>> / Green Mile

/ Green Mile ( 2)

: / Green Mile.

/ Green Mile

RESUME E BLOCK

The men follow Paul onto the Mile. By now, Del is CACKLING
WILDLY in his cell. Brutal shoots Paul a look--has he gone
insane? Paul gestures "see for yourself."

They arrive at the bars...and find the mouse sitting on Del's
shoulder. Del looks up, giggling like a kid at Christmas.

DEL
Look! I done tame me dat mouse!

PAUL
We see that.

DEL
Watch dis! Watch what he do!

He stretches out his left arm. The mouse crawls over the top
of his head, scampers along his arm to the wrist, turns
around and scampers back. The guards just stand there,
staring.

DEL
Ain't he sumpthin now? Ain't Mr.
Jingles smart?

PAUL
Mr. Jingles?

DEL
Dat his name. He whisper it in my
ear. Cap'n, can I have a box for
my mouse so he can sleep in here
wi' me?

PAUL
I notice your English gets better
when you want something.

DEL
Wanna see what else he can do?
Watch, watch, watch...

He puts the mouse on the floor, grabs a small wooden spool.
The mouse sees it, poises like a man getting ready for a race.

DEL
We play fetch, Mr. Jingles? We
play fetch?

He tosses the spool across the floor, bounces it against the
wall. The mouse goes after it like a dog after a stick--and
proceeds to push it back to the bunk, rolling it with its
front paws all the way to Delacroix's feet.

By now, the guard's jaws are hanging open. Paul's got a funny
little chill running up his spine.

DEL
He fetch it ever' time. Smart as
hell, ain't he? We do da trick
again, watch, watch, watch...

Again he throws the spool. Again the mouse goes after it,
starts rolling it back. Del howls with laughter, claps his
hands like a kid. Brutal murmurs to the others:

BRUTAL
Who's training who here?

COFFEY
That's some smart mouse, Del. Like
he's a circus mouse or something.

DEL
A circus mouse! Dat jus' what he
is, too! A circus mouse! I get
outta here, he make me rich, see
if he don't!

He picks up the spool again, makes a drumroll sound, tosses
it. The mouse does its thing, rolling the spool back...

...as Percy enters the scene. Del catches sight of him and
scoops up his mouse, drawing fearfully back on his bunk. He
tries to hide Mr. Jingles in his hands--but the mouse
wriggles from his grasp and scampers up on top of his head,
where he regards Percy with mistrustful, beady mouse eyes.

PERCY
Well, well. Looks like you found
yourself a new friend, Eddie.

Del tries to offer some defiance--but all he can manage is:

DEL
Don' hurt him, 'kay? 'kay?

Percy shrugs as if to say "no skin off me", looks to Paul.

PERCY
That the one I chased?

PAUL
(level)
Yes, that's the one. Only Del says
his name is Mr. Jingles.

PERCY
Is that so?

Paul trades a look with the others, everybody wondering just
what the hell's going through Percy's mind.

PAUL
Del was just asking for a box. He
thinks the mouse will sleep in it,
I guess. That he might keep it for
a pet. What do you think?

PERCY
I think it'll shit up his nose
some night and run away, but I
guess that's Del's lookout.
(beat)
We oughtta find a cigar box. Get
some cotton batting from he
dispensary to line it with. That
should do real nice.

Percy walks away, leaving them dumbstruck. Paul turns to the
others. Of all the things they've seen in the last few
minutes, Percy being nice is the most amazing of all.

PAUL
Man said get a cigar box.

CUT TO:

INT. PRISON ADMINISTRATION BUILDING - DAY

Paul comes up the stairs to the warden's office...

INT. WARDEN MOORES' OFFICE - DAY

...and enters to find Hal staring out the window.

PAUL
Hal? You wanted to see me?

HAL
Yeah. Paul. Close the door.

Hal's speech is halting, his thoughts disjointed and slow:

HAL
Uh. So you know. You got a new
prisoner coming in tomorrow.
William Wharton. Young kid. Wild
as hell, judging from this...

He picks up the report, trying to focus his thoughts:

HAL
...been rambling all over the
state last few years, causing all
kinds of trouble. Finally hit big
time. Killed three people in a
holdup, including a pregnant
woman. Got "Billy the Kid"
tattooed on his left arm...bad
news all around...

He trails off, no longer able to focus on the words. Paul is
shocked to see tears spill silently down his cheeks.

PAUL
Hal?

HAL
It's a tumor, Paul. A brain tumor.

Paul doesn't know what to say. Hal looks at him.

HAL
They got X-ray pictures of it.
It's the size of a lemon, they
said, and way down deep inside
where they can't operate. They say
she'll be dead by Christmas. I
haven't told her. I can't think
how. For the life of me, Paul, I
can't think how to tell my wife
she's going to die.

Hal Moores, one of the toughest and steadiest men you'd ever
meets, starts to cry. He dissolves into great big gasping
sobs, losing all control.

CUT TO:

INT. PAUL'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Paul lies awake, watching Jan sleep. He looks troubled--not
to mention feverish. It occurs to him how badly he has to
pee. He sits up, clutching at a queasy stab of pain in his
groin...

LIVING ROOM STAIRS

...and comes hurrying down the steps, clutching himself...

EXT. HOUSE - NIGHT

...and he's moving even faster as he exits the kitchen,
racing for the outhouse. He realizes he's not going to make
it, stops to piss near the woodpile at the corner of the
house...

...and as he does, he's hit with the most stunning pain of
his life. He buckles to his knees--it's only his flailing
hand against the woodpile that prevents him from going face-
first into his own piss. He crams his other hand to his mouth
in an enormous effort not to scream and wake his wife.

He manages to ride it out until his bladder empties. He falls
onto his side, rolls over on the grass, and stares up at the
sky with both hands pressed to his groin.

PAUL
...oh God...oh God...

FADE TO BLACK

IN BLACKNESS, A TITLE CARD APPEARS:

"Coffey's Hands"

CUT TO:

INT. PAUL'S KITCHEN - MORNING

Paul looks feverish and clammy as he buttons up his uniform
jacket. Jan is packing his lunch, throwing him looks, knowing
how sick he is.

PAUL
I'm going.

JAN
What?

PAUL
To the doctor. I'm going.
(off her look)
Today. Just as soon as we get the
new inmate squares away.

JAN
That bad?

PAUL
Oh yeah.

She hands him his brown-bagged lunch, kisses his face.

CUT TO:

INT. BRIAR RIDGE MENTAL HOSPITAL - MORNING

We see a tattoo: "Billy the Kid." TILT UP to WILLIAM WHARTON
staring out the window, wearing a hospital gown, his face
utterly blank. He looks heavily medicated.

Harry, Dean, and Percy enter. Billy doesn't react, just keeps
staring out. Harry waves his fingers in Billy's face.

HARRY
Boy's doped to the gills. Dean,
hand me them clothes...

Dean relays some folded prison clothes to Harry.

HARRY
William Wharton! Hey! I'm talking
to you! Put these clothes on!

Billy turns with a vacant look, takes the clothes. He fumbles
with the shirt, drops the pants. Harry and Dean sigh.

They strip Billy's hospital gown off and proceed to put the
shirt on him, guiding his limp arms through the sleeves.

