Bucket Of Blood
THE DEATH ARTIST (1995)

(REMAKE OF CORMAN'S CLASSIC "BUCKET OF BLOOD")


INT JABBERJAW - NIGHT

The cavernous CLUB is packed with a cross section of ARTISTS, POETS, 
ACTORS, MODELS, ROCKERS, GRUNGERS, PUNKS, ADDICTS, and other 
assorted characters, standing at the bar and seated at tables - 
bizarre PAINTINGS and SCULPTURES adorn the walls -

CLOSE on a BOOM BOX on a stage - the tape rolls, and soon strange 
industrial music begins to blare from the box -

MAXWELL, an eccentric - looking man with a goatee and various 
PIERCINGS on his face, stands on the stage in front of a microphone 
- an abstract PORTRAIT hangs on the wall behind him -

                MAXWELL
        I will talk to you of art, for
        there is nothing else to talk
        about, for there is nothing
        else...life is nothing but
        homeless traveler on the RTD
        of art...

We pull back to see PATRONS sitting at tables amid various 
sculptures, paintings, and displays of questionable artistic promise 
-

                MAXWELL
        Burn gas on the freeways, and whip your
        sour cream of circumstance...flip at
        your channels and plod at your monitors...

Soon we see WALTER PAISLEY, a meek, unassuming bus boy, work his way 
around the tables, taking empty drinks, emptying ashtrays, all the 
time listening to the performer on
stage -

                MAXWELL
        Creation is, all else is not...
        what is not creation is meatless
        sausage, and rice cake, let it
        all crumble to feed the artist -

Walter passes a table where an upscale ART DEALER with a ponytail 
interrupts his prospective client to answer his
cellular phone -

                MAXWELL
        The artist is, all others are not, a
        canvas is a canvas or a painting, a
        rock is a rock or a statue, a sound
        is a sound or it is music, a preacher
        is a preacher or an artist -
Walter passes ART, seated with two attractive women - he rolls 
himself a cigarette, nodding in approval to Maxwell -

                MAXWELL
        Where are John Joe Jake Jim Jerk,
        dead dead dead, they were not born
        before they were born, they were not
        born, where are Leonardo, Mozart,
        Shakespeare, alive alive alive, they
        were born -

Walter continues to bus the room - he pauses to stop and listen to 
Maxwell - he then looks over a MAN'S shoulder - he is sketching - 
Walter observes the SKETCH -

POV It is a fairly good sketch of the room -

LEONARD, the artsy manager of the club, notices Walter pausing to 
listen -

                MAXWELL
        Bring on the multitudes and the
        multitude of fishes - feed them
        that you will be satisfied,
        nourish the artist, stretch their
        skin upon an easel, crush their
        bones into a paste, so that he may
        mold them, let them die, and by
        their miserable death become the
        clay in his hands, that he might
        form an ashtray or an ark - that he
        might take you in his magic hands
        and wring from your marrow wonder -
        all that is comes through the eye
        of the artist -

Walter moves on - sees an attractive woman, CARLA, who opens a 
MANILA ENVELOPE and removes some HEAD SHOTS of herself -

                MAXWELL
        The rest are blind fish, swimming
        in the cave of aloneness- swim on you
        mortal and muddling maddened souls -
        and dream, of one bright and sunny
        island - some artist will bait a hook,
        and let you bite upon it, bite hard, and
        die -

Walter looks at Carla's picture -


                MAXWELL
        In his stomach, you will feed
        creation!

Maxwell turns off the tape, and the audience applauds -

Carla then looks up to see Walter looking at her picture - he 
awkwardly smiles at her and she smiles back -

Leonard then approaches Walter -

                LEONARD
        Walter, what are you doing?

                WALTER
        I was just looking at Carla's
        picture.

                LEONARD
        Well that's not what I pay you for,
        now is it?

                WALTER
        Well I was uh, just looking...

                LEONARD
        Well do some looking around the room.
        I see cups, ashtrays - let's go...

Walter slinks away - Leonard gets close to Carla, very close, all 
the time admiring her head shot -

                LEONARD
        Ah, your new head shot...
            (Beat)
        I like it, very much...

                CARLA
        Do you have to be so cold to him?

Leonard smiles, and strokes Carla's hair -

Walter watches this, the turns and walks away -

At the entrance of the club stands LOU, a man in a designer suit, no 
tie - he scans the room as Walter passes him -

                LOU
        How ya doin'?

                WALTER
        Uh, hi.

Walter slinks away, and Lou looks around some more -

Art sees Lou -

Lou subtly gestures to Art and heads into the club -

Art gets up, addressing the two girls -

                ART
        I'm out of here.

Art and Lou head toward the MEN'S ROOM -

INT MEN'S ROOM - NIGHT

Art and Lou check the stalls to see the room is empty -

                ART
        Alright we're clear.

                LOU
        Anything new?

                ART
        Not really.  One girl who fit the
        descrip came in, kinda skinny, brunette,
        didn't see much changing hands.

                LOU
        Is the manager cooperating?

                ART
        Yeah, he's keeping an eye out, said
        he'd call us if he sees anything.
        That's about it for tonight.

                LOU
        Alright I got you, man.  It's my
        turn for freak patrol.

                ART
        You know it.
            (Beat)
        I'm out of here.

Art heads out, and Lou checks himself in the mirror -

INT JABBERJAW - NIGHT

Maxwell sits at a table with Carla, MAYOLIA, a skinny yet buxom 
woman, and CHARLIE, a long-haired hanger-on - Maxwell is looking at 
Carla's head shot -

                CARLA
        So, do you like it?



                MAXWELL
            (bored)
        It's perfectly adequate, as far
        as those type of things go...

Walter approaches, with a tray of glasses in his hand -

                MAXWELL
            (changing subject)
        I don't think anyone gets what
        I said, their blank faces staring,
        mute, unfeeling -

                WALTER
        I liked it very much Mr. Brock.
        I liked it very much.

                MAXWELL
            (condescending)
        Well I'm overjoyed.

                WALTER
        "Let them die, and by their miserable
        death become the clay in his hands,
        that he might form an ashtray or an
        ark -"

Carla looks at Walter -

                CARLA
        That's word for word.

                MAXWELL
        Is it?  I've forgotten.

                MAYOLIA
        You mean you don't remember your
        own poem?

                MAXWELL
        I refuse to say anything twice -
        repetition is death!

                CHARLIE
        What do you mean?

                MAXWELL
        When you repeat something, you
        are reliving a moment, wasting
        it, looking at a shed skin - I
        only want new impression, new
        sensations -


                WALTER
        I thought you believed that life
        is a homeless traveler riding on
        the RTD of -

                MAXWELL
            (interrupting)
        I know that - I know that! I also
        believe in burning the creative
        candle, you understand, down to
        the end - to be uncreative you
        might as well be dead...a walking
        machine, toiling in a factory!

                WALTER
        I worked in one of them.  Back in
        Alaska.
            (smiles meekly)

The people at the table look at Walter, then laugh
cynically -

In the background, Leonard glares at Walter -

                CARLA
        Walter, Leonard's looking at you
        again.

Walter grabs up a cup and saucer off the table, almost spilling the 
contents before heading off -

                CHARLIE
        That guy's a class-A cracker.

                MAXWELL
        Walter's got a clear mind.  Probably
        something will enter it, feel lonely,
        and leave again...

Everyone at the table laughs weakly -

At another table two eccentrically dressed ARTISTS, CUFF and LINK, 
talk to an upscale older couple - Cuff has a series of MATTED 
PHOTOGRAPHS in his hand -

                OLDER MAN
        I've heard you can find some
        cutting edge pieces here if you
        keep an eye out -

                OLDER WOMAN
        I'd like to find something for
        our den, something unusual -

                CUFF
        Well maybe these works might
        interest you -

Cuff shows the woman the photographs - she reacts to them with 
disdain -

POV they are pictures of various ROAD KILLS - squirrels, skunks, 
possums -

                CUFF
        It's our road kill series.  I take
        the pictures.

                LINK
            (proudly)
        I do the research.

The woman hands back the photographs -

                OLDER WOMAN
        Not quite what I was looking for.

                OLDER MAN
        Yes, we're interested in something
        with some investment potential -

                CUFF
        Hey, this is no supermarket,
        there are no aisles, it's all
        in the attitude -

Walter approaches -

                LINK
        Yeah that's a dead soul way to
        look at it -

                OLDER WOMAN
        Nonsense.  We have developed many
        a rapport with struggling artists -
        we're very supportive -

                WALTER
        "All that is comes through the eye
        of the artist - the rest are blind
        fish, swimming in the cave of
        aloneness."

The four people stare at Walter -

                OLDER WOMAN
        That's very deep, and coming from a
        bus boy too -
                WALTER
        "Feed them that you will be satisfied -
        the artist is, all others are not -"

                OLDER MAN
        Where have I heard that before?

                OLDER WOMAN
        Are you a poet also?

                WALTER
        Uh...no.  No I'm not.

                OLDER MAN
        What do you do?

                WALTER
        Well, uh, I'm...working, I've
        been working on something, it's
        not ready yet.

                CUFF
        What is it, a crying clown?

                WALTER
        Huh?!

                LINK
        Walter must have bought himself
        some crayons.

Leonard approaches, looking exasperated -

                CUFF
        Get out of here, man.  We're
        negotiating a deal.

                WALTER
        I am working on something!  I'm
        going to show you soon!

                LEONARD
        Walter!

Leonard gets close to him -

                LEONARD
            (under his breath)
        You're starting to try my
        patience!

Walter sheepishly heads off - the two artists laugh -

The older woman looks at Leonard -
                OLDER WOMAN
        Is he, uh?...

                LEONARD
        About to be out of a job.

Walter returns to Maxwell's table, where Carla, Mayolia, and Charlie 
are still sitting - he gestures to some empty glasses -

                WALTER
        Are you done with these?

                MAXWELL
        Yes, get rid of them...

In the split second when no one is looking, Walter snatches up one 
of Carla's head shots, keeping it under his tray, as he cleans up 
the empty glasses -

                                    DISSOLVE TO
EXT JABBERJAW - NIGHT

Walter passes an alley where a group of THUGS hastily strips down a 
car parked on the street -

EXT STREET - NIGHT

Walter walks the streets alone - soon he stops and looks ahead -

There is a PARKED CAR with the windows open - A COUPLE is making out 
in the front seat -

Walter smiles meekly -

Soon the man in the car, a mean-looking character spots Walter - the 
two stop making out and the man stares at Walter -

                MAN
        What are you looking at?  You want
        to get shot?

Walter's smile fades, and he stuffs his hands in his pockets, and 
heads down the street, alone, inadvertently bumping into some 
GARBAGE CANS -

EXT COURTYARD APARTMENTS - NIGHT

Walter unlocks a creaky iron gate covered with dead ivy -



EXT COURTYARD - NIGHT

As Walter heads in, he runs into MRS. SWICKER, the
landlady -

                WALTER
        Oh, hello Mrs. Swicker.

                MRS. SWICKER
        Hello Walter.  I want to tell
        you the super fixed the leaky
        pipes and sealed up that hole in
        your wall.

                WALTER
        Oh, OK.

                MRS. SWICKER
        Walter you look awful pale!
        What did you have to eat today?

                WALTER
        I had a salami sandwich, Mrs. Swicker.

                MRS. SWICKER
        If you were my son...why don't you
        let me fix you a nice hot bowl of
        soup, it won't take but a minute.

                WALTER
        Oh no, that's OK, I can fix myself
        something.  Besides, I got something
        important to do...

Walter goes to unlock his door -

                MRS. SWICKER
        Oh by the way did you happen to
        see Frankie out here, by any
        chance?

Walter thinks for a second -

                WALTER
        Uh, no, I didn't see him at all.

                MRS. SWICKER
        What's got into that cat?  Well if
        you do see him, tell him I've got
        a nice fat piece of ocean-fresh
        halibut for him -

                WALTER
        T-tell him that?

                MRS. SWICKER
        If you see him.

                WALTER
        OK Mrs. Swicker.

Mrs. Swicker heads off -

                MRS. SWICKER
        Good night Walter...

