By Quinn Biever
Scene 1: Discovering Vlad
(Scene opens with two college girls walking through the quad on campus.)
Girl 1: I swear to god, if that class wasn’t required, there wouldn’t be a single person in it.
Girl 2: That’s probably true for, like, a lot of classes.
Girl 1: I know, right? At least it’s almost the weekend. Do you have any plans?
Girl 2: Not right now, I know Rachel wanted to go out tomorrow once she’s done with some test.
Girl 1: That sounds perfect, because I don’t think I’m going out Saturday.
Girl 2: What, why not?
Girl 1: Ugh, why do people make out in public like that? I get that it’s nice outside, but keep it in your dorm room. (Scoffs) Freshmen.
Girl 2: Hey, don’t change the subject.
Girl 1: I’m not, but seriously, do you see those two? He’s like on top of her.
(They eventually walk up to what looks like a boy sitting over another person.)
Girl 1: Hey, get a room!
(Having not heard the girls walking by, the boy is startled and turns around, revealing a pool of blood around a college girl who has been fatally stabbed. He is also covered in blood, with some on his face as well, especially around his mouth)
Girl 2: What the FUCK?!
Girl 1: Oh my god…
(boy looks at them and back down at the body, then at his hands, which care covered and dripping with blood.)
(Girls turn to run away)
Boy: I’m… I’m sorry.
Scene 2: Interview Part 1
(One detective walks down a sterilized hallway to meet his partner, who is standing outside an interrogation room.)
Detective 1: I don’t know, Jerry. He says he didn’t do it.
Det. Jerry: Yeah, you know what? Neither did I. Maybe nobody did it. Maybe she slipped and fell on the goddamn knife.
Detective 1: She was stabbed twice…
Det. Jerry: Welp, I guess she musta fuckin slipped twice.
Detective 1: That’s not what I’m saying.
Det. Jerry: Then what are you saying, El?!
Det. Ellis: I’m just…I’m not convinced. Honestly, how many homicide cases have you been on where the perp stabs someone, in public, and then just hangs out with his dying victim until someone shows up.
Det. Jerry: Guilty or not, who hangs aroun’ a dyin’ person anyway? The kid is sick, Ellis.
Det. Ellis: He’s a little off. (Heading into the interrogation room) But that doesn’t mean he’s guilty.
Det. Ellis: Hey there, Vladimir.
Vlad: (looks up but says nothing)
Det. Ellis: You’re probably ready to get outta here, huh? (pause, no reaction) Well, listen kid. We can’t let you go unless you give us something. You were the only one seen with Sandra all night, and you happened to be covered in her blood. Can you explain that?
Det. Jerry: Or instead, you could just explain why you fuckin killed her?
Vlad: I didn’t kill her.
Det. Jerry: Horseshit!
Det. Ellis: Well who did then, Vlad? Did you see her with anyone? Or did you just find her body?
Det. Jerry: Yeah, sure.
Vlad: I didn’t do it.
Det. Jerry: Oh yeah? You sure? You like saying you didn’t do it, but you can’t seem to figure out what DID happen, can you?
Det. Ellis: Vlad, I know this is hard, but you gotta work with us. This looks…bad for you…okay?
Vlad: I know.
Det. Jerry: Well I sure fuckin hope so. I hope you have the goddamn sense to know that you can’t be caught hovering over some dead bitch, covered in her blood, and not look bad. So I guess you’re okay with looking bad. And I’m okay with you being okay with looking bad, so long as you know that you’re gonna fuckin fry!
Vlad: Should I get a lawyer?
Det. Jerry: You should get a shrink, you fuckin psycho.
Det. Ellis: Jerry, cool it.
Det. Jerry: Why? You don’t think he’s a fuckin’ psychopath?! He had her blood on and in his goddamn MOUTH! What kinda fuckin’ FREAK…
Det. Ellis: If you’ll excuse us… (opens the door and ushers Detective Jerry out of the room, following him)
Det. Ellis: C’mon, Jerry. Goddammit. Could you be a bit more professional?
Det. Jerry: It’s disgusting. Jesus Christ, I dunno how you can treat him like he’s our dinner guest. The kid either did it and needs to be locked up, or he didn’t do it and REALLY needs to be locked up.
