10/05/2018

The Red Kaleidoscope Rainbow Part I


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This is Book 8 of The DSU. If you want to download and own this in full as an ebook, feel free to follow any of the links...




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This is a story in three parts. Links forwards and backwards will be provided top and bottom. Comment below or tell me what you think at:



Before jumping straight into things, a quick synopsis...

Imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital's basement, Mike, unable to communicate with his psychologist, Dr. Row, is tortured by delusion and put in constant violent tangles with a Woman in Red.



Before we start...

This is a story told in the rough form of a screenplay - a movie.

If you've never read a screenplay, you'll need to know the following:

EXT - Exterior. Found in scene headers to indicate we are outside.

INT - Interior. Also found in scene headers, but to indicate we are inside.

(O.S) - Off screen. Found next to character names.

(V.O) - Voice over. Also found next to character names.

(CONT'D) - Continued. Used to indicate continued speech next to character names.

SUPER: - Superimpose. To indicate text is seen over images.

The rest should be self-explanatory.

Enjoy...

The air trembles with manic reverberation.

Screams pierce the darkness, bringing forth with them throat-torn, searing cries for cessation.

The terror-pleas get closer and louder, overwhelming...

FADE IN:

INT. THE CELL - NIGHT

Silence...

A heavy iron door tainted with thick and flaking rust stands ominous, its contaminate orange glow crawling across the brick textures that embrace it on either side.

BAM

The door flies open, an orange mist sizzling against the gush of air as a scrawny naked man soars through, thrown by two pairs of burly, rough-haired arms into the room.

KABOOOOOM

TH-THUNK

Entrapment reverberates within the sealed walls.

Sobs begin to itch past the man's scabbed and blistered lips as he curls up, hugging his bleeding knees, his bruises resting against the thinly puddled stone and concrete floor.

The man is MIKE, his age indiscernible from an inspection of his frame; his body frail, emaciated and brittle like that of an old man, but, with the taut and grubby skin around his brow that gives way to young eyes, there seems to be a late teen lost somewhere within.

His bruises tread back from the once soothing puddles as goosepimples shiver their way across his flesh. Mike's hand skims over the concrete, finding cotton sheets - a thin mattress he stains with murk as he crawls onto it.

Laying his head down, Mike mistakes three white hospital robes for his pillow - which is a thin rag with half an inch of cotton inside at the bottom of his bed.

He closes his eyes.

>FADE OUT

Darkness.

Fine light spills through a crack under a door.

C-CLANK

Chains are taut.

MAN

AHHHHHH!!

Senseless terror bleeds past crooked brown teeth.

Splintered toenails kick against brick walls.

Wiry grey hair, tainted red--

THUMP

--smashes against the wall--

THUMP-THUMP-THUMP

A deranged figure batters his skull and pounds his feet against the walls of his tiny cell, screaming.

The light under the door cuts dead.

Darkness.

The screams remain... resounding... the voice... distorting...

FADE IN:

INT. THE CELL - NIGHT

Mike winces, the yells louder in his room than anywhere else.

The cacophony slowly thins... modulating... revealing itself to be the howl of wind.

CUT TO:

The shadow of a swinging light bulb ebbs and arcs to the crescendos of the wind's cries.

CUT TO:

Mike's eyes blink open.

His body is rattled with intense shivers. He turns his eyes up, seeing the window above his bed, the crying breeze tearing through.

Fingers curling under the cotton sheets, Mike pulls, scattering his 'pillow'. Somewhat confused, Mike unfolds the sheets, holding the fabric open to realise that he has three hospital gowns.

CUT TO:

The warm texture of wood, patterned with dark rings, emanates a natural sheen.

TSSSSSSK

Sandpaper rips against the surface.

CUT TO:

Mike pulls the first of the robes over his peeling skin.

CUT TO:

The orange flakes on the door hang precarious.

CUT TO:

Finger joints screech against one another as they are jammed and wiggled into a clasp.

CUT TO:

Mike's quivering fingers work the strings to his third and last hospital gown.

CUT TO:

The biting wind fights through the hinges of his cell door.

CUT TO:

Stood, his toes kneading against the springless mattress, Mike's gaze turns to the window again - a barred hole in the wall, no glass.

Dulled moonlight streams in on him as tears roll free from his blinking eyelashes and down his cheeks, cleaning off the grub.

Head bowed, he places his palms on either side of the square opening, watching his jagged ribcage expand and contract under his gowns.

EXT. OUTSIDE

The silver moon burns against the black skies.

INT. THE CELL

A furry, green caterpillar edges its way into Mike's window, along the inside wall and towards his fingers.

Glanced by the convulsing, tufty body, Mike pulls his hand away and then watches as the caterpillar moves down the vertical face of the cell porthole.

MIKE

(whispering)

Where did you come from?

CUT TO:

Embedded in underground grime, the caterpillar slithers.

CUT TO:

MIKE

You're lost... you're alone... Who misses you?

CUT TO:

Hundreds of caterpillars writhe in a mass of mulch: dead, wet leaves.

CUT TO:

MIKE

They all think you're insane... alone; the concrete walls... the stone... the metal.

The caterpillar moves through the metal bars, closer to the edge of the glassless window.

MIKE

... careful...

He brushes the caterpillar away from the window's edge and keeps his palm before it, a wall that it retreats from.

