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Birds - Summer Break 2 - Part 4

written by Jeroen de Jong

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About this story

Published: 09 Nov 1999 | Size: 84 KB (16344 words) | Language: english | Rating: PG-13
Average: 3.6/5   3.6/5 (9 votes)
Abstract:
The so-called X-Files continue ...

based on stories and characters created by Winnie Holzman

SCENE 1

Interior cabin. Fade in from black screen. We hear rain pouring down outside. The fire and the candles are still burning. Sharon and Brian look a little scared at the door. The crowing is gone. Rickie is rubbing his eyes. Angela and Rayanne look puzzled.

RAYANNE: What the hell was that?

SHARON: [relieved] I don't know, but thank god it's gone. [shivers] It's giving me the creeps.

RAYANNE: [pointing at bag of Doritos near Brian] Is there anything left in that?

Brian picks it up and looks in it. He hands it over to her.

BRIAN: Just some.

Rayanne takes the bag and is surprised by the lack of weight. She looks in it and then she shakes the few crumbs of chips on her hand. She shakes the bag and then more crumbs than she expected fall out of it. They make a little mess in her lap.

RAYANNE: Damn.

Rayanne tries to pick up the crumbles, but it does not work very well. Angela slowly gets up, she stretches her arms and yawns.

ANGELA: I'm going to make some tea, anyone?

Right after she said these words the high, yearning crowing comes back. But this time it's even worse. Angela frightens and turns around to the door, where the crowing seems to be coming from. Sharon looks really pale and Rickie isn't quite himself too. But Brian seems to have passed the fear and Rayanne just seems to be curious. Rayanne gets up and walks towards the door.

ANGELA: [soft] What are you gonna do?

RAYANNE: [obvious] See what's making that noise.

SHARON: [real scared] No!

RAYANNE: [turning to Sharon, hand on the door handle] Get a grip, Cherski. [soft, to Angela, pointing] Take that piece of wood, if it is something creepy, just hit it in the head.

ANGELA: [sarcastic] Yeah, right. [pauses] *You* can do that. I'll open the door.

RAYANNE: [sighs] Fine.

Rayanne takes the piece of wood, that is lying next to the door. Angela has her hand on the door handle now. The crowing is still continuing. Brian and Rickie have come closer.

RAYANNE: [to Angela] At three. [pauses] One, two, three.

At three Angela opens the door and Rayanne is ready to hit somebody. But there is nobody there to hit. In front of the door sits a young raven with a stretched wing and it is covered with blood. It is about half the size of Anna's raven. It is all wet. It looks up to them, afraid, but apparently it has nowhere else to go. The raven is doing the crowing, probably from pain.

ANGELA: It's hurt. [pauses, looks up at Rayanne] Now what?

Rayanne gets through her knees and takes a closer look at the raven. It is clear that it has some wounds. Some white feathers on its chest have turned red. Maybe one of its wings is broken.

RAYANNE: [looks up at Angela, insecure] Take him in? Leaving him here surely won't do him any good.

ANGELA: What are we going to do with him?

RAYANNE: [little irritated] I don't know. But I'm not going to let it die on our doorstep. [pauses, Angela nods] OK, how are we going to get it in?

BRIAN: [hands her a towel] Put it in this and make sure his eyes are covered. That should make him quiet.

Angela and Rayanne both get on their knees in front of the raven. The rain is making them all wet now. Somehow the raven's fear has turned into curiosity. Angela holds the towel over the raven's head and Rayanne tries to put the rest of the towel under the raven. It seems to be working.

RAYANNE: [to Brian and Rickie] Put some towels on the floor in front of the fire. We'll put him there. [pauses] And hurry, we're not getting any dryer here.

Rayanne has her hands under the raven, ready to pick it up. Angela is stroking the raven’s head and mumbles to the bird.

ANGELA: [mumbling, barely hearable, slow] Yeah, everything is gonna be alright. We'll let you dry by the fire. Shhh. [pauses] Hush, hush. [pauses] It's gonna be fine.

Rayanne smiles to Angela. Angela looks up at her, she looks a little worried.

RAYANNE: [soft] This is gonna work, you know.

 

SCENE 2

Interior hotel lounge. Mulder, Scully, Gregg and Karen are sitting around a coffee table. Mulder and Gregg are on a sofa, Scully and Karen are sitting in separate big chairs. They are having coffee. We can hear the rain pouring outside. The scene looks a little too comfy for the situation they are in. Karen looks a little worried. She is flipping through a big book on birds.

KAREN: So, we’re just going to sit here and do nothing?

MULDER: Well, there’s not much we can do about it today, right?

KAREN: Maybe. [pauses, frustrated] Man, this is all so stupid. We’re here with a bunch of crazy birds that are getting more aggressive by the hour and we can’t do a thing about it.

SCULLY: [yawns, looks at her watch] I’m going to bed. Tomorrow we’ll see again.

GREGG: Yeah. I could use some sleep too.

Scully and Gregg both get up. Mulder and Karen look at each other and then they get up too. Then a phone starts ringing. Scully reaches in the pocket of her jacket and gets her phone out. She pushes a button and starts to talk. During the phone-conversation we do not switch to the person on the other side of the line.

SCULLY: Scully. [worried] Tell me what’s going on. [strict, fast ] Relax, Anna. I can’t hear you. Talk slowly. Somewhere near the old water mill, OK. We’ll be there as soon as possible. Don’t do anything dangerous, right?

Scully puts down the phone and looks at the others.

SCULLY: I guess we’re not going to bed. The birds just stroke again. [pauses] Anna doesn’t know if anyone got killed.

GREGG: What do you mean, she doesn’t know?

SCULLY: [frowning] That she doesn’t know. [pauses] She wasn’t there yet. She just feels it.

MULDER: [half-smile, mumbling] Nice kid.

SCULLY: [frowning] OK, let’s get going.

 

SCENE 3

Exterior woods, small forest road. It is raining very hard. In the light of the head lights of Anna’s pick-up truck we see a really horrible scene. First we get a total shot of the forest road and from a distance we see Anna sitting on the ground caressing the hair of a girl, who is lying face down on the ground. Anna lifts up the girl’s head and puts in her lap. A little further up the road we see the dead body of a backpacker (backpack still on) lying on his side. His head is covered with blood and mud Anna’s raven is standing on the body, hopping nervously around, looking in all directions. Between the body of the guy and Anna lays a backpack, probably the girl’s and there are five or six dead magpies scattered on the road. In front of Anna and the girl lays a wooden baseball bat with blood stains on it. Then we move to a closer shot of Anna and the girl. It is clear that the girl is dead too. Her face is bloody and her eyes are closed. As the camera gets closer we recognize the girl: it is Wendy!! Anna seems to be crying, she’s stroking Wendy’s hair without stopping. Then we hear the sound of car engines and after a second we see more head lights behind Anna’s truck. Two cars stop: the Jeep and a big police 4x4 Toyota. The police car drives up front and as soon as the car stops three policemen get out. One of them is sheriff Dexter. They are wearing long black raincoats. A second after the policemen get out of the car, Mulder, Scully, Gregg and Karen get out of the Jeep. They are also wearing the black raincoats. Mulder runs to Anna, but Dexter gets to her first. He leans over and takes a look at Wendy’s dead body. He sees the blood and her closed eyes. Mulder gets there too and gets down on his knees. He grabs Anna’s shoulder.

MULDER: What happened?

Anna looks up, with a blank expression on her face. Her face is really pale. Dexter gets up again. The rain makes it hard for them to take a good look around. They all gather around Anna and Wendy.

ANNA: [looks down at Wendy’s head, soft] This.

One of the other cops sees the raven, which is standing between them and Jeroen’s body. Because of the rain he can’t see the body that is lying a little further on up the road. The cop starts shouting.

COP: [loud, pulling gun] There is one left. Watch out.

He aims. Scully realizes what is going on. The raven looks into their direction.

SCULLY: [pulling down his arm, loud] Are you crazy?

The cop looks surprised and angry at Scully. The raven takes off and disappears into the forest. Scully sees the other dead body.

SCULLY: There’s another one.

She starts running towards Jeroen’s body. Gregg and Dexter follow her. Karen takes a look at the dead magpies that are lying on the road. Scully squats beside the body and now we get a short, but horrible close-up of Jeroen’s face with black holes where his eyes should have been. Scully looks pitiful. She puts her hand on his head and mumbles something. Mulder walks towards her. Scully gets up again and looks numb into the faces of the three men.