Det. Ellis: He needs help either way, you’re right. But whether that help should be from behind bars or not is up to us- our investigation. And I’m just not convinced.
Det. Jerry: (getting closer) You know what, Ellis? Your childish idea of the justice system is sweet and all, but at this point it doesn’t matter. Even if he didn’t do it, the kid basically rolled around in probable cause like a pig in shit. Even if he were spilling his guts, he’d still look guilty. This case is over whether you want it to be or not. (starts walking away) Shit happens everyday, El. Move on.
Scene 3: Move on, Ellis
(The scene opens with Ellis arriving home. He tosses his keys on the counter, grabs a beer from the fridge and sits down at the kitchen table. It is late at night, but he stares out the window, puzzled. Eventually, he makes a decision. He sets down the beer, and gets on the phone.)
Det. Ellis: Connie? Yeah, hey, it’s Ellis. Could you just tell Sarge I’m not coming into the station tomorrow? No big deal, just a couple loose ends to tie up with the campus murder. Thanks.
(Hangs up the phone, takes a swig of beer, and looks back out the window.)
Scene 4: The nosebleed
(Scene opens with a knock at a door. The door is opened by a mom who is slightly shocked to see a detective at her door.)
Det. Ellis: Hi there, ma’am. I’m Detective Ellis Turner. I’m working on a case surrounding the murder of a 23 year old girl earlier this week. Is there any chance I could speak with your son, Dave?
Mom: Well, what for? You don’t think he’s involved, do you?
Det. Ellis: No, not at all. But Dave knows someone who might be. Can I come inside?
Mom: Well, yes. Of course. (Props the door open for him. He enters) Dave?!
Dave: (muffled) What?!
Mom: Come here!
Dave: (walks downstairs and is similarly surprised by the detectives presence.) Hi, who are you?
Mom: David. Manners.
Dave: I mean, can I help you, officer?
Det. Ellis: I sure hope so. I was wondering if you could tell me about your friend Vlad. He was in your graduating class, right?
Dave: Yeah. I had study hall with him. And gym. Nice kid, kinda weird though. Why? Did he do something?
Det. Ellis: There’s an investigation going on and Vlad has found himself in the middle of it.
Dave: Did he kill something?
Det. Ellis: No, well, I don’t think so. What makes you say that?
Dave: Like I said, he was just weird sometimes. He got nosebleeds a lot.
Det. Ellis: Nosebleeds? Was there something wrong with him?
Dave: I dunno. But it wasn’t the nosebleeds that were weird. It was his reaction.
Det. Ellis: Can you tell me about it?
Dave: Well yeah. We’d be in study hall, talking about whatever. Like this one time our school hired this new art teacher…
(Flashback) scene opens on a group of students in a study hall, sitting quietly.
Austin: Did you guys hear about the new art teacher?
Dave: Yeah, he’s like a part time mud wrestler or something.
Austin: You wish.
Rob: I don’t know about Dave’s mud wrestling fantasies, but the guy is super jacked and almost a midget.
Austin: It’s like the Rock gave birth to him. Oh shit dude, your nose is bleeding…Vlad…dude…
Austin: …Your nose?
(Vlad cups his hand under his chin to catch the slowly dripping blood.
Vlad: Oh, yeah, this keeps happening. I don’t know why.
Dave: I don’t care if this is a bad time of the month for you or what, go to the bathroom.
Vlad: It’s not a big deal.
Rob: Well what are you gonna walk around like that?
Vlad: No… (puts his cupped hand to his mouth and drinks the collected blood. Then wipes his chin with the back of his hand.)
Austin: Oh god, come on man.
Rob: You still have to get your face cleaned up, ya fuckin weirdo.
Vlad: Oh okay, sorry. I didn’t realize you were all so squeamish. (licks his hand)
Dave: God dammit alright cut it out. After you clean yourself up, hop over to the girls’ bathroom and ask to borrow a tampon. If they were smart there’d be like a barrel of them in there.
Vlad: Whatever. (gets up and leaves)
Austin: See you next period!
(Fade back to present day)
Dave: So like, it wasn’t like serial killer weird, but I mean, it stays in your memory.
Det. Ellis: I see what you mean. Are there any other memories you have of his interesting behavior?
Dave: Not really. Like I said, I only had a couple classes with him, and they weren’t even every day. Why do you want to know about him so much?
