Synopsis

Above the Dead is a Walking Dead spin-off. Different characters but same universe, world and problem...

An absolute emotional mess, and a total suspense/thriller...

The writer visions it as a TV series and hopes the readers will too...

FYI...the term "zombies" is used in the beginning for explanatory reasons, but not by the characters, as the term does not exist in their world/universe. Eventually, those characters will create their own term, known as "huffs". Care to know what it stands for? Read and find out!

Season 1 is brutal! But the character development it creates is something that will carry into the seasons to come, in which this family has the resources to do something that most people cannot, as they work to rebuild large sections of Oregon and eventually Washington, even creating "dead free" zones along stretches of the coastline…

With both wealth and wisdom working toward their survival in the upcoming apocalyptic world, this family also has a head start, working in their favor. Preparing most of his life for such an apocalypse, Sam Baker raised his family to prepare as well. He also raised them with a ton of heart.

With their support, he has a compound constructed, and over the years the family has been adding to it. Once the dead begin attacking the living, the family find themselves desperate to gather at said compound. With chaos taking over, most of the family is already secure, but where this story finds us is with Sam's son, Fish, and granddaughter, Samantha. They're stuck in the mountains trying to wait out the storm, before making their way home, to the compound.

It's not where they want to be, but with this fairly secluded property, next to a lake and huge 3-tree, tree house, that has running water and an outhouse, things could be worse. Fish and his little girl, find the tree house much safer than the cabin, and for at least the beginning of this "zombie" apocalypse, they find themselves dependent on it.

Surviving above the dead is something young Samantha begins to believe may become the way of the future. As creative as her grandfather, she begins envisioning how such a thing would be plausible. She dreams of reaching her family to share these visions, and she dreams them while leaving the mountain, through the gorge, kayaking the Columbia River, past Multnomah Falls, and into the coast range.

What will they find once reaching the family they haven't seen since before the world and its rules went to hell? Who will be leading the family? Will they be the same ones we get to know through flashbacks, before meeting them in the present world? Will Samantha see her visions come to life? The compound certainly has the resources and man power for it.

By the third season, with a group surviving at the barricaded Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, another group behind the walls built by a team of loggers, and one more in the hills of the coast, the Bakers will have themselves some neighbors!

The material is endless, so sit back and prepare for a hell of a ride, with a family that takes its greatness from the past world, into the new one...

ABOVE THE DEAD . com

Season 1, Episode 1

"Family"

INTRO

BLACK...

"Bad Moon Rising" Instrumental playing in background.

FADE IN:

EXT. BEACH - DAY

Twin Rocks in ocean, panning back through the waves, (music dimming) to sound of kids/teenagers having a great time, and finding them on the beach (on what looks like a sand built baseball/wiffleball diamond). Half of them celebrating the victory, as their Dad rounds them up.

Scene dissolving (with music fading away) to Hunter (19), Leo (18), Mason (16), Vincent (14), Fish (12) and Scout (10) all taking a knee near the ocean, in front of their father (Sam, 40) and mother (Laura, 43), arm and arm. Fish stares out toward ocean, as others all look to their parents. Sam notices, and smiles.

SAM

Eyes on me, Fish. (Fish looking at him) All I ever dreamed of as a kid,

was owning my own chain of hotels, and I did it. Okay I'm lying...I also

dreamt of having the most loving, beautiful family a man could dream

for, and...here you all are, celebrating with us our great country's

birthday and (holding his wife tighter) our 19 wonderful years of

marriage. (giving her a kiss, with appreciation/applause from the kids)

Now, I'm dreaming again, been dreaming, told you my dream. The

compound (excitement growing)... It's officially happening!

Kids all cheering and high-fiving...

SCOUT

Does this mean the apo, apoco...

FISH

(finishing her word): Apocalypse.

SCOUT

What he said. Is it happening? (laughs from others)

SAM

No honey, no apocalypse, not yet. It'll hopefully never happen in our

day, but when it does, whatever generation of our family is here for it,

will survive it, at this compound. And let me tell you, this doesn't happen

without all of you. We'll be selling our home someday, to help make this

happen, and contributions from the entire family is what it'll

take in the end, to get it done.

SCOUT

But, I love our home!

SAM

Don't worry sweetheart, you'll be all grown up before we sell, and the

compound will have homes for us all...

SCOUT

Good, I don't wanna be a kid when the world ends!

SAM

End of the world or not, this compound will be home for your mother

and I, along with any of you, and friends, who choose to settle down

there. Our own little community...

LEO

How's it happen, dad? Whether in our lifetime or the next,

how does it all go down?

Sam looks to his wife.

SAM

I'm sharing my dreams with these kids, and

all they want is terror and destruction.

LEO

Answer the question, old man!

SAM

Title wave!

With a look and laugh behind him, toward ocean, and playfully grabbing Scout who laughs as they all begin walking up the beach.

LEO

Seriously, Dad. How's it happen?

MASON

Terrorism.

VINCENT

War.

LEO

Same thing, really.

SCOUT

Earthquake, the big one!

HUNTER

Population. (Sam nodding with his lip out)

FISH

Something totally unexpected...

Everyone looking to him (same song (Bad moon rising) playing again from beginning of song), as POV (point of view) pans out toward ocean and dissolving (captions appearing) from ocean water to swimming pool water...

CAPTIONS: 30 years later

EXT. BACKYARD SWIMMING POOL - DAY

Lyrics to song begin (blasting from radio near pool) with POV coming from "Zombie" (sound of it grunting), approaching pool where two teenage girls lay on floating devices (eyes closed)...

MUSIC

"I see earthquakes and lightin'"

Zombie arrives at side of pool, just out of reach of the girls.

MUSIC

"I see bad times today"

Zombie falls into water causing girls to fall in, quickly coming up in mild shock (music instrumental) and looking around, coming to realize someone else in the water.