PERCY
Hellraiser, huh? Looks more like
a limp noodle to me. Hey! Hey, you!

Billy looks up, meets Percy's eyes.

PERCY
You been declared competent! Know
what that means? Mean's you're
gonna ride the lightning, son!

Percy does a quick impression of a man jittering and jerking
in the electric chair.

PERCY
Bzzzzzzzzt-zap! Just like that!
How's it feel to know you're gonna
die with your knees bent?

DEAN
C'mon, Percy, give us a hand.

Laughing, Percy picks up the pants. They proceed to help
Billy into them one leg at a time...

CUT TO:

INT. E BLOCK TOILET - DAY

Paul is trying to piss. Except for a few drops hitting the
bowl, excruciating pain seems to be the only result. He gives
up, grabs a towel, wipes the sweat from his feverish face...

INT. E BLOCK - DAY

...and steps gingerly from the toilet. Del's watching.

DEL
Don' look so good, boss. Look like
you runnin' you a fever.

Paul shoots him a baleful look--no kidding. Another voice
calls softly from further down the Mile:

COFFEY (O.S.)
Boss Edgecomb? Needs ta see you
down here, boss.

PAUL
Got things to tend to just now,
John Coffey. You be still in your
cell now, y'hear?

Coffey falls silent. Paul goes to the entrance door and peers
through the viewing slot, anxious to have this over with...

EXT. COLD MOUNTAIN PENITENTIARY - DAY

The prison truck appears, swaying along the rutted road...

IN THE TRUCK

...while Billy Wharton stares at nothing, drool dripping from
his slack mouth in long strings.

INT. E BLOCK - DAY

Paul watches the truck pull in. He draws away from the slot,
proceeds toward the empty cell which used to be
Bitterbuck's...

ANGLE ON TRUCK

The rear doors are swung open. Harry emerges. Dean and Percy
are guiding Billy by the arm, helping him down...

INSIDE E BLOCK

Paul waits at the empty cell. ANGLE PANS TIGHT to Coffey at
his bars, eyes widening in a blossoming of some nameless fear
or dread. Something bad's coming. A whisper:

COFFEY
Careful.

OUTSIDE E BLOCK

Billy is brought to the door. Dean pulls his keys, starts to
unlock it. We PUSH IN on Billy's face, where the tiniest
trace of a smile is starting to grow...

INSIDE E BLOCK

...and Coffey's unease grows with it. he presses his face to
the bars, his whispering becoming more urgent:

COFFEY
Careful. Careful.

Paul hears him, glances back with a puzzled look. Coffey's
gaze is directed at the door, which is being unlocked...

THE DOOR

...and opened. In that moment, the slack look on Billy's face
gives way to a wild grin. A CRAZED SCREECH leaps from his
throat, a cross between a rebel yell and a dog being
tortured, freezing everybody's blood in their veins--

BILLY
Yeeeeeeehaaaawwwwwwrooooo!

--and he drops his wrist-chain down over Dean's head, jerks
it tight, begins to strangle him. Dean lurches forward, Billy
riding/propelling him through the door onto the Mile.

Percy stands frozen in the doorway, stunned. Harry shoves him
aside and jumps on Billy from behind, trying to get him off
Dean. Dean is choking, turning purple.

Paul rushes from the cell to join the fray. Billy whirls,
delivering a stunning kick to Paul's groin. Paul's bladder
pain goes nuclear--he falls back in agony, clutching himself
and sucking air through his teeth, unable even to scream.

Billy rams an elbow into Harry's face, knocks him sprawling
on the desk, screaming and laughing and howling all the while:

BILLY
WHOOOEE, BOYS! AIN'T THIS A PARTY,
NOW? IS IT, OR WHAT?

Paul forces himself to his feet, pulls his revolver, draws
down on Billy...

PAUL
LET HIM GO!

...but Billy jerks Dean around, using him as a shield...

BILLY
G'WAN, SHOOT! SEE WHO YA HIT!

Dean is choking, dying. Paul is shifting his aim, trying for
a clear shot, not getting one. Percy's still just inside the
doorway, pressed against the wall with fear...

PAUL
HIT HIM, PERCY! GODDAMN IT, HIT
HIM!

BILLY
C'MON, PERCY, HIT ME! HIT ME, YOU
LIMP NOODLE, HIT ME! YEEHAWWW!

...and suddenly a hand comes in, grabs the hickory stick out
of Percy's grasp, raises it high--

--it's Brutal coming through the door. He swings the baton
and lands an awesome blow to Billy's head--THUMP! The force
of it spins Billy off his feet and slams him flat on his back.

Dean crawls away, gulping ragged breaths of air. Amazingly,
Billy's still conscious--he looks up at Brutal and laughs:

BILLY
Big fucker. Snuck up on me. No
fair.

Still laughing, he makes another grab at Dean. Brutal whacks
him again, turning his lights out for good. Brutal drops to
Dean's side, helping him hack air back into his lungs:

BRUTAL
Breathe...breathe...that's it...

Everybody's reining in their adrenaline. Paul glares at Harry.

HARRY
We thought he was doped.
(to Percy)
Didn't we? Didn't we all of us
think he was doped?

Percy nods, still numb. Paul is furious:

PAUL
You didn't ask? I guess that's not
a mistake you'll be need to make
again anytime soon, is it?

Harry shakes his head miserably. Paul grabs Billy by the feet.

PAUL
Grab his arms! You too, Percy!
(off Percy's
hesitation)
Percy, goddamn it, get your feet
out of cement and help us out here!

Percy finally unfreezes. The three of them hoist Billy up in
a dead-lift, get him in his cell, toss him on the cot. They
step out, slam the door, lock it. Paul looks to Harry and
Brutal.

PAUL
Get Dean looked at right away,
make sure he's all right.

Percy, you go make a report to the
warden for me. Start off by saying
the situation is under control--
it's not a story, he won't
appreciate you drawing out the
suspense.

BRUTAL
What about you? You look about
ready to collapse.

PAUL
I've got the Mile till you all get
back. Go on now.

They all exit. As soon as he's alone, Paul gives in to the
pain, holding his crotch and sinking to his knees with a
moan. It's so bad he actually lays down on the Mile, face
pressed against the cool linoleum, wishing he were dead. A
stretch of silence...and then:

COFFEY (O.S.)
Boss? Needs ta see ya down here.

PAUL
This is not a good time, John
Coffey. Not a good time at all.

COFFEY (O.S.)
But I needs ta see ya, boss. I
needs ta talk t'ya.

Paul sighs. Things couldn't get much worse than this. He
rises with a supreme effort, walks painfully down the Mile...

COFFEY'S CELL

...and finds Coffey waiting at his bars.

COFFEY
Closer.

PAUL
I'm alone here right now, John.
Figure this is close enough.

COFFEY
Boss, please. I got to whisper in
your ear.

Paul blinks. Maybe it's the fever clouding his brain, or
maybe...hell, is this what being hypnotized is like? He tries
to shake the sensation off, comes a little closer.

DEL
Boss? You know you not s'pose to
do dat.

PAUL
Mind your business, Del. What do
you want, John Coffey?

COFFEY
Just to help.

His hand shoots out, grabs Paul by the collar, jerks him
close. Paul makes a panic-grab for his revolver...