Det. Ellis: He was at the scene of a crime, but I’m not sure he’s the one responsible. I need to know more about him, though.
Dave: You can’t just talk to him?
Det. Ellis: I tried that. He isn’t exactly an extrovert.
Dave: Oh, yeah, that’s true. You might want to talk to Rob or Austin. They know him better than I do.
Det. Ellis: Is there any chance you could put me in contact with them?
Dave: Sure, let me go grab my phone.
(Dave gets up to leave the room. As he walks away, we see Ellis taking a few notes)
Scene 5: We are ants
(Scene opens with Detective Ellis already caught up with Rob)
Det. Ellis: So, Rob, how well would you say you know Vlad?
Rob: Oh, I don’t know. I talked to him sometimes. Mostly because I had this really controlling girlfriend who was always bitching at me about not hanging out with her. You know, women. But we broke up after high school when she…
Det. Ellis: I appreciate the detail, but…
Rob: Right. Well, he didn’t really have anyone to talk to either.
Det. Ellis: Huh. Why do you think that is?
Rob: He was just an odd kid, ya know. He’d hangout sometimes but mostly kept to himself. You know how some people in high school just don’t seem very confortable? It was like that, he just seemed kind of nervous about being anywhere. I talked to him a few times when he wasn’t in a very good mood, so that might have been it.
Det. Ellis: What?
Rob: Like, if the guy perked up a bit, he might not have been such an outsider.
(Flashback leads us to the side of the road, near a field. Vlad is standing on his own, looking around. Rob pulls up in her car)
Rob: Vlad, dude, what the hell?
Rob: Uh, why are you just standing around like a weirdo?
Vlad: Oh, sorry.
Rob: I mean I don’t care, but you’re also bleeding. So that makes it weirder.
(Vlad looks down at his arm, which has a small cut on it, which is bleeding down his hand)
Vlad: I know.
Rob: Okay… well… why?
Vlad: Do you know who I am?
Rob: Heisenberg? But like, during his fugue state…
Vlad: Have you ever flown before? Most people have. I hadn’t. But I then I did for spring break. It was scary.
Vlad: You get up high enough, and everyone just looks like a bunch of ants running around. Have you ever killed an ant?
Rob: No… I mean… maybe? I don’t know, why?
Vlad: What if we’re just a bunch of ants.
Rob: Hey man, I get it if you’re feeling weird. I’m gonna go.
Vlad: How can anyone expect to feel special if that’s our role in the universe… just someone else’s ants.
Rob: I’m not a dumb little ant, and neither are you or anyone else. You happen to be human… and the only one I’ve ever seen do that….
(Vlad is sucking the blood off his arm, smiling)
Det. Ellis: So wait wait wait, (Fade back to present day) he did this in another story. What’s the deal with him and blood?
Rob: I don’t know! It was always so random. I think we asked about it one time…
(Flashback to Rob, Austin, and Vlad hanging out somewhere)
Austin: So dude, what’s the deal with the blood thing? Do you think you’re some kinda vampire or something?
Rob: I mean, we’ve seen him in the daytime. Are there day vampires that just drink their own blood and creep people the fuck out?
Vlad: I creep you out?
Austin: Only sometimes. But maybe less than Rob.
Rob: Very funny, asshole. I clean myself off when I get blood on me, not slurp it up.
Vlad: I don’t know, I like it. Who cares. Plus vampires are cool, right?
Rob: If they were real maybe.
Vlad: How do you know they aren’t real?
Austin: Because this isn’t Twilight. If it were, vampire boy over here needs to introduce me to Miss Kristen Stewart.
Rob: Not hot.
Austin: Wow, you are so wrong. I would be her werewolf any day.
Vlad: Well I don’t do it for a girl, it’s just who I am. Not that I know who that is…
Rob: Oh no, not the ant thing again!
Rob: Never mind. I just hope Dracula over here isn’t drinking anyone’s blood but his own.
Austin: Just small rodents and stuff right man?
Rob: That’s not funny.
Vlad: No, its not.
Austin: Can everyone just chill out.
Vlad: I’m just saying, its hard to know who someone really is. And I don’t know that anyone has evidence that vampires aren’t an option.
