Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant (2009) Script

DARREN: You know, sometimes it seems like life is all planned out.

There's no choice in the matter.

We're all gonna end up in the same place, whether we like it or not.

But sometimes things aren't so simple.

You can end up hurting the people you love the most, betraying the people you want to come through for.

That's not me. That's my best friend, Steve.

We've been best friends since third grade, when he punched this kid, Billy Utsch, for slamming a locker door on my head.

That's me. I'm Darren Shan, and this is my story.

Oh, and, trust me, spending this much time in a coffin was never part of my plan.

Guess I'm just lucky.


(SCHOOL BELL RINGING)

(STUDENTS CHATTERING)

DARREN: Up until recently, my life was pretty good.

I was popular enough.

I got good grades, 'cause my allowance was tied to it.

A's! I love you. I love you.

Yeah, that's the boy. That's the boy.

Hey, you. BOY: What's up, D?

DARREN: And I had some cool friends.

Hey, what's up?

DARREN: Uh, not including that dude.

I mean, we were friends in fifth grade, but he'd become kind of a freak.

See, that used to matter to me.

There was one thing in my life that was a bit insane, one friend.

Hey. My best friend.

Let's cut, all right? What?

No, we're here. Class is starting, man.

All right, folks.

What you got for me?

Okay, listen, I cannot deal with that jerk today.

All right, Mr. Perfect, come on, take a risk. Take a risk. Come on!

(STEVE GRUNTS)

(CLATTERING)

So, hey, I'm thinking about moving to Mexico. You want to go?

Yeah, sure. Why not?

Yeah, you're not going anywhere, Mr. Perfect.

(GLASS SHATTERING)

Oh, shit.

Hey, man, I bet you can't hit that light from all the way back here.

What? No, we're gonna get busted.

"Steve, we're gonna get busted."

Hey! Rock. Come on.

And so the Mutually Assured Destruction policy of the Cold War

(GLASS SHATTERING) Was just that. Mad.

What the heck is that?

(MRS. SHAN SOBBING)

I'm so sorry.

It's that Steve. It's that damn Steve.

Uh...

Did Darren tell you he got an A on his math test?

Yes, he did, honey. Go to your room.

You are not going to be friends with that Steve anymore!

Mom, I'm not five years old.

You can't tell me who I can and can't be friends with.

You are on a good path, Darren, and that Steve is knocking you right off that path.

What path?

The path to a happy, productive life.

To a good college, a great job and a family of your own.

A happy, productive life. College, job, family!

College, job, family!

And one day, if you're really lucky, you'll be standing here yelling at a teenager of your own!

DARREN: College, job, family!

College, job, family!

College, job, family! It's not that hard!

MRS. SHAN: Darren, are you listening?

So, wait. You...

What, you told your parents you're not gonna be friends with me anymore?

Yeah, but, I mean, it doesn't mean anything.

We're still like best friends.

Okay, like what, secret best friends?

Yeah, kind of.

I mean, no, it's like...

Look, I don't care what they say.

Bullshit.

You do care what they say. You do whatever they say.

That's just who you are.

You never stand up for yourself or anybody else.

Maybe your parents are right.

Maybe you shouldn't be friends with me. I'm nothing. I'm garbage.

You're not garbage.

You're my friend. You're my best friend.

(MYSTERIOUS MUSIC PLAYING)


Whoa!

"Cirque du Freak. One night only. The world's greatest freak show.

"Five hundred years." What the heck?

Dude, that looks awesome.

I can't go, though. I'm grounded for two months.

Right. And we're also not friends anymore.

What's this?

A freak show? This is illegal.

I hope you weren't thinking of attending this.

Because the idea of taking a group of disgusting, weird, deformed people and exploiting them for money... Not in our town.

I'm assuming no one in this class would actually go to this.


Hey. You know that means something when the moon looks like that.

I read about it...

In one of your vampire books?

DARREN: I should explain.

Steve was obsessed with vampires, and I, on the other hand, was obsessed with spiders.

I don't know why. It was just like it was in our blood or something.

"Back in three seconds"?

One, two, three. It's been three seconds.

(DOOR OPENS)

(THUDDING)

(STEVE LAUGHS)

Uh...

Okay.

I guess they want money.

Hey, I need two tickets, please.

Hey! Hey!

Hey, come on. I gave you the money, give me the ticket.

(SNARLING) Ow! Whoa!

Holy crap! God, what was that?

Hey, come on!

(FOOTSTEPS RETREATING)

And it's gone.

You okay? Yeah.

Hello?

Are you boys 21?

Are you 21?

Say yes.

Yeah. Yeah.

Good. You don't have a tendency towards panic, sudden cardiac arrest or crippling anxiety, do you?

Say no.

No. No.

All right, then.

Go ahead in. Show is about to start.

(AUDIENCE MURMURING)

Welcome.

Welcome to the Cirque du Freak, the oldest continuously operating freak show in the Western hemisphere.

We have toured for 500 years, bringing the bizarre to generation after generation.

May I present the Wolfman!

(ROARING)

(WOMEN SCREAMING)

(CLICKING TONGUE)

(FLIES BUZZING)

MR. TALL: (SOFTLY) No sudden noises.

(GROWLS)

Dude, he totally just scratched his balls.

(CRACKING KNUCKLES)

(AUDIENCE GASPS)

(ROARING)

(SCREAMING) STEVE: No!

Call an ambulance!

It's okay. That's not necessary.

(MR. TALL CLICKS TONGUE)

Good boy.

And stay.

(AUDIENCE APPLAUDING)

MR. TALL: Ladies and gentlemen, the enchanting recycling queen, Corma Limbs.

And now our resident hunger artist, Alexander Ribs!

(AUDIENCE GASPS)

Freaky-freak, freak for freak freak.

Oh, look, a candy corn.

And next, Gertha Teeth!

And Rhamus Twobellies!

I have arrived!

(EXCLAIMS IN DISGUST)

Hey, nice bike!