...but Coffey lays his free hand atop Paul's, eases his grip
from the gun--no need for that. Coffey's hand then drifts
slowly down, easing to Paul's crotch...

PAUL
(stunned, frozen)
What are you...doing?

...and something goes WHUMP through Paul's body. He arches
back with his mouth agape and arms outstretched as a rush of
energy seems to pass from Paul through Coffey's hand...

...and then it's over. Paul comes back to the real world,
weak against the bars, realizes Del is hollering in his cell:

DEL
HELP! JOHN COFFEY'S KILLING BOSS
EDGECOMB! HELP!

PAUL
Del, Chrissake, settle down, I'm
fine...

It dawns on him that he really is fine. Fever's gone. So is
the pain in his groin. John Coffey, though, seems to be
having trouble. He sits down on his bunk, bends forward,
gagging like a man with a chicken bone caught in his throat.

PAUL
John? John, what's wrong?

Paul fumbles his keys to the lock, unsure if he should open
the door, watching the big man's contortions grow stronger
like a cat trying to cough up a hairball...

...and then comes an unpleasant, gagging/retching sound as
Coffey's lips draw back from his teeth in a kind of godawful
sneer...and he exhales a cloud of what look like tiny black
insects. They swirl furiously in front of his face, turn
white...and disappear. Paul just stares, stunned. Softly:

PAUL
What did you do, big boy? What did
you do to me?

COFFEY
I helped it. Didn't I help it?

PAUL
Yes, but...how?

Coffey shrugs--it's something that just is.

COFFEY
Just took it back, is all. Awful
tired now, boss. Dog tired.

He rolls onto his bunk, faces the wall. Paul just stares at
him, stunned. He turns and walks up the Mile, his stiffness
and pain now gone. Del watches him go by, also stunned:

DEL
What dat man do to you? He throw
some gris-gris on you?
(off Paul's look)
You look diff'int! Even walk
diff'int. Like y'all better!

PAUL
You're imagining thing. Lie down,
Del. Get you some rest.

Paul continues up the Mile...

E BLOCK TOILET

...and steps back into the toilet. Not trusting this
situation for even a moment, Paul opens his fly, takes a deep
breath to prepare himself for the pain, starts to pee...

...and we hear a healthy stream of water hitting the bowl.
The look on Paul's face says it all--blessed relief.

CUT TO:

INT. PAUL'S HOUSE - DUSK

Paul comes home from work, still looking numb about the whole
thing. He drifts to the kitchen door. Jan's at the counter,
slicing vegetables for dinner. She glances at him.

JAN
Hi, honey. How are you feeling?

PAUL
Um...not too bad.

She turns back. Paul's eyes drift down to admire her ass.

JAN
What did the doctor say?

No response. He's too busy staring. She turns again--he
glances hastily up.

PAUL
Oh, you know doctors. Gobble-de-
gook mostly.

She turns back, keeps working. He crosses the room, eyeing
her ass all the way...and surprised her by pressing up
against her from behind, running his hands along her hips.

JAN
Paul? What are you doing?

He starts laying kisses on the back of her neck, giving her
pleasant shivers, murmuring:

PAUL
What's it feel like?

JAN
I know what it feels like...it
feels great...but...Paul...

He's getting her breathless. She turns into his arms and they
get into some passionate kissing. It's not too long before
they're frantically peeling each other's clothes off...

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

...and we find them having a wild tumble in the sheets, both
moaning and groaning, sweating and panting. She pushes him
flat on the bed, pauses to catch her breath...

JAN
Those must've been some pills.

...and they keep going, rutting like crazed weasels...

EXT. HOUSE - NIGHT

...as their moans go drifting into the night...

FADE TO:

SAME ANGLE AS ABOVE - DAWN

...and they're still moaning up there as the sun creeps up.

INT. BEDROOM - MORNING

Jan falls back, exhausted after the latest go-round. She
catches her breath, looks over at Paul, and finally:

JAN
Paul? Not that I'm complaining.
But we haven't gone four times in
one night since we were nineteen.
(off his look)
You wanna tell me just what the
hell's going on?

PAUL
Well...thing is...I never actually
got to the doctor yesterday...

She gives him a look--oh?

CUT TO:

INT. LIVING ROOM - MORNING

Paul is on the phone:

PAUL
Brutal? Listen...I'm thinking of
taking the morning off sick. You
cover the fort for me?
(beat)
That's swell. Thanks. Yeah, I'm
sure I'll feel better. Okay.

He hangs up, turns to Jan.

JAN
You sure you ought to do this?

PAUL
I'm not sure what I'm sure of.

CUT TO:

EXT. ROAD TO TEFTON - DAY

Paul's model T comes putt-putting up the road past a sign:
"Trapingus County Welcomes You."

EXT. HOUSE IN TEFTON - BACK PORCH - DAY

BURT HAMMERSMITH, public defender for Trapingus County, sits
with a cold soda and a magazine, watching his TWO CHILDREN
playing on a swing at the far end of the backyard. The screen
door opens and CYNTHIA HAMMERSMITH ushers Paul out.

CYNTHIA
I offer you a cold drink?

PAUL
Yes, ma'am, a cold drink would be
fine. Thank you.

She goes back inside. Burt rises.

PAUL
Mr. Hammersmith. Your office said
I'd find you at home today. I hope
I'm not troubling you.

BURT
That depends, Mr.--?

PAUL
Paul Edgecomb. I'm the E Block
superintendant at Cold Mountain.

BURT
The Green Mile. I've heard of it.
Lost a few clients your way.

PAUL
That's why I'm here. I'd like to
ask you about one of them.

Burt settles back down, motions "please sit".

BURT
Which client? Now you got my
curiosity aroused.

PAUL
John Coffey.

BURT
Ah, Coffey. He causing you
problems?

PAUL
No, can't say he is. He doesn't
like the dark. He cries on
occasion. Other than that...

BURT
Cries, does he? Well, he's got a
lot to cry about, I'd say. You
know what he did.

PAUL
(nods)
I read the court transcripts.

Cynthia reappears, hands Paul a cold root beer.

PAUL
Thank you, Missus.

CYNTHIA
My pleasure. Kids! Lunch is about
ready! Y'all come on up!

She goes back inside, but the kids aren't quite able to tear
themselves away from their play.

BURT
What exactly are you trying to
find out? Satisfy my curiosity,
I'll see if I can satisfy yours.

PAUL
I've wondered if he ever did
anything like that before.

BURT
Why? Has he said anything?

PAUL
No. But a man who does a thing
like that has often developed a
taste for it over time. Occurred
to me it might be easy enough to
follow his backtrail and find out.
A man his size, and colored to
boot, can't be that hard to trace.

BURT
You'd think so, but you'd be
wrong. Believe me, we tried. It's
like he dropped out of the sky.

PAUL
How do you explain that?

BURT
We're in a Depression. A third of
the country's out of work.

People are drifting by the
thousands, looking for work,
looking for that greener grass.
Even a giant like Coffey wouldn't
get noticed everywhere he goes...
not until he kills a couple of
little girls.

PAUL
He's...strange, I admit. But there
doesn't seem to be any real
violence in him. I know violent
men, Mr. Hammersmith. I deal with
'em day in and day out.

