I love the Simpsons.
Evergreen Terrace, Scene One.
It’s dusk on the streets of Springfield.
Two boys play with a kickball out the front of Ned Flanders house. Diegetic sound only. Faces are unseen.
Cut to the driver’s seat of a car. It’s growing darker. Inside we can hear the insulated engine rumbling. The driver sluggishly flicks on the headlights. We see a Duff can rattling in a cup holder. The driver, obfuscated, is falling asleep. Diegetic sound only. Character’s face unseen.
Cut back to the street, we are the ball (POV) as it is kicked too hard. It somersaults passed the knees of the receiving brother and gradually stops, lightly tapping a picket fence. Blurred in its periphery, one of the boys grabs it. Ned Flanders familiar voice: ‘Boys, dinner time!’
Cut back to the driver’s seat of the car. The camera slowly zooms through and out onto a dented, pink bonnet. As it does, the world, a speeding blur slowly comes into focus. The car is inching off the road. We hear the driver suddenly waking up as it begins shuddering over the sidewalk. It’s going so fast. We hear the driver startled into consciousness, spooked awake. The headlights shine on Rods startled face.
A beat: Ned Flanders turning towards the camera from his front door.
A beat: The car pinning the second boy, Todd, to the fence.
A beat: Ned Flanders eyes growing wide.
A beat: We follow the ball as it rolls passed the crumpled bonnet and out onto the road.
SFX only: Ned Flanders heartbroken scream. From the very bottom of a grief shocked stomach, primal.
Cut to Black.
Shelbyville Trailer Park, Scene Two.
Night. A trailer park outside of Shelbyville. A grubby place. Scattered camper vans illuminated by seedy neon lights.
Portrait: Ned Flanders sits on a bed, shoulders to the top of his head, framed and looking right into the audience. Usually fastidious appearance overgrown, untidy. His eyes look wild but lost. Ned is lit by a crummy orange lamp, it’s light radius is paltry. A rusty urine color.
The camera creeps towards his eyes.
Cut to Ned’s POV: At the end of the trailers long body, highlighted by the light creeping beneath his off-kilter entrance, the silhouettes of Rod and Todd can be seen. They eerily stand there. Visually mangled bodies mercifully blanketed by shadow, framed by the door and curved walls.
Ned’s Portrait: Still looking at us, a small bewitched smile flickering at the corner of his mouth.
Ned’s POV: ‘Hi Daddy’ Todd’s little voice says.
Ned’s Portrait: ‘Todd…is that my boy?’
Ned’s POV: ‘He… killed us’
Ned’s Portrait: The smile dissolves as Ned realizes he is living a nightmare.
Ned’s POV: Rod’s voice.‘You didn’t do anything’.
He falls off the bed and crawls at the wall. Like a bug escaping water. Terrified. Scraping his nails against tin in a frenzy. A man possessed by fear trying to dig his way out.
(O/S) Maude: ‘Neddy’.
A light suddenly wipes onto Ned’s thrashing limbs. The fear is jolted from his body. Could it be? Ned looks towards the door, his hopeful face illuminated. The two shadows have a figure standing behind them. A trinity. The figure of a woman… Maude? Her voice stills him.
‘You didn’t save our boys Ned’
Cut to reality. Ned, looking as if he is having the worst trip of his life. Splayed against the camper staring dumbly into space. A disheveled woman, his Landlady, starts rustling through drawers. She wears a white and stained ‘Welcome to Springfield’ shirt that is a few sizes way too large.
‘Late on rent’. Her voice is a croak.
She delivers this as though robbing from a, perceived, smack-head is a daily routine.
A man, sweaty and fat, bends through the entrance and has a look.
‘Jesus Christ‘. Fat Guys voice is a throaty bark.
Saliva runs from Ned’s mouth, his eyes are wide. Astonished.
The woman throws the tenants measly belongings onto the floor and gives Flanders a once over for a moment,
‘Jesus ain’t nowhere near this nut job’.
The guy at the door laughs like swine scream. He leans back out of the camper shaking his head. The Landlady finally finds something. It’s a small box hidden beneath the lowest drawer. She greedily opens it. A wedding ring, old and traditional. She turns to Ned, who stares at her, paralyzed in fear. She waves the ring towards his dumbfounded expression.