GIRL 1

Oh my god, who is that!?

GIRL 2

Why isn't he coming up? (zombie slowly rising/struggling toward

surface) He...must be drunk!

GIRL 1

Help him!

GIRL 2

You!

Girl 1 diving under (as music lyrics begin again "Don't go around tonight"), reaching for "person" and pulling toward surface.

MUSIC

"Well, it's bound to take your life"

Girl 1 reaching surface with a scream and blood, as zombie tears into her neck. Girl 2 screaming and exiting pool (knocking over and shutting off radio/background song), dashing toward house.

CUT TO:

INT. 911 DISPATCHERS - DAY

People busy with mass commotion everywhere.

DISPATCHER 1

911, please hold. 911, please hold. 911, please hold.

DISPATCHER 2

But, sir, that doesn't make any sense.

CUT TO:

INT. HOSPITAL HALLWAY - DAY

Nurse zipping out of room screaming, followed by dead patient creeping out into hallway. A doctor and male nurse go to "restrain" him, resulting in being bitten, causing all bystanders to run away.

CUT TO:

EXT. CITY STREET/ALLEY - DAY

Zombie leaving alley, into street, instantly nailed by car. Man gets out (wife inside). Zombie slowly rising.

MAN

(rushing toward him)

How are you even able to get up?!

Zombie biting him, wife inside car screaming as people on the street run or look on in shock, one guy even runs in to help at first, before backing away...

CUT TO:

EXT. BENCH EMPLOYEE REST AREA - DAY

Woman on phone eyeing approaching zombie.

WOMAN

(into phone)

Okay, creepy tweaker walking by. Where are my coworkers when I

need em'? (coming right at her) Okay...BABE HE'S COMING RIGHT

FOR ME!

Screaming as zombie tears into her flesh...

CUT TO:

EXT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

Man in shock, on phone.

MAN

Veronica?! Baby!?

Man flinches, as in background two cars collide outside window.

CUT TO:

EXT. SAME CITY STREET/ALLEY (where car hit zombie) - DAY

Several men in street, beating on zombie who won't go down, as man who ran him over lays dead, with sound of wife in car still screaming...

CUT TO:

EXT. BASEBALL FIELD/ SCHOOL YARD - DAY

Kid swinging/knocking ball (tennis ball) down leftfield line, where outfielder boy (12 or 13) chases it, coming to a stop and watching it roll to creepy "man", groaning and approaching.

BOY

(pointing)

What is wrong with this guy?

Boy flinching as a squad car comes to a screeching stop from street. Cops getting out aiming guns. Kids running to a safe distance and watching.

COP 1

Its head, aim for its head!

Kids watching as several shots are fired before taking it down.

BOY

(to others)

It?

COP 2

Hey, you kids get home, lock your doors and stay inside!

CUT TO:

EXT. SAME CITY STREET/ALLEY (where car hit zombie) - DAY

Men in street, (zombie now down) in shock.

MAN 1

What the hell is going on?! What kind of god damn bit of sense

does this make?!

The dead man who hit zombie, suddenly rises/grunting as men all freak out and run off. Wife again now screaming in car as her dead husband turns toward her...

CUT TO:

EXT. HOUSE/PORCH - DAY

Same boy from baseball field, running up his porch, rushing through door. Inside locking it and quickly turning, as Mom is heard swearing from kitchen.

Boy enters kitchen. Mom holding towel around her hand.

BOY

What's wrong, momma?

MOM

Got bit by some damn homeless guy. (Boy just staring at the injury)

CUT TO:

EXT. STREET - DUSK

Squad car speeding down street (sirens blaring) forcing other cars to halt, one too late as squad car nails it, recovers and continues speeding down street.

CUT TO:

EXT. NEIGHBORHOOD HOME/STREET CORNER - DUSK

Two teens, hooping in street. Few smaller kids in yard across the street, playing as mom comes rushing out.

MOM

Inside, now!

KIDS

(mom already rushing toward them)

Just a second, mom.

Mom grabbing the first, forcefully pulling him toward house, with others shocked and following.

MOM

(teens across street watching)

I said inside, RIGHT NOW!

Car nails one of teens, slamming on breaks. Mom looks, but continues inside with her children.

CUT TO:

EXT. HOMES AND BUSINESSES - DUSK

Several shots of families/business owners locking their doors and closing up shop in a hurry...

CUT TO:

INT. HOME - DUSK

Family in a panic, as they point and move to look outside, where a zombie walks the bare street, eventually hearing their panicked behavior from inside. He turns to face and approach them.

GIRL

He's looking at us!

CUT TO:

INT. GROCERY STORE - DUSK

People everywhere taking food. A few scared employees hiding. One employee begins taking food.

CUT TO:

EXT. PARK - DUSK

Teens circling around a zombie, careful not to let it get too close, as officers hurry to climb out of squad car.

TEEN 1

It's just like that guy on the internet!

TEEN 2

(beginning to bolt)

He must be contagious, man!

Everyone splitting, including officers who holster their guns, climb back in car and skid away.

CUT TO:

INT. HOME - NIGHT

Same boy from baseball field, staring outside his bedroom window, (upstairs) with a tear, and dropping baseball from his hand, onto the floor with a thud...

He turns toward sound in hall. In creeps his grunting Mom.

BOY

Momma? (boy backing up a bit, in front of window) Momma?!

(zombie right on top of him) MOMMA!

Zombie biting and (accidentally) falling right on top of him, forcing them both through window, all the way down onto front lawn. Boy appears dead/unconscious, as zombie mom begins feasting on him...

CUT TO:

INT. HOME - NIGHT

Family in the dark, huddling around radio.

RADIO

THE DEAD ARE WALKING THE STREETS!

