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II-3 - Braided Horses

written by Collin J.H. Chang

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About this story

Published: 1997 | Size: 49 KB (8545 words) | Language: english | Rating: R

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Abstract:
A MSCL and "John Constantine, Hellblazer" crossover

based on stories and characters created by Winnie Holzman

THE STORY THUS FAR:

As Jordan lies dying from critical gunshot wounds, and Angela valiantly tries to nurse him back to health, the Three Fallen Brothers of Hell formulate a contest of wills to determine Satan's successor. He who drags the former Lord of Hell's most hated nemesis, Rayanne Graff, to the Abyss, shall also rule it. The shit's about to fly!



FADE IN:
It's cold and white everywhere. A CRACKING sound. The sound of a rock shattering.


EXT. SNOW-COVERED MOUNTAIN TOP - DAY

A YOUNG MAN
stands in the middle of this cold white canvas. It's difficult to make out what he's doing, but whatever it is, it's taking quite an effort. He wears a thick wool coat with a hood that covers most of his head, and raises a heavy object high, then brings it down with cracking force. CRACK! Again, CRACK!

TALL PINE TREES
line the horizon behind the Young Man. He breathes, and a mist of white vapor escapes his lips. Snow is everywhere. It's freezing.

A LARGE CHUNK OF ICE

AN AXE CRACKS into it, pulverizes it, adds to the snow. The Young Man lifts the axe above his head once more, prepares to bring it down once again, when suddenly, a VOICE calls out, and he stops.

JORDAN CATALANO
looks out from within the wool hood that muffles his head. He searches for the VOICE, strains, listens for it. Once again, the strange VOICE cries out. From over the horizon. He lays down his axe, begins walking towards the VOICE.

CAROLLERS (offscreen)
"Hark the Herald Angels siiinnngggg,
glory to the new born King!


CUT TO:
EXT. LAKEVIEW HOSPITAL - NIGHT

THE CAROLLERS
stand at the front steps of the hospital, bellowing with the Season's usual mirth.

CAROLLERS
Peace on earth, and mercy miiillld,
God and sinners reconciled -- !"


INT. LAKEVIEW HOSPITAL - CHAPEL - NIGHT
BLACK SCREEN

ANGELA (voiceover)
When I was a little girl, I used to think there was a monster in my closet,
and I would shut my eyes and hide under my blanket...until it was safe. And
when I lifted the blanket, the monster was always gone. But monsters don't
always come from your closet.

ANGELA CHASE
kneels before the split, blackened altar. The BLACK FLAME representing the First of the Fallen Brothers of Hell rises from the chasm. Angela looks down at the floor, never daring to look at the flame. Out of fear. And shame.

THE FIRST
Much more there is, that you shall tell
me of my prey, the mere mortal, Rayanne Graff.
ANGELA
But that -- that's all I know. It's her father. Rayanne Graff's weakness
is her father. That -- that's all you need to know.
(a beat)
You -- you promised...you promised that you would - !

Tears well up in Angela's eyes, burning her cheeks.

THE FIRST
Good to his word is the First. The boy shall be healed.

The Flame vanishes, and Angela wipes her eyes, then slowly rises from her
knees. She never looks up. As she leaves the chapel, she doesn't notice the
FIGURE standing in the shadows, partially hidden behind a curtain.

BRIAN KRAKOW
takes a deep breath, as he watches Angela leave. He looks at the cracked altar, and trembles.

BRIAN
Oh my God...

INT. HOSPITAL CORRIDOR OUTSIDE ICU - NIGHT
Angela walks down the corridor, outside the ICU where Jordan lies. She walks
into the room, and silently watches Jordan, who is still in a coma.

ANGELA (whispered)
Wake up, Jordan... Wake up...

A HAND
falls on her shoulder, and she turns, startled. GRAHAM stands beside her.

GRAHAM
It's late, sweetie. Let's go home.


CUT TO:
INT. OTIS JEFFERSON'S CELL - BELLEVUE STATE HOSPITAL - PITTSBURGH - NIGHT

RAYANNE
crouches near former football legend, Otis Jefferson, who's possessed by the
demon Nergung.

OTIS/NERGUNG
My only wish, Graff, is that I am there to see the Three Fallen Brothers of Hell
drag you to your final reckoning.
RAYANNE
Do they actually, like, think they can get the drop on Moi?
OTIS/NERGUNG
Your brashness shall one day be your undoing.
RAYANNE
I'm, like, way ahead of the game, Nergung. I know who they are, and what they want.
All they know about me is who I am. And unless they can do better than that,
it's gonna be a pretty dull Christmas down under.
OTIS/NERGUNG
There are machinations in place that would give even you reason to shudder.
A beat, as Rayanne considers this.
RAYANNE
Machinations? Such big words. Hmmm... maybe it's about time I gave him a
buzz.
OTIS/NERGUNG
Who do you speak of?
RAYANNE
Who do you think, Einstein? The Oracle.
OTIS/NERGUNG
The -- The Oracle? No, that...that is forbidden...impossible...it is...
unthinkable...!
RAYANNE
Hold on to your pineapples, Nergie poo! It's not like I'm gonna use you to get
to 'ol Orry down under, so you don't have to get all worried, or anything.
I mean, you? A lesser demon? Give me a break!
OTIS/NERGUNG
Cocky bitch.
RAYANNE
I mean, you're so small time, I'm sure you have, like, _no_ idea of how to
even _get_ to The Oracle, do you?
OTIS/NERGUNG
I shall be happy to see you slip and fall straight into The Abyss as you clumsily
attempt an audience with The Oracle!
RAYANNE
Well, I'm certainly in no danger of that, now am I? I mean, you? Lead
me to The Oracle? Like, give me a three hour lunch break!
OTIS/NERGUNG (pissed)
All you need is a Portal. And there are only two in your hemisphere. One is in
Israel. And the other just happens to be in New York City at the moment. Find the
mortal named Manson, and you shall find your Portal. And I hope you are foolish
enough to try.