Burt smiles, realizing:

BURT
You didn't come up here to ask me
whether he might have killed
before. You came up here to see if
I think he did it at all. That's
it, isn't it?

PAUL
Do you?

BURT
One seldom sees a less ambiguous
case. He was found with the
victims in his arms. Blurted out
a confession right then and there.

PAUL
Yet you defended him.

BURT
Everyone is entitled to a defense.

Cynthia hollers from an open window:

CYNTHIA
Kids! Lunch!

BURT
Y'all listen to your Momma, now!

The kids start this way. Burt turns back to Paul.

BURT
Tell you something. You listen
close, too, because it might be
something you need to know.

PAUL
I'm listening.

BURT
We had us a dog. No particular
breed, but gentle. Ready to lick
your hand or fetch a stick. Just
a sweet mongrel, you know the kind.
(Paul nods)
In many way, a good mongrel dog is
like you negro. You get to know
it, and often you get to love it.
It is of no particular use, but
you keep it around because you
think it loves you. If you're
lucky, Mr. Edgecomb, you never
have to find out any different. My
wife and I were not so lucky.
Caleb. Come here for a second.

The little boy comes to him, staring at his feet. Burt tires
to raise the boy's chin. The boy resists for a moment...

BURT
Please, son.

...and then his face comes around. He's horribly scarred on
that side, the eye missing.

BURT
He has the one eye. I suppose he's
lucky not to be blind. We get down
on our knees and thank God for
that much at least. Right Caleb?
(the boy nods shyly)
Okay, go on in now.

The boy races inside after his sister. Paul follows Burt's
gaze off toward the rear of the property, where an unoccupied
doghouse stands weathered and sad in the weeds.

BURT
That dog attacked my boy for no
reason. Just got it into his mind
one day. Same with John Coffey. He
was sorry afterwards, of that I
have no doubt...but those little
girls stayed raped and murdered
nonetheless. Maybe he's never done
it before--my dog never bit
before, but I didn't concern
myself with that. I went out there
with my rifle and grabbed his
collar and blew his brains out.

PAUL
I'm sorry for your trouble.

Burt acknowledges the condolence with a gracious nod.

BURT
I'm as enlightened as the next
man, Mr. Edgecomb. I would not
bring back slavery for all the tea
in China. I believe we have to be
humane and generous in our efforts
to solve the race problem. But we
have to remember that the negro
will bite if he gets the chance,
just like a mongrel dog will bite
if it crosses its mind to do so.
(beat)
Is Coffey guilty? Yes, he is.
Don't you doubt it, and don't you
turn your back on him. You might
get away with it once or even a
hundred times...but in the end...

He raises his hand, making biting motions with his fingers.

BURT
You understand?

Paul says nothing. Burt gazes out again. Softly:

BURT
I'm gonna have to tear that old
doghouse down one of these days.

CUT TO:

INT. PAUL'S MODEL T - DAY

Paul drives back to Cold Mountain, his heart conflicted...

INT. E BLOCK - DAY

...and he walks onto the Mile with a bundle wrapped in a dish
towel. Brutal glances up from the desk, sniffing the air.

PAUL
No, it's not for you.

Paul continues down the Mile. Whatever he's carrying, the
smell of it brings Del to his bars. Even Mr.Jingles comes
skittering out of his cigar box, sniffing.

DEL
Oh. Oh my.

Paul arrives at Coffey's cell. Coffey's on his bunk facing
the wall. His head comes around, drawn by the aroma. He sits
up, wipes the tears leaking from his eyes, looks at Paul.

COFFEY
I'm smelling me some cornbread.

Paul speaks softly so the others can't hear:

PAUL
It's from my missus. She wanted to
thank you.

Coffey nods thoughtfully, absorbing this notion. Then:

COFFEY
Thank me for what?

PAUL
You know. For helping me.

COFFEY
Helping you with what?

Paul motions discreetly to his crotch.

COFFEY
Ohhh.
(beat)
Was your missus pleased?

PAUL
Several times.

Paul hands him the bundle through the bars. Coffey takes it,
uncovers the cornbread reverently, gazes back up.

COFFEY
This all for me?

Paul nods. Across the way, Del is pressing his face longingly
through the bars while Mr. Jingles crawls on his shoulder.

DEL
Oh my. John, I can smell it from
here. I surely can.

COFFEY
(looks to Paul)
Can I give some to Del?

PAUL
It's yours, John. You do with it
as you please.

John carefully scoops a big chunk of cornbread out with his
enormous hand, holds it through the bars to Paul.

COFFEY
Here's for Del and Mr. Jingles
then.

BILLY
Hey! What about me? I'm'a get some
too, ain't I

Coffey looks to Paul--do I have to?

PAUL
It's yours, John. As you please.

COFFEY
Well. Fine. I think I'll keep the
rest, then.

He smiles like a big kid, digging in with his fingers. Paul
crosses the Mile to Del's cell, hands him his share.

PAUL
Courtesy of the gentleman across
the way.

DEL
Oh, John. So very fine of you. So
very kind. Mr. Jingles t'ank you.

COFFEY
(mouth full)
...wel'cm...

BILLY
Hey! What about me? Don't you hold
out on me, ya big dummy nigger!

Paul's temper flares--he steps to Billy's cell.

PAUL
You'll keep a civil tongue on my
block.

Beat. Billy spits in Paul's face and follows it up with a big
grin--what are you gonna do about that? Paul is seething as
he wipes the spit off, but keeps his temper where it belongs.

PAUL
You get that one for free. But
that's the last one.

Paul walks away. Billy laughs, hollering after him:

BILLY
That's it? Just that little bitty
one? Guess I'll have to pay out
for the rest, huh?

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. E BLOCK - DAY

Harry is walking the Mile, doing a cell check and jotting on
a clipboard. He pauses, making a notation...

...and a long stream of piss hits his leg. Billy's at his
bars, peeing on him. Harry jumps back, stunned. Billy howls
with laughter, hosing his aim wildly from side to side.

BILLY
Yeehaaw! Good shot, weren't it?
Oh, the look on your face!

Paul and Brutal come running. Harry's just flabbergasted:

HARRY
You believe this? Son of a bitch
pissed on me!

BILLY
Hey, d'jall like that? I'm
currently cooking some turds t'go
with it! Nice soft ones! I'll have
'em out t'yall tomorrow!

Paul stays calm, turns to Brutal, nods at the restraint room.

PAUL
We've been looking to clear that
room out anyway.

TIMECUT:

A STREAM OF GUARDS comes toting the last of the restraint
room stuff past Billy's cell while he heckles them from the
bars...

BILLY
Hey! Whassit now, movin' day?
Y'all wanna come in and dust a
little? Y'can shine my knob for me
while yer at it!

...and he pauses as Paul and Brutal step to the bars. Paul
has a canvas straitjacket. Brutal pulls his nightstick.

BILLY
You can come in here on your legs,
but you'll go out on your backs,
Billy the Kid guarantee ya that.
(motions to Brutal)
C'mon, fuckstick. No sneakin' up
on me this time. We'll go man to
man, see who's the better fel--

Brutal unlocks the cell--and sidesteps, revealing Harry
pointing a fire hose. The hose erupts, driving Billy across
the cell with bone-jarring force. They batter him half-
senseless, then cut the water. Billy collapses in a heap.