Cut to Ned’s POV. He is staring down at Maude, who has fallen to her knees by the drawers. She, like Rod and Todd, is a silhouette. Her voice is one of deep sadness. Grief.
‘Ned. You let him kill me. You let him kill them’.
Ned interjects, he murmurs to himself. ‘..no…no…I’m sorry’.
The shadows of his family disappear. Only the Landlady remains. He seems to notice her for the first time. She, bent over his furniture, clutching his wedding ring. The shadow of Maude stutters into reality at the back of the camper. We see what Ned can see.
The wedding ring.
The Springfield shirt.
Maude’s voice. ‘Go make it right Neddy’
A knife on the bench of the trailer kitchenette is sharply pulled into focus.
Outside the trailer, we are with Fat Guy, who cockily patrols the vicinity while lighting a bent cigarette. Fat Guy and the Landlady don’t care if they get caught robbing the guy. It’s a pretty seedy place and they’ve been running the park long enough to know that nobody here wants to see cops.
Diegetic sound. He leans up against his crappy orange sedan, at the foot of the Ned Flanders camper. It’s so quiet that we can hear the cigarette being sucked down with each long inhale. Fat Guy throws the butt into the dirt and stomps on it. He lazily growls at the trailer.
‘Hurry up will ya’
SFX: The sound of metal running through and through. Robotic and meaty. Starts very low, grows until faint yet impossible to ignore.
The Fat Guy stares down at the cigarette butt. The camera isolates it, trampled, split so the filter can be seen hanging out. He begins to grow aware of the ‘robotic, meaty’ sound.
Impatient and suddenly panicked by the quiet, Fat Guy stomps up to the trailer door and barks in.
‘Woman. What’s taking so damn long?’
Cut to the interior of the trailer. Framed by the askew, back-lit entrance. The sound is louder. Fleshier. Stabbier. Fat Guy leans in, indignant. Immediately his eyes widen and he backs up. He stumbles over the doorstep and falls on his ass. The door to the trailer rattles as it swings open and shut.
Cut to: The light from the swinging door illuminates the interior like a strobe.
Shot: A bloody knife above Flander’s head.
Shot: White, tattered shirt split open. Covered in viscera. The word ‘Springfield’ bloodied but visible.
Shot: Ned immediately and speedily turning towards the Fat Guy, who is on his ass outside.
(A shaky one shot) Cut back outside to the Fat Guy scrambling to his feet with clumsy speed only endowed by panic. He sprints away from the trailer, behind, we hear the tin door slam shut as Ned swiftly begins giving chase. The Fat Guy runs. Breath pained and sharp. Ned (hidden by Fat Guys shuddering girth) can be heard gaining speed. A reality dawns on the Fat Guys face. He isn’t getting away. The bloody Flanders catches up.
Cut to black.
Shelbyville Gas Station, Scene Three.
A remote gas station. Late afternoon. The Fat Guys sedan rolls in. Ned climbs out and starts filling up while whistling a cheerful (very Ned Flanders) tune. The Attendant, some bored local, barely manages to peek up from a tiny television from inside the store. They acknowledge each other, Ned with a cheerful wink and the attendant with the barest of nods. The gas meter whirs. We see blood pooling on the dirt beneath Flanders new ride.
Cut to: A small bell rings as Ned enters the gas station. He marches straight up to the guy behind the counter who, slower than is good manners, summons the meager ‘give a flying fuck’ to serve him. Ned’s eyes catch the back of the box television. We hear the familiar low-level jingle of the ‘Eye on Springfield’ theme as the program begins. Ned seems to harden. The Attendant rings up the till and slides some coins towards Flanders.
Ned looks down at his change. The Attendant becomes aware of the lingering customer.The ‘Eye on Springfield’ theme is swelling to its guitar-riffing conclusion. A long tense beat.
Cut to outside the station. Flanders slips a wad of cash into his back pocket, reenters the sedan and peels away.
Montage of time passing. A long drive. It’s late night again. Headlights briefly sweeping over a large sign. ‘Welcome to Springfield’.
Highway, Scene Four.
Inside the humming vehicle, growing tired, Ned sighs and yawns. He begins to fall asleep. Nodding off (imitative of the shot of Homer from earlier) he begins to veer off the road.