Lost in thought, Mike looks over his shoulder to his cell, to the glowering door, then up to the moon, a distant, pointless beacon. Meanwhile...

The caterpillar crawls around his fingers, out of the window and down the outer wall.

Realising:

MIKE

... gone.

Rubbing his hands together, Mike leaves the window to lie down and rest his frame.

EXT. OUTSIDE

Wind shakes the caterpillar as it moves down the brick wall...

A sharp cry of wind sways the brittle air.

... blown loose, the caterpillar plummets through the voidal darkness, falling inches from the blur of rock--

SPLASH

--lost in a thin puddle on the muddy ground, the ripples along its surface the only remaining perturbance of the night. Soon...

Silence.

INT. THE CELL

Alone, Mike sighs.

He brings his hands out from the cover of the sheets to rest them under his face, but in doing so he sees the RED BAND strapped to his wrist - one that couldn't have been there before.

He is confused as he puts his wrist into the light to inspect the band with an adjusting gaze...

Fear glazes over Mike's eyes.

MIKE

Impossible.

Panicked, he tries to rip the band off, first with his fingers, then with his teeth, then by slamming it against the wall.

The band doesn't give.

Helpless, Mike starts screaming again, wrapping himself up in the covers as to hide from his wrist that he holds outstretched.

INT. THE CELL - MORNING

Mike wakes, his arm under the mattress, pressed against the stone floor, as to hide the band.

A film of dust embraces the morning beams that streak through the cell.

At the foot of the door is a tray; buttered toast and a glass of water. Mike looks at it and then at his arm hidden by the mattress, hungry.

He bites his lip then pulls his arm out from under the mattress with closed eyes.

Holding his arm out in front of his face he quakes with anticipation, muttering indiscernibly.

He forces his eyes open.

Upon seeing the band, Mike immediately breaks into tears. He slams his wrist against the bed moaning 'No, no, no' over and over...

... the sheets suddenly shift...

... the fabric around Mike concaves...

... he dissolves into the mattress...

... his sobs soon lost.

INT. THE CELL - LATER

Calloused, reddened fingers pick up the tray. The arm, a pillowcase wrapped around the wrist, retreats away from the cell door.

Sitting back on the bed Mike bites the corner off of a piece of toast, an ounce of cheer finding its way to his lips.

C-CLUNK

The door opens, revealing a young psychologist, DR. ROW.

She stands in the doorway holding her breath, the corridor behind her engulfed by darkness. Exhaling, she edges into the room.

BOOOOOM

The door slams shut.

C-CLUNK

With slow measure Dr. Row steps across the room, eyeing Mike as she goes. She is cautious, but intrigued, an air of self-awareness and control brought in by her light footsteps.

Stood before Mike, she waits for his gaze to raise; he either hasn't recognised her or is so far refusing to as he stares through her white, flat-soled shoes.

She clears her throat. He looks up.

DR. ROW

Hello--

Her voice fades into silence; her lips move but nothing comes of it.

Mike watches her with apparent attention. When she smiles so does he, when she nods so does he; when she pauses, he looks down until he thinks her lips are moving again.

C-C-C-C-CRACK

The surrounding walls crumble, a web of fractures surging around the room, the brick and stone collapsing, leaving a void of darkness to loom about the periphery of Mike's spotlit cell.

Dr. Row is oblivious to the change in environment. Mike keeps his shifting eyes on the ground or her shoes as to distract himself from the change.

Approaching vibrations quiver across the floor and towards Mike's mattress.

From the dark shroud storms forth a huge man with crimson eyes, his top off and his muscles bulging.

He screams and shouts, consumed by an immeasurable rage, but, like Dr. Row, is stricken to quietude. He approaches, beating his head and chest like a territorial gorilla, inflamed gaze locked onto Mike.

CUT TO:

Dr. Row taps Mike's shoulder then hands him a piece of card with string attached to it.

He turns the material over to see a photograph of eyes facing downward printed on the card. He simply looks at her, confused.

SNATCH

Mike's SHADOW steals the contraption from his hand and straps it onto his head, over his eyes.

Dr. Row smiles with a thumbs up toward the shadow.

Mike looks at it, flat on the wall, facing his way, the print eyes on the ground, then turns to Dr. Row, who continues to talk as if nothing happened.

CUT TO:

With the man marching closer and closer...

THUD-THUD-THUD

... Mike begins to whimper, hugging his legs. Dr. Row kneels down with patient inquiry.

The man's beetroot feet slam to a stop behind her.

He bellows...

Nothing but silence.

Enraged further, the man stoops with a piercing glare directed at the side of Dr. Row's face. She still chats away.

He roars in her ear... but to no effect.

Slamming his fists against the ground, beating a futile tantrum into the indifferent stone, the furious figure exudes incomprehensible anger.

Peeping past Dr. Row, Mike whimpers helpless--

MAN

AAAARRRHHH!

He's suddenly swamped with the violent cacophony, and so snaps his eyes shut, kicking out at Dr. Row with fear, sending her stumbling backwards, toward the figure, with shock.

Silence.

Mike opens his eyes back on Dr. Row.

The angry man has vanished. But, someone else is coming; soft footsteps approach.

From behind Dr. Row, who has recomposed and is reassuring Mike (still muted), appears a sleazy skinny man wearing a suit with a red rose in the breast pocket.

His loafers slide to a stop.

He looks Dr. Row up and down from behind and then caresses her hips, lightly pecking her neck with puckered lips.