CUT TO:

EXT. PORCH - NIGHT

Commotion everywhere, while man on porch is firing his shotgun outward...

CUT TO:

EXT. DOWNTOWN - NIGHT

People running all directions...

Two women forced out of bar, looking around not sure what is going on, but moving quickly. They stop in front of zombie on his knees, eating dead person. Women scream, turn and bolt!

CUT TO:

INT. HOME - NIGHT

Cartoons playing on TV, as power goes out, and little boy and girl complain (as if the world isn't ending). Mom (scared to death) comes in trying to act brave, and holding them on the couch for several moments, before they all scream at sound of their window's being busted.

CUT TO:

EXT. MALL PARKING LOT - NIGHT

Man, with gun aimed at a family, closing car door (their car) and driving off, leaving them. Father quickly guides family out of parking lot, through all the commotion (burning house down the road), and to an apartment complex. They duck behind a dumpster, and watch as several men with guns, run and open fire on a zombie, who's biting someone. Father notices a dark room, runs to door, signals family over. He bashes in door, looks up at man (whose family is behind him), holding shotgun straight down at him, blowing his head off, with dead man's family standing shocked, in background.

CUT TO:

INT. POLICE STATION - NIGHT

A few cops packing up guns and supplies, as one argues with them.

GOOD COP

This is crazy, there are people out there who need our help!

BAD COP

Are you kidding me? It's every man for himself out there, and if we

have any chance at all, it's to pack up, gather our families, and head

to the mountains!

DISSOLVE TO:

THEME TUNE/CREDITS

Views of all the chaos, in the city, on day 1 of the "zombie" apocalypse, as opening credits roll...

CUT TO:

EXT. MOUNTAINS - LATE MORNING

CAPTIONS: Earlier that day

Calmness with shot of beautiful lake, cabin and tree house...

Vehicle comes down road, parking in driveway. Little girl (Samantha(Sam) 10) and her dog Merry, jump out exploring the area, as dad (Fish) gets out with a stretch, followed with a wave over toward the lake, where an elderly couple make their way along the trail.

FISH

Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Pederson.

Couple waving/smiling back.

DISSOLVE TO:

Merry barking upward. Above, Sam runs from one tree house to another. (3 tree houses all connected by walkways, a deck and one (pull-up) ladder)

SAM

I LOVE this tree house!

POV Fish talking with the Pedersons.

FISH

Yeah, we're up here for my brother's birthday. He and his boys will

be here either this afternoon or evening.

POV Sam now climbing down running off, chased by Merry.

SAM

Dad, let's go swimming!

DISSOLVE TO:

Sam running and jumping off dock into water, where fish waits for her, picking her back up and tossing her again into the water, with a laugh.

DISSOLVE TO:

Fish swinging high in the air, from rope swing and splashing into water, where Sam waits for him to come up, before jumping/climbing on top of him.

DISSOLVE TO:

Boat zipping through lake. Fish at wheel. Sam behind on floaty, being pulled as she holds on for dear life, all while laughing and having time of her life.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. BOAT/LAKE - DUSK

Fish, Sam and Merry in boat fishing.

SAM

Did you tell Mom and Mom yet?

FISH

(Proudly)

You bet I did.

SAM

Is that why you left the phones in the trunk?

FISH

You bet I did! (Sam laughing) Nah, you know I did that for the same

reason we don't have a TV here. To get away from everything.

SAM

I know, I know... Just tell them I pressured you.

FISH

(shaking head)

Used that one last time.

SAM

(with laugh)

Why does it make you so nervous?

FISH

Because having to tell your child's mom you let her play hooky from

school, would give any father anxiety, let alone having two mothers,

to share such wonderful news with.

Sam laughs as Fish hooks a fish, and begins reeling in.

SAM

Okay, I've lost count. I'd say we have enough now.

FISH

Agreed. Let's get these babies cleaned and ready for your uncle and the boys.

DISSOLVE TO:

Fish and Sam entering dock from boat garage, heading toward cabin.

FISH

I just told her how important your uncle's birthday is, to him. While

building the tree house this summer, I'd never seen him that happy,

since the breakup. (smiling) Kinda like knowing my big brother is

happy again. (Sam smiling)

SAM

Did you say it just like that, to them?

FISH

I believe I did.

SAM

Then I think we're good.

CUT TO:

EXT. KITCHEN - DUSK

Fish inside shutting off faucet, drying hands and reaching for his phone, as Sam enters with a curious expression. Fish instantly shocked.

FISH

This can't be.

SAM

What?

FISH

(dialing)

Triple sixes!

SAM

(confused)

But, I thought...

FISH

Damn, wish I had that TV, now. (to person on phone) Dad, what the

hell? Is this actually real? Yes...okay what do you mean bit? Dad?

DAD!

GRANDPA

(over phone)

How have you not heard anything?!

Sam frightened and following Fish as he paces the cabin.

FISH

I'm at the lake, I always keep the phones away, up here. What

is happening?!

SAM

Daddy, what is it?

FISH

Just a minute, baby. (to grandpa) Yes, I'll be coming straight there.

But first tell me everything, and what happened to the helicopter?!

Merry outside barking as Sam gingerly makes her way to the window. Arrives and nervously looks around outside, seeing nothing unusual as Merry continues barking. Sam makes her way to door, slowly creeping open, as Merry runs off into brush.

SAM

MERRY!

FISH

(off-screen)

SAM!

POV Fish angrily looking at his phone which appears not to be working.

FISH

You gotta be kidding me! (Sam entering room)

SAM

What's going on? Merry ran off. Is mom and mom okay?

Fish hugging her...

FISH

They're already at the compound, safe and sound. Most of the family

is there. Your cousin Miles, is not well. (coming out of hug, worried

about her cousin) He was bitten by someone sick or infected, and may

be that way himself now.

