Secret Window (2004) Script

Turn around.

Turn around.

Turn the car around and get the hell out of here.

Right now.


Don't go back.

Do not go back there.



What the hell's going on in here?

You stole my story.


I'm sorry. Do I--?

I don't believe I know you. I know that.

That doesn't matter. I know you, Mr. Rainey, that's what matters.

You stole my story.

You're mistaken. I don't read manuscripts.

You read this one already.

You stole it.

I can assure you that I--

I know you can. I know that.

I don't wanna be assured.

If you want to talk to someone about some grievance you feel you may have, you can call my literary agent in New York.

This is between you and me.

We don't need any outsiders, Mr. Rainey.

It is strictly between you and me.

All right, look, mister, whoever you are, I don't like being accused of plagiarism if that is in fact what you're accusing me of. Chico, inside.

I don't blame you for not liking it, but you did it.

You stole my story.

You're gonna have to leave. I have nothing more to say.

Yeah, I'll go.

We'll talk more later.

I'm not taking that.

Won't do you any good to play games with me, Mr. Rainey.

This has got to be settled.

So far as I'm concerned, it is.

"Sowing Season.

John Shooter."

Never heard of you, pal.

Never heard of your story.


where was I?



I'm open to suggestions.

If you don't go and bite her, I'll kill her.

"Four days after George had confirmed to his own satisfaction that his wife was cheating on him, he confront--"

This is just bad writing.

Just bad writing.

So you know what to do.

Just do it.

No bad writing.

I think that solves it.

Oh, I found one of your stories in the trash, Mr. Rainey.

I thought you might want it, so I put it on the table.

Yeah, I see that, Mrs. Garvey.

"Todd Downey thought that a woman who would steal your love

"when your love was really all you had, "was not much of a woman.

"He, therefore, decided to kill her.

"He would bury her in the deep corner formed

"where the house and the barn

"came together at an extreme angle.

"He would bury her where his wife kept her garden.

The garden she loved more than she loved him."

Oh, shit. Oh, sh--

Oh, thank God.

From the sound of you, I didn't know what to think.

Here, let me get this. That's my job.

I'm terribly sorry, Mrs. Garvey. I really am.

I'll take care of this, Mr. Rainey.

Go on back to work.

I didn't write this. Oh, I thought you did.

No, it's not mine.

Look, it says "John Shooter" right there.

John Shooter. It's not me.

Oh, I thought it was one of those, um, whatchamacallums, pseudo-names or "-nyms."

No. No, I never used one.

I've never used one.

Oh, I can't imagine why you would.

I mean, hide behind some made-up name.

No, no.

Mrs. Garvey, what I'm trying to tell you is that someone else wrote this story.

Oh. Okey-dokey, then.

"A woman who would steal your love

"when your love was all you had

"wasn't much of a woman.

"That, at least, was Tommy Haverlock's opinion.

"He decided to kill her.

"He even knew the place he would bury her, "the exact place.

"The little patch of garden she kept in the extreme angle

"formed where the old and new parts

"of the house came together.

"He'd bury her in the garden she loved more than she loved him."

Why don't you come to the flea market? It'll be fun.

We've got to get rid of some of this stuff.

Look at this, it's awful.

No wonder they left it.

Oh, my God, look, there's a window.

It's a secret window.

Oh, this is perfect.

I'm gonna put my garden right there.

It's a secret window, and it'll look down on a secret garden.



I didn't steal it.


Mr. Rainey? Mmm?

I'm all done.

Really? So soon? Well...

I'll see you next time.

Mr. Rainey...

There's something I want to say.

Oh, no. Some women don't know a good thing when they got it.


Some women don't know they got the whole world and it's right in front of their nose.

Mm-hmm. There. That's it.

Not another word from me.

Mr. Rainey? Hm.

Can I make you something to eat?

No. I ate.

Well, earlier.

I'm gonna eat later.

And I'll make it myself.

You're a good man, Mr. Rainey.

You too, Mrs. Garvey.

It's my personal business, Mrs. Garvey.

Thank you very much.

My personal business.

Oh! My pillows now.

Her sticky, weird fingers on my privacy.

I didn't steal that story.

I don't think.

Wha--? Mm.

- Hello? Hello, Mort.

Are you all right?

Yeah. I'm all right.

Why wouldn't I be all right?

I don't know.

You're up there all alone.