Cut to the car pulling over. Ned, drenched in sweat, clenching the wheel with white knuckles. The ‘pleather’ squeals as his grip angrily tightens.
Exterior shot, audio insulated by interior: A furious Ned loses control and starts punching the interior of the car. He strikes out. Screaming and thrashing.
Quickly cut to Ned sitting silently. Calmly.
Framed in the rear view mirror, we see the ghostly dots of distant headlights. A lonely car on the same long road.
Ned watches as it comes closer and closer. Finally, to a crawl. It approaches the pulled over sedan. Headlights first, blinding Flanders, it comes to a stop. Ned winds down the driver side window and cringes into the intense beams.
The sound of a car door opening, a shadowy figure stands behind the beams. It is completely masked by light. Diegetic sound only.
‘Are you alright?’ Baritone. A stranger’s voice.
Ned nods and adopts the standard cheerful Flanders demeanor.
‘Sure am partner! Just taking a Lil’ breakerino!’.
He smiles into the headlights. The figure remains silent. Under the intense scrutiny of the beams, Flanders smile feels fake.
Inside the car, we see one of Ned’s trembling hands slowly reaching for the knife tucked in the driver’s side door.
He continues talking.
‘…Don’t want any accidents when we’re this close to beautiful Springfield!’
He lapses back into a smile. Still completely blind. There is a long, uncomfortable beat. His hand grips the hilt of the kitchen knife. The stranger finally breaks the tense silence.
‘Well. Be careful. This is dangerous road.’
The stranger gets back inside the car and it peels away. Ned watches until it is extinguished by the highway ahead. He slaps his own face hard and starts the car again.
Wiggums Office, Scene Five.
CCTV footage. Rewinding. Footage from the Shelbyville gas station.
Framed from behind, it is shooting down at the Attendant who is lazily perched at the grainy counter. The footage is fast forwarded. The figure of Ned Flanders zips toward the Attendant. A green ‘play’ arrow. The footage slows to real time. Ned grabs the attendant and bashes his head in with the box television. He drags the helpless man over the counter and starts stomping. (Violence blocked by counter).
The footage rewinds again. We zoom out of the footage.
It is being played on a generic black computer monitor. The camera pans to the stern face of Chief Clancy Wiggum. He pauses the screen on the clearest shot of Ned Flanders face. He balances a phone on his broad right shoulder.
‘I know him. It’s Ned Flanders.’
The voice on the other line sighs.
‘He’s leaving my jurisdiction you know. As far as I’m concerned this is a Springfield problem’.
Clancy is stone-faced. Eyebrows narrowing in anger.
‘We’ll get him’.
He hangs up the phone with force. ‘Shelbyville jackass’.
Scrutinizing the screen for a moment, Clancy Wiggums expression could be mistaken for pity. He leans back in his chair and takes a deep breath. It suddenly feels claustrophobic in the small office.
Eddie and Lou knock on the door. The Chief nods and they take a seat.
‘We’re gonna need all the guys on duty tomorrow. We’re looking for a sedan, orange. Show them the footage. Suspect is Ned Flanders.‘
Eddie and Lou share a look.
‘We’re gonna need to check in with the school. You two remember what Mr. Flanders did to Homer Simpson, the things he said.’
Wiggum leans forward.
‘He’s coming back for those kids.’
Herman’s Military Antiques, Scene Six.
Ned Flanders sedan is parked in an alley beside ‘Herman’s Military Antiques’. A shabby building with barred windows. A scratched blue pickup sits out the front, partially mounting the curb.
Inside, the one-armed Herman Hermann looks Flanders up and down from behind the counter. He regards Flanders with a confused familiarity, but eventually resigns his memory to small town living. Ned pokes about the displays before pointing to the antique bazooka behind the store owner cheerily.
‘That thing work?’
Herman croaks in the negative.
He seems unsure about Ned. The guy looks a little too square. Even if a little unkempt. Ned looks about for a minute, aware of the intense scrutiny. Hermanns eyes narrow.
‘Is there something you wanted?’
Ned cheerily continues looking about the displays. He stops at a line of grenades.
‘These are some excellent antiques. Shame these ladies are out of commission’.
Herman thinks it over.
