The Estate 1

By Asa Montreaux, pen name Andrew James

Fade in

Small city in the northwest, large estate, camera pans in slowly, castle like house, camera pans to the inside. Vincent inside, to the main hall of the home. He is arriving home from University, almost finished his Graduate degree. He is in a sour mood.

Vincent: (talking to himself) Well, mother, I can't say it was a terrible year. It is just that the whole year I thought of how terrible what happened was. I thought of what exactly it was that happened. It didn't make sense, and I think it drove me crazy, though I am the last person to go crazy, ever.

Matilda: (Mother) What are you saying, dear.

Vincent: What, were you hearing something? I have been making no sounds though I was about to call for you and annouce my arrival.

Matilda: Yes it is nice to have you home. I have missed you very much.

Vincent: Well I am not staying for forever. You certainly know this.

Matilda: No? I suppose I only ask of you to spend time with me?

Vincent: But when does it end? Your certainly haven't been lonely. This new husband of yours has surely been here all of the year. Just what is it he wants. You have two of these bloody husband men floating around.

Matilda: He wants nothing. You know he and I love each other.

Vincent: Love? Two people of your age do not love one another. I had thought you and father loved each other, but I will never believe in love again. There is no such thing.

Matilda: Don't be silly Vincent. Come now, your sister is wanting to see you. We've been anticipating you for several days.

Vincent: My sister. She is the one who only I suspect might not be a goddamn whore. Very well, take me to her.

In the dining area the sister has been having tea. Her friend accompanies her and she is attractive, receptive to a lot of information about Vincent, similarly innocent seeming, thought Vincent would not admit it, and someone who he would be interested in.

Vincent: Hello sister, I have missed you like no other woman for miles, for... planets, for galaxies.

Teresa: Hello brother, I have missed you, been doing the missing too.

Vincent: Hello May, I haven't seen you since last summer. You look very well.

May: (acting confidently, thinking of what she is saying beforehand) I remember.

Vincent pauses. Looks at her.
Vincent: Of course you do, he said.

Teresa: Vincent, you're being obvious.

Vincent: Don't say such things when I have only just arrived here. Come, there is something I have to show you.

He takes them upstairs to his private dwelling area, where there is a package waiting for him that he opens quickly.

Vincent: This is one of those things I have been working on in the grey area beyond when I am working on what I am supposed to be working on. It is an automated home defence system.

Teresa: It looks like something a terrorist would make.

Vincent: No, no, don't be silly. Although I have been feeling very, very dark. There is a bomb thrower. There only twice the size of bullets, but like little atomic bombs. Thirty feet radius of complete obliteration. Nothing survives, like nothing ever existed. There's a laser recognistion system that feeds into my tablet.

Teresa: Is there something your worried about? They don't know who or what killed Dad.

Vincent: He is not dead. Most certainly not.

Teresa: Then why are you designing these things.

Vincent: They make me feel safer. Something happened. Somethign was obliterated. And I'm obssessed with it.

May: Sounds interesting. Don't obliterate me.

Vincent and Teresa look at each other.

Vincent: I'll try. It is unlikely. I'm pretty good at designing things. That work for you?

May: I trust you. Your unlikely to screw up.

Vincent: Wonderful. I'll set this up later. I think it is dinner time near abouts. I have forgotten to eat all day.

Next scene at the dinner table. Low lighting. Table is big, although it is still very tense. This is the first appearance of Rick, the new husband, who is less handsome than Vincent's Dad, hardly richer. Vincent is very suspicious of him and he cannot hide it.
Maltida: Now everyone sit. Vincent be calm. You are so anxious. That's not the Vincent I know.
The kitchen has prepared dinner and it should only be a few minutes. Rick, Vincent has just arrived home. He should be here for the summer, at least.

Vincent: I've consented to almost that much.

Rick: Hi Vincent. Nice to have you here.

Maltida: See. You get along wonderfully.

Quiet for a few moments. Then May says.

May: What kind of things do you have time to do this year outside your studies?

He doesn't want to to reveal what he was working on, though May doesn't know this.

Vincent: They have just built a whole new building. There is a nice bar and restaurant. I've had time to sit there and chat about philosophy and try different brews.

Rick: Drinking is something most men do when there feeling depressed. What would be your motive?