Only able to watch Dr. Row obliviously talk on, Mike grows infuriated.

The sleazeball grabs her breasts, extending a wet tongue to lick her face.

Mike bolts to his feet, fist cocked.

Dr. Row steps back in fear.

The man pulls away and backs off with a grin.

Mike steps forward, ready to push past Dr. Row, when a bald man with red skin appears behind her holding a six-foot samurai sword--

SLASH

Blood sprays out of the gaping, spluttering hose that was her neck.

Mike falls back on the bed, blasted by the red haze.

Sobbing into his pillow and cursing with feeble refrain, he tries to stop hyperventilating, his body quivering with emotional over-activity.

With apprehension, Mike turns to the dead body, opening his eyes...

Dr. Row is talking again, stern, unimpressed. She continues to do so as Mike catches his--

Dr. Row glitches.

--for a second she's is gone, replaced by a WOMAN IN A RED DRESS.

Mike watches her closely as she continues to talk, rubbing his wet face with the sheets.

She glitches again.

Mike cocks his head to the side, confused and trepidatious.

Dr. Row stops and mouths: 'what's wrong?'. In that instant, she is gone, replaced by the Woman In The Red Dress who looks down at Mike with disgust.

More a skeleton with skin, wrapped in loose fabric that should be tight, the Woman has hard, impenetrable black eyes and a man's haircut.

The figure begins to grow, stretching into a lanky giant, pummeling her hands down on either side of Mike as he shrivels, dwarfed.

The Woman chortles menace as he, again, starts to cry.

With Mike's back turned on her, she begins to shrink down to her normal size again. Quickly growing annoyed by his shielded sobs, the Woman starts beating him with open hands.

Mike can only curl up tighter and bear the beating.

Teeth grit, eyes wild, she slaps her palms down on his back, disquieting insanity imbued into her frame as her arms fly and spindly legs wobble over her impractically high heels.

The pounding stops.

Rattled and distraught, Mike turns over and opens his eyes, expecting the delusion to have ended, but the Woman isn't gone. She stands by his bedside. Her face is soft, forgiving, warm. She opens her arms.

Infantalised, his stature meek and submissive, Mike stands and embraces her.

She pulls him in tight and whispers in his ear. He listens with a growing smile until, weakly:

MIKE

Stop.

Mike pushes her away with resentment.

MIKE

I -

SMACK

She strikes his face, expecting him to pull away, but he doesn't.

Staring down at his toes, Mike's hanging arms tense, his veins beginning to throb, muscles taut, a scream itching to escape his lungs--

Mike lunges at her.

They hit the floor, Mike on top of her.

He gets his hands around her neck and starts squee--

From the darkness Dr. Row's hand touches his shoulder.

He jumps off the Woman, trips backwards, and...

CUT TO:

... is back in the cell, sitting on the bed unnervingly staring at Dr. Row's shoes with heavy, panting breath.

Returning to apparent consciousness, Mike looks up at Dr. Row's understanding smile.

She seems to have finished talking and so leaves the room.

BOOOOOM

C-CLUNK

Mike stares at the rust and then looks around at the solid walls, still catching his breath.

INT. CELL - NIGHT

Mike sleeps restlessly.

He has taken the cotton inside of what was his pillow and stuffed it into the barred hole that is his window.

EXT. OUTSIDE

Two crows pick at the cotton that seals the window, quickly pulling the material apart.

INT. THE CELL - DAY

Mike looks through the bars on his window. It's a dull, grey day. All to be seen is the bleak, looming sky.

His face fades into vacancy... he looks down.

MIKE

Where am I?

He looks up, turning away from the window. His face has changed, his eyes hard, focused on the door, his body consumed by an alternate, stony persona.

Something scratches at the ground beneath his feet. He looks down.

C-CRACK

The concrete ground shatters into glass that rains into the dark ditch below like sparkling sand.

Mike drops with the hail--

SLOP

--his body slapping against a convulsing mound of worm-like bodies; fat caterpillars.

CUT TO:

Features fading from hard to soft, Mike sits down on the mattress and scratches his legs. He looks up just as he did when Dr. Row was present.

Whispering into the personless cell...

MIKE

It's the eyes, open. Too open. Scared and searching, they see all... very aggressive... Closed? Scared and denying, they won't see me at all. Very aggressive.

Mike kicks out violently, then stands and starts pacing.

He stops, transfixed by the ghost of Dr. Row.

MIKE

(reaching out and caressing the air)

The hair is long, flowing. Accentuating every movement, very aggressive... holding the scent. Intoxicating.

He regresses back into his soft, passive character.

MIKE

She turns her head... Won't hear me. Won't hear me. Won't hear me. Turned away and listening. Turned away and listening.

He stops dead then looks around as if lost.

Mike wanders from wall to wall before snapping back into an outgoing character.

MIKE

The hands forever reaching. In search. Needing, wanting, to hold on. They'll never let go, we'll never get free. Makes the skin crawl

(cuts into timidity)

Knows more than she lets on. Stale. Deep in the mind. She wants my blood. She wants my blood.

He paces again, biting his nails, eyes on the door. He stops as if questioning himself.

He turns back to where Dr. Row was stood.

MIKE

To taste is to know. To let go, let in. She gets inside you. Dangerous but willing. Aggressive...

(whispers)

... get me.

He fades into vacancy again. He's lost, his mind blank.