‘If you follow this street, gun-store is about eight blocks down’.
Ned approaches Herman at the store counter.
‘The guy there told me I’d get more bang for my buckarino here’.
‘The guy lied’. Hermann’s voice is quiet. Shady.
Ned slaps a large wad of cash down on the counter. The store owner regards the bills and gives Ned a once over.
‘How do I know you’re not a cop? You look like a cop’.
With an upbeat shrug, Ned smiles.
‘Guess you’ll just have to have some faith’.
Assorted, Scene Seven.
SFX: A children’s choir. They sing a Christmas carol.
Reverend Lovejoy sits in the back pew of the First Church of Springfield and watches an orderly children’s choir. Helen Lovejoy sits beside her husband, they clasp hands.
SFX: The song strips down to the harmonized singing voices of Rod and Todd.
At Herman’s Military Antiques, two police officers stop near the parked orange sedan. They call it in. The door to the shop is kicked open. The police officers recoil, Herman is dead on the floor.
Ned is cruising Springfield in the blue pickup.The K-JAZZ radio studio crawls passed. Slowing down, he pulls into the next lot.
It’s Springfield Elementary School.
He parks the car and watches the children on their lunch break. Ned watches two kids kick a ball to one another.
A handgun sits on the passenger seat.
SFX: The song swells back into the full choir.
Back at the church, Lovejoy farewells the choir. He kisses his wife on the cheek and she departs with the children. All alone, the reverend stands in the aisle. Lost in thought, he stares through the imposing stained glass windows at the rear of the church.
SFX: Diegetic sound.
Springfield Elementary. It’s ominously quiet. The halls are silent. The playground empty. Shots of police officers waiting. Clancy stands beside the window in the late Edna Krabappels classroom. The kids silently sit at their desks.
The Chief peeks over the windowsill and into the parking lot.
The blue pickup truck isn’t there.
His radio startles to life, breaking the tension. It’s the patrol calling in the dumped sedan from Shelbyville at Herman’s Antiques.
Clancy un-clips his radio to respond.
First Church of Springfield, Scene Eight.
SFX: Ned quietly sings the final refrain of the choir song.
In his office, Reverence Lovejoy procures paper and a pen. He starts writing his next service carefully. Mid-sentence he stops. A shiver. It’s very quiet. Something feels wrong. Departing the desk, Lovejoy wanders back towards the chapel.
Reaching the doorway, Lovejoy leans in and – it can’t be.
His voice cracks with surprise and concern.
‘Ned?’, he stammers the name.
He runs his hands through his hair in bewilderment. Flanders sits in the back row, mumbling the song.
‘My God, you’re alive!’ It pours from his mouth. ‘We were all so worried!’
Happiness. Relief. He stumbles forward. But stops.
Ned stands up. He has a gun.
‘Ned? Why do you…?’ Bafflement. He doesn’t understand.
Flanders is on the brink of tears. This man. This liar. This traitor. This friend. This twisted and manipulative force that forgave Homer. That buried his children. Ned’s eyes bulge. Red.
‘You always told me to trust. Trust that my faith would be rewarded. They’re dead Reverend. My whole family. Dead.’
Lovejoy raises his hands.
He can see something isn’t right with his old friend. Something is very different about Ned Flanders. It’s as though he is hollow. A shell.
‘He stole Maude. He stole Rod. He stole Todd. He let a demon terrorize my life and you told me to let Him. That it was all some big test.’
Ned raises the gun. Lovejoy flinches behind his hands. He trembles.
Flanders spits the words bitterly.
‘Please Ned, put the gun down. We can get to the bottom of this -‘
‘-Where is He now? You dedicated your life to His service’
Birds-eye view, as though the furthest point of the roof. Diegetic sound only.
Ned lifts the handgun and suddenly shoots the Reverend. The sound of the shot rebounds across the roof. Lovejoy’s lifeless body crumples into the pews. Flanders considers his dead friend. Blood creeps out, pooling at his shoes.
‘He didn’t protect you either’
Back with Wiggum at the Elementary School. Still receiving the report from the Military Antiques Store. The officers note that Herman’s blue pickup is missing and speculate that Flanders has probably taken it.
A gunshot in the distance.
Birds scatter from trees near the Church. The radio goes ballistic.
