>>/ Misery

/ Misery. .

: / Misery.

/ Misery

CUT TO:

THE KITCHEN

As PAUL approaches it. He starts to wheel his way in, but he has trouble.

He backs up slightly, wheels forward again--

--but the door is too narrow for the chair to fit through. He pounds his fists on the chair arm, staring as we

CUT TO:

THE BACK DOOR. It's at the far end of the kitchen leading to the outside. It seems somehow less formidable than the front door did. The windows around the kitchen are barred.

CUT TO:

PAUL, staring at the kitchen door--

--then without warning, he makes his move, starting to lower himself out of the chair

gently to the floor--

--only it doesn't work that way. It's too awkward, he doesn't have the strength to maneuver properly--

--and his body tilts awkwardly out of the chair, slams hard against the hard floor.

CUT TO:

PAUL, crying out in pain as he lands. He lies there for a moment. Little droplets of sweat are on his forehead now. He is hurting.

He closes his eyes, gathering strength--

--and then slowly, very slowly, inch by inch, he moves his body across the floor toward the kitchen door.

CUT TO:

THE KITCHEN DOOR. It's still a long way away.

CUT TO:

PAUL, ignoring his pain, his awkwardness, making his body move.

CUT TO:

THE KITCHEN DOOR. Closer now.

CUT TO:

PAUL, growing pale, but he won't stop, and now the door is just ahead of him, and with his good arm he reaches out and up and grabs the doorknob--

CUT TO:

THE KITCHEN DOOR. Locked solid.

CUT TO:

PAUL: CLOSE UP. The disappointment and anger is plain on his face. His arm drops. He lies still for a moment, panting from his effort. Then--

CUT TO:

PAUL, and his eyes are wide for a moment. You can feel his wild excitement, as we

PULL BACK TO REVEAL

Sitting on the counter: A SET OF CARVING KNIVES sticking out of a slotted wooden block.

They seem to be out of reach, but that doesn't stop him. He starts to crawl over to the counter.

CUT TO:

THE ROAD

ANNIE is driving along in her Cherokee. She is heading home.

CUT TO:

THE KITCHEN

Now at the counter, PAUL tries to pull himself up with his one good arm, but even though he is able to chin himself up to the top of the counter, he is still unable to reach the knives. He makes a desperate attempt which sends him crashing to the floor.

As he starts to force his way up again--from outside there comes a sound--the motor of a car.

CUT TO:

OUTSIDE ANNIE'S

ANNIE, driving up to the house.

CUT TO:

THE KITCHEN

PAUL, throwing himself back to the floor, starting a wild crawl back across the kitchen toward the wheelchair and

CUT TO:

OUTSIDE ANNIE'S

ANNIE, getting out of her Jeep and

CUT TO:

KITCHEN

PAUL, crawling, crawling and

CUT TO:

OUTSIDE ANNIE'S

ANNIE, walking around to the back of the Jeep and

CUT TO:

KITCHEN

PAUL, scrambling wildly up into his wheelchair, starting to get it turned and

CUT TO:

ANNIE'S

ANNIE, opening the back of the Jeep and lifting out several rectangular boxes of paper and

CUT TO:

PAUL, straightened out now, forcing the wheelchair to move, and now we're into a race, a crazed life-and-death race and the cuts go fast--

--and ANNIE closes the door of the car--

--and PAUL is suddenly stuck, there's no traction on the rug--

-- ow ANNIE, purchases in hand, starts away from the car for the house--

--and now PAUL is finally moving toward the bedroom.

--and ANNIE is moving swiftly toward the front door.

-- he drops one of the packages of paper.

CUT TO:

PAUL, still biting down, churning his arms with all the strength he has left. PAUL'S ARMS, aching, start to turn to rubber.

CUT TO:

ANNIE'S FEET, walking quickly across the snow-covered area in front of the house and

CUT TO:

THE BEDROOM DOOR as Paul gets through it, shuts it, and attacks the bedroom lock with the bobby pin and

CUT TO:

ANNIE, unlocking the front door of the house and

CUT TO:

THE BEDROOM DOOR, as it locks and

CUT TO:

THE FRONT DOOR, unlocking and

CUT TO:

ANNIE balancing the bundles under her chin as she jiggles the key out of the front door lock and

CUT TO:

PAUL, soaked.

ANNIE (V.O.) (her voice from the hallway, close and growing closer) Paul, I've got your paper.

CUT TO:

PAUL. He wheels to exactly where he was when she left him. He at last allows himself a sigh of relief.

CUT TO:

THE DOOR as the sound of a lock CLICKING is heard.

ANNIE Just the kind you asked for.

And as the door opens--

CUT TO:

PAUL--looking down. Paul's waistband--a half a dozen strips of Novril ominously stick out.

As the door swings open, he quickly covers the Novril with this hands.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, in the doorway, a strange look on her face.

ANNIE Paul, you're dripping with perspiration, your color is very hectic--what have you been doing?

PAUL You know goddamn well what I've been doing--I'VE BEEN SITTING HERE SUFFERING. I need my pills.

ANNIE (tenderly, as she starts toward him) Poor dear... Let's get you back in bed and I'll get them for you.

PAUL (exploding--a real child's tantrum) I want my pills NOW!

ANNIE It'll only take a second.

PAUL I want my pain to go 'way, Annie-- make it go 'way, please Annie-- (She looks at him-- you can't tell if she's buying it or not) --please...

CUT TO:

ANNIE. She stares a moment more, then turns, starts for the door.

ANNIE (upset) It just breaks my heart to see you like this...

CUT TO:

PAUL watching, and the instant she is out the door in the hallway, he stuffs the Novril into his pants.

ANNIE (O.S.) (coming closer) I've done a lot of thinking on the drive...

CUT TO:

ANNIE, entering the room, the Novril in her hand. She is genuinely contrite.

ANNIE ...and I'm absolutely convinced that the main reason I've never been more popular is because of my temper. You must be so mad at me. The truth now.

She hands him the pills. And rolls him over to the bed.

PAUL Well, I don't hold grudges. After all, who doesn't let off a little steam once in a while.

CUT TO:

PAUL putting the pills in his mouth, as she picks him up from the chair and puts him gently down in bed.

ANNIE My genius needs his rest before he writes.

She hands him a pad and pencil.

ANNIE Here, in case you think of any ideas.

PAUL Yeah, well I wouldn't expect too much.

ANNIE Don't be silly. You'll be brilliant. Think of me as your inspiration.

CUT TO:

THE DOORWAY, as ANNIE starts to it.

ANNIE I have faith in you... (beat) ...my darling...

On that she turns--for the first time, a coquettish look comes to her face.

ANNIE Catch this-- (she throws him a kiss--it's grotesque) --ummmm-wahhhh.

CUT TO:

PAUL, summoning up all his courage, as he mimes catching it and forces a smile on. She waves, closes the door.

HOLD ON PAUL. The smile dies. He reaches in and pulls the two Novril capsules out of his mouth. Now--

CUT TO:

THE SOUND OF A HELICOPTER

CUT TO:

INSIDE THE HELICOPTER

BUSTER AND PILOT flying along. Buster is all bundled up as he stares out, using the binoculars...

CUT TO:

SOMETHING SHINY reflecting the sun.

HOLD AS IT ALMOST BLINDS US--we're looking at the part of Paul's Mustang that was revealed by the snow when Buster almost found the car.

BUSTER (to Pilot) Walter, we could be skipping lunch today.

CUT TO:

CRASH SITE

Paul's car being hoisted by chains from the ground and, as it starts to rise up into the afternoon air...

PULL BACK TO REVEAL

THE AREA BY THE CAR--BUSTER is there and a bunch of STATE POLICEMEN and various MEDIA PEOPLE are there--Buster stands with the STATE POLICE CHIEF watching as the car is hoisted via derrick; the sound of the powerful MOTOR lifting the car is enormous and as the car keeps rising higher and higher and PEOPLE take pictures and stare and

CUT TO:

THE STATE POLICE CHIEF is addressing maybe a dozen REPORTERS. It's very cold. BUSTER stands slightly away from the group.