Rob: Jesus, alright we get it. You don’t know anything about yourself other than your affinity for the blood of the living. I’ll see you guys later.
(Rob gets up to leave)
(Fade back to present day)
Det. Ellis: He didn’t say anything else?
Rob: No, I mean he might have talked more to Austin. They were way closer.
Det. Ellis: Would you say, best friends?
Rob: I mean I don’t know about how Austin feels, but he’s certainly the one who’s least put off by Vlad’s behavior. Do you want his number?
Det. Ellis: No, thank you. Dave gave me his when he gave me yours.
Rob: Is it true they let him out?
Det. Ellis: Well, yeah, kinda.
Rob: Kinda? They can’t kinda let him out…
Det. Ellis: Okay, yeah, he’s out. But just on bail. Apparently his step mom bailed him out.
Det. Ellis: What?
Rob: Nothing, she’s is just kind of a crazy person.
Det. Ellis. What type of crazy person?
Rob: The type that doesn’t usually give a shit about her husband’s kids.
Det. Ellis: What makes you say that?
Rob: Well. She fucked this kid that we went to high school with.
Det. Ellis: What? Who?
Rob: I dunno, I just remember hearing that the kid was hanging with Vlad, spent the night at his house, and she like, came onto him or something.
Det. Ellis: What about his Dad?
Rob: He died a few years ago. Middle school I think. What does any of that matter though?
Det. Ellis: You know, I haven’t been a detective for too long. But you never know. The more you can find out about someone, the better you can understand them. The better you do that, the better you can wrap your mind around what theirs.
Rob: Cool. Anything else you wanna know?
Det. Ellis: I think this has been sufficiently helpful. Thank you, Robert.
Rob: It’s just Rob. And you’re welcome.
Scene 6: Wrestless
(Detective Ellis is in his home, trying to sleep. He is tossing and turning, unable to stop thinking about the case. Eventually, he gets up, changes into workout clothes, and goes for a late night run. He arrives home out of breath, having run until the point of complete exhaustion. Bent over, with his hands on his knees, his breathing slows and softens. He stays in that position for another few moments, thinking.)
Scene 7: The car
(Det. Ellis meets Austin somewhere off site. Perhaps at the restaurant Austin works at once his shift is over.)
Det. Ellis: I really appreciate you meeting with me, Austin.
Austin: No worries, man. What’s up?
Det. Ellis: Well I don’t know if you know what all is going on…
Austin: Yeah, a girl got stabbed. Vlad was there. Got it. What do you want to know from me?
Det. Ellis: Oh, how do you…
Austin: The murder case was in the paper a few days ago, and Rob and Dave texted me that you were going around.
Det. Ellis: Ah. Yes, well, I was just wondering about Vlad.
Austin: Do you think he did it?
Det. Ellis: I, um, don’t know…
Austin: You can just be honest.
Det. Ellis: Truthfully, I don’t think he seems like he would hurt anyone. But it unfortunately, it couldn’t look more suspicious.
Austin: So what do I have to do with anything?
Det. Ellis: I want to know why. Why was he there? Why did he hover over her?
Austin: Did he drink her blood?
Det. Ellis: What?
Austin: Come on, man. We have phones. I know what you know. Did he drink the chick’s blood?
Det. Ellis: Yeah, it was all over him.
Austin: Gah… Vlad…
Det. Ellis: While it’s somewhat irrelevant to whether or not he killed her, why would he do something like that?
Austin: Well, you gotta understand, he didn’t really know his… role in life. Like that bugged him. A lot. I mean no one knows who they really are when they’re 18, but Vlad wanted an identity more than anything.
Det. Ellis: Did he open up to you about it?
Austin: A couple times. One time in particular.
(Flashback. A car pulls in a driveway. Austin is in the driver’s seat, with Vlad in the passenger seat.)
Austin: Alright, man. You got a key to get in?
Vlad: No, but I know my own garage code.
Austin: I’m glad we got everyone together again tonight. I mean, not everyone obviously. Getting our entire high school group together is basically gonna be fuckin impossible once everyone leaves for school.
Austin: There’s that keg thing this weekend. That might be fun.
Austin: Don’t sound so pumped about it.
Vlad: I’ll try.
Austin: Something wrong?
Vlad: Like what?
Austin: Well I don’t know, you missed your cue to get out of the car.