Same birds eye view of the deceased Lovejoy. Flanders is gone. Police are investigating the crime scene.
Outside the church. Chief Wiggum is drenched in sweat. He makes for his cruiser in shock. Lou catches up.
‘Chief. You alright?’
Clancy is flustered. Scared. A big man with a big heart that is just beating away under his uniform. He wipes his face.
‘Tell everyone to meet me back at the station, I left Ralphie there. Jesus Christ!’
He curses the day. Dread running over his entire body like cold water.
‘How am I gonna tell him?’
He climbs into his cruiser. Lou walks around to the door. Wiggum takes a deep breath.
‘I fucked up Lou. This is on me’.
Lou begins to interject. Clancy Wiggum stops him.
‘Listen. I thought he was going for the Simpson kids. Now we have this mess.’
He pulls off his hat and runs a chubby hand through a receding blue hairline. The world is suddenly darker. Random. Dangerous.
‘Jesus Lou. I thought he was going to shoot some kids’.
Lou doesn’t know what to say.
The Chief starts the car and heads back to the station.
Assorted shots across the town. Diegetic sound.
It’s dark and Springfield is in lock-down.
Silent streets haunted by police cars.
Snow gently drifts down.
It’s going to be a long and cold night.
Scene Nine, The Police Station.
Wiggum watches a snowflake land and dissolve on the wind sill. Still sweating, he holds a phone to his large head.
‘Yes, Mr. Mayor… we’ll get him… we know he went back to the house… no we didn’t find him…”
Wiggum seems rattled.
‘They are under lockdown sir. Our best guys.’
Quimby’s voice is faint and indecipherable. But it is definitely angry. A mayor reacting to an entire town in fear.
‘…we know he has a blue pickup… it’s only a – ‘
He flinches as Quimby’s angry voice blasts through the receiver.
Wiggum puts the phone down and grabs his winter jacket. Eddie, exhausted, comes to his door. Wiggum fixes a hard stare.
‘Tell me you have something good Eddie.’
The officer shakes his head.
‘Every hand is on deck boss. Patrols everywhere. Second-detail is checking the Flanders residence. Simpson house has two patrols. Got three cruisers looking for Hermans pickup -‘
‘Have we got anything on the car?’
‘Got a tip that it was seen on Main Street, still haven’t found it’
Eddie sighs and shrugs.
‘Amount of guys on the street. The amount of places it could be. We would need all hands on deck to even possibly find the car.’
Wiggum is clearly frustrated. He grabs his winter jacket and storms out into the station. It’s empty. A community helper mans the phone line. The switchboard is going crazy. He turns to Eddie.
‘Stay in the station. Keep me informed’.
We follow Clancy as he storms out into the dark and towards his cruiser. The town is sprawling and he is at capacity. He throws himself into a car and peels out onto the road. Siren wailing.
The camera supersedes his car.
Speedily it follows streets.
Twists and turns.
Streetlights wooshing passed.
The image of Flanders house is punctuated with a deep and ominous tone.
Flanders House, Scene Ten.
A snowy ‘For Sale’ sign. A patched up fence. Inside the house, slicing light cuts across the curtains.
Cut to inside.
The house is still furnished. White sheets draped over every piece of furniture. Ghostly shapes in a big, dark home. The Three Police Officers have looked everywhere, underneath everything. He is not here.
They regroup in the kitchen and stand at the sliding door to the backyard. The darkness swallows its edges. A big, empty yard with seemingly no fence. An ominous illusion of endlessness. In the very corner, a dugout. The bomb shelter.
Officer One shivers.
‘The last patrol said they cleared it already. But we better check again.’
He glances at Officer Two, quasi-casually he drops the question.
‘You wanna take the shelter?’
Serious eye contact. Officer Two pitiably exhumes the words.
Officer One turns to Officer Three, who just shakes his head.
Officer One trudges out into the snow with great uncertainty. He darts his torch about the big empty yard. The bomb shelter looks worse up close. The camera leads us to the big, metal door.
Cut to black.
SFX: The sound of the mechanical lock turning.
With a heaving grunt, Officer One pulls the heavy door open. He is framed by a rectangle of darkness. Snow and moonlight.
It looks even worse open.