                WALTER
        Good night, Mrs. Swicker -

Walter opens his door and heads in -

INT WALTER'S ROOM - NIGHT

Walter closes the door and turns on a LIGHT hanging over a kitchen 
TABLE - a CLOTH covers an object roughly the size of a bowling ball 
on the table -

He removes Carla's head shot, tucked inside his shirt, and places it 
on the table after looking at it for a beat -

Walter heads over to the STOVE, stopping to notice a freshly 
plastered area on the wall, a bag of PLASTER still on the ground -

Walter opens himself up a can of BEANS - he looks around and finds 
an old, dented metal POT, pouring the beans into the pot -

He throws the empty can in the direction of an overflowing GARBAGE 
CAN, lights the stove and puts the pot on the
burner -

Walter then takes a seat at the table - he lifts the
cloth, revealing a mound of CLAY -

A cat meows in the distance as Walter looks at Carla's picture, 
appreciating her beauty -

                WALTER
        Now I have my muse...

Walter then turns and begins to mold the clay -

                                    DISSOLVE TO
INT WALTER'S ROOM

A half-hour later.  Walter has attempted to sculpt a bust - he looks 
at Carla's picture, then back at his sculpture -

Walter's POV it is a badly sculpted HEAD, that not only looks 
nothing like Carla but has a hard time passing for anything human -

Walter looks at it, knowing that much work is needed on his creation 
-

He grabs a blob of fresh clay from an adjacent pile and begins to 
form a nose - the cat meows again - Walter looks around -

                WALTER
        Frankie?

Walter continues enthusiastically sculpting the blob of
clay -

                WALTER
        A canvas is a canvas or a painting.
        A rock is a rock or a statue...a
        sound is a sound or is music...

Walter looks at the sculpture -

Walter then attaches the nose - smoothing it on -

It looks RIDICULOUS, something out of grammar school art class - 
he's having difficulty forming anything that resembles a nose -

                WALTER
        Come on...you're supposed to be
        a nose...

The malformed face stares dumbly back at him as he fights to shape 
the nose -

The cat meows again - Walter is getting increasingly frustrated - he 
backs up to look at the head -


PAN the photograph of Carla, over to the sculpture - one of the ears 
falls off -

Walter squints at the head, failing to convince himself it's looking 
better - frustrated, Walter yanks the nose off and grabs a little 
more clay -

                WALTER
        Why can't I make a nose!

On the stove, the beans begin to boil -

Walter shapes the clay and sticks the nose back on, his tongue 
sticking out of his mouth as he fumbles with it -

The nose has changed shape and juts perpendicularly off the head, 
resembling Pinocchio -

Walter begins to sculpt with increasing fury -

He grabs up more clay, starts mushing the face -

Soon the object begins to lose resemblance to anything close to a 
human head, or anything for that matter -

Walter stands up and backs up, looking at the sculpture - getting 
angry he begins to mush the sculpture -

                WALTER
        No no no no -

The cat meows again, louder - Walter looks around, irritated - he 
begins to SQUASH the sculpture -

Finally losing his patience Walter kicks back the chair, grabs the 
clay head and HURLS it across the room -

The clay hits the wall with a dull THUD, stays there for a beat, 
then falls to the ground -

Walter pushes back his hair with his hand - the cat meows -

The beans begin to OVERFLOW on the stove -
Walter runs toward the stove, smacking his head on the overhead 
light -

The light swings back and forth as Walter rushes over to the pot, 
grabbing it hastily off the stove before SHRIEKING in pain and 
dropping the pot into the sink, splattering beans in all directions 
-

Walter clutches his hand in pain as the light swings, the cat 
meowing louder -

Walter begins to look around furiously -

                WALTER
        Frankie shut up!

Walter then focuses his frustrated mind toward the direction of the 
patched up wall -

Walter gets closer -

He hears the meowing coming from inside the wall -

                WALTER
        Frankie?

Walter puts his ear to the wall - he hears SCRATCHING
noises -

Walter turns away from the wall -

                WALTER
        I don't believe this!
            (yelling at the wall)
        How did you get stuck in the wall!

The meowing persists -

                WALTER
        Alright alright - calm down,
        I'll get you out -

Walter looks around, goes toward a drawer by the sink, and produces 
a long, narrow CARVING KNIFE - he heads back to the wall -

                WALTER
        Hang tight Frankie, ol' Walter's
        gonna get you out...

Walter then feels the wall as if he does this type of thing 
professionally - when the determines the proper area of entry he 
carefully aims the knife and - WHAM! -

SCREECH!  Frankie makes a comical screech of pain which ends 
abruptly -

Walter FREEZES - his eyes wide open with panic - he stands back -

The wall is silent -

                WALTER
        Frankie?

There is no response -

                WALTER
        Frankie how're ya doin' in there?

There is no response -

Walter begins to BEAT the wall, until the thin material begins to 
give way -

He RIPS a big chunk of the wall off, confirming the worst -

The knife IMPALED Frankie into a wooden stud in the wall - the cat 
is no more -

Walter pulls and tugs at the knife until it is freed from the wall - 
he gingerly cradles Frankie, still impaled by the knife -

                WALTER
        What have I done?

Walter walks over to the kitchen table -

                WALTER
        Oh Frankie I'm so sorry...

He lowers the cat down -

                WALTER
        Poor Mrs. Swicker...
            (Beat)
        She had a nice fat piece of
        ocean-fresh halibut for you...

Walter walks backward toward the kitchen, looking forlornly at the 
cat -

He reaches for another can of beans, but his eyes focus on the clay 
head on the floor -

Walter picks up what used to be a head and sits back down at the 
kitchen table -

He looks at Carla looking back at him from the picture - he then 
stares blankly ahead -

                WALTER
        Repetition is death, Frankie...
                                    DISSOLVE TO

EXT LOS ANGELES - DAWN

Silhouetted buildings in the early light -

INT WALTER'S ROOM - DAWN

Still dressed, Walter tosses and turns on his bed -

                MAXWELL(V.O.)
        Nourish the artist, stretch their
        skin upon an easel, crush their
        bones into a paste, so that he may
        mold them, let them die, and by
        their miserable death become the
        clay in his hands, that he might
                MAXWELL (cont.)
        form an ashtray or an ark - that he
        might take you in his magic hands
        and wring from your marrow wonder -
        all that is comes through the eye
        of the artist -

Walter bolts upright, waking from his dream -

                WALTER
            (beat, then almost
             imperceptibly)
        Where are the John Joe Jake Jim...
        Jerk...

Walter gets up out of bed - he heads toward the kitchen table -

He looks at a now stiff Frankie -

                MAXWELL(V.O.)
        Dead...dead...dead...

Walter stares at Frankie for a beat and turns off the overhead lamp 
- he then looks up, as if getting an idea -

He looks over at the floor -

Sees the BAG OF PLASTER -

EXT STREET - DAY

Walter's feet are visible as he walks down the street - as we pan 
up, we see Walter cradling a PACKAGE wrapped in brown paper and 
string -

EXT JABBERJAW - DAY

Leonard stands very close to Carla, who is wearing tight, red velvet 
bell-bottoms - she flips through several canvases of SCRIBBLE 
PAINTINGS she has brought over -

                CARLA
        I'm trying to find a style of
        my own.  Do you really like them?

                LEONARD
        Oh yes...very nice...very, very
        nice...

Walter then approaches with his package -

Carla sees him - so does Leonard -

                CARLA
        Hi Walter...

                LEONARD
        What are you doing here so early?

                WALTER
        Well I brought something, I wanted
        to show you.

                LEONARD
        What is it, your laundry?

                WALTER
        Huh?

                CARLA
        Don't worry about him...what have
        you got?

                WALTER
            (enthusiastically)
        A thing I made.

Walter lowers it to the ground and undoes the string - he then opens 
the paper and reveals what he brought -

It is FRANKIE, encased in plaster along with the knife -

Walter grins like a simpleton at his creation, but Carla is 
impressed -

                CARLA
        Wow...
            (Beat)
        Wow...

Carla picks up the statue -

                CARLA
        Leonard...look at this...

Leonard puffs on his cigarette -

                LEONARD
        Where'd ya buy that?

                WALTER
        I didn't buy it I made it.

Leonard takes another puff -



                LEONARD
            (incredulous)
        You...made that?

                WALTER
        I said I did, didn't I!

                CARLA
        I've never seen anything like this,
        maybe Segal, but nothing with such...
        dichotomy...
            (Beat)
        It's very good, Walter -

                WALTER
        Honest?

                LEONARD
        Well, what's it called?

Walter looks up at Leonard -

                WALTER
        Dead Cat!

                LEONARD
            (Beat)
        Dead Cat?

                WALTER
        Yeah.

                LEONARD
        Well it sure looks dead enough.

Walter stands up -

                WALTER
        You want to buy it, put it in the
        club?

                LEONARD
        You want me to buy Dead Cat?
            (laughs)
        It'll scare people away.

                CARLA
        Don't you feel it?

Leonard and Walter look at Carla -

                LEONARD AND WALTER
            (simultaneously)
        Feel what?

                CARLA
        Don't you feel what it's giving
        off?  It's...presence...
        come take a closer look...

Leonard gets closer -

                CARLA
        Look at the detail, it's so alive,
        and yet...so dead...

Carla turns the statue's face toward Leonard -

                CARLA
        Look at the expression on its face...

Walter puffs his cigarette and stares at Walter -

                LEONARD
        Well...why did you put a knife in
        it?

                WALTER
        I didn't mean to.

                LEONARD
        Got carried away, huh?

Leonard inspects the statue -

                LEONARD
        Alright, I'll tell you what.  I'll
        put it in the corner of the alcove.
        If it sells, we'll split it fifty-
        fifty.  How's that?

                WALTER
        Sure!
            (Beat, then to Carla)
        So I guess that means I'm an
        artist after all.

                CARLA
            (smiles politely)
        Maybe so...

                LEONARD
        I wouldn't give up your day job.

                WALTER
        All that is comes through the
        eye of the artist...

                LEONARD
        Alright get a grip on yourself
        Now since you're here why don't
        you start early, the kitchen
        needs cleaning.

                WALTER
        Sure!

Walter heads off then turns and faces Leonard and Carla -

                WALTER
        You really like it?

                CARLA
        Of course...it's wonderful.

                LEONARD
        I can barely contain myself.
        Now chop chop!

Walter heads into the back -

INT JABBERJAW - NIGHT

The scene is happening, strange music plays in the background -

Art walks into the club - Walter passes him -


                WALTER
        Did you see my cat?

                ART
        Why, is he lost?

                WALTER
        No, I uh...

Walter walks away -

In the alcove sits Dead Cat -  a young man wearing a beret and 
leather jacket inspects the work - he seems zonked out on some 
chemical - Walter approaches him -

                WALTER
        You like my cat?

                YOUNG MAN
        Yeah...it's like out there,
        you understand what I'm saying?


                WALTER
        Sure.  You want to buy it?

                YOUNG MAN
        No man, I don't have the funds
        to be buying various pieces of
        artwork, you understand what I'm
        saying?

Leonard approaches -

                WALTER
        Sure.

The young man heads off - Walter faces Leonard -

                WALTER
        People seem to like my cat.

                LEONARD
        Enough already about it - get to
        work!

Walter heads off  - Leonard lights a cigarette and looks at the 
sculpture -

Walter busses a table -

                CHARLIE(O.S.)
        Hey Walter, come here!

Walter heads over to a table - seated are Maxwell, Carla, Charlie, 
and another attractive blonde woman - Maxwell appears clearly 
intoxicated -

                CHARLIE
        Congrats, Walter.

                CARLA
        Walter everyone's talking about
        it.

Maxwell turns and focuses on Walter -

                MAXWELL
        I saw your...cat.

                WALTER
        Did you like it Mister Brock?

                MAXWELL
        Call me...Maxwell.


                CHARLIE
        How'd ya do it Walter?

                WALTER
        Oh, I just got some plaster,
        and fixed it up.

                CHARLIE
        Papier mache?

                WALTER
        Uh, no.  Plaster.

Charlie laughs - Maxwell stares at Walter, then staggers to his feet 
- looks at the room -

                MAXWELL
        Attention everyone!  Everybody!

Some people pay attention -

                MAXWELL
            (drunkenly)
        As you pass through these yellow
        portals I am sure you noticed
        on your right a small plaster
        figure, and assumed this
        transfixed effigy to be the work
        of a master sculptor.  Indeed,
        so it is.  And that bright, new
        creator is in our midst.  He's
        none other than Walter Paisley,
        our very own bus boy, whose
        undiscovered hands of genius have
        been carrying away your empty
        cups of frustration!