Anything could happen and nobody would know.

I'd know.


Hey, hey.

How's my little baby puppy?

Did Chico ever get those cataracts removed?

Why did you call, Amy? What do you want?

I had one of those feelings I get.

I know you think they're stupid and you don't believe them, but I believe them.

And, um, I was making a sandwich and I had this sensation that you might not be okay.

I held off as long as possible.

Um, but then I couldn't anymore, I am.

Well, I don't know what to tell you except I'm fine.

Nothing weird happened or anything?

Do you remember "Secret Window"?


My story. You know, the one where the...

The woman has the garden, and then the guy has the, uh, shovel.

Not one of my favorites.

That's good to know.

Well, it was kind of hostile, don't you think?

Gee, I miss your constructive criticism.

I really do.

What about the story, Mort?

Well, I was just wondering, do you think it's possible that I might have been influenced by anybody or anything at that time?

Other than Jack Daniel's?

I know that part, Amy, hence the question.

I don't know.

You got kind of weird on that one.

You'd write it mostly at night, I think.

What do you mean, "influenced," anyway?

I don't know.

Like, by another story?


Forget it.

Mort... you swore the one time was the only time.

Forget it, please. Please, just forget it. Come on.

How's Ted?

He's fine.

I was thinking that he and I should get together sometime, have a drink because, you know, we've been to a lot of the same places.

You know what? I gotta go.

So do I.


Is he there? No.

We're not together.

Wow, well...

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't on the verge of doing Snoopy dances.

No, Mort.

What I meant was we're not together at the moment.

He's coming over later.

He hardly ever comes here. I usually go to his house.

There's a useful detail. Thanks for that.

Don't ask, then. It was working just fine that way.

I think you should have him over to the house more.

Such a nice house, I like it.

I mean, I love it. That's why I bought it.

Goodbye, Mort.

Goodbye, Amy.

Oh, shit.

Shit. Shit. Shit.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

You read it?

I did.

I imagine it rang a bell, didn't it?

Oh, it certainly did.

When did you write it?

I thought you'd ask that.

Well, sure, that's the whole point, isn't it?

Two writers show up with the same story, it's all about who wrote the words first.

Wouldn't you say that's true?

I suppose I would.

I suppose that's why I came all the way up here from Mississippi.

I wrote it seven years ago, 1997.

How'd you get it?

That's what I really want to know.

How in the hell did a big money-scribbling asshole like you get down to a little shitsplat town in Mississippi and steal my goddamn story?

Drop it. Drop it?

Drop it. What in the hell do you mean, drop it?

You said you wrote your story in 1997.

I wrote mine in late '94.

It was published for the first time in June 1995 in a magazine.

Nice try, Mr. Shooter, but I beat you by two years.

So if anybody's got a bitch about plagiarism, it's me.

You lie!

No, I don't!

Prove it!

I don't have to prove a thing to you.

Go look for yourself.

Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, June 1995.

And how am I supposed to find that?

That's not my problem.

Am I supposed to drive down to your house in Riverdale, New York, and ask your wife, Amy, for it?

I read it on your book jacket.

That's not my house. That's hers.

What the hell does that mean?

What do you think it means, you ignorant hick?

I'm in the middle of a divorce.



You strike me as the kind of guy who's on the lookout for a head he can knock off with a shovel.

But what you don't understand is, if we do start to fight... it's not gonna end until one or the other of us is dead.

Hold your water, I'm just getting my smokes.

I don't smoke.

I'll give you three days.

You call your ex and get her to send you the magazine with your story in it, if there is such a magazine, and I'll be back.

If I show it to you, will you go back to wherever you came from and leave me alone?

Three days.

Always a pleasure to meet a reader.

I don't want to call her.

I want to go to sleep. I want to take a nap.


Okay. No nap.

I give her a call about the magazine, I go write some crap for a couple of hours and then I get to take a nap. Right?


♪ Chico

♪ Don't be discouraged ♪ All right, go ahead and be discouraged, you blind bastard.

See if I care.

And returned to the couch...

in shame... degradation...

and sloth.



I'll get you for this!

You hear me?

I'll get you for this!

Chico? He killed Chico?

Yeah. Last night around 9. I was asleep.

He left this.

"You have three days. Am not joking. No police."

Anytime somebody sits down and writes "No police," that's just about exactly the time that a fella should get himself over to the police.