Come on. That is so rude.

And next, Evra the Snake Boy!

(BIPPO HISSING)

Stay, Bippo.

So, I'm Evra Von Britow, and we are Serpentine.

(SCOFFS) Who's "we"?

There'll be some CDs for sale in the lobby immediately following the show.

(GUITAR PLAYING ON AMPLIFIER)

(AMPLIFIER TURNS OFF)

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING)

Bippo! No!

Bippo, drop it, spit that out!

Yes, I'm glad you're all enjoying this so much. It's awesome.

Evra, please be professional.

It's not my fault. I just want to play music.

We'll discuss it later.

But...

And now, the voluptuous, the exotic, the insightful Madame Truska!

(EXOTIC DRUMBEAT PLAYING)

Do we have someone brave enough to be my assistant?

MAN 1: Over here. MAN 2: Oh, yeah.

Come on. Come on.

You.

(GASPS)

Who are you?

My name is Fred Smith. I'm from out of town.

(AUDIENCE APPLAUDING)

Larten, finish your act quickly, and let's leave this town early.

What? I have someone here tonight.

Ready for more?

Larten Crepsley and Madam Octa!

(GASPS)

Don't go on. I have a foreboding.

You always have a foreboding, beautiful.

Larten!

(PEOPLE EXCLAIMING)

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.

I am so excited to be here in anonymous small town which used to have character but is now just a bland suburb filled with chain stores and surrounded by slums.

It really is a pleasure to be here.

And I am so honored that blah, blah, blah and so on and so forth, et cetera, ad nauseum.

I'm afraid I have some unfortunate news, however.

I had hoped to present my usual act, but my spider, Madam Octa, seems to have escaped from her cage and is currently missing.

Use caution when retrieving your belongings from beneath your seats.

She is very poisonous.

But not to worry.

Tonight I will perform for you some startling illusions.

First, a rabbit from a hat.

(EXCLAIMS)

(AUDIENCE GASPS)

This is Madam Octa.

Interesting fact, one bite from this spider means certain death.

But don't worry. As long as I stay calm...

She's beautiful.

If I could just get my flute, that usually...

(EXCLAIMING)

(PLAYING FLUTE)

Darren. His name's not Larten Crepsley.

It's Vur Horsten. He's a vampire.

I saw his painting in one of my vampire books.

It's him. He's got the same scars, the same hair, the same everything.

(AUDIENCE GASPING)

You seriously think he's a vampire?

Yeah.

(PEOPLE SCREAMING)

May I have my spider back, please?

Now, boys, vampires don't exist, but if one did and he thought someone knew, he might smother them in their sleep.

That's it! Show's over!

It's Mr. Kersey. Come on, let's go.

By order of the Health Inspector, this theater is shut down!

Good Lord, not again.

Welcome to the Cirque. What seems to be the problem?

We don't want you filthy people here.

That's not the problem.

The problem is you are exploiting these poor people for profit.

Thank you. Thank you so much for looking out for us.

So you gonna let us move in with you? Give us jobs?

(ALL EXCLAIMING) Freak!

GERTHA: So clumsy. I felt like a manatee. It felt terrible.

LOAF HEAD: No.

Octa.

Anyone here?

Whoa.


Hey, Octa. I'm Darren. I'm a big fan.

(PLAYING HESITANTLY)

CREPSLEY: (DISTANTLY) We can speak in private. It's the only...

We can talk in private. The police have left now.

GAVNER: So, this is what you've been doing with your life.

CREPSLEY: You didn't like the act.

(SOFTLY) I'm insane. I'm insane. I'm insane.

Well, I saw the spider bit coming.

Everybody's a critic.

It's not easy to hold an audience's attention these days.

To us and Charna's Guts. To us and Charna's Guts.

Did you see that fingernail moon tonight?

The first one in 50 years.

Yes. I noticed it.

Look, Vincent's dead.

Murdered. Sucked dry by one of them.

(LAUGHING MANIACALLY)

They're after us, man. They're after us. They're after us!

Those damn Vampaneze! They're gonna pick us off.

First Vincent, then you, then me.

Why me before you?

Well, because I'm the toughest, and they'll save me for last.

Oh. Of course, I forgot.

Well, what about the Vampire Council?

They must have something to say about Vincent.

Yes. They say good riddance. They're a bunch of wimps now, Larten.

They'll do anything to avoid a war with the Vampaneze.

There are no real generals left, hombre. You and I were the last of the Mo-Freakins!

And to top it off, Tiny's back.

Mr. Tiny? Back from the other side?

Yes! Just last week he was at the Council Library, messing with the Book of Souls.

He's trying to destroy us all!

Megalomaniac! That man's a megalomaniac!

And those murderous, scumbag Vampaneze, they're up to something, too, and it's all connected.

It's all connected. I can feel it!

Come with me. We can avenge old Vincent.

Kill us some Vampaneze!

No. I'm sorry.

No? Why?

I'm done fighting.

I left that life for a reason. I'm just a vaudevillian.

It's a simple life, and I like it.

(PANTING)

Steve.

I know who you are. I know what you are, Vur Horsten.

Who sent you? The Apocalypse Monger? The Blood Barons?

No... No one. I... No one sent me. I just...

I have these vampire books, and I saw a painting of him with some girl in, like, 1819.

It said that she broke up with him when she found he was a vampire.

(LAUGHING)

Did you hear that, Gavner?

Missy broke up with me because I was a vampire.

Funny, I always thought it was the only thing she liked about me.

Let the kid go. Let him go.

Now, are you mentally unfit?

Didn't you hear me threaten you at the show?

I did. It was awesome.

You see, I want this. I want you to make me into a vampire.

I mean, vampires, they don't take crap from anybody.

They live by their own set of rules.

It's true they do have their own rules. We wrote some of them.

Yes, and one of them is children can't become vampires.

Look, look, blood.

(GASPS)

Blood.

You see, Gavner, blood.