People look at Walter, who sheepishly accepts the praise -

                MAXWELL
        Remember him.  His is the silent
        voice of creation.  Within the
        dark rich soil of humility, he
        blossoms as the hope of our
        nearly sterile times.

Charlie and Carla clap -

                MAXWELL
            (to Walter)
        Bring me a gimlet.

Maxwell sits back down -

Walter passes a table where Cuff, Link and Mayolia are sitting -

Cuff stops him -

                CUFF
        Hey congrats on the cat Walter.
        I wonder where you got the idea
        of dead animals.

                WALTER
        Huh ?

                LINK
        Yeah, can you say plagiarism?

                CUFF
        Not only that, he copied us!

                MAYOLIA
        Oh nonsense!  Your works hit the
        viewer over the head.  They're
        so...obvious.

Mayolia then looks up at Walter -

                MAYOLIA
        I get it Walter.  I get it.

                WALTER
        What do you get?

                MAYOLIA
        Your work, the layers of
        irony.

Just then several people approach Walter and begin asking him 
questions -

Art watches the commotion -

Leonard also watches the commotion with a completely dumbfounded 
expression on his face -

Art dealers talk to Walter, as well as artists -

Just then Lou walks in, stands next to Art -

                LOU
        What the hell's going on?

                ART
        Everyone wants to meet the
        bus boy.

                LOU
        What did he do?

                ART
        He made a cat.

Lou looks at Art, who returns the stare -

                ART
        Outta plaster.

Lou walks in -

                LOU
        See you later -

                ART
        Righto.

Art leaves - Leonard looks at Walter -

Walter uncomfortably enjoys the attention -

Just then the old couple chimes in - the older man looks around -

                OLDER MAN
        Where's my mocha latte double
        grande!

Leonard drops his cigarette and crushes it with his foot -
He heads over to Walter and escorts him away from the
people - Walter accepts someone's BUSINESS CARD -

Leonard takes him aside -

                WALTER
        Did you hear that Mr. De Santis?
        Everyone's really crazy about
        Dead Cat.

                LEONARD
        Yes they are, aren't they?  Look,
        why don't you take the rest of the
        night off, you look tired.

                WALTER
        Well I don't know -





                LEONARD
        No, it's Ok...you came in early.
            (Beat)
        Besides, you're creating an incident.
        When people are applauding they don't
        order anything.

                WALTER
        Well...

                LEONARD
        Look, go home and...work on something.
        Make another cat.

                WALTER
        I don't have another cat!

                LEONARD
        Well make a dog, make a parakeet!
        I'm sure you'll think of something.

                WALTER
        A parakeet?

Leonard begins to lose his patience - he yanks the tray out of 
Walter's hand -

                LEONARD
        Go home.

                WALTER
        OK...good night Mr. De Santis!

                LEONARD
        Good night Walter.

                MAYOLIA(O.S.)
        Wait - Walter!

Walter begins to head out the door but is stopped by
Mayolia - Walter turns around and faces her - she gets
close -

                WALTER
        Hello Mayolia.

                MAYOLIA
        Walter, you did something to me
        with your work tonight.

                WALTER
        With Dead Cat?


                MAYOLIA
        With Dead Cat.  Like a breath
        of fresh air.  I could just -
        babble on about it for hours.

                WALTER
        Really?

Mayolia gives him "that" look -

                MAYOLIA
        Yeah.  I really could.  I'm not
        just saying that.

Mayolia gets closer making her heaving cleavage more accessible to 
Walter's eyes -

                MAYOLIA
        It's like...you've turned on.

                WALTER
        T-turned on?

                MAYOLIA
        A hot light bulb is burning inside
        of you.
            (Beat)
        I want to be warmed by it.

                WALTER
        That's really nice of you
        Mayolia.

                MAYOLIA
        Let me into your world Walter...
        let me into that white hot
        inspired world.

                WALTER
        I can't.  I gotta go home.

Mayolia presses herself against Walter, who awkwardly
reacts -
                MAYOLIA
        Well, I'll go home with you.

                WALTER
        Oh no, I couldn't do that.  Mrs.
        Swicker would start asking questions.
        She's my landlady.

Art sits at a table, watching the encounter -


                MAYOLIA(O.S.)
        Isn't there anything I can do
        for you?

Mayolia reaches out and touches Walter -

                WALTER
        I don't think so Mayolia.

                MAYOLIA
        I want to be part of it, I want
        to inspire you, I want to do -
        something!

                WALTER
        You don't have to do anything!

                MAYOLIA
            (Beat)
        Then let me give you something
        then...

Walter watches, perplexed, as Mayolia reaches into her cleavage -

Lou watches the transaction carefully -

Mayolia takes out a CAMEO NECKLACE, takes it off her neck -

                MAYOLIA
        Maybe this will give you some
        inspiration, change your
        perception of reality...

Mayolia looks around, and hands the necklace to Walter -

                MAYOLIA
        I want you to have it.  There's
        a little something for you in
        here...

                WALTER
        Gee.  Thanks.

                MAYOLIA
        Let it inspire you.  Maybe it
        will let you think of me.

She wraps Walter's hand around the necklace -

                MAYOLIA
        If you have to go, go.

Walter backs out -
                MAYOLIA
        Go and don't look back.

Walter leaves -

Lou waits for a beat, then gets up -

EXT JABBERJAW - NIGHT

Walter leaves the club, passing some incoming people -

When he leaves, Lou exits the club -

He heads over to the payphone and picks up the receiver, about to 
make a call -

Suddenly, he changes his mind - he hangs the receiver up, and 
decides instead to follow Walter -

INT WALTER'S ROOM - NIGHT

Walter closes the door and turns on the overhead lamp -
He looks at the medallion Mayolia gave him and places it on the 
table - he then picks it up again, inspects it -

He notices the medallion has a clasp -

EXT WALTER'S WINDOW - NIGHT

Lou is outside, watching Walter -

He then checks his .45 HANDGUN and stuff it back in his shoulder 
holster under his jacket -

INT WALTER'S ROOM - NIGHT

Walter notices the medallion has a clasp - he pops it open and 
notices a twisted-off corner of a PLASTIC BAG containing a white 
powder inside - he opens the bag and smells the powder, no knowing 
what it is - he dabs his finger in it and puts it on his tongue, 
GRIMACING at the taste of the substance - he puts the open medallion 
down on the kitchen table -

EXT WALTER'S WINDOW - NIGHT

Lou heads off -

INT WALTER'S ROOM - NIGHT

Walter heads over to the dresser, looks at himself in the mirror-


                WALTER
        Why yes, that is one of my pieces...
        it's one, in a series...

Walter then picks up the picture of Carla, looks at it for a beat -

                WALTER
        And I love you too Carla...

Walter sighs, then heads over to his cabinets, opens them
up -

A box of PANCAKE MIX is the only item -

Walter takes out the box and grabs a round, sharp-edged GRIDDLE out 
of the lower cabinets -

Soon the door knocks - Walter walks over to the door carrying the 
griddle -

He opens the door - Lou is standing there -

                LOU
        Hello, Walter.

                WALTER
        Hi.  I know you!  I've seen you
        down at the Jabberjaw plenty.

                LOU
        Yes, you have.
            (Beat)
        Can I come in?

                WALTER
        Uh, sure.

Walter closes the door behind him -

                WALTER
        I was going to make some pancakes,
        you can have some if you like.

                LOU
        Hm.

                WALTER
        Did you see my cat?

                LOU
        Yeah I did.

Lou heads over to the table, sees the medallion -

                LOU
        I also saw the girl give you this.

                WALTER
        Oh yeah that was Mayolia, she's
        a nice girl.
            (Beat)
        She's kind of strange, though.

Walter watches Lou take a dab of the white powdery contents and put 
it on his tongue -

                LOU
        You like chasing the dragon, Walter?

                WALTER
        Chasing the dragon?  Whaddya mean?
            (Beat)
        You sure you don't want a pancake?

                LOU
        You can cut the crap.

Lou WHIPS out his BADGE -

Walter looks at the badge, then at Lou -

                LOU
        Police officer.

                WALTER
        You're like an undercover guy!

                LOU
        You're in some deep shit pal, whether
        you know it or not.

                WALTER
        Huh?!!!

                LOU
        Possession of narcotics isn't something
        we take lightly, you understand?

Lou takes a few steps closer and Walter takes a few steps back -







                LOU
        But I got a feeling you're gonna
        cooperate with me.  Yessir, I
        think you and me are gonna be real
        good friends.
            (Beat)
        Why don't you tell me about your
        connection.

                WALTER
        C-connection?

                LOU
        I'm not looking to pinch you!  I
        don't care about you, or the girl.
            (Beat)
        But you want to save your ass, you
        better start telling me what I want
        to hear.  Now!

                WALTER
        Telling you what?

                LOU
        Who's the head honcho!  Who's
        providing the smack connection!

                WALTER
        Smack?

                LOU
            (rolls his eyes)
        Goddammit, where are you from,
        Mars?

                WALTER
        Alaska!  What the heck's wrong with
        it!

                LOU
        Haven't you ever heard of smack!
        Horse!  Junk!  Heroin!

                WALTER
            (enthusiastically)
        Is that what that is?  I never
        seen any before.  I always thought
        that stuff was expensive!

                LOU
        Oh, yeah.  It can get real expensive.



                WALTER
        Wasn't that nice of Mayolia to
        give me some expensive smack.

Walter heads over to the stove - Lou stops him, turns him around -
                LOU
            (angry)
        Who do think you're dealing with,
        huh?  I'm willing to cut you a
        break, chief!

                WALTER
            (totally confused)
        You are?

                LOU
        Good ol' mild mannered Walter!
        Give it up.  It doesn't fly with
        me.

Lou steps up to Walter who cringes behind his griddle -

                WALTER
        I- don't know what you're talking
        about!

                LOU
        You're coming downtown with me,
        Walter.  You're gonna come clean
        with me, you're gonna name names
        or I swear to God I'll see to it
        personally you rot in a cell upstate!
        Are we understanding each other?

                WALTER
            (panicked)
        Wait a minute!  What'd I do?

                LOU
        I got you cold, pal.  Make
        it easy for yourself, use your
        head.

                WALTER
        I didn't do nothing wrong!  That
        was Mayolia's!  I didn't ask her
        for it.  I don't know about any -

                LOU
        Yeah yeah yeah - look!  I've
        heard this song and dance before,
        save your breath, you're coming with
        me!
Lou goes to turn Walter against the wall but Walter springs back -

                WALTER
        Wait a minute - I told you I didn't
        do nothing wrong!

                LOU 
        Don't give me a hard time Walter! You
        don't want to get me mad!  You're
        coming with me!

                WALTER
        I ain't going no place with you!

Lou then grabs his .45 from behind him and aims it at
Walter -

                LOU
        Turn around!

Walter panics and begins to FREAK OUT-

                WALTER
        You're gonna shoot me!

                LOU
        Turn around!

Lou lunges for Walter's arm to turn him around but he staggers back 
-

                LOU
        What are ya, deaf?  Turn around!

                WALTER
        NO! NO DON'T SHOOT ME I DON'T
        WANT TO GET SHOT!

                LOU
        Relax!


                WALTER
        YOU'RE GONNA SHOOT ME!

                LOU
        Walter shut up and relax!

                WALTER
        NO YOU'RE GONNA SHOOT ME DON'T
        SHOOT -

Lou SPRINGS for Walter -

WHAMMM! Walter SINKS the griddle into Lou's skull -  Lou grunts and 
crashes to the floor -

Walter cringes back in terror - as he steps back we see the BLOODY 
EDGE of the griddle -

Walter staggers back, witnessing what he has done -

Soon there is a KNOCKING on his door -

                MRS. SWICKER(O.S.)
        Walter!

At first Walter is too shocked to hear the knocking, but soon he 
does, and a horrible realization forms in his mind -

EXT COURTYARD - NIGHT

Mrs. Swicker knocks on the door, listening intently -

                MRS. SWICKER
        Walter!

She knocks again -

                MRS. SWICKER
        Walter are you alright?  I thought
        I heard some shouting a minute ago!

Mrs. Swicker waits for a beat - soon she hears BANGING and CLANGING 
through the door -

                MRS. SWICKER
        Walter!