Vincent: (looking at the kicthen, as the staff bring out the food) I wonder.

Several traits and plates placed along the table. Everyone is reasonably hungry, though Vincent has lost his appetite again.

Matilda: Eat more Vincent.

Vincent: Sorry, I'm just feeling a little unsettled.

A few moments pause again, and again May.

May: Have you been growing your hair longer.

Vincent: Who? Me.

May: You, yes.

She was staring at him admiringly.

Vincent: Oh. Yes. I haven't had it cut since Christmas. Since December. No reason. I wanted to. Didn't want to cut it. I've certainly missed you May. I had a feeling you would be here.

May: You always know these things.

Vincent: That I do.

Rick: Now aren't you seeing someone out there on the campus?

Vincent: No, no. I'm not. Not for quite some time. Right, May. You knew that, right?

May: I did know that. I heard that.

Rick: Well don't think you can hide anything from me.

Flash forward to after dinner. They are bored, it is a long night ahead, and they haven't spent time together. The three young adults go outside for a walk along the grounds. Ambling slowly together, the sun all but disappeared.

Teresa: I don't think you know what it has been like with Rick. It has been very scary. But mom denies it.

Vincent: I bet it was scary. I imagine the worst things. I'm sorry it has been this way. Truly.

Teresa: I know you don't want him to be here. You're very vocal about that.

Vincent: Yeah but he doesn't know that.

Teresa: Yes he does, you just don't like to admit it.

Vincent: I suppose. Sorry May, we don't mean to stress you out.
May: It's okay. Nothing unusual has happened.

Vincent: No. No, I suppose not.

Teresa: The one year anniversary is tommorrow.

There is a noise ahead of them. Fairly loud. Possibly heard from the house. They stop. There is a glowing light. There is something there.

Vincent: Hello?

May: What the hell!

They hesitate, but ultimately need to approach to find out what it was. There is a ghost, an ethereal appearing person. He looks severe, he looks like he has a warning to purport.

Vincent: What is it? What do you want?

Ghost: (speaking very slowly) I have come here to say to you that I have been murdered.

Vincent: What happened? How would we be able to help you?

Ghost: It is the man. It is the man inside the home that has killed me.

Vincent: I'm sorry. We will call the police.

Ghost: No. The man inside has killed me. And. He has killed your father. You must do something.
Vincent: Is he dangerous to us?

Ghost: He is very dangerous. But his past is what he wants to destroy. Come. Come quick and see. Before I have to go.

Thye move closer and with one hand he opens his dress shirt, on the right hand side, there is a wound, a deep knife wound, and as he shows it to them he moans silently in pain, and then dissapears, into the air.

May: Oh dear!

Teresa: Let's hurry back to the house.

May: But he's in there!

Teresa: That's no matter now.

They run away. The camera stays.

They are in a room in Vincent's chamber. The room is dark and they are thinking of what to do. They discuss secretively what to do.

May: Do you think he knows that were on to him?

Teresa: No. I don't think he has any idea. He is so self-absorbed. He sits in that living room with her for hours, and thinks of nothing but himself and his comfort.

After more consideration. Vincent's head on his chin.

Vincent: No. There is no way that he knows. But we must be careful now. It is when we have something to hide that we are discovered, as has so plainly happened to Rick himself now. The Ghosts wants us to act. And yet I will not. I wonder at the happiness we could still have if we could only forget this happening. We could still achieve the things we want to achieve. But will my consience allow me? Will I be able to allow him to kill again?

May: Maybe someone else can do something. We can't be the only one who knows.

Vincent: (Gravely) We are the only ones who know.

May: We can do something. We have to tell Matilda. We have to get out of here

Vincent: I'm not sure you know Matilda so well. She will not listen to it. She won't believe us.

Teresa: He's right. She is far too proud. And it does sound a little crazy.

It is quiet and they are not sure what to do. They want to make a decision now but it is not easy.

May: Are we going to be able to sleep tonight?

Teresa: I won't be able to sleep given this happening.

Vincent: No. I will stay awake. You'll be able to sleep. I'll sit watch.

May: When will you sleep?

Vincent: Tomorrow. I sleep in the day. We only have to wait for him to leave.

May: Are you sure?
Vincent: Yes. This is the best thing we can do.