Yeah. Yeah, well, that's what I figured.

So, what I've got is a detailed description of him.

I've got a detailed description of his car.

Type a little harder.

You have to get through the carbon.

You know what? I didn't get the license plate number but I'm sure that it had Mississippi tags.

And I think that it started with an A.

At least, that's what I see in my mind.

Needlepoint. Can you believe it?

Doc says it's good for the arthritis.


Anyway, anything you can find out about this guy, I'd really appreciate it.

I must cut quite an intimidating law-enforcement figure, huh?

I-- I'd like to know what I'm dealing with here, because maybe he's got a-- A violent history.

I mean, maybe you can find him, talk to him.

I think that would probably be better.

So you got yourself a member of the crazy folks tribe?

Yeah. I mean, they pop up every once in a while.

I suppose it's just the price of selling a few books.


Here's the, uh-- Here's that description.

Killing an animal isn't like killing a man.

I'm not even sure that it's a crime, come to think.

Come on, it's gotta be. What about animal cruelty?

What about destruction of private property?

What about--? Yeah, yeah. Maybe.


First thing I'm gonna need is a description.

Tell me the truth. Did you steal it?

What? No!

Kind of an amazing coincidence, don't you think?

The stories being so much alike?

Well, obviously the guy copied it from me.

Would you like to choose a side before we continue?

I'm on your side. But I still need to know the truth.

Which kind of situation is this?

Is he a regular wacko like you've had before, in which case I can help, or is this something you should be talking to your lawyer about?

No. This guy is just simply out of his mind.

That's all it is.

Fine. Okay.

What do you want me to do?

I want you to help me in the same way that...

In the same way that you did before.

He wasn't this crazy.

That guy was just an obsessed reader who couldn't tell real life from the crap you make up for a living.

No offense.

Now, this Shooter guy, he threaten your life?

He put a screwdriver through my dog.

Well, he did break a law, but it doesn't seem to be a very important law in Tashmore Lake.

The sheriff... must be a cat person.

Yeah, well, I don't exactly feel safe with a 70-year-old arthritic sheriff watching my back.

Are you gonna help me or not?

Uh, let's see.

I got a... corporate loyalty thing I got to be back for on Friday, but I can give you a couple of days.


My story came out a couple years... before he says he wrote his.

So I've got a copy of the original up at Amy's house.

I was just gonna stop by on my way upstate and pick it up.

Amy's house? Yeah.

Amy and I split up about six months ago.

I'm sorry.

Yeah, me too.

Amicable? Not remotely.

What happened? Did you finally nail one of your groupies at a book signing?

The Omaha Barnes and Noble?

That was a dick thing to say, you know? Rotten profession.

I apologize.

You were saying? I was saying... that if it's just proof that this guy, Shooter, wants...

Fine. I show him the magazine.

But I think maybe you should be with me when I show it to him.

No shit, I'm gonna be with you.

You remember my rate? Yeah.

An obscene fortune, right?

Look, you'll see a black Cadillac in the driveway tonight when you get home.

Don't freak out, it's me keeping an eye on things.


Get a good night's sleep. You don't look too hot.

This is not my beautiful house.

This is not my beautiful wife.



You scared the shit out of me. Hey. Hey, I'm sorry about that.

This last week must have finally caught up with me.

That's very reassuring. Thanks. Hey, relax, Hemingway.

I was only out 10 minutes, swear to God.

Already checked the place. Everything is fine.

Just waiting for you to get back to let you know.

You think you'll be sticking around tonight, or...?


Not unless you want me to.

No. No.

No, I'm sure it's fine in...

In there.


No monsters up here.

You check under my bed?

Even in your toy chest.

I'll be back in the morning. Start asking around town.

What the hell you gonna do with that, sailor?

Find out who else saw your nut-job.

Tom Greenleaf. Huh?

Tom Greenleaf passed by when I was talking to Shooter on Lake Drive.

He waved at us, so he must have gotten a good look at him.

Hmm. Tom Greenleaf. How do I get ahold of him?

Bowie's store, breakfast every morning, 9 a.m.

Okay, I got it. Don't worry.

Once I find out where this Shooter's staying I'll stop in for a little freak-me-out chat.

Use the word "we" a lot.

"We know what you're doing. We want it to stop.

We're watching you." Yeah.

Trust me, he'll hit the road so hard, it'll hit back.