Rayanne smiles smugly.

RAYANNE
You're just, like, soooo predictable, Nergie.
OTIS/NERGUNG
You are still the cocky little bitch you always were, Graff. And one day,
it shall be your downfall.


CLOSE ON
OTIS/NERGUNG'S STRAIT JACKET

FIVE SHARP BLACK NAILS from each hand puncture through the fraying nylon. The
jacket begins to fray as the material stretches beyond its capacity. It's as if Otis is growing larger by the second. And ready to burst from his jacket in a heartbeat!

RAYANNE
Speaking of downfalls, Nergung, it's about time you ran off home, isn't
it. It's, like, waaayyy past your bedtime...

He smiles at her. His incisors have grown longer and sharper, and his eyes have
turned jet black like a shark's.

OTIS/NERGUNG
But I haven't eaten, yet...

Suddenly, his strait jacket BURSTS off in a billowing explosion of white, and he lunges at Rayanne! She gasps in surprise, dives to the side, and razor-sharp
claws slice the air, missing her by a hairbreadth. They rip three feet off the padded cell wall!

RAYANNE
Holysh -- !

Rayanne falls on her back, and Otis leaps astride her, raises a razor-clawed hand, prepares to strike her with the coup de grace!

RAYANNE
You're bound, Nergung!

And just like that, the possessed Otis Jefferson, three inch claws and canines to match, stops in mid-lunge.

OTIS/NERGUNG
In whose name do you bind Nergung, woman-child?
RAYANNE
Does it make a difference, scumface? I've got you by the little nasties,
haven't I?
OTIS/NERGUNG
In whose name, mortal?!
RAYANNE
You _know_ whose name. And out of respect, I'm not speaking His name.
(a beat)
Now go on home, little Red Riding Hood.

Otis' body goes limp again, his fingernails shrink back down and his teeth return to normal. He sits there, disoriented, as if he's just waken from an
acid flashback. Rayanne turns to leave the cell. That's when Otis sees her leaving.

OTIS
Wait -- ! You promised! You promised you would stop the pain!
RAYANNE (a beat)
Yeah, I sorta did, didn't I?

She reaches into her oversized shoulderbag, pulls out something shiny, and hands it to him.

OTIS
What...? What is this?


CLOSE ON
A SILVER STRAIGHT RAZOR

Otis' hand shakes as the dim light from the full moon glints off the blade. He looks at Rayanne, sudden terror tightening his throat.

RAYANNE
I heard her head was nearly severed, like, all the way off. I mean, just
hangin' by, like, a single ligament.

Otis puts his hands over his ears as Rayanne details the crime scene.

RAYANNE
And, that guy with her -- you know, inside stuff from cops at the scene?
He was stabbed, like, forty six times, and his guts were hangin' out like
ropes. I mean, like, gag me with a centipede -- !
OTIS (shaking his head in denial)
No... No...
RAYANNE (smiles)
Can you live with it, Otis?

Otis begins softly crying.

RAYANNE
You can end all the pain, right now. It's up to you.
(a beat)
Look at it this way. You won't have to hear another Otis Jefferson joke.
Ever again.

And she leaves.


INT. BELLEVUE STATE HOSPITAL HALLWAY - NIGHT
Rayanne walks along the hallway, beneath a row of dim lamps that light the way. MOANS and SCREAMS are heard from the closed cells she passes by.
Suddenly, A SHRIEK is heard from Otis's cell.

RAYANNE
pauses a beat as a whisper of a smile crosses her face.


INT./EXT. BELLEVUE STATE HOSPITAL - NIGHT
A SECURITY GUARD
unlocks a thick, steel door for Rayanne, lets her out. She pats his shoulder.

RAYANNE
You won't tell on me, right, George? Cause there's nothing _to_ tell, cause
I was never here.


CUT TO:
INT. CHASE KITCHEN - NIGHT

Graham and Angela sit at the cooking block in the middle of the kitchen, eating a meatloaf that Graham's whipped up. Angela eats voraciously.

ANGELA (offscreen)
Sometimes, I wonder if my father sold his soul to the Devil. I mean, every-
thing he touches tastes, like, amazing. I'll bet he could touch a pile of snow
and make it taste like Fettacini Alfredo, or something.

Graham notices how quickly she's devouring his dish.

