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Under the Water

By TheCountry All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Fantasy

Act 1

EXT. A narrow dirt path along a tall stone wall. Morning.

MOTHER, wearing simple pilgrim like clothing, walks down a well worn path through a rolling plains landscape. The path is along a large stone wall, at least 20 or so feet high. Her destination is a large wooden gate within the wall, and atop it is a sentry post. In the post there is a sentry, and she stops far enough away that she may talk to him. Only his silhouette is seen.

MOTHER

Sir, May I join you today?

GATEKEEPER

I am afraid not young follower.

MOTHER

She nods.

Thank you, Gatekeeper.

MOTHER looks downtrodden, but turns and walks down the path from which she came. We see the "long" journey she travels upon the path. Eventually she reaches a small cottage, that is nestled against the wall, a wooded pine area behind it, and a garden to the other side. She walks towards the door, and enters.

INT. COTTAGE. MIDDAY.

Inside the cottage is one main room with a door leading to a smaller room in the far left hand corner. There is a bed parallel with the right wall, and an identical bed perpendicular, against the same wall as the front door, which also has a window. The wall across from the front door has some pots and pans hanging above a wood stove. To the left of the door are tools for farming and various other tasks; hammer, shovel, bucket, broom, mop. As well as a pile of round fist size stones. Inside DAUGHTER, a girl of about 10 years, sits on a stool staring at the door.

MOTHER

You know, one day I won't return.

DAUGHTER

Of course, Mother.

MOTHER

Go on, do your chores, then we will bathe.

DAUGHTER

Yes, Mother.

Int. Cottage. Afternoon.

DAUGHTER sweeping, and MOTHER enters.

Mother

Come on, let's go.

DAUGHTER

Yes, Mother.

EXT. RIVER. AFTERNOON.

MOTHER and DAUGHTER walk into the woods, down a path that is alongside the house. Eventually they reach a river. Upstream, there is the wall, with the river coming from a sewer like opening, with vertical bars, on the side. As they approach the banks, and remove their clothing until they have nearly nothing on. As they enter the river, they each reach down to the floor of the river and grab a fist size round stone. They then start to rub the stone over their entirety of their body; scrubbing. They continue rubbing for quite some time, until their skin is red, raw, and swollen. They then just lie down in the river, relaxing and cooling off.

INT. COTTAGE. AFTERNOON.

MOTHER and DAUGHTER are sitting at a table in the cottage, doing needle point. DAUGHTER is doing a simple alphabet type set, while MOTHER has a larger set infront of her, of the wall.

MOTHER

Generations ago...

V.C. (MOTHER)

Six heads of families converged together and realised the wrong in the people around them. They decided they needed to leave and start again, of they would become tainted as well. They travelled north to get away and rebuild. They built their own settlement, but as travellers came and intruded, they realised once again that they needed more. So they build the wall. It took them 11 years to complete the wall and cast those unworthy out. However those who are clean may gain entrance to live in peace. That is why many make the pilgrimage to the gate; and those truly devout come live near it.

We see, six stern men in a room of a wooden house lit by candle light. Discussing over drinks, looking at maps, and papers. Next we see, a caravan of those men's families, with their wives and children, leaving a town. Then they are building new houses, in a new location. We see later, the men are older, and there are new additions to the family, and travellers or bandits running away on horse back. The men feebly watching them leave. Then we see them building the wall; men, women, and children all at the site doing some sort of work. We then see the gate, a person standing there, go to their face and fade from one person to another, ranging from old to young, and all races. Lastly being MOTHER. Then as she talks of those who live near the wall, we see the cottage and then MOTHER and DAUGHTER sitting again inside it.

DAUGHTER

But what about the water that comes out of the wall?

MOTHER

Everything that comes from within the wall is clean. That is why we bathe in it.

DAUGHTER

Why are these people special? Why is the water special? Why do we-

MOTHER strikes her across the face.

MOTHER

You will stop questioning what you are taught Daughter!

DAUGHTER

Yes, Mother...

INT. COTTAGE. NIGHT.

DAUGHTER and MOTHER are in the house wearing white shifts. It is night, and there is dim lighting with candles. They are each standing facing their beds, looking down, praying.

MOTHER

May the cleanse come and purge those who have soiled the land, and their kin. Bless us to be clean in a dirty place and wash us to be worthy.

Once they finish praying, they each carefully climb into their respective beds and go to sleep.

EXT. RIVER. MORNING.

The next morning. MOTHER is scrubbing the sheets and shifts from the night before with one of the same stones that they bathed with the day before, with water from the river in a large basin. DAUGHTER comes running from the path.

DAUGHTER

Mother...? There's...a person here...

MOTHER looks up suddenly.