STATE POLICE CHIEF The presumption must now be that Paul Sheldon is dead. We know he somehow crawled out of his car. But we have been unable to locate his body in the vicinity of the crash. We also know if anyone had found him, they would have taken him to an area hospital. His body is undoubtedly out there buried somewhere in the snow. We'll find him after the first thaw--unless the animals have gotten to him first. (beat) I'll take questions.

After the first sentence, a very cold and very unhappy BUSTER leaves the gathering.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S CAR as Buster studies it, especially the area by the driver's side where there are still dents visible from Annie's crowbar.

VIRGINIA moves to him now. They exchange a glance, start walking together toward their car.

CUT TO:

THE CHIEF, surrounded--people are asking questions, raising hands for attention, and as he answers them--

CUT TO:

BUSTER AND VIRGINIA, close together, walking toward their car.

VIRGINIA You don't think he's dead, do you?

BUSTER He might well be. But not the way they say. He didn't crawl out of that car by himself. You saw those dents on the door--someone pulled him out.

VIRGINIA It was an old car--those dents could have been there forever.

BUSTER There's two kinds of people that drive around in old cars: the ones that can't afford new ones, and the ones who wouldn't give 'em up for anything in the world. That second bunch don't drive around with twenty- five-year-old dents.

As they drive off...

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM. NIGHT.

PAUL lies in bed listening to the strains of "The Love Connection," coming from upstairs. As Chuck Woolery drones on, Paul is intently involved in folding a piece of paper from his pad. He is making a container of some sort. He finishes, then reaches down and grabs the Novril capsules that he has been stashing in the mattress.

Carefully, he opens one and pours it into the palm of his hand. First he smells it--no odor--then he takes a tiny bit on a finger and tastes it--no taste. Then, he takes his paper container and empties the contents of all the pills into it, then places it under the mattress.

Now, what to do with the empty capsules. He thinks for a second, then--what the hell--he swallows them. He then places the packet back in the mattress.

CUT TO:

THE TYPEWRITER. DAY.

The window is visible behind it. From this angle, it almost seems to be staring at PAUL, broken "n" and all. PAUL tests his wounded arm. He's able to raise it a few inches, but that's it.

CUT TO:

OUTSIDE THE WINDOW

ANNIE is visible heading for the barn, followed by MISERY, the pig. For a moment, she stops, turns to look back.

ANNIE (calling out) Don't be nervous-- (beat) --just remember, I'll treasure whatever you do.

Now, as she turns again, moves quickly away--

CUT TO:

THE TYPEWRITER

CUT TO:

PAUL. He rolls in a piece of paper, types briefly.

CUT TO:

WHAT HE'S WRITTEN, AND IT'S THIS:

"Misery's Retur ."

By Paul Sheldo

for A ie Wilkes.

CUT TO:

PAUL, studying the paper. He takes it out, starts to roll in a new sheet.

CUT TO:

THE MACHINE as the new sheet is rolled in.

CUT TO:

PAUL, staring at the blank page. He takes a deep breath, glances outside, then back to the paper.

CUT TO:

THE BLANK PAGE

CUT TO:

PAUL, and now there's a brief light behind his eyes and suddenly he types a burst, stares at what he's written.

CUT TO:

THE PAPER and these words: "fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck."

CUT TO:

PAUL. He closes his eyes briefly, mutters something, kind of nods, opens his eyes, grabs for another piece of paper, rolls it in and starts mechanically to type.

DISSOLVE TO:

A NEW PIECE OF PAPER with the words "Chapter Two" and a half paragraph of writing as we

PULL BACK TO REVEAL

PAUL WORKING in his room. ANNIE enters, the first pages of manuscript in her hands. It's dusk.

ANNIE I'm sorry, Paul. This is all wrong, you'll have to do it over again.

PAUL (totally stunned) What? What happened to "I'll treasure whatever you do?"

ANNIE Paul, it's not worthy of you. Throw it all out except for the part of naming that gravedigger after me. You can leave that in.

PAUL I really value your criticism, but maybe you're being a little hasty here.

ANNIE Paul, what you've written just isn't fair.

PAUL --not fair?

ANNIE That's right--when I was growing up in Bakersfield, my favorite thing in all the world was to go to the movies on Saturday afternoons for the chapter plays...

PAUL (it just comes out) --cliff-hangers--

ANNIE (suddenly angry) I know that, Mister Man--they also call them serials. I'm not stupid, you know. (and she's a child again) Anyway, my favorite was Rocket Man, and once it was a no-brakes chapter, the bad guys stuck him in a car on a mountain road and knocked him out and welded the doors shut and tore out the brakes and started him to his death and he woke up and tried to steer and tried to get out, but the car went off a cliff before he could escape and it crashed and burned and--I was so upset and excited and the next week you better believe I was first in line and they always start with the end of the last week and there was Rocket Man trying to get out, and here came the cliff and JUST BEFORE the car went off he jumped free and all the kids cheered-- (standing up now) --but I didn't cheer, I stood right up and started shouting, "This isn't what happened last week--have you all got amnesia?--THEY JUST CHEATED US--THIS WASN'T FAIR--"

ANNIE: CLOSE UP. Still in her childhood reverie. Shouting:

ANNIE "HE DIDN'T GET OUT OF THE COCKADOODIE CAR!"

PAUL They always cheated like that in cliff-- (stops himself) --chapter plays.

ANNIE But not you. Not with my Misery. Remember, Ian did ride for Dr. Cleary at the end of the last book, but his horse fell jumping that fence and Ian broke his shoulder and his ribs and lay there all night in the ditch so he never reached the doctor, so there couldn't have been any "experimental blood transfusion" that saved her life. Misery was buried in the ground at the end, Paul, so you'll have to start there.

As she goes--

PAUL Look at this, I've got Lizzie Borden for an editor, here.

PAUL slumps, staring barefully at the typewriter.

DISSOLVE TO:

OUTSIDE THE FARMHOUSE. NIGHT.

DISSOLVE TO:

OUTSIDE THE FARMHOUSE. NEXT MORNING.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM. DAY.

PAUL is at the table. He takes the Novril off his breakfast tray, wheels over to the bed, and stuffs them into the mattress. He hears FOOTSTEPS coming down the hall. He smoothly wheels back to the table. A pause.

ANNIE enters to remove the tray.

ANNIE What's the matter, Paul? You haven't written a word.

PAUL I can't write this anymore.

ANNIE Don't be silly. Of course you can.

PAUL I'm telling you, I can't.

ANNIE You can--you have the "gotta"--

PAUL The what?

ANNIE The "gotta." Remember, you talked about it in Playboy magazine. You said there's a million things you can't do in this world; you can't hit a curve ball, you can't fix a leaky faucet or make a marriage work-- but there's one thing you always have, and that's the power of the "gotta."

PAUL I said that?

ANNIE You said you can make it so they gotta turn the page. You know, "I 'gotta' know will she live," "I 'gotta' know will he catch the killer." "I gotta see how this chapter ends." You said it. I don't usually buy that magazine. I only got it, 'cause they were interviewing you.

CUT TO:

PAUL: CLOSE UP. Blinking.

PAUL (quietly) What about a bee...?

ANNIE What?

PAUL Nothing.

CUT TO:

THE KEYBOARD as the piece of paper slides in and the keys start to move. Annie stands there for a moment, then quietly backs out of the room.

DISSOLVE TO:

THE WINDOW. It's late afternoon.

PULL BACK TO REVEAL

PAUL in the wheelchair watching as ANNIE finishes reading.

PAUL Well, is it fair? Should I keep going?