Look, if you become a vampire, you have to leave your friends and your family.

It's deeply depressing. Trust me.

Now get out of here.

I haven't seen my dad in years.

My mom is drunk all the time.

I absolutely hate my life.

I never actually said it before, but it's the truth.

This is what I was meant for.

What you're meant for?

Well, if that's the case, let's test your blood.

No. No.

(SPITS)

Who sent you here? Your blood tastes of evil.

(SPITTING)

You can never be a vampire.

STEVE: What?

I have what, bad blood?

I'm never gonna forget this.

One day, I promise you, I will hunt you down.

And what?

Kill me?

Do you know how easily I could kill you? I could do it tonight.

I could knock you out and lay you in front of a bus, and no one would ever know!

Calm down. Save that stuff for the enemy. He's just an idiot kid, who should be leaving right now while he still can.

(DOOR SLAMS)

(SIGHS)

You're out there, man.

All right. One for the road.

I'm headed back to the Mountain to try to convince those old cowards to stand up against the Vampaneze.

Gavner, if we kill one of them, it means war.

Wouldn't that be a shame?

Poor old Vincent.

You've been awfully quiet under there.

(SIGHS)


Get in.

(TAPPING)

(WHIRRING)

Thanks. Thanks, I really needed a ride.

Oh, absolutely, absolutely delighted.

(MURLAUGH GRUNTING)

Are you the one known as Steve?

No, I'm the one known as Darren.

I actually had a bike.

But I'll just get it tomorrow in the daylight.

No need. It's in the trunk.

Now, if I may ask, Darren, do you believe in the immutability of the human soul?

The what?

So, he knows nothing of souls, does he?

Knows only of blood, huh?

The pulsing, the delicious, the ruby red.

(WHIRRING)

(GRINDING)

(CHUCKLES)

Wow, wow, you know what? You can just let me off right here.

What's the rush?

After all, didn't we save you from the scary, scary vampire?

Doesn't act like leadership material.

Acts more like a bag of blood. Are you? Huh?

Bag of blood?

Shows how much you know, Murlaugh.

I think he reeks of potential.

Ow! Sorry.

Souvenir.

We all have a destiny, Darren.

And with a few simple tests, we can find out what yours is.

Wonderful to meet you, Darren.

It's like looking in a mirror.

Darren!

We'll be in touch.

(EXCLAIMS)

Freaky dream. Freaky. Freaky.

Hey. Hey, I'm gonna try to get you some food, okay?

Just hold on one sec. I'm gonna go get some flies from the window sill, okay?

Hey. Why have you been acting so weird?

I'm not acting weird.

You were just talking to your backpack.

What?

No, I wasn't. Darren, yes, you were.

I wasn't. Let me... Just let me see it a second.

You see? It's just my backpack. Seriously, stop it.

Hey, give me my backpack, man. Hey, just let me see it.

Holy shit! That's... That's the...

Yeah, I went back to the theater after the show and I kind of borrowed it.

You stole from a vampire? Do you realize you're a dead man?

Shh! You're a dead man!

He's never gonna find me.

Okay, just...

Wait a second. When did you go to Vur Horsten's room, and what did you see?

All right, I saw everything.

Steve, are you crazy? Why would you want to become a vampire?

Listen, you can't understand. You have everything.

What do I have? A secret best friend?

Hey, leave it in there, okay?

It's fine. I want to see it.

Be careful. Hey, be careful, okay? Be really careful.

(DARREN CLEARS THROAT)

This thing's even more hideous close up.

Can you just put it back now, please?

(SCHOOL BELL RINGING)

(BOTH EXCLAIMING)

DARREN: Okay, I need the pipe.

GIRL: I got a B-minus in history.

DARREN: No!

(GIRLS SCREAMING)

Oh, my gosh, what is that?

(WHISTLING)

(STUDENTS CLAMORING)

Move!

DARREN: Steve! Wait!

(SCREAMING) What's going on?

STEVE: Move! Get out of the way, idiots!

Watch out! Move!

Hey! Steve, don't!

Now I got you! Hold still!

What's the matter with you? Whose side are you on?

Hey! No! Hey!

GIRL: Guys, look, it's in his shirt!

(STUDENTS SCREAMING)

Get it off me!

GIRL: Oh, my God!

(GRUNTS)


So what have you come to steal from me this time? Thief!

Nothing. Nothing.

Look, Octa bit my best friend, Steve, and he's in the hospital,

And I was wondering if you had an antidote.

I do.

Thank you.

But I only have a couple doses left.

Why should I waste any on some little psychopath?

Please, I'm begging you, okay?

Look, I'm really sorry I stole Octa.

I don't know what came over me. I never steal things.

Why not?

Because it's wrong.

So then you've learned a valuable moral lesson.

Yes, I have.

And you'll never do anything wrong again, as long as you live.

No, I won't.

You see? Now you're a thief and a liar.

What did Mr. Tiny want?

Mr. Tiny?

The fat man in the limousine!

I don't know, something about souls and... And destiny.

And he knew where I lived.

Looks like you're in deep shit, my larcenous friend.

Mr. Tiny doesn't just take a random interest in people.

And the people he does take an interest in wind up dead or worse.

What's worse than dead?

Oh.

Lots of things.

All right. I'll do it. I'll make you a bargain.

You'll become my assistant. I'll turn you into a half vampire.

You'll be able to go out in the daylight, very useful for me.

You'll do chores for me and guard my coffin on the road.

And in return, I'll try and keep Mr. Tiny away from you.

Oh, and I'll save your stupid friend Steve, despite the fact that he threatened to kill me.

You'll save Steve?

Why not?

If I became a half vampire, would I have to kill people?

Interested, huh?

Vampires don't kill the people they feed on. Vampaneze do.

Big source of controversy, war for about 80 years, then a truce, getting ugly again, apparently. But time's wasting.

Want to become a vampire?

It's a lonely life, but there's lots of it.

I can't make that decision right now.