The banging and clanging continues -

Mrs. Swicker knocks again - the banging reaches comical proportions 
-

                MRS. SWICKER
        Walter open this door -
The clanging continues - Mrs. swicker jiggles the door handle - the 
door opens -

INT WALTER'S ROOM - NIGHT

Mrs. Swicker walks in and Walter hides the bloody griddle in the 
nick of time, staggering back -

                MRS. SWICKER
        What's all the noise in here!

                WALTER
        Noise Mrs. Swicker?  What noise?

Mrs. Swicker closes the door behind her -

                MRS. SWICKER
        Don't tell me I didn't hear a
        racket!  I'm an older woman and
        I don't need to be upset and
        disturbed in this manner!

                WALTER
        I was just straightening up the
        place.

                MRS. SWICKER
        Straightening up indeed!  Are you
        sure you're not alone?

                WALTER
        I'm always alone, Mrs. Swicker,
        you know that.

Mrs. Swicker begins to snoop around the place -

                MRS. SWICKER
        Walter have you been talking to
        yourself again?

                WALTER
            (wringing his hands)
        Well yes I guess I have been Mrs.
        Swicker.  Somebody's got to.

Mrs. swicker continues to snoop around - she then turns and looks at 
Walter -

                MRS. SWICKER
            (exasperated)
        Walter, you know what you need is
        a girl!

Mrs. Swicker continues to inspect the place, with Walter following 
close behind her -

                MRS. SWICKER
        She doesn't have to be pretty...
        just as long as she takes good care
        of you...

                WALTER
        Uh, I can take real good care of
        myself, Mrs. Swicker!

Mrs. Swicker continues to look around the cluttered room -

                MRS. SWICKER
        Yeah I can see that! Look at
        this place!

At that moment Lou's BLOODY ARM drops into view in the background, 
having been stuffed in a crawl space above the sink -

                MRS. SWICKER
        It's terrible!  Why don't you
        ever clean it up!

Walter notices the arm as Mrs. Swicker directs her attention in the 
opposite direction, grabbing a sheet -

                MRS. SWICKER
        And when did you change these sheets
        last!  It looks like they're alive!

Walter panics, and gently leads Mrs. Swicker to the door -

                WALTER
        Uh, Mrs. Swicker I got to meet some
        friends later, and I have to take
        a shower!

                MRS. SWICKER
        Well why don't you clean up this
        dump!

Mrs. Swicker resists as Walter opens the door and pushes her out -

                WALTER
        I will - good night Mrs. Swicker!

                MRS. SWICKER
        What's the matter with you!

Walter shoves her out the door and closes it behind him -

Pressing his back against the door he looks ahead -

Blood begins to trickle down Lou's arm -

Walter approaches the bloody arm, caught in a total panic -

Blood begins to drop on the floor -

Walter looks around frantically, and finds a big metal POT -

He places it under the dripping blood, lowering it to the ground -

He then steps back, listening to the rhythmic trickle of blood 
hitting the pot -

Walter staggers back, grabbing a sponge -

He heads over to a PUDDLE of smeared blood on the floor -

He gets on his knees and begins to wipe up the blood -

                WALTER
            (crying)
        I didn't mean to hurt you, sir...
        if you had shot me, you'd be
        mopping up my blood now...

Walter continues to mop up the stain -

                WALTER
        I couldn't help it if I got scared.
        I didn't mean it!

Walter stops to listen to the trickling blood - something dawns on 
him -

                WALTER
        It's crazy...it's crazy...
            (Beat)
        I didn't think I had it in me...
        How'd ya do it, Walter...

Walter gets up, faces Lou's off camera corpse and addresses it -
                WALTER
        He said go home and make something
        Walter!  Make another cat...

Walter looks down at the pot filling with blood -


                WALTER
        But I told him I didn't have
        another cat...

Walter then gets an idea, and looks up toward Lou's body -

Walter's expression changes, from one of panic to one of new 
inspiration -

EXT PAYPHONE - DAY

Art is on the phone -
                ART
        No, nobody seems to know where
        he went...
            (Beat)
        why don't you put an A.P.B. out
        and I'll check on it from here...
            (Beat)
        Right...Ok, bye.

Art hangs up the phone -
                                    DISSOLVE TO
INT JABBERJAW - DAY

Leonard enters and closes the door - he begins lifting shades and 
getting the place ready to open -

He heads over to the alcove, something catches his eye -

It is the Dead Cat sculpture -

Leonard stops to look at it, laughing faintly to himself - he then 
picks it up and inspects it, shaking his head -

He puts it back, positioning it just so - as he turns his back the 
cat leans forward and crashes to the ground -

Leonard turns around and sees what happened - he picks it up and 
examines it -

There is a FRACTURE in the plaster - Leonard runs his finger over it 
-

CLOSE on Leonard's face he notices something -

As Leonard traces his finger over the fracture, he discovers some 
CAT HAIRS protruding from the sculpture -

Taken aback by the discovery, Leonard puts the sculpture
down -

He then pokes it, almost as if he expects a response -
Leonard slowly breaks into a knowing smile -
                                    DISSOLVE TO
EXT STREETS - NIGHT

A MONTAGE of police PATROL CARS driving down various
streets -
                RADIO OPERATOR(V.O.)
        ...officer Louis LaRue...age 29,
        five foot eleven, Caucasian, black
        hair, last seen wearing jeans and
        a dark jacket...

                                    DISSOLVE TO
INT JABBERJAW - NIGHT

The joint is jumping as the audience listens to a MUSICIAN  playing 
assorted GARBAGE from the scrap yard -

Several PATRONS examine the Dead Cat sculpture -

Cuff and Link sit at a table noticing the commotion wit contempt -

                CUFF
        Look at that, man.  Big deal.

                LINK
        I know.

                CUFF
        I mean it's like, you know, I do
        my art because that's what I am,
        you know?  I'm an artist.  I'm not
        like a banker, you know.  Like I
        create.

                LINK
        I know, man.

                CUFF
        But it bugs me when someone rips off
        our ideas, our concepts, and people
        freak out about it, you know, and
        tell us ours stinks!

                LINK    
        I know, man.

                CUFF
        I mean, screw them, you know?  I'm
        just gonna go right on creating
        'cause it comes from here -
            (pounds chest)
        you know?

                LINK
        I know, man.

Just then Art enters the club -

Cuff and Link see him come in - Walter busses an adjacent table -

                CUFF
        And, man who is this dude?  He's
        like always casing the joint.

A shady - looking couple behind Cuff and Link notice Art  also, and 
decide to hastily leave -

                LINK
        I wonder what his deal is.

                CUFF
        I think he's looking for you, man...
        it's all finally catching up with you!

Link sees Walter -

                LINK
        No I think they're looking for Walter,
        'cause he's wanted for stealing -

Walter leaves with the tray pretending not to have heard the comment 
- he nevertheless CRASHES into a Leonard, spilling the contents of 
the tray -

                CUFF
        Jeez, take it easy Walter!

Walter crouches and picks up the items -

Leonard looks down at him with disdain - Walter then stands
up -

                WALTER
        Sorry about that Mr. De Santis!

Leonard says nothing for a beat -

                LEONARD
        That's alright Walter...

Leonard then gestures to a table -

                LEONARD
        Put the tray down...have a seat.

The comment takes Walter by surprise -
                WALTER
        H-have a seat?

                LEONARD
        Have a seat -

Cuff and Link watch as Walter sits down -

                WALTER
        I thought I'm not supposed to
        sit with the customers...

                LEONARD
        Now why shouldn't you, Walter?
        Things are different now...

                WALTER
        They are?

Leonard sits down, facing him - he lights a cigarette -

                LEONARD
        Of course they are, Walter.

Carla then makes her way toward their table -

                LEONARD
        You've arrived.  You've been
        recognized.  You're a talent,
        a creative force to be reckoned
        with.

                CARLA
        Leonard, what are you doing?

Leonard and Walter notice Carla -

                WALTER
        Hiya Carla.

                LEONARD
        What am I doing?  I'm just telling
        Walter the truth.

Carla sits down and listens -

                LEONARD
        A man came in here and wanted to
        pay me fifty dollars for the cat.
        In fact, he took it home to show
        to his wife, in case you're wondering
        where it was.

Carla looks at Walter -

                LEONARD
        You know what that proves?

                WALTER
        What, Mr. De Santis?






                LEONARD
        It proves I've underestimated
        Walter's ability.  His work has
        hit a nerve in the collective
        zeitgeist of the art community.             
        It has enormous realism - you can
        hardly tell it from the real
        thing!

                LINK
        Sounds like he's busting your
        chops, Walter.

                CARLA
        Are you trying to be funny?

                LEONARD
        I'm totally serious!

Leonard gets close to Walter - puts his hand on his
shoulder -

                LEONARD
        The question is what are you going
        to make next, Walter?  Did you
        make that dog yet, or that parakeet?
            (beat)
        How about making something out of
        the cockroaches in your room?

                WALTER
        I-I already got a new one!

                CARLA
        Great!  What is it?

                WALTER
        It's a...full length life-size
        figure!

                CARLA
        What's it called?

                WALTER
            (Beat)
        Murdered man.

Leonard takes his hand off Walter's shoulder -

                LEONARD
        Murdered...man?...

                CARLA
        When do we get to see it?
                WALTER
        Well...any time, I guess.

                LINK
            (sarcastically)
        Man that's a trippy name, kinda
        like the Warhol mayhem series...

                CUFF
        I saw a statue once called The Third
        Time Phyllis Saw Me She Exploded.

                LINK
        Now what kind of statue was that?

                CUFF
        I don't know it was made out of
        driftwood and dipped in sulfuric
        acid.  It was out there...

                LEONARD
        Well...why murdered man?

                WALTER
        I don't know, it just happened,
        I guess.
            (Beat)
        I didn't mean to.

                LEONARD
        You didn't mean to what?

                WALTER
        Well, I mean it could have been
        something else, but it just
        worked out that way.

                CARLA
        It's called spontaneity, Leonard.
        Get with the program.

                WALTER
        Yeah it was all just an accident.

Leonard has suddenly become pale - he gets up -

                CARLA
        Are you alright?

                LEONARD
        Yes...I'm uh...I'm fine.

                LINK
        You don't look so hot...
                CUFF
        You must have had some of the
        food -

Cuff drops a chunk of whole wheat bread onto his plate -

Leonard composes himself -

                LEONARD
        Excuse me...

Leonard heads off -

                CARLA
        I think he really is sick...

                LINK
        So who isn't around here?

Leonard heads over to the other end of the club -

A PLUMP MAN enters the club, looking around -

He spots Leonard, and makes his way toward him -

Leonard takes a deep breath - the plump man approaches -

                PLUMP MAN
        I tried to contact you by phone
        but I couldn't...

                LEONARD
        Excuse me I have to make a call...

Leonard picks up the phone and dials a number -

                PLUMP MAN
        I want that cat.  I'll pay you one
        thousand dollars - cash.

                LEONARD
            (on the phone)
        I'm trying to reach Lieutenant
        Beldere...

                PLUMP MAN
        What offers have you got for it?
        I won't be out-bidded.  I'm a
        wealthy man and I don't mind
        paying for something I want.

                LEONARD
        I can't talk right now.

                PLUMP MAN
        What do you want for it?  Two thousand?
        Three thousand?

                LEONARD
        No...look I'm busy...

                PLUMP MAN
        Listen to me...I don't want to
        lose this piece -

                LEONARD
            (on the phone)
        I'm holding for Lieutenant Beldere!

                PLUMP MAN
        Listen to me, listen to me...I've
        been collecting art pieces all over
        the world for years and let me tell
        you something.  This newcomer
        Walter Paisley has it, whatever it
        is, the X factor, that indefinable
        quality that separates the greats from
        the hacks, and I want that cat in
        my hands.  Are you listening to me?

                LEONARD
        Can't you see I'm busy here?

The plump man reaches inside his jacket -

                PLUMP MAN
        Alright you want to play hard...
        to insure I get that cat I'll give
        you five thousand dollars - cash,
        right here, right now...

The plump man pulls an envelope out of his jacket - this gets 
Leonard's attention -

                PLUMP       
        Two thousand for the cat, and
        a first look at the kid's next
        stuff.

Leonard looks at the plump man -

                VOICE ON PHONE(V.O.)
        Lieutenant Beldere.