C-CRACK

His body goes limp and his eyes roll into the back of his head.

Emotionless and empty he teeters, then stumbles onto his bed, toppling--

CUT TO:

SPLASH

Mike's body hits water.

CUT TO:

Gasping for air as he lies on the mattress, Mike scrambles at the covers, fumbling for cover beneath them.

INT. THE CELL - DAY

The door swings open and in walks Dr. Row with a clipboard and a bottle of pills.

She stands by Mike's bed. He's still hiding under the covers.

Dr. Row mouths his name.

Mike reluctantly pulls the covers off and sits up, eyes on the darkness beyond the door. A wooden chair slides in the room so Dr. Row can sit.

The door slams shut.

Dr. Row takes the moment to stare at her thumb griping the clipboard and think...

DR. ROW

So... hello again. How's your morning been?

His gaze turned down, Mike shrugs his shoulders.

DR. ROW

I want you to know that you don't have to -

A murmur creeps past Mike's lips. Dr. Row waits for him to speak.

His eyes, hidden from her view as his chin is tucked into his chest, dart side to side...

CUT TO:

Mike stands in an ocean of black plastic bags, ripping through them, finding endless reams of paper with random words typed onto them.

CUT TO:

WWHOOOOOOO

A vacuum cleaner is turned on, air gushing into the pipe as it approaches Mike's mouth.

The suck latches onto his lips, the--

WHOOOOOOOOOOO

--intensified.

CUT TO:

MIKE

I like your shoes.

Mike's shadow on the wall sharply whispers:

SHADOW

Shit.

Dr. Row smiles.

DR. ROW

Thanks. I like y -

Her voice fades away.

Mike looks down at his bare feet, squeezing the pillowcase on his wrist. The walls begin to splinter.

CHICK-CHICK CHICK-CHICK

Mike comes back to, focusing on Dr. Row shaking a bottle of pills in her hand.

DR. ROW

These can help, but I do not want to use them unless absolutely necessary. What do you think?

Mike nods, yes.

DR. ROW

Would you like to come out to -

Mike looks toward the door and it flings open, revealing endless shadow. Dr. Row stands and gestures for him to follow.

Trailing her toward the door, Mike watches the frame widen, opening up to more of the abyss.

Dr. Row steps through the frame and it widens ever more...

Unable to step into the shadow, Mike stops.

Dr. Row turns back into the light and sympathetically talks...

Mike shows no response, the frame around her closing in to its natural position.

Momentarily placing her hand on his shoulder, she nods and moves past him, back to her chair, gesturing for him to sit too.

Drawn to the void by fear, Mike looks over his shoulder.

His face suddenly contorts, bolts of pain tearing across his body. Stiff as a board, eyes rolled into the back of his head, he drops backwards, toward the void...

CUT TO:

Dr. Row grabs his hands.

CUT TO:

Mike is sat back on his bed looking at Dr. Row as she talks and makes notes on her clipboard.

The cell door is shut.

She looks up and waits for a response. Mike's not got one. She reaches out to touch his shoulder...

He flinches. She pulls her hand away.

DR. ROW

Are you ok?

(no answer)

Do you want me to go on?

Mike shakes his head, no.

DR. ROW

Want to just talk?

Mike shakes his head, no.

DR. ROW

(after a moment)

All right. I'll give you some space and we can try -

Her voice fades. Mike closes his eyes.

INT. HOMELY KITCHEN - MORNING

Pancakes, drenched in butter. Across the table sits Dr. Row and Mike. They eat breakfast. Dr. Row still wears her white lab coat and Mike his three hospital robes.

We watch them talk from our side of the table with the pancakes before us...

MIKE

(tired, not entirely interested)

What have, uh... you got to do today?

DR. ROW

I'm going down to the park.

MIKE

Oh, all right.

Silence...

MIKE

Any other plans, or just the park?

DR. ROW

Just the park.

MIKE

It's Tuesday today?

DR. ROW

No, it's Wednesday.

MIKE

Oh...

(he chews on some toast)

... at least it's not Saturday.

She flashes a slight smile our way over her coffee mug before she takes a sip.

DR. ROW

What makes you say that?

MIKE

The park is horrible on weekends.

DR. ROW

I know--

MIKE

(quietly, into his chest)

Fucking, after you... all caves in.

DR. ROW (CONT'D)

--too many people. And they're all our age. On weekdays you only have the young, the old and the unemployed. For the most part. I like that; it's nice, I think. Right?

MIKE

(curt)

Maybe you should get a job.

DR. ROW

(positive)

I was thinking about that and, oh wait, let me show you.

She stands and scuttles off.

Mike turns back to his breakfast for a moment before flashing a fake smile toward us.

Dr. Row comes back in with a red purse and takes a seat.

DR. ROW

(going through the purse)

Look, I've got -

Her voice fades away.

Mike is transfixed by the purse.

DR. ROW

Hey, what's up?

Mike snatches a few quick and shallow breaths.

Dr. Row tries to comfort him; she places her hand on his thigh and starts talking.

Mike hears none of it, he's focused on her hand.

Her grip on his thigh suddenly tightens. Smoke starts seeping from between her fingers as his flesh burns.

Mike tries to pull away but can't escape her grip. Dr. Row continues to calmly talk as he squirms.

His eyes catch us.

He starts reaching out for help.

We pull away.

Dr. Row turns to us and smiles whilst Mike begs for help.

