Fear The Light
Screenplay By Stephen Marshall
The opening shot shows a little girl sitting at a little tea table with toy tea saucers and a flower-printed kettle. She is wearing a white princess dress and is talking as she pours water from the kettle into three plastic cups. Behind her is a brightly lit room designed obviously for a little girl. Sunlight is shining through the windows. There are stuffed animals all over the bed, frills on the skirt of the bed, posters of Disney princesses on the walls, a vanity mirror with fake jewelry hanging from it.
Little Girl (Meredith): “Mr. Wiggles and I are so glad you could join us, Father Thomas. It is so lovely to have a guest for teatime.”
The camera remains on Meredith as she pours the tea (water) into the cups. A strained, suspicious voice speaks from off-screen.
Father Thomas: “I am glad you let me come, Meredith. It’s…a shame your mother and father can’t be here to join us.”
The camera remains on Meredith. Her body goes rigid, pausing as she continually pours the tea, staring down at the table as if confused. The water spills over from the cup before she nods and begins to pour in the next cup.
Meredith: “Mr. Wiggles said they’re in a better place now. I’m just glad you’re here, Father Thomas.”
Father Thomas: “I am too, Meredith. You seem like a very good little girl. Are you a good little girl, Meredith? Do you believe in Jesus and God and say your prayers every night?”
Meredith smiles broadly as she stops pouring water in the three cups. She slides one cup to her left and then the other to her right. No one else is seen in the single, fixed shot.
Meredith: “Every night. I pray for mom and dad and everyone. I even pray for my stinky, smelly cousin Jess that pulls my hair in church.”
Father Thomas: “That is very big-souled of you, Meredith. You really are a little innocent girl, aren’t you? You are a sweet little, innocent soul. But a big soul, too. A big, attractive soul.”
Meredith looks to her right, staring up in wonderment at the figure off-screen.
Meredith: “What does a ‘big soul’ mean?”
The camera rotates to show a middle-aged man leaning over the table, sitting in one of the child-sized chairs at Meredith’s tea table. He drinks from the water she has given him, draining the plastic cup in one gulp. There is sweat all over his face, and he is wearing the habit of a Catholic priest. He looks disturbed. He pulls at his clerical collar, as if he is having a hard time breathing. His face is red and strained, almost as if he is holding back from doing something, and it is taking all of his energy.
Father Thomas: “It means you have big, delicious feelings, Meredith. It’s a good thing, and a bad thing. It creates a…a hunger.”
The camera remains on Father Thomas’s disturbed face, and Meredith speaks off-camera. Her voice becomes heightened, as if she is afraid.
Meredith: “Mr. Wiggles says you’re a bad man. Are you bad, Father Thomas?”
Father Thomas nods once.
Father Thomas: “I am a bad man, Meredith. I have sinned, and I sin often. I do not pray for my own soul. I am damned to Hell.”
Father Thomas reaches out to take the kettle from the table, putting it down between his knees and whispering something inaudible. He then hands it back to Meredith. The camera rotates back to Meredith who takes the tea kettle.
Meredith: “What did you do?”
Father Thomas: “I asked for forgiveness, and blessed your tea.”
Meredith: “That’s the right thing to do. Dad says Jesus died for our sins so we can be innocent again. If we don’t ask for forgiveness the angels won’t let us into Heaven.”
Father Thomas, off-screen, sets his tea cup down on the table.
Father Thomas: “May I have some more tea, please?”
Meredith: “Certainly. Mr. Wiggles, would you like some more tea?”
A pale white hand sets the tea cup down in front of Meredith, letting her pour more water into both of her guests’ cups. Meredith hands Father Thomas his tea cup, and then Mr. Wiggles his tea cup, the camera following the tea cup to the left. A pale, hairless Angel sits in similar manner to Father Thomas, too tall for the child-sized seat. The androgynous creature is bald, lacking even eyebrow hair, but has large white wings that arch over either shoulder, shimmering with sunlight. There is blood on its pale lips, and it is staring at Meredith hungrily, ignoring Father Thomas completely. Its eyes are milky white and without pupils, almost as if it is blind like a deep-sea fish. The camera then shows Meredith, Father Thomas, and the Angel in succession as they drink from their cups.
Father Thomas: “I don’t believe in Jesus. And neither should you, Meredith. He is a fairytale told to dying men to ease them on their deathbeds. Reject Jesus and save yourself.”