ANNIE You better. Oh, Paul, when Ian realized that the reason they'd buried Misery alive was because the bee sting had put her in that temporary coma--

CUT TO:

ANNIE, in a fervor.

ANNIE --and when Gravedigger Wilkes remembered how thirty years earlier, the same thing had happened to Lady Evelyn-Hyde-- (hands clasped) --and then old Dr. Cleary deduced that Misery must be Lady Evelyn-Hyde's long-lost daughter because of the rarity of deadly bee-stings--my heart just leapt.

CUT TO:

PAUL, watching her. It's as if he had nothing to do with anything she's read as she goes on.

ANNIE I've known from the very first book that Misery had to be born of nobility and I was right!

PAUL (mumbling to himself) Yeah, yeah...

CUT TO:

THE TWO OF THEM; she touches the pages as if they were gold, rubbing gently with the tips of her fingers.

ANNIE Oh, Paul, can I read each chapter when you finish? I can fill in the "n"s. (Paul nods, and she's off again) Will she be her old self, now that Ian has dug her out, or will she have amnesia...?

PAUL ...have to wait.

ANNIE Will she still love him with that special perfect love?

PAUL Have to wait.

ANNIE (plead ing) Not even a hint?

Paul shakes his head.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, spinning around the room like a happy child.

ANNIE Misery's alive! Misery's alive. Oh, it's so romantic--this whole house is going to be filled with romance. I'm going to put on my Liberace records-- (Stops, looks at Paul) --you do like Liberace, don't you?

PAUL (quickly) Whenever he played Radio City, who do you think was right there in the front row?

ANNIE I'm going to play my records all day

LONG --to inspire you--he's my all-time favorite.

And with that, she starts to leave.

PAUL Annie?

She stops at the door.

PAUL Would you have dinner with me tonight?

She can't speak.

PAUL To celebrate Misery's return. I couldn't have done it without you.

ANNIE Oh, Paul. It would be an honor.

ANNIE dashes excitedly out of the room. PAUL wheels over to the bed, pulls the packet of Novril powder out from the mattress and stuffs it in his pants. The sound of Liberace playing "Tammy" with orchestra and chorus booms in from beyond the door.

PAUL Jesus Christ.

CUT TO:

BUSTER'S OFFICE. DUSK.

VIRGINIA is on the phone.

VIRGINIA (into phone) No, he's not here. I don't know where he went. He never tells me anything anymore. He's probably out having an affair somewhere. Wait a minute. I think I hear him coming.

BUSTER enters carrying a bagful of books.

VIRGINIA (to Buster) It's Jim Taylor. He wants to know who you've been having an affair with.

CUT TO:

BUSTER. He puts the bag down, shoots Virginia a look and grabs the phone. VIRGINIA looks in the bag.

BUSTER Hey, Jim, what's doing? Uh-huh... uh- huh... Jim, we've been over this. If you're gonna have benches in front of your store, people are gonna sit on them. I don't like him either, but I'm not going to come over there and tell him to move. Give my best to Denise. Bye.

VIRGINIA (looking through the books; all paperback Misery novels) Well, whoever she is, she sure likes to read a lot.

BUSTER Virginia, I'm flattered you think I got that much energy. I just figured if I can't find Paul Sheldon, at least I can find out what he wrote about.

VIRGINIA What do you expect to find? A story about a guy who drove his car off a cliff in a snowstorm?

BUSTER Now, you see, it's that kind of sarcasm that's given our marriage real spice.

CUT TO:

STUDY. NIGHT.

PAUL is sitting at a table that Annie has set up with her best china and silverware. It is as romantic as Annie Wilkes gets. ANNIE enters, carrying a basket of rolls. She sits and serves Paul.

ANNIE I hope you like it.

PAUL It looks wonderful. And so do you.

ANNIE Oh...

They eat in awkward silence. Finally:

PAUL I've never had meatloaf this good, what do you do to it?

ANNIE My secret is I only use fresh tomatoes, never canned. And to give it that little extra zip, I mix in some Spam with the ground beef.

PAUL Oh. (pause) You can't get this in a restaurant in New York.

After another pause:

PAUL Annie, I think we should have a toast.

ANNIE A toast?

PAUL Yes, to Misery. Let me pour you some more wine.

Paul pours more of the Gallo wine, then raises his glass.

ANNIE To Misery.

PAUL Wait, let's do this right. Do you have any candles?

ANNIE Oh, I don't know. I think so. I'll go look.

She exits into the kitchen. PAUL quickly pulls the packet filled with Novril powder from his pants. He empties it into her glass of wine, stuffs the empty packet back into his pants, talking the whole time:

PAUL Did you study decorating, or do you just have a flair?

ANNIE Oh, you. I just picked things up over the years.

PAUL Well, it certainly says you.

ANNIE You really think so?

PAUL Absolutely. Listen, if you can't find any, it's okay. I just thought it might be nice.

ANNIE re-enters with a candle.

ANNIE Are you kidding? If anyone ever told me that one day I'd be having a candlelit dinner with Paul Sheldon in my own house, I woulda checked both legs to see which one was being pulled. Will this do?

PAUL It's perfect.

She places the candle on the table. With a slight tremor in her hand, she lights the candle. PAUL raises his glass.

PAUL To Misery and Annie Wilkes, who brought her back to life.

ANNIE raises her glass.

ANNIE Oh, Paul, every time I think about it, I get goosebumps.

They clink glasses.

And with that, her emotions having gotten the best of her, she knocks over the candle. In trying to right the situation, she places her glass back down, and as she reaches for the candle, she knocks over her glass, spilling the wine.

ANNIE (wiping up the spilled wine with her napkin) Oh, God, what have I done? I'm so sorry, Paul. I ruined your beautiful toast. Will you ever forgive me? Here, let me pour another one. (she does) Can we pretend this never happened? To Misery?

PAUL To Misery.

So they drink their wine.

CUT TO:

OUTSIDE THE FARMHOUSE. DAY.

The snow, although still present, has melted somewhat. And starting now and continuing throughout is this: the sound of typing.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM

PAUL, working at his typewriter.

CUT TO:

THE MANUSCRIPT. Growing.

CUT TO:

ANNIE'S BEDROOM. DUSK.

ANNIE, in her room. Reading and loving it.

CUT TO:

BUSTER'S DEN. NIGHT.

BUSTER sitting in his den reading a Misery novel by the fire. VIRGINIA brings him a cup of tea.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM. DAY.

PAUL, the sling off, moving his injured arm. It's more mobile than before. Testing his strength, he uses his arm to remove the page and place it on the pile. He puts in another page and continues to type.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, entering Paul's room, carrying a chapter. Handing him a cup of tea.

ANNIE Paul, this is positively the best Misery you've ever written.

PAUL I think you're right.

CUT TO:

THE PILE OF PAPER. Bigger.

CUT TO:

OUTSIDE THE BARN

ANNIE, out by the barn. She stares in at the house. Framed in the window is PAUL, working. She smiles, enters the barn.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM. NIGHT.

He stretches but only briefly, then back to his typing.

CUT TO:

THE KITCHEN

ANNIE, cooking happily away, reading a chapter.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM

PAUL, arm out of the sling. He manages to lift the typewriter once, sets it back down, puts the sling back on.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM. LATER.

ANNIE, bringing a tray of food.

ANNIE I think it's so wonderful that Misery would sacrifice her title to take up the cause of her people. That's true nobility.

Paul hands her some new pages. As she exits,

CUT TO:

BUSTER'S OFFICE

BUSTER, in his office reading. He is alone.

CUT TO:

ANNIE'S LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.

Annie is reading by the fire. Her pig Misery sits beside her, staring at the pages.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM. DAY.

His fingers just fly, faster than he's ever typed and

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM. NIGHT.

Paul, staring and

CUT TO:

THE PILE, growing, growing and

CUT TO:

PAUL'S FINGERS

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM

PAUL, ripping open a new ream of paper...