INT. THE CELL - DAY

Dr. Row stands by Mike's bed mouthing his name.

He bursts out from under the cover. She jumps back.

MIKE

Fuck you! Fuck you, you whore!

Dr. Row tries to keep her composure as she backs toward the door.

Mike throws the mattress at the wall then starts toward Dr. Row with fire in his eyes.

Shadows embrace her shoulders.

Reaching toward her neck, Mike sees that the pillowcase has come off of his wrist, exposing the red band.

He looks back up to find Dr. Row gone.

A burst of wind rushes through the doorway and hits Mike.

He reels away in pain. Doubled over, he catches sight of the Red Band again.

Panicked, he tries to push it off his wrist, but it doesn't budge.

Sounds of a savage argument between a man and a woman, their words indistinguishable, reach through the door.

Mike starts hyperventilating as he searches for the pillowcase.

He can't find it.

He gives up looking and goes back to prying the band off his wrist.

As his fingers scratch and pull at his own flesh, the Red Band starts growing.

The material crawls up his arm, under his robes, over them, around his neck...

MIKE'S POV:

The band continues to consume his body, his gnarly screams of horror sounding like a bleeding growl as they're muffled and drowned out by the material invading his throat, beckoning darkness as it engulfs his face entirely.

Gargled then gagged, Mike's voice dies away.

INT. THE CELL

Mike thrashes violently on the bed, encase in the Red Band. We hear no screams.

BAM

Dr. Row bursts into the room, scrambling over to Mike's bed, calling out reassuringly - her voice nonetheless inaudible.

Her fingers go to immediate work on the unelastic, rubbery material.

KABOOOM

The door slams shut.

Unable to do anything but grip and tug on the band, it seems she can do nothing, until--

RIIIIP

Unsure where the tear occurred, Row perseve--

BAM

The two Burly Men enter. Dr. Row gestures for help but they show no signs of concern for Mike.

They seize Dr. Row, grabbing her by her arms and legs. Kicking and screaming, she is taken out of the room, leaving Mike thrashing about on his bed.

KABOOOOOM

The room settles.

Silence...

Dust resting on the barred window rolls ever so slightly. A breeze brushes into the cell, bringing with it the dampened rustle of Mike's weak struggle.

He soon falls limp, choosing to lie motionless.

His chest fails to rise and fall in the looming silence...

He gasps a deep breath, then starts to sob.

Mike curls up, the fibres of the material stretching, allowing him to bring his knees up to his chest.

CUT TO:

A fetus is suspended in embryonic fluid, encased by its translucent amniotic sack.

MIKE (O.S)

I don't want it to come...

INT. THE CELL - DAY

Legs still tight to his chest, Mike lies awake, the band and pillowcase back on his wrist.

At the door is a tray with a few sandwiches on. Mike's stomach growls.

CUT TO:

The tray is lifted, Mike taking a sandwich and bringing it to his lips--

The bread and cheese hit the concrete.

Mike stares at what should be the door. Before him is a murky red wall. He backs away--

C-CLANG

--dropping the tray.

As he back pedals the wall silently approaches, engulfing the tray and sandwiches on the floor, then the mattress.

Back to the opposing wall, Mike watches the room shrink.

Looking for an escape, his eyes hit the barred window.

The wall inching ever closer, Mike moves toward the window, shouting:

MIKE

HELP! SOMEONE!

He continues to yell into the black void, no sun, no moon, no clouds, as he pulls at the ba--

MIKE

AAARRGGHH...

The wall is upon him, pinning his arms awkwardly against the wall so he can't grip the bars, pressing his lower body against the brick wall as he aimlessly pushes his face into the barred porthole.

EXT. OUTSIDE

Agonised, no longer able to breathe, Mike can only close his eyes.

EXT. BEACH

Over Mike's shoulder is a vast, miserable ocean that meets a grey horizon far off in the distance.

Stood on the beige sand, Mike stares up at the melancholy overcast.

About a hundred metres to the right of Mike is Dr. Row. Another hundred metres to the left is The Woman In The Red Dress.

Without emotion, Mike continues to stare outwardly as the waves crash and slop against the beach.

Mike looks left... then right...

The sounds of the ocean fade to silence.

Down by his feet, Mike finds a large shell. He picks it up and puts it to his ear, hearing a calm orchestration of waves, wind and surf.

Over Mike's shoulder rests a barren desert in place of the ocean.

The sun beats down hard.

Shielding his eyes Mike looks left, then right, then left again.

INT. CELL

Dr. Row sits alone in a chair leant against the wall opposing Mike's mattress. She smokes vacantly, lost in empty thoughts.

Her last drag pulls the smouldering ash to the cigarette butt. Exhaling, she doesn't see the ash tip drop onto her leg--

DR. ROW

Ah... shit...

Wiping the hot ash away she begins coughing, cursing herself.

Expertly flicking the remainder of her cigarette across the room to bounce off the inside face of the window and through the bars, she gets out of her chair and makes for the door.

INT. THE CELL - EARLIER

Backed up against the wall Mike looks right to the window then forward to the tray full of sandwiches.

He takes a breath and starts toward it.

He picks up a sandwich and takes a bite. Grateful, he breathes heavily through his nose as he eats, leaning against the cell door.

Looking out of the window he sees that the world beyond is still masked by a pitch ambiguity.

His robes stain, flickering flakes of orange rust clear from the cell door as he slides down to sit.