SAM

(with emotion)

What does that mean?

FISH

I don't exactly know, Sam. Something to do with how many people have

been getting sick, maybe. But that's why we have to get packed up and

ready to go, the moment your uncle gets here.

SAM

What about the helicopter?

FISH

Apparently it's been stolen.

Sam just staring at him, in shock…

Fish just zoning a moment…

FISH

I can't believe it's actually happening. There's still so

much he hasn't done, yet. (shaking his head) He wasn't

ready for this…

Sam with tears, as she stares at him…

SAM

Dad!

CUT TO:

Fish boxing up canned foods, flashlights and other supplies, that they appear to have plenty of.

CUT TO:

Trunk of car, as Fish opens it placing boxes inside, as does Sam.

CUT TO:

Fish back inside packing a few guns and ammo, into duffle bag.

CUT TO:

Fish closing trunk and looking around.

SAM

That's everything?

FISH

Yeah, just waiting on your uncle now. (shaking his head, frustrated)

I still can't believe I left the walkie talkies at home. Good thing your

uncle should have his.

SAM

Phone still not working? (Fish shaking head)

Flashlight suddenly hitting them, as they quickly turn to face approaching person. Now Merry comes running to Sam, who hugs her. Guy (Scott, 45) arrives with flashlight.

FISH

That you, Scott?

SCOTT

Yeah. (shaking Fish's hand) Hey Fish. You guys don't happen to know

anything more than I do, on whatever the hell seems to be going on, do ya?

FISH

What exactly do you know?

SCOTT

Not enough. My daughter was telling me they were having trouble

getting up the mountain, due to traffic and accidents, before she must

have entered an out of service area, we got cutoff. But the crazy part

is...(pausing as he looks down at Sam)

FISH

She can handle it.

SCOTT

Last thing I heard on the radio was a warning of...the dead walking

and attacking the living. (Sam shuddering)

FISH

(holding Sam close)

I heard the infected, now they're saying the dead? Infected has to make

more sense, doesn't it?

SCOTT

(shaking head)

Sense doesn't seem to have anything to do with anything, right now. What

else do you know?

FISH

My nephew is probably dying (Fish a look to Sam who's frightened hearing

that), due to a bite from whatever these...things are. My dad had more to

tell me, but the phones shutoff.

Scott simply turning and heading back toward his cabin.

SCOTT

Well, I'm off to find my daughter...

FISH

Good luck.

SAM

Good luck, Scott.

DISSOLVE TO: FLASHBACK (about 4 months ago)

EXT. CABIN PORCH - DUSK

Scout (with arms around Sam, in her lap), her daughters Hope (18) and Ryder (17), son Bryant (15), Vincent, his boys Greg (20) and Mark (18), all present along with Merry, as Fish comes out door, joining them on the porch, lounging around.

RYDER

(laughing)

I know, like Grandpa almost wants it to happen.

HOPE

No, I think it's uncle Leo who wants it to happen.

FISH

Wants what to happen?

SAM

Dad, you think sometimes, Grandpa maybe wants the apoco...

apocalypse to happen?

SCOUT

(with laugh and a squeeze of Sam)

I always had trouble with that one too, Hun.

FISH

Nah, least I don't think so, hope not. No, actually I know he doesn't,

he loves his family too much. If every family took care of their own,

like he did us, then just imagine how much better this world would

be...it simply wouldn't require paranoid grandfathers with talk of

the apocalypse, and surviving an uncivilized world. (some laughs)

SAM

I'm still glad he built the compound, it's neat. I love the tree houses!

GREG

You know, Fish, as much as Samantha has talked about a tree house,

I find myself looking over at those trees right there, thinking what a

perfect place for some of the creative ideas I've heard her bring up.

SAM

DAD, CAN WE?!

FISH

Could be a fun family project.

SCOUT

Hey, let's have the family reunion up here this summer, and knock

it all out in one day.

Everyone acting in agreement and with excitement. Sam thrilled to death.

DISSOLVE TO: PRESENT TIME

EXT. CABIN PORCH - NIGHT

Sam (teary eyed face), Fish and Merry on porch, waiting for Vincent.

SAM

It's happening...we should be there.

FISH

We will be.

Sam losing it emotionally.

SAM

(crying out)

I want mom. (Fish quick to pull her in tight)

FISH

I know Sammers... (as she cries) I know.

SAM

And Grandpa, we should be with Grandpa.

FISH

Hey, hey, we're going to get there. I promise you that. If this world is

changing or starting over, it's not doing so without you. The way you

think, or the way you dream. Nope, the world isn't even gonna try to

survive this thing, without you in it. Just not happening. It'll need

creativity, and you have that, in a way I only dreamed of having it.

Which is why I'm sticking close to you, cause I wanna survive this

thing, too! (trying to get a laugh out of her)

SAM

Are you worried about Miles? Do you really think he's going to die?

FISH

I'm worried sick. I'm afraid we have to prepare for the worst. Your uncle

Hunter is going to need us to be strong for him...

Fish a look at her, then one toward the door.

FISH

I just realized you haven't eaten. (rising, guiding her with him) Let's

grill some cheese while we have a chance.

SAM

Worried it's the last meal we'll have? (heading through door)

FISH

Nope, just the last before we hit the road, and get exactly where you

wanna be. (closing door)

CUT TO:

INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT

Flipping several sandwiches on the grill, with several more on a plate next to Sam, who's already finishing one off and reaching for another. Fish scarfing down the one in his hand.

SAM

You really do think it's our last meal, don't you?!

FISH

Just hooking your uncle and the boys up, they'll need some fast food.

Sam finally a smile...

DISSOLVE TO: FLASHBACK (no more than a year ago)

INT. THEIR KITCHEN IN THE CITY - DAY

Sam a big smile, as Dad flips grilled cheese sandwiches over the stove.

