Episode Twenty-one: Dead or Alive

By LazyCalm

Act One

 

FADE IN:

GATLIN, NEBRASKA-DAY

MAN (V.O.)
We are gathered here today-

We OPEN TO a small church filled with mourners who have come to pay their respects and say their goodbyes.

CLOSE UP on a photograph of an elderly man, smiling, full of life, while the priest (FATHER MALCOLM COLLINS, an old pastor in his late fifties, with white hair and beard and a kind, wizened old face), carries on with the service. From the photograph we PAN ACROSS to the same face but this time, lay in an open casket, lifeless, eyes closed, face devoid of color and vitality.

FATHER COLLINS (CON'T) (O.S.)
-To pay our last respects, and to mourn the loss of RICHARD BARLOW.

We PAN ACROSS the faces of the mourners.

FATHER COLLINS (CON'T) (O.S.)
He was a loving husband-

CLOSE UP on ANNETTE BARLOW, Richard's widowed wife, sobbing beneath her black veil.

FATHER COLLINS (CON'T) (O.S.)
A devoted father-

CLOSE UP on a woman in her early thirties, this is DANI BARLOW. She is trying hard to fight the tears while she consoles her distraught mother.

DANI
(whispering)
It's okay, mom.
(tearful)
It's going to be okay.

We CLOSE UP on Father Collins, who carries on with the service.

FATHER COLLINS (CON'T)
And most of all, a good man. To those who knew him, he was a great friend, a friend who was a part of our lives as much as the air we breathe. Some of us may feel that Richard was taken before his time, but as we know through faith, the Lord works in mysterious ways, and we take great comfort in the knowledge that Richard is with God, that a place at the Lord's table has been kept for him.

We PAN DOWN to a CLOSE UP on Richard's face, laying still in his casket.

FATHER COLLINS (O.S.)
(reading the 23rd Psalm)
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.

We CUT TO Annette, who suddenly bursts into tears, crying into her daughter's shoulder.

ANNETTE
Oh Richard!

Dani consoles her.

DANI
(sad, tearful)
Mom, it's okay.

FATHER COLLINS (CON'T) (O.S.)
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name' sake.

POV. DANI

Looking at her father's smiling photograph, sitting on top of the closed lower portion of the casket.

FATHER COLLINS (CON'T) (O.S.)
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: For thou art with me;

CLOSE UP on Dani, who cannot contain her grief any longer and breaks down.

DANI
(crying)
I miss him, mom. I miss him so much.

Other mourners move in to help console them.

We hold on a CLOSE UP on Richard's lifeless face.

FATHER COLLINS (CON'T) (O.S.)
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;

From Richard's face we…

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. CEMETERY-NIGHT

The place cold, dark and eerie. We PAN DOWN to the ground slowly and see rows and rows of tombstones; some in the shapes of elaborate angels, others, more plain and humble.

FATHER COLLINS (CON'T) (V.O.)
(voice sounds faded, almost far away)
Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over...

We close up on one of the newer tombstones. The inscription simply reads:
"Richard J Barlow, Loving Husband and Father, May you find peace and eternal bliss beneath God's wing, R.I.P, 1939 – 2007."

FATHER COLLINS (CON'T) (V.O.)
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,

From the tombstone we PAN DOWN to the fresh bed of earth where Richard was laid to rest.

FATHER COLLINS (CON'T) (V.O.)
and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

Just then a hand comes bursting out of the dirt!

“DEAD OR ALIVE?”

INT. DINER-MORNING

Music cue- "Cross-Tie Walker" by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Dean and Sam are sitting in a booth next to the wall. Dean enjoying a full breakfast while Sam reads through the local paper

DEAN
Now this is more like it.
(takes a mouthful of bacon)
Good food-

A waitress walks over and refills their coffee.

DEAN (CON'T)
(smiles at her)
Good people.

WAITRESS
(smiling)
Can I get you boys anything else?

SAM
(looks up)
Oh, no thank you.

DEAN
(grinning)
You know what would go great with this breakfast?

The waitress looks at Dean, puzzled.

DEAN
(swallowing a mouthful of food)
Your phone number.

Dean grins.

The waitress giggles.

WAITRESS
You're cute, but I'm already seeing someone.
(beat)
And she's the jealous type.

She winks at Dean, then walks back to the bar, leaving him stunned.