Appetite suspended, Mike places the sandwich back on the tray by his side.

CUT TO:

The murky red wall, upon close inspection, is not so solid. Within, there appears to be moving, clumpy liquid.

CUT TO:

Dr. Row's back rests against the wooden chair's backrest.

CUT TO:

A caterpillar worms its way along a thin branch.

CUT TO:

Mike stands before a huge oak tree with an axe. He stares through the canopy, hopeless.

INT. THE CELL - LATER

Mike faces a wall, nose inches from the brick.

Silence...

INT. THE WALL - SAME

As if looking into a mirror Mike studies himself, features tensed.

His character relaxes and then smiles. He makes faces in the mirror like a child, pulling at his cheeks, grimacing and gurning.

BANG

His head snaps to the side. Washed over with playful aggression he grins.

INT. THE CELL

Mike steps into the middle of the room, confronting the darkness beyond the door.

The two Burly Men enter.

Though they are the same people, they have changed; one has become much fatter and a little shorter, the other has grown a few inches and is monstrously muscular.

Mike too has changed. He has gotten a little taller and much more muscular.

The fat man wears a tight wrestling LEOTARD and thigh-high boots. The muscular one wears tight latex SHORTS and thigh-high boots too. Mike has traded his hospital robes for loose wrestling trunks and grappling gloves.

The walls fall away.

In the surrounding darkness we hear the cheers of a crowd.

Heavy metal sends aggressive, convulsing waves soaring over the crowd.

The Burly Men start walking toward Mike who is now in the centre of a wrestling ring.

They slide in and circle him. Mike isn't phased, he keeps his chin up and arms by his side.

From the darkness above, a microphone descends.

A short, plump, grey haired REFEREE jumps into the ring and pushes Mike away from the centre and back to the ropes. He grabs the mic and opens his mouth to--

REF

A -

--Leotard snatches the mic away. The Ref tries to contest but only has his face pushed away.

Leotard smugly looks out at the absent yet booing crowd.

Shorts stands behind him, arms folded, staring at Mike, trying to seem as menacing as possible. Mike keeps his chin up.

The music fades away. The crowd's boos intensify.

LEOTARD

AAAAAARGH!

(the crowd dies down)

BEWARE! I'M OUT! BUT, I'VE COME BACK!

(points to Mike)

AND I'M AFTER YOU...

Mike shifts his weight from left to right.

LEOTARD

I'm gonna show this mumma's boy--this two-bit, ass lickin', jelly cake eating, motherfucker, what pain is. I'm gonna put fear in his heart and shit in his pants... I don't know, maybe some blood on the floor. You son of a prostitute, you cheap, dog shit lickin', dirt muffler. I'm gonna give you a show. I know you. I know your kind. I see right through you. I ain't scared. You ain't got shiiiiiiiiiit, on me.

(thumps chest)

I'm your worst nightmare, boy. I'm a hard-ass, get-going, force of nature, bitch. Try me and I'll slaughter you. I'm cut throat and commin'. Who's gonna stop me? I'll be so balls-deep in you brain matter that they might have to put me away again. But hold on... Hold. On. Let me show you this.

Leotard holds his hands out in front of him as if preparing for a magic trick. Wiping his hands down his leotard he beams a smirk.

As Leotard's hands run down his attire it turns from black to crimson red.

The crowd gasps.

Mike loses composure: fear surfaces.

Leotard grabs the mic again.

LEOTARD

You see! I know you. There ain't no hiding. I'm in the shadows. I'm in the walls. I'm in your veins. So, let me tell you what I want to do. I want to hold you head in my hands and pummel you until your nose comes out of you ear. I'm then gonna take the pulp that's left of your head and force it up your mother's cunt.

(fake hysteric laugh)

Mike balls his fists and steps toward him.

LEOTARD

(pretending to be apologetic)

But, wait. Wait. We'll get to that.

Mike takes a step back, he's fuming.

LEOTARD

(holding the mic away)

I'll piss in her ass then sit her on a campfire. I don't care.

Leotard holds the mic to his face.

LEOTARD

(over his shoulder)

You got something to say?

Leotard puts the mic to Shorts' face.

Shorts keeps his arms crossed and growls.

Leotard takes the mic back.

LEOTARD

Ohhhhhh. Hey, why don't you show 'em your thing.

Shorts unfolds his arms and beats his chest. His shorts pulse red.

Mike flinches. Leotard guffaws.

LEOTARD

I don't need to speak for him. But... remember. I'm cut throat and commin'. Straight. For. You...

The mic pulls back up into the darkness.

The Ref comes between Mike and Leotard, pushing them into their corners.

The crowd goes crazy as the commentators start to introduce the match - they too are off their heads with excitement.

D.J voices on steroids:

COMMENTATOR #1

This is it. This is fucking it! I can't believe it!

COMMENTATOR #2

(not into the mic)

Did you just say "fuck"!?

COMMENTATOR #1

Fuck, yes!

COMMENTATOR #2

All right. Well, I'm fucking pumped too. We've been waiting for this for years and it's finally here...

(continues)

The Ref tries to yell some kind of rules over the crowd, but nobody is listening.

REF

They'll be blood, but I don't want much of it. Don't do any foul things... don't break the rules... uh... You, out...

Shorts steps outside the ring.

REF

Ready?

Leotard and Mike prepare to fight.

DING

The Ref steps away and starts circling.