GRAHAM
Flattery, young lady, will get you everywhere.
ANGELA (smiles)
I'm sorry, Dad... It's just that I'm, like, starving.
GRAHAM
Well, you haven't eaten a thing in over twenty four hours. Go ahead, Sweetie,
eat up. No one else is going to eat.
ANGELA
I was just, so, you know... All right, I was worried about Jordan Catalano...
I guess I kind of forgot to eat. Or, you know, whatever.
GRAHAM (nods)
Right.

DANIELLE calls out from OFFSCREEN.

DANIELLE (offscreen)
Dad -- ! Watch! Watch me! Are you looking?

As usual, Graham ignores her.

ANGELA
But -- but he's going to be all right now, so there's nothing to worry
about.
(smiles wide)
Jordan Catalano's actually going to be fine.
GRAHAM
Angela... Sweetheart...
(he gropes for the right words)
There's no way you can be sure of that. I don't want to sound like
I'm --
ANGELA
He will, dad. I just _know_ he will. Trust me.

AN EMPTY GASOLINE TIN
is thrown into the kitchen from the foyer, making a HOLLOW CLANG as it hits the
linoleum.

ANGELA (voiceover)
"Trust me." I feel like such a hypocrite using those words. Because
just tonight I betrayed my closest friend, and may have damned her to
eternal Hell. I'm, like, the last person _anyone_ should trust.
DANIELLE shouts from OFFSCREEN.
DANIELLE (offscreen)
Dad -- ! Watch! Watch this -- ! Are you looking -- ?!

Graham reaches out, touches Angela's shoulder.

GRAHAM (ignoring Danielle)
Honey, there's nothing wrong with hoping and believing that everything
will work out. I just don't want you to expect a miracle to happen.
ANGELA (a beat)
Have you ever, like, done something, really bad, but you had the right
reasons, like, in your heart?

A beat, as Graham is taken aback by this question.

THE SOUND OF A MATCH
being lit OFFSCREEN. Followed by a loud WHOOSH!!! and a PIERCING SHRIEK.

DANIELLE
races into the kitchen like a maniac, arms and legs flying in a heated frenzy, her hair and body flaming like a human torch! The stench of burning flesh
suddenly fills the kitchen.

DANIELLE
(((Aiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!)))
Graham walks over to the pantry, pulls out the FIRE EXTINGUISHER.
GRAHAM (to Angela as he douses Danielle)
I -- I'm not sure what you mean, sweetheart...

There's a cloud of smoke as the fire consuming Danielle is vaporized. She's left lying on the cold kitchen floor, a pussy, red mass of melted human flesh
barely clinging to her charred, smoking body.

ANGELA
I mean, when you do something that's, you know, sinful? But you did it cause
deep inside, it just, sort of, _felt_ right?

Graham puts the extinguisher down, thinks a beat.

GRAHAM (changing the subject)
You know, I don't think I put enough mustard in the meatloaf.

He goes to the fridge, opens the door, begins rummaging.

GRAHAM
Sweetie, did you take out the mustard?
ANGELA
No. Maybe Danielle did...
GRAHAM
Who?
ANGELA
Danielle? You know, my little sister...?
GRAHAM
Oh, here it is.
(a beat)
What's it doing on the condiment shelf?

He pulls out the mustard.

DANIELLE
writhes in agony on the kitchen floor, her pink, blistered, charred flesh still smoking.

DANIELLE
(weak, whipered)
Were you... watching... dad...

Graham opens the kitchen door, and a family of snowflakes tumbles inside.

GRAHAM
Danielle, go outside and roll in the snow. That should take the smart out
of it.

With an effort that defies belief and the physiological fortitude of your typical ten year old, she manages to slither, slug-like, out the kitchen door,
leaving a pussy trail of human flesh on the linoleum. Graham shuts it behind her. Then he turns back to Angela.

GRAHAM
You've been up for over eighteen hours, Sweetie. Why don't you go on up to bed.
I'll clean up here.
ANGELA
Dad, I'm not...

He puts a hand through her crimson hair.

GRAHAM
Sweetheart, you need your rest.

Angela smiles a weary smile, nods in agreement. She gets up, kisses Graham goodnight.

ANGELA
Goodnight, dad...
GRAHAM
Goodnight, sweetie.

She runs up to her room.

 

CUT TO:
EXT. SNOW-COVERED MOUNTAIN TOP - DUSK

The wind rushes harder now, as the mountain top slowly grows darker. The snow is falling harder.

JORDAN
hikes through the snow to the wall of a tall cliff that seems to extend from horizon to horizon, and rises as high as the eye can see. Once again, he hears
the VOICE. It's ANGELA'S VOICE, far in the distance. Jordan squints his eyes, cocks his hooded head to listen for it. It's familiar to him, but he can't
quite place it.
Once again, it calls out. This time he pinpoints it. It's coming from the top of the cliff. A beat. He reaches out, grabs a handhold in a crevice, finds a
ledge to place his heavy black boot. He begins to climb towards this strangely familiar voice.