SAM

I can't wait to see Grandpa. (taking big bite)

FISH

I happen to know he feels the same way about you. I also happen to

know you're absolutely his favorite grandchild who's named after him.

SAM

And I happen to know I'm the only grandchild named after him, and it

has nothing to do with why I am his favorite.

FISH

Well, I know why he's your favorite and more important to you than

your own dad (Sam laughing), and it has (being sarcastic) nothing

what so ever to do with that cool compound of his, with tree houses

at every corner, secret underground tunnels, and underwater

caves. No, not at all! (More laughing)

Fish puts last two sandwiches on plate and sits to eat.

SAM

Dad?

FISH

Yeah?

SAM

Why does Grandpa live there? I mean, it's where we all go if there's

ever an earthquake or something bad happens but...

FISH

Okay, stop right there, I know where you're going with this and no,

we aren't moving to the compound.

SAM

But why does he?

FISH

Because that's his dream sweetheart. His childhood dream, only paid

for it. Everything he loves is there, and the security it gives him to know

we can go there in case of an emergency, is what helps him sleep at

night...what makes him happy.

SAM

And if not us, then my kids or their kids, or my

great grandkids, can go there, right?

FISH

Oh, you've got great grandkids now, do you? (Sam laughing)

DISSOLVE TO: PRESENT TIME

INT. CABIN KITCHEN - NIGHT

Sam and Fish reacting as car lights appear.

FISH

Finally.

SAM

Uncle Vincent!

CUT TO: PORCH

Fish out door instantly disappointed, as is Sam right behind him, where he puts his hand down to keep her shielded. Merry barking some. Guy slowly gets out of drivers side. Wife in front seat along with kids in back seat, staying completely put.

FISH

What can I do for you folks?

MAN

We...we're about to run out of gas, and...do you know what's going on,

out there?

Fish looking from him to his family, who quiet, almost in shock and leftover tears. Fish keeping Sam behind him.

FISH

I've been hearing a lot. Would love to hear what you know? I know the

infected, or possibly even the dead, are biting people and making them

sick. I sure as hell hope that sounds as crazy to you as it does to me,

just saying it? If not, then I'm pretty nervous to hear what you got.

Man shaking his head, coming in closer. Sam nervous...

MAN

They aren't just biting (man looking from Fish to Sam)...

FISH

Sam, tie Merry up. Can't have her running off again. Stay with her,

I'll meet you over there.

SAM

Dad.

FISH

Please, Sam.

Sam walks away with Merry.

MAN

We were talking to a bunch of people in town,about what's going on, and

what some of them had seen or heard. The stories were all over the place.

(Man looking to Sam, over at porch latching Merry to her leash) But then,

there was screaming. Once we went to see what was happening...(shaking

head) it wasn't real, but it was. He wasn't just biting her, he was...eating

her, (Fish shocked) all of her.

FISH

What do you mean, eating her?

MAN

It, he, was on its knees, ripping the flesh right off that poor, already dead,

woman's body. (Fish looking sick) Once it saw other people, it went after

them. It was a real life haunted house come to life...and if I had to guess,

I'd say that thing was dead, but it wasn't...

Man, simply staring off as he pictures it...

FISH

(speechless a moment)

Are you sure you saw what you think you saw?

MAN

Fella, look at my family. Do they look like they just got back from

Disneyland?

Fish looking at the family and seeing the horrific truth in their faces. He slowly walks to rear of his car, opening trunk. Man looks questionably at him. Fish pulls out a can of gas, walking it over to the man, handing it to him without a word.

MAN

Thank you! Thank you!

Man loading gas into his car, as Fish slowly walks over toward Sam. Reaching her, just looking at her without a word. She becomes frightened.

SAM

What, dad!?

FISH

It's nothing...

Fish turning to watch man close car door and back out, driving off. Fish now walking around side of cabin.

SAM

Dad? DAD?!

Fish simply putting his hand up, signaling her to stay. He tries to get out of her sight but fails, before losing his stomach, throwing up his grilled cheese.

SAM

(crying)

Daddy?!

Fish trying to recover...staring straight ahead and seeing life moments flashing in front of him.

Flashes of Sam smiling/laughing. Himself (at her age) smiling/laughing with Scout. He and his brothers dropping to a knee, on the beach in front of their father. Sam being born. Sam playing with her two moms. Sam hugging grandpa. Himself at her age, hugging grandpa. The family working together building a tree house. The family together following grandpa into the compound. Sam in awe. He and Sam in the boat, on the lake fishing. Sam smiling. He and his brothers dropping to one knee on the beach. Himself saying, "Something totally unexpected"...

Back to Fish trying to recover as face goes pale, spinning and down to his knees, he goes.

SAM

(screaming and running to him)

DAD!

Fish taking big breaths trying to avoid fainting, as Sam arrives throwing her arms around him, as he does his best to hug her back and keep from passing out. Fish recovering...

FISH

I'm okay, I'm okay.

SAM

What did he do? What did he say?

Fish simply hugging her tightly. Then pulls back and simply stares at her...

INT: LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Fish laying knife on counter, followed by Sam placing down a pistol next to a blade.

FISH

It's a crash course, but that's everything I can teach you to do, with

those weapons. I don't know just how hard it's going to get once we

begin traveling, but I can't have you helpless, if something goes down.

Once this whole thing ends, hopefully sooner than later, you're going

to forget everything I just taught you, until you're at least fifteen, sixteen.

SAM

(just staring at the gun)

I need to shoot it. If I have to use it, I'll be too nervous, if I haven't

tried it first.

FISH

I know, Sam, but we can't spook people and/or draw attention to

ourselves.

SAM

Do I get to carry one, once we leave?

