Peter M Howard ::

Untitled Vampire Short :: Treatment


Written for Screenwriting at UTS, this is the short I hope to shoot early next year for my final project; had to knock together a treatment so this is a rough story outline; it doesn't give a very good idea of timing but the story elements are all here; Sam and Jeunet are currently ungendered

A train rushes into an underground tunnel; the city, Sydney, disappearing rapidly. It is dark outside; the lights of the tunnel flash past the train windows with disturbing regularity.

Thom, a man in his late 20s, stumbles into a nearly empty carriage and slumps into a bench seat. An old man is seated diagonally opposite him, staring straight ahead. Thom glances in the man's direction and jerks his head away rapidly. As a light flashes particularly brightly, the old man changes, revealing his vampire form. His skin is pale, his hair dark. He is dressed all in black. Thom closes his eyes but the image of the man is burnt onto his retina. The man turns his head to look at Thom and snarls, exposing two sharp fangs. In another flash of light Thom opens his eyes and the old man looks ordinary again, staring ahead.

Thom is in his friend Sam's apartment, bent over a body obscured in shadow. Thom tries and is unable to cry out. He stumbles back. As the room darkens Thom is dragged back into the shadows. Suddenly a hand reaches out and grabs Thom's own hand.

Thom wakes from his dream in a hospital bed. Sam grabs his hand and he jerks upright. Thom raves; the vampires are looking for Sam. Sam sighs; the hospital's supposed to be helping Thom, but the nightmares don't seem to be lessening. Dr Jeunet enters the room to take a blood sample from Thom.

Sam follows the doctor out to ask about Thom's treatment. They keep their voices lowered in order not to disturb Thom. Jeunet's attempts at treatment haven't worked, but in testing Thom's blood they believe they may have found something.

Back in the hospital room Thom is starting to panic. He looks out the door and there is a familiar flash of light. Jeunet's vampire form is revealed. Sam runs back to Thom to find him rocking on the bed, his eyes clenched tightly, his head between his hands. Meanwhile Jeunet has calmly walked away. Thom is panicked; he has to leave the hospital; Sam is in danger. Sam, unsure what to believe, but certain that the hospital is the only place for Thom, leaves him.

That night Thom has another nightmare. He is again in Sam's apartment, bent over the body of his friend. But this time, the shadows drag him back and there is no saving hand. Instead Sam appears before him, transformed. Terrified by the image of his friend as a vampire Thom wakes in a sweat.

The hospital is quiet. Thom pulls on shoes and a coat and steps into the empty hall. He walks to the stairwell and starts downward. The surprising ease of his escape has him panicked further, but he resolutely pulls his coat tighter and continues. As he crosses the empty underground carpark he sees movement in the shadows and hurries to the far door. As he enters the empty tunnel beyond, he hears the stairwell door slam open. He starts to run.

The tunnel is long, dark, and empty. As he nears the far wall the door to the tunnel opens. When he glances backward he has another attack. He doubles over, the pain to his head unbearable. Just as suddenly there is silence behind him. Thom stumbles onward and out into the night.

As he wanders the night streets, Thom starts to see things he hadn't previously noticed. Signs of the vampires' struggle, of their impending control. He sees graffiti scrawled across walls "They're coming". Thom talks to himself, rambling. He wonders why, or if, he is the only one who sees them; the evidence is clearly there for all to see. Political posters have symbols that suddenly make sense to him. In a flash the image of a politician on a poster transforms into that of a vampire. When it flashes back Thom's arm hurts - where Jeunet took his blood. Thom remembers Jeunet, and remembers Sam and hurries on.

Thom takes a train. As it heads underground he stumbles onto a near-empty carriage and sits. It is then he looks around and notices the old man from his dream seated opposite. The scene replays: in a flash the old man's vampire form is revealed, he snarls at Thom and flashes back to normal. At the next stop Thom hurries out to Sam's apartment building.

Thom reaches Sam's apartment, praying that he's beaten the vampires there. Finding the door wide open he fears the worst. He enters the apartment, knowing what he's going to find. He's too late. Sam half lies on the far side of the room, propped up against the wall. Unable to walk, Sam has pulled the phone from the table by its cord. Thom doesn't notice it for now, his attention directed elsewhere. Thom hurries to Sam, checks the neck. There are two puncture marks there - a vampire bite. Sam is near death with fever. Thom fetches a glass of water, tipping it into Sam's mouth. Despairing, Thom slumps down next to his friend.

In a flash Thom remembers Jeunet taking his blood. Suddenly he is convinced that all is not lost. He hurries to Sam's bathroom, returning with a razor blade. He is talking to himself at high speed. He is near shaking when he makes a small cut in his finger and lets the blood drop into Sam's mouth. As it drops Sam stirs; there was a response. It's working, but it's not fast enough. Thom is acting crazy, starting to yell, waving his arms about. There isn't enough time to save Sam, drastic measures are necessary. He makes a cut in his arm to draw more blood. Another flash; Thom has another attack. Still bleeding, he grabs his head with his hands and blacks out.

Thom comes to, he knows not how much later, though it is still night, finding himself being given water by a woman in black. She smiles at him, revealing fangs. He is too confused to react. He is still in Sam's apartment, his friend lies still beside him. The vampire steps back into the shadow. He hears a voice in front of him. A man steps from the shadows on the far side of the room. Uriel is tall, a soldier, a senior among the vampires.

Uriel greets Thom. Convinces him that this is real; Thom isn't even getting his headaches. Uriel mocks Thom; What did he hope to achieve? And now look, dying on the floor - pathetic. Lost his friends, and to what end? The vampires will take over, and no-one will ever know. Uriel explains that their fight is not against humanity; rather it is against the current rulers, the werewolves. The vampires fancy themselves humanity's protectors. The wolves were uncaring leaders: they have been the cause of war; they feed on humanity's violence, anger, hatred, fear. The age of the vampires will bring peace and stability. Lives will go on as before; Thom is unnecessarily agitated. Thom argues. You can't stop the Truth. Uriel is arrogant; Mankind doesn't deserve to know. But if Thom found out, won't others also? No, Thom is an anomaly, an aberration. But that will soon be made correct. Uriel offers Thom a favour, an alternative to death: a drug that he promises will cure him, rid him of his delusions. He can take the drug and be returned to the hospital for observation. Shortly, he will be released, he can return to his former life, to a life without vampires. And Sam will be fine. Uriel cautions that Thom must think on it carefully, the decision must be truly his. Thom accepts; he will forget everything. Uriel removes a small vial from his pocket. He takes a drop of blood from Thom's arm and mixes it with the blue liquid. Thom drinks it and faints as the vampires stand over him.

Thom wakes back in hospital, his face devoid of expression. As he wakes Dr Jeunet lets Sam into the room. Sam is perfectly healthy. Jeunet marvels at Thom's progress, he will soon be able to leave the hospital. Sam and Thom hug like anyone might in hospital; nothing passes between them that indicates either remembers the vampires. No-one notices the two small dots at the base of Sam's neck - nearly healed and soon invisible. Dr Jeunet, standing in the doorway, smiles over the two of them and quietly walks away.