Mike doesn't move.

Leotard saunters into the middle of the ring and mocks him, licking his hand, wiping and then thrusting his hips as he slaps an imaginary ass.

Mike steps up.

They stand toe-to-toe, right in each other faces, breathing hard, knocking chests, yelling indiscernibly.

BANG

The bad guy makes the first move; Leotard slaps Mike straight in the chops.

Mike doesn't react, he stands still as Leotard laughs.

SMACK

Leotard slaps him again.

No response. Leotard tries to laugh but--

COMMENTATOR #2

The disrespect on display...

He bellows then claps his palm against Mike's jaw.

COMMENTATOR #1

Oooohhh...

This time Mike feels it. His face is turned by the force.

But, Mike just turns his head back and looks Leotard straight in the eye.

Leotard lifts his chin up and--

COMMENTATOR #1

There it is! The stink eye!

BAM

Leotard kicks Mike straight in the gut.

He doubles over.

Leotard grabs him by the shorts and prepares to go for a body slam.

Leotard tries to lift...

COMMENTATOR #2

But, no!

Mike's not having it.

Leotard tries again...

COMMENTATOR #1

Denied again! ...

He reverses...

COMMENTATOR #2

A reversal!

... and body slams him, lifting him way up into the air and...

B-BOOOOM

... smashing him back down.

COMMENTATOR #1

Fuck me, I felt that in my jowls.

Mike gets up quick, arms raised to the cheering crowd.

Leotard gets his feet under him slowly, slightly dazed.

Mike backpedals, bounces off the ropes and...

BAM

... hits Leotard with a devastating close-line.

The ropes shudder as the canvas welcomes Leotard's face...

COMMENTATOR #2

Mother, fuck me!

... he's knocked out cold.

Mike jumps on top of Leotard, going for the pin.

The Referee slides in for the count.

REF

ONE... TWO...

COMMENTATOR #1

It's ove--

COMMENTATOR #2

WATCH OUT!

The Ref is booted away. Mike is lifted off of Leotard, kicking, yelling--

BOOOOM

--Shorts lands a devastating body slam.

COMMENTATOR #2

Ohh...

COMMENTATOR #1

... robbed... positively robbed.

Shorts slaps Leotard's chest - he's tagged in - leaving Leotard to slowly roll off the canvas and out of harm's way.

COMMENTATOR #2

This only seems to be the beginning of a new end!

Woozy, Mike starts to get his feet under him. Shorts is already upon him.

He stands Mike up and pummels into his mid-section with a continuous barrage of lefts and rights, taking him across the ring and into the corner where he can put his head down and go to work on Mike like he were a piece of hanging meat.

COMMENTATOR #1

The devastation on display!

Slightly recovered, the Ref tries to step in but Shorts grabs him by the ears and tosses him out the ring.

The commentators love this...

COMMENTATOR #1

Yes! Yes...

COMMENTATOR #2

Fucking wonderful!

COMMENTATOR #1

Fuck that guy!

... as does the crowd.

Shorts goes back to work, ripping into Mike's body until he goes limp and falls to the canvas flat out and face down.

Shorts steps back and grins to the crowd.

COMMENTATOR #2

What could he possibly want to do now?

Still shook, Leotard is back on his feet and is reaching in for the tag.

Shorts denies him and grabs hold of Mike.

He lifts him over his head.

COMMENTATOR #2

Here's trouble!

Mike regains consciousness, realises where he is and starts thrashing about... but it's too late.

Shorts steps forward and...

BOOOOOM

... drops Mike behind him, his head bouncing off of the canvas like a rubber ball.

COMMENTATOR #1

Yikes!

Shorts raises his arms to the crowd with triumph.

Some cheer, some boo.

Pulling his knees under him, Mike tries to get up.

COMMENTATOR #1

Is there something left in this boy's tank?

Leotard starts calling for the tag again.

Shorts gives it to him.

COMMENTATOR #2

And in comes some fresh legs!

Leotard bounds back in with new life, taunting Mike whilst he's on his knees.

Mike weakly swats at him, but his hand is slapped away.

Leotard grabs his face and the thrusts his head between his legs, readying for a body slam.

Leotard grabs his crotch before gripping Mike's hips, rolling him upwards and then...

B-BAM

... slamming him down.

COMMENTATOR #1

Soup! That's all that this meat sack can be holding by now. Soup.

Before the wind is properly knocked out of Mike, Leotard sits him up, puts his knee in his back and pulls his arms backwards.

Mike screams.

COMMENTATOR #2

The pain must be excruciating!

Leotard thinks he has it won; he starts screaming out, relishing Mike's pain.

Mike starts to tap...

COMMENTATOR #2

There's the tap!

... the crowd is shocked...

COMMENTATOR #1

He's tapping!

... as is Leotard.

But, there's no Ref.

COMMENTATOR #1

Someone stop the fight!

Leotard pulls harder, smiling wider.

Mike's shadow, who is also in pain:

SHADOW

AHHH! FOOL!! AHHH...

The crowd starts cheering for Mike whilst the commentators are calling it as over.

COMMENTATOR #1

Someone stop it! God! The torture!

COMMENTATOR #2

I don't wanna see another broken bone.

COMMENTATOR #1

You've seen one humerus break, you've seen enough, I'll tell you that.

COMMENTATOR #2

Yeah. It's not funny...

Commentator #1 snorts.