(Vlad goes for the handle)
Austin: I mean you don’t have to, I was just saying.
Vlad: Leaving the car means going into my house.
Austin: Yeah, that’s generally how it works.
Vlad: I’m not okay with that.
Austin: What would make you okay with it, because I’m still a little stoned and wanna go to bed.
Vlad: Dude. I’m sick.
Austin: Sick like…disease?
Vlad: Is that a real question?
Vlad: Yeah, sick like disease. I’m not gonna be around much longer.
Austin: What? Whaddaya mean? How sick? How much longer?
Vlad: The doctor said I have ten minutes left, and that was a few hours ago.
Austin: Awesome asshole! That’s not fuckin’ funny…Jesus Christ…
Vlad: Any minute now…
Austin: Knock that shit off.
Vlad: You know what, you’re right, it is a joke, but I wish it weren’t. I wish something would happen to me, something would inspire me to jump off the couch and hop on a plane to New Zealand or something. I mean… Do you know I’ve never even seen a kangaroo?
Austin: Listen man, not that I’m not taking you seriously right now, but kangaroos are definitely from Australia.
Vlad: You’re tellin’ me there isn’t one kangaroo in New Zealand?! Are completely sure?!
Austin: I don’t fuckin’ know but they definitely don’t seem like they can swim. Like even if some other asshole kangaroo came and jump kicked him in the ocean, I feel like he’d drown. They got tiny little T-rex arms, so I don’t see how they could even get back on land. Like, getting my ass out of a pool is sometimes hard enough, imagine trying it with little baby arms. Meanwhile the pouch thing is full of water and drowning the little Joey…
Vlad: The one kangaroo native to New Zealand probably isn’t there because he got pushed in the water and swam to the nearest continent.
Austin: Why not? Maybe the guy was sleeping with his kangaroo wife and he didn’t feel like sharing that pouch.
Vlad: Well I wish I had cancer or tuberculosis or something so I could justify traveling across the world to meet that home wrecking son of a bitch. (pause) (laughingly) I guess this is what happens when I get a ride home at 3 am and don’t get out of the car. I start wishing I had consumption.
Austin: I don’t care if you’re hungry, but do you actually want to leave town?
Vlad: I don’t know.
Austin: Nothing’s stopping you, so move. Half our friends aren’t even here anymore. They found a school or a job or whatever.
Vlad: But that’s just it, I don’t wanna just pick somewhere or something. I want to have a reason for it.
Austin: I mean, you can still go find a kangaroo in a zoo somewhere if that’s…
Vlad: I don’t give shit about the kangaroos.
Austin: Well Jesus that’s kinda harsh. The guy just found out his wife is cheating on him and has to pick up and move to a whole new continent and you cant spare a shred of sympathy… I was gonna invite you to smoke a bowl and go to the zoo, but not if you’re gonna have a shitty attitude.
Vlad: I’m serious.
Austin: So am I! Have you ever been to the zoo high? I’ve never understood animals so much. I once watched the monkeys for like an hour and a half.
Vlad: You know what pisses me off? People who don’t care, asking what I’m doing with my life now that I’m graduated. And if I end up working at the insurance company in town or anywhere else with my name on a cubicle, why don’t you just follow me to work and bash my head in with my keyboard.
Austin: Aw man, of course. What are friends are for?
Vlad: Do you know what you want to do?
Austin: Now you sound just like them…
Vlad: I just don’t get how do so many people have things figured out already.
Austin: Like you said, they’ve been watching other people doing shit they just picked and then when they got out of school they picked something too.
Austin: But not everyone has it figured out. A lot of people feel lost. And some don’t have their whole lives in front of them. Some of them already lost their opportunities. (pause) So… feel better now?
Vlad: You know I had a class with a kid who I never talked to before, so I asked his name and brought this same thing up. Do you know what he said?
Austin: “Leave me alone”?
Vlad: He said he wants to find a nice wife and a decent job that’ll pay for a good house where he can raise a couple kids and grow old. Take trips from time to time.
Austin: Well FUCK HIM right?
Vlad: A little. That doesn’t sound ridiculous to you?
Austin: It sounds ridiculous if I imagine myself doing that. But it doesn’t sound ridiculous that someone else wants that.
Vlad: Yeah I guess.