Paul and Brutal drag him semi-conscious from his cell and get
the straitjacket on him. He comes around as they draw the
straps tight and pull him to his feet.

PAUL
C'mon, Wild Bill. Little walky
walky.

BILLY
Don't you call me that! Wild Bill
Hickock wasn't no range rider! He
was just a bushwackin' John Law!
Dumb sonovabitch sat with his back
to the door and kilt by a drunk!

BRUTAL
Oh, my suds and body! A history
lesson! You just never know what
you're gonna get when you come to
work everyday on the Green Mile.
Thank you, Wild Bill.

Billy lets out a scream of rage and throws himself at Brutal.
Brutal, bored, shoves him back toward Paul, who then propels
him down the Mile toward the open restraint room door. Billy
sees where they intend to put him, resorts to pleading:

BILLY
Oh, not in there! C'mon now, I'll
be good! Honest Injun I will! No!
No! Ummmmhhhh...urg...ah!

He suddenly drops to the floor, bucking and jerking wildly,
spewing drool. Harry's eyes go wide.

HARRY
Holy Christ, he's pitchin' a fit!

Paul reaches down and unceremoniously starts dragging Billy
kicking and writhing the rest of the way.

PAUL
He'll be fine, boys. Trust me on
this one.

Brutal helps Paul toss Billy headlong into the padded room.
They slam the door...

RESTRAINT ROOM

...and Billy staggers to his feet in the straitjacket,
inarticulate with rage, starts throwing himself against the
door, screaming at the top of his lungs.

BILLY
ALL I WANTED ME WAS A LITTLE
CORNBREAD, YOU MUTHERFUCKERS!

FADE TO:

INT. E BLOCK - NEXT DAY

Paul and Brutal unlock the restraint room. Billy looks up
from the corner, pale and drained. Softly:

BILLY
I learnt my lesson. I'll be good.

CUT TO:

INT. E BLOCK - DAY

Billy's back in his cell, quiet for a change. Toot-Toot is
outside the bars, mopping the floor. Billy notices a
chocolate Moon Pie in Toot's shirt pocket.

BILLY
Pssss. Hey. Give'ya nickel for
that Moon Pie.

Toot looks around. Nobody's watching, and a nickel's a
nickel. He steps to Billy's bars, swaps the Moon Pie for the
money.

Toot hurries away. Billy unwraps the Moon Pie, makes sure
he's not being watched...and crams the entire thing into his
mouth...

DISSOLVE:

...and here comes Brutal strolling down the Mile, doing a
cell check and jotting on a clipboard. He pauses, seeing:

Billy at his bars. Just standing there staring. His cheeks
bulging way out.

Brutal steps closer, fascinated...what the fuck is that.
Billy waits until he's just a bit closer--

--and he slams his fists against his own cheeks, propelling
a disgusting spew of liquefied chocolate sludge into Brutal's
face. Billy falls back onto his bunk, shrieking with laughter:

BILLY
Li'l Black Sambo, yassuh, boss,
yassuh, howdoo you do?

BRUTAL
(beat, calmly)
Hope your bags are packed.

TIMECUT:

...and once again, Billy gets dragged to the restraint room,
kicking and screaming all the way. They toss him in, slam the
door. Brutal turns, still wiping traces of sludge off.

PAUL
The Moon Pie thing was pretty
original. Gotta give him that.

Brutal nods. They walk away as we

FADE TO:

INT. E BLOCK - DAY

Paul and Brutal appear at Del's bars with Harry and Dean.

PAUL
Del, grab your things. Big day for
you and Mr. Jingles.

DEL
Whatchoo talkin' bout?

PAUL
Important folks heard about your
mouse, wanna see him perform. Not
just guards, either. One of them's
a politician all the way from the
state capital, I believe.

Del swells with pride upon hearing this. He scrounges up Mr.
Jingles props, steps from his cell, looks to Harry and Dean.

DEL
You fellas comin'?

HARRY
We got other fish to fry just now,
Del, but you knock 'em for a loop.

Del nods, beaming happily, looks to Coffey in his cell.

COFFEY
You knock 'em for a loop like Mr.
Harry says, Del.

Brutal leads Del up the Mile, Paul and the others at their
heels. Percy's at the duty desk. He smirks and rolls his eyes
as Del goes by. The moment Brutal and Del are out the door...

...Toot emerges from Paul's office where he's been hiding.

PAUL
Let's move along briskly, folks.
There's not much time.

Toot hurries down to take his place in Del's cell.

TOOT
I'm sittin' down, I'm sittin'
down, I'm sittin' down.

INT. OFFICE/ADMINISTRATION BUILDING - DAY

A HALF DOZEN GUARDS are waiting. We find Bill Dodge fixing
the tie of a fat good ol' boy named EARL.

EARL
Been sweepin' floors here ten
years, never had to wear no damn
tie before.

BILL
You're a V.I.P. today, Earl, so
just shut up.

A KNOCK at the door. Everybody takes a seat. Del is ushered
in by Brutal. Del faces his audience, puts his hands to his
chest in a "thank you" gesture worthy of Lillie Langtry
before her adoring public, then announces grandly:

DEL
Messieurs et mesdames! Bienvenue
au cirque de mousie!

INT. EXECUTION CHAMBER - DAY

The steel cap is lowered over Toot's head, the straps
tightened. TILT UP to Percy as:

PERCY
Roll on two.

Behind his partition, Van Hay mimes flipping the switch.

VAN HAY
That's that.

A pause. Percy looks anxiously to Paul, who's trading glances
with the other guards. Finally:

PAUL
Very good. Very professional.

Percy smiles. Harry and Dean step up, slapping his back and
shaking his hand...

INT. E BLOCK - DAY

...and they're still chatting a short time later, waiting for
Del's return. Percy actually looks happy for a change,
feeling genuinely accepted for the first time...

Billy is watching from his cell. Just watching.

The door opens. Del returns with Mr. Jingles on his shoulder,
escorted by Brutal. Brutal is toting the cigar box and spool
like a magician's assistant carrying the boss' props.

PAUL
Well?

DEL
They love Mr. Jingles! They laugh
and cheer and clap they hands!

PERCY
Well, that's just aces. Pop back
in your cell, old-timer.

The generosity of Percy's tone catches Del completely off
guard. Del gives him a look of almost comical mistrust...

...and the old Percy comes back. He bares his teeth in a mock
snarl and curls his fingers as if to grab Del. It's a joke,
but Del doesn't know that--he jerks back in fear and trips
over Brutal's big feet. Del goes down hard, hitting the
linoleum with the back of his head. Mr. Jingles jumps clear,
goes squeaking down the Mile. Del sits up, painfully
clutching his head. Brutal helps him up...

BRUTAL
Percy, you shit.

...and moves him toward his cell. Percy is actually moved to
apologize--he starts after them with a half-laugh, drifting
much too close to Wild Bill's side of the Mile...

PERCY
Del! Hey, you numb wit, I didn't
mean nothin' by it! You all ri--

...and Wild Bill's arms thrust out, grabbing Percy and
slamming him back against the bars with an arm around his
throat. Percy squeals like a pig in a slaughter-chute,
thinking he's gonna die. The guards scramble, drawing their
clubs--as Billy strokes Percy's hair and whispers in his ear:

BILLY
Ain't you sweet. Soft. Like a
girl. I druther fuck your asshole
than your sister's pussy, I think.