Do you wanna go home and ask your mommy and daddy?

Do they make all the decisions for good little boys like you?

No, they don't.

Poor Steve doesn't have much time left.

Fine, I'll do it. To save my friend, not for any other reason.

So get the antidote.

Right here.

Thank you. Thank you so much.

First things first.

Let's test your blood.

What are you doing? I'm not gonna bite you in the jugular. I could kill you that way.

Show me your hands.

Ow!

Mmm.

You have good blood. This will work. All right, hold up your hands.

We're going to exchange blood.

That's creepy.

I know. But that's how it's done.

This may hurt when it gets to your heart.

(HEARTBEAT ACCELERATING)

I feel cold.

Lick your fingers.

Whoa, is that like vampire power? Do I have super-spit now?

Yes, you have super-spit. The rest will take a while.

The rest of what? What will I be able to do?

Can I, like, turn into a bat and stuff?

No, that's bullshit.

Now hop on my back. We're going to flit.

We're gonna what?

Just shut up and hop on my back.

(INHALES DEEPLY)

(EXHALES)

(EXCLAIMS)

(GASPING)

You held your breath, right?

Did I not tell you to hold your breath?

(GRUNTS) Oh...

Sorry.

Hold on.

Why didn't we just take the elevator?

I get claustrophobic.

Strange, huh, given where I sleep every night.

But somehow when it's my own confined space, it's different.

He looks horrible. Can you give him the antidote, please?

She really didn't like him.

DARREN: Be careful.

Hey, what are you doing?

Shh.

That's it, right? He's gonna be better now?

That's it.

(ALARMS BEEPING)

(SIGHS)

You are insufferable.

Back! Stay back!

WOMAN ON PA: Code blue...

You have no idea how ridiculous you look right now.

Code blue...

All right. If you want to pretend this isn't happening, fine.

But being a vampire takes skill. What is a code blue?

Code blue, code blue...

Try not to do something stupid like kill your family.

Code blue, code blue, room 519, stat.

You are not supposed to be in here!

Code blue. All available staff please report to room...

(ROCK MUSIC PLAYING)

BOY: It must have hurt.

Yeah, it hurt.

It wasn't... It wasn't fun.

It's great you're back.

Yeah. We missed you.

Well, well, well, Steve is back, huh?

So, Steve, what you got for me?

Stay away from those brownies. They're for dessert.

Okay. No brownies.

Next...

Hey, Darren, do you think that this outfit looks better on her, or this?

What's going on?

(HEART THUMPING)

You look weird. Darren.

(ROARS) Darren!

(SCREAMS)

Sorry.

Sorry, I... I was just pretending to be a vampire.

(BREATHING HEAVILY)

CREPSLEY: Nice room.

Some excellent reading material you have here.

Thought this was all on the Internet now.

Mine's blocked.

Hmm.

(SNIFFLING)

Don't... No, don't do that. Don't cry.

Honestly. Stop, stop. No.

I'm not crying.

Of course not. That's what...

Look, I don't want to hurt people, okay? I'm not like you.

I was this close away from killing my sister.

Perhaps you should have thought of that before you stole my spider!

Look, I'm sorry, but you can't stay here.

You're going to have to leave them.

Like forever?

Like forever.

It's time to admit that to yourself, Darren.

But you can't just leave.

You're going to have to die first.

(KNOCKING ON DOOR)

Hi, Mom. Hi, Dad.

MR. SHAN: Hmm?

Hi. Hi.

Hey, I just wanted to say that you guys are really, really good parents.

You're doing a great job, and I'm sorry for not doing all my chores and for complaining so much.

And I love you guys a lot.

We love you, too, sweetie.

Bye, Annie.

How old were you when you became a vampire?

Twenty. It was 1803, the third of May.

I'd just been left by my fiancée, Hesther Collins.

I thought she was the most beautiful girl in Baltimore.

I saw her again 60 years later. She was an old crone, but my heart still beat like a jackrabbit.

Wow, dumped, huh?

So big, bad, old Crepsley became a vampire 'cause he got dumped?

(LAUGHING)

Have you ever been dumped?

Yeah.

Then perhaps you should be more sympathetic.

Here it is. Drink up.

My lips are numb.

Good.

I've got pins and needles in my hands.

Excellent. That means it's working.

Nice night, actually.

Is that the Little Dipper or the Big one? I can never remember.

Sorry about that.

I had to do that or they would never believe you were dead. Don't worry.

There's no damage to your spinal cord, and I'll sneak into the funeral home and fix your broken neck.

Oh, and sorry about this next part.

Darren, I hate you so much for leaving me here with these idiots.

Darren. Hey, Shan!

Asswipe, are you in there? Darren! Steve.

Okay, time out, time out. Not about you. We're all feeling grief.


Wake-y, wake-y.

Here. Fill that hole.

I can't do that. I'm all cramped up. My legs are still numb.

Can you feel this?

Ow! What the heck?

(SNIFFING)

Do you smell a rotting corpse?

Ha, ha, very funny.

Get back in the grave.

I'm not getting back in the grave.

Don't argue with me. Get in.

No.

(GASPS)

(CREPSLEY GRUNTING)

Hello, old friend. Old Crepsley. How's the scar?

Shall I give you another?

(BOTH GRUNTING)

(SCREAMS)

(MURLAUGH LAUGHS)


(DARREN EXCLAIMS)

Hello, bag of blood.

You're coming with me.

(EXCLAIMING)

Run!

(SPITS)

You come with Murlaugh now. You're one of us.

Not one of those filthy vampires.

DARREN: (MUFFLED) Let me go!

Where are we going?

(DARREN EXCLAIMS)

Hold your breath.

DARREN: What? No, no, no, no, no, no.

(CAR HORN BLARING)

Let's go!

Not yet!

(HORN BLARING)

Don't look behind you.

Oh, my God. Oh, my God! Are you all right?

Come here!

(PANTING)

Breathe.