 

CUT TO:
INT. ANGELA'S ROOM - NIGHT

The shadows of MONSTROUS TREES grope at her shuttered windows, searching for a way in, straining to crawl through the glass.

ANGELA (VO)
With Jordan out of danger, I thought I'd be able to sleep -- but darkness
can make the familiar seem, like, so bizarre. Every noise is magnified,
every shape is menacing.

Angela lies in her bed, illuminated only by the moonlight. Suddenly, A CREAK startles her. She bolts upright. Again, she hears the CREAK. It's coming from
downstairs. She rises out of bed, puts on her robe and slippers.

 

INT. STAIRCASE - NIGHT
Angela gropes her way downstairs, pauses at the base of the steps, looks towards the kitchen. A small dim LIGHT glows inside. Angela screws up her courage,
slowly walks across the foyer, and peaks into the kitchen.

 

INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT
A FIGURE
is crouched in front of the open refrigerator, from which the eerie glow emanates.

ANGELA (hesitant)
D--Dad?

THE FIGURE doesn't answer, continues crouching in front of the fridge, hidden behind the open refrigerator door.

ANGELA
Dad...? Is that you?
Silence. It feels like an eternity.
PATTY (from behind the fridge door)
I had a whole brick of cheese in here. What on _earth_ happened to it?
ANGELA (surprised)
Mom -- !

Patty partially turns to face Angela, her face barely illuminated by the eerie light from the fridge. She seems extremely pale and white, but that _could_ be
the light from the fridge...
Angela stares at her mother who's only partially illuminated by the surreal light cast from inside the fridge.

PATTY
What happened to my brick of cheese, young lady?
ANGELA (a beat)
Rayanne ate it...last week.
PATTY
Rayanne ate it? She devoured the whole brick?
ANGELA
She -- she's really been craving, like, everything, lately.

Patty shakes her head, goes back to rummaging about her fridge.

PATTY
I hope she at least said thank you!
ANGELA
I -- I thought you were at that paper convention. What are you doing here?
PATTY
Have you _seen_ my vegetable bin, Angela?
ANGELA
It's not _my_ fault! Dad hardly lets me get near the fridge. He's
like, some kind of bear, marking his territory. Or something.
PATTY
But you know I _don't_ like things going on top of my vegetables! You
should _know_ that by now. Fruits go on the bottom, then vegetables -- !
ANGELA
_Okay_! _All right_! God...
PATTY
Honey, I know you've been under a lot of stress, lately. Especially with Jordan...
ANGELA
You know about Jordan?
PATTY (nods)
The same thing happened to my roommate's boyfriend, now that I'm remembering.
ANGELA
Really?
PATTY
Angela... What I'm seeing in your future is so...frightening...
ANGELA
My future?
PATTY
Your future with Jordan, honey.
ANGELA
I have a future with him?
PATTY
Trust your heart, and everything will come through all right. I know that
sounds really...sappy...

Patty begins arranging her cumcumbers from left to right by size.

PATTY
But it's true. As long as your heart is true.
ANGELA (a beat)
Mom. Tonight...I did an undefendable thing. It was evil... Sinful...
PATTY
All sins can be forgiven.
ANGELA
Only if you repent. But I can't. I know I'd do it again.

Patty turns to face Angela. As she does, Angela catches a brief glimpse of her mother's neck.

THICK, BLACK SUTURE
runs across the width of her neck, holding her head to her torso. Another stitching of BLACK SUTURE attaches her right arm to her shoulder. Angela
strains to focus on this in the dim light.

PATTY
That's your weakness, sweetheart... And your strength.
ANGELA
Mom, are you all...? What's wrong with your neck...
PATTY
But it's very important, Sweetie, that you balance things with Rayanne. You'll
need her help...very soon. And she'll need yours.
ANGELA
Mom, I don't understand. Are you saying that--?

LOUD FOOTSTEPS
are heard in the foyer. GRAHAM suddenly bursts into the kitchen, startles Angela!

ANGELA
Oh -- !
GRAHAM
I'm sorry, sweetie -- ! I heard a sound down here, and I thought --
He looks over Angela's shoulder.

THE KITCHEN DOOR
lies wide open, the cold wind blowing small snow flurries into the house. Patty is nowhere to be seen.

GRAHAM
Honey...who were you talking to?
ANGELA (a beat)
Ummm... Mom... I think...
GRAHAM
Sweetie, your mother is at her paper convention. She won't be back until...
Well, she's not sure when she'll be back. Graham peers out the kitchen door.
GRAHAM
Angela, was Rickie just here? Sweetie, it's all right. You can tell me if he was.
ANGELA (a beat)
No, I... I was just letting the cat in. Yeah, that's what I was doing...
GRAHAM
The cat? I didn't see the cat...
ANGELA
Oh, uh...neither did I... I just felt him...brush past my leg.
GRAHAM
That's our orange tabby cat, isn't that?
ANGELA
Oh. I thought he was a grey Siamese...
GRAHAM (a beat)
You know, I don't know if I've ever actually _seen_ the cat, now that I
think of it...
ANGELA (VO)
There's this cold feeling in your stomach when you realize your father
isn't the knight in shining armor you grew up believing he was. And that
you don't know everything you thought you knew about him.