Lights off except for one now. They have blankets on the floor. Trying to sleep. Vincent is looking out the window at the moment, giving up his gaze on the doors to his chamber temporarily. He looks to where the ghost had been, pondering what he was, and if it was real.

May: What are you doing?

Vincent: (turns around, only a little startled.) Oh. Oh my, I lost my vigil for a moment. I was thnking of the ghost again. I'm not sure what he meant. And I am not sure if I can trust him.

May: It is hard to tell. I believe him.

She walks over and sits on the edge of the couch with him, as his body faces the window slightly still.

Vincent: Is Teresa still asleep?

May: Yes. She is. It is just me. I couldn't sleep.

Vincent: Oh. I see. And here you found me distracted by the ghost again.

May: I have. I've found you well out of yourself. You've been so irresponsible.

Vincent: I am ashamed to have been discovered, and yet how skillfully, and timidly, by you, lovely you.

May: And what will you do now?

Vincent: Funny you should ask. All I know is that I don't want anything bad to ever happen to you.

They are only so close on the couch. And they lean towards each other. His hand pulls her forward by the shoulder at the end, and then they kiss, quietly, holding there lips together, kissing again, there eyes closed.

Int. Matilda's room the next day.

Rick is pacing a little outside his awareness, moving a little quicker than he would like to be noticed doing. He is anxious about something. Matilda doesn't appear worried, doing her makeup.

Matilda: Is something the matter Rick?

Rick: No. I don't think anything's wrong. Do you?

Matilda: Why. No. No, I don't.

Rick has stopped pacing, but now races out of the room, his footsteps audibly stopping in the hallway.

Rick: Was there someone here?

Matilda: Why no Rick. There wasn't.

Rick: Did you hear the noises this last evening.

Matilda: Is everything alright, Rick?

Rick: Yes, yes. Sorrry darling. You see, we have to tell them.

Matilda: Well I know that.

Rick: No. We have to tell them now.

Matidla: Oh I think they know.

Rick: What?

Matilda: Oh just Vincent. He heard about it.

Vincent: We must tell them tonight.

Matilda: Well alright. Sit down. Please don't be so bothered. You're worrying me.

Int. Living room

The whole family and May are assembled. They are quiet except for Rick who is still flustered. Vincent looks pale pale and disturbed by all this.

Rick: We have something to tell you now.

Matilda: Oh. No, I will do it.

Rick: Okay, okay.

Matilda: You see, we are having our ceremony a month from now.

Teresa: Wow. That's soon, don't you think? Mom?

Matilda: Well, we've thought about it, and we would both like to go ahead with it and stop worrying about it all together.

Vincent: Maybe if you are worrying about it that should tell you something.

Matilda: No you are no stranger to this news Vincent. Please be calm about this.

May: Well. That's wonderful for the two of you. I wish you the best with it.

Rick: Thank you for your approval of this, all of you. We know it is soon, but this way we will all have stability for ourselves sooner.

There is a noise in the kitchen. Something fell and broke. Rick turns around, though acts as if he is the one who didn't notice anything out of the ordinary.

Rick: We've been preparing for an announcement party this evening. Hor'douvres. Please show yourself and mingle with some of our guests. We ask you to behave yourselves and drink responsibly. Don't drink too much.

Vincent: Can we go now?

Int. Living room and entrance hall area. Camera pans through party, fairly large attendance. People talking and laughing somewhat about the engagement. Servers weaving through crowds with wine and drinks also. Then to Vincent and May.

Vincent: This is one of those moments people would say you need to smile, even if you don't feel like it.

May: What if you have never felt less like smiling.

Vincent: Yes. I sure am glad you are here, that's one thing I don't need to fake.

Slight flash forward they've walked down the stairs, started walking through the party. They need something to do and Vincent grabs a cocktail and a man is standing right next to him. It is the county judge. He is a stern though grand fatherly looking fellow.

Judge Kearnes: Hello Vincent.

Vincent: Hi Mr. Kearnes. Good to see you.

Judge Kearnes: This is a nice engagment that your having. Glad you could be here.

Vincent: Glad I could be here too.

Judge Kearnes: You don't sound so sure of yourself.

Vincent: Well, I am happy. Miss my father you know.

Judge Kearnes: (sighs, looking directly at him.) Is everything alright? I trust your mother. I know the announcement has come quickly. I know this happened very fast. She only does things when she is sure about them.