Hey. You know what? Um...

Are you staying in town tonight?

Yeah, some motel out by Route 9.

Uh, Irv's Lakesider, I think it's called.

You know the place?

Yeah, I know. Yeah, I know the place.

Okay. Good night.



I know you're in there, shithead!

If you don't come out by the time I count to five, I'm gonna come in swinging.



I killed a mirror.

And my shower door.

I don't care. I'm just gonna smoke.

I'm just gonna totally smoke.

I'll finish these, go to the store get a brand-new pack, smoke the shit out of that one.

Thought you didn't smoke.

I took it up recently for my health.

How are you, Mr. Rainey?

Oh, I'm just peachy, Mr. Shooter. How are you?

Well, it sounded like you pitched a fit or something in there.

I don't think you're really all that well.

Stealing from another man, that don't seem to have ever bothered you none.

Being caught up on, though...

Or maybe it's just that successful writers like you throw tantrums when things don't go the way they expect.

Why didn't you get that magazine?

You were down there at her house today, weren't you?

If I get this story and I show it to you, will you then kindly disappear?

There isn't any magazine with that story in it, Mr. Rainey.

You and me, we know that.

Okay, then.

What can we do to make you feel better?

I want you to fix it.

What would you like me to fix?

My ending.

The one you wrecked.

I can't decide what's worse, stealing my story or ruining the ending.

Mine was perfect.

I don't think I even read your whole story.

Oh, I bet you did.

"I know I can do it, Todd Downey said, "helping himself to another ear of corn from the steaming bowl.

"I'm sure that in time her death will be a mystery even to me."

That's how the story ends, pilgrim.

It's the only ending.

You're going to write it for me and get it published.

And it's gonna have my name on it.

I'd be more than happy to write your ending, Mr. Shooter.

Saw that wife of yours coming out of the house.

She's purty. My wife?

Why don't we just leave her out of this.

Would if I could, but I'm starting to think you ain't gonna leave me that option.

You want to wake up from one of your stupid naps and find Amy nailed to your garbage bin?

Or turn on the radio some morning and hear she came off second-best in a match with the chain saw you keep out in the shed?

Do you?

You can't get away with it.

I know what you did and I ain't quitting until right gets put right.

Is that you, John Wayne?


Are you there? Mort?

Yes, Amy, I'm here. Just lower your voice a little.

What is it? Where have you been?

I have been trying to get ahold of you all night and this morning.

I was asleep.

Oh, great, so you unplugged the phone?

How may I assist you, Amy?

Oh, God, Mort.

What happened? What?

Someone burned down our house. That's what happened, okay?

What? Someone burned down our house!

Bye, babe.

Pardon me, miss.

I noticed that you, left $100 on the dresser. Shut up!

Well, surely the escort service told you that I was 3.

Shhh. Please.

I mean, some guys are less, some guys are 100 if you like that kind of thing.

Some guys are even less than that, but I'm 3.

I happen to be 3.

There's something on your mouth just there.



Hi. Hi.

I'm really sorry about all this, Amy.

So am I.

Me too.

Thank you, Ted.

Mr. and Mrs. Rainey?

No. Yes.

You the owners?

Yes, we are. We were the owners.

Were the owners? What do you mean?

You don't own it anymore?

Were Mr. and Mrs. Rainey. Are the owners.

I'm Steven Bradley, a detective with Riverdale P.D.

How do you do? Ted Milner.

This is Fire Chief Wickersham.

Chief. Hi.

We won't keep you long.

The insurance investigator needs to see you at 3.

You're definitely the victims of arson.

The fire was started by an incendiary device made with a champagne bottle and a couple of quarts of plain old gasoline.

Oh, that really works, then, eh?

So first question:

Enemies. You got any?

No. No one. No, no. Not a soul.

Bother you if I answer one or two of these, Ted?

It's okay. It's cool.


I have an enemy.

Sorry I wasn't there to meet you this morning.

I spent most of last night poking around the site with a flashlight and a Polaroid.

Oops. Broke one of my own rules.

I don't like to call it "the site."

It wasn't a site, it was a house.

Your house, and I'm very sorry for your loss.

Thank you very much... Mrs. Evans.

It still says "Mrs." Fran is fine.

These meetings are hard.

People in your situation are already upset, and quite often they take the presence of an investigator as an accusation that they've torched their own property.