SCULLY: [sighs, frowning] Another two. And we still haven’t got a clue.

GREGG: I can examine the dead magpies. It’s something, at least.

SCULLY: [turns to Mulder] Did you see that raven standing in front of the body? Like it was protecting it.

MULDER: Anna’s totally out of it. We should take her home.

DEXTER: [surprised] Home? I’ve got two dead people here. That girl must know *some*thing. After all, she was the one that called us. We should question her right away.

SCULLY: [hesitating] Yeah.

MULDER: [to Dexter] We’ll take the girl with us, agent Thomas will help you out here. [to Gregg] Right?

GREGG: [not too enthusiast] Sure.

Mulder and Scully walk back towards Anna. She’s still sitting on the ground with Wendy’s head in her lap. She’s stopped crying and seems to be mumbling to Wendy now. Scully puts a hand on Anna’s shoulder. Anna looks up and shows a bitter face.

ANNA: Too late. [pauses] I couldn’t get here any faster. [angry] I’m not strong enough.

SCULLY: [soft] Come on, we’ll get you to the hotel. You need a bath and some dry clothes.

ANNA: I can’t quit now.

SCULLY: You’re not quitting. It’s one in the morning. Tomorrow there will be another day. [pauses, soft] Come on.

Music sets in, it’s "Heal" by Heather Nova, a very delicate, slow song. (** note: lyrics go with the scene described after them.**)

MUSIC: Fall for me, my southern cross, my star

Shine for me when love has gone too far

I’ve got you belly deep in me

Scully squats down and puts Wendy’s head aside and lays it gently on the ground. Her wet, pale, blood covered face shows a somewhat peaceful expression, beautiful even. Anna gets up. Sheriff Dexter has gotten a large piece of plastic out of the car and puts it over Wendy’s body. Anna takes a final look at Wendy’s face, she leans over and kisses her forehead. Then she takes the plastic and puts it over Wendy’s face.

MUSIC: Just a little breath on the water is all we need

Just a little strength in our hearts –

enough to heal

enough to heal

The camera pulls back and we get a larger shot of Scully, Anna and Mulder standing by the body. They start walking to the Jeep. The camera pulls back more and then we get a total shot of the cars with the bright headlights, all the people and the two dead bodies, now hidden from sight by the plastic. In this total shot we see Mulder, Scully and Anna get in the car. Gregg, Karen, Dexter and the other two cops are looking around, using flashlights. The Jeep pulls away. Camera goes up, slowly, to the dark trees, the dark sky and then the music fades and we here the sound of the hard rain again.

 

SCENE 4

Interior cabin. Angela, Rayanne, Sharon, Rickie and Brian have put on their sleeping clothes. The fire is almost out. Rayanne is sitting near the fireplace with a small wooden crate. She is putting pieces of apple into the crate. The others are looking at her. Then we see the head of the young raven coming out of the crate and taking the apple from Rayanne. Rayanne smiles.

RAYANNE: [soft, sweet voice, to the raven] Yeah, you like that, right? Want another? [gives the raven another piece] Ooh, you’re hungry. What happened to you? Did a fox get you? [pauses] It doesn’t matter, tonight you’re safe.

Then she looks up to the others, that are looking a little surprised at all this tenderness that Rayanne’s showing.

RAYANNE: [to Brian] Give me that lid, we’ll go to bed.

Brian picks up a wooden lid from the ground and hands it to Rayanne. She strokes the raven’s head, mumbles something unhearable and then she puts the lid on the crate. The lid is covered with small holes.

ANGELA: Should we tie it up? Just in case?

RAYANNE: We’d better. [looking around, smiling] I wouldn’t want him to wreck this nice cabin.

SHARON: I’ve got some spare backpack straps, we could use that.

Sharon walks over to her backpack and gets the black straps out. She hands them to Rayanne. Rayanne tries to fasten the strap, it doesn’t work.

RAYANNE: [little irritated] How does this stupid thing work?

SHARON: Here. [takes over the strap] Let me do that.

Sharon takes the strap, puts it around the crate and fastens it.

SHARON: There you are. [pauses] Now, let’s get to bed.

BRIAN: So you really think the five of us fit in that box bed?

SHARON: Yes, Brian. We all fit in there, but you can also take your sleeping mat and sleep on the floor.

BRIAN: [fast] No, no. The bed is fine. [casual] I just thought that since I’m the tallest, maybe, well - [hesitating, searching words]. You know.

SHARON: [rolls her eyes] Right, Krakow.

Angela puts a hand on Brian’s arm and smiles. Brian didn’t expect this, but he manages to produce some sort of smile in return.

BRIAN: Alright, then. But can I sleep next to the doors. [apologizing] I’m a little claustrophobic.

Rayanne and Sharon sigh deeply.

SHARON: Fine. Whatever. [looks around] Any other sleeping spot preferences?

RAYANNE: [childish voice] I don’t want to sleep next to Angela. She always drewls in her sleep and that’s *so* gross.

ANGELA: [big eyes, fake-angry] That’s so not true. You’ve never even seen me sleep.

RAYANNE: You’d be surprised.

Relaxed MSCL-music sets in. Rickie blows out the candles. The fire is still giving off some light. Sharon has a small flashlight and shines in the box bed. They all get in the bed. Angela and Sharon first, then Rayanne and Rickie and finally Brian gets in, a little uncomfortable. After a few seconds of turning and pulling blankets everyone seems to have found their most comfortable sleeping position. The bed is big, but with the five of them in it, it looks rather small. Rayanne turns her head to Sharon.

RAYANNE: Can you get that hair off my face, Cherski?

RICKIE: Same goes for you, Rayanne.

BRIAN: So, bed doors open or closed?

Angela and Sharon turn their head and speak at the same time.

SHARON: Open.

ANGELA: Closed.

Sharon turns her head to Angela.

SHARON: [surprised] Are you kidding? We need all the fresh air we can get in here.

ANGELA: [little disappointed, soft] Yeah, you’re probably right.

Angela turns around. Sharon turns off the flashlight. It is almost totally dark now. Camera turns to a close shot of Angela’s head lying on the pillow. She has her eyes wide open, blank expression on her face.

ANGELA VO: I can still remember the first time I spent the night at my grandparents. I must have been four or five or something. Grandpa Chuck put me in bed and read me a story. When he was done he tucked me in and turned off all the lights but one little night light, that they’d bought especially for me.

Cut to shot of the five of them lying in bed. Angela’s voice-over continues. Angela seems to be sleeping now, so are the others. Rayanne unconsciously puts an arm on Rickie. Brian is lying as close to the side as is possible. Through the open bed doors we can look in the rest of the cabin. The fire has gone out, everything is quiet.

 

ANGELA VO: Grandpa left and I kept staring at the red night light. I don’t know why, but the light gave me the creeps. I went out of bed, turned off the light and suddenly I was covered in total darkness. It took me a while to find the bed again and when I finally got under the blankets, I couldn’t sleep because I was excited about the fact that I couldn’t really tell whether I had my eyes open or not. The darkness was so overwhelming, and I felt so safe.

The shot turns back to Angela’s face, eyes open again. Then – as Angela talks again – it fades to black.

ANGELA VO: It’s surprisingly hard to find that kind of darkness.

Black shot keeps going for a couple of seconds. Then we hear Angela’s voice again.

ANGELA VO: Like, really.

 

SCENE 5

Interior hotel, empty hotel room. Scully and Anna are standing in the room, they are both wet. Anna seems a little out of place. Scully puts a hand on Anna’s shoulder.

SCULLY: Are you alright?

Anna nods. She looks up at Scully.

ANNA: [soft] I don’t know what to do anymore.

SCULLY: I know. But you’re not alone anymore. [pauses] Take a bath and go to bed. Somebody from the hotel will bring some clean clothes in a minute. If you don’t feel like answering the door, then let them put the clothes in front of the door. [pauses]. I’ll be at the police station with agent Mulder. If you want to talk to me, you can always call me. Don’t hesitate.

ANNA: [soft] OK.

SCULLY: It’s not your fault. It’s all too big. For all of us.

Anna nods again. She sits down on the bed and starts to take off her shoes. Scully looks at her, not knowing what to say or what to do.

ANNA: [soft, looking down] You can go, I’ll be fine. [looks up] Really.

SCULLY: [unsure] OK. I’ll see you in the morning.