MOTHER

What?

MOTHER runs to the front of the house. BOY, about the age of 7 or 8, is on the floor near the door huddled. MOTHER sees him and starts to back away. DAUGHTER comes running behind her at a slower pace.

MOTHER

You...need to leave.

DAUGHTER looks at MOTHER unsure of what is going on and wheater to agree or not of what she is saying. BOY just looks at her and then runs away into the woods.

DAUGHTER

Mother...what was that?

MOTHER

That was dirty.

MOTHER goes inside, moving with purpose. She goes in and grabs two pieces of fabric, about wash cloth size, a bucket, and shovel. She then walks outside, drops the bucket by the door, goes around the house and grabs two pieces of fired wood. DAUGHTER has been following her this entire time.

MOTHER

Dirty.

DAUGHTER

Yes, of course. But what was it?

MOTHER

A boy.

DAUGHTER

...Where did it come from?

MOTHER

A very dirty place.

DAUGHTER

Mother! You say everything and everywhere is dirty! Save, inside the wall of course. But where is it from?

MOTHER

He's most likely from the town down the river.

DAUGHTER

The town?

MOTHER

A place where a collection of people live. Within the wall, but it's dirty. They have no respect. It just keeps getting dirtier. That's why I had to leave. So I would actually have a chance to be within the wall someday.

During this conversation, MOTHER digs up the dirt, using the shovel, that the boy was crouching on, and puts it in the bucket. She uses the two pieces of fabric to cover her hands. After she digs it up she puts the two pieces of wood in the bucket. She scurries down the path towards the river with the bucket in one hand, the shovel in the other. Once she reaches it, she sets down the bucket and puts the fabric in it as well. She walks and picks up a dry stone. She then uses the shovel and the rock as a flint. The contents of the bucket have now caught fire, and she stands watching it. DAUGHTER has since walked down the path, and is now standing next to her, watching the fire.

MOTHER

We need to bathe. Now.

DAUGHTER

...Yes Mother. Of course.

They enter the water, the fire still ablaze behind them.

INT. COTTAGE. NIGHT.

It's night, with in the house. We see the scorched bucket, and shovel resting against the wall next to the door. MOTHER and DAUGHTER are at their beds praying, in their white shifts. They are considerably redder than the first time we saw them bathe, and it is noticeable that any movement causes DAUGHTER pain.

INT. COTTAGE. MORNING.

The next morning, MOTHER wakes up slowly, there are slight noises coming from outside. DAUGHTER is not in her bed. MOTHER ignores the noises and efficiently makes her bed. During this, the noises have gotten louder. MOTHER eyes the door, where only the shovel is resting.

EXT. COTTAGE. MORNING.

MOTHER cautiously ventures outside. DAUGHTER and BOY are together sitting in the grass next to the garden, the bucket, filled with water, slightly behind them. They are giggling, laughing, and talking while BOY eats some root vegetable; like a radish or beet. They do not see MOTHER. All of a sudden she runs towards them, picks the bucket up and dumps it upon BOY's head. After this, and during the arguement he cowers and creeps away.

MOTHER

Leave you dirty tempter!

DAUGHTER

Mother! What are you doing! Stop!

MOTHER

No! He's dirty! He needs to go, we cannot have him here!

DAUGHTER

Why not? There's nothing wrong with him!

MOTHER

There's everything wrong with him! He's all wrong.

DAUGHTER

Wrong? How can you say that if you don't even know him?

MOTHER

I don't need to know him to see how he is.

DAUGHTER

What are you talking about?

MOTHER

I lived where he's from. I grew up there and know how things are. You are but a child who has never known other than this. You cannot understand!

DAUGHTER

But-...

MOTHER

Go. Inside.

DAUGHTER

...Yes Mother.

DAUGHTER goes in the house, and closes the door behind her. MOTHER starts walking down the path towards the gate, like she has everyother day, seeking entrance.

EXT. WALL GATE. DAY.

Mother

Gatekeeper, may I enter today?

GATEKEEPER

Not today, Young follower.

MOTHER

Sternly and a little sarcastic.

Of course, Gatekeeper.

She angrily walks back to the cottage.

INT. COTTAGE. MIDDAY.

She enters, but DAUGHTER is not there. MOTHER storms out and down the path to the river. She stops a distance away that she may watch the river. BOY and DAUGHTER are there, bathing together. DAUGHTER is instructing him how, with the stones. MOTHER goes back to the cottage; Irritated.

INT. COTTAGE. LATE DAY.

DAUGHTER enters through the door alone. MOTHER is sitting waiting for her, much like the first scene but reversed.



Continue Reading Next Chapter
Chapters
1. Act 1
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