Angela forces a smile for him.

ANGELA
Do we even _have_ a cat?

Graham walks to the kitchen door. As he begins to shut it, he looks down and sees tiny footprints in the snow. A thought dawns on him, but he banishes it.
He closes the door, then goes straight to the refrigerator, opens it.

GRAHAM'S MUSTARD BOTTLES
have all been rearranged in ALPHABETICAL ORDER. A moment of horror, as he takes a deep breath.

 

CUT TO:
EXT. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY - DAY - ESTABLISHING SHOT

It's a cold, dismal, winter day outside Johns Hopkins University.

INT. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER - PADDED CELLS - DAY
A SERIES OF SHOTS beginning with:

A FAT MAN
swats the empty air around him, trying to strike invisible flies.

INT. ANOTHER PADDED CELL - DAY
A TALL, THIN WOMAN
dances with an imaginary partner.

INT. STILL ANOTHER PADDED CELL - DAY
A TINY MAN
bites his fingers, which are covered with STEEL GLOVES while he tunelessly hums. His teeth are bloody.

INT. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER - HALLWAY
A SIGN ON THE WALL
reads: PSYCHIATRIC WARD

OFFICER SCOTT ROSEBERRY
stands guard in front of a NARROW CORRIDOR. At the end of this corridor is a bolted, reinforced steel door. He hears a VOICE beside him.

RAYANNE (O.S.)
So, do you want my number?
ROSEBERRY (startled)
Huh? What?!

Roseberry turns to see Rayanne standing at his side.

RAYANNE
So do you want my number...?!
ROSEBERRY
Me?
RAYANNE
No, Andy Garcia. Yes, you!
 

CUT TO:
INT. JORDAN'S ICU - DAY

Angela sits at Jordan's bedside. She reaches out, caresses his hair, clears it from his closed eyes. He's no longer on life support, and there's a smaller
bandage over his missing eye.

A SUDDEN SNOW FLURRY
buffets the window of the ICU. Angela stares longingly at the snowflakes as they vainly attempt to burst throught the glass. Angela leans over him,
whispers in his ear.

ANGELA
It's snowing outside, Jordan. Nature's using up all her snow this year, and
there won't be any left.

A hot tear drops from her eye upon his neck, then trails down.

CLOSE ON JORDAN'S RIGHT EYE
It twitches. Rapid Eye Movement. He's dreaming.

ANGELA
It was your dream to make snow. The world needs you to make more snow.

She puts her face in her hands, begins softly crying.

JORDAN (O.S.) (very weak)
snow...

Angela, as if hit by lightning, looks at Jordan, unbelieving.

ANGELA
Jordan? Jordan, did you say something?

Nothing. Silence. Then, barely noticeably, his lips move, ever so slightly. Angela's face explodes with rapture.

ANGELA
That _was_ you! Jordan...can you hear me? Say something, move your head...

She grasps his warm fingers, holds them lightly.

ANGELA
Twitch your fingers. Let me know you can hear me...

Again, nothing. A long moment, as Angela sits, ready to explode. Then, quietly, his lips begin to part, as he tries to speak, to communicate, to
verbally reach out.

JORDAN
(weak) whatever...

She buries her face in her hands, sobs with uncontrollable joy.

SHARON CHERSKI
watches from the hallway outside the ICU. She puts a hand to her chest, takes a deep breath. Then she walks to a TELEPHONE in a dark alcove, rings a number,
waits several beats, then begins talking. There is an urgency in her voice.

SHARON
I thought you said you were on top of this. "Trust me," you said. "I've got
everything under control!"

A long beat, as Sharon listens to the voice on the other side.

SHARON
You just don't get it, do you? Listen to me...do you understand what I'm
saying? Do you realize how _over_ our lives will be, now?

Again, she listens, an angry look growing on her face.

SHARON
No, _you_ don't understand! You don't know the half of it! He's awake!
(a beat)
Yes! Jordan Catalano has just waken from his coma. And you swore to me!
You promised he'd never see the light of day again!


INT. CHARLES' CELL - DAY
Rayanne kneels near Charles, who's face is a wad of bloody bandages, while Officer Scott Roseberry watches.

ROSEBERRY
I heard he sliced his face off. With a razor blade, believe it or not. Guess
he couldn't face what he'd done. So to speak.
RAYANNE
So to speak.
ROSEBERRY
Do you know that he killed babies?
RAYANNE
I, like, saw the Beatles Anthology.

Rayanne pulls out a vial filled with water, slowly unscrews it before the eye slits in the bandage covering Charles' face.

ROSEBERRY
What -- what are you doing?
RAYANNE
Ya see, Scotty, 'ol Charlie here's had so many demons racing through his soul,
it's just about, become this, like, wicked subway to Hell.
ROSEBERRY
Really?
RAYANNE
And y'see, with Charlie, the portal's so damn wide what with so many demon
folk going back and forth, I could tune into the head honcho's hemorrhoids.
If, you know, he was still down there. She tilts the vial of water, prepares to pour it.
ROSEBERRY
What is that?
RAYANNE
Holy Water.