 

SCENE 6

Interior police station. It is quiet and dark. Mulder and Scully are sitting at an empty desk, having coffee. Scully looks tired, Mulder stirs his coffee endlessly.

SCULLY: What now?

MULDER: [looks up] I was kind of counting on one of your famous scientific explanations.

SCULLY: [numb] And I was hoping for a classic far-fetched paranormal kind of approach. [pauses] So, how does the Hitchcock-movie end?

MULDER: At night the main characters’ house gets attacked by hundreds of birds. By morning the birds have gone quiet and then the characters flee. They live, but the birds take over the place. End of story.

SCULLY: [sighs] Well, that’s going to be a big help. Isn’t there some cheesy hollywood-remake starring John Goodman where they *do* get rid of the birds? I think I saw that on a plane ages ago.

MULDER: You mean with the flame-thrower?

Scully nods.

MULDER: Nope. Those were spiders. The movie’s called "Arachnophilia". Gee Scully, I guess you need some sleep too.

SCULLY: Well, maybe. [pauses] I only like John Goodman in "Roseanne".

MULDER: Then you should really see "The Big Lebowski". He plays this gun-loving bowling –

SCULLY: [interrupting] Mulder, just *why* are we talking about movies?

MULDER: [frowns] Hey, *you* brought it up.

SCULLY: [sighs] I guess so. [pauses] I’m going to take a look at the bodies of the hikers before I go to bed. And I hope that when I wake up tomorrow our junior-partners will have cracked this case. [gets up] Care to join me?

MULDER: Sure, it’s not that I have anything more challenging to do.

 

SCENE 7

Interior hotel room. Anna has put on the new clothes. It’s a pair of jeans and a big hooded sweat shirt. She looks at herself in the mirror next to the door. Her face is pale and her hair is wet from the shower, but she looks alright. She smiles a little. Then she puts on a pair of gray sweat socks and wrings her feet into her wet hiking boots. After one more look in the mirror, she opens the door and silently walks away into the dark hallway.

 

SCENE 8

Exterior police station parking lot, night. Mulder and Scully are walking to their car. Then Gregg and Karen walk towards them. The rain has stopped.

MULDER: [hopeful] Found anything?

GREGG: Twenty-three dead magpies, a Swiss pocket knife and a ballpoint.

KAREN: Gregg and I need equipment to examine the magpies, is that possible?

SCULLY: At the clinic, come with us.

GREGG: How about Anna? Is she OK?

SCULLY: I don’t know. We’ll see about that tomorrow. [pauses] You brought her car?

KAREN: Yes –

Then suddenly Anna appears from behind.

ANNA: Thanks.

They all look surprised.

ANNA: [apologizing] I couldn’t sleep. Let me help you with this.

MULDER: [puts his hand on her shoulder] That’s OK. [looks at her oversized clothes] Nice outfit.

 

SCENE 9

Interior examination room, clinic. In half-bright (typical X-Files) light we see Scully standing alone, between two tables on which the bodies are laying. She is wearing a white hospital apron. They are covered under a blankets. Scully takes one of the blankets and reveals Wendy’s head and neck. Her eyes are closed and now we see the dried up mud and blood on her face and neck. The biggest wounds are in her neck, three big brown stains: the wounds that made her bleed to death. We hear a door squeak and Scully looks up. Anna comes in, wearing a white apron. Anna looks pale, but wide awake. She walks over to Scully and takes a look at Wendy’s face.

ANNA: [soft] She’s beautiful, isn’t she?

SCULLY: Yes.

ANNA: Thank god they didn’t take her eyes. [pauses, keeps looking at Wendy’s face] She was still alive when I got to her. I had to hit the magpies from her face. She couldn’t talk anymore. She looked at me, relieved. Then she closed her eyes. [remains silent]

SCULLY: So, what do you think about the magpies, Anna?

ANNA: [looks up at Scully] They were fearless. Like they were controlled by something else. It was so easy to kill them. [pauses] So, are you going to do an autopsy on them?

SCULLY: Hell no. It’s pretty clear what killed them. I’ll take a quick look at their clothes, to see if there are some abnormalities. Just to be sure.[smiling a little] And then I’m going to bed.

Scully puts down the blanket and now we see Wendy lying in her muddy, wet clothes. She is wearing an outdoor rain jacket and the same shorts we saw on her earlier. The left sleeve of the jacket has been cut open from the wrist to the elbow. Scully notices this immediately. She looks at the tear and then she looks at Anna.

SCULLY: Have you noticed this tonight?

Anna shakes her head. Then Scully opens the sleeve and we see Wendy’s bare arm. Instead of the pecking wounds Scully suspected to be there, we see blue ballpoint writing on the inside of her arm. It’s a little faded because of the water that had gotten in, but as the camera zooms in, we can clearly see what’s written: "5 HIKERS TO PEAKSVILLE, OK? LAST SEEN EAGLE CRAG JUNCTION, 2 P.M." Anna and Scully look at the writing for a while, then at each other.

SCULLY: You know these places?

ANNA: Yeah. [pauses, thoughtful] But it’s not really near the bird colonies.

 

SCENE 9

Interior cabin, night. Angela and Rayanne are out of bed, sitting in front of the – not burning – fire place. Between them is one small candle. It is burning steadily. They have closed the doors of the box bed. They are both wearing huge T-shirts that go over their knees. The raven’s box is open and Rayanne is stroking the bird inside. Angela looks a little dreamy, an unfolded map is in her lap.

ANGELA: [soft] You think he’ll be OK by tomorrow?

RAYANNE: [soft] I don’t know.

Angela takes the candle and holds it above the map. She looks at the map for a while.

ANGELA: I guess that compass stuff was a little over our heads. [pauses] But we can’t be that far off the route. Here [pointing, half mumbling] is Eagle Crag Junction, where we met Wendy and Jeroen. This [moves her finger over the map] is the route we were going to take and *this* is the shortcut Jeroen pointed out. And here is Kidsty Pike. Then we went this way. [pauses, puzzled look, looks up at Rayanne] But there isn’t any cabin near these paths. Weird, huh?

RAYANNE: When’s the map dated?

Angela turns the map over, looking for the date. She turns it again, folds it and then she’s found it.

ANGELA: [disappointed] 1983.

RAYANNE: [ironic] Now, that’s a long time ago.

ANGELA: Long enough to build a cabin. [pauses] Now what?

RAYANNE: Relax. We’ll let Brian figure something out in the morning. [pauses] I mean, we can’t be *that* lost, right?

ANGELA: Guess not.

She looks at the map and sighs. Then we hear the sound of falling rain again. The camera focuses on the map. In the light of the candle we can see some of the features on the map. Then the camera slowly pulls back and we are in –

 

SCENE 10

Interior police station, meeting room. Scully, Mulder and Anna are sitting at a table, looking at a map. Coffee mugs are on the table. Mulder has a pen and makes some marks on the map. Anna and Scully both look tired. Scully is stirring her coffee.

MULDER: I don’t feel much like going out in that weather again.

ANNA: It’s probably nothing. There’s a clear path from Eagle Crag Junction to Peaksville. They won’t have missed that.

Shot of the map on which are a couple of blue circles.

ANNA: [pointing at the circles] The attacks were here, all near or in Vineland Town. It wouldn’t seem logical that the birds went all the way over [pointing] here to attack five people. Especially since they had their attack already.

Sheriff Dexter comes in, looking agitated. He looks at Mulder and Scully and ignores Anna.

DEXTER: They haven’t arrived at the campsite nor the hotel in Peaksville. That means that they’re probably camping somewhere in the fields near Peaksville. I’m going there with three of my men. [pauses, sees Mulder frown] I don’t think they’re in trouble, but we can’t be too cautious.

MULDER: Right. Let us know when you’ve found them.

Dexter nods and leaves. Just as he walks through the door, Gregg and Karen want to come in. They let him pass and then they sit down at the table. They look disappointed.

GREGG: Nothing. [sighs] Again.

KAREN: The birds are completely normal. The right size, the right weight, the right feather patterns. [pauses, explaining] You know, when animals of a certain species become more aggressive than they should be, they are likely to show different external features as well. Different colors mostly, sometimes they develop bigger claws or extra teeth. But these birds show nothing out of the ordinary. There is no reason in the birds themselves for this behavior. [pauses] At least, that’s our theory. We’d have to study a couple of live magpies for some time to be certain of that.

SCULLY: So, you’re saying that they are driven by something outside themselves?