And in this case, you've certainly given us a plausible suspect, who we'll investigate aggressively along with the police.

But in the meantime, that's a list of your claimed insurable property.

You look it over, then you'll sign an affidavit swearing that the listed items still belong to you and that they were still in the house when the fire occurred.

I'm told there was a separation of residence recently so that last bit might be particularly important.

We're going through a divorce. It's not final yet.

Well, the settlement agreement's all done.

Everything's been negotiated, we're just waiting for it to be signed by, um, both parties.

I moved out about six months ago and just hadn't gotten around to hauling all the stuff out yet, so...

Been down that road.


These things just have to follow their natural course.

Things will wrap up when everybody's ready for that to happen.

That's been my feeling.

In the meantime, do the best you can with the list.


I'm sorry. Excuse me. Do you actually intend to rubberneck?

I hardly think my concern could be construed as rubbernecking.

Amy, he's rubbernecking. Okay.

I'm not gonna freak out about this, but...

What the hell's the point? This is our stuff.

It's our stuff. No. All right. He's right.

Why are we here? This is our stuff.

He's right. He's right, Ted.

He is right, Mr. Milner.

The law says you have no right to be looking at the listed items at all.

We wink at things like this if nobody minds, but it looks like Mr. Rainey does.


Mr. Rainey minds a lot.


Would it help matters if I took a walk around the block?

Yes, thanks. Sure.

Oh, heck, Ted, live a little. Make it two.



Wait, Mort. I need to ask you something.

What? This guy, Shooter. His story.

I mean, is this situation like the other time?

Oh... I'm sorry.

I wouldn't bring it up, but it did happen once before.

Look, that is the only time I've ever done anything remotely like that.

I paid the guy everything he wanted.

Never happened before or since.

Okay. Okay.




You and me and the lawyers are the only people that know about that, right? Right.

Because you haven't said anything to Ted. Certainly not.


Have you said something to Ted?

Come on!

Well, do I have timing or what?

Yes, you do.

I'm real sorry you had to miss that.

I know how much you like my things.

Oh, Jesus.

You and me are gonna have a little talk.

Be back in 10 minutes.

I'm in trouble.

Look, I've had about enough of your bullshit.

You're a dick.

Do you feel better?

Yes, I do.

Yeah, look, uh, marriages end.

I'm sorry, but I didn't end yours.

All that was done by the time I got there.

Oh, really?

You must've thought her wedding ring was a little bit strange. Oh, man.

Listen, I apologized to you months ago.

Now, look. I know you don't want me in your life.

Guess what? I don't want you in mine either.

But until this little divorce thing's done, not much we can do about it.

But I'll tell you something.

I will not let you upset Amy any more than you already have.

So why don't we just wrap this little thing up, all right?

And get out of each other's lives--?

Are we getting the message I'm sending?

Where are we from, Teddy?

Uh, Tennessee.


I was gonna say Mississippi.

No. Long way from there.

Little place called Shooter's Bay.

Come on, Karsch.

Five hundred dollars a day. Where are you when I need you?


What fresh hell?


Where you been all day?

Ha, I might ask you the same question.

Relax, you're fine. I checked the cabin an hour ago.

Yeah? Well, he showed up an hour after you left last night.

Oh, really? Then he had a busy night.

My office called me about your Riverdale house. I'm sorry.

Well, the worst part is I hadn't had a chance to get the magazine out.

The one with the story he says I stole.

That's gone up in smoke now.

Do you still want to go through with it?

Meeting him? Showing him the magazine?

Hell, yes, man.

I've had a shitty year.

I want it settled. Now. Everything.

Good. Because I called your agent when I heard about the house.

I figured he'd have a copy of the magazine.

He sent the original by UPS overnight today.

You can pick it up tomorrow after 3.

I knew there was a reason I hired you.

There's something else.

I caught up with your Tom Greenleaf today.

The guy who drove past you and Shooter on the lake road.

Well, he's a weird one.

First he says he did go down to the Lake Drive on Tuesday and he saw you like you said.

But then he gets nervous and says:

"No, no, no. Come to think of it, I didn't.

"Didn't see anybody.

Wasn't even on Lake Drive on Tuesday."

Yeah, well...

Tom's old. Maybe just slipped his mind.

Don't be naive.

He was scared shitless. Somebody got to him.

Come on, wait.

Why would...Shooter care if Tom Greenleaf knows he's here?