She flicks a drop on Charles, and he doesn't make a sound.

RAYANNE (to Charles)
You're clean. You're totally clean. Like a rubber ducky.
ROSEBERRY
Clean?
RAYANNE
Just like poor 'ol Otis, everybody's favorite halfback.
(to Charles)
Day of reckoning, huh? And I guess you just couldn't face it, could ya?

She puts the Holy Water away, takes out a tube of BLACK LIPSTICK, then draws an upside down cross on a wad of bandage covering his forehead.

ROSEBERRY
What'd you do that for?
RAYANNE
Cause I wanna try something that's, like, gonna have 'em buzzing day and
night til the old stomping ground
freezes over.
ROSEBERRY
What are you gonna try?
RAYANNE
Something wild. And sexy.

Rayanne shuts her eyes, concentrates. THE LIPSTICK CROSS begins to GLOW a bright black.

ROSEBERRY
Jesus...
RAYANNE
"Naked flesh upon the wall..." No, that's not it...
(thinks a beat)
Oh, yeah..."Tortured flesh upon the wall, come hither to me, heed my call."

She looks at Roseberry, smiles.

RAYANNE
Boy, Katimsky'd love that one, wouldn't he?
ROSEBERRY
Katimsky?
RAYANNE
Never mind. Inside joke.

CHARLES
suddenly begins writhing in agony. He'd scream in pain, if he had a mouth to scream with. He makes only a low, howling MOAN. His stomach begins to quiver
and stretch. His MOANING grows to a crescendo.

THE HEAD
of THE ORACLE, Hell's answer to Jeanne Dixon, ruptures through Charles's stomach, like a ghastly Caesarian newborn, black with blood. It opens its eyes
and lets out a longheld CRY, as if taking its first breath of sweet air.

ROSEBERRY
Oh, Sweet Jesus...!
RAYANNE
Good morning, Orry...
THE ORACLE
Impossible! No mortal has ever accessed me!
RAYANNE
There's a first time for everything. Just ask Brian Krakow.
THE ORACLE
But how? It has been more than three thousand eons since...
RAYANNE
Look, Orry, don't take it personally if I skip the formalities and get cracking
to the nitty gritty.
THE ORACLE
What is it you wish to know? By law, I need only grant one answer.

Roseberry's trembling by now.

ROSEBERRY
Oh...oh my God... Oh Sweet Virgin Mary, preserve me...
RAYANNE
Scotty, what say you, like, wait outside for me? Okay?

Stunned and still trembling, Roseberry leaves. Rayanne turns back to The Oracle.

RAYANNE
I've got a "kick me" sign on my back, and there are three very mean bullies
down there. With _very_ heavy boots. What do I do?

CUT TO:
EXT. RIVERSIDE CEMETERY - DAY

Sharon Cherski waits, shivering, near the grave of NICKY DRISCOLL. The snow's up to her ankles. A shadowy FIGURE looms up behind her.

SHARON (startled)
Don't do that!
FIGURE
You're nervous.
SHARON
Of course I am! What else _should_ I be?!
FIGURE
Stay calm. Bad things happen when you panic.
SHARON
First you said, "Don't worry, he's dead meat." Then you promised he'd
never wake up -- !
FIGURE
I should have handled it myself.
SHARON
Oh, please! Isn't that what I said from the start?! Why send a kid to
do a man's job?
FIGURE
I should have known he'd drop the ball. I'll have to...oversee things myself.
SHARON
I dream of the day that Catalano's out of the picture...for good.
FIGURE
You really do hate him, don't you?
SHARON
And you don't?
FIGURE
He interferes with my plans. He steals my thunder. Women throw their panties
at _him_! And now 'Residue' is the biggest garage band in Pittsburgh...
And it should all be mine! But you...
SHARON
I can't allow him to come between her -- and me. I can't allow anyone
to do that.
FIGURE
But what about Rayanne Graff?
SHARON
What about her?
FIGURE
How long do we keep up the charade?
SHARON (thoughtful)
You know, in another life, she and I could have been close. And to think
she actually believes I'm her friend.

The Figure laughs softly.

FIGURE
I've been playing that role for years, now.
SHARON
I actually thought we'd done it, when we, you know, got them together in the
backseat of his Plymouth. That was brilliant. How'd you pull _that_ off?
FIGURE
Trade secret. Even got it on tape. But that nerd destroyed it! The fool!!!
SHARON
I'm the one who made sure he'd be there in the first place! Do you know how
hard it was just to make sure he'd find the spot? I mean, he's not exactly a
social butterfly, now is he? And the timing involved?
FIGURE
I know. And Graff isn't the easiest person in the world to track down.
SHARON
You realize, we _will_ have to deal with her, one way or the other...
FIGURE
I've always thought I'd have to keep her around, just in case I needed
her...connections. But she _is_ becoming somewhat of a problem, isn't
she?
SHARON
I have a hunch she'll be pretty busy for awhile.
(smiles)
If not, you know, gone for all eternity...
FIGURE
You and I both know Graff's got a nasty habit of coming up sevens when she's
down at the nines.

Sharon smiles her wickedist smile.