Spluttering hopelessly, Mike's eyes turn towards the pitch above.

From within the crowd somewhere:

DR. ROW (O.S)

Come one! Fight!

CUT TO:

Mike, stood underneath the oak tree, exhales.

He grips his axe, holding it above his head.

CUT TO:

Lips pursing then peeling back to grit teeth, eyes re-focusing, despair giving way to determination, Mike starts to fight back.

COMMENTATOR #2

Something's happening...

Leotard isn't having it...

LEOTARD

Try as you will, you're fucked, boy!

... he pulls harder.

Mike screams, his whole body starting to throb, his veins bulging, about to burst.

Leotard's grip on his oiled and sweaty skin starts to slip.

The crowd cheers louder, even the commentators are starting to pull for him.

COMMENTATOR #2

There's some fucking heart in this kid!

COMMENTATOR #1

Some fucking heart!

His lungs rattling fury, Mike fights harder...

... his legs knocking against the ring...

... his arms slipping ever looser...

CUT TO:

BAM

The axe strikes wood.

CUT TO:

Mike slides free and falls forward.

Leotard falls back.

With new life Mike spins around on his knees.

COMMENTATOR #1

HE'S UP!

Leotard gets to his feet.

Mike pounces.

LEOTARD

OOOF!

He tackles Leotard hard, driving his shoulder right into his gut, taking him off of his feet and propelling him out of the ring.

The crowd goes wild but the commentators yell in warning:

COMMENTATOR #1

Here it comes!

COMMENTATOR #2

Watch out!

Mike turns around and...

BOOM

... he's close-lined by Shorts.

CROWD

BOOOOOO!!

Shorts loves it, he screams out to the crowd. But, Mike is straight up on his feet.

The crowd cheer rapturously.

He runs backwards, bounces off the ropes and...

BAM

... close-lines Shorts right back.

He doesn't stop there. Shorts bounces right back up, but only to be...

BOOM

... close-lined again...

BOOOOM

... and again...

BOOOOOM

... and again...

B-BOOOOM

On the fifth run Mike jumps into the air and smashes Shorts with a flying superman punch straight to the jaw.

Turned on his heels, Shorts teeters...

CUT TO:

The oak tree groans as it topples...

CUT TO:

BOOOOM

... and then hits the ground.

The Ref comes in for the count.

REF

ONE...

COMMENTATOR #2

... TWO...

CROWD

... THREE!

COMMENTATOR #1

That's it!

Mike stands triumphant as the crowd cheers.

COMMENTATOR #1

What a fucking match!

COMMENTATOR #2

The best ever!

COMMENTATOR #1

I honestly can't believe--

All is interrupted by blaring heavy metal.

Dozens of Burly Men in Leotards and latex Shorts swarm the ring.

The commentators go nuts, one repeats...

COMMENTATOR #2

Oh, my God, oh, my God... Oh... Oh, my God...

... over and over, the other tries to count how many there are...

COMMENTATOR #1

13, 14, 15... I can't even count how many there are!

COMMENTATOR #2

Oh, my God...

Shorts rolls out of the ring and in jumps the other wrestlers.

Mike is immediately downed.

More than twenty legs fight to stomp down on his body.

All is lost.

The commentators think he's dead.

COMMENTATOR #1

This is it...

COMMENTATOR #2

This can't be legal...

COMMENTATOR #1

We're witnessing murder!

But...

COMMENTATOR #1

NO!

Heavy metal fills the air again...

COMMENTATOR #2

What is that!?

... and from the darkness surges NINJAS in red, all baring six-foot samurai swords.

It's a bloodbath.

COMMENTATOR #1

Oh, my God...

The crowd screams.

The commentators go silent.

Slice, after slice, after slice, after slice, all turns crimson.

Soon all that is left is the circle of Samurai Ninjas kicking body parts out of the ring.

Mike gets to his feet, standing amidst the massacre, drenched in blood.

Soon all the body parts are out the ring.

The Samurai Ninjas turn to Mike.

He freezes, only able to stare back and wait.

SHADOW

Fuck...

After a stale moment, the Samurai Ninjas turn and leave.

Mike's left silenced in the pools of blood.

Outside of the ring, the original Leotard stands looking at the scene - at the numerous decapitated heads and severed limbs of his other selves - completely horrified.

Mike looks down at him, then flips him off.

Leotard turns and runs into the darkness.

The crowd goes wild, all of a sudden the mass murder is forgotten.

The commentators burst back in praising the match, astounded at what they witnessed.

COMMENTATOR #2

I'm astounded!

COMMENTATOR #1

That was so unbelievably fucking awesome! How is he standing!?

COMMENTATOR #2

It's got my vote: best match ever!

The huge man with red eyes and without out the shirt emerges from the darkness and stomps on Shorts.

Meanwhile, Mike starts to accept the cheers of the crowd. He lifts his arms in celebration.

Out of nowhere Dr. Row appears behind him with a steel chair and...

BANG

Mike is knocked out cold.

>SMASH TO BLACK

The crowd lose their minds, the commentators are practically strangling each other they're so excited.

COMMENTATOR #2

What a twist! What a twist! What a turn of events!

COMMENTATOR #1

I thought she was coming in to give the boy a smooch, then BAM! So awesome!

COMMENTATOR #2

So awesome. You couldn't write this stuff.

COMMENTATOR #1

No one could...

Slowly the cacophony fades into silence.


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