Austin: Plus, think about it. That’s a pretty comforting answer. This is some random kid. He could have turned around and told you he wants to kill babies and wear them around his house like slippers.
Vlad: And you guys say I’m the weird one.
Austin: I’m sayin’. It’s comfortable. Makes sense.
Vlad: Hey, listen; fuck that. Fuck being comfortable and having an answer to every question you get pelted with by some nobody relative. Why can’t they mind their own damn business. Ya know? I’m trying to decide what to do with my life and some lady in my aunt’s fuckin book club is pressuring me to come up with something she can nod approvingly at. (pause) I don’t know what I want to do because I don’t even know who I am. I’m supposed to go to college, but for what? I have no idea what classes I want to take or if I even want to take classes at all. I like art. Do you know how may people I tell that to? Like none. Yet this particular social situation is so intimidating that all I ever say is, “I’d like to find something with creative qualities.” Like, what the hell does that even mean.
Austin: Was she hot?
Austin: The book club lady. If she’s anything like your aunt…
Vlad: Different aunt, asshole.
Austin: Oh well. So, what’s the deal with the blood-drinking thing.
Vlad: The deal?
Austin: Yeah, like why do you keep doing that? Do you like the taste?
Vlad: I mean, it’s alright.
Austin: You didn’t mean what you said about vampires being real, right?
Vlad: Do you know that they aren’t?
Vlad: Vampires drink other peoples’ blood for strength. You don’t ever wanna be stronger?
Austin: I mean…
Vlad: My step mom drinks alcohol just about every night. And that’s okay?
Austin: Um…dude…not really, no.
Vlad: Well she does it anyway. And it gives her the will to do whatever she feels like doing, no matter who it hurts. Once I didn’t have my dad, I was the weakling at school and the weakling at home. Vampires aren’t weaklings. And more importantly, they know who they are. They drink blood and they gain power and no one pushes us around.
Austin: Uh, yeah.
Vlad: I’m just sayin.
Austin: No, it’s fine. But just… just make sure you don’t get too carried away.
Vlad: I know. (gets out of the car)
Austin: Hey man, take it easy, okay? I’m on your side.
(Fade back to present day)
Det. Ellis: That’s… (writing notes) really interesting. What else do you know about his parents?
Austin: Not too much, just that his step mom was always hard on him. Never really seemed like she loved him. Especially not after his dad passed away.
Det. Ellis: And, um, how did he die?
Austin: I never really found out. I just knew he was Vlad’s best friend. Once he was gone, Vlad didn’t really open up to anyone. He was just starting to seem confortable around me when this whole identity crisis started.
Det. Ellis: Well I’m sorry to hear about that. Hopefully you and I can get through to him so he doesn’t throw his life away by clinging to this vampire thing.
Austin: Yeah, I know what you mean.
Det. Ellis: I appreciate your time, Austin. I think that’s all I need for now. If I have any other questions, would you be willing to meet again?
Austin: Yeah, sure, if it’d help out Vlad.
Det. Ellis: That’s very kind of you. (Gets up to leave) I’ll be in touch. (exits)
Scene 8: The chase
(As he walks out, he notices Vlad has been nearby, watching their interaction.)
Det. Ellis: Hey! Vlad, wait! I was just…
(Vlad takes off running.)
(Ellis chases after him on foot at first, realizes that he has too much of a head start, so runs to his car, throws it in gear and speeds down the street looking for Vlad, but he is gone)
(Det. Ellis drives to Vlad’s house, though doubtful that he is there. He knocks on the door. Vlad’s step mom opens the door, but not the screen door)
Det. Ellis: Ma’am my name is Detective Ellis Turner, with the…
Mom: Yeah, yeah, you’re one of the guys who arrested my son!
Det. Ellis: Yes well I was actually hoping I could speak with him.
Mom: He aint here.
Det. Ellis: Do you have any idea where he might be?
Mom: Listen, fella, I bailed him out cause that’s what a lovin’ mother does. After that, the ungrateful son of a bitch ran off.
Det. Ellis: Would it be possible for me to speak with you then?
Mom: (seductively) You want inside?
Det. Ellis: Um, that’s not necessary, I was just hoping you could answer a couple questions about Vlad’s home life and possibly his father.
Mom: His father? Whaddaya wanna know about him for?