SHARON
And if she does, I've got something planned for her. Something so ingen-
iously ghastly, something so hideous, she'll wish to God the Devil _had_
gotten her.
 

CUT TO:
INT. CHARLES' CELL - DAY

THE ORACLE, his head protruding grotesquely from Charles' belly, smiles at
Rayanne.

RAYANNE
Pray? That's it?! _That's_ your solution?!
THE ORACLE
I've already answered your one and only question. No longer am I obligated,
neither to mortal, nor greater.

A beat. Rayanne slowly smiles.

RAYANNE
Well, when all's said and done, and the Brothers of Hell have me, like, drawn
and quartered across the Walls of Dis, I guess you'll be getting some kinda
awesome Brownie Button, won't you?
THE ORACLE
What -- what are you saying?
RAYANNE
I'm just gonna have to tell 'em you were absolutely no help to me at all.
You had _no_ idea how to thwart their efforts. Fact, you even had some
fun, on _my_ dime.
THE ORACLE
You -- you would tell them such things?
RAYANNE
Don't have to get all excited, or nothing. They're probably gonna think _you_ came
to me, kinda clandestine, and all, you know? But I'll set 'em straight. No
sweat, Orry, you're covered.

She smiles smugly.

RAYANNE
I mean, like, why wouldn't they believe _Moi_?
THE ORACLE (nervous)
Your -- your father. Your father is the key, Graff...
RAYANNE
My dad? Raymond Graff?
THE ORACLE
Yes. Through him, through the power of his love, you can destroy The Three.
RAYANNE
With my father's -- with Dad's...help, I can, like, get the drop on them? Weird...
THE ORACLE
Yes. But be wary. Should any of the Three win over your father first, all is lost.
RAYANNE
_All_ is lost?
THE ORACLE
Yes. Should you not secure your father's love, should your father's love not be
given freely to you, you are bound for Hell. This I see clearly.
RAYANNE
So, my Dad's, like, the key to all this?
THE ORACLE
He is your last and only hope. For none born from the loins of woman
can harm The First of the Fallen Brothers of Hell.

CUT TO:
INT. JORDAN'S ICU - NIGHT

Angela keeps her vigil at Jordan's bedside, brushes his hair behind his ear. She looks at his face, almost mesmerized by it.

ANGELA (voice over)
It's so odd to see someone like Jordan Catalano sleeping like a baby. I almost
wish he would stay just like this forever, so I could always be here to care for him.
And I hate myself for that.
RAYANNE (offscreen)
So, is he, like, doing somersaults, yet?

Angela turns, startled.

RAYANNE
stands, smiling at the doorway.
RAYANNE
Angelika... You remember me, don't you?
ANGELA
Rayanne -- ! You scared me...
RAYANNE
I do tend to have that effect on people. So, uh, I heard Jordan's out of danger.
Cool.
ANGELA
Uh, yeah... He woke up this morning. He even said a couple of words.

Rayanne beckons her to come out to the hallway.

RAYANNE (whispered)
We'd better talk out here.
ANGELA (nervous)
About what...?
RAYANNE
Just so we don't wake Jordan. Why, is there something we have to -- ?
ANGELA (interupting)
You're right. He -- he needs all the rest he can get.

They step into the hallway. Angela awkwardly leans against the wall, very un-Angela like. An uncomfortable beat of silence.

RAYANNE
So...Angelika...Jordan's gonna be okay?
I mean, did the doctors say --
ANGELA
No, he's -- he's fine...

She points to a Medalion around Rayanne's neck.

ANGELA
That -- that's nice. What is that?

A MEDALION
made of braided black and brown strips of leather crudely shaped like A HORSE hangs around Rayanne's neck.

RAYANNE (coy)
It's this, thing my dad kind of made for me, like, when I was six.
ANGELA
Really? It's...interesting...
RAYANNE
It's supposed to be, you know, this, uh... Well, it's supposed to be a horse.
I kinda had this thing about...horses. It was for my birthday, and all.
(smiles)
Tell that to Cherski, and I'll kill you.
ANGELA (a beat)
Yeah... Yeah, I can see that...that's sort of...the tail, there...I mean, right?
RAYANNE
It's always meant a lot to me, cause my dad always, you know, kinda dreamed
of being an artist. Like that guy, uh, Piccante, or whatever.
ANGELA (timid)
Picasso...?
RAYANNE
Yeah... Yeah, him.
ANGELA
I like it. It's...unique.
RAYANNE (a beat)
It means a lot to me.
ANGELA
Yeah...it -- it must have taken a long time. I mean, all that braiding, and,
you know, everything. I wouldn't have the patience to do that.
RAYANNE (a beat)
Yeah. I'm sure it took a long time. He -- he really made an effort, you
know, cause...you have to be...sober when you do it.

Rayanne looks away, smiles. Another awkward silence.

ANGELA
Rayanne...
JORDAN (offscreen) (stirring)
Angela... Angela...

Angela turns. Jordan's making an effort to lift his head.