Leonard hangs up and faces the plump man -



                LEONARD
        Someone has the cat just now but
        I'll have him back in a few days.
            (Beat)
        And you can have it for five thousand
        dollars.

The plump man breaks into a smile, pats Leonard on the arm and 
shakes his hand -

                PLUMP MAN
        Alright...thank you sir, I
        consider it a bargain.

The plump man gives Leonard his card, and heads out -

                PLUMP MAN
        Call me when you're ready...
        good night.

Leonard watches him leave - Leonard takes a deep breath as carla 
approaches him -

                CARLA
        Are you feeling better Leonard?

Leonard looks at her -

                LEONARD
        Yeah, I'm feeling a lot better.

                CARLA
        Listen, I'm going over to Walter's
        after the place closes.  I want to
        get a look at Murdered Man.  Do you
        want to come along?

Leonard looks at her for a beat, then nods -

Onstage, the industrial musician finishes up his song, and the crowd 
applauds -
                                    DISSOLVE TO
INT WALTER'S ROOM - NIGHT

The door opens and Walter walks in, followed by Carla and Leonard -

Walter turns on the overhead lamp - Int the center of the room is a 
TALL OBJECT covered by a sheet -
Leonard closes the door behind him -

Carla looks at the object -


                CARLA
        Look at the size of it!

                WALTER
        It's not really that big I got
        it on kind of a stand...

                CARLA
        Let's see it.

                WALTER
        Uh, well, I'm a little nervous,
        I never did a person before.

                CARLA
        You can do anything you want if
        you set your mind to it.

Leonard leans back against the door and swallows -

                LEONARD
        It's hot in here...

                WALTER
        You want me to open a window or
        something?

                CARLA
        Come on Walter, take off the
        sheet.

Walter obliges, pulling down the sheet to reveal his creation -

It is LOU, standing upright and looking down at the three spectators 
- his skull is CLEAVED right down the middle from the top of his 
head to the bridge of his nose -

Leonard and Carla stare in dumbstruck silence -

Walter looks at their expressions, clutching the sheet -

                WALTER
        Don't you like it?

Carla continues to stare for a beat -

                CARLA
        Like it?
            (Beat)
        It's a masterpiece.  I've never
        seen anything like it before...
        and I hope I never see anything
        like it again.
Walter smiles and looks at his creation -

                WALTER
        Me too.

                LEONARD
        I have to sit down.

Carla walks around the statue -

                CARLA
        Take it in...in it's eloquence...
        modern man in all his...self
        pity...

Leonard drops down onto a hardwood chair -

                CARLA
        How did you ever find it all
        in yourself, Walter?

                WALTER
        It wasn't easy.

Carla looks back at Leonard, who has an ashen look on his
face -
                CARLA
        What's the matter with you?

                LEONARD
        Nothing...nothing at all.

                CARLA
        I've never seen anyone so...
        squeamish.
            (Beat)
        Well, what's your opinion,
        Leonard?

                LEONARD
        Don't ask.

                CARLA
        Oh come on!  Even you can see
        its value.

The head stares back at the two -

                CARLA
        Do you think you or I could have
        conceived of such a thing, much
        less have executed it?

Leonard says nothing -

                CARLA
        Well then admit it, it's a work
        of genius.

                LEONARD
        I admit it.

Walter heads over to Leonard -

                WALTER
        We can bring it down to the
        Jabberjaw.

Leonard gets up -

                LEONARD
        No.  Why don't you cover it up
        Walter...

                CARLA
        Why not?

                LEONARD
        Why don't you cover it up, Walter!

Walter throws the sheet back over the sculpture -

                CARLA
        What's wrong with you, why do
        you want to hide it?

                LEONARD
        Well, I've been thinking...
            (Beat)
        I didn't realize how much...talent
        Walter actually had.  It would be
        wrong for us to show them one at
        a time.
            (Beat)
        Dead wrong.

                CARLA
        You're right.  We should build a
        collection first.

Leonard backs up, looking at the two of them -

                LEONARD
        That's it...that's the idea!
        Maybe when it's big enough we
        can have a show!

Walter rushes over to Leonard -

                WALTER
        A show?!  Like this Sunday?

                LEONARD
        N-no!  Not exactly, I mean you
        take years and years...

Leonard looks at the sculpture, composing himself -

                LEONARD
        It will take years to make that
        many statues.
            (Beat)
        But your work would be featured.

                CARLA
        That's the idea, Walter.  It's the
        only way to gain recognition. All
        the big art critics and art dealers
        would be there, it would be an
        event.

                LEONARD
        Yeah then you could unload - sell
        this stuff for a lot more.

                WALTER
        A show..how soon can we go?

                LEONARD
        These things take time Walter...
        but for now you've got to break
        out of this one...avenue you're
        on...

Leonard heads over to Carla -

                LEONARD
        Carla and I will guide you, help
        develop and evolve your work...maybe
        lead you toward something more abstract...

                CARLA
        Abstract?  With his talent for realism?

                LEONARD
        You see the direction his realism
        takes! It's unhealthy!

                WALTER
        Look you said I was a genius!  If
        I'm a genius I don't want to be a
        bus boy anymore!
                LEONARD
        Well maybe you have a point there,
        you shouldn't keep working at the
        Jabberjaw.  Look...

Leonard digs into his pocket and peels off TWO HUNDRED
FIFTY DOLLARS -

                LEONARD
        Now look - Dead Cat's money in
        the bank, I'm sure that man's going
        to buy it, so here's your half
        in advance - twenty five dollars.

Leonard hands the money to an ecstatic Walter -

                LEONARD
        And if you need more, I've got it,
        don't worry.
            (Beat)
        I have faith in you Walter.

Walter heads over to Carla holding up the money and smiling like a 
simpleton -

                WALTER
        Gee..twenty five dollars for
        something I made!

                CARLA
        Now you're a professional!

Leonard heads over to the door and opens it -

                LEONARD
        Let's go!

Carla gives a look of attraction to Walter and heads toward the door 
-

                CARLA
        Good night, Walter.  And keep
        up the good work.

Walter smiles at her as Leonard gently takes her arm -

                LEONARD
        But don't burn yourself out, Walter.
        You've got all the time in the
        world.
            (Beat)
        Let's go!

Leonard pulls Carla into the courtyard -

Walter heads over to the door -

                WALTER
        Good night.

Walter closes the door and gazes at the money again - he is truly 
thrilled, and begins to JUMP around the room, HOOTING and HOLLERING 
-

EXT COURTYARD - NIGHT

Mrs. Swicker walks by Walter's door, overhearing him carrying on -

INT WALTER'S ROOM - NIGHT

Mrs. Swicker opens the door watching Walter jumping around -

                MRS. SWICKER
        What's going on!

Walter SPINS around and stops jumping - he runs over to Mrs. Swicker 
holding the money -

                WALTER
        I'm an artist Mrs. Swicker!  A
        professional artist!

Walter YANKS the sheet off the statue -

Mrs. Swicker stares at the apparition, looking as if she's about to 
lose her lunch -

She gently back up into the hall -

                MRS. SWICKER
        Good night...

Mrs. Swicker closes the door abruptly -

Walter turns around, and gleefully continues to stare at the money -
                                    DISSOLVE TO

INT JABBERJAW - NIGHT

Another busy night at the club - a DJ spins a hybrid assortment of 
records resulting in a most irritating sound -

Leonard sits close to Carla, smoking, as she nurses a glass of wine 
-

Art arrives again, looking around the room -

He passes Maxwell, who sits at a table with Mayolia, Charlie, and an 
attractive blond girl - once again, Maxwell is somewhat intoxicated 
-

                MAXWELL
        One of the greatest advantages
        to modern poetry is the overload
        of sensations from which to draw,
        everywhere in our minute lives,
        our TV's and our information
        traffic jam!  The goal is to
        filter those sensations to
        articulate our awareness!  And              
        I'm proud to say my poetry is
        understood only by that small
        minority which is...aware!

                ATTRACTIVE GIRL
        Aware of what?

                MAYOLIA
        Not of anything stupid!  Just
        aware!

Art passes Cuff and Link, sitting at a table smoking cigarettes -

                CUFF
        There's that weird dude again.

                LINK
        Man if this place doesn't cool
        out I'm gonna hang out somewhere
        else...

The singer continues to sing his song - Link then sees something -

                LINK        
        Get a load of this -

Then Walter walks through the front door - his look has changed 
considerably - he's dressed like an eccentric artist, wearing 
unusual clothes, and looking somewhat ridiculous - he strides into 
the club -

People notice him and greet him as he nods to various
people -

A couple points, and talks about him -

He passes Leonard and Carla - Leonard does a double-take -

                CARLA
        Hi Walter.

                WALTER
        Carla...

Walter sits down at a table next to Leonard and Carla - a waiter 
approaches -

                WALTER
        I'll have a Taft's-Sorrel mineral
        water, a piece of papaya cheese
        cake, and, and a grande cappuccino.

Walter lights up a small CIGAR, looking at Carla
confidently - a piece of TOBACCO gets stuck on his lip, which he has 
to spit off -

Maxwell approaches Walter's table and extends his hand -

                MAXWELL
        Walter.

Walter shakes his hand -

                WALTER
        Maxwell.

                MAXWELL
        I see the rewards of achievement
        have come your way.

Maxwell sits down -

                WALTER
        Well I am starting to have some
        success now, with my pieces...

Cuff and Link witness the encounter -

                CUFF
        Man look at that get up !

                LINK        
        Looks like that cat paid
        off in spades.

                CUFF
        Let's check out the scene.

Cuff gets up -

                LINK        
        I'm with you.

Leonard stands and addresses Maxwell and Walter -

                LEONARD
        I was just suggesting to Walter
        that he experiment with more
        abstract themes.

Maxwell looks at Leonard with contempt -

                MAXWELL
        Why do you suggest anything to
        Walter?  Are you the spokesman
        for society coming to poke
        your stifling finger in his
        eye!

Cuff and Link show up -

                CUFF
        And a hearty good evening to ya!

Cuff and link sit down, flanking Maxwell, who shifts and looks at 
the two of them - Leonard sits back down with
Carla -

                MAXWELL
        Oh now who invited these two, down
        from the clouds?

                WOMAN'S VOICE(O.S.)
        Maxwell!

Maxwell turns -

We see the shrill voice belongs to ALICE, a well-developed blonde in 
a tight sweater, who makes her way toward the table -

                MAXWELL
        Clear the table and bring me
        a bowl, I may be sick!

Alice approaches the table -

                CUFF
        It's Alice Ziobro, here to
        spread a little cheer -

Alice looks at Maxwell -

                ALICE
        Do you like my haircut?

                MAXWELL
        It's enchanting.

Alice takes a seat near Cuff and Link -

                CARLA
        Where have you been, Alice?

                ALICE
            (smugly)
        I was up in Seattle working on a
        video.

                LINK
        Oh yeah?  For who?

                ALICE
        Petroleum Function.

                LINK
        No way!

                ALICE
        Yeah it's for their new CD.

Alice then turns her attention to Walter -

                ALICE
            (disdainfully)
        Don't you work here?

                WALTER
        Not anymore!

                MAXWELL
        That's right, Walter has sold
        his first sculpture.

Alice is unimpressed by the news -

                ALICE
        Oh.  Really.

Cuff gets close to Alice -

                CUFF
        This guy's a clown and he ripped
        off our concepts.

                ALICE
        Oh yeah?



                CUFF
        Now he's trying to act cool about
        it.
            (Beat)
        Someone needs to pop his bubble.

                ALICE
        What are you thinking?      

Cuff whispers to Alice, and the two of them start laughing -

                MAXWELL
        And what project looms on the
        horizon, Walter?

                WALTER
        Uh, I don't know.

Alice faces Walter -

                ALICE
        I do life modeling, you know.

Walter looks at Alice -

                ALICE
        Would you like to do me?

                WALTER
        I just might.

                ALICE
        I'd be glad to help.
            (Beat)
        For $50 an hour.

Cuff and Link crack up -

                LEONARD
        Never mind that.  Walter's going
        to try something abstract.

                MAXWELL
        There you go again!  I may take my
        business to the Snake Pit!

                CARLA
        As a matter of fact I was going to
        suggest to Walter that he try a
        female figure.  It would be a
        departure from the mayhem/death
        theme.  You really should, Walter.

Carla looks at him -
                CARLA
        If you like, I'll be your model,
        for free.