Well, it depends. On what?

On what he plans to do to you.

I'm revising my opinion, Mort.

I don't think Shooter's just some nut.

We need to consider the possibility that he was hired to do this.

Somebody with a grudge against you hires a tough guy to rattle you, scare you to death.

But he hires the wrong guy.

Things get out of control.

They go further than they're supposed to.

Dead dogs, burnt-down houses.

Now he can't call him off.

Ted. Who?

Ted. Amy's Ted.

The Ted that Amy left me for.

Maybe that's why the guy calls himself Shooter.

Ted wants me to know it's him.

He's trying to intimidate me, he's trying to... send me a message.

Why? What does he want?

I don't know.

Did you piss him off?

Get the fuck out!

I might have. Okay, here's what we do.

What proof do you have that Shooter was there?

Other than the manuscript.

Physical evidence, I'm talking about.


I got bruises on my arms from where he grabbed me.

All right.

You and me are gonna go see Greenleaf together.

All right.

Bring the manuscript. Bring your bruises.

I'm gonna push the guy hard, make it impossible for him to lie.

If he'll tell the police he was threatened too, then we've got something.

Bowie's store, breakfast?

9 a.m. sharp.

All right. I'll see you there.

And bring your six-gun, pilgrim.

It is a good ending.

Oh, shit.

Oh, shit.

Pall Mall.

Cracker bastard.




Would you like a pack?

I don't smoke.

Did a guy come in here looking for me around 9:00?


Big guy, kind of a New York-cop type.

No. No, that doesn't ring a bell.

I overslept.

Well, maybe he did too, because he wasn't here.


What are you doing here?

Matter of fact, I was--

I was just on my way over to your place.

Where's your buddy?

Came alone.

Sure you did.

I know what you're up to.


Look, Mort, uh...

A lot of what's going on right now is my fault.

Most of it, in fact.

What do you want?

I want you out of our life.

Gotta sign your papers, Mort.

My divorce papers? Mm-hmm.

Tell her to send them to my lawyer.

Yeah, well, she did.

And he said you won't return his calls for weeks.

That's what this is all about?

Getting me to sign this settlement?

No. Just calm down. Money!

It's not money. It's all money.

What this is about... is getting this thing done.

Because I'm afraid if we don't, who knows where it might go.

And I think you know what I'm talking about.

Well, Teddy, I think I do, but here's the problem:

I don't respond well to intimidation.

Makes me feel icky. You know?


You know, I'm attempting to have a normal conversation here.

I buried my dog, mister.

This whole thing is out of your control now.

You know it, and I know it.

You started this shit, I'm gonna finish it.

Now, do me a favor.

Go back and tell that to your filthy little friend.


Bummer, Ted.


Go to where we met the other day.

Walk down the path a little way.


I'll catch up with you this afternoon.

Anybody you call between now and then is your responsibility.



Quarter past 2.

You been out about three hours.

Your leg's sleeping. You laid on the damn thing.

Now, I would've moved you, but I didn't wanna wake you.

Got tired of waiting.

Almost pinned a note on you. Decided not to.

You scare too easy.

I wouldn't go too far if I were you.

I hooked you to those two men in more ways than you know.

You're insane. I'm going to the police.

Whose screwdriver you think is in that fella's head?

If you leave them here and I disappear, you gonna find yourself standing with your head in the noose and your feet in Crisco.

What do you want from me?

Why, I told you that already, Mr. Rainey.

I want you to fix my story. The one you stole.

Or ain't you ready to admit it yet?

I did not steal your story.

Oh, I expect you'll let yourself... go to Greenhaven for murder before you'll admit it.

I have the magazine, you lunatic!

I have the magazine!

I have the goddamn magazine!

You have this so-called magazine right now?

On me, no.

I was gonna go pick it up at 3:00.

There can't be any magazine.

Not with that story in it. That story is mine.

What do you want? You wanna kill me?

Why don't you just do it? Just kill me.

No, sir.

These others here were gonna get in the way of our business.

I couldn't have that.

You bring me that story... if it exists.

Your house in two hours.

You got some heavy lifting here first.

I'd get to it if I were you.

By the way, if you talk to that sheriff of yours again or if you don't show up at 4:00, I will burn your life and every person in it like a cane field in a high wind.

And when I show you the magazine that has my name on the contents page with my story inside... then what?