GREGG: [hesitating] Well, if you put it that way –

ANNA: [interrupting] That makes sense. What I saw tonight wasn’t natural. These birds had no fear and attacked those two hikers without respect for their own lives. It was easy for me to kill the birds. Like they didn’t care.

SCULLY: But, why didn’t they kill you? Or the raven?

ANNA: [casual] I don’t know. They could have, I guess. But after a while they just backed off. I wasn’t even pecked.

MULDER: So, they are afraid of you.

ANNA: Or the raven.

KAREN: [sighs] This is getting too weird. We’ve got a couple of hundred, maybe thousand killer-magpies and they seem to be afraid of one girl and one raven.

SCULLY: [a little irritated by Karen] But here *is* the connection. [looks at Anna] Anna, you said the magpies stopped attacking the hikers when you and the raven started to kill them.

ANNA: Yeah. They stopped flying in and just sat in the trees. When you showed up they all disappeared in the forest.

Anna yawns and puts her hand in front of her mouth. Karen and Gregg start to yawn too.

SCULLY: [to Karen and Gregg] OK, let’s get some sleep.

MULDER: [to Scully] You’ll go ahead. I’ll bring Anna to the hotel in a couple of minutes.

Scully frowns. Anna looks at Mulder.

MULDER: That’s OK, right?

ANNA: Sure.

 

SCENE 11

Exterior town square with fountain. Police station, town hall and hotel are on the square. It is still raining. The fountain is out and there isn’t any activity. Anna’s pick-up truck is standing next to a police car. From outside we get a shot through the windshield of the truck. Anna is sitting behind the wheel, Mulder is next to her. Anna looks small, but confident behind the big steering wheel. Then the same shot but from inside the car, so we don’t see the wet windshield anymore. Anna and Mulder are not talking and it is not clear if they have been talking or what’s been said. It looks like their silence is comfortable. They are staring out of the window. We hear the rain falling on the car roof and softly music sets in. It is "Good Enough" by Sarah McLachlan. It’s a slow song, but intense.

MUSIC: Hey, your glass is empty, it’s a hell of a long way home

Why don’t me let you take you, it no good to go alone

I never would have opened up but you seemed to real to me

After all the bullshit I’ve heard it’s refreshing not to see

No I don’t have to pretend, she doesn’t expect it from me

The shot keeps the same, a static shot of Mulder and Anna. After a few seconds we see a small tear on Anna’s cheek and then another one. She sobs almost without sound and puts her head on the steering wheel. Mulder gets a little closer and puts his hand on her shoulder. Anna turns to Mulder and lays her head against his chest, she keeps sobbing. Mulder puts his arms around her and mumbles something.

MUSIC: [getting louder] So just let me try and I will be good to you

Just let me try and I will be there for you

I’ll show you why you’re so much more than good enough

Then the music fades and Anna gets up again. She wipes the tears from her face and then she looks at Mulder.

ANNA: [slow] You want to drive around for a while? Before we go to bed? Just for ten minutes or so.

MULDER: [approving] Fine.

Anna starts the car and pulls away. We get a shot from the truck pulling away from the square, turning right to a road with houses and shops. Then a shot from inside again.

MULDER: Have you ever seen "The Birds" by Hitchcock?

ANNA: No. [pauses] Why?

MULDER: In that movie the people got the same problem as we have. A lot of aggressive birds and no solution.

ANNA: Happy end?

MULDER: Partly. The main characters live, but they have to leave. The birds take over the town.

ANNA: [thoughtful] Yeah. [pauses, turns left into a road with some really big houses] So, you do cases like this all the time, right?

MULDER: Sort of, yeah.

ANNA: And you always solve them?

MULDER: [ironic] Oh, yes. Scully and I are the FBI’s best kept secret.

Anna laughs a little.

MULDER: Actually we just investigate, try to imagine what is going on, report that to our supervisor and then it’s done. We hardly ever bring anybody to justice.

ANNA: I thought so.

MULDER: [sighs] Listen. Scully and I had some weird encounters in an ancient forest some time ago. (** note: Mulder refers to the 4th season X-Files episode "Detour".**) And remember, this is classified information, so you didn’t hear it from me. [pauses, Anna gives him an intrigued look] We were going to a stupid team-building conferention with two other FBI agents, who were real [hesitates] – well, we didn’t become best friends. Anyway, we encountered some local policemen investigating a missing persons case. In the next two days more persons were disappeared in the forest. Even the three persons with who Scully and I were on a search party vanished. Almost before our eyes. We got lost, I got hurt by something I didn’t see and [smiling] we had to spend the night in the middle of the forest.

CUT to scene from the X-Files episode. Scully is sitting against a tree, Mulder (wounded) is lying against her. Mulder looks up.

MULDER: I once heard the best way to regenerate heath is to get into a sleeping bag naked with somebody else.

SCULLY: If it starts raining sleeping bags, maybe you’ll get lucky.

CUT back to Anna’s pick-up truck. Mulder smiles. He continues talking.

MULDER: The next day we found all the people, more dead than alive lying in some sort of hole under the ground. And I got a closer look at the creatures that attacked us.

ANNA: [curious] What were they?

MULDER: I guess we have no name for that. We called them "forest creatures", creatures the size of a human but nearly invisible because they have been adapting themselves to the forest for hundreds, probably thousands of years. The forest was being cut that time, for a great part. They were going to build something, I don’t know what anymore. I think the creatures reacted to the cutting by attacking the people who came into the forest. [pauses]

ANNA: That’s spooky.

MULDER: But it makes sense, right?

ANNA: [ironic] In an unconventional way of thinking, maybe.

MULDER: But don’t you think we *need* to think unconventionally in these cases?

ANNA: [sighs] Yeah, I know. [pauses] Jesus, I haven’t been thinking straight for the last couple of months. I kind of hoped you guys would take over and make the problem go away.

MULDER: But we can’t. You’ve always known that. If there is a key to his problem it is you or the raven or maybe both of you. And maybe there is no key and no solution. The birds have been here longer than we. They may take over again.

ANNA: But they won’t let take them over again. [angry] They’d burn down the whole forest if they have to. You know that.

Anna looks out of the window with a straight face. She slows down and makes a U-turn.

ANNA: [looks at Mulder] So, what do we do?

MULDER: Keep looking. Use our imagination. Get some sleep.

Anna smiles at Mulder and looks in front of her again. CUT to outside. From above we see the truck driving on a wet road with trees and the big houses. During this last shot the Sarah McLachlan music comes back again – but softer than before – repeating the last verse.

MUSIC: So just let me try and I will be good to you

Just let me try and I will be there for you

I’ll show you why you’re so much more than good enough

The camera stays in one point and the car slowly disappears in the distance, the red rear lights clearly visible.

 

SCENE 12

Interior cabin, box bed, morning. The sun is shining in the cabin. Angela, Sharon, Brian, Rickie and Rayanne are lying in the bed. They are all in a different position. In the background we hear the raven squeaking softly. Rickie is lying on his back. He opens his eyes and looks around. He smiles. Brian wakes up too, he turns around and looks at Rickie, then at his watch. He looks surprised and then he touches Rickie’s arm.

BRIAN: [whispering] It’s 9.30, we’ve got to get moving. We need to find the path again.

RICKIE: [nods, looks at the others, a little moved by the peacefulness of the sleeping girls, whispering, slow] Just look at them. So nice and quiet.

RAYANNE: [lying face-down, not getting up, mumbling] I heard that Vasquez, consider yourself a dead man for making that statement.

Sharon gets halfway up, her hair is all over her face and out of control.

SHARON: Instead of making cute little remarks you could bring us breakfast in bed.

RAYANNE: [still face down] Yeah, I want pancakes.

RICKIE: Since *you* were in the food committee of this nice little trip, you’d know that we didn’t bring any pancake ingredients.

RAYANNE: Then at least go and find some blueberries in the forest.

Now Angela shows signs of life too. She turns towards the wall and doesn’t get up. Rickie and Brian are climbing out of the bed.

RAYANNE: [looking up, eyes only a little open] Krakow, you’d better take a serious look at the map. Angela and I couldn’t make any sense of it last night. It’s dated 1983.

BRIAN: [turns to Rayanne, ironic] That’s just fantastic. [frowning] But when did you two look at the map?

RAYANNE: When you were all sleeping and snoring.