Walter looks at her -

                WALTER
        I couldn't.  Not you.

Leonard gets closer to Carla -

                LEONARD
            (suggestively)
        Would you pose for me for free?

                CARLA
        Well, it all depends, Leonard...

Walter sees this and is FLUSHED WITH JEALOUSY -

                CUFF
        Man if you want to be a legit
        artist you have to do nudes,
        nudes, nudes...

                LINK
        Right.  Ain't no body of
        work complete without some...
        nudes -

This is about all Maxwell can take - Cuff cackles like a buffoon -

                MAXWELL
        Get these Philistines out of here!

                ALICE
        Oh let's change the subject I'm
        sick of hearing about sculpture!
        No one knows how to do that anymore,
        especially the bus boy from the
        Jabberjaw...

                WALTER
        Who do you think you're talking
        about!!

Alice laughs condescendingly -

                ALICE
        Look at you!  Who do think you
        are.  You're just a poser trying,
        and failing, to fit into the scene!

                MAXWELL
        Strong words...
            (under his breath)
        ...for such a simple mind.

                ALICE
        I think this bit about him being
        this discovered sculptor is a
        bunch of baloney and a cry for
        help.       

                WALTER
        That's not true I am a sculptor!

                ALICE
        Oh yeah?

Alice picks up a piece of CAKE -

                ALICE
        Prove it!  Make something out
        of this!

Walter SMUSHES the cake onto Alice's palm -

                WALTER
        There!  Flat Cake!

Maxwell BELLOWS with laughter - Alice wipes off her hand -

                ALICE
        If you were an artist you could
        have created something!

                WALTER
        I'm going home!

Walter gets up and leaves -

Carla turns and raises her glass to Alice, smiling -

                CARLA
        Alice?
            (smile fades)
        You're a bitch.

Dejected, Walter makes his way out of the club, storming past 
Mayolia -

Mayolia watches Walter leave -

                                    DISSOLVE TO


EXT JABBERJAW - NIGHT

Alice makes her way out the door - heads down the steps and walks 
off -

Then out of the shadows we see Walter, who has been waiting for her 
to leave -

When the coast is clear, he begins to follow her...

EXT BUNGALOW - NIGHT

Alice enters the courtyard - she walks over to the front door of her 
bungalow, enters, and closes the door behind
her -

Just then Walter stealthily enters the courtyard -

He approaches Alice's door, waits a beat, then gently
knocks -

Alice opens the door and looks at Walter -

                ALICE
        What are you doing here?

                WALTER
        I wanted to apologize for
        being nasty to you this evening.

Alice is unimpressed -

                ALICE
        So you apologized!  Good night!

Alice SLAMS the door right in Walter's face -

Walter takes a few steps back - he clenches his jaw then BANGS on 
the door -

Alice RIPS the door open -

                ALICE
        Listen schmuck, why don't you
        get out of here and let me go
        to bed!

                WALTER
        I didn't finish talking to you!

                ALICE
        Well I'm done talking to you, what
        do I have to do, draw you a diagram!

                WALTER
        I decided to make a female figure
        after all!
            (Beat)
        I want you to pose for it.

Alice looks him up and down for a beat, changing her tone -

                ALICE
            (sarcastic)
        Well I'm touched.
            (beat)
        You're serious, aren't you?

                WALTER
        Yes.  Fifty dollars an hour, right?

                ALICE
        Yeah.

Alice laughs, and stares at Walter for a beat -

                ALICE
        Well, if you've got the money, I
        don't mind posing.
            (Beat)
        When do you want to start work?

Walter looks up at her sheepishly -

                WALTER
        Tonight.

                ALICE
        What, right now?

                WALTER
        Uh-huh.

Alice looks him up and down again -

                ALICE
        Hold on...I'll get my coat.

                                    DISSOLVE TO
EXT COURTYARD - NIGHT

Walter and Alice head over to his front door -

                ALICE
        It's kind of dark -

                WALTER
        Shh!

Alice shuts up and the two of them quietly head into him room, 
closing the door -

Just then Mrs. Swicker opens her door down the hall, poking her head 
out -

INT WALTER'S ROOM - NIGHT

Alice begins to undress -

                ALICE
        You could use a little more
        heat in this place -

Walter drags a big bag of PLASTER out of a closet - he drags it to a 
new addition in the room, a large TROUGH -

                WALTER
        It's bad for the clay. You'll
        get used to it...

Walter then props up a chair -

                ALICE
        I'm almost ready -      

                WALTER
        Sit in this chair, and I'll pose
        you.

Walter heads over to the lump of clay on the table -

Alice sits down, back to camera, totally nude -

                ALICE
        Do you like what you see?

Walter does a double take, and swallows hard at the voluptuous 
figure before him -

                WALTER
        Yes.
            (Beat)
        Just stay like that.

Walter nervously kneads the clay -

                ALICE
        That doesn't look like very
        much clay.

                WALTER
        Oh it's enough...

                ALICE
        Are you nervous, Walter?

                WALTER
        N-no...

Alice sexily shifts in her seat -

                ALICE
        Not even a little bit?

                WALTER
        I already told you I'm not.

                ALICE
        When's the last time you had a
        totally nude girl in your room...

                WALTER
            (swallows)
        Um...

                ALICE
        Without a stitch of clothing on,
        sitting and facing you...

Walter fumbles with the clay -

                ALICE
        A girl with a body like mine?               

                WALTER
        You're breaking my concentration!

Alice laughs -

                ALICE
        Walter can I ask you something?

                WALTER
        What!

                ALICE
        Are you a virgin?

Walter stands up -

                WALTER
        For cryin' out loud what does
        that have to do with anything!



                ALICE
        It's just an innocent question.
            (Beat)
        Besides I just wanted to clarify
        your intentions.

                WALTER
        Whaddya mean?

                ALICE
        Well I just wanted to make sure
        you know, fully and completely,
        that you're never gonna get any
        from me, at least in this lifetime.

This comment stings Walter - he clenches his jaw, and gets up -

                WALTER
        Look -
            (Beat)
        This pose is all wrong!

                ALICE
        I'll pose any way you want.

Walter then grabs up a SCARF, and approaches Alice -

Walter then hands the scarf to Alice -

                WALTER
        I want you to put this around
        your neck...

Alice takes the scarf and places it around her neck -

                WALTER
        Just like that...that's right.

Walter then steps behind Alice, grabbing the ends of the scarf 
gently -

Then suddenly Walter PULLS the ends hard, choking Alice -

Alice clutches the scarf and struggles, panicking and gasping for 
air -

Walter tugs at the scarf with all his might -

Alice kicks and tries to free herself, to no avail -

Walter continues to strangle her, clenching his jaws -


INT CARLA'S APARTMENT - DAY

Carla, Maxwell, Cuff, Link, and another girl sit around the living 
room - Carla hands Maxwell a plate -

Maxwell inspects the plate -

                CARLA
        Here you go, enjoy.

                MAXWELL
        I hope this was made with egg
        whites!

                CARLA
        It was.

                MAXWELL
        What's this sauce!  I'm lactose
        intolerant.

                CARLA
        Don't worry it's a non-dairy
        sauce made from soy milk.

                MAXWELL
        Hm.

Maxwell takes a bite - someone knocks at the door and Cuff goes to 
answer it -

Cuff answers the door -

                CUFF
        Hey it's mister perjury!        

In walks Walter, who notices everyone there -

                WALTER
        Hi.

                MAXWELL
        Good morning Walter!


Walter approaches Carla, a little dejected he wasn't
invited -

                WALTER
        Hi Carla.
            (Beat)
        What's going on?


                CARLA
        These guys came by to help me
        try out some of my new organic
        recipes.

                WALTER
        Oh...

                MAXWELL
        Wheat germ omelette, guava nectar
        and garbanzo sprinkled with smoked
        yeast.  Join us?

                WALTER
        No thanks.  Sounds good though.

                MAXWELL
        Suit yourself.

                CARLA
        What's up, Walter?

                WALTER
        I came over to see you.
            (Beat)
        I brought something...I
        wanted to show you.

                CARLA
        Oh yeah?

                WALTER
        Yeah.  Can some of you guys help me?

Maxwell puts down his plate -

                CARLA
        Is it murdered man?

                WALTER
        Better!

Carla gets up -

                CARLA
        Come on!

Maxwell claps his hands twice, not getting up -

                MAXWELL
        All hands!

Cuff and Link follow Carla -
                                    DISSOLVE TO
INT CARLA'S APARTMENT - DAY

Walter, Cuff, and Link carry an OBJECT covered by a sheet - Maxwell 
watches -

                LINK
        Man this is heavy!

                CUFF
        Yeah what's this, Murdered Elephant?

                MAXWELL
        Put it in the middle of the room!

                CARLA
        When did you make this, Walter?

                WALTER
        Uh, last night.  It doesn't take me
        very long.

The men put the object down, out of breath -

                CUFF
        Well let's see it, man!

Walter undoes a string and lifts off the sheet to reveal -

ALICE, naked and seated in a chair, clutching at a scarf around her 
throat -

Everyone stares at it in awe -

                CARLA
        Walter...I can't believe it.

                MAXWELL
        I'm honored to know this man.

                WALTER
        So you think it's nice?

                LINK
        Man, she's beautiful.


                WALTER
            (to Carla)
        You think she's better than Murdered
        Man?

                CARLA
        Well I can't say that Walter!  She's
        incomparable.  They're both great.

                MAXWELL
        I'm...moved.  I'm moved to write
        about this!
            (Beat)
        Tonight, at the Jabberjaw, I will
        recite a new poem, and we'll
        celebrate in your honor!

Maxwell puts his hand on Walter' shoulder -

Carla then kisses Walter, a peck on the lips - Walter is 
flabbergasted -

INT JABBERJAW - NIGHT

A LOUD BAND wraps up a song, and the singer CRASHES into the drum 
set - people applaud -

Walter sits in a big wooden chair with a paper CROWN on his head and 
a paper STAR on his lapel, looking a little tipsy - in one hand is a 
GOBLET, in the other a PLUNGER -

Art and a new UNDERCOVER COP stand at the entrance of the club -

                ART
        Alright, let's split up and keep
        a low profile.  You hear anything,
        you let me know.

The undercover cop nods, and heads off -

                ART
        I'm going to get to the bottom
        of this...

Carla approaches Walter with a bottle of CHAMPAGNE -

                CARLA
        More champagne, your majesty?

                WALTER
        Here here...

Carla pours some into the goblet -

                CARLA
        Where where...

                WALTER
        There there...

The goblet overflows -

                WALTER
        That's good...

Carla sits down next to Walter on the edge of the stage - Walter 
leans over to her with a drunken smile on his face -

                WALTER
        May I please have another little
        kiss?

                CARLA
        Walter!  Jeez!

                WALTER
            (smile fades)
        Sorry...

Carla laughs - Walter smiles again and Carla puts her head against 
his arm -

Leonard surveys the crowd from another part of the room -

Maxwell then heads to the stage where Walter is sitting and raises 
his hands -

Scattered applause erupts -

                MAXWELL
        Order!  Order!

The crowd quiets down as Maxwell puts his hand on Walter's shoulder 
-

                MAXWELL
        Walter...
            (booming voice)
        The bird that flies now pays
        later through the nose of
        ambidextrous apathy -

Walter strains to understand -

                MAXWELL
        Necrophiles may dance upon the
        placemats in an orgy of
        togetherness -

Walter looks around the room as Maxwell gathers steam -





                MAXWELL
        The highway of life cuts sharply
        through the shady ghettos and the
        ivy-covered tombs, and laughter
        rains from every capsule in the
        star-spangled firmament -

Cuff, Link, and Mayolia listen from an adjacent table -

                MAXWELL(O.S.)
        And in the deep freeze it is the
        children's hour -

Maxwell punches holes in the air with his finger -

                MAXWELL
        And no one knows that Duncan is
        murdered and no one knows that
        Walter Paisley is born -

Maxwell slaps his hand on Walter's shoulder, spilling some of 
Walter's champagne - Walter smiles and looks at Maxwell through his 
drunken haze -

                MAXWELL
            (getting louder)
        Duncan knows...Tuesday sunrise
        knows...alley cats and garbage cans
        and satellite dishes, and you and I,
        and the nude descending the staircase,
        and all such things with souls, we
        shall hear that Walter Paisley is born!