GIRL 1: Right over the plate!

GIRL 2: Oh, my God.

Do you know those guys?

Are we there yet?

Almost.

(LAUGHTER ECHOING)

DARREN: Where are we?

CREPSLEY: The Cirque's winter campgrounds.

You'll be safe here if they let you stay.

Try to fit in.

Come on.

So all the freaks live here?

Yes.

(PEOPLE CHATTERING)

(CLEARS THROAT)

Don't stare.

MAN: It's really...

LOAF HEAD: You want to go to my tent? You know, we can rehearse in my tent.

GERTHA: I'm not gonna rehearse in your tent.

It'll be great, you know. You always have fun in my tent.

Wait here for me.

MAN 1: Well, I was thinking about it.

I mean, you're not gonna be able to do this forever, right?

MAN 2: If you set everything up, so I can just fill it out.

Neutral. The Cirque has always remained neutral.

That's how it has survived all these years.

You'll still be neutral.

I'm not trying to drag you into anything. I'm trying to keep myself out of it.

And why exactly do you think Tiny wants this boy?

I'm not sure yet.

But whenever Mr. Tiny wants something, I make it my policy to try and keep him from it.

That's a dangerous policy.

Hey, what are you doing? That's Mr. Tall's tent.

Hi, I'm Darren.

What are you doing here?

(LAUGHS)

That's what I'm trying to figure out.

You can listen if you want.

How much does the boy know?

Nothing.

He's waiting by my tent if you want to speak with him.

You know, Larten, the thing you might not realize about children is, they don't always do what they're told!

Rebecca. Don't you have work you should be doing?

Yes. Sorry, Mr. Tall. It won't happen again. I mean, I don't eavesdrop on people.

It was his idea.

I didn't make you do anything.

Well, you couldn't make me do anything if you tried.

Oh, really, huh?

MR. TALL: Enough. Rebecca, I would like you to take Darren to Evra's tent.

Evra will be his roommate while he stays with us.

You'll have to work, Darren. Everybody here pitches in.

That's fine.

I actually worked for my dad's office a couple of weeks this summer.

I did photocopies, so...

This is on a temporary basis, Larten. I can't endanger everybody for your sake.

Of course. Thank you.

So, what are you doing here anyway, with all these freaks?

Why? Do you have a problem with freaks?

No, I mean, they kind of freak me out, but...

They freak you out. Clever, really clever.

Well, I really have to get back to work. Harkat can show you the way.

Harkat, take Darren to Evra's tent, please.

(GRUMBLING)

Well, you better follow him.

Okay, see you sometime.

(CHUCKLES)

No, I saw what you did to my friend Steve's hand at the theater, buddy.

(GRUMBLING)

Dude, I'm not giving you my hand, okay?

(WHIMPERING)

I'm sorry. Here.

(SNARLS)

TRUSKA: Harkat!

You have to stop biting people, or no one will want to be around you.

You.

Death.

Redemption. Despair.

(EXCLAIMS)

Triumph. Disaster.

What did I say?

"Death, redemption, despair, triumph, disaster."

Well, don't worry about it. Go ahead, Harkat. Take him to Evra's.

And no more teeth.

(MOANS)

You mean, this is it?

EVRA: Chill in the laundry for a sec. There you go. Good girl.

Good snake. Love you.

(HISSING)

So, I guess we're gonna be roommates. So how are you f'd up?

F'd up? Freaked up.

How... What kind of freak are you?

Oh, I'm not a freak. I'm normal.

You're normal?

No. I mean, I'm half vampire, but I'm completely normal.

You're a half vampire, but you're normal.

I like that.

And don't worry about, like, if I'm gonna drink your blood or anything.

I'm not gonna drink anyone's blood.

What a relief. Okay, this isn't awkward at all.

This is your corner of the tent. All right?

You do not cross over to any other part of the tent, except to enter and exit the tent. All right?

And you are never, ever to touch my stuff, especially this stuff over here.

This is my recording studio.

Oh, cool. Yeah, I... I actually used to have a drum set, but, you know, my parents made me give it away, so...

Mmm. Yeah.

Well, there are no parents here.

(CHUCKLES)

Oh...

(EXCLAIMS IN DISGUST)

Yeah. Shedding, itches like crazy.

You should actually go wash your hand off before you get pink eye.

(CLICKING TONGUE RAPIDLY)

Did you forget to tell me you were going to go away for a couple of days? Huh?

I can't believe you're treating me like this. I've been worried sick.

Why can't you just get a cell phone?

Because vampires don't need cell phones.

(SCOFFS) "Vampires don't need this, vampires don't need that."

I'll tell you what vampires need.

They need to listen. Didn't I tell you that I had a foreboding?

And what do you do? You show up here with that kid.

It's been a long night. I just flitted across two states.

I think I'll just hit the pine early.

No, wait.

You don't love me anymore. It's my beard.

You know how I feel about you. I just don't want to outlive anyone.

It's depressing watching people you care about grow old while you stay young.

Have you looked at yourself in the mirror lately?

(CHUCKLES)

You're no kid.

Oh, no, no. I'm still angry at you. Mmm-mmm.

Mmm-mmm.

Your mouth says no, but your beard says yes.

I can't believe he's gone, man.

I know. He was like my best friend.

No, he was my best friend.

I knew him first. So what?

I thought he was a dick.

What? What?

Dude. Oh, my...

Here, get up before one of the teachers see you. That kid's psycho.

Mr. Leonard, what you got for me here? Finish the quiz already?

MR. TINY: Careful. Whoa!

The first step is a big one.

Oh, I know. You miss the one known as Darren.

You feel betrayed, abandoned. You're a loyal friend, unlike him.

Darren was a loyal friend.

Oh, really?

What if I told you he's still alive? He's taken your place, stealing your dreams. Oh, I know.

You dream of killing people, drinking their blood.

You dream of leading a great, bloodthirsty army.

Who the hell are you?

I'm Mr. Tiny.

