that has no running water.

ANGELA: Hey. There's like all kinds of canned food in here. And a note. [reading the note] Dear hiker. You can take whatever you want, it's free. If you want to support the Vineland Hikers, you can make a donation at the post offices in Vineland Town, Peaksville and Burgundy. Have a nice trip. [turning to the others] Pretty cool, huh? [looking in the cupboards] There's chips, marshmallows and even wine.

SHARON: Ooh, we're gonna have a nice evening.

Finally Brian and Rayanne get the fire going. They stare at the flames for a while and then they look at each other.

RAYANNE: Well, Krakow, we did it.

BRIAN: Nice work, Graff.

CUT to several hours later. They are all sitting on the floor around a low table. A bottle of wine is standing in the middle it's half empty. Everybody except Rayanne is sipping their mugs. They all look a little dozy. Tired of the whole day and affected by the wine. Rickie has his eyes closed. A empty bag of marshmallows is lying on the table. Angela gets a little closer to Rayanne and puts her head on Rayanne's shoulder.

RAYANNE: [soft] You're not going to do anything stupid because you had three sips of wine right?

ANGELA: [giggling soft] Shut up. [pauses] This place is the best.

RAYANNE: Thank god we got lost in the fog.

ANGELA: [slow] Yeah. [pauses] I don't want to go back to Three Rivers, to Liberty. I want to stay in front of this fire for ever.

CUT to sometime later. Angela and Rayanne have fallen to sleep sitting to the wall. Rickie has passed out too. Sharon and Brian are softly talking. It is dark outside, some candles are burning. The fire gives the camera a lightly flickering glow. We can still hear the raining. Then suddenly we hear a loud bang on the door. Rickie opens his eyes. Brian and Sharon look terrified at the door. Brian pokes Angela. She opens her eyes. Rayanne wakes up because of Angela's moving.

ANGELA: [sleepy] What?

Brian and Sharon still look terrified at the door. Then we hear a half-loud high crowing. It's almost yearning. The crowing keeps going and becomes even worse. It's a harrowing cry. Screen fades to black.



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Birds - Summer Break 2 - Part 4 by Jeroen de Jong
Published: 09 Nov 1999 | Size: 84 KB (16344 words) | Language: english english | Rating: PG-13
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The so-called X-Files continue ...

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“School is a battlefield for your heart.”

Angela Chase, Episode 1: "My So-Called Life (Pilot)"