Ext. COUNTRY ROAD - Day - weeks ago
The sky is a bit higher than usual on this sunny Montana day. MARCUS, a eighteen year-old Native American man, furiously pedals a bicycle towards the horizon. He wears an old red sweat shirt, jeans, and a Conoco trucker cap.
Int. RANCH HOUSE - DAY - MINUTES BEFORE
The hazy high afternoon sky creeps in the bedroom window of a western ranch house.
JENNY and Marcus lay with each other in bed, making love like you did in your parents car when you were in high school.
Jenny is a woman in her thirties, classically beautiful, with strong features.
The phone rings. They ignore it. The answering machine picks it up.
Voice on machine
You better get down here, Jenny. Your husband's been arrested.
EXT. OLD GAS STATION - DAY - Weeks ago
Jenny, quietly beautiful, stands beside her jeep that is parked in front of an old looking gas station.
Marcus, wearing his old red sweat shirt and cap, walks out of the office area.
Can I help you, Miss?
It's making a terrible noise?
Can you fix it?
My Pop's the guy for that stuff, but he's not here.
Can you take a look at it?
I don't even have a car.
Marcus manages a wry smile.
Int. RANCH HOUSE - DAY - PresENT
Jenny, lays naked on her bed. Marcus dresses in front of her. Pulling his pants, retrieving his T-shirt from the edge of the bed. His clothes are typical of the average nineteen year old.
There is loud CRASHING NOISE.
Marcus puts his T-shirt on over his head.
I love you.
I love you.
We shouldn't see each other any more.
Jenny turns onto her back and sighs.
Marcus stands and looks at Jenny, waiting for her say something. Jenny stares at the ceiling.
Int. Ranch house - DAY
Jenny dresses in the bedroom. She puts on a smart business suit. She has put on makeup, however subtly. She fiddles with the fit of the clothes while studying herself in her full length mirror.
She stops suddenly and grabs a key and a chair from her vanity. She takes the chair over to the closet and stands on it searching in the upper reaches of the closet. Finally she pulls out a strong box and sets it on the bed.
Pulling out the key, she unlocks the strong box and searches through several pieces of priceless antique jewelry. She puts a bracelet on and closes the box, locking it tight.
Int. visitor's room at the county jail - day
Jenny sits across from CLAYTON O'RILEY. They are seated at an old wooden table in a stark empty room. Clayton immediately starts speaking.
OK. I was having an affair. We were together twice, tops. I didn't kill her, Jenny. I didn't kill her.
You really shouldn't be wearing that stuff around town.
They might think we're rich or something.
Jenny rubs her hand on the antique bracelet.
He leans towards her.
Did he get the envelope? Did he?
Clayton leans back in his chair.
Clayton, the judge wouldn't take it.
Good one. You've got every right to screw with me, but I'm asking you now for a tiny bit fucking compassion since I happen to be incarcerated.
Jenny lights up a cigarette.
He wants me instead.
What's that supposed to mean?
Jenny looks at him like he's an idiot.
Oh, shit. You don't have to do it. We'll think of something else.
You're a jerk, Clayton. You are. But I'm not gonna let my only family hang.
He looks at her and sighs.
We'll give him more money.
We don't have any more.
He always wants more, more than a person has.
Jenny silently acknowledges him.
Not so loud.
You've got to sell the jewelry then.
It was my mother's.
It's the only way.
I love you, baby.
Ext. OLD GAS STATION - DAY
Marcus pulls up on his bike. POP, Marcus' father, stands beside a gas pump and watches him pedal in. Pop is an older Native-American man with the traditional long hair. He wears old overalls.
Marcus heads straight for the office.
Marcus stops in his tracks.
What's up Pop?
You've been to that white woman's house.
Marcus walks up to Pop.
So what if I was?
If we continue to marry outside our own, we're gonna die out. We'll just quietly go away, just like they want us to.
Marcus shakes his head.
Ext. Town street - day
Jenny walks down a street near the center of the small western town.
Marcus approaches her from out of nowhere on his bicycle. He gets off the bike and walks it beside her.
Jenny picks up her pace.
I just wanna talk.
Jenny continues to speed up. She doesn't look at him.
I can't be seen with you.
Marcus struggle to keep up with the pace.
When can I see you?
Jenny shakes her head.
Jenny continues to walk without looking at him.