Are you a vampire?

No, I'm not a vampire. I'm not a Vampaneze.

I'm an aficionado.

I want to see a marvelous war.

What do you want from me, you freak?

I'm not a freak. I despise freaks.

Can a freak travel back and forth between life and death?

I think not.

Can a freak create new life from rotting flesh and dead souls?

Please.

Can a freak bring about the apocalypse and rule the world?

No.

Sadly, neither can I, not without help. I need a champion.

One of two boys, two dear friends.

And by the way, I love your DNA.

(EXHALES)

You care for a pancake?

No, I can't. I'm...

We know what you are.

You're bad news. That's what.

(SCOFFS)

But nothing I couldn't deal with in just about two bites.

(CHOMPING)

Don't mind him. He just needs some Ex-Lax.

Welcome to the Cirque.

Thank you.

Would you like to eat one of my hands? I can grow them back.

Yeah, they are delicious.

Hey, Vampelina.

Come on, we gotta go clean out Wolfie's cage, and then Crepsley left, like, a list of stuff for you to do for him.

It looks like you're Crepsley's bitch now.

Evra. What?

(GROWLING)

Okay, so you guys are gonna do it. And go.

DARREN: I can't believe the tiny people eat these rats.

REBECCA: They'll eat you if you don't watch out.

(EXCLAIMS) Don't!

So where do you come from anyways?

(GRUNTS)

(EXCLAIMS)

I guess I could probably, like, open this up, and you'd probably turn into dust or something, huh?

You wouldn't like that now, would you, Dracula?

Who's the boss now, baby?

Okay. Concentrate now. How hard can it be to flit?

(GROANS)

Ow. Perfect.

(SHUDDERS)

What's the point?

I'm just not that much of a freak.

Gertha, you're a major freak.

Sorry, you're not my type.

Do you ever miss your family?

Not really.

I joined the Cirque when I was two. Two days old, that is.

Mr. Tall found me in a dumpster. So I guess this is my family.

(PLAYING GUITAR)

(SINGING) Dumpster baby, oh, dumpster baby I wanna be your dumpster baby

No.

Hey, this is Steve. You know what to do.

What are you doing?

Oh, nothing.

May I see it?

Yeah, I guess.

I've always wanted one of these.

Hey! What are you doing?

We must be very careful who we talk to, Darren.

(CAR APPROACHING)

(ROARS)

(ALL MUTTERING EXCITEDLY)

(MAKING MONKEY CALLS)

Go to your tent and stay there with Evra.

Yes. I have returned.

I have returned!

Unacceptable. Unforgivable. To blood a child?

(ACCUSING IN FRENCH)

By the way, is he drinking enough blood?

He's not drinking any blood.

Not drinking blood?

Crepsley, don't you know he has to? He must.

Or perhaps you're worried he'll love it too much.

He might be Vampaneze at heart.

You'd like that.

You've been favoring them for the last 100 years.

On the contrary, I'm strictly neutral, like the Cirque.

Correct, Mr. Tall?

Correct.

Then tell us why you want him.

It's one of your self-fulfilling prophecies, isn't it?

Well, one does dream of the cataclysm.

This truce may not last forever.

There might be new leaders. New blood, as it were.

Perhaps a boy, a bloodthirsty boy.

It's all been written.

Then why do you care? You're up to something, Desmond.

Me? I may write the script, but the characters have a tendency to do as they please.

You, for example, have an unseemly amount of free will.

Now, Mr. Tall, will you be reasonable and give me the child?

I've always done what you ask. I'm not one to cause trouble.

But I need to think about all this. I won't make a decision hastily.

You know, I always get what I want, in the end.

(ALL CHATTERING)

MR. TINY: Keep an eye on him, my pets.

Hey, dude. Sorry, we're on our own today.

Rebecca's back in the costume shop.


Hey.

I'm here for Crepsley's cape.

It's that red one with, like, the...

I know what Crepsley's cape looks like.

What do your friends want?

Hey! Beat it!

Does this trailer have, like, a back entrance or something?

Yeah, it's right back there. Wait, your pants are ripped.

Take them off. Try this pair on.

DARREN: They fit.

Yeah.

So, you know, Rebecca, you...

You never really told me what you're doing here with the Cirque.

Well, Darren, since you ask, I'm a monkey girl.

You're a what?

What?

Nothing, I thought you just said you were a monkey girl.

Well, oh, yeah.

Yeah.

What does that mean?

It means I have a tail. Do you have a problem with that?

No, because... 'Cause you're joking, right?

No, I'm not joking. I keep it wrapped up because people kept stepping on it.

Oh.

Yeah.

Anyway, your pants look really good.

Yeah, I know. You picked it out. That's really good.

(YELPING)

Shush!

Thanks. They've been spying on me all day.

So if you were interested in a girl, okay, and she had like...

Like a tail, let's say, would that be a problem or...

Well, I'll put it to you this way.

If you had told me a couple hundred years ago that I would someday be dating a woman with bristles on her chin, I would have told you you were insane. But here we are.

By the way, there's a new rule. You're not to leave camp anymore.

Why not?

Because I said so.

(SCOFFS)

You're not my dad. You can't just tell me what to do...

CREPSLEY: When was the last time you were in a fight?

DARREN: Uh... Second grade.

Steve's usually the one that gets in all the fights.

Well, Steve's not here to fight for you.

And what if I wasn't, either?

What if you were alone in the dark and someone wanted to kill you?

Rip out your heart and drink its blood?

What then?

Crepsley?

Crepsley, come on.

Crepsley?

You're hurting me.

What are you going to do about it? Well?

(BOTH GRUNTING)

You're soft. You're a soft little boy.

They're looking for you, Darren. This is not the schoolyard.

You either have to learn to fight or to run. So which is it going to be?

Good. But don't use your fist. You have something better.

Use your fingernails like a dagger. Watch.

Try it. Extend your fingers and follow all the way through.

Use all your strength.