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM. DUSK.

His lips move silently. He's not even aware of it as he nods and...

CUT TO:

THE PAPER IN THE TYPEWRITER, line after line being written.

INTERCUT WITH:

Paul's face at DAY, NIGHT, and DUSK in rapid succession, ending with

CUT TO:

ANNIE'S FARMHOUSE. NIGHT.

Lightning! Giant deep rolls of THUNDER as RAIN begins...

CUT TO:

TYPEWRITER being lifted out of frame, then back in, then out again.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM. NIGHT.

The pile of manuscript has doubled. Maybe two hundred pages.

PAUL, with some effort, is pumping the typewriter up and down. Finally, he places it back down and puts his arm back in the sling.

CUT TO:

PAUL, looking outside breifly.

CUT TO:

THE RAIN. Worse. The SOUND hit s the roof of the house, hits the window.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, lumbering in--she's never looked like this: She's wearing her slippers and her pink quilted housecoat. Her eyes are without life. Her hair, loose and straggly, hangs around her face. Slowly, like a robot, she goes to PAUL, who looks silently up at her.

ANNIE Here's your pills.

She drops them on the table.

CUT TO:

PAUL, as the pills hit his chest and bounce into his lap.

PAUL Annie, what is it?

CUT TO:

ANNIE

ANNIE (half turns away, turns back, gestures outside) The rain... sometimes it gives me the blues.

CUT TO:

ANNIE: CLOSE UP. And suddenly it's as if she's been turned off, gone lifeless.

CUT TO:

PAUL, staring at her. No sound but the rain.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, seen straight on. No light in her eyes.

ANNIE When you first came here, I only loved the writer part of Paul Sheldon. But now I know I love the rest of him too. As much as Misery loves Ian. (beat) I know you don't love me--don't say you do--you're a beautiful, brilliant, famous man of the world; and I'm...not a movie star type. You'll never know the fear of losing someone like you if you're someone like me.

PAUL Why would you lose me?

ANNIE The book is almost finished. Your legs are getting better. Soon you'll be able to walk. You'll be wanting to leave.

PAUL Why would I want to leave? I like it here.

ANNIE That's very kind of you, but I'll bet it's not altogether true.

PAUL It is.

She slowly reaches into the pocket of her bathrobe and pulls out a .38 Special.

ANNIE I have this gun, and sometimes I think about using it.

She is absentmindedly clicking the empty gun.

ANNIE I better go now. I might put bullets in it.

Robot-like, she crosses to the door and leaves. As she closes and locks the door--

CUT TO:

PAUL, stunned, listening, waiting--

--here is the sound of the front door closing--

--then footsteps on the outside walk--

--the sound of a car door opening and slamming shut.

Now comes the GUNNING of the motor.

CUT TO:

THE WINDOW as ANNIE drives by, hunched over the wheel. The MOTOR sound grows fainter, faint...

CUT TO:

BUSTER AND VIRGINIA'S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

BUSTER AND VIRGINIA are lying in bed. Buster is reading yet another Misery novel, Misery's Trial. Virginia is also reading.

BUSTER "There is a justice higher than that of man. I will be judged by Him."

VIRGINIA What?

BUSTER They're hauling Misery into court.

VIRGINIA That's nice.

BUSTER (mutters under his breath) "There is a justice higher than that of man--I will be judged by Him."

CUT TO:

ANNIE'S KITCHEN.

The kitchen KNIVES on the counter.

CUT TO:

PAUL, now using both arms, forcing his body up toward them.

This isn't easy, it was a bitch the first time he tried it, but nothing's going to stop him now. He's leaning against the cupboard, using it for balance--

--his balance starts to go but he won't let it as we

CUT TO:

THE KNIVES, AS HIS HAND grabs the largest one, a fat-handled sharp beauty and

CUT TO:

PAUL, and you can sense the relief as he begins to lower himself to the floor.

CUT TO:

THE STUDY

PAUL, back in his wheelchair, knife in his lap, carefully opening drawers of little tables, looking inside. He closes them, moves on, unmindful of the rain. Now--

CUT TO:

THE SHELF OF PAUL SHELDON BOOKS. As before--

--except the "My Life" scrapbook is gone.

CUT TO:

PAUL, glancing around--

--and there it is, on a coffee table in the living room. Also on the table are a roll of Scotch tape, a pair of scissors, and a copy of Newsweek. Paul wheels toward the table and the book, which is as big as a folio Shakespeare play and as thick as a family Bible.

CUT TO:

THE LIVING ROOM

PAUL, opening the book.

CUT TO:

THE FIRST PAGE OF THE BOOK, as Paul opens it. It's a newspaper clipping as is almost all of what follows. A small article: simply a birth announcement for Anne Marie Wilkes.

PAUL turns the page. This headline reads: "Investment Banker Carl Wilkes Dies in Freak Fall."

"USC Nursing Student Dies in Freak Fall." That's the headline on the next page.

Now: "Miss Wilkes is Nursing School Honors Graduate."

Paul turns the page.

Manchester, New Hampshire, Union Leader: "Ernest Gonyar, 79, Dies After Long Illness."

Now that phrase seems to be what catches our eye--"after long illness" is from the next article. "Long illness" from the one after that. Then, on the next page, a variation: "Short Illness."

Now we're in Pennsylvania: "New Hospital Staff Announced."

And here come those phrases again on page after page--"After Long Illness." "After Long Illness."

"After Long Illness."

CUT TO:

PAUL, transfixed; he keeps on turning the pages--the states keep changing, moving west. Pennsylvania to Minnesota, Minnesota to North Dakota. And always the clippings reporting deaths and deaths and--

--and now we're in Colorado. "NEW HEAD MATERNITY NURSE NAMED." And now the dead are young and helpless; babies. More and more of them.

PAUL (stunned) Holy shit.

Then a headline which reads:

"HEAD MATERNITY NURSE QUESTIONED ON INFANT DEATHS"

Next page: "MISS WILKES RELEASED."

Next page: "THREE MORE INFANTS DIE."

Next page, at last: "DRAGON LADY ARRESTED."

Then a photo: the front page of the Rocky Mountain Gazette. Annie on the courthouse steps. "DRAGON LADY CLAIMS INNOCENCE," under which there is a statement by Annie Wilkes.

Paul turns quickly to the next page and a very large headline:

"DRAGON LADY FOUND NOT GUILTY"

PAUL just sits there, shaking his head in bewilderment.

CUT TO:

THE BOOK, as Paul turns the LAST page.

CUT TO:

PAUL, stunned and now we find out why, as we

CUT TO:

THE PAGE IN THE BOOK. It's an article from Newsweek magazine, a picture of Paul's car being hauled up out of the snow. Above it this caption: "Presumed Dead--Paul Sheldon."

CUT TO:

PAUL. Slamming the book shut, putting it back on the coffee table, then quickly turning his wheelchair as we

CUT TO:

PAUL, steering his wheelchair toward the front door. He tries to position himself for a surprise attack of ANNIE, but he can't find a way to get close enough. The wheelchair is too cumbersome. He looks around and decides to head back to his room. He is faced with the same problem there--so he struggles into bed and, lying on his back, he rests the knife on his chest and stares up at the ceiling.

DISSOLVE TO:

PAUL'S WINDOW, hours later. The rain has stopped.

CUT TO:

PAUL--trying to stay awake. After a few beats, he hears something. It's the sound of a CAR PULLING UP.

HEADLIGHTS can be seen flashing through the window. PAUL grips the knife and hides it under the covers. The sound of a CAR DOOR OPENING AND CLOSING, then FOOTSTEPS.

As the FRONT DOOR OPENS, PAUL girds himself for attack. THE FRONT DOOR CLOSES, then a couple of FOOTSTEPS. Then silence. Then the FOOTSTEPS continue down the hall and up the stairs.