Concrete stairs that begin and sort of just disappear. It looks like a child’s worst nightmare. Shooting an uncertain glance at the other officers, his hands tremble with the cold. The torchlight slices through the dark, resting at the base of the long descent.
Under his breath he mumbles.
‘Please God, don’t let the crazy be down here‘
A deep breath.
An exhale of vapor.
One step at a time, gun drawn.
Flashlight at the ready.
Panic. The torch is dropped. It slams against the stairs.
Clunk! Clunk! Clunk!
It bounces to the bottom and rolls into the room. Its pitch black and he is halfway down. He swears under his breath and shakily keeps the gun pointed down the hole.
The camera creeps down his arm. Passed the guns sight and into the deep, dark. Police Officer One’s breath is short. Scared.
Everything is black. Tension, high.
The camera pulls back.
We are out in the Flanders yard.
It pulls back to the two officers at the back door.
It races backwards, through the house and out into the street.
We have returned to the establishing shot of Flanders home.
The camera begins to turn. Panning to the house across the street, directly opposite Ned’s home. The camera whirs towards this house, passed it and into its backyard.
It climbs the fence.
A police car trawls the street in the distance. The camera turns back, Flanders house can be seen on the street, partially blocked by the dark residence whose backyard fence we are atop.
We begin to descend.
Following the sturdy fence slowly down to its base.
Until we see Ned Flanders, covered in snow, laying there.
And he sees us.
He begins to re-adjust his weight and sits up. It’s obvious he has been lying here for awhile. A thick dusting of snow blankets his body. Maude, hidden beneath shadow, sits against the fence beside him. They watch the police car creep passed.
He regards Maude with a little smile, bashful almost.
‘I always liked the snow in Springfield’.
Softly spoken. A brittle warbling voice. He fights to restrain emotion. But he breaks and the words pour out.
“I’m so sorry Maude”.
The emotion sweeps through him. He weeps. Quietly sniffling, covered in snow. Maude grabs his hand. She looks over him in the dark. Her voice is kindly.
“Neddy. It’s not your fault”.
He chokes on tears. The police car turns back around the street.
Wiping his eyes, he takes a moment and pinches the bridge of his nose.
After a beat he faces Maude.
Framed as Ned’s POV: She looks just as she did when she fell off the bleachers that day. Twisted and broken. The whole back of her head is missing. Her ungodly mouth moves as she speaks.
‘It’s his fault Ned. It was always his fault”.
Yes. Maude is completely right. Homer was a menace. A destructive fool. Evil even. A blight on the town that his faith protected. He can see now. He can see how he was coerced into ignoring it. Letting it happen. In truth Homer was a time bomb. And Ned let him kill his precious children.
Resolve erodes his emotion.
Ned slowly rolls over in the snow. He is wearing red and blue, insulated ski gear. The spotlight from the police car suddenly illuminates the backyard.
Ned is very still.
A long, tenuous moment.
Springfield’s finest drive passed.
Ned begins crawling towards the road.
Diegetic sound only. Quiet, sharp breaths.
He makes it to the curb. The cruiser turns out of the street. Casually, Flanders climbs to his feet and walks to the middle of the road. He lifts the sewer grate and carefully climbs into the darkness.
Evergreen Terrace, Scene Eleven.
We are looking in the driver side window as Wiggum patrols the streets. In the reflection of his window, the Kwik-e Mart sign scrolls by. Wiggum grabs the radio, he is heading towards Evergreen Terrace.
As if we are sitting in the backseat, we can see the back of his head and through the windshield. He slows down as the headlights reflect off the street sign. Evergreen Terrace. He pulls in.
We follow the profile of his cruiser as it passes dark, suburban homes. He trundles to a stop at the Flanders house (same establishing shot, again). Officer Two walks out. Gives the house an all clear.
Wiggum slowly drives one house further.
The Simpsons residence. Curtains drawn. Two cruisers on the front lawn, like a red and blue blockade. He parks his car on the street and slowly trundles out. The front door opens and Lou saunters out. Wiggum is nervously slapping his hat against his own hands.
‘How are they doing?’
Clancy nods. He turns away from the house and towards the camera. He looks tired. Desperate. The hat taps against his hands. Cogs are grinding.