SAM
(looking at the paper, grinning)
Never had a chance.

DEAN
Oh yeah, as if you knew she was...that...way...inclined.

SAM
(laughs)
Just eat your breakfast and stop harassing the staff.
(beat)
They don't get paid enough to put up with it.

Dean slumps forward, dejected, and continues eating.

POV. SAM

Reading an article entitled “Health scare hits Gatlin.”

SAM
Dean, listen to this:

Dean looks up.

SAM
(reading the article)
In the last two weeks the small farming town of Gatlin, Nebraska has been rocked by at least four horrific killings. The victims were unrelated, but the cause of death was identical for each one. When asked about the killings, town Sheriff, Jared Mercer confirmed to the press that the cause of death was loss of blood and that all the bodies were covered in severe rips and vicious bite marks on the neck. So far there are no suspects and the local law enforcement believes a pack of wild dogs to be behind the killings. But whatever the cause, the small, close-knit, community of Gatlin has been shaken to it's very core.

DEAN
(unimpressed)
So?

SAM
That's all you can say...”so”?

DEAN
Sounds like an animal problem, let the local dog catchers deal with it.
(goes back to his meal)
We've got more important things to do.

SAM
Like what?

Dean stops cutting into his food and looks at Sam, struggling to think of an answer.

Sam looks at him, waiting patiently for a response.

CLOSE UP on Dean, still at a loss.

EXT. ROAD-MORNING

Music cue - "Highway Star" by Deep Purple

The Impala speeds past along the foggy road, out of frame.

INT. IMPALA

DEAN
Can't believe we're investigating animal attacks.

SAM
Depends on what kind of animal it is.

DEAN
Yeah, but it's probably just dogs or a...tiger, or something.

SAM
(confused)
In Nebraska?

DEAN
...or something.

SAM
It could also be a Skin walker or a Black Dog.

DEAN
(disbelieving)
In Nebraska?

SAM
(beat)
Stranger things have happened.

EXT. ROAD

The Impala drives off into the distance obscured by the morning fog as we pan across to a sign, which reads: Welcome to Gatlin – Corn Capitol of Nebraska.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. MAIN STREET-DAY

We ANGLE DOWN on the main street, to see a few locals talking outside the corner store, while a couple sit on a park bench opposite the street, watching the children play.

The Impala pulls up to the side of the curb. Sam and Dean exit the car and look around at the almost deserted streets.

SAM
(sarcastic)
Not exactly the happiest place on Earth.

DEAN
Nope. Guess Disney World can rest easy for now.

OLD MAN (O.S.)
Take it you boys are from out of town?

Dean and Sam turn around and see a man in his early sixties sat on the porch outside the general store, looking at them.

DEAN
Yeah, we just arrived.

OLD MAN
(looking behind Dean)
That your car?

DEAN
(looks back at the Impala)
Yeah. That's the one we just stepped out of five seconds ago.

OLD MAN
(approving)
Nice machine.
(beat)
Want my advice, you boys will step back in it and get out of Dodge just as quick.
(beat)
This town's gone bad.

SAM
(intrigued)
What do you mean?

OLD MAN
Happened about two weeks ago, after they put Richard in the ground.

DEAN
(confused)
Richard?

OLD MAN
Local man, Richard Barlow. Died of a heart attack a few weeks back. His daughter performed the autopsy.
(beat)
Poor girl, having to determine the cause of death for your own father.

SAM
That's got to be harsh.

OLD MAN
Shortly after that is when the murders started.

DEAN
You mean the attacks?

OLD MAN
(stern)
I mean murders. You'd have to be a really special kind of moron to think these were frickin' dog attacks or something.

Sam glances at Dean, trying not to laugh.

DEAN
So...you think Richard Barlow is killing these people?

OLD MAN
(shrugs)
How should I know, I'm just an old guy on a shop porch who likes to tell stories to strangers.

Dean rolls his eyes, frustrated.

DEAN
(sarcastic)
Great, we're in “Clichesville.”

OLD MAN
(smiling)
Course, the first victim was Barlow's wife, Annette. Her husband wasn't even cold in the ground when she was pushing up the daisies in the plot next to his.

SAM
Thanks for the info.

The Old Man doffs his cap and smiles.

SAM (CON'T)
Say, you mentioned that the autopsy was carried out by the man's daughter?