I've been sleeping up in the mountains because of you. Dad doesn't believe in our races mixing.
They come upon an intersection and Jenny turns left. Marcus stops.
I'm not giving up.
He bangs his head on the handle bars.
Int. Judge's office - night
The JUDGE's office is decorated in what can only be describe as western rustic. Wild game trophies, 1800's style fixtures, and wooden floors. A chess board sits on his large ancient desk. The pieces are placed on the board in mid game.
The Judge, a man in his late forties with curiously long hair for a man in his position. He studies the chess board. He begins to move a piece, then thinks better of it.
Jenny walks into his office causing the Judge to crack a slight smile. She carries the strong box in one hand.
Jenny pulls a wad of cash out of her jacket and tosses it on the Judge's desk, obliterating the game.
That's OK. I know where all the pieces were.
Take the money.
You know I can't do that.
It's all we've got. Just take it.
The Judge shakes his head.
She sets the box on the desk next to the money and opens it so the judge can see the diamond studded jewelry inside.
This is what you want. You've ruined us. Take it and let him go.
The judge closes the box slides it towards him.
He gets up and walks towards her.
Jenny begins to shake slightly.
The Judge, standing behind her, caresses her face with his hand, rubbing his finger across her lips. She faintly kisses the finger and closes her eyes.
Ext. JuDGE'S OFFICE - night
Marcus stands next to his bicycle peering into the office window. Through the diffused glass, he can see Jenny and the Judge embrace.
Ext. Wilderness - night
Marcus sits by an extinguished fire in the wilderness.
He holds a bowl of soup in both hands. His face is painted with several colored stripes.
He picks up a bottle of whisky and pours a healthy shot into the bowl.
Within my bowl there lies
There Are great whirlwinds
Standing upside down above us.
They lie within my bowl.
A great bear heart,
A great eagle heart,
A great twisting wind-
All these have gathered here
And lie within my bowl.
Now You will drink it.*
He takes a sip from the bowl and throws the rest into the fire.
Int. JudGE'S OFFICE - dAY
Several policemen and a police photographer surround the dead body of the Judge. Killed, with his robe on, on the floor of his office.
Ext. outside the ranch house - day
Jenny walks along the side of the house as she carries several logs of wood in her hands. She speeds around the corner of the house to find Marcus standing there, looking all the worse for wear.
Jenny drops the wood.
I need you, Jen.
I took care of everything. Just let me stay with you.
No, you don't.
I love you.
I don't love you.
Marcus appears surprised.
Jenny starts to walk away.
I killed him.
Jenny, with tears in her eyes, her voice cracking.
You what? Marcus, you've ruined everything.
I took care of it. Now we can be together.
Jenny grabs Marcus and hugs him, crying.
Run. Run far away.
Jenny let's go of him and pushes him.
Jenny bends down to pick up the wood. Marcus helps her. She walks towards the front door.
Marcus starts to follow her. Jenny turns around.
Go before you end up like me.
She walks into the house. Marcus watches her enter the house. He turns and walks towards his bike.
InT. rANCH HOUSE - mORNING - days later
Jenny sits in an empty house, no furniture or decorations as repo men move her stuff out of the house into a moving truck.
EXT. firing squad - MORNING
A new morning and the last day for Clayton. Four or five people watch on as Clayton is lead by a man in uniform towards a wall stacked with sandbags. He scans the crowd for his wife, she is nowhere to be found.
He faces six men with rifles.
They raise their guns.
A bag is put over his head.
Ext. wILDERNESS - MORNING
Marcus, at his campsite, wakes up from a deep sleep. His face paint faded.
Ext. Field - DAY
Jenny walks through a large field.
The sound of six rifles fired concurrently echoes through the air.
She lays down and falls gently asleep.
A Song plays: "These be seven curses only judge so cruel, that one doctor cannot save him, that two healers cannot heal him, and that three eyes cannot see him. That four ears cannot hear him, that five walls cannot hide him, that six beggars cannot buy him, and that seven deaths shall never kill him." **
* "On Presenting an Enemy - Flayer With a Cup of Water" translated by Ruth Murray Underhill. From Earth Always Endures, poems selected by Neil Philip, Viking Press: 1996.
** Lyrics from the Bob Dylan song "Seven Curses", Bootleg Series Vol. 2 Columbia Records.