Vincent: (looks off into the distance) Normally, that is the case. (downs rest of cocktail. May walking by.) May!

May: I think we need to stay a little longer.

Vincent: Let's get out of there. I can't be here. It's awful. Really, I don't care what this Rick says.
For all I know and hear he's a murderer. (Several heads turn. They walk through the back doors onto the lawn)
Ext. Dark, low lights. Slight buzzing sound, murmurous noises from the party.

May: There is no place we can go.

Vincent: No. We can come out here. We shouldn't go too far or we'll see that ghost again.

May: I thought you want to know more from him.

Vincent: Not anymore. No. I don't want to hear anything from him again. Forget it.

May: Tell me everything's going to be okay.

Vincent: (refuses to answer at first, then reluctant, forced, a little sarcastic enthusiasm.) Everything is going to be okay.

May: Good. I don't want to doubt your both going to be okay.

End Scene. Camera moves away. Sitting on a bench, close together, holding hands, looking somber.

Int. Several hours later, many guest have left, starting to leave. Rick and Matilda and Teresa. In Matilda's chamber.

Rick: Where is Vincent? (He is very angry, pacing in a circle.)
Matilda: (seems unbothered by his continal anger, perhaps mistaking it for the way he is.) Rick honey, he was downstairs. I am sure he is around.

Rick: He hasn't done anything respectful. He hasn't shown any of the respect for any of this he should have. What is going on? What is he thinking?

Teresa: Mom, I don't think he wants to be here. He doesn't approve of this engagement at all. He's been depressed about it the whole time he's been here.
Matilda: (lightening her expression for the very first time) I do hope he's feeling alright. Rick, honey, maybe we should push it back some.) What do you think?

Rick: What? (innapropriatly flustered and now worried.) No, no. It has to be now. Come on. (deliberating) We've spent time arranging all of these things.

Matilda: I don't think that matters. We can rebook everything later.

Teresa: I think that's a good idea. We all thought it was quick. Quicker than what usually happens.

Matilda: Yes I think that's a good idea.

Rick: (allows a moment for them to feel that he is going to not force them to do it now) Let's just keep going with things this way. Everyone is more or less fine with it except Vincent. He needs to pull his act together.

Int. Dining Room

All sitting at table, eating dinner quitely. Reluctant to be there, doing as Rick says. No one talking. Sound of forks and knives, quiet chewing. Then the room shakes momentarily. The lights flicker. Then they go out. The ghost appears. This time, he glares at Rick. It appears as the father.

Matilda: Jesus.

Ghost: Do you know who killed me?

Matilda: What?

Ghost: Do you know who killed me? (turns to Vincent) Do you know who killed me?

Vincent: (Can't speak) Do I know who killed you?

Ghost: (Angrily) Who killed me?

Vincent: It was, Rick.

Matilda: Vincent!

Vincent: It was Rick that killed my father.

Ghost: Yes, yes, it was. (The Ghost musters the energy to point his finger at Rick.)

Rick: That is ridiculous. I know not what you speak of. (He rises from his seat. He swats at the ghosts, who backs away and then dissapears.)

Matilda: What in God's name was that?

Vincent: Everyone has seen it. Look at what was here! Look! Did you hear what he said to us?

Rick: Quiet. No one at all needs to get worked up about this. As far as I know this all must have been some sort of prank, or some short panic we all went through. No one needs to speak of this.
Teresa: No one said they were going to speak of anything.

Matilda: We have do something. Let's get out of here.

Rick: (runs over to her and as if he were about to grab here, in her face, looking into her eyes) No, no one need to leave her right now. No one is leaving here.

Teresa: You don't need to talk to her like that.

Rick: That's enough.

Teresa: Okay, just leave her alone.

Rick: You. (He now walks towards Vincent) What have you done? You are responsible for this. I have no idea were these accusation have come from?

Vincent: What? Do you think that I think you killed my father? Don't be so quick to defend yourself, as you are beginning to sound awfully guilty.

Rick: I haven't asked for your advice. Matilda, you know I have not done this, don't you?

Matilda: (Looks at him) Of course I do not suspect you, my dear. Please calm down, and just have a seat again. We will get through this.

 Teresa: Maybe that's enough Vincent.


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