Det. Ellis: I was under the impression that losing him was hard on you two…
Mom: You don’t even know us. I don’t have nothing’ to say about him. He’s gone and he aint comin’ back. We’ve all accepted that around here so why don’t you? Go bother someone else. (starts closing the door)
Det. Ellis: Listen, ma’am, I…
Mom: I’m done listenin! (slams the door)
Scene 9: Notes
(Det. Ellis looks through his notes and checks with things on the computer, cross referencing the information he’s gained with public record. He finally thinks to look into the murder records of Vlad’s father, who he discovered has died of hemorrhaging in a “freak accident.” He realizes that he must investigate this further, grabs his jacket, and leaves.)
Scene 10: The Nightmare
(Ellis is seen pulling back up into the driveway of Vlad’s home. He gets out of the car, and knocks on the door.)
Mom: WHAT? (Pulling open the door but not the screen door)
Oh, you again. What do you want this time?
Det. Ellis: Ma’am, I’m sorry to bother you again, but I have been thinking about Vlad’s case quite a bit, and I think that I can’t afford not to ask you at least a few questions about your son. Would that be alright?
Mom: I s’pose. (opening the screen door for him)
Det. Ellis: Like I said, I don’t really need to come inside. It’s just a couple…
Mom: But you’re already in. (he looks around, realizing he has instinctively stepped through the threshold)
Det. Ellis: Yes, well, this is a lovely home you have here.
Mom: It is, ain’t it? Would you care to see the bedrooms, I mean, Vlad’s bedroom at least…
Det. Ellis: That’s not really necessary. I’m just here to get some information from you.
Mom: Yeah? Well if you want it, you’ll have to follow me. (Going into the other room)
Det. Ellis: Ah… (nervous, but follows her)
Mom: Last time you were here, you wanted to know about Vladimir’s father, you still wanna know?
Det. Ellis: Um, yes, sure.
Mom: Well he died on the floor right where you’re standin.
Det. Ellis: Oh…
Mom: It’s a good spot for dyin, don’t you think?
Det. Ellis: What do you mean?
Mom: Let me show ya!
(Det. Ellis wakes up from a nightmare, panting and sweating. He realizes what’s happened and breaths a sigh of relief.
Scene 11: The confession
(Back in the police station, outside the interrogation room)
Det. Jerry: Got picked up by campus police sittin on a bench in the quad, near the old crime scene. Just sittin there cryin.
Det. Ellis: Ah, man.
Det. Jerry: Ya know, I think if anyone gave a rat’s ass about this kid, they’d appreciate what you’ve been doin. Talkin to his friends, his bat shit crazy mother, tryin to find a reason for his behavior…The problem is, here we are, square one again. But this time his trial is comin up, and he isn’t talking any more than he was before.
Det. Ellis: He hasn’t yet…
Det. Jerry: And he probably isn’t gonna. He’s a troubled kid, El. You can keep tryin, but only for so long.
(Det. Ellis enters the room)
Det. Ellis: Hey, Vlad.
Det. Ellis: How ya been?
Det. Ellis: We haven’t seen each other since, well, I haven’t seen you since the other day.
Det. Ellis: I know you know that I’ve been looking around, trying to piece you together, and I hope you’re not offended…
Det. Jerry: Jesus Christ… (leaves the room)
Det. Ellis: …I was just trying to figure out what you weren’t telling me.
Vlad: Like what happened?
Det. Ellis: Sure, that, of course. But also what made you see her lying there and not think to call for help. What made you think to just stay by her side…
Vlad: She was already dead.
Det. Ellis: Fine, help wasn’t necessary. But the blood-sucking? Do you really think you’re a vampire?
Vlad: What? A vampire…I…What does that matter?
Det. Ellis: Because she’s a human being. You wouldn’t’ve done that to your dad.
Vlad: You don’t know my dad!
Det. Ellis: You’re right. And I don’t know what happened to him either. But I sure don’t think he’d approve.
Vlad: What the hell do you know?!
Det. Ellis: Would he?
Vlad: He’d be proud of me for finding confidence again. He’d be proud of me for standing up for myself, even to my step mom.
Det. Ellis: Would he? She bailed you out of jail…seems like a nice thing to do….
Vlad: She’s a bitch, okay? I stood up to her and that’s more than he could ever say!