After a beat, we hear the TELEVISION. Someone is explaining how you can buy millions of dollars of prime real estate with no money down.

PAUL, allowing himself to relax, slips the knife under the mattress. As the TV DRONES ON, Paul lies staring up at the ceiling.

DISSOLVE TO:

OUTSIDE THE FARMHOUSE. NIGHT.

We hear a clap of THUNDER and once again the rain pours down.

CUT TO:

CLOSE UP: PAUL--eyes closed. There is another loud THUNDERCLAP which causes Paul to stir and open his eyes.

He turns his head and another CLAP OF THUNDER is heard, LIGHTNING flashes and reveals ANNIE standing over his bed.

Before he can react, she jabs a needle into his arm, pulls it out and starts out of the room.

PAUL tries to raise himself, but the power of the drug causes him to collapse, unconscious.

CUT TO:

THE ROOM. EARLY MORNING.

It's stopped raining, PAUL lies asleep. Now, surprisingly, we hear a VOICE we've never heard in the movie before--loud-- for an instant we don't recognize the voice, then we do: It's LIBERACE talking to his audience on a record going, "Thank you, thank you, what a wonderful thing it is for me to be back with you in Paris..." PAUL stirs and awakens to discover that he is strapped to his bed. He can move his arms, but that's it.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, standing in the room, and she looks very together; her eyes are bright. Too bright. Way too bright.

She comes to the foot of his bed.

CUT TO:

PAUL, groggy from being drugged, tries to clear the cobwebs.

ANNIE (in a soft voice) Paul, I know you've been out.

PAUL What?

ANNIE You've been out of your room.

PAUL No, I haven't.

ANNIE Paul, my little ceramic penguin in the study always faces due south.

PAUL I don't know what you're talking about.

PAUL looks up at her--he is totally honest and sincere. As he talks, his hand surreptitiously begins moving toward the mattress edge.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, as she brings the fat-hand led knife out of her skirt pocket.

ANNIE Is this what you're looking for? I know you've been out twice, Paul. At first, I couldn't figure out how you did it, but last night I found your key. (She holds up the bobby pin) I know I left my scrapbook out, and I can imagine what you might be thinking of me. But you see, Paul, it's all okay.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, as she walks slowly back to the foot of the bed.

And now a THUMP comes from the foot of the bed. Something is out of sight.

CUT TO:

PAUL, staring at her; waiting.

ANNIE Last night it came so clear. I realize you just need more time. Eventually, you'll come to accept the idea of being here. Paul, do you know about the early days at the Kimberly Diamond Mine? Do you know what they did to the native workers who stole diamonds? Don't worry, they didn't kill them. That would be like junking a Mercedes just because it had a broken spring-- no, if they caught them they had to make sure they could go on working, but they also had to make sure they could never run away. The operation was called hobbling.

And with that, she reaches down out of sight and comes up holding a 16-inch piece of 4 x 4 wood.

PAUL Annie, whatever you're thinking about, don't do it.

CUT TO:

ANNIE. She wedges the 4 x 4 firmly between his legs, just above the ankles, secures it and adjusts his feet.

ANNIE Now don't fuss, Paul.

PAUL Why would I run away? I'm a writer, Annie--it's all I am--and I've never written this well--even you said that this is my best, didn't you?

ANNIE picks up a sledgehammer.

PAUL Didn't you? Why would I leave a place where I'm doing my best work? It doesn't make any sense.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, positioning herself to the side of his right ankle.

ANNIE Shh, darling, trust me-- (taking aim at his ankle) It's for the best.

She takes the sledgehammer back.

PAUL Annie, for God's sake, please.

As ANNIE swings, the sledgehammer makes contact with the ankle. It breaks with a sharp CRACK.

CUT TO:

PAUL: CLOSE UP, shrieking.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, moving to the other side of the bed.

ANNIE Almost done, just one more.

And as she breaks the other ankle, PAUL shrieks even louder.

CUT TO:

ANNIE: CLOSE UP.

ANNIE God, I love you...

CUT TO:

PAUL'S FACE. He is beyond agony.

FADE TO BLACK:

For a long moment, nothing.

Then... a FAINT SOUND. After a moment, it begins to become more intrusive and we can tell what it is: a car horn HONKING.

FADE IN ON:

SILVER CREEK and ANNIE in her Cherokee, HONKING for another car to get a move on.

CUT TO:

A HAND AND A COIN MOVING ACROSS IT, from finger to finger.

PULL BACK TO REVEAL

BUSTER, sitting by the front window of his office, reading The Rocky Mountain Gazette.

He watches idly as ANNIE yells out the window to the car in front of her. THE DRIVER of the car yells back. Annie yells louder. The Driver guns off, and Annie pulls into the parking space next to the General Store.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, getting out, shaking a fist at the other car, calling out, "You poop!" She enters the store.

CUT TO:

BUSTER, staring straight ahead. Something is gnawing at him.

CUT TO:

VIRGINIA, in his office, tidying the desk. BUSTER enters, looks angry.

BUSTER Just leave it, all right?

VIRGINIA Oh, I like that tone.

BUSTER How many times do I have to tell you-- I have a system here. (rooting through a pile of papers) Where the hell is that thing?

VIRGINIA What thing?

BUSTER That thing. (finding what he's looking for, a 3 x 5 card) Here it is. Right where it's supposed to be.

VIRGINIA What is it?

BUSTER I'm not sure. Maybe nothing.

VIRGINIA It's good you found it.

BUSTER There's that spice again.

As BUSTER leaves, VIRGINIA goes back to tidying the desk.

CUT TO:

A LARGE LIBRARY as Buster leaves his car, hurries inside and

CUT TO:

LIBRARY STACKS

BUSTER, wearing bifocals, sits poring over bound volumes of The Rocky Mountain Gazette.

CUT TO:

BUSTER, frustrated, puts one set of volumes down, picks up another, starts through it, as we

CUT TO:

THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN GAZETTE, as the pages turn.

--only now they stop moving.

CUT TO:

BUSTER, tense, adjusting his bifocals.

CUT TO:

A SERIES OF HEADLINES pertaining to Annie Wilkes' murder trial.

CUT TO:

A HEADLINE which reads, "DRAGON LADY CLAIMS INNOCENCE."

Under a PICTURE OF ANNIE on the courthouse steps, we see a CAPTION: "Wilkes told reporters on the courthouse steps, 'There is a higher justice than that of man; I will be judged by Him.'"

CUT TO:

BUSTER. He takes the 3 x 5 card out of his pocket.

CUT TO:

The CARD--on it is printed the exact quote we just saw in the paper.

CUT TO:

BUSTER, sitting there, staring at the quote.

BUSTER Interesting.

HOLD ON HIS FACE, then--

CUT TO:

ANNIE, carrying a bag of feed, followed by MISERY, the sow, comes into view. She slows, smiles, waves--

ANNIE Hi, Punkin.

CUT TO:

PAUL, staring out at her.

ANNIE Give us a smile? (Paul gives her the finger. She laughs) Such a kidder.

As she exits our view--

CUT TO:

PAUL, lifting the typewriter and repeatedly raising it over his head, this time without any difficulty.

CUT TO:

THE GENERAL STORE IN SILVER CREEK. EARLY AFTERNOON.

BUSTER enters. The place is empty. It's one of those wonderful spots that stocks pretty much everything in what seems like complete disarray. Buster goes to the coffee urn behind the counter, helps himself. He speaks to the guy who sits behind the counter nearby; these two have known each other forever.

BUSTER Hey, Pete.

PETE Buster.

BUSTER Answer me a couple things?

PETE If I can.

BUSTER Do you have any of those new Paul Sheldon books?

PETE We had a batch. Sold 'em all in three days.

BUSTER You wouldn't happen to remember if Miz Wilkes bought one, would you?

PETE Are you kidding? Every time that fella writes a book, she makes me set aside the first copy.