FISH

(not sure what to say at first)

I...actually haven't thought much about the details, yet. I guess I just

wanted to start the process. (looking right at her) I'm sorry you had

to grow up all at once, today. (hesitating to go on) Unfortunately I

have more great news. With uncle Vincent obviously stuck on the

road somewhere, we're going to have to hunker down here for at

least the night. Whatever is going on out there, we're going to face

it with some daylight.

SAM

I'm okay with that.

FISH

Good. (nodding her over to the sofa) Come here, I need to finish telling

you why I just made you a ninja.

Sam a halfhearted, accomplishing smile while following him onto the sofa.

SAM

You mean, why you went hypochondriac on me?

FISH

You are so your mother. (Sam smiling then quickly frowning, leading Fish

to do the same) I'm going to get you to her. (looking down) But first, I

have to tell my ten year old something harder to tell, than what I just had

to show you.

SAM

Please just spill it.

FISH

(shaking his head)

He and his family witnessed...(more shaking)

POV cuts to them through window, with Merry (tied up) laying at porch steps. Sam shaking head some, some tears, then nodding head, and eventually hugging her dad.

CUT TO:

EXT. TREE HOUSE - NIGHT

Merry now lying at base of tree. Sam in tree house (lanterns providing light) making her bed (mattress on wooden frame), quickly taking a peek out window (window cracked open), where Fish is below (cabin lights and porch lights all on) approaching with more items. Sam now organizing her stuffed animals in her own perfect way, until Fish enters.

FISH

(taking notice of animals)

For such a tomboy, you sure do love your imaginary friends there,

don't ya? (placing down box of food)

SAM

I have to be a girl at something, don't I? (Fish a laugh) And they're

not imaginary or you wouldn't see them.

FISH

(Making his bed area)

I was referring to the voices you provide them. (with a smile)

SAM

Dad?

FISH

Daughter?

SAM

Were you ever in love with mom, my real mom?

FISH

I have always loved both your moms, very much. But when it comes to

being in love, well, those two were busy feeling that way about each other.

SAM

So...how come my birth mom had me and not my other mom?

FISH

(shaking head)

Okay, I know I told and taught you some things tonight, that no 10-year-old

has any business knowing, but apocalypse or not, you're too young

for this conversation!

SAM

10 and a half.

FISH

And even if you were old enough, it's the type of conversation a girl has

with her mother, in which case you have two of!

Sam a half smile fading quickly as Fish goes to grab another box of items outside of the room.

SAM

Dad?

FISH

Yeah?

SAM

Do you think I'll ever get to fall in love? Or have kids?

Fish closing his eyes and dropping head a moment, before reentering.

FISH

Sweetheart, I didn't teach you just now to use a gun, simply to survive

another day. If falling in love or having kids, isn't in your future, then

what are we fighting for?

Sam in thought while staring out window...

SAM

It doesn't look like the end of the world out there.

FISH

Come on baby girl, lay down, get some rest. (Fish helping her under

the blankets) I'm gonna hit the outhouse, but will be right back.

(giving her a kiss)

CUT TO:

Fish walking outside the bedroom toward one of the other 2 rooms (outhouse). Becoming distraught as he enters, shutting door and closing eyes, with head against wall, before pulling away and looking upward.

FISH

(talking to god quietly/with emotion)

You damn well better not make a liar of me...(thinking) And if this

is the end, then what in the hell kind of apocalypse is this...

(confused emotions) people eating people? (shaking head) Give

me earthquakes, tsunamis or giant rocks falling from the sky, just

make it quick and painless, cause (little more emotion) if you're

keeping me around another day or two, just to torment me with

the memories and images of my baby girl (more emotion) smiling

and full of happiness, simply to see her world come (extreme

emotion) crumbling apart, then (almost yelling but keeping it

hushed) what the hell kind of god are you!?

DISSOLVE TO: FLASHBACK (about 10 years ago)

INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY (Christmas decorations)

Sam (wearing bib, about 1), smiling/laughing in highchair, watching the TV with extreme delight, as Fish smiles down at her before pausing the video (causing some fuss from her), and spoon feeding her.

FISH

I know, I know, I pushed pause and now your world is crumbling apart,

but it's the only way I can get you to eat.

Resuming video as she resumes her delight, with half her food coming back out.

POV TV (edited video with music, as if it were World Series highlights), of Fish/family (from 2 years ago) playing wiffle ball (very competitively) on beach.

FISH

(with smile)

Well, I guess that's enough grub for now, but um, how bout' a nap?

Sam's face going red with a grunt as she fills her diaper, with Fish moaning.

FISH

I said a NAP!

CUT TO:

(video still playing) Fish just finishing with diaper, from floor as Sam gets up, instantly running over in front of sofa, staring at TV, as Fish follows her there, lifting her up onto couch where she looks ready to take that nap, while watching video.

DISSOLVE TO:

Sam fast asleep, there on couch with Fish on floor below, also asleep, as a knock comes from door.

CUT TO:

INT. FRONT PORCH (nice neighborhood) - DAY

Fish opening door with a yawn, to Zane (Leo's boy, 16, holding basketball), Chasin (Mason's boy, 18) and Miles (Hunter's boy, 20).

MILES

Hey Fish, wanna hoop? (Fish slowly finishing his yawn)

ZANE

Geez, when you'd get so old, aunt Fish?

FISH

(turning as they follow him inside)

About a year ago, after the little crapper was born.

MILES

(with laugh)

Is she here?

FISH

Yep, crashed out on the sofa in here.

Leading them into room as Miles and Chasin go right over to her, adoring their niece. Zane holding back but with a half-smile.

FISH

I actually have to wake her, or she'll be up all night. (heading to TV)

This is really hilarious, you guys gotta see it. But stand over there,

where she won't see you, or she might react differently.