CUT to Rickie inside the cabin. He has changed clothes and is now wearing red shorts and a white T-shirt. The raven is squeaking softly. Rickie walks to the door and opens it. He steps outside and he sees five or six magpies in the trees around them. The magpies immediately start to crow and squeak loudly and nervously. Rickie looks at the birds in amazement. This is the first time we get a look of the surroundings of the cabin. It seems to be on the edge of a forest, trees are surrounding the cabin, but from where Rickie stands we can see a little of the fields behind the trees, about 50 yards from the cabin. A small brook is roaring softly about twenty of yards from the cabin. A small track (about 5 feet wide) leads from the cabin to the fields behind the trees. Brian steps outside too, also dressed. He sees the magpies that are still squeaking and crowing.

BRIAN: [to Rickie] What did you do?

RICKIE: Nothing. I just stepped outside and they started.

Then some more magpies come flying through the trees. And some more. Little by little they start filling the trees. The noise they make becomes louder. Angela steps outside, still wearing her sleeping T-shirt, she has a small towel in her hand. She tucks her hair behind her ear and looks at the birds. The she sings/mumbles something.

RICKIE: [to Angela] What?

ANGELA: I know what you want, the magpies have come. [pauses] Tori Amos.

Rickie nods. The birds keep flying in and in about a minute or so there are couple of hundred magpies in the trees. They make a lot of noise, but they don’t seem particularly interested in Rickie, Brian and Angela. Rickie looks at Brian and Angela.

RICKIE: [smiling a little nervously] This is kind of spooky, isn’t it?

Sharon and Rayanne come out, both dressed in their hiking clothes.

RAYANNE: [astonished by the number of birds surrounding the cabin] *Man*. This trip is getting weirder by the day.

BRIAN: [casual] I guess they’ll go away soon.

RAYANNE: [sarcastic] And just *why* do you think that?

BRIAN: [irritated] I don’t know. Because we have to get moving. Because we are lost and we have to get back on the path. Because we haven’t got any food anymore.

RAYANNE: Pfff, relax Krakow. We’ll find the path, there isn’t any fog anymore, right? So now we can *see* where we go. And there’s food in the cabin, remember?

Rayanne turns around and goes in the cabin again.

RICKIE: [to Brian] So, what’s for breakfast?

BRIAN: [flat voice] Honey Nut Loops with instant milk.

RICKIE: Let’s have it.

Rickie and Brian enter the cabin. Sharon and Angela keep looking at the birds.

ANGELA: [yawns] I’m going to put some water on my face. I think I’m too tired to walk today.

SHARON: As long as we don’t get lost, everything is fine with me.

Angela smiles and walks towards the brook. Sharon turns and enters the cabin. The camera stays with Sharon. Shot of interior cabin. Rickie is near the fire place, boiling water on their stove. Rayanne has opened the box and is stroking the raven. He is not at ease, squeaking soft and nervous. Rayanne takes it out of the box and holds it tight in her arms. It doesn’t try to get away from Rayanne, in fact it seems to look for shelter in her hands. The blood on its chest has dried up and now there are some brown stains on the white feathers. Sharon is walking around, picking up things and putting them in her backpack.

SHARON: Has anybody seen my –

She gets interrupted by a loud scream from outside. It’s clearly Angela’s.

ANGELA: [off-screen, screaming] Somebody help me!

Sharon and Brian run outside. Rickie follows them. Sharon runs over to the brook, where the screaming came from. Angela is lying in the brook, on her stomach, struggling to get up. The water is about one feet high. Angela has a small wound on her head. She looks relieved when she sees Sharon.

ANGELA: [smiling] I fell in. And I can’t get up because these stones are too slippery.

Sharon gets in the water and gives Angela her hand. Rickie and Brian are standing by.

SHARON: [concerned] Are you alright?

ANGELA: Pretty much. I hurt my head.

Angela gets up with Sharon’s help. She slips again, but Sharon keeps her up. They get out of the water. Angela is completely wet. She looks up at the trees. The birds are still there. They aren’t making much noise anymore.

ANGELA: I was looking at two of the magpies that seemed to be fighting. Then I slipped and fell in. [smiling] I panicked for a moment.

Rickie steps up to Angela and looks at the wound on her head.

RICKIE: It’s nothing much. I’ll clean it inside. [pauses, looks up at the magpies] These birds are giving me the creeps. Let’s have breakfast and get out of here.

BRIAN: Good plan.

They start to walk back to the cabin. We see Rayanne stepping outside of the cabin with the raven in her hands. The raven starts to crow very loud and suddenly a magpie comes flying out of nowhere and pecks Rayanne in the arm. Rayanne frightens and looks around at the other birds. The others see it too – from a distance of twenty yards – and don’t know what to do for a second. Rayanne sees the second one coming and manages to avoid it. The raven crows loudly and escapes from her hands. It flees into the cabin. Then two magpies fly towards Rayanne. One pecks her in the head. She turns and runs into the cabin. She closes the door and two other magpies are too late and crash to the door. They fall down on the ground. Shot from the others standing by the brook. They are nervously looking at the birds.

BRIAN: [whispering] On three. [pauses] One, two, [deep breath, loud] three!

They start to run through the trees. As soon as they start to run, the magpies come flying and peck them. They reach the door soon. Brian is running in front, he opens the door a little and lets the others in, then he gets in himself. A couple of magpies fly to the door and fall down, one gets in and causes panic inside the cabin. It tries to flee, but Brian has closed the door. The raven flies around too, as soon as it sees the magpie it flies towards it. Even though they have about the same size, the raven kills the magpie in two seconds. It grabs the magpie’s head with its claws and pecks the neck. The birds fall to the floor and then it’s pretty clear that the magpie is dead. The raven shakes its feathers and stands on top of the magpie. It looks at the others, who are staring open mouthed at the birds.

 

SCENE 13

Exterior hotel, back side. Anna is sitting by herself on the bench that Scully sat on before. She looks a lot better than yesterday. She is picking from the muffin she has in her hand and stares in the distance. Suddenly she chills and looks up. The raven is flying towards her. Even from a distance its white feathers are clear. It lands a few feet in front of her. Anna smiles as the raven comes closer. It has a little stone in its beak. Anna holds up her hand and the raven puts the stone in her hand. It’s a beautiful milky, shiny white smooth stone. Probably an opal. Anna looks at it with surprise. Then she looks at the raven. It looks at her intensely. Anna reaches out and strokes the white feathers of its chest carefully. After a few seconds the raven shakes its feathers and crows one time very loud. It hops on the bench and looks at Anna again. Then the raven spread his wings and flies away. Anna watches him leave, looking thoughtful. When the raven has disappeared, she gets another chill. Immediately she gets up and runs to the hotel. She runs through the doors, into the dining room. She looks at an empty table with five used plates and coffee cups. Then she runs through the hall, towards the front exit. Anna bursts through the front door of the hotel. Outside she keeps running over the square to the police station. She enters the station and in the hall she looks around. At the end of the hall are Scully and Mulder. She runs to them, but Sheriff Dexter steps in front of her and grabs her arm. Anna almost falls to the ground. Dexter pulls her up, with force.

ANNA: [out of breath, angry] What the hell are you doing? Let go of my arm.

DEXTER: Look missy, this is a police station. We don’t run here, we walk. [pauses] I don’t like what’s going on here and I really don’t like *you* either running or walking around my police station. Especially because you seem to think you’ll get away with this.

ANNA: [mean] Let go of my arm.

Dexter lets go of her arm.

ANNA: [curious] Get away with what, sheriff Dexter?

DEXTER: I know you and your stupid raven have so much more to do with this than your precious FBI friends think. You’re just like your grandfather.

Mulder and Scully notice that something is going on and come walking towards them

ANNA: [angry] And how is that?

SCULLY: [strict] What is going on?

DEXTER: Nothing. I was explaining that a police station is not a gym.

ANNA: Yeah. And I told the sheriff that that’s just too bad, ‘cause he would look so much better if he lost some pounds. [pauses] Like sixty.

Anna and Dexter exchange dirty looks. Scully pushes Anna in front of her, away from Dexter. Mulder follows them.

SCULLY: [to Anna, strict] Come on.

Anna turns around to Dexter.

ANNA: I guess you haven’t found those hikers, right?

Scully and Mulder look surprised at Anna. Dexter frowns.

ANNA: [to Scully and Mulder, fast] That’s what I came here for. Come on, I know where they are.