Then I turn myself in.

But I'd take care of myself before a trial, Mr. Rainey.

Because if things turn out that way, then I suppose I am crazy.

And that kind of crazy man has no reason or excuse to live.

Listen, you got my hat.

I want it, one way or the other.




Mort? Oh.

Yeah, hi.

I've been so worried about you. Are you okay?

I'm okay. I'm okay, Amy. Wh--?

Are you sure?

When I saw you yesterday, you seemed so strained. I mean--


Do you...?

Do you think things would've been different if we hadn't lost the baby?

Oh... Jesus Christ, I don't--

Amy, I don't know. Look-- Let me call you later.

I-- I gotta go. I gotta be somewhere.

What? What is it, Amy?

Breathe. Breathe.

Take a breath.

Where are you? You at Ted's?


How we feeling about old Ted these days?

I don't know.

I love him, I guess.


That's good.

I didn't go with other men, you know.

I always wanted to tell you that.

I didn't go with other men.

Only Ted, and only the last few months after you and me were already over.

Well... if we were over while we were still together, you might've mentioned it, because it was news to me.

That's because you weren't there anymore.

You were gone all the time.

I worked at home, Amy!

That's not what I mean.

Even when you were with me, you were gone, up in your head.

I don't think that I looked in your eyes and actually saw you looking back at me.

I mean, really with me, for the last two years.

You know what, you're right.

You're right. You're absolutely right.

It's all my fault. No.

I was a chickenshit.

Ted wanted us to go and tell you together.

He kept asking, and I kept putting it off.

I'll never forget that look on your face.

Get out! Get out!

I gotta go.

Mort, wait. Can't we just--?

No! No. I-- I've gotta go.

Will you call me if you need me?

I doubt it.

Can I come up there?

Why on earth would you do that, Amy?

You still haven't signed the papers yet, Mort.

I know you don't wanna deal with it.

I don't wanna deal with it either.

Everything's been negotiated.

We don't disagree on a thing.

I don't understand why you won't sign.

Don't you wanna just get it over with?


You were worried about me, and I believed you.

What an idiot. I am worried.

You sound like you did six months ago, and I think it's my fault.

It's my fault, and I wish I could take it back, but I can't.

Well, I guess you shouldn't have fucked him, then!

You're not going up there?

I am not gonna dance around this anymore.

Once he signs the papers, it'll be over.

And we won't have to have these horrible conversations every other day.

All right, well, I'm going with you.

I just--

I really think I should go alone, Ted.

Well, that makes no sense.

Just the sight of you is gonna send him.

I was married to the guy for 10 years, I know how to talk to him.

All I want is for this to be over.

Excuse me.

I'll be back around 7.


Hey, Mr. Rainey!

I'd like to-- Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Hey. Mr. Rainey.

Mr. Rainey, are you all right?

I'm sorry, my throat just kind of double-clutched on me there for a second.

You're very pale.

Yeah, thank you.

Did the, um...

UPS guy drop anything off for me?

Just the one thing.

Pardon me?

Just the one thing, I said.

Oh. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you.


You know... The Post Office would have a cow if they knew we handled the UPS guy's stuff.

I know that, and I certainly appreciate it.

Thank you. You won't tell them, will you?

No way. Good.

Because I saw what you did.

I'm sorry?

I said, they'd shoot me if you did.

You ought to go home and lie down, Mr. Rainey.

You really don't look well at all.

Yeah, that's...

That's a good idea.

Ooh, cute.

Got a minute?

Well... No.

I really don't right now.

But, uh...

I'll give you a call later.

Okay. Sure.

I'm gonna call you on the phone, okay?



Nineteen ninety-five.








You cut it out.

You son of a bitch.

Cut it... out of the magazine.

Wait a minute. How would he do that?

I don't know.

But he did it.

Think about it.


I don't know.

Why'd you put it on?

I don't know.

Maybe he wanted you to.

Why would he want me to put his hat on?

Maybe he wants you to...

Maybe he wants me to what?

To get confused.

Oh, I'm already confused, pilgrim.

Plenty confused.

So don't talk to me about confusion.

Wait a minute now. Back up just a sec.

What about that?

What about what?

Well, "pilgrim," "Shooter's Bay," and the half a dozen other details you've chosen to ignore.

You know what? You're nuts.

I don't need to listen to this shit from you.

Are all these things coincidences?