ZANE

(moving with others as Fish gets video ready)

What the hell you about to do to your kid?

FISH

Something you cannot tell her mothers about. Forgetting they were

women, I showed it to them and got reprimanded over the volume,

but it won't work without it.

ZANE

(with laugh)

So...risking a visit from child protective services, your daughter's hearing,

and the moods of two distraught housewives (Fish rolling eyes/ shaking

head with laugh)...this better be good. (Miles/Chasin laughing)

Fish pushing play (volume loud but not blaring), to a pregame chant by him and fellow teammates on the beach (manmade wiffleball field).

CHANT

DOWN, DOWN, DOWN. THE MEATMEN GOING DOWN!

POV Sam instantly waking in mild shock.

CHANT

DOWN, DOWN, DOWN. THE MEATMENT GOING DOWN!

Sam immediately climbing her cute self down from sofa, over directly in front of TV, simply staring (half asleep) and oblivious to the others behind her, holding their laughter.

CHANT

WHAT TIME IS IT? IT'S RIPPER TIME! WHAT TIME IS IT? IT'S RIPPER

TIME! YEAH! YEAH! (players jumping up and down)

"Ghetto Superstar", begins playing with edited highlights of the game, causing Sam to become fully awake and clapping hands, stomping feet, dancing and spitting out baby sounds of excitement, without taking her eyes from the video.

Others silently cracking up, even Zane an amused smile. Sam finally looks back for dad, showing her surprise and excitement of her cousins, and taking one last look back at the TV before deciding to run over, hugging dad, and moving on to the others.

ZANE

(giving her a high-five)

NICE! That there is a future sand series rookie of the year!

Fish shutting off TV.

MILES

(hugging her)

Sand series hall of famer.

FISH

(taking basketball from Zane)

So, how we gonna make this competitive, without any other real hoopers

here? Mason's working, I know why Leo isn't here (Zane a smile). Miles,

where's your dad?

ZANE

At the compound with Grandpa, where else?

CUT TO:

EXT. DRIVEWAY COURT - DAY

Sam bundled up in playpen, absolutely thrilled to be watching her Dad and cousins play basketball. Fish looking impressive on the court as he warms up.

FISH

So, I ask again, how do we make this competitive?

ZANE

By leaving these two (his cousins) ladies on the sideline, so I can

take you on, myself.

Fish smiling with a shake of his head.

DISSOLVE TO:

Multiple shots of the game.

Fish working Zane on the court, nailing shots and driving in hard against him. Cousins and Sam watching with excitement. Zane nailing a shot with extreme emotion. Fish nailing some more shots, Zane frustrated and sweaty.

Wyatt (Hunter's boy, 17) arriving.

FISH

Hey Wyatt, just in time to see me finish off your cousin.

Fish nailing game winning shot. Zane annoyed/frustrated.

FISH

You're alright, Zane. Only 16, bub. Give it 5 or 6 years, you'll be

heading into your prime, I'll be leaving mine, maybe you'll

eventually catch me, on a bad day.

Miles, Chasin and Wyatt laughing. Fish picking up and kissing Sam. Zane frustrated but wanting more.

ZANE

Again!

CUT TO: PRESENT TIME

INT. TREE HOUSE BEDROOM - NIGHT

SAM

(in bed calling out for Fish)

Dad!

Fish entering room (Sam relaxing), washing face in sink (yes, they have running water!), and drying off with towel.

SAM

Dad?

FISH

Yes, baby?

SAM

Tell me about a time before I was born, or even a time before I

remember...(sitting next to her thinking) Make it good...

Fish smiling and pondering a moment...

FISH

McDonalds, loved going there as a kid. We ate at some fancy places,

but at least once a month, we're at Pizza Hut or a burger joint, eating

with the general public. Same reason we went to public schools,

Grandpa wanted us real, as he called it. So, while scarfing big macs, this

one time, my dad just starts talking and laughing with this regular guy,

who begins cracking us all up. Then outside, Scout and I had the time of

our lives on the play equipment, with that guy's daughter, who was

our age. I always remembered that day.

SAM

That's it?

FISH

Patience, dear. About five or six years later, Scout and I were bored.

We were with friends from another neighborhood, where we

always got into plenty of trouble. (Sam smiling, getting sleepy) Our

friends told us about watching older kids, in the neighborhood with

our brothers, when they were our age, and how they hit cars with

walnuts, and used their back alley as a sure getaway.

SAM

Uncle Hunter did that?

FISH

No, Leo and Mason. They were dad's toughest, and that night I let

their influence get the best of me. We nailed car after car, and even

had some close calls, but always got away. Till we didn't. This one

guy was on us, before the walnut even touched his damn car. (Sam

a laugh) I had been feeling a rush all night long, but from the moment

this guy hit his breaks, I felt nothing but fear, and even though I

myself got away, it was Scout and her friend, who got caught. So, I had

no choice but to come out. I thought this guy was gonna do things I

was too scared to even think about, but for at least 15 minutes he

spoke to us with nothing but respect, and told us over and over how

dangerous it was. How hurt he'd be if we'd caused

him to have an accident, and something happened to his daughter,

who was in the truck, and the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. I

got teary eyed, imagining being the reason something terrible

happened to her, either one of them. We told them both how sorry

we were, and they were both extremely cool about it.

SAM

So, was he the guy from McDonalds?

FISH

I knew he seemed familiar, as did his gorgeous daughter, and sure

enough, once he took off his jacket, I noticed the tattoo of his wife's

name. I had always remembered that. All that fun we had that day,

and there his daughter was. It blew me away to cross paths like

that, again.

SAM

Did they know?

FISH

Nope. But I got brave, braver than I ever had been, and just told them.

Told them everything...and then actually asked him for his number and

if I could call his daughter. They both laughed, but agreed.