Det. Ellis: Did she kill him?
Det. Ellis: Do you wish it would’ve been her?
Det. Ellis: Do you wish it never happened?
Det. Ellis: Vlad, listen bud, I know you didn’t kill her. (pause. He looks for a reaction out of Vlad) And I know you aren’t happy she died. I know you wish you were never there in the first place, because now there’s all this mess.
(Vlad looks down at the ground)
Det. Ellis: I can help you. You just have to let me. Tell me you didn’t do it. Tell me if you saw someone, and if you did, what they looked like. Tell me you were shocked to see her lying there. Tell me you wanted to help but she was already dead. And please, tell me you were just very confused, and would never actually drink someone’s blood in the right state of mind.
(Looking at the ground, thinking, Vlad finally brings his head up and stares at the detective for a few moments, taking in his words.)
Vlad: I did it.
Det. Ellis: What?
Vlad: I killed her.
Det. Ellis: What?! No, you didn’t…
Vlad: Yes, I did. You were wrong about me. I wasn’t just the weird kid. I got picked on and beat up and torn apart until I didn’t know who I was anymore. And if I couldn’t have a life, why should anyone else.
Det. Ellis: No! You’re lying! Don’t do this!
Vlad: Detective, believe me when I say, I’m glad she’s dead. I don’t care about her. Why should I? I didn’t know her. And I’d do it all over again if I could.
Det. Ellis: Fuck that. Fuck that! Is this some kind of game for you? This isn’t funny!
Vlad: I didn’t ask you to fight for me.
Det. Ellis: That girl was someone’s daughter, and now she’s fucking gone forever!
Vlad: Some of us are gone forever, but just haven’t died yet.
(Jerry busts in the room and happily handcuffs Vlad, taking him out of the room)
Det. Ellis: Get this piece of shit out of here!
(The room is empty. Ellis is alone, staring at the table. He slams his fist down on the table, and the scene cuts to black)
Scene 12: The body
The scene opens with the detective, collecting mail from his mailbox. He brings the letters and magazines inside, nonchalantly flipping through them, until he notices one from the Illinois Department of Corrections, addressed to himself. He rips it open, revealing a short letter. He reads it aloud:
“Dear Detective Ellis,
I want to start by thanking you for the work that you did. I know you might be feeling a little…unaccomplished since your efforts didn’t keep me from this place. Or maybe you’re still angry, and don’t mind that my visit will be quite… temporary. But you took the time to get to know who I am, and that’s more than I can say for just about anyone. But sometimes, when I think about it, I don’t know that I can blame anyone. You see, even I couldn’t really figure out who I was. Not until I met her. It was just another day. I went to the library to rent a few books…”
(We see Vlad leaving the library with a few books. He crosses the street and wanders through a couple buildings until he reaches the quad. The rest of the letter is portrayed)
“While walking through, I noticed a couple fighting.
I looked away at first, but looked back when heard the argument turn into a scuffle. The man pulled a knife on the woman, so I impulsively called out:
before he stabbed her. He turned and saw me, and hurriedly pulled out the knife and stabbed the woman again before running off between two buildings and out of sight. I dropped my books and ran to the woman’s side. I covered her bleeding wound with one hand and felt her pulse with another. Her heartbeat was present, but slowing. I yelled for help but no one heard me. She died as I put my blood-covered hand to my face, covering my mouth.”
(As he does, his tongue sneaks out of his mouth and tastes the bodily fluid covering his hand.)
“So no, I didn’t kill her. At the time, I didn’t even have the courage to take a person’s life. I know because I tried, and you probably know too after meeting my mother. But what I want you to understand, is that some justice was still served…”
He pulls his hand away from his mouth slowly, staring at his bloody hand. He looks back down at her…
“As I knelt over her lifeless body… watching her bleed… I felt good. So good that even though I didn’t do it, I realized… I would. You didn’t send a murderer to be executed, but the fate of that man and my own should be the same. You can still try and find him. You’re a good detective- I think there will be one less murderer out there when you do. But there will also be one less vampire. I never felt like I belonged in this world, so I can’t say I mind leaving it. Thank you for believing me, and accepting me for who I was.
(The detective finishes reading the letter, sets it down, lights and takes a drag of a cigarette, and exhales.)