Walter looks at Maxwell with a half-smile, completely lost -

                MAXWELL
            (loud)
        Ring rubber bells!  Beat cotton
        gongs!  Strike silken cymbals!  Play
        leather flutes -

Leonard listens with a blank expression on his face -

Art slouches at a table and looks at Maxwell like he's a jerk - he 
shifts, unable to take much more of this -

                MAXWELL(O.S.)
        The cats and cans and you and I
        and all such things with souls,
        we shall hear that Walter Paisley
        is born!

Maxwell raises his clenched fists -

                MAXWELL
        And the soul become flesh - Walter
        Paisley is born!

Maxwell stands back - people applaud, and Maxwell bows his head and 
leaves the stage -

Cuff claps enthusiastically - Link slouches behind him, half-
clapping - Mayolia seems too moved to clap -

                CUFF
        That was cool, man, that was cool.

                MAYOLIA
        That was the greatest rap I ever
        heard!

                CUFF
        It sent me.

Cuff then turns to Link -

                CUFF
        What did he say?

                LINK        
        Didn't you hear him?

                CUFF
        No man I'm on my own plane.

Walter sits onstage by himself, still holding his plunger -

Maxwell sits down at a table with Charlie and two attractive girls -

                CHARLIE
        Maxwell that was magnificent.

Maxwell slugs back the rest of his champagne -

                1ST PRETTY GIRL
        You're really...eloquent.

Maxwell clunks the glass on the table -

                MAXWELL
        Walter deserves every word of it!

                1ST PRETTY GIRL
        Makes me so glad I'm aware.

Maxwell puts his hand over the girl's hand -

Carla approaches Walter, who reels a bit in the chair - he has a sad 
look on his face -

                WALTER
        Did you hear what he said?

                CARLA
        Yes Walter.

                WALTER
        All about me...

Carla nods and smiles -

                WALTER
        It's true, isn't it?

                CARLA
        Every word...

Walter slowly smiles -

                                    DISSOLVE TO
INT JABBERJAW - NIGHT

The crowd has thinned out, people are leaving -

Walter polishes off the dregs of a bottle of champagne as Leonard 
watches him -

                LEONARD
        You better hold off on the
        bubbly.

                WALTER
        Yeah, why?

                LEONARD
        You might talk too much.

                WALTER
        Yeah and what would I say?

                MAXWELL(O.S.)
        Are you two grinders ignoring us?

Walter staggers over toward Maxwell, who is sitting with Carla, 
Charlie, and the two attractive girls -

                WALTER
        Oh not me Maxwell, I wouldn't
        ignore you.

He puts his hand on Maxwell's shoulder -

                WALTER
        I know what it is to be ignored.

                CARLA
        Tell us what you're going to
        make next, Walter.

                WALTER
            (reeling)
        I'm gonna make the most wildest
        wittiest things you ever seen...
        gonna make big statues and li'l
        statues, tall statues n' short
        statues...

Walter takes his crown off -

                WALTER
        I'm gonna make statues of nobodies
        and statues of famous people, statues
        of actors -
            (looking at Maxwell)
        and poets...and people who sell things
        on television...and a statue of the
        mayor, and some rock singers and
        their instrument friends...

The group listens to Walter -

                WALTER
        An' everyone will say Walter let
        me shake your hand...it's a real
        pleasure to have known you...

                MAXWELL
            (applauding)
        Here here!

The group claps -

Leonard watches in the background as Walter polishes off his glass -

                                    DISSOLVE TO
EXT STREET - NIGHT

Walter staggers down the street -

                WALTER
        Alley cats and garbage cans...they
        know that Walter Paisley is born...

Walter removes the star from his lapel and continues to stagger down 
the street -

                WALTER
        Ring rubber bells, beat cotton
        gongs, strike silken cymbals...

Walter turns the corner -

                WALTER
        Tell us what you're gonna do
        next Walter...

Walter bounces against a wall -

                WALTER
            (loud)
        I'm gonna make big statues and
        little statues, movie stars and
        poets, and people who sell things
        on television, and the mayor, and
        some rock singers...

Walter stops walking and leans his hand against the wall -

                WALTER
            (Beat)
        What are you gonna do next, Walter?

Walter all of a sudden gets a sad look on his face -

                WALTER
        What am I gonna do next...
        what am I gonna do next...

Walter looks like he's about to cry -

                WALTER
        I gotta do something before they
        forget me...I know what it's like
        to be ignored...

Walter thinks, then heads off, down the alley -

EXT LUMBER YARD  - NIGHT

CLOSE on a table saw - a CARPENTER pulls the saw over a piece of 
wood, then turns it off -

He picks up the wood and inspects the cut - he then turns around, 
only to be startled by Walter -

                CARPENTER
        Who are you?  Whaddya want?
                WALTER
            (slurred)
        Life is nothing but a homeless
        guy on th' bus of art...

                CARPENTER
        Huh?

Walter gets RIGHT in the carpenter's face -

                WALTER
            (slurred)
        What is not creation is rice
        cakes...let them all crumble
        to feed the creator...

The carpenter stares at him for a beat, trying to avoid Walter's 
boozy breath -

                CARPENTER
        Beat it, ya drunk, or I'll call
        the cops!

The carpenter turns the saw back on -

Walter SPINS the man around by his shoulder -

                WALTER
            (loud, slurred)
        All else is rice cakes!

The carpenter SHOVES Walter hard - he lands on his ass -

                CARPENTER
        Get out of here, you god - damn
        freak or I'll split your head
        with a two-by-four!

Walter staggers to his feet and takes a few steps back - the 
carpenter gives him a wary look for a beat and then continues sawing 
-

Walter then POUNCES on the man, choking him -

The carpenter tries to fight back but Walter is possessed with a 
psychotic strength -

Walter begins to gain the upper hand forcing the man's neck closer 
and closer to the sawblade -

The carpenter sees the blade, and struggles with all his might to 
get free -


                CARPENTER
        No...no!

Walter forces the man's face down on the metal -

                CARPENTER
        Stop...no...NOOOOOO!


The saw makes a CUTTING noise -

                CARPENTER
        Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
                                    FADE OUT
                                    FADE IN

EXT JABBERJAW - DAY

Leonard gets a PAPER out of a VENDING MACHINE -

He reads the headline - "HEADLESS MAN FOUND IN LUMBERYARD"

Leonard reads it for a beat -

Walter then approaches, carrying a box -

                WALTER
        Hello Leonard!  Beautiful morning,
        isn't it?

                LEONARD
        It was.

Leonard lowers the paper - his face drops -

                LEONARD
        What do you have in the box?

                WALTER
        Just wait till you see this!

Walter opens the box and removes the contents -

It is the HEAD of the carpenter - Walter shoves the sculpture in 
Leonard's face -

Leonard drops the paper and staggers back -

                WALTER
        Whatsamatter Leonard?

                LEONARD
            (Beat)
        You made...a bust...
                WALTER
            (gleefully)
        Yeah isn't it wonderful?

Leonard takes a few steps back -

                WALTER
        Whatsamatter Leonard?

                LEONARD
        Put it down, Walter.

Walter's smile fades, and he puts the head down - Leonard addresses 
him -

                LEONARD
        Walter...Walter listen carefully.
            (Beat)
        I don't want you to make any
        more statues.  Do you understand?
        No more statues.

                WALTER
            (hurt)
        Well Why not?  I gotta make statues
        Leonard.  You heard Maxwell, they
        want me to make them.
            (Beat)
        I can't go back to being a busboy!

                LEONARD
        Maxwell!  He's behind all this with
        all his stupid blowhard poetry!
            (Beat)
        Listen, you've got to stop right
        away!  I'm beginning to feel
        responsible!

                WALTER
        Well, w-what did you do?

                LEONARD
        Never mind...

Leonard puts his arm around Walter -

                LEONARD
        Walter...I decided to have that
        show for you, right away.

Walter walks with Leonard -



                LEONARD
        When Carla comes by I'll talk to
        her.  She'll make up some nice
        invitations.  We'll have them
        printed up.

                WALTER
        Yeah?

                LEONARD
        Well invite the critics, and the
        art collectors...we'll tell them...

                                    DISSOLVE TO

INT CARLA'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

INSERT INVITATION - a fancy invitation to the Jabberjaw to showcase 
the work of Walter Paisley -

Mayolia fixes up the back of Carla's dress - Cuff and Link slouch in 
chairs, and Maxwell fumbles with his tie, dressed formally -

                MAYOLIA
        Well I don't see why we can't
        go!

                MAXWELL
        Mister Leonard De Santis is afraid
        to have you come.  You who buy
        his coffee, his potables, his food.
        You are the heart and soul and meat
        of the Jabberjaw.
            (Beat)
        And he slighted you!

                CUFF
        Did you get an invitation?

                MAXWELL
        I did not!  But I'm going anyway.
        Not to drink his champagne but
        to see Walter's triumph.

Just then Walter walks through the front door, dressed to the nines 
-

                MAXWELL
        After that we go no more!

                WALTER
        Hiya Maxwell.

Maxwell pats Walter's arm -

                MAXWELL
        I won't say good luck, Walter.

                WALTER
        Why not?

                MAXWELL
        It would imply you could not
        succeed on your ability alone!

Maxwell dramatically exits -

Walter watches him, then heads over to Carla, and smiles -

                CARLA
        You look so handsome.

Walter looks down at his outfit -

                WALTER
        I do?

Walter then looks at Carla -

                WALTER
        So do you.

Cuff and Link crack up at his comment -

                WALTER
        I mean, you look so pretty.

                CARLA
        Thank you.

                WALTER
        Are you ready?

                CARLA
        Ready?  We've got plenty of time.

                WALTER
        I know.  But I wanted to talk to
        you.

Carla looks at Walter for a beat -

                CARLA
        Ok...

Carla grabs her coat and bag -

                CARLA
        We can go now if you like.

Walter and carla head out -

                CARLA
            (to the others)
        Goodbye.

                WALTER
        Bye!

                LINK
            (dryly)
        Break a leg.

Walter and Carla head out, closing the door behind them -

                CUFF
        Man, why do you suppose Walter
        wants to get her alone?
            (Beat)
        You suppose he could be physically
        attracted to her?

                LINK    
        No man, he ain't the type.  He
        don't get enough vitamin E.

                CUFF
        Maxwell gave him a bottle of
        wheat germ oil.  Maybe he started
        taking it.

EXT STREET - NIGHT

Walter and Carla walk down the street - Walter says
nothing -

                CARLA
        Nice night out...

                WALTER
        Hm...

The two say nothing for a beat -

                CARLA
        Well...what did you want to
        talk to me about?

                WALTER
        Well...w-what kind of people do
        you like, Carla?

                CARLA
        Oh, I don't know.  Smart people.
        Creative people I guess.

                WALTER
        You think I'm creative?

                CARLA
        Of course I do!

                WALTER
        That means you like me!

Carla looks at Walter -

                CARLA
        I like you very much, Walter.

                WALTER
        I thought you did on account of
        you kissed me the other night!

Carla sees where this is going and doesn't like it - the two stop 
walking -

                CARLA
        Well that was for your sculpture
        of the girl.  Your nude in the
        chair.

                WALTER
        Carla -

Walter tries to arrange his thoughts -

                WALTER
        I, uh, I've been alone for a
        long time, and I know you've
        been alone because you never
        seem to go out with anybody -

Walter looks nervously at his hands -

                WALTER
         - even though Leonard's always
        asking you to go out with him and
        I - just -

                CARLA
        What are you trying to say?

Walter gestures for Carla to sit down at a nearby bench -they sit 
down -

Walter swallows appearing very nervous -

                WALTER
        Carla...
            (Beat)
        I don't want to make statues
        anymore!
                CARLA
        You don't?

                WALTER
        No.
            (Beat)
        I want to get married.
            (Beat)
        To you.

Carla senses trouble -

                CARLA
        Uh...
            (Beat)
        ...how long have you been thinking
        about this, Walter?

                WALTER
        Oh...f-for a long time.  Ever
        since you first came to the club.

Carla looks down at the ground -

                WALTER
        You were the only one who was
        ever nice to me!
            (Beat)
        I didn't know you loved me
        until you kissed me.

Carla suddenly feels very awkward - she takes a deep breath and 
prepares for the rejection -

                CARLA
        Walter, I really do like you.
        And I did kiss you.  But...
        that was because of your work.