Anna starts running again. Mulder and Scully follow her. They leave the police station and walk towards Anna’s pick-up truck. They get in the car, Anna behind the wheel, Scully in the middle and Mulder on the right. It’s a little tight. Anna starts the engine and pulls away. Outside Dexter and another cop get in the police 4x4 Toyota and they follow Anna. CUT to interior pick-up truck. Anna has a determined look on her face. She drives really fast. Mulder and Scully fasten their seatbelts.

SCULLY: What happened?

ANNA: The raven came to me. [gets one hand off the wheel and reaches in her pocket, she hands the white stone to Scully] See this?

SCULLY: [surprised] This is beautiful. [shows it to Mulder] It’s probably opal.

ANNA: [nods] He gave it to me and flew away. It felt like goodbye. I thought I’d never see him again. After a couple of seconds I felt that the magpies were striking again.

MULDER: Where?

ANNA: Somewhere between Kidsty Pike and the colonies. But definitely not on the route to Peaksville. [pauses, makes a left turn, the street with the big houses] There is a public cabin over there. That’s where we’re heading. If the hikers can hide in the cabin they have got a pretty good chance that they’ll come out alright.

Anna passes two cars at once, going at least 85 miles p/h. An approaching car is suddenly extremely close. Just in time Anna gets in her lane again The other car flashes its lights and honks irritated. Anna smiles. Scully and Mulder look relieved.

ANNA: Don’t you people have one of those magnetic click-on-your-roof flashing lights and sirens with you?

SCULLY: [ironic] No, but maybe sheriff Dexter has a spare one.

 

SCENE 14

Interior cabin. Brian is sitting by the stove, boiling water. Rickie and Rayanne are sitting on the edge of the box bed. He is cleaning her wounds and puts some Band-Aids on them. Sharon and Angela are watching them. Then Angela turns and looks at the birds again. The raven is still standing on the dead magpie. It looks extremely cautious and tense.

ANGELA: What should we do with the dead magpie?

Rickie turns around, looking uncomfortable.

RICKIE: I want it out of here. I can’t stand dead things. [sighs] I mean, what is going on here?

SHARON: [determined] I want it out too. Let’s throw it out. [to Rayanne] You’ll take the raven, I get the magpie. [to Angela] Open the door, but just a little bit.

Angela nods. Rayanne takes the raven, it lets her take it easily. Sharon reaches down for the dead bird. The magpie is bloody.

BRIAN: No, wait. The bird might be sick.

SHARON: [looks up at Brian] You’re right. [pauses, looks around]

RICKIE: [hands her a plastic bag] Here.

Sharon acts very professionally now. She turns the bag inside out, grabs the magpie with it and then she turns the bag back again. She has put the magpie in the bag without touching it. Sharon looks triumphant at the others.

RAYANNE: [sarcastic] Gee Cherski, you could join the circus.

Sharon ignores her and looks at Angela. Angela takes the door handle. Sharon stands right next to her, ready to throw out the bag. Brian and Rickie are standing by the window, looking outside.

ANGELA: On three. [sighs, pauses] One, two, three!

At three Angela opens the door and Sharon throws out the bag. Immediately Angela closes the door again. As soon as Sharon has thrown the bag out, the magpies outside start to make an enormous impressive and loud noise. Rickie and Brian are looking amazed and frightened out of the window. The crowing noise is terrible. The girls look afraid too. The raven is going crazy. It is squeaking, flapping its wings and hopping around. Angela walks to the window

BRIAN: [looking outside, soft, slow] This is bad.

Shot through the window. We see maybe a hundred magpies gathered over one spot, probably the bag with the dead magpie, but that’s totally covered with magpies. The camera gets a little closer and we see the magpies pecking each other to get to the bag. It is a big horrible pile of aggressive magpies flying around, landing on each other, pecking, flapping their wings and crowing intensely. CUT to inside cabin again. Rayanne tries to get the raven, which is almost impossible. Then she grabs a towel and throws it over the raven.

RAYANNE: [soft] Got you!

Rayanne puts the raven in the box again and closes it. Then she looks at the others. Angela is standing by Rickie, who is panicked and crying a little. Sharon puts the curtains before the cabin’s two windows. Brian is just standing, no clue what to do.

RICKIE: [panicky, fast] What are we gonna do, huh? I mean, this is not good. Not good at all.

ANGELA: [calm voice, takes his arm, soft] Try to relax. They will go away. We’ve got food. They can’t come in here.

The moment she has said this, they hear a half-loud knock on the door. They look terrified at each other. Then there’s another knock and another. After five or six knocks it stops.

BRIAN: [not believing] They are going to burst through the door? They actually think that’s *possible*?

RAYANNE: You’ve seen Jurassic Park, right? [pauses, Brian frowns and nods] I rest my case.

SHARON: [fast] The blinds! We’ve got to close the blinds. They can easily burst through the windows.

They all look at the two windows with the closed curtains. The crowing noise is still terrible. Now they are realizing that they have a serious problem, because the blinds cannot be closed from inside. Then we hear knock on the window. And another one. Rickie, Brian and Sharon look afraid. The raven is going crazy in its box, Rayanne walks over to it. She’s uncomfortable too. Angela stares at the brown curtains.

ANGELA VO: Everybody is always talking about being able to work hard under pressure and stress and everything. I never believed that. Most of the time I just go numb when there’s stress or pressure. And then nothing comes out of my hands. [pauses] Except for now.

Angela turns to Rayanne. We hear two knocks at the window.

ANGELA: [certain] It’s the raven.

RAYANNE: Huh?

ANGELA: The magpies want to burst into the cabin because of the raven. We have got to get him out of here. And fast.

RAYANNE: [angry] You want to throw him outside and be slaughtered?

ANGELA: [calm] What do you want? [a knock at the window again] Rayanne, we have no choice.

Just as she has said that another magpie flies against the window again and we hear the sound of glass cracking. Brian grabs a piece of wood and steps to the window. He opens the curtain a little. The window is covered with blood stains and in the middle of those stains we see a small but clear crack of about 3 inches. Brian gets his head closer to take a better look and right at that moment a magpies flies against the window, giving Brian the fright of his life. He backs away and before the curtain closes itself we see that the crack has gotten at least twice as big. Rayanne looks at Angela and then at the box with the raven. The raven is making a lot of noise. And so are the magpies outside. The crowing sound fades a little, but not entirely and then CUT to:

 

SCENE 15

Exterior fields/woods. Anna’s truck comes racing over a small track towards the edge of a forest. The trees that they are approaching are filled with magpies. They are crowing terribly. Anna stops the car about ten yards from the trees. She turns off the engine and wants to get out. Scully puts a hand on her arm.

SCULLY: What are you going to do?

ANNA: [frowns] Take a look.

She gets out and gets a wooden baseball bat out of the back of the car. Mulder and Scully get out too. They look at the magpies, cautiously. But the magpies don’t seem to notice them. Anna swings the bat absent-minded with one arm. Scully looks at her.

MULDER: [pointing] Is that the track to the cabin?

ANNA: [without looking, absent minded] Yep.

MULDER: Well, then shouldn’t we –

ANNA: [interrupting, putting a finger on her lips, soft] Shh, just wait a sec.

Right after she has said this the magpies all stop crowing at once. Anna looks up in the sky and not too far away we see a big black bird coming closer. It is Anna’s raven. After a second or so we see the white feathers on its chest. The raven circles above the truck on a height of about thirty feet. After two circles it makes a loud crow and heads for the trees with the magpies. Anna runs after it, still holding the baseball bat.

SCULLY: [yelling] Anna, don’t we need the truck?

Anna doesn’t answer, but keeps running. Scully looks at Mulder. Mulder nods.

MULDER: Two thousand aggressive magpies? [pauses] We’ll need the truck. And a really big net.

Scully smiles. They get in the car. Mulder is behind the wheel. He turns on the engine and pulls away towards the track. After ten yards he gets stuck in a hole. He puts the car in the rear gear, but that doesn’t seem to work. They are stuck in the hole. In the distance Anna has almost entered the forest.