BUSTER opens the cash register, drops his coffee money inside, closes the register.

BUSTER Has she been buying any odd things lately?

PETE Miz Wilkes? Same old stuff. (beat) --Lest you call paper odd.

BUSTER Newspapers?

PETE (mimes typing) No, the typing kind.

CUT TO:

BUSTER: CLOSE UP

BUSTER Oh. That kind. Nothing odd about that.

He cannot hide his excitement now as we--

CUT TO:

ANNIE, entering Paul's room. He lies back in the wheelchair, eyes closed. Liberace music playing in the background. From the start, PAUL'S TONE is different--strong, he's in control.

ANNIE Paul, don't you think it's time for you to start writing again? It's been over a week.

PAUL I don't know, it's weird, but a couple of broken bones hasn't done a lot for my creative juices. Get the fuck out of here.

ANNIE Don't talk to me like that.

PAUL (staring at her now) Why, what are you going to do? (spreading his arms wide) Kill me? Take your best shot.

ANNIE (taken aback) Why are you so mean, Mister you'd-be- dead-in-the-snow-if-it-wasn't-for- me?

PAUL Oh, no reason, you keep me prisoner, you make me burn my book, you drive a sledgehammer into my ankles...

ANNIE I'll drive a sledgehammer into your man-gland if you're not nicer--

PAUL (He spreads his legs) Be my guest.

ANNIE (after a beat) That's disgusting.

As she exits.

CUT TO:

A ROAD. Empty. Hold for a moment--now a car appears around a curve.

CUT TO:

THE CAR. BUSTER is driving fast.

CUT TO:

PAUL in his room. He sits as before, by the window. He doesn't move. Now he closes his eyes, stretches, sighs as we

CUT TO:

THE KITCHEN

ANNIE, busily making cocoa.

CUT TO:

BUSTER IN HIS CAR. He stops at a mailbox. The name on the box is WILKES. Buster turns his car slowly into the driveway by the mailbox.

CUT TO:

PAUL. He yawns, opens his eyes briefly. Closes them. In the distance now, growing more and more visible is Buster's car--

--and now PAUL'S EYES go open wide, and he's staring out the window at the car as it keeps on coming, closer, closer and

CUT TO:

BUSTER, looking around. He's driving very slowly, carefully.

CUT TO:

PAUL. Fixating on the window and now it's all going to be all right, everything's going to be all right--

--and then ANNIE is on him, hypodermic needle in hand, jabbing it into his arm. He desperately tries to fight her off, but the drug starts to take hold. He tries to grab her by the neck, but she fights him off as she wheels him out of the room, down the hall and towards the cellar door.

ANNIE I don't think I'll ever understand you. I cook your meals, I tend to you practically twenty-four hours a day, and you continue to fight me. When are we going to develop a sense of trust?

ANNIE opens the cellar door. PAUL is all but limp by now. As she picks him up and starts to carry him down the steps--

CUT TO:

BUSTER pulling up in front of the house. As he gets out of his car--

CUT TO:

ANNIE placing Paul on the cellar floor and heading up the stairs. PAUL is out.

CUT TO:

BUSTER heading up the steps to the front door.

CUT TO:

ANNIE stashing the wheelchair in the hall closet. She crosses to the front door, opens it, revealing BUSTER.

ANNIE (Gasping) Oh, my!

BUSTER Sorry, didn't mean to startle you. You didn't give me a chance to knock.

ANNIE (all charm) Guess you can tell from my reaction, I'm not all that used to visitors out here. What can I do for you?

BUSTER I was just wondering if you happen to know anything about Paul Sheldon.

ANNIE (stammering) What do you want to know?

BUSTER Anything you can tell me might help.

CUT TO:

ANNIE. The words pour out--

ANNIE Well, he was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, forty-two years ago, the only child of Franklin and Helene Sheldon, mediocre student, majored in history...

CUT TO:

BUSTER, watching her, surprised.

BUSTER (cutting in) Excuse me, that's not exactly the kind of information I was after. You see, he's been missing for quite some time now, and...

ANNIE I know. It's so upsetting. I'm his number-one fan...I've got all his books, every sentence he ever put down. I'm so proud of my Paul Sheldon collection... (stops suddenly, almost embarrassed) ...here I am, prattling on and my manners have just flown away. I haven't invited you in. Please.

BUSTER Thank you.

ANNIE lets BUSTER in, closes the door. They linger in front of Paul's door. Buster idly checks out the hallway.

ANNIE 'Course you must know about that horrible accident.

BUSTER nods and wanders into the living room. ANNIE follows. He crosses into the study and checks out a bookcase that contains the complete works of Paul Sheldon. One shelf below contains Annie's infamous scrapbook.

ANNIE Almost killed me, too. I prayed when I heard the news. I got down on my knees and begged for it not to be true.

CUT TO:

ANNIE. She's so moved. Buster wanders into the kitchen.

ANNIE You're going to laugh at what I'm about to say, but go ahead, I don't care... (beat) ...when I was praying, God told me to get ready.

CUT TO:

BUSTER, watching her. This isn't at all what he expected.

BUSTER Get ready for what?

CUT TO:

PAUL, trying to fight the drug; just his eyes flutter.

CUT TO:

ANNIE and BUSTER heading back down the hallway toward Paul's room.

ANNIE To try and be his replacement--he gave so much pleasure to so many people and there's a shortage of pleasure on this planet these days, in case you hadn't noticed.

BUSTER enters Paul's room. ANNIE follows.

ANNIE God told me, since I was his number- one fan, that I should make up new stories as if I was Paul Sheldon. So, went to town. And I bought a typewriter. And paper to type on. The same kind Paul Sheldon used. And I turned the guest bedroom into a writing studio. Would you like to see it?

BUSTER Sure.

ANNIE It's right this way.

BUSTER takes a look in the bathroom. ANNIE waits for him.

ANNIE It's right here. I knew how he wrote, the kinds of words he used, the wonderful stories he told-- (moved) --I've spent the last four weeks trying to write like Paul Sheldon. (sad shake of the head) But I can't do it right. I try and I try and I know all the words-- (eyes closed in despair) --but it's just not the same.

CUT TO:

BUSTER. He just stands there, watches her.

BUSTER Well... (long pause) ...maybe it takes time to get the hang of it.

ANNIE (holding up pages from the manuscript) I could give you a couple of hundred pages of mine, and you could tell me what you think.

BUSTER I'm not much of a critic.

ANNIE Well, I just thought--oh, look at me. You'd think I'd never had a house guest before. Would you like something to drink?

BUSTER Sure.

ANNIE How does a nice cup of cocoa sound?

BUSTER Sounds good.

As she exits into the kitchen.

ANNIE There's some already made.

BUSTER lingers in Paul's room for a beat, then goes into the hallway.

BUSTER Must get lonely, living out here all by yourself.

ANNIE I always say if you can't enjoy your own company, you're not fit company for anyone else.

BUSTER You got a point there...

As Buster moves up the stairs--

CUT TO:

PAUL, still fighting the drug. His arm twitches almost involuntarily, grazing the barbecue.

CUT TO:

BUSTER opening the door to Annie's room. He looks around and just as he is about to turn to leave--

CUT TO:

ANNIE, standing right in front of him.

ANNIE Here you are.

BUSTER heads down the stairs, ANNIE follows.

BUSTER Thanks, Miz Wilkes, but I don't want to take up any more of your time. I best be going.

ANNIE But you didn't even taste your cocoa.

They cross to the front door.

BUSTER I'm sure it's wonderful, but really should be getting back.

BUSTER opens the door.

CUT TO:

PAUL stirring.

CUT TO:

BUSTER and ANNIE at the door.

BUSTER If you don't mind, perhaps I could pay you another visit sometime.

ANNIE I'd be delighted. Now that you know the way...