Walter listens intently to every word -

                CARLA
        There's more to being in love
        than just that.

Carla gives a sympathetic look to Walter - Walter doesn't react for 
a beat, as if putting two and two together -

                WALTER
        You mean...you don't love me?

Carla looks down at the ground -

                CARLA
        I'm afraid that's what I mean.

Walter begins to get very upset -

                WALTER
        But you gotta love me!
            (Beat)
        Why do you think I made that
        statue of Alice?!

                CARLA
        Walter, I'm sorry...

                WALTER
        You just can't be sorry! I wanna -
        I wanna marry you!

Carla looks around -

                CARLA
        Now calm down Walter!
            (Beat)
        Now, let's go in there, and
        when the show's over, maybe we
        can talk about it.

                WALTER
        No! I want to talk about it now!

                CARLA
        Walter...
            (Beat)
        I don't want to hurt your feelings
        but there is no way we're ever going
        to get...together.  You know what I
        mean?

                WALTER
        Why not?!

                CARLA
        Because...
            (Beat)
        We're just friends.  That's all.
        Just friends.
                WALTER
        I get it.  I see the whole thing
        now. No one knows if Walter Paisley
        is born!

                CARLA
        Jeez, what is your problem all of a
        sudden?

                WALTER
        Oh sure, let's string along poor
        Walter, see how far it will take us!

Carla gets up -

                CARLA
        You're starting to freak me out,
        Walter.  I'll see you there.

Carla heads off - Walter watches her leave -

                WALTER
        You have to love me, Carla...

                                    DISSOLVE TO
INT JABBERJAW - NIGHT

The hoi polloi of the art community mingle at the private party -

On display are Walter's creations - Dead Cat, Murdered Man, 
Strangled Girl and his bust of the carpenter's head -

People talk about the works in muted voices, as if they are
serious works of art -

Art, the undercover cop, is also there, eyeing the room -

Maxwell takes an hors d'oeurve off a passing tray, and nods to 
someone offscreen -

Walter sits alone, dejected - a waitress presents him with a tray of 
champagne glasses -

Walter looks up at the tray -

                WALTER
        No thanks.

The waitress walks away -

The plump man talks to an ART CRITIC -


                CRITIC
        We have many artists about but
        no craftsmen.

The critic gestures to the voluptuous figure of Strangled Girl -
                CRITIC
        This man knows his anatomy.

                PLUMP MAN
        I'd give five thousand for
        this.

                CRITIC
        After you've read my review it will
        probably cost you ten thousand.

The critic and the plump man laugh -

Maxwell swaggers over to Walter, putting his empty glass of 
champagne on a passing tray and grabbing up another -

He puts his hand on Walter's shoulder -

                MAXWELL
        So what's the problem?

Leonard watches them from across the room -

                MAXWELL
        Why on Earth should you be so
        depressed?  Have you heard some
        of the things they've been saying?
        You can make fifty thousand
        on these pieces alone!

                WALTER
        I thought you didn't respect money!

                MAXWELL
        I don't!  But fifty thou?  That's
        not money, that's manna!

Walter gets up -

                WALTER
        Leave me alone.

Walter sees Carla -

He gets up and heads over to her -

Carla glares back at him  - Walter looks at her with a strange gaze 
in his eyes -

                WALTER
        I'm sorry about what I said before.

                CARLA
            (softening)
        Forget it.

                WALTER
        I've been thinking...
            (Beat)
        Carla, would you do one favor
        for me?

                CARLA
        Just about anything, Walter.

                WALTER
        Would you let me make...a statue
        of you?

Carla smiles -

                CARLA
        Would you really like to?  That
        would make me very happy.

                WALTER
        Ok...tonight.  I'll make a
        statue of you tonight, OK?

Carla smiles and nods - then her smile fades -

Leonard takes a sip of champagne and notices something across the 
room -

Cuff and Link have crashed the party - they head over and take a 
look at Murdered Man -

Leonard puts his glass down and heads over to them -

Cuff takes his cigarette and jams it in the mouth of Murdered Man - 
Leonard approaches -

                LINK
        Man, we've come to make the scene.

                LEONARD
        You weren't invited.  Now get out
        of here.

                CUFF
        I guess we're not good enough to get
        a private show.
                LEONARD
        That's right!  And we're not open for
        business!  This is an art exhibit!  No
        bums!

Leonard pushes them out the door as Cuff grabs his cigarette back -
                LINK        
        Man, you're the worst.

                LEONARD
        Yeah right right - goodbye!

                CUFF
        That's alright, we got a pressing
        engagement!

                LINK
        Yeah, right outside the door!

Leonard closes the door behind them -

Carla is looking at the collection - she inspects Dead Cat, the 
carpenter's head -

She then approaches Strangled Girl - She smiles, drinking in the 
sculpture -

Then she sees something that troubles her -

                CARLA
        Uh - oh.

She looks closely at one of the hands - a FRACTURE has formed on one 
of her fingers -

Carla gently goes to touch it when the piece CRACKS OFF -

Carla picks up the piece and goes to put it back -

She sees a HUMAN FINGER protruding from the sculpture -

Carla stands back, in shock -

She looks around the room - soon shock turns to horror -

She makes a bee-line for the front door but is stopped by Walter -

                WALTER
        Where are you going Carla?
        Whatsamatter?

Carla is mute with terror for a beat, but manages to get out the 
words -

                CARLA
        Walter...there's...

                WALTER
        What?

                CARLA
        There's...a body inside that statue!

Walter smiles innocently -

                WALTER
        Well, that's Alice.

Carla is speechless -

                WALTER
        It's alright, Carla.
            (Beat)
        Maxwell said it's alright.

Walter takes a few steps closer -

                WALTER
        Let them become clay in his hands
        so that he might mold them.

Carla is clearly frightened -

                CARLA
        Walter...stay away from me!

                WALTER
        Don't you see Carla?  I made them
        immortal.

Walter takes a few steps closer -

                WALTER
        Don't you see?  I can do the
        same for you!

Carla waits for a second, then SHOVES Walter out of the way, fleeing 
out the door -

Walter looks around to see if anyone is looking -

Nobody is -

He takes this opportunity to BOLT out the door in pursuit of Carla -
EXT STREET - NIGHT

Carla runs down the street as fast as she can -

Walter follows, in hot pursuit -

INT JABBERJAW - NIGHT

The critic stands in front of Strangled Girl - Art approaches from 
behind -

The critic has noticed the EXPOSED finger -

                CRITIC
        Well I'll be.  Look at this!

A WOMAN approaches -

                CRITIC
        There's another work...inside this
        work.

                WOMAN
        My Heavens!  It looks...like a real
        finger.

                CRITIC
        It's unparalleled...reality cased in
        layers...concealed in a shield of
        whiteness, blankness...

Art scrutinizes the finger - several other people begin to approach, 
admiring the discovery -

                ART
        Yeah...that's reality alright -

Art does not like what he sees -

Art heads over to murdered man -

He inspects the hand - sees a RING shape on one of the fingers -

A horrible realization forms in Art's mind - he grabs a BUTTER KNIFE 
off a table and begins to chip away at the
hand -

Maxwell sees this, begins to stumble over to it -

                MAXWELL
        Precisely what are you doing!

Art breaks the plaster off the fingers - he inspects the ring on 
Lou's finger -

                ART
        Lou...Lou!
            (Beat)
        Get back!

Everyone spins around as Art grabs a chair - SWINGS IT at Murdered 
Man -

There is a loud CRASH as Leonard watches Art hit the sculpture - the 
whole crowd then SCREAMS - the jig is up -

EXT STREET - NIGHT

Carla continues to flee from Walter -

Walter appears to be gaining some ground -

Carla turns a corner -

                CARLA
        Help!

Walter then follows her around the corner -

INT JABBERJAW - NIGHT

Art, Maxwell, and the critic run over to an ashen-faced Leonard -

                ART
        Call 911 get a patrol car down
        here - I'm going to get Paisley!

                MAXWELL
        I'm going with you!

EXT JABBERJAW - NIGHT

Art, Maxwell and the critic burst out the front door - Cuff and Link 
see them -

                CUFF
        Hey what's the deal!

                MAXWELL
        Walter Paisley is a murderer!

                CUFF
        Man he just chased Carla down the
        street -

Art, Maxwell and the critic head off - Cuff and Link follow them, 
running -

INT JABBERJAW - NIGHT

Leonard is on the phone, biting his nail -

EXT ALLEY - NIGHT

Carla ducks down an alley and crouches behind a dumpster surrounded 
by some garbage cans -

Walter turns into the alley, and looks around -

Carla freezes -

Walter then SPOTS HER -

He lunges after her, but Carla throws some garbage cans in front of 
him and runs away -

Walter throws the cans aside and continues to chase her -

EXT LUMBER YARD - NIGHT

Carla runs into the yard and hides behind a large stack of wood -

Walter then approaches, looks around, then suddenly -

Walter looks around -

Carla hides, but inadvertently KNOCKS OVER a piece of wood -

Walter hears it rattle across the ground - he runs toward the noise 
-

Carla grabs a bookshelf-sized PLANK as Walter approaches -

Walter freezes for a beat, a manic expression on his face -

                CARLA
        Get back Walter...

Walter starts to approach -

                CARLA
        Get back Walter!

Walter lunges and WHAM!  Carla slams the plank over Walter's head - 
he hits the ground -

Carla runs off in the direction she came from -

Walter staggers to his feet, clutching his head - he looks around, 
not knowing which direction Carla went - he runs in the opposite 
direction -

EXT STREET - NIGHT

Walter runs down the street, stopping to catch his breath - he then 
continues to run down the street -

EXT STREET - NIGHT

Carla runs into Art as he pursues Walter -

                ART
        Are you alright?

                CARLA
        Yeah - he's flipped out!

                ART
        Where is he?

Carla gestures with her head and Art takes off -

EXT STREET - NIGHT

Art runs down the street, pulling out his REVOLVER -

EXT ALLEY - NIGHT

Walter runs down the alley -

EXT STREET - NIGHT

Cuff and Link runs down the street, followed by Maxwell and Carla -

Maxwell stops to catch his breath - Carla pushes him
forward - the critic follows -

EXT COURTYARD APARTMENTS - NIGHT

Walter looks around the street, desperate -

He then looks toward his house, and runs to the gate -

EXT COURTYARD - NIGHT

Walter flies through the gate -

Mrs. Swicker approaches - Walter nearly CHECKS her into the wall -


                MRS. SWICKER
        What in the name of -

Walter opens his door and slams it behind him -

INT WALTER'S ROOM - NIGHT

Walter locks the door -

Walter looks around the room, panicking - he accidentally knocks 
Carla's picture to the ground -

                WALTER
        What are you gonna do now Walter?

Walter looks in his closet -

Walter then looks up, as if getting an idea -

He begins to frantically barricade his door -

                                    DISSOLVE TO
EXT COURTYARD - NIGHT

Mrs. Swicker points at Walter's door as Art, Maxwell, Cuff, Link, 
Carla, and the critic run toward it -

                MRS. SWICKER
        He's in there - he's gone crazy!

Art tries the door -

                ART
        Paisley!  Open the door!

INT WALTER'S ROOM  - NIGHT

Walter frantically mixes the plaster in the trough -

He looks back at the relentless banging at his door, and mixes the 
plaster with increased fury -

EXT COURTYARD - NIGHT

By this time a whole crowd of people have assembled at Walter's door 
- Art, Maxwell, and Leonard alternately kick and bash the door - the 
door begins to give -

                ART
        Harder!

They continue to bash the door until finally -


INT WALTER'S ROOM - NIGHT

CRASSHHHH!!! The door bursts open and Art, Maxwell, Leonard Carla, 
Cuff, Link and the critic all stumble in, pushing aside any 
obstacles -

Everyone begins to pour in but as they look ahead, there is a 
collective gasp -

They are looking at Walter, HANGING from a NOOSE, and covered in 
dripping plaster -

The crowd gathers around Walter in stunned silence -

Carla looks remorsefully at Walter -

                CARLA
        Oh no...Walter...

                CRITIC
        Unbelievable...this will command
        a small fortune.

                MAXWELL
        I suppose he would have called it
        Hanging Man...
            (Beat)
        ...his greatest work.

PULL BACK to reveal the room of spectators, looking at Walter's 
final creation -


THE END

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