INT. SYDNEY’S APARTMENT – BATHROOM – NIGHT
ESTABLISH- A creepy, barely lit bathroom. We see SYDNEY MOORE
(16, a bit flippant, quietly intimidating, and thoroughly
haunted) desperately splash water on her face, hands braced
on the sides of the sink.
CU ON SYDNEY: She <breathes heavily>. Her eyes are shut. Her
jaw is clenched. The breathing continues as she gathers
strength. Her face manages to relax, her eyes opening only to
stay trained on the sink basin.
Cautiously, Sydney looks up at the mirror with a purple frame
in front of her. A creepy, fluid, shadowy figure stares
back. Sydney retreats backward, only taking a moment to
register the figure before rushing out of the bathroom.
INT. SYDNEY’S APARTMENT – CONTINUOUS
She steals down the hallway and into the equally creepy
A <whoosh> as we see wisps of shadows blur behind Sydney. She
frantically turns around, looking for it. Another <whoosh>.
Sydney turns back, eyes landing on something.
MOVE TO REVEAL- Sydney stares back at herself in a broken
INT. SYDNEY’S APARTMENT – BEDROOM – DAY
Sydney awakes on her bed with a jolt, <gasping for air>. She
eyes her bedroom door warily, as if she’s scared it’ll be
broken down at any second.
INT. SYDNEY’S APARTMENT – MINUTES LATER
It’s the same apartment we saw in the dream, awash in bright
morning light as opposed to the murder house vibes.
Freshened up and dressed in comfortable athletic-ish clothes,
Sydney goes to check herself in the mirror. She freezes when
she recognizes the purple frame. The glass is intact.
INT. SCHOOL LIBRARY – DAY
ESTABLISH- A fairly standard high school library. Students
wander in, out, around.
Bright fluorescents that make sure every square inch is
illuminated, shelves upon shelves of plastic protected books,
jarringly bright color-blocked furniture.
ANGLE ON: Study tables line the side of the library. Sydney’s
sitting at one, staring at a heavy-looking physics textbook
like it’s the enemy.
It won’t bite, you know.
Sydney’s head whips up to find PHOEBE LEWIS (16, ostensibly
girl-next-door and punch-in-the-face arrogant with the brains
to back it up). She stares down with a smug look. Sydney
makes a show of rolling her eyes.
I know. It prefers less gory
options like boring me to death.
Phoebe takes a seat next to her.
You’re gonna study here? (waving
around the library) There’s a wide
variety of other options. Like that
one over there with the deluxe
Sydney, this is the library. They
all have the bookcase view.
Besides, I’m not the one studying.
ANGLE: Phoebe <slams> a humorously thick binder down on the
table that reads: PHYSICS TUTORING LESSON PLAN! Sydney
They didn’t have any other tutors
Don’t act like you weren’t the one
that requested me in the first place. Ok, let’s start with-
Sydney grows quiet and her presence shrinks.
My dad made the tutoring
Suddenly, Sydney starts to pack up her things in a hurry.
Sorry to waste your time Phoebe,
but I’m sure you have your own shit
to do anyways. I’ll catch up on my
She stands up to leave.
Sydney, don’t- You don’t have to
make a big deal out of this.
The comment obviously strikes a nerve.
Good to know you haven’t changed.
Sydney books it the hell out of there.
INT. SYDNEY’S APARTMENT
ANGLE: Sydney cautiously enters the apartment- like she’s
visiting a friend’s house for the first time and wants to
make a good first impression. She pauses and scans the space.
There’s a <CLANG> in the kitchen. Sydney jumps.
Before she can recover, her father AARON MOORE (middle-aged,
capricious and… intense) enters the living room from the
You didn’t eat did you? I’m making
Sydney firmly shakes her head. A beat. She starts to escape into her room. She’s almost made it before-
Hey wasn’t your tutoring today?
How’d it go?
Sydney turns around to face him, staying in her doorframe.
It went fine. I don’t really think
I need the extra help though.
Did they give you Phoebe? I
requested Phoebe. I know you two
Yep. Phoebe was there.
Sydney glances back into her room, waiting desperately for
this conversation to be over.
You’re lucky to have a friend like
her. Not everyone is that smart.
Stick with her and maybe you’ll do
more than kicking and punching for
the rest of your life.
We see Sydney’s irritation start to eclipse her laconic
attitude. Lips tightening in restraint. Jaw clenching. She
walks further into the living room, standing a good distance
away from her father and next to a nice-looking vase.
I’m 16. I don’t really think my job
now is a reflection of how
successful I’ll be in the future.
Well, we at least know you’re not
gonna be a physicist.
Sydney bites the inside of her cheek in a mix of disbelief
and irritation before making eye contact with her father.
(sweeping arms out widely)
HER ARM KNOCKS THE VASE ONTO THE FLOOR WITH A LOUD <SHATTER>.
All the sounds from the apartment quickly become muffled,
like the whole place has been flooded.
CU: The shattered vase lays on the floor.
ANGLE: Sydney stares vacantly into the camera.