Billy kisses Percy's ear--and his hand drops down to squeeze
Percy's crotch. Paul pulls his sidearm, taking aim...

PAUL
Wharton!

...and Billy lets go, stepping back with his hands raised,
laughing. Percy darts across the Mile in terror and cringes
against the cell opposite, breathing so loud and fast it
almost sounds like sobbing.

BILLY
I let 'im go, I'us just playin'
and I let 'im go! Never hurt a
hair on his purty head!
(grins at Percy)
Your noodle ain't limp at all,
loverboy! I think you sweet on ol'
Billy the Kid...
(sniffs his fingers)
...oooh, but smell you.

Down at his cell, Del starts laughing shrilly. Everybody else
starts to realize it, including Percy himself...he looks
down, sees the huge dark stain spreading at his crotch.

DEL
Lookit, he done piss his pants!
Look what the big man done! He
bus' other people wid 'is stick,
mais oui some mauvais homme, but
someone touch him, he make water
in his pants jus' like a baby!

Percy just stares. Brutal shoves Delacroix into his cell.

BRUTAL
Shut up, Del.

Paul steps to Percy, puts a hand on his shoulder. Percy
shakes his hand off, looks around at their faces, whispers:

PERCY
You talk about this to anyone,
I'll get you all fired. I swear
that to God.

PAUL
What happens on the Mile, stays on
the Mile. Always has.

The men nod solemnly. Nobody's going to talk about this.
Percy looks at Delacroix still snorting in his cell, points
at him.

PERCY
You keep laughing, you French-
fried faggot. You just keep
laughing.

Del falls silent. Percy turns and storms away as we

FADE TO BLACK

IN BLACKNESS, A TITLE CARD APPEARS:

"The Bad Death of Eduard Delacroix"

CUT TO:

INT. DEL'S CELL - DAY

Paul is sitting with Delacroix. Brutal is leaning against the
bars. Del is throwing the spool. Mr. Jingles is fetching it.

The silence is thick. Just the clack-clatter of the spool,
and the skitter skitter of tiny mouse paws on concrete. It's
getting on Paul's nerves in a big way. Softly:

PAUL
What about Dean? He's got a little
boy would love a pet mouse, I bet.

Del looks horrified at the thought.

DEL
How could a boy be trust wid Mr.
Jingles? Maybe forget to feed him.
And how he keep up wid his
trainin', just a boy, n'est-ce pas?

Del tosses the spool again--clack-clatter, skitter-skitter.

PAUL
All right, I'll take him.

DEL
T'ank you kindly, merci beaucoup,
but you live out in the woods, and
Mr. Jingles, he be scared to live
out dans la foret.

PAUL
He whisper that in your ear?

Del nods, tosses the spool again--clack-clatter, skitter
skitter. Paul is completely out of ideas. But then:

BRUTAL
How about Mouseville?

DEL
Mouseville?

BRUTAL
Tourist attraction down in
Florida. Tallahassee, I think. Is
that right, Paul? Tallahassee?

PAUL
(level)
Yeah, that's right. Tallahassee.
Just down the road apiece from the
dog university.

Brutal's mouth twitches, but he manages to keep a straight
face. He gives Paul a look--don't blow this.

BRUTAL
You think they'd take Mr. Jingles?
You think he's got the stuff?

PAUL
Might. He's pretty smart.

DEL
Hey! What dis Mouseville?

BRUTAL
Tourist attraction, I said. They
got this big tent you go into--

DEL
Like a cirque? You have to pay?

BRUTAL
You shittin' me? Course you pay.
Dime a piece, two cents for the
kids. And inside the tent there's
this mouse city made out of boxes
and toilet paper rolls...

Percy is drifting up the block, listening too, but nobody's
really paying him much mind.

BRUTAL
...plus they got the Mouseville
All-Star Circus. There's mice that
swing on trapeze, mice that roll
barrels, mice that stack coins...

DEL
Dat's it! Dat's da place for Mr.
Jingles! You gonna be a circus
mouse after all! Gonna live in a
mouse city down in Florida!

Del tosses the spool extra hard--it takes a bad bounce off
the wall and goes clattering through the bars onto the Mile.
The mouse goes after it like a shot, too intent to notice:

His old enemy Percy.

BRUTAL
Percy, no!

Percy stomps the heel of his heavy work shoe down on Mr.
Jingles. There's a SOFT SNAP as the mouse's back breaks.

Del screams in horror and throws himself at the bars, sobbing
the mouse's name. Percy looks to Brutal and Paul, smiles.

PERCY
Knew I'd get him sooner or later.
Just a matter of time, really.

He turns and strolls up the Mile, leaving Mr. Jingles dying
in a tiny pool of blood. Up at the duty desk, Dean and Harry
get up from a cribbage game, stunned and furious.

Percy strolls past, exits to the execution chamber. Del is
still screaming, all his pent-up terror and grief pouring out
at the dying mouse. And then comes a soft, urgent voice:

COFFEY
Give'm to me.

They turn. Coffey's got his arms out through his bars, one
massive hand spread open.

COFFEY
Give'm to me. Might still be time.

Paul hesitates, scoops the mouse up off the floor, wincing at
the feel of it. Splintered bones are poking at the hide.

BRUTAL
What are you doing?

Paul doesn't answer, just lays Mr. Jingles into Coffey's
hand. Coffey pulls the mouse in through his bars and lays his
other hand gently over it, cupping the creature. All we see
now is the tail hanging out the side, twitching weakly.

BRUTAL
Paul, what the hell--

Paul motions him quiet. Del is pleading softly at his bars:

DEL
Please, John. Oh Johnny, help him,
please help him, s'il vous plait.

Harry and Dean join the group. Everybody watching now.

Coffey puts his mouth to his cupped hands, inhales sharply.
The world hangs suspended for a moment. Coffey raises his
face, contorting as if desperately ill, starts making those
horrendous choking sounds in his throat...

BRUTAL
(softly)
Oh, dear Jesus. The tail. Look at
the tail.

They do. The tail is no longer weak and dying. It's snapping
briskly back and forth, as if ready to play.

Coffey makes that retching/gagging sound...and again exhales
a cloud of swirling black "insects" from his nose and mouth.
The men watch, speechless, as the bugs turn white and
disappear.

Coffey bends down, opens his hand. Mr. Jingles bounds off his
fingers through the bars, racing past the guards' feet. They
turn to see Del gather the mouse up, laughing and crying.
Dean turns back to Coffey with a stunned whisper:

DEAN
What did you do?

COFFEY
I helped Del's mouse. He a circus
mouse. Goan live in a mouse city
down in...down in...

BRUTAL
(numb)
Florida?

Coffey nods, remembering.

COFFEY
Boss Percy's bad. He mean. He step
on Del's mouse.
(softly)
I took it back, though.

And with that, he lies back on his bunk and faces the wall.
The others look to Paul, don't even know what to say.

PAUL
Brute, come along with me.
(to Harry and Dean)
You fellas go on back to you
cribbage game.

Harry nods numbly. Paul leads Brutal up the Mile...

EXECUTION CHAMBER

...and they enter to find Percy polishing Old Sparky's arms.

