excerpt from The Black Circle

INT. DETECTIVE OFFICE – DAY

Visibly exhausted, Melissa slumps into her chair, sighing. She looks around at the piles of paper and folders on her desk and all around her. She opens the top drawer of her desk and reaches into it. As her hand passes over a bottle of liquor in the drawer, we get a clear view of a small scar on the top of her hand; it seems to be shaped into some kind of strange symbol. Ignoring the liquor, Melissa removes a photograph from the drawer and looks at it.

MELISSA’S POV: The photo, old and wrinkled, is of a middle-aged woman standing on the porch of an old house.

DISSOLVE INTO:

EXT. OLD HOUSE – NIGHT

The middle-aged woman steps off the porch, with a YOUNG MELISSA (six-years-old) following her part of the way.

YOUNG MELISSA

Don’t go to them, mommy!

From young Melissa’s POV we see the woman (her MOTHER) looking out into the complete darkness that surrounds the house. She seems to be waiting for someone. A sudden wind blows, making Mom’s hair and dress dance. She turns around towards young Melissa.

MELISSA’S MOTHER

(euphoric)

They’re here!

In the darkness behind Melissa’s mother, a shadowy figure forms. The figure’s arms reach out and grab Mom by the shoulders. Then the silhouette of a head lurches forward, lingering over one of Mom’s shoulders, but the only visible details of a face are luminous red eyes and a set of fangs. The fangs sink into Mom’s neck, sending a squirt of blood in Young Melissa’s direction. Mom initially seems shocked more than in pain, betrayal in her eyes. Then the fangs rip out a bloody chunk of her neck, causing her to release a shrill scream of agony.

YOUNG MELISSA

(crying out)

Mommy, no!!!

Young Melissa stands still for a moment, paralyzed by the horror of the scene before her. Then the darkness actually starts rolling towards her in slow, menacing waves. Young Melissa blindly darts down the road, running for her life. She keeps running, the shadow wisps trailing her, until she sees the headlights of a car on the road coming towards her. She frantically waves her arms in the air. The vehicle stops, and now we can see that it is a police car. A police officer gets out and rushes towards young Melissa. The officer bends down and Melissa embraces him. We see that the officer’s name tag reads “Stone.”

CLOSE UP: Officer Stone’s face.

DISSOLVE INTO:

INT. DETECTIVE OFFICE – DAY

CLOSE UP: Chief Stone’s face

ZOOM OUT from CHIEF STONE’s face as he enters Melissa’s office. (It’s apparent that this is the same police officer from the flashback, only older now.)

CHIEF STONE

What are doing here so early?

His voice startles Melissa, snapping her out of her memories. She hurriedly places the photo back in her desk drawer and closes it.

MELISSA

Jesus, Chief! You should try knocking.

CHIEF STONE

You should try filing reports.

MELISSA

Sorry. I got behind yesterday. I’ll definitely have something for you after tonight.

CHIEF STONE

I hope so, ‘cuz the feds are ready to shut you down.

MELISSA

That’s because they know what I’m hunting, and they know I’m close. It’s a catch-22, chief. I have to be careful what I present to them. They just want me to open the doors so they can come storming in. But this is my case.

CHIEF STONE

(sincerely)

Well, even though I don’t always approve of your methods, I know how much this means to you. I’ll support you on this as long as I can.

MELISSA

Thanks chief. It means a lot to me.

CHIEF STONE

But you need to produce some results soon!

MELISSA

I know. Trust me, nobody wants to get to the bottom of this more than I do.

A brief moment of silent contemplation for Melissa. Determination burns in her eyes.

FADE OUT.

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