INT. SCHOOL GYM – NEXT DAY
Sydney? Are you ready?
REVERSE ANGLE: Sydney stares vacantly into the camera – in
the same exact position as we saw her in the day before. It’s
like she just stood there as someone changed a set around
GYM TEACHER (CONT’D)
Sydney snaps out of her dissociative stupor.
Huh? Oh. Yeah. I’m ready.
ESTABLISH- A large school gym. Sunlight comes in from giant
windows right under the ceiling. Two classes of teens clad in
gym clothing are in a giant huddle.
Alright everyone, today is the
first day of our self-defense unit.
Since Mr. Evans isn’t here, we’re
merging the classes for the day.
A hand raises from the huddle.
GYM TEACHER (CONT’D)
Where’s Mr. Evans?
Dog got hit by a car. I’ll be
assisted by Sydney here today. She
teaches kids self-defense after
school and will judge you if you
can’t pick it up as quickly as a 6
Sydney stands to their side, barely acknowledging that she’s
being spoken of right now.
GYM TEACHER (CONT’D)
Ok everyone pair up. Pick someone
you trust won’t break every bone in
All the students pair off, leaving one outlier. Phoebe. The
teacher catches sight of her alone and points at her.
GYM TEACHER (CONT’D)
You. You’ll help Sydney
That catches Sydney’s attention.
Oh nonononono- I’m fine. I don’t
need a partner.
Well, you’re getting one. Make sure
not to break her nose.
The gym teacher walks away before Sydney can protest any
more. Sydney turns to face Phoebe, already irritated.
Let’s get this over with.
How’s the studying going?
It’s fine. Leave it alone.
Mhm. What’s the first law of
Newton’s laws of motion. What’s the
We haven’t even covered that.
You’re right. We covered that in
Phoebe’s face softens, earnest emotion teeming under her
Syd, let me help you. You can’t
exactly punch your way out of
The good-natured offer only cracks Sydney a bit more.
I don’t need your help. If you
wanted to help me, you’re years too
That comment takes Phoebe by surprise.
You’re still upset about that?
A shrieking <whistle>.
Ok everyone line up. Sydney, you
want to get us started?
Alright guys, we’re gonna start
with a simple punching technique.
Phoebe equips some boxing pads on her hands and Sydney turns
to face her.
Keep your thumbs outside of your
fist. It’s important to generate
power from your entire body when
She slowly demonstrates the proper technique.
ANGLE: Her hips rotate.
ANGLE: Her arm pulls back.
ANGLE: We see Phoebe standing there. Except- she’s a lot
shorter. And her hair is different. This isn’t the Phoebe
we’ve seen. It’s the one Sydney knows.
Sydney is visibly shaken, face brimming with contempt. Then
her face steels.
THE SCREEN GOES BLACK.
<A LOUD PUNCHING NOISE>.<A THUD >.
INT. PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE – SHORTLY AFTER
ESTABLISH- THE PRINCIPAL sits at her desk in front of a
collection of awards and achievement certificates for her
REVERSE: Sydney and Phoebe sit in front of her desk. Phoebe
is holding an ice pack over her cheek.
I don’t think I need to tell you
that punching a classmate in the
face is in direct opposition of
No need for excuses. We acknowledge
all emotions here and understand
how difficult it is to be a teenage
Sydney barely holds back an eye roll.
I think we should start with an
apology. (turning to Phoebe)
Phoebe, would you like an apology?
ANGLE: Sydney and Phoebe glance at each other. Neither one is
happy, but there’s a silent agreement about the effectiveness
of the principal’s methods of mediation.
You do. You want an apology. It’s
okay to be honest here. This office
is a safe space. Sydney, apologize
A walkie-talkie on the desk crackles as it comes to life.
Principal Collins? There’s an
emergency in the science wing.
Well. I have to take care of some
urgent matters. Please stay here.
Take some time to look inward and
reflect on why you chose violence
as a form of communication today.
She leaves Sydney and Phoebe awkwardly sitting in her office.
You PUNCHED ME IN THE FACE??!?!
It was an accident!
I don’t recall my face resembling a boxing pad. All those years of self-
defense, I figured they taught you how to aim.
Sydney has some options here. Take the high road, apologize,
voice her inner turmoil. Or get defensive. Let’s see
What do you even know? Only thing
you could do is calculate the
kinetic energy of my fist colliding
with your face.
At least you remember that from
Why are you so stuck on that stupid
tutoring thing? We don’t talk for
years and then suddenly it’s your
life’s mission to teach me the
first law of motion?
I just wanted to help you.
Please. You only wanted to help to
feed your already mammoth ego. It’s
not because you care about me or
whatever you tell yourself.
Phoebe draws back, genuine hurt on her face.
Is that really how you feel?
Before Sydney can answer, the walkie-talkie blasts static.
If there’s anyone left that can
hear this, get out of here now!
There’s too many of them!
<screaming and pained efforts>
Sydney and Phoebe look at each other for a moment in panic.
ANGLE: They both turn to the door, wondering what kind of
hell is waiting for them on the other side.