PERCY
Don't start in on me. It was just
a mouse. Never belonged here in
the first place.

PAUL
The mouse is fine. Just fine.
You're no better at mouse-killing
than anything else around here.

PERCY
You expect me to believe that? I
heard the goddamn thing crunch.

Paul steps closer, angry as we've ever seen him:

PAUL
Aren't you glad Mr. Jingles is
okay? After all our talks about
how we should keep the prisoners
calm? Aren't you relieved?

PERCY
What kind of game is this?

PAUL
No game. See for yourself.

Beat. Percy stalks past them, heads out onto the Mile. Paul
and Brutal just wait, saying nothing. Brutal picks up the rag
left by Percy, resumes polishing chores on Old Sparky. Paul
stretches, cracks his neck. The silence heavy...

...until Percy reappears.

PERCY
You switched them! You switched
them somehow, you bastards!

BRUTAL
I always keep a spare mouse in my
wallet for occasions such as this.

PERCY
You're playing with me, the both
of you! Just who the hell do you
think you are--

Brutal grabs him , slams him bodily into the electric chair.
Paul bends close, gets right in Percy's face.

PAUL
We're the people you work with,
Percy, but not for long. I want
your word.

PERCY
My word?

PAUL
I put you out front for Del, you
put in your transfer to Briar
Ridge the very next day.

PERCY
What if I just call up certain
people and tell them you're
harassing me? Bullying me?

PAUL
Go ahead. I promise you'll leave
your share of blood on the floor.

PERCY
Over a mouse? You think anyone's
gonna give two shits?

PAUL
No. But four men will swear you
stood by while Wild Bill tried to
strangle Dean to death. About that
people will care, Percy. Even your
uncle the governor will care.

BRUTAL
Thing like that goes in your work
record. Work record can follow a
man around a long, long time.

Percy looks from one man to another, knowing he's trapped.

PAUL
I put you out front, you put in
your transfer. That's the deal.

Percy thinks it over, nods. He tries to get up, but Paul keep
him pinned...and pointedly offer his hand.

PAUL
You make a promise to a man, you
shake his hand.

Percy hesitates, shakes Paul's hand...

HIGH WIDE ANGLE OF EXECUTION CHAMBER

...and Paul pulls him out of the electric chair as we

DISSOLVE TO:

SAME ANGLE AS ABOVE - NEXT NIGHT

Witnesses are trickling in, filling the seats. A storm is
brewing, sending FLASHES OF LIGHTNING across the floors.

INT. DEL'S CELL - NIGHT

Del sits with Mr. Jingles in his lap, stroking the mouse
between the ears. Paul, Brutal, and Harry appear at the bars.

DEL
Hey, boys. Say hi, Mr. Jingles.

PAUL
Eduard Delacroix, will you step
forward?

DEL
Boss Edgecomb?

PAUL
Yes, Del?

DEL
Don' let nothin' happen to Mr.
Jingles, okay?

Paul nods--I promise. Del rises, steps to Paul.

DEL
Here, take him.

Del lifts his hand. Mr. Jingles steps off onto Paul's
shoulder with no hesitation. Gently:

PAUL
Del. I can't have a mouse on my
shoulder while...you know.

COFFEY
I'll take him, boss. Jus' for now.
If Del don' mind.

DEL
Yeah, you take 'im, John. Take him
til' dis foolishment done--bien!
(to Paul and Brutal)
After, you take him down to
Florida? To dat Mouseville?

BRUTAL
We'll do it together, most likely.
Maybe take a little vacation time.

Paul moves to Coffey's cell. The mouse skitters off Paul's
shoulder onto Coffey's hand.

DEL
People pay a dime apiece to see
him. Two cents for the kiddies.
Ain't dat right, Boss Howell?

BRUTAL
That's right, Del.

DEL
You a good man, Boss Howell. You
too, Boss Edgecomb. Wish I could'a
met you bot' someplace else.

Del gives Mr. Jingles one last look, starts to cry.

DEL
Au revoir, mon ami. Je t'aime, mon
petit.

And they start to walk the Mile...

EXECUTION CHAMBER

Sweltering in the damp heat. Rain is pissing down, drumming
the tin roof. People glance up uneasily as THUNDER BOOMS. A
FAT LADY is staring grimly at the electric chair.

FAT LADY
Hope he's good and scared. Hope he
knows the fires are stoked, and
that Satan's imps are waiting.

ANGLE ON DOOR

Del enters, horrified to see Percy waiting at Old Sparky.
Paul gives Del's arm a reassuring squeeze, leads him
forward...

IN A TIGHT SERIES OF SHOTS:

The clamps are applied. The straps are drawn tight.

PERCY
Roll on one.

The lights brighten on a RISING HUM. Witnesses look up.

ON THE MILE

Coffey looks up as the overheads flare hotter and hotter,
whispers to the mouse in his hands:

COFFEY
You be still, Mr. Jingles. You be
so quiet and so still.

RESUME EXECUTION CHAMBER

PERCY
Eduard Delacroix, you have been
condemned to die by a jury of your
peers, sentence imposed by a judge
in good standing in this state.
You have anything to say before
sentence is carried out?

Del tries to speak. Doesn't quite manage the first time.
Licks his lips and tries again.

DEL
I sorry for what I do. I give
anything to take it back, but I
can't. God have mercy on me.
(whispers to Paul)
Don' forget 'bout Mouseville.

Paul and Brutal nod--and are stunned as:

PERCY
No such place. That's just a fairy
tale these guys told you to keep
you quiet. Just thought you should
know, faggot.

The stricken look in Del's eyes tells us a part of him had
known all along. Paul and Brutal would both like to deck
Percy right about now, and he knows it--he gives them a "what
are you gonna do about it" smile.

Nothing they can do. Paul nods to Harry, who takes the black
mask from the back of the chair and rolls it down over Del's
head, leaving the top of his shaved head exposed.

PERCY

takes the sponge and bends down to the bucket of brine. The
other don't see it, but we do:

Percy only pretends to dip the sponge and soak it. It never
touches the water. He straightens up and places the sponge
atop Delacroix's head, hiding it with his hands.

The cap is lowered. Paul and the others haven't yet realized
what's happened. THUNDER BOOMS and LIGHTNING CRASHES as Percy
hides a smile, steps back to address the condemned:

PERCY
Electricity shall now be passed
through your body until you are
dead, in accordance with state
law. God have mercy on your soul.

TIGHT ON PAUL

as realization starts to dawn. He stares at the bucket, then
across the floor to Delacroix, coming to terms with the
evidence of his eyes--there's no water on the floor or
dripping down the sides of Del's neck.

Paul's eyes widen. A stunned beat of horror. He starts to
open his mouth to scream "NO!", but Percy beats him to it
with:

PERCY
Roll on two.

Van Hay flicks the switch. WHAM. The electricity hits home
and Del rocks forward, riding the current.

Then things start to go horribly wrong.

The HUMMING loses its steadiness and starts to waver with a
CRACKLING SOUND. Tendrils of smoke begin curling from under
the cap, a mixture of burning hair and sponge. Brutal shoots
Paul a horrified look. Paul responds with a harsh whisper:

PAUL
It's dry!

Delacroix begins twisting and jittering in the chair, his
masked face snapping violently from side to side, his legs
pistoning up and down in his restraints.