With that, she closes the door. We stay with BUSTER. He stands on the front porch for a beat, thinking, then starts heading down the porch steps. Just as he reaches about halfway down, we HEAR A LOUD CRASH coming from inside the house.

CUT TO:

PAUL--he has managed to partially fight his way through the drug, and in waking has accidentally knocked over the barbecue. He fights to clear the cobwebs.

CUT TO:

BUSTER Miz Wilkes, are you all right?

There is no answer. He quietly moves into the house.

BUSTER Miz Wilkes?

Again, no answer.

CUT TO:

PAUL, still fighting to gain complete consciousness.

PAUL (weakly) Here. I'm down here. Down here.

CUT TO:

BUSTER. Hearing Paul's muffled call for help, he tracks the sound to the cellar door. As PAUL continues to call out, Buster looks around, sees no one, and opens the cellar door. The shaft of light from the open door pours down on Paul, who is still lying on the floor.

BUSTER Mr. Sheldon?

But before Paul can answer, there's the sound of a LOUD EXPLOSION. Seemingly from nowhere a hole is ripped through Buster's chest, knocking him out of frame, revealing Annie, smoking shotgun in hand, standing at the top of the cellar steps.

ANNIE Don't feel bad, Paul. It had to happen. I've been waiting for this sign.

ANNIE walks toward BUSTER'S BODY and very casually takes his gun out of its holster.

ANNIE I've known for some time why I was chosen to save you. You and I were meant to be together forever. But now our time in this world must end. But don't worry, Paul. I've already prepared for what must be done. I put two bullets in my gun, one for you and one for me. Oh, darling, it will be so beautiful.

With that, ANNIE turns and exits the cellar.

Paul's mind races desperately. He looks at the barbecue again. Next to it is a messy table with a dozen jars and cans on it.

CUT TO:

THE TABLE. One of the cans is LIGHTER FLUID.

CUT TO:

PAUL. He stares at it for a moment. An idea hits him--

--now, PAUL struggles and crawls over to the table. He grabs the lighter fluid in his hands, jams it into the rear of his pants and scrambles back to where ANNIE left him.

CUT TO:

ANNIE returning with her .38 Special and a hypodermic needle. She stops at the top of the stairs.

ANNIE Now don't be afraid. I love you.

She starts toward him.

PAUL I know you do. I love you too, Annie. (this stops her) And you're right. We are meant to be together. And I know we must die. But it must be so that Misery can live. We have the power to give Misery eternal life. We must finish the book.

ANNIE But the time is now. Soon others will come.

PAUL It's almost done. By dawn we'll be able to give Misery back to the world.

ANNIE stares at Paul. She could go either way on this. Then, without a word, she turns and goes back up the stairs.

ANNIE Here, Paul. I'll fix you something to eat.

She exits. PAUL hesitates for a moment, then realizes he has no choice. He starts dragging himself over BUSTER and up the stairs.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM. NIGHT.

PAUL working. Typing like a madman, totally concentrated on the white paper. His lips move but he's not even aware of it.

ANNIE enters quietly, holding a few pages.

ANNIE Oh, Paul. It's beautiful.

PAUL Three more chapters to go.

She looks at him now, enthralled.

ANNIE The stranger staying at the Inn, is he someone from Misery's past?

PAUL Maybe.

ANNIE This is so exciting. It's Windthorne, her first love, right?

PAUL Maybe. Are you ready for the next chapter?

He taunts her with it.

ANNIE (brimming with enthusiasm) Oh you!

She takes the pages and goes.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM. LATER.

PAUL types a moment then rips out the page and starts over.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, putting the coffee down for him, putting the pages back on the main pile.

ANNIE (more excited now than the last time) It WAS Windthorne. I knew it--what does that do to her love for Ian?-- (thinks) --of course, if she hadn't thought Windthorne was murdered she never would have fallen in love with Ian in the first place. (Paul glares at her, she turns to the door) Sorry, it's just that this is so wonderful.

PAUL I'm glad you like it.

ANNIE Paul, this will be our legacy.

PAUL It will.

He hands her a few more pages, she starts reading as she exits.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM. MUCH LATER.

PAUL rubs his eyes. For a moment, he sags, but he fights it. He puts a clean page into the typewriter.

ANNIE bursts in.

ANNIE Oh, Paul. I'm dying. Does she wind up with Ian or Windthorne? You have to tell me.

PAUL You'll know very soon. I'm starting the last chapter. And when I finish, I want everything to be perfect. I'll require three things.

ANNIE What things?

PAUL You don't know?

ANNIE (smiling) I was fooling, silly. (ticking them off) You need a cigarette, because you used to smoke but you quit except when you finish a book, and you just have one, and the match is to light it. And you need one glass of champagne. (thinks) Dome Pear-igg-non.

PAUL Dome Pear-igg-non it is.

AS ANNIE exits.

CUT TO:

THE WINDOW

The first light of morning is starting to break through.

CUT TO:

PAUL, stretching. He makes sure everything is set.

PAUL (calling out) Annie! Annie!

With that, she enters.

ANNIE Yes, Paul.

PAUL I'm almost done.

ANNIE Oh, Paul, this is so romantic. Ian and Windthorne dueling for the right to Misery's hand. Does Ian win? Oh, don't me. It's Windthorne, right?

PAUL You'll know everything in a minute. Get the champagne.

ANNIE (dying from the suspense) Ahh!!!

She exits; PAUL adjusts the manuscript on the table and then types the last line.

CUT TO:

ANNIE IN THE KITCHEN. She takes the bottle of Dom Perignon out of the icebox, places it on a tray with two glasses-- opens a drawer--takes out the gun--places it in her pocket-- then takes out the hypodermic needle and places it on the tray.

CUT TO:

PAUL'S ROOM

ANNIE enters with the tray. She sets it down on the table.

ANNIE Did I do good?

PAUL You did perfect. Except for one thing. This time we need two glasses.

He takes the last page out of the typewriter.

ANNIE Oh, Paul.

As soon as she exits, PAUL drops the manuscript to the floor, pulls the lighter fluid from his pants, and starts dousing the manuscript with lighter fluid. He grabs the last chapter and twists the last few pages together torch style. He douses it with the fluid and holds the match out of sight.

He smiles as we

CUT TO:

ANNIE entering with the second glass...

PAUL It's all right here, Annie. Remember how for all those years no one ever knew who Misery's real father was, or if they'd ever be reunited? It's all right here. Will Misery finally lead her countrymen to freedom? Does she finally marry Ian or will it be Windthorne? It's all right here.

CUT TO:

THE MATCH, as he strikes it and

CUT TO:

ANNIE screaming--

ANNIE Paul, you can't.

And as her hands fly out beseechingly--

CUT TO:

THE CHAMPAGNE BOTTLE--it falls to the floor, explodes like a torpedo, shards of glass all over, curds of foam everywhere--

PAUL Why not? I learned it from you...

And on that--

CUT TO:

THE LAST CHAPTER as Paul brings the match close to it and it bursts into flame. And Paul, holding it like the torch it is. Annie starts moving forward now.

ANNIE No, no, NOT MISERY--NOT MY MISERY...!

He drops the last chapter into the soaked manuscript and

CUT TO:

THE MANUSCRIPT, as KABOOM!, it bursts into flame and--

CUT TO:

ANNIE, transfixed by the sight for a moment,

--and then she charges.

CUT TO:

THE FIRE as ANNIE rushes to the book, stoops down, grabs it with both hands, brings the burning mass up to her body, both arms across it, trying to smother the flames--

CUT TO:

PAUL, grabbing the typewriter, raising it high above his head, then throwing it down on her with all his power and

CUT TO:

THE TYPEWRITER, crashing into the back of her head.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, screaming, driven to the floor by the blow, the book beneath her, and the flames fly up, her sweater is starting to burn and she's covered with shards of glass from the shattered bottle of champagne and some of the manuscript is hissing from the liquid, but she is able to struggle to her knees--

ANNIE I'm going to kill you, you lying cocksucker...