 

SCENE 15

Exterior cabin. Angela and Rayanne are standing in front of the door, staring open mouthed at the trees. The magpies are all there, but they are not making any noise anymore. Rayanne holds the box with the raven in her hands. The box is open, but the raven doesn’t come out. It just looks over the edge of the box, small and afraid. Angela holds a long piece of wood in her hand. Rayanne makes one cautious step forward and slowly puts the box on the ground. The magpies seem to get nervous. They start hopping and flapping their wings, but don’t crow. It is a really creepy scene. Then we hear a distant noise of running footsteps. Angela and Rayanne look up, but they can’t see where the footsteps are coming from. They look at each other but don’t say anything. They are too afraid to move and cause a change in the magpies’ behavior. (** the following all happens in a couple of seconds, so hang on... **) Then all of a sudden the big raven appears out of nowhere flying towards Angela and Rayanne. It flies fast and heads for the box. Angela and Rayanne just stand there, hypnotized by what happens. The raven flies to the box and without landing or stopping, it grabs the young raven and turns around again. The young raven squeaks. It looks rather small in the claws of the big one. Then about thirty feet from the cabin we seen Anna coming closer with the baseball bat in her hand. Angela and Rayanne see her too. Anna is yelling something but we can’t hear what she’s yelling. The raven tries to gain height and fly away, but the weight of the young raven is reducing its speed. As the raven is halfway the trees we hear one terrible scream of one of the magpies and then they all seem to throw themselves at the raven. Within half a second, we can’t see the ravens anymore but only one big cloud of magpies. The center of the magpie cloud falls to the ground and all the other magpies go there. The air is filled with terrible crowing noises, wing flapping, feathers and sand. It’s a terrible sight. The magpies are pecking each other to get closer to the (magpie covered) ravens. Anna has reached the magpie cloud and starts to hit the magpies with the bat. The magpies turn to her too and start to peck her. In a second her face is covered with blood. Angela and Rayanne break from their trance and do not hesitate any longer. Rayanne picks up the box and then they run towards Anna, hitting every magpie in their way. They both get pecked too. Totally surrounded by magpies Angela and Rayanne grab Anna. Anna doesn’t want to come with them. She screams and we see tears running over her blood covered face. The noise the magpies make is terrible and enormously loud. Angela and Rayanne are bleeding too.

ANGELA: [screaming] It’s no use. You’ll get killed.

RAYANNE: [hitting magpies, screaming] Come on! Now!

Anna don’t seem to cooperate, meanwhile they all get pecked more and more. Blood is running over their faces and arms. Rayanne looks at Angela and then they both nod. They throw away the box and the piece of wood, grab Anna real tight and start to run toward the cabin. Some magpies follow them. Anna lets them drag her to the cabin. Brian opens the door and hits the magpies around them with a piece of wood. They get in and Sharon quickly closes the door. One magpie gets in, but Brian quickly hits it and makes a terrible bloody stain on the floor. Angela and Rayanne lay Anna down on the floor. She looks terrible: a pale, blood covered face, closed eyes and clothes that are torn to pieces. Angela and Rayanne don’t look that great either. Blood, shredded clothes et cetera. They are both trembling. Brian is looking outside. Sharon and Rickie stand in the middle of the cabin, looking at Anna.

SHARON: [slow] Oh my god.

RAYANNE: I need to sit down.

Rayanne walks to the box bed and sits down on the edge of it.

SHARON: [gets on her knees besides Anna, soft] Are you alright?

Anna doesn’t answer, but she does open her eyes and stares at Sharon. Her face shows no expression. Angela walks over to Brian, who is still staring out of the window, and leans against his back. He is surprised and turns around, awkwardly he puts his arms around her. Outside the magpies suddenly stop making noise. They all look up. Angela vaguely smiles at Brian. Then they hear two cars honking. Brian and Angela look outside and we see Anna’s truck and the police Toyota coming closer. They are making their way over dozens of dead magpies that are scattered on the path. The other magpies are flying away and are gone in a few seconds. Angela walks to the door and opens it. The cars stop in front of the cabin. We see Angela’s face turning into disbelief as Scully and Mulder get out of the pick-up truck. She doesn’t know what to say and just stands in the door opening. Mulder and Scully don’t recognize her at first, because of her bloody face, but then Scully looks real surprised too. She walks over to Angela.

SCULLY: Angela?

ANGELA: [casual, half-smile] Yeah, whenever there is trouble...

Mulder walks to them. A few feet away Dexter and two other cops get out of their car. They look around. Mulder puts a hand on Angela’s shoulder.

MULDER: Is Anna with you?

ANGELA: The girl with the baseball bat?

Mulder nods.

ANGELA: Yeah, but she’s in a bit of a shock. [pauses] I guess we all are.

Mulder goes inside. Scully stays with Angela. Finally Angela gives up and a tear starts to roll from the corner of her eye over her cheek. A second and a third follow. She looks up at Angela. Scully smiles in a comforting way.

ANGELA: We just cannot meet under normal circumstances, can we?

SCULLY: Yeah, well, maybe that’s our destiny or something.

Brian and Sharon come out of the cabin and look around. They look lost. Then the red Jeep parks behind the other cars and Gregg and Karen get out. They walk over to Scully. Karen and Angela look really surprised at each other.

ANGELA: [tears of relief, smiling] The party is complete.

Karen and Angela hug. Gregg sees Brian and walks over to him. Scully enters the cabin. Dexter observes what is happening and doesn’t have a clue about what is going on. CUT to interior cabin. Mulder has put Anna on a chair and she stares away. Scully sits down beside her. Rayanne still sits on the edge of the box bed. Rickie sits beside her, he smiles with relief. Scully takes Anna’s hand.

SCULLY: [soft] Anna, are you OK?

Anna just stares away. Her bloody face shows a hint of a smile. She is mumbling. First we can’t hear it, then her voice gets a little louder.

ANNA: [crying a little, soft and slow] It’s all over now. [pauses] We’re safe.

Mulder looks at Scully. Scully sighs with relief. She takes a towel that is lying on the table and starts to wipe some blood of Anna’s face. Mulder sees the splashed magpie – that Brian killed – stuck to the floor.

MULDER: [turns to Scully] I guess we’re done here. Dexter will examine the spot. [pauses] Let’s get these kids out of here. [to Rayanne and Rickie] Get your stuff together, we’re leaving.

Rickie smiles and gets up. Rayanne just keeps staring in front of her.

RAYANNE: [blank voice] They’re gone, right?

MULDER: They’re all gone. You’re safe now. [pauses, friendly] Pack your things and we’ll get you some coffee.

Rayanne gets up and start to pack her things mechanically, but smiling.

 

SCENE 16

Interior pick-up truck. Scully, Angela, Anna and Mulder are together on the seat. They are slowly pulling away from the cabin. In front of them is the Jeep with Karen, Gregg, Brian, Rayanne, Rickie and Sharon. Angela sits between Scully and Anna. Angela turns around to look at the cabin. We see all the five backpacks and Anna’s bloody baseball bat lying in the back of the car. At the cabin Dexter and his men are walking around. The track is covered with dead magpies. Slowly the cabin gets smaller and then Angela turns around again. The cars leave the forest and we get a wide shot of the hills in front of them. Angela’s face is covered with dried up blood and dried up tears. Her hair is sticky with dried up blood drops. She smiles a little. Then she looks at Anna. Who is even more of a mess than Angela.

ANGELA VO: I can’t believe it. I mean, life can actually get this big. Over and over again. [pauses] And the weird thing is, that we seem to make it every time. [pauses, looks at Scully, then outside at the beautiful hills] Maybe that goes for everything.

In the Jeep in front of them Rayanne turns around and looks at them. She pulls a weird face and waves – obviously relieved that it is going to be fine. Angela waves back. Mulder and Scully frown.

ANGELA VO: [smiling] I really think so.

 

SCENE 17

Interior examination room, clinic. Angela and Rayanne are sitting on different examination tables, wearing blue hospital gowns.. A woman in white hospital clothes is cleaning Rayanne’s face. Angela is holding a glass of water. She hasn’t been cleaned yet.

RAYANNE: [to Angela] So, we’re going to call Patty or what?

Angela doesn’t respond. She’s too far away with her thoughts.

RAYANNE: Hello-o. [Angela looks up] Thank you. What are we going to do now?

ANGELA: [indifferent] I don’t know. Go back home?

RAYANNE: [ironic] Yeah, I guess finishing the trip is out of the question. [pauses] Don’t you want to call your parents or anything?

ANGELA: [indifferent] I don’t know. [pauses] They’d only freak out.

The nurse puts more liquid on some cotton swab and starts to clean Rayanne’s arm.

NURSE: This might hurt a little.

RAYANNE: Ouch! [to the nurse] A little?

Scully enters the room, pushing a wheelchair with Anna in it. Rayanne and Angela look a little surprised at the wheelchair.

ANNA: [smiling] It’s OK. Dana put me in this to make sure I get all the rest I need. [pauses] Thank you guys. You probably saved my life.