There's a MUFFLED POP from under the cap, like a pine knot
exploding in a hot fire. Smoke starts coming through the
fabric of the mask, puffing upward. Del is being cooked
alive. Paul spins to the partition, hollering--

PAUL
JACK!

--but Brutal grabs his arm, whispers fiercely:

BRUTAL
Don't you tell him to stop. Don't
you do it. It's too late for that.

Paul turns back, helpless. The other guards are trading wild
looks, unable to believe what's happening. Even Percy looks
aghast--he was expecting something, but not this.

Del begins SCREAMING--the wild, hysterical sound of an animal
being shredded alive in a hay baler. The HUMMING goes uneven
and ragged, the lights rising and falling...

ON THE MILE

...as Del's screams rise and fall with them, echoing up the
corridor. Coffey's shaking and screaming too, as if feeling
Del's pain. Mr. Jingles squirms out of his grasp and goes
squeaking in terror toward the restraint room door...

BILLY
HE'S COOKIN' NOW! THEY COOKIN' HIM
GOOD! NEAR ABOUT DONE, I RECKON!

RESUME EXECUTION CHAMBER

Wrong. Del's nowhere near about done. He's slamming back and
forth in the chair hard enough to shake the platform,
twisting hard against the leather restraints. We hear BONES
BREAKING. A WOMAN'S SCREAMS. Witnesses start rising to their
feet:

WITNESSES
What the hell's happening to
him?...Are those clamps going to
hold?...Christ, the smell!...Is
this normal?

The mask bursts into flame on Delacroix's face. Van Hay
hollers through the wire mesh, horrified:

VAN HAY
SHOULD I KILL THE JUICE?

PAUL
NO! ROLL, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE, ROLL!

Harry scoops up the bucket of water to throw it.

PAUL
No water! No water! You crazy?

Harry backs off with a look of dazed understanding--you don't
throw water on a man getting juiced. Right. He drops the
bucket, races to get the chemical fire extinguisher instead.

The flaming mask peels away, revealing Del's charring face.
His eyeballs are misshapen globs of burning white jelly blown
out of their sockets. The ATTENDING DOCTOR faints dead away.

Pandemonium now in the room. People shouting and hurrying to
exit, chairs falling over, women screaming:

FAT LADY
Stop it, stop it, oh can't you see
he's had enough?

Hal grabs Paul by the shoulder, spins him around.

HAL
Why don't you shut it down?

PAUL
He's still alive! You want me to
shut down while he's still alive?

Hal is horrified at the thought. Del is jittering and
screaming, rocking from side to side, smoke pouring from his
nostrils and mouth, his tongue sizzling purple-black.

The witnesses are crowding and shoving to get out, but the
back door is locked. All they can do is cluster there.

Paul sees Percy with his head turned away. He grabs him,
forces his head around.

PAUL
You watch, you son of a bitch!

Harry steps up, the extinguisher in his hands. Waiting. Del
finally slumps over. He still vibrating, but now it's just
the effect of current flowing through his body.

PAUL
Kill it!

Van Hay kills the current. The HUMMING DIES. Brutal grabs the
extinguisher from Harry, shoves it into Percy's hands.

BRUTAL
You do it. You're running the
show, ain't you?

Percy, sick and dazed, aims the extinguisher and hoses the
smoking corpse. Hal is near the back, calming the crowd:

HAL
It's all right, folks, it's all
under control. Just a power surge
from the storm, that's all,
nothing to worry about...

PAUL
Dean, get doc's stethoscope.

Dean drops to the doctor's bag, digs through it, hands up the
stethoscope. Paul plugs them into his ears. People are
moaning and sobbing at the back of the room:

MAN
Oh my God! Is it always like this?
Why didn't somebody tell me? I
never would have come!

Paul wipes some foam away from Delacroix's chest, places the
stethoscope pad to the raw flesh. He nods to Brutal--it's
over.

CUT TO:

INT. ACCESS TUNNEL - NIGHT

Paul and the others bring the stretcher down, lay the corpse
on the gurney. Percy starts stammering excuses:

PERCY
I didn't know the sponge was
supposed to be wet--

Brutal hauls off and slugs him. A scuffle ensues as the
others grab Brutal and pull him off.

PAUL
Brutal, no!

BRUTAL
What do you mean, no? How can you
say no? You saw what he did!

PAUL
Delacroix's dead, nothing can
change that, and Percy's not worth
it!

BRUTAL
So he just gets away with it? Is
that how it works?

Hal comes lunging down the stairs, furious:

HAL
What the fuck was that? Jesus
Christ, three witnesses puked all
over the floor up there! And the
smell! I got Van Hay to open both
doors, but that smell won't come
out for five damn years, that's
what I'm betting! And that asshole
Wharton is singing about it! I can
hear him!

PAUL
(quietly)
Can he carry a tune, Hal?

This pulls the plug on the moment--Hal snorts, triggering
laughter among the men, a wild release of tension and fear.
Everybody starts feeling a bit saner again as it dies down:

HAL
Okay, boys. Okay. Now what the
hell happened?

All eyes go to Percy. Hal turns, sees Percy's bloody lip.

HAL
Percy? Something to say?

PERCY
I didn't know the sponge was
supposed to be wet.

Beat. A look of utter contempt from Hal.

HAL
How many years you spend pissing
on the toilet seat before somebody
told you to put it up?

PAUL
Percy fucked up, Hal. Pure and
simple.

HAL
Is that your official position?

PAUL
Don't you think it should be?

Hal considers it, nods.

PAUL
He'll be putting in a transfer
request to Briar Ridge tomorrow.
Moving on to bigger and better
things. Isn't that right, Percy?

Percy nods. Hal steps close, gives him a tight, icy smile.

HAL
You're a little asshole, and I
don't like you a bit.
(off Percy's look)
Have that transfer request on my
desk first thing.

Hal heads back up the stairs. Brutal shoves Percy aside and
wheels Delacroix's body down the tunnel.

INT. E BLOCK - NIGHT

Paul returns to find Wild Bill making up a song in his cell:

BILLY
(singing)
Barbecue! Me and you! Stinky,
pinky, phew-phew-phew! Weren't
Billy or Jilly or Hilly or Roy--it
was a French-fried faggot named
Delacroix!

PAUL
You're about ten seconds away from
spending the rest of your life in
the padded room.

Billy falls silent. Paul continues down the Mile to Coffey's
cell. Coffey's on his bunk, face streaked with tears. He
wipes his eyes with the heels of his hands like an exhausted
child.

COFFEY
Poor Del. Poor old Del.

PAUL
Yes. Poor old Del. John, are you
okay?

COFFEY
I could feel it from here.

PAUL
What do you mean? You could hear
it? Is that what you mean?

COFFEY
He's out of it now, though. He's
the lucky one. No matter how it
happened, Del's the lucky one.

Paul realizes he won't get a coherent answer.

PAUL
Where's Mr. Jingles?

COFFEY
(points vaguely)
Ran down there. Don't think he'll
be back.
(beat)
Awful tired now, boss. Dog tired.

Coffey lays down, turns to face the wall.

PAUL
Me too, John. Me too.

<<< >>>

/ Green Mile.
Copyright 2005-2018. ! ! homeenglish@mail.ru