Ow!

God, I think I broke a nail.

You broke a nail?

You need blood. We have a lot of work to do.

Blood will have blood.

ALL: Blood will have blood.

Are you ready, you filthy little pig, to be stuck?

Do you renounce living with the living?

Are you prepared to die with the dead?

(WHIMPERS)

(SNARLS)

(BANGING ON DOOR)

Steve, what the hell are you doing?

Well, hi, Mr. Kersey.

I just wanted to stop by real quick and actually apologize for the way, you know, I've been acting in school lately.

It's 3:00 a.m.

My teachers troubled me when I was a lad.

They caned me and caned me till I was bloody.

(SNARLS)

Then one day, I took up a broken switch, and I rammed it in my teacher's eyeball.

(MURLAUGH CHUCKLING)

Who are you?

I'm his mentor.

You see, Steve?

Ow!

This is what Crepsley wants us to live with.

So, Mr. Kersey, what you got for me?

So you really don't kill people?

No, Darren.

You just sedate them and feed a little bit, and then leave.

I actually developed the method.

Well, two other vampires and I, Gavner and Vincent.

We were the freaks of the vampire world. No one understood us.

And then they started to realize that if you don't kill your prey every time like a little piggy, then you don't get hunted down by irate townspeople with pitchforks and torches.

And now half the vampires feed this way, and the other half hate us.

Quiet now.

(EXHALES)

DARREN: Whoa! How'd you do that?

Vampires can exhale a gas that knocks out humans.

Really?

Drink some blood, you'll be able to do all kinds of things.

Now, we just make a small incision in his shoulder. Right here.

And then you take a sip.

Don't worry. He won't become a vampire unless you exchange blood with him.

Go ahead. I had some a couple of days ago. It's very refreshing.

No, I'm not gonna drink human blood.

Hurry up, before someone sees us. We haven't got all night.

I'm not going to.

You have to drink blood, Darren, or you'll die. It's as simple as that.

Damn kid is gonna get himself killed.

Larten, what made you blood him?

I needed someone to run errands for me.

Oh, come on, you didn't need to blood him for that.

I had a feeling if I didn't, something terrible would happen to him.

Something terrible? As opposed to becoming a vampire?

I think you're getting lonely.

After 200 years of living alone, why on earth would I suddenly become lonely?

I don't know. Midlife crisis? What is it?

They're here.


(EXCLAIMS)

(GRUNTING)

REBECCA: Watch out!

(GASPING)

(GRUNTS)

That's not fair. Back!

REBECCA: Darren, get out of here!

CREPSLEY: Duck!

(SCREAMING)

CREPSLEY: Move.

Get in.

Psst.

(FLIES BUZZING)

(GROWLING)

(SNIFFING)

(ROARING)

(SCREAMING)

Hey! Hey!

Look, I don't even like the Wolfman, but that don't mean you can come in here and beat up on a freak!

You're messing with the wrong sideshow, baby!

I'll bite your damn noses off!

I'm gonna ram my head up your ass.

MR. TALL: Stop!

Stop!

There'll be no fighting here.

How dare you enter this campground? The Vampire Council will hear of this.

Tell the little vampire it's time to come home.

It's almost dawn. I have a spare coffin here. I suggest you get some rest as well.

Aren't we gonna, like, double back and attack them or something?

Do you want to stay alive?

You're not even drinking blood yet. I doubt you'd be much good in a fight.

Well, what if they hurt someone?

People can look out for themselves.

You've been looking out for me.

Why?

Why? Because I'm an idiot, that's why.

Only an idiot would spit in the eye of Mr. Tiny.

Because he doesn't just kill people, he brings them back, as well.

And when I finally die, I plan on staying dead.

Life may be meaningless, but death I still have hope for.

Life isn't meaningless.

Tell me that after 200 years of it, kid. Good day.

(RATS SQUEAKING)

WOMAN 1: You know I never liked him.

WOMAN 2: I never did, either.

WOMAN 1: I told you when I first saw him.

WOMAN 3: Should never have let him in.

WOMAN 4: We all know it's his fault.

WOMAN 5: I just can't believe he has the nerve to walk around in here.

WOMAN 6: That poor Rebecca.

They took her? Where?

I don't know, but they said to tell you to come home.

Which, of course, you're not gonna do. Wait, Darren, Darren. No, buddy.

Those guys are huge, man.

Hey, Mr. And Mrs. Shan. Hey, Annie.

Steve. What are you doing here?

Well, you know, I've been thinking. You guys probably really miss your son.

And my mom is drunk half the time, so she doesn't really notice I'm there.

How about you guys adopt me?

(CLATTERING)

No interest?

Told you they wouldn't go for it.

Hmm.

How disappointing.

So few "people" have the parenting instinct the way I do.

(EXHALES CONTENTEDLY)

Ready for the prom?

(SINGING) Make new friends, but keep the old One is silver and the other's gold Make new friends, but keep the old One is silver and the other's gold

(GASPS)


(SQUEAKING)

(OCTA SQUEAKING)

Hey, Octa. Say goodbye to Crepsley for me, okay?

Tell him I'm sorry but I have to go home.

(SIGHS)

It's time, isn't it?


Twenty-six. Twenty-seven, 27.

Twenty-seven.

All right, no, no. Twenty-eight.

May I borrow a couple of these?

Don't forget to bring them back, though. Both of them.

You're in danger, terrible danger.

Your life and soul are in jeopardy.

What did I say?

Nothing. Something about the weather.

Chance of thunderstorms tomorrow. Don't worry. I'll stay indoors.


Applause! Applause!

Look. Little vampire.

(SNARLS)

Take a bow.

Where are my family and my friends?

Please.

Must have patience. Will spoil the show.

Do you like? Does Murlaugh have talent?

No? What do you know about talent?

Where is Crepsley?

(SCOFFS)

Too bad for Crapsley.

Because he will miss the show!

Here is freak all wrapped up tight.