He looks down. The camera follows his gaze.
The storm drain.
Cut to black.
SFX: The sound of running water.
The grate in the middle of the street is scraped open. A circle of moonlight and graceful snow. Clancy looks down into the sewer. He nods to Lou, who climbs in. A splash. He looks back up to Wiggum. Wordlessly they match radio frequencies.
Turning into the tunnels, Lou follows the beam of his flashlight, keeping one hand on his handgun holster.
The tunnel is a straight line that ends with a crossroads. Curved, metallic walls punctuated by open, leaking storm drains. Lou ventures to the end and stops. Left is darkness. Right is darkness. The whole system is a grid. He radios back up to Wiggum.
‘We might need more guys down here Chief’
A splashing noise. Lou nearly drops the radio and spins to the right. His flashlight illuminates Flanders, who stands at the very end of the tunnel. Lou screams. Gun up.
Simultaneously Flanders fires a shot and runs. The round scrapes off the wall near Lou, who brings the radio to his mouth as he begins pursuing.
‘Suspect sighted. Armed. In pursuit.’
Cut to Wiggum. He runs from the street to his cruiser. He screams into the car radio.
‘All patrols, suspect sighted under Evergreen Terrace.’
Back with Lou, we are tearing through the endless sewer tunnels. The sound of pounding, splashing feet. A gunshot, another round bounces off the walls. Lou returns fire. Flanders is a red silhouette. A demon in the dark.
The camera speeds passed Lou and meets Ned. Who, painfully, clutches his side. He has taken a hit. From Ned’s perspective, we come to another crossroads. Though, unlike Lou, the shadows of Rod and Todd stand perfectly framed at the end of each tunnel.
‘This way daddy’ Todd’s little voice.
Ned takes a right.
Just as another gunshot fires from behind. Ned tears onward, his run has become a weird frenzy of pained, forward momentum. He seems to be losing Lou though. Whose splashing footsteps grow fainter in the distance.
‘Left, Daddy’ This time Rod.
Ned takes the left.
Immediately we see the two shadows at the base of a ladder. Ned cries out sharply as he quickly ascends, throwing the grill aside and escaping.
Back to Lou.
He is just coming to the final crossroad. He stops. Exhausted. Desperation. Flanders is fast. A noise to the right, a grate. He speedily turns to the right, gun drawn.
Wrong way. It’s two officers. Reinforcements. They throw their hands up startled. Lou curses as he painfully heaves mouthfuls of air.
He tears in the other direction.
‘This way!’ he screams as he runs. A straight line in the dark. He stops. The grate at the top of the ladder is askew, snow sneakily falls in.
Lou jumps up the ladder and shoves the grate aside.
His head peeks out of the sewer grate and immediately spots the trail. Stumbling footprints running away. Tethered by a thin mess of blood.
Veterans Park, Scene Twelve.
SFX: Howling wind, chunky footsteps and excruciatingly pained breathing.
One shot, facing Flanders. Painfully exposed, Ned is struggling to maintain speed. One hand holds the bloody stomach that leaks through his cold fingers. Having nearly crossed Veterans park, he climbs through foliage and makes his way to the Blue Pickup. He drags leafage from the bonnet and peels a tarpaulin off its body. Tripping, he falls into the drivers door. Blood smears across its metallic side.
‘Stop!’ A sound in the far distance. Smothered by the wind. It’s Lou.
He begins firing as Ned, stumbling, pries open the car door.
Inside the car with Ned. We can see Lou as he runs towards us through the windshield.
The windshield glass is punctured by a bullet hole.
Ned desperately starts the car. The engine clunkily stumbles over itself.
Lou is getting closer.
Another shot. Another hole in the windshield. A deep crack starts spidering over the glass. Foam explodes from the shoulder of the passenger seat.
Ned ducks under the wheel and the car finally roars into life.
His foot slams down on the accelerator.
The camera remains still as the car speeds forward. Lou takes another shot and dives out of the way. Too late. Mid-air, he is side-swiped by the truck. It looks painful. He hits the ground hard as the truck speeds passed.
742 Evergreen Terrace, Scene Thirteen.
Wiggums radio explodes to life. It’s Lou.
‘Chief, he’s heading your way. Coming from Veterans Park in the pick-up’
SFX: The sound of a car roaring towards us from the distance.