The Old Man nods.

OLD MAN
Yup, Dani Barlow's' the local Coroner.

SAM
Does she work in the local hospital round here?

OLD MAN
Medical centre, down on Wight Street.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. WIGHT STREET MEDICAL CENTRE

Dean and Sam walk up the steps to the medical centre main entrance.

DEAN
Oh come on Sammy, why do we have to even bother this poor girl?

SAM
she performed the autopsies, maybe there's something she can tell us about the cause of death.

DEAN
And if it's purely an animal attack?

SAM
Then we get in the car and we hit the road.

DEAN
(praying)
Please be animal attacks...please be animal attacks

Sam stops and turns around to Dean.

SAM
I don't understand you, Dean. I thought you'd be glad to be on a hunt?

DEAN
You kidding? I love hunting.
(beat)
I just don't think we're going to find anything supernatural here.

SAM
(beat)
Ten bucks says we do.
(holds out his hand)
Deal?

DEAN
(smiles)
Sure-
(shakes Sam's hand)
Deal.

The carry on up the stairs.

INT. RECEPTION ROOM

Sam walks up to the woman on reception.

SAM
Hi, I'm wondering if you can help me, I'm looking for a Doctor Danielle Barlow.

RECEPTIONIST
I'm sorry, I'm afraid Dr. Barlow is busy at the moment. If you leave me your details I can book you in for-

Sam pulls a Federal Agent badge from his pocket.

SAM
I'm afraid it can't wait.

The Receptionist nods, nervously.

INT. DOCTOR BARLOW'S OFFICE

Sam and Dean are sat down opposite Dani, who is sat behind her desk.

SAM
We're sorry to bother you at a time like this Doctor Barlow.

DEAN
Yeah, we'd heard about your losses, so close to each other. Please accept our condolences

DANI
Thank you, but I've heard those words so many times these past few weeks that they've kind of lost their meaning.
(beat)
I've sort of grown numb to the sense of loss, and mass sympathy just seems to make it worse.

DEAN
(nods)
I know what that's like.

Dani look sat him, curious.

DANI
Anyway, I'm guessing you boys didn't travel all the way up here just to offer your sympathies.
(beat)
How can I help you?

SAM
You carried out the autopsies on all the victims, correct?

DANI
(nods)
That's right. As the Chief Coroner it's kind of my job.

SAM
What can you tell us about the cause of death?

DANI
(nervous)
W-What do you mean?

DEAN
How did those people die, doc?

DANI
(shifting in her seat)
Well...er....on the surface of it, they seemed to have been mauled to death.

DEAN
So it was an animal attack then?

Sam glances at Dean.

DANI
That's what I thought, until I took a closer look at the wounds.

SAM
What did you find?

DANI
(hesitant)
Only two people know about this; myself and Sheriff Mercer. We didn't release it to the public in case it caused a panic but...the marks on the victims' necks weren't caused by any animal bites.
(beat)
They were human!

DEAN
Human?

DANI
Yeah.

SAM
You're absolutely certain?

DANI
Of course I am. I thought I was seeing things at first, I mean the teeth marks were sharper and they were much more numerous than a normal human teeth set, but the general layout of the impression left by the bite marks is distinctly human in formation.

DEAN
I see.
(nods)
I think that about wraps it up.

SAM
Yes, thank you for your time, doctor.
(beat)
Before we go could we get the autopsy reports on all the victims?

DANI
(nods)
Of course.

SAM
Thanks.

EXT. MEDICAL CENTRE-DAY

POV. UNKNOWN

From across the road we see Dean and Sam exit the Medical Centre and head down the stairs. They seem to be arguing over something, but we don't hear what. They reach the bottom of the stairs and get into the Impala.

CLOSE UP on SHERIFF MERCER watching from other side of the street as the boys head down the road in the Impala.

Hold on a CLOSE UP of Mercer's face for a beat, stern, distrusting...worried?

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. MOTEL-NIGHT

An ESTABLISHING SHOT of the motel, cheap and functional, obviously caters to those with little money, or loose morals as it's the kind of place where you'd see illicit one night stands being carried out.

INT. MOTEL ROOM

Sam is sat at the table by the window, studying the autopsy reports while Dean is laying on one of the beds looking through the photographic evidence.

SAM
So, what do you make of it?