ANGELA
Jordan?! No, don't try to -- !
RAYANNE
You better go to him. He -- he needs you. More than I do.
Angela goes to Jordan's bedside, touches his cheek. Jordan takes comfort in her touch, and lies back down. Angela caresses his forehead, runs her fingers
through his hair. She turns back to Rayanne.
ANGELA
Rayanne, wait, I have to -- !

But she's gone.

INT./EXT. RESTAURANT HOLOGRAM - NIGHT
A KEY
is slipped into the LOCK on the door. It's turned, and the door CREAKS open. A small snow flurry blows into the dark, empty restaurant space.

HALLIE (offscreen)
It's not a theory, Graham, it's a fact. She's pulling your leg! Angela's
just seeing how far you'll go!

GRAHAM and HALLIE LOWENTHAL enter the dark restaurant.

GRAHAM
I wish I could believe that, Hallie, I wish to God I could.
HALLIE
What's _not_ to believe? Graham, honey...wake up...

She pauses a beat, for emphasis.

HALLIE
Patty's gone. Dead. She's beef flanks and sweet breads. You're _free_.
(a beat)
But that's not what this is about, is it?
GRAHAM (deep breath)
I -- I can't look my daughter in the eye anymore.
HALLIE
Well, sure. Dani's eyes are burned shut.
GRAHAM
Who?
HALLIE
Dani...Danielle... Your youngest... Hello...
GRAHAM
Oh, that one. No, I was talking about Angela.
HALLIE
You knew exactly what we were getting into when --

Graham sees something that chills his blood.

THE WALK-IN REFRIGERATOR
is slightly ajar. Graham is frozen where he stands. Hallie turns to look at what he's staring at.

HALLIE
So... You left the fridge open. Big deal! I'll close it.

She walks to the door, prepares to shut it.

GRAHAM
Wait -- !

He flicks a light switch, and an OVERHEAD TRACK LIGHT shivers on, partially illuminates the layout of the empty restaurant. He looks down at the floor in
front of the tall refrigerator door.

A BLOODY FOOTPRINT
is undeniably imprinted on the cold tile floor. It's facing away from the walk-in refrigerator, followed by a DOZEN MORE, all leading to a fire exit.

HALLIE (deep breath)
What the hell is going on here?

She throws open the heavy refrigerator door, and the overhead track light illuminates the interior. The breath rushes out of Hallie as her knees begin to
buckle. Graham gasps, nearly faints.

GRAHAM
Oh my Lord...
HALLIE
This isn't happening...
 

CUT TO:
INT./EXT. RAYANNE'S FATHER'S HOUSE - NIGHT

With trepidation, Rayanne walks up the steps of her father's rickety old house, and steps through the crooked, termite eaten door falling off its hinges. In
the background, an old stereo softly plays the punk anthem LOVE WILL TEAR US APART, by Joy Division.

RAYANNE
Dad? Dad, are you in here?

A VOICE comes from a dark corner of the cramped living room.

RAYMOND GRAFF (quietly, strained)
I'm right here, Raynie...
RAYANNE
Daddy... It...it's me, Rayanne... I called earlier today...
RAYMOND GRAFF
Yes, honey... Come here, where I can see you.

Slowly, Rayanne steps forward. She touches her Horse Medalion, for comfort.

RAYANNE
Dad, I -- I didn't want to involve you...

A long beat of silence.

RAYANNE
But I need your help. Like, real badly.

Rayanne takes a step closer, the darkness closing in around her.

RAYANNE
Why is it so dark in here? I mean, not that it bothers me, or anything.
RAYMOND GRAFF
I've got something for you, Raynie. It's something I know you've wanted
for the longest time.
RAYANNE (mildly excited)
Yeah...?
RAYMOND GRAFF
It's right here.

Slowly, warily, Rayanne takes another step closer to her father.

RAYMOND GRAFF'S FACE
is slowly uncovered by a street lamp outside as Rayanne approaches him. First his chin, then his nose, his eyes, and finally the top of his head is visible.
He's crying.

RAYMOND GRAFF
I'm sorry, honey. He -- he showed me how horrible I've been. He told me
what -- what I need to do...
RAYANNE
"He?" Who's "He," Dad, I don't -- ? Is there a light switch around here
somewhere...?
RAYMOND GRAFF
This is for you, honey.
RAYANNE
Dad, what's...dad, you're kind of... scaring me...
RAYMOND GRAFF
It's an early Christmas present. But I should have given it to you a _long_
time ago.

Rayanne's eyes grow wide with horror.

RAYANNE
Dad, please -- ! PLEASE DON'T -- !
RAY GRAFF
Merry Christmas, Raynie...
RAYANNE
DAAADDDDDD -- !!!

Raymond Graff sticks the .357 MAGNUM deep into his mouth, pulls the trigger and BLOWS his brains out.

RAYANNE
Nooooooo!!!!!!!!
 

FADE TO BLACK

NEXT!: RAYANNE GOES TO HELL.

Next story

II-4 - Dancing With The Devil by Collin J.H. Chang and Sandra Schimmel
Published: 1997 | Size: 32 KB (6222 words) | Language: english english | Rating: R
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A MSCL and "John Constantine, Hellblazer" crossover

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“I cannot bring myself to eat a well-balanced meal in front of my mother.”

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