Wiggum orders the officers on the scene to back up behind the blockade of cars. He runs back and draws his revolver.
The sound of the car grows louder.
Wiggum aims the pistol toward the end of the street.
The growl is louder still.
He takes a deep breathe. The camera inches to the barrel of his revolver, so the sight is in the middle of the frame.
At the end of the street, the Blue Pickup squeals around the corner, mounting the curb turning into Evergreen Terrace. Wildly, the vehicles bloodstained body swings from the footpath and onto the road.
It roars. Pedal to the metal.
Behind the wheel Ned, barely in control, aims the car for the Simpsons house. Dead Maude sits in the passenger seat. The shadows, Rod and Todd, sit in the back. The camera peels away from Ned’s righteous fury and creeps onto the bonnet. Mirroring the beginning we have a focus shift to the violent, speeding world the car hurtles through.
Shot: Wiggum. POV, his revolver.
SFX: The car hurtling closer.
Shot: Ned. Crazy eyed. Staring over the wheel.
SFX: Drowned by sound.
Shot: Wiggum. POV, his revolver. It starts shaking.
SFX: Closer and louder.
Shot: Ned. Intensely focused. Dead Maude turns towards him, a ghastly broken smile on the remains of her face.
SFX: Drowned by sound.
Shot: Wiggum. POV, his revolver. He fires.
The camera is on the car bonnet. The car suddenly veers off the road and onto the sidewalk. It shudders as Ned loses control.
Wiggum and the other officer’s jump back as Ned slams through the fence, the bonnet crumpling against the Simpson’s house.
Smoke pours from the mortally wounded pickup truck. Wiggum steps forward, gun still drawn. The other officers forming a line behind. Ned’s head lay on the wheel. Stunned, the Officers watch as Flanders kicks the crumpled driver’s side door open. It falls off the mangled car.
Flanders manages to exit the vehicle. Blood pours out of a split forehead. Shattered glasses hang off a bloodied face. Climbing to his feet somehow, his severely broken bones give his body a misshapen appearance. The stomach wound has blossomed so thoroughly over the ski gear, that every inch of Ned’s skin is caked in dry blood. He takes one shuddering step forward.
Wiggum seems afraid.
‘Ned. I don’t want to kill you.’
Ned takes another shuddering step forward. His malice filled eyed are locked on the Simpson’s house.
‘We called Dr. Foster Ned, he can help you‘
Flanders takes another torturous step forward. He spits his words, disoriented, aware only of the house and the demon inside.
Wildly, he yanks the handgun from his pants.
An officer behind Clancy shouts.
Birds eye shot:
Wiggum fires on Ned. The bullet hits his neck. Blood sprays from the punctured artery as Flanders crumbles to the ground.
A disheartened Wiggum wanders over to his cruiser. Exhaustion rushes through his bones. Leaning against his car, the body of Ned Flanders on the lawn behind, The Chief calls off the manhunt. Ned starts crawling towards the house in the background. A police officer calls out.
Chief Clancy Wiggum’s blood freezes.
Ned, now choking on his own blood, is crawling across the grass.
Towards the house.
SFX: Diegetic sound. Gargling.
Ned Flanders POV. His red hands tear at the grass and dirt, literally dragging his dying body towards the front door. Eventually he makes it to the door of the house. Ned props himself up, sitting against it.
Framed by the entrance to the Simpson house, we see a haunted Wiggum and scared police officers, guns all drawn, rendered into speechless inaction by horror.
Ned Flanders POV. The silhouette of Rod and Todd stand before Ned.
The silhouette of Maude behind them.
For a moment they all seem real.
Maude finally speaks.
Birds eye shot.
Ned Flanders dead body, splayed at the bottom of the Simpsons entrance. As the officers inch closer to the spectacle, they begin to holster their weapons.
The night is over.
The camera begins to retreat higher. Pulling away from the grisly scene.
Soon, we can barely see the mess. Instead, the entirety of Evergreen Terrace, straight-lines and picket fences.
Further still, much higher up, the camera has captured the whole town. Partially veiled by mist and falling snow.
Finally, we just see rolling clouds as pleasant light begins to inch through.
Dawn has come.
Cut to black.