As she struggles to her feet, she pulls out the gun and shoots at Paul, hitting him in the shoulder. Just as she's about to shoot again, Paul quickly wheels the chair up to her, throws himself out of the chair, and tackles her. The gun flies out of her hand and lands in the hallway, going off as it lands. They wrestle on the floor.

Flames still around them, PAUL gets on top of her, grabs some burning pages, stuffs them into her mouth, shouting --

PAUL Here. Here. You want it? You want it? You can eat it--eat it--eat it till you fucking CHOKE--you sick, twisted fuck.

And as he forces more paper into her mouth--

CUT TO:

ANNIE, and she's hideous--blistered, her hands claw at her throat. She makes horrible sounds, spitting the charred chunks of manuscript out of her mouth. Shards of glass are in her hair. Now a shriek and a tremendous jerk of her body and

CUT TO:

PAUL, falling away --

CUT TO:

ANNIE, still making the sounds as she gets to her feet, and

CUT TO:

PAUL, trying to crawl away after her.

CUT TO:

ANNIE--heading for the door, she takes a step away from Paul, then another, then

CUT TO:

PAUL, suddenly kicking out with his shattered leg, screaming in pain as it crashes into her ankle and

CUT TO:

ANNIE, trying to keep her balance, not doing well, her arms windmilling as she fights for balance one last moment, fights and loses, and now, as she topples over--

CUT TO:

THE TYPEWRITER as she falls and her head slams into it, collides with the sharp metal and a great wound opens in her head. There is one final cry. Blood pours. It's over. All over. We are looking at a dead body.

CUT TO:

PAUL, exhausted, panting, lying there, trying to gather his energy. He starts to crawl for the door. Just as he reaches the doorjamb, an arm grabs his leg, and

CUT TO:

PAUL, shrieking, and

CUT TO:

ANNIE, pulling herself up his body and

CUT TO:

PAUL, trying to buck her off, but he can't and

CUT TO:

ANNIE, the stronger, relentless, moving up on him, and

CUT TO:

PAUL, his grip broken as he turns and

CUT TO:

ANNIE, all-powerful, looming over him and

CUT TO:

PAUL, hitting up at her and

CUT TO:

ANNIE, swelling, and the blood pours down and if she feels his blows she doesn't show it and

CUT TO:

PAUL, whatever energy he has left he uses now, trying to twist and strike and as his body moves--

CUT TO:

METAL BASED FLOOR LAMP and

CUT TO:

PAUL, grabbing the thing, suddenly bringing it across his body, clobbering Annie in the face and

CUT TO:

ANNIE, startled by the power of the blow and for a moment she is stopped and

CUT TO:

PAUL, as with everything he has left, he crunches her forehead with the sharp heavy metal base, just creams her as the air is forced out of her--

CUT TO:

ANNIE. Her eyes roll up into her head. For a moment all we see are the whites--

--then she collapses on PAUL, a motionless mountain of slack flesh.

CUT TO:

PAUL, scrambling free, pushing her off him, crawling for the door--

CUT TO:

--outside the door, as PAUL crawls into view, makes it to the corridor, reaches back, closes the door, locks it.

Safe, he collapses, exhausted against the wall opposite the door.

DISSOLVE TO:

PAUL. HOURS LATER. It is dawn. He is awakened by a loud smashing at the front door. After a couple of heart-stopping pounds,

CUT TO:

THE FRONT DOOR smashes open, revealing two cops with guns drawn.

THE POLICEMEN, hurrying to PAUL. The YOUNGER COP kneels beside Paul.

YOUNGER COP It's the writer--the dead one--

PAUL (trying to keep himself together) --right! I'm the dead one--

OLDER COP Where's Sheriff McCain?

PAUL He's in the cellar. She killed him.

OLDER COP Annie Wilkes?

PAUL Yeah. She's in there.

CUT TO:

The OLDER COP, taking the key to the room, unlocks the door, throws it open, and as he steps inside--

CUT TO:

INSIDE THE BEDROOM

The OLDER COP has his gun ready to fire, but even with it tight in his hand, he's edgy as hell.

He looks around--

--glass and bloodstains on the floor. The charred remains of a manuscript.

He kneels quickly, glances under the bed--nothing.

He looks at the window--wide open.

CUT TO:

PAUL and the YOUNGER COP. Pause. The OLDER COP is in the doorway now.

OLDER COP Mr. Sheldon? There's no one in there.

CUT TO:

PAUL: CLOSE UP. In shock.

DISSOLVE TO:

PALM COURT, PLAZA HOTEL

This legend appears: ONE YEAR LATER

MARCIA SINDELL is seated at a table. PAUL enters, walking briskly, and he's never looked this good before. He's gained his weight back, his color is normal again. He appears to be, for the first time in the movie, a jaunty, happy figure.

PAUL Sorry I'm late. Jenny's basketball game went into overtime. If anybody ever told me I'd have a daughter who'd get a triple double, I'd...

SINDELL Did they win?

PAUL Yeah. They're in the semis.

SINDELL Here it is. (big moment) Very first copy.

And she hands him a wrapped package. PAUL sits, begins unwrapping it. It's a book. A new one by Paul Sheldon. The Higher Education of J. Phillip Stone. Paul turns it over gently in his hands.

CUT TO:

SINDELL

SINDELL The word I'm getting is the Times review is gonna be a love letter.

PAUL That'd be a first.

SINDELL And my contacts at Time and Newsweek tell me they're both raves. And don't laugh--for the first time, I think you've got a shot at some prizes.

PAUL (flatly) Great.

SINDELL I thought you'd be thrilled. You're being taken seriously.

PAUL I'm delighted the critics are liking it, and I hope the people like it, too. But it's not why I wrote the book.

CUT TO:

PAUL: CLOSE UP. There is a genuine sense of peace about him. He has been through the fire and survived.

PAUL I like it. Remember how you once said I live my whole life as if I'm in danger of being found out? Well, I believe I've managed to get that guy down on paper. (He touches the book. Beat.) Don't think I'm completely nuts, but in some way, Annie Wilkes, that whole experience, helped me.

SINDELL Paul, since you brought her up, I have to ask you this, or I'd be drummed out of the agents' union-- what about a non-fiction book? The truth about what went on in that house.

PAUL Gee, Marcia, if I didn't know you better, I'd think you were suggesting I dredge up the worst horror of my life just so we could make a few bucks.

SINDELL Now you've hurt me, Paul.

As Paul glances around...

CUT TO:

PAUL, looking past MARCIA.

CUT TO:

DESSERT TROLLEY, some distance away, being pushed by a waitress. It is ANNIE.

CUT TO:

PAUL AND SINDELL

SINDELL I thought you were over it.

PAUL I am. Well, maybe not completely--

He glances toward the trolley.

CUT TO:

THE DESSERT TROLLEY, moving inexorably closer to PAUL. ANNIE reaches down and pulls out a very sharp knife.

CUT TO:

PAUL AND SINDELL

PAUL I don't know if you can ever be totally over something like that--I just don't think about it as much anymore, and when I do, it's not so terrifying.

CUT TO:

ANNIE, with the knife raised.

CUT TO:

PAUL, staring up at ANNIE.

PAUL I mean, once they found her body, my nightmares stopped.

CUT TO:

PAUL AND ANNIE--only it isn't Annie, just a WAITRESS. She stands by the trolley, the knife in her hand, ready to slice whatever anyone wants.

WAITRESS Would you care for anything?

PAUL (smiles) Cut me something sinful...

CUT TO:

PAUL. The smile holds. In the background now, soft music: someone might be playing "Liberace."

HOLD ON PAUL

FINAL FADE OUT:

<<<

/ Misery.
Copyright 2005-2017. ! ! homeenglish@mail.ru