Rayanne and Angela look uncomfortable, not knowing what to say.

ANNA: And I guess I owe you an explanation. [looks up at Scully]

SCULLY: Yes. But not now. [to Anna] You need some sleep and [to Angela and Rayanne] you need to be cleaned up. Maybe later this afternoon.

A man in white hospital clothes comes in. He has some forms in his hands.

MAN: Agent Scully, could you sign these forms? Then we can send the bodies of those two hikers to their families in Holland.

ANGELA: [shocked] What?

Scully and the man look surprised.

ANGELA: [angry and full of disbelief] Wendy and Jeroen are dead? How? Why?

ANNA: [soft] We don’t know why. The magpies got them. Last night. We were too late. [pauses]

SCULLY: The girl wrote on her arm about the five of you. That’s how we knew you might be in danger.

ANGELA: [still unbelieving] We met them yesterday afternoon. They were so nice.

RAYANNE: [teary-eyed, fast] Can we see them?

Scully thinks for a moment. Then she looks at the man, who is looking rather impatient.

SCULLY: Just the girl. The body of the boy is too heavily disfigured. [turns to the man] Could you bring the girl in here for a second?

CUT to shot of stretcher with a white blanket on it. Scully, Rayanne, Angela and Anna are standing around it. Rayanne is holding Angela’s hand. Scully looks at them and then she turns over the blanket. We see a familiar shot. Wendy’s face is pale and peaceful. Her long, blond hair lays loose around her face. Rayanne starts to cry. Angela just stares at Wendy. Scully puts a hand on Rayanne’s shoulder.

ANGELA VO: There she was. Even prettier than I remembered. Gone forever. [pauses] Maybe I was wrong. About making it every time. Maybe we just got lucky. And Wendy and Jeroen didn’t. And maybe *that* is what it is all about. About getting lucky. [pauses, stares]

Scully puts the blanket away from Wendy’s arm and there we see the writing "5 HIKERS TO PEAKSVILLE, OK? LAST SEEN EAGLE CRAG JUNCTION, 2 P.M." Rayanne sobs again. Angela reaches out and touches the words carefully. Anna and Scully look at Angela.

ANGELA VO: Which is really depressing. [pauses, looks at Wendy’s face again, smiles sadly] Thank you. [pauses] For being there.

Scully takes the blanket and pulls it up again. The shot of the covered body slowly fades to black.

 

SCENE 18

Exterior hotel, back. At the bench Scully and Anna sat ealier, we see Rayanne and Angela. Anna is beside them in her wheelchair. The sun is shining brightly. The girls have all been cleaned up and their faces and arms are full with dried up wounds, band aids and small bandages.

ANGELA: So, you think that they’ll stop attacking people now?

ANNA: I don’t know. That’s how it feels. [pauses] But they are still here. Thousands of them. And they won’t go away.

RAYANNE: But what about the ravens? I don’t get how they fit into all this.

ANNA: Me neither. Maybe the magpies always had to tolerate the ravens because they feared them. Maybe killing people was practicing for killing the ravens. Maybe they didn’t like the ravens’ contact with humans. I don’t know. There are a lot of things that are way beyond our heads. I guess it would the best if we just left the magpies in peace. Maybe that is what they are trying to tell us.

Then they don’t say anything anymore. The three of them just look out over the fields. Slow MSCL-music starts to play. In the distance we see a flock of magpies flying above the trees. The camera goes up and we see the three girls from above, then we see the roof of the hotel and the square with the fountain and the surrounding buildings. The people we see are small, but we can still recognize them. From above we see Mulder, Scully, Gregg and Karen talking to sheriff Dexter. Brian, Rickie and Sharon are sitting by the fountain, their backpacks at their feet. A small truck parks near the police station, on its roof is written in big yellow letters: "EXTERMINATE!". A blue/gray station car parks near the hotel. Patty and Graham come out, Brian and the others immediately walk towards them. Then another car parks and we see Katimski and Camille get out. Then the camera (in the air) turns and the final shot is a long shot of the enormous forest surrounding Vineland Town. The houses of the small town look small and vulnerable amongst the huge green surroundings of the old forest. We hear some distant magpie-crowing. After a five seconds the shot slowly fades to black.

In the black screen the following white text appears:

For Wendy – the most wonderful girl in the world.

Everything I am now, I became because of you.

As we see the text, softly the music of "Good Enough" by Sarah McLachlan starts playing. After four or five seconds, images return to the screen. What starts is a compilation of short shots. The music keeps going through the scene. Shot of fountain at square. Karen is showing Angela the healing bullet wound (** see: Summer Break**). Angela looks surprised and then Karen points at Angela’s cuts and bandages. They laugh. CUT to interior police station. Gregg is talking agitatedly to sheriff Dexter. Dexter doesn’t seem to be paying any attention. A guy in grey overalls walks past them on his back are is the yellow word "eXterminate". Mulder walks over to them, puts a hand on Gregg’s shoulder and leads him outside. CUT to exterior back side hotel. Rayanne is pushing Anna’s wheelchair. Anna is pointing in the trees. Rayanne is talking a lot. CUT to interior hotel lounge. Scully, Angela, Rickie, Patty, Graham and Katimski are sitting at a table. Scully is talking. Patty looks relieved, Katimski and Graham are nodding. CUT to exterior square. Gregg is talking to Brian and Sharon. Sharon is closely paying attention to what he is saying. She is smiling and even flirting a little. CUT to exterior back side hotel. Scully and Angela are sitting on the bench. The music fades.

ANGELA: I never thought I’d see you again this summer.

SCULLY: [smiling] Me neither.

ANGELA: So, are they really going to kill all the birds?

SCULLY: I don’t know. They wouldn’t succeed anyway. [pauses] These birds won’t let themselves get killed.

They stare over the fields for a while. Angela looks a little sad.

ANGELA: I can’t believe I have to go back to school in a week. This summer has been too weird.

Then Mulder comes walking towards them, pushing Anna in her wheelchair.

MULDER: [to Scully] We’re about to go. Are you ready?

SCULLY: [sighs] I guess so. [to Anna] So, what are you going to do?

ANNA: Hang around here for a while. My grandfather has been here for twenty years, I’ve only been here for a couple of months. [pauses, looks up at Mulder, smiling] So, I’ll just keep looking. Use my imagination. Get some sleep.

Scully frowns at Mulder, he just smiles back. Anna looks at Angela. Angela looks still a little sad. CUT to:

 

SCENE 19

Interior Chase station wagon. Angela and Sharon are on the back seat of the car. Sharon is sleeping. Graham is driving. In front of them we see Katimski’s red car. Angela stares out of the window. Outside are fields and woods. We see Patty turning around and looking at Angela. Patty seems to try to say something, but doesn’t know what. Angela keeps looking outside, pretending not to notice Patty. Patty turns back and puts a hand on Graham’s leg. Graham smiles at her.

GRAHAM: [to Patty, mumbling] Everything is alright now.

Patty smiles a little. CUT back to Angela, still staring out of the window.

ANGELA VO: Maybe. [pauses] But sometimes things just aren’t alright. Because life isn’t all about happy endings. Because people die. Because there are problems that won’t go away after a good night’s sleep or a bunch of home-made oatmeal cookies.

CUT to exterior road. From a distance we see the Chase station wagon and Katimski’s car on the road. The camera goes up. We see the surrounding forest and then CUT to:

 

SCENE 20

Exterior woods. Anna races in her pick-up truck through the woods. We see the gray/yellow "Exterminate" van, with its doors open. Anna stops near the van, gets out with her baseball bat and walks around the truck. In front of the truck we see a man in overalls lying face-up on the ground. His face is bloody and his eyes are pecked out. It is the man we saw earlier at the police station. Anna stares at the man, the look on her face shows disbelief and anger. She looks around at the trees, they are empty. As the screen fades to black, we hear Angela’s voice.

 

ANGELA VO: [off-screen, continuing from previous scene] Because life isn’t that simple.

 

THE END

 

Some notes on the music I’ve used:

"Heal" by Heather Nova is from album "Oyster" (1996). And now I’ll stop using Heather-songs… :)

"Good Enough" by Sarah McLachlan can be found on her albums "Fumbling towards ecstasy" (1997) and "Mirrorball" (live) (1999).

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“Ignore her. She got up on the wrong side of the coffin this morning.”

Enrique (Rickie) Vasquez, Episode 9: "Halloween"