I'm wearing his bruises, aren't I?

Aren't I?!

Are you?


This doesn't make any sense.

Would you like to hear something that does make sense?

Call the police.

Call Dave Newsome, tell him to get down here right this second and lock you up before you can do any more damage.

I'm gonna get a knife and cut you out of me.

Before you kill anyone else.

I didn't kill anybody.

You had a gun.

Wasn't loaded.

Really? No.

You almost killed them.

You wanted to.

The gun was not loaded!

You still want to. Shut up!

Listen to me, because this is how it happens.

This is how it happens to people. Shut up!

There is no John Shooter.


There never has been. You invented him. Ra?

Ra, ra.

Listen to me, not to him, before it's too late.

Leave me alone!

You are alone.

You're not handling this.

What you're doing is wrong. Everything is wrong.

You have no idea what you're doing.

You've been eating potato chips this way for 30 years.

What you're doing is wrong. For 30 years.

Sister found out about the broken window.

And the school had to be withdrawn from the competition.

Sister found out about the broken windows.

Then she got up from the table.

And didn't talk for the rest of the night.

Todd Downey thought a woman who would steal your love--

What does Todd Downey got to do with it? Everything.

I'm starting to believe Todd Downey was right.

Everything that you're doing is wrong.

What is happening to me?

Oh, I think you know.

I think you have a real good idea.

You don't exist.


I exist, Mr. Rainey.

I exist because... you made me.

Check it out. You thought me up.

I'm a dairy farmer from Mississippi.

Gave me my name.

Told me everything you wanted me to do.

I did them things so you wouldn't have to.

Right up there, Tom. We were standing right there.

Yeah, I know, Mort. I saw you.

I didn't want to say it in front of him, but you were alone.

I know, Tom. Look, just pull over for a second.

I want to show you something.

Didn't have the stomach to do it yourself, but you knew I did.

Are we done yet?

We got things all cleaned up around here?

What's the real reason I come for?

Fix the story. That's right.

Fix the ending.

Gotta fix the ending.

And how exactly do you suppose we ought to do that?



Are you there? I saw your car outside.




That explains a lot.

What the hell?


Jesus, Mort.

W-Where'd you get that old thing? The attic?

It's mine.

Wasn't ever anybody else's.

Mort, what's wrong?

You got you a wrong number, missus.

Ain't no Mort here.

Mort's dead.

He did a whole lot of squirming around but in the end he couldn't lie to himself anymore, let alone to me.

Now, I never put a hand on him, missus. I swear.

He took the coward's way out.

Why are you talking this way, Mort?

That's just the way I talk.

You're scaring me.

It don't matter.

You won't be scared long.

Oh, God. Oh, God.

I'm about done fussing with you.

I am so sorry, missus but right is right and fair is fair and something has got to be done.

By the way, I want you to know that none of this was my idea.

It was Mr. Rainey all along.

You are Mort Rainey.

I got a place for you.

You are Mort Rainey.

I got it all picked out.

You are Mort Rainey.







Ted! No!



"I know I can do it,' Todd Downey said, "helping himself to another ear of corn from the steaming bowl.

"I'm sure that in time, "her death will be a mystery even to me."



I'm, uh... kind of late.



Braces. Yeah.

Getting a few things straightened out.

Hey, you know, I--

I was kind of wondering if, um... sometime you might possibly be interested in--?

I don't need a bag.

Mr. Rainey?

Your front door's open. I'm coming in.

Mr. Rainey?

Mort Rainey?

Oh, hi, Dave.

I didn't hear you. Come on up.

Glad you're here. I could use the break.

Working lunch.

I'm on a roll.


Listen, both you and I know what you did.


Maybe we don't have enough to put you away right now, but eventually... we'll find those bodies.

We'll tie you to them and you're going away.

In the meantime, I'd appreciate it if you didn't come into town anymore.

It makes people uncomfortable.

You can do your shopping in New London.

Did you hear what I said?


No problem.

You know... the only thing that matters... is the ending.

It's the most important part of the story, the ending.

And this one... is very good.

This one's perfect.

"I know I can do it,' Todd Downey said, "helping himself to another ear of corn from the steaming bowl.

"I'm sure that in time

"every bit of her will be gone.

"And her death will be a mystery even to me."

♪ Mama's little baby Loves shortnin', shortnin' ♪

♪ Mama's little baby