The Art of Deceit

by Brigette ReDavid

EXT. WASHINGTON - DAY
Mustafa parks his Ferrari on a side street in front of an elegant brownstone house. 
He gets out as Abby passes him.
Mustafa glances at her car before walking toward the brownstone.
Abby parks at the end of the street.
Abby adjusts her mirror to the angle where she can watch the door. She leans her head against the window and waits.
EXT. RED LAKE - DAY
We see the back of naked Abby standing at the shore of the large, blood-colored lake watching a rowboat drifting in the middle of it.
The wind blows gently through her hair. It increases violently; the rowboat rocks as it lurches to the shoreline. 
It lands at Abby’s feet. Inside, Abby sees dead Selina who opens her eyes and mouth, where roaches crawl. Abby looks down and hordes of roaches are crawling up her legs.
EXT. WASHINGTON - DAY
Abby jolts awake, sweating, and sits up, swatting her arms, brushing her legs. She adjusts her rearview mirror. Looks in it and sees her mother in the backseat. She is bleeding from her head.
Abby turns quickly but Selina is gone.
She sees Mustafa exit the building and get in his Ferrari.
He drives off, a car turns a corner after him. Shaken, Abby starts her car and follows. 
Mustafa turns a corner. When she turns, there is no sign of the Ferrari.
ABBY 
Shit!
Abby drives off.
EXT. ABBY’S APARTMENT BUILDING - CONTINUOUS
Abby pulls into a parking space right in front of her building. She’s frustrated and tired.
She exits the car to find Mustafa standing in front of her. Abby JUMPS. He winds a strand of her hair around his finger.
MUSTAFA
You’re following me. 
ABBY
I wasn’t following you.
Mustafa keeps twirling her hair until it starts hurting her.
MUSTAFA
Bad things happen to nosy women.
Mustafa let’s go of her hair and spins her around. He pulls a pack of cigarettes from his inside jacket pocket.
He pulls out a switchblade. Abby GASPS!
He clicks open the blade and uses it to tear the cellophane off a pack of CAMEL TURKISH GOLD CIGARETTES, which she stares at. He puts back the blade.
He makes a show of slowly removing the cellophane that he wads up in his hand before looking into Abby’s eyes again.
He holds the pack out to offer Abby a cigarette. She shakes her head no. Mustafa smirks.
MUSTAFA (CONT’D)
Good. I would hate to be responsible for your demise.
He turns and walks away, throwing the cellophane on the ground as he walks.
When he turns the corner, Abby lunges at the cellophane.
EXT. ROADWAY - CONTINUOUS
Abby nervously drives, clutching the cellophane in her hand.
EXT. PSYCHIC’S HOUSE - DAY
Abby knocks hard. The cellophane is in her other hand. She can’t stand still. She waits a moment before knocking harder.
ABBY
Celeste!
She knocks as hard as she can and the door pushes open a bit.
ABBY (CONT’D)
Celeste!
She peeks her head inside.
ABBY (CONT’D)
Celeste?
INT. PSYCHIC’S HOUSE - CONTINUOUS
Abby closes the door behind her.
ABBY
Celeste?
Nothing.
ABBY (CONT’D)
Are you OK?
Abby takes a tentative step.
ABBY (CONT’D)
Celeste?
She walks into the living room to find --

Writer's excerpt courtesy NYWIFT (NYWIFT.ORG)