DEAN
Well, I'm still not wholly convinced that we're dealing with anything out of the ordinary here.

POV. DEAN

Looking at the bite marks on a photo of one of the victims.

DEAN
I mean...these bite marks just look “animal” to me.

SAM
Even though the Coroner confirmed them as human?

DEAN
I call it as I see it, Sammy.

SAM
(smirks)
Figures.

Sam continues reading the medical profiles of the victims.

SAM
Well, maybe there's a pattern between the victims.

DEAN
(still looking at the photos)
Yeah...maybe. I think first thing tomorrow we should check out the cemetery, just to be sure.

SAM
(nods)
Good idea.

Sam picks up his glass of soda.

SAM
We're out of ice.

Dean still lies on the bed reading. Sam heads out the door, lets it slam shut.

EXT. MOTEL PARKING LOT-NIGHT

Sam heads over to the icebox around the corner.

POV. UNKNOWN

From across the car lot, we can see Sam as he fills the bucket with ice.

Sam looks around.

POV. SAM

Looking around we see nobody.

Sam carries on filling the bucket then head back to his room. Over his shoulder we can see a dark figure stood further down the walkway on the edge of the woods. Sam stops and turns around.

SAM
Hello?

The figure does nothing, just stands on the spot staring at him.

Sam squints.

POV. SAM

From here it looks as though the figure's eyes are glowing slightly.

Sam turns around and heads back to his room.

WOMAN'S VOICE (O.S.)
So...lonely.

Sam turns back to the woods.

POV. SAM

The figure has gone!

Sam shrugs, slightly unnerved.

SAM
Creepy.

CUT TO:

EXT. WIGHT STREET-NIGHT

The streets are completely empty. The only sign of life is the solitary light coming from the Medical centre.

INT. MEDICAL CENTRE, DANI'S OFFICE

Dani is busy writing up a few case files on her PC when she glance at a picture of her with her parents on the desk.

She picks it up and slowly wells up with tears.

DANI
(sobbing)
Oh Mom, Dad, I miss you so much.

CLOSE UP on the photograph of Richard and Annette smiling while Dani stands between them, proudly wearing her graduate robes, we see Dani's tears start to fall onto the frame.

WOMAN (O.S.)
Dani? Dani, honey where are you?

Dani looks up, startled.

DANI
Who's there?

Dani heads over to the door and looks out onto the reception area.

POV. DANI

The place is empty.

Dani shuts the door and turns back to her desk.

MAN (O.S.)
Dani, where are you, hon? It's so cold...

Dani jumps slightly and moves over to the window. Discreetly, she looks through the window blinds.

POV. DANI

Looking through the blinds we can just make out two dark figures stood out in the street, not moving.

DANI
(shocked)
...Mom?!...Dad?!

ANNETTE (O.S.)
Oh Dani, it's so cold out here.

RICHARD (O.S.)
...so cold.

Dani backs away from the window, scared and confused.

DANI
(shaking)
I'm going crazy, Oh God, I'm going crazy.

She goes back to the window.

POV. DANI

Looking out onto the street, the two figures have gone.

Dani turns away from the window, relieved.

Just then the main entrance door slowly creaks open.

Dani is frozen to the spot.

ANNETTE (O.S.)
It's so cold, Dani.

RICHARD (O.S.)
Where are you?

POV. DANI

Through the patterned glass of Dani's office window we can make out the shapes of two people moving around the reception area towards the office door.

DANI
(under her breath, petrified)
This isn't real...it can't be real!

Close up on the door handle as it slowly turns.

Dani backs up against the wall, terrified.

POV. UNKNOWN

We move through the door to see Dani standing right in front of us, hugging the far wall out of fear, sobbing uncontrollably.

DANI
(pleading)
No....Mom....Dad....please, no!

ANNETTE (O.S.)
We've found you!

RICHARD (O.S.)
So cold…
(beat)
So hungry!

EXT. WIGHT STREET

We PAN away from the medical centre as Dani's blood-curdling SCREAM breaks the silence of the otherwise still night.


Continue...

 

Supernatural is ©2005 The WB Television Network. Other content is copyright the original owners. Original content is ©2005 Supernatural.tv/Virtual Season. This site is best viewed in IE (Internet Explorer) version 4.0 and up and Netscape 6.0 and up. Best resolutions 800x600 or 1024x 768.