(WHIMPERS)

And here are beloved family members. Applause. Applause.

Hello, beloved son. Hello, loving parents.

Hello, cute little sister. Four bags of blood.

Don't worry. You're all gonna be okay.

Will be better than okay.

Will be delicious!

But now, may I present reunion with oldest friend and blood brother, with he that shall one day rule us all, the one known as Steve.

Thank you! Thank you!

Steve.

You're alive?

You know, that was really an asshole thing for you to do.

Make your whole family and your secret best friend go through all that?

Look, I didn't mean to hurt anybody, okay?

Who cares what you meant to do?

What you did was take my place. That was my dream.

Steve, what are you doing with him?

Who? Murlaugh?

Come on, man, he's not as bad as he looks.

You know, for one thing, he didn't say I had bad blood like Crepsley.

And for another thing, he didn't lie to me.

And you know what? They think I'm awesome.

They say I have a destiny, or whatever. Look at you.

Who wants to be a vampire anyways? Vampires suck.

Vampaneze rule!

(WHIMPERING) Juicy!

First guy I killed, Mr. Kersey.

Blood just gets me going, you know what I mean?

I wouldn't know. I haven't been drinking any.

I know you. Always trying to look like Mr. Goody-Two-Shoes all the time.

I bet you'll, like, resist drinking blood and resist drinking and resist drinking it, at the last second become this total bloodhound!

All right, man, here's the deal.

See, the fat guy, he still wants you on the team, and despite everything else, you are still my best friend. So I'll tell you what, I'll make you a deal that might just save your ass.

If you kill your family, I'll let the freak go.

Wait. My bad, that's backwards.

If you kill the freak, I'll let your family live.

What? Let the juicy one go?

Hey, look, man, it's part of the plan. Talk to Mr. Tiny.

So what do you say?

Just kill her. Oh, yeah, you got to drink her blood, too.

You can do her in with this.

(STEVE GRUNTING)

(SCREAMS)

MR. TINY: Wait!

Allow him in, gentlemen.

I want to see this play out.

Man, that was pathetic. You're totally weak. You need some blood.

(DOOR OPENS)

Murlaugh.

Finally.

And we thought you weren't gonna show.

(OCTA SQUEAKING)

(EXCLAIMS IN DISGUST)

(SCREAMS)


I hate spiders!

(BOTH GRUNTING)

Darren. Come here.

Okay.

Is that your tail?

Well, yeah.

I'm really sorry I got you involved in this, okay? I...

Please stop staring. So you really need blood?

Yeah. All right.

Can you just take a little? Go ahead.

I'm offering it to you.

Thanks. But I just can't lose it.

What?

Whatever's still making me human.

Darren, being human's not about what you are. It's about who you are.


(BOTH EXCLAIMING)

(EXCLAIMS)

No.

(GROANING)

(GROANS)


(GROANING)

He's all yours, lad.

(STEVE GRUNTS)

Good. Right in the heart.

So fair and foul a day I have not seen.

My people aren't weak like yours.

They will avenge me, Crepsley.

(CHUCKLING)

The truce, 100 years, is over.

The war begins.

(MR. TINY APPLAUDING)

Marvelous. Magnificent.

Really. Bravo. Bravo.

It's just like you said. We started the war.

It won't start a war if nobody hears about it.

(BOTH YELLING)

Young people today are so difficult to control.

I hate you.

I hate you!

I became a vampire to save you, Steve.

Thanks.

(BOTH GRUNTING)

Go ahead. Just do it!

That's enough, boys.

Steve, come with me.

Not before I kick his...

You will behave!

It's not time for you to fight. Not yet.

What does that mean?

Oh, it's all written down in a book.

You do read books, don't you?

DARREN: Steve.

Look, don't... Don't go.

What else am I supposed to do, man?

Live with you and a bunch of freaks?

It's too late now.

I have my destiny, and you have yours.

How poignant. The parting of two dear friends.

Such sweet sorrow.

Then again, you will come home to us one day.

My prodigal son.

After all, you are the bloodthirsty one.

No. Just because I'm a vampire doesn't mean I'm bloodthirsty.

It's not about what you are. It's about who you are.

Oh.

I almost forgot.

(THUNDER CLAPPING)


Cover yourself.

You have to teach me how to do that someday.

Oh, I'll teach you everything, son.

All my gibes and gambols. Now, ready to go meet your people?


Bye, Annie.

DARREN: Will it work? Hypnotizing them?

(SOFT SNORING)

It works on the memories, but not on the emotions, not really.

They'll always feel that you're still alive, somehow.

Well, that's good, right?

Is it?

Hey, can I ask you something?

Can I kiss you?

Darren, I let you drink my blood. Sure, you can kiss me.


Come on. We don't have all night. I have an injured spider here.

All right, how are we going to do this? I can't carry the both of you.

You carry Rebecca. I can flit now.

Just like a real vampire.

Oh, Larten, you did it.

You stuck your neck out for him.

You'd think a vampire would know better than to stick his neck out.

I am proud of you.

All those who vote for making Darren a member of the Cirque raise your hands.

One hand, Evra.

Damn it.

It's done. He will stay.

(ALL CHEERING)

So we get to stay.

Not for long, I'm afraid.

You know, Crepsley, it's okay.

It's weird. I spent so much time wishing that none of this would have happened and that we never would have been to the Cirque in the first place.

But now I really can't imagine my life happening any other way.

Dawn's coming.

I had something made for you. It's in your tent.

A little gift.

And it's Mr. Crepsley.

Because you told me to throw you. Well, I'm sorry.

You did it, man. Once a general, always a general.

I couldn't have done it better myself.

At nightfall, we leave with the boy.

I suppose we should tell him.

No, let's give him one day to rest. He's earned it.

DARREN: Sometimes life does seem all planned out, like there's no choice in the matter, but that's an illusion.

Speakers. Tasty.

My name's Darren Shan, and I don't just live with a bunch of freaks. I am one, too.