Meredith wrings her hands anxiously.
Meredith: “Don’t say that, Father Thomas. You won’t be able to go to Heaven.”
Father Thomas chuckles mirthlessly.
Father Thomas: “At this point, what is the difference between Heaven and Hell? Either place will eat your soul for eternity.”
The Angel suddenly drops its cup of water, grasping at its throat and staggering up from the table, knocking it over and stumbling about as if choking. Meredith tries to run to the Angel, but Father Thomas pulls her away and holds her back.
Meredith: “Mr. Wiggles!!!”
The Angel falls to its knees, shrieking monstrously, its fanged teeth exposed now, bloody and littered with human flesh. Meredith screams and reaches out to the Angel, but Father Thomas picks her up and flees from the room. The Angel withers and cracks in the bright light of the girl’s room, its shriek fading to a moan and then a dusty sigh as the Angel disintegrates into ash while the sunlight from a window radiates around it.
The camera follows Father Thomas and a traumatized Meredith out into the hall. Her aunt and uncle await them, looking fearful.
Meredith’s Uncle: “Is it gone? Is it dead?”
Father Thomas nods and gives Meredith to her aunt. She sobs and wails for Mr. Wiggles.
Uncle: “What was it? A demon? Her parents…” His voice drops to a confidential whisper. “Her parents’ remains were never found. The police…the police gave her to us to watch over her while they investigated. They said this talk about Mr. Wiggles was just her way of coping with the loss of her parents. An imaginary friend that would never leave her. We thought we could help her… We thought…”
Father Thomas: “It was a good thing you contacted me.”
The uncle sighs heavily.
Uncle: “To be honest, I thought you were a scam artist. We knew it was a demon, but…”
Father Thomas: “Angel.”
Father Thomas: “It was an angel, not a demon.”
Uncle: “It was a bad angel, so it was a demon. That’s how it works, isn’t it?”
Father Thomas: “Not always. The difference between them is only their post code.”
Uncle: “Is that supposed to be a joke?”
Father Thomas: “The whole universe is a joke.”
Uncle: “What kind of thing is that for a priest to say?”
Thomas loosens his clerical collar.
Thomas: “I’m not a priest. I’m not even a Christian.”
The uncle becomes confused and furious, his tone rising.
Uncle: “What’s that supposed to mean? Your ad in the paper…”
Thomas: “I just pretend to be a priest so people will contact me and trust me to do what I need to do. It’s all a sham, of course, except the results.”
The uncle hurries to the girl’s room, pausing at the threshold and cautiously looking inside. The Angel is nothing more than white ash upon the carpet.
Uncle: “You got rid of it, though, didn’t you?”
Thomas: “I did. But if you want to keep her safe from others you have to do what I say.”
The aunt, holding Meredith to her stomach and weeping alongside the girl, speaks up in desperation.
Aunt: “What do we need to do?”
Thomas smiles wryly and looks to the side, briefly. It is the facial equivalent of “Here we go”.
Thomas: “All of you must renounce Jesus Christ as your lord and savior.”
The uncle and aunt look shocked, stunned to silence. After a moment, the uncle’s rage swells.
Uncle: “Never. We will never do that.”
Thomas shrugs and starts to walk away down the dark hall. He speaks as he goes, his voice echoing.
Thomas: “Then the Angels will continue to come for her, and for you. For her sake you better start to doubt things. The Angels are hungry for innocence and they will have it through whatever earthly vessel is harboring it. The Rapture is almost upon us. Save your souls by refusing Salvation, otherwise a murder of crows will be pecking at your souls for all eternity. If you are wise, you will fear the light of Salvation, and reject it, otherwise all of those Angels will seek the body and the blood of Christ in you, and you and all of your loved ones will be a feast. Just as that Angel did to her parents.”
Isaac Thomas leaves the house and walks down the gloriously sunlit street, shielding his eyes against the bright sun with a saluting hand. He looks off into the distance, and sees pillars of light spiraling up into the sky. Figures rise within the pillars of light, and are set upon by winged figures. It is like watching sparrows being attacked by hawks. The Angels swoop down and clutch at them, carrying them off to the Empyreal Sphere where they tear and eat at them like carrion. Isaac Thomas speaks, his voice grim with a sneer upon his lips.
Isaac Thomas: “When the cat’s away the rats will play.”