SAM

(smiling)

Did you call her?

FISH

Over and over.

SAM

Ever date?

FISH

Nope, but she did give birth to you.

SAM

(instantly wide awake)

It was mom?! It was grandpa?!

FISH

It was indeed, and that's why I don't believe in coincidence. Things

happen for a reason, and without that extra crazy amount of courage,

I had to ask for that phone number, you, the love of my life, would

not exist.

SAM

Or if you never threw that walnut!

FISH

(nodding)

A very special walnut that was, indeed.

SAM

Oh my god...(laying back with a yawn) I can't believe I'm just now

hearing that story.

FISH

We always said we were going to tell you together, and when you

were old enough to appreciate it. (another yawn) Okay baby, sleep.

Sam closing her eyes with a smile.

SAM

That was definitely a good one...

Fish turning off lanterns, grabbing a gun and climbing in bed...

SAM

Merry will keep us safe.

FISH

We're in a very safe place to be. Even safer tomorrow, once with family...

Silence as they both try to drift...

Sudden lone gunshot, from across lake is fired, as both Fish and Sam rise straight up. Fish looking out and around. (window cracked)

SAM

Was that a gun?

FISH

Sure was.

Fish now grabbing binoculars from a box, looking across lake. His POV of a house with a porch light on. He searches all around, then comes back to porch as old lady walks out.

SAM

(off-screen)

What do you see?

POV Fish.

FISH

Mrs. Pederson just came out...sitting...doesn't look upset or scared, wait...

SAM

What?

FISH

She's crying.

Fish putting down binoculars and kind of pacing, picks them back up, looks again. His POV as she sits there with her face in her hands. Fish tosses binoculars back down, sitting and putting on shoes.

FISH

Come on.

SAM

(instantly rising)

What are we doing?

CUT TO:

Fish, Sam and Merry in boat, cruising across lake, toward the Pederson place.

CUT TO:

Fish bringing boat to a stop at dock and helping Sam out.

CUT TO:

Mrs. Pederson sitting alone on back porch, suddenly startled by the sound of Fish and Sam approaching.

FISH

It's okay, Mrs. Pederson. It's just me, Fish, and my daughter Sam.

(Mrs. Pederson's hand over heart, with whimper of relief) Are you okay?

Mrs. Pederson slowly stands, instantly hugging Fish, who throws a worried look at Sam.

MRS. PEDERSON

What on earth is going on?

Mrs. Pederson sitting back down with a hand on Sam.

FISH

I'm not quite sure, as of a few hours ago I thought everything was

right in the world. Now...(shaking head) I just don't know. But we

did hear a gunshot from over here. (looking right at her) Mrs. Pederson,

is your husband inside? Did he try to shoot an attacker, or something?

Mrs. Pederson looking from Fish to Sam, then straight ahead...

MRS. PEDERSON

We got a call from our son, this afternoon. He said he was packing up,

stopping for his daughter's family, and driving them all straight up here...

Said there was a lot of panic in the city and random police shootings all

day, including right there in his neighborhood. We told him right away to

quit wasting time with us on the phone, and just get our great

grandchildren here. But he warned us he hadn't been able to reach his

sister all day, and for us to keep trying... We finally reached her husband,

who was just as worried about her as we were, and one of their children

had not made it home from school, yet. We kept trying her, but then got a

call from our son's daughter, who should have been picked up by now, and

on their way up here, but he was now unreachable as well. (getting choked

up) She sounded so petrified. Said people were everywhere outside,

including her yard. We could hear gunshots, outside. She said 911 wasn't

even working. She was crying and we couldn't do anything for her.

(Sam getting emotional) She said she was too terrified to take the kids

outside to the car, but we told her she must. Then we heard glass break

and the children screaming, then...(crying) (Sam crying) The most horrific

scream I've ever heard. The phone stopped working... I could see the pain

in my husband's eyes. The moment he began loading his gun, I knew it

was not for protection. He kept saying he couldn't get that scream out of

his head. We had agreed to do it together. But when he asked if I was

ready...I just...couldn't. He told me he understood, and to forgive him.

Mrs. Pederson simply weeping, as Fish looked at the door, then to Sam with a nod toward Mrs. Pederson, before slowly entering inside, as Sam went sitting on or next to Mrs. Pederson with a hug.

SAM

I'm so sorry, Mrs. Pederson.

MRS. PEDERSON

Oh, bless you child. (holding on to her tightly)

SAM

My cousin Miles might be dying. I know how you feel. I'm so scared.

Both of them weeping together, and comforting each other...Fish coming back out.

FISH

Mrs. Pederson, I'm going to help you pack a bag or two, and you're

going to come stay with us tonight.

SAM

We have a compound, you can come live there, with us!

MRS. PEDERSON

I...I can't leave my cat alone. When are you leaving?

FISH

Daylight. Going to at least check the roads and see what's going on out

there. Worse comes to worse, we'll come right back and ride it out here,

until it either ends, or we can make an attempt to reach that compound.

MRS. PEDERSON

I'm so tired. I just want to sleep in my bed.

FISH

Mrs. Pederson, you don't want to go back in there. I covered him, but...

MRS. PEDERSON

I'll sleep upstairs. I'll pack first, and be ready in the morning.

FISH

Mrs. Pederson, are you sure?

MRS. PEDERSON

(a look at him)

I need to say goodbye. To him, to my home. I'll be fine.

FISH

Okay, well, we'll come over bright and early and pick you up here, okay?

MRS. PEDERSON

Yes, I can meet you guys there.

FISH

No, Mrs. Pederson, we'll be here to get you, okay? We're coming to get

you. But right now, Sam and I need to get some sleep too, so we're going

to go.

MRS. PEDERSON

I'm sorry dear, yes, right here. You two go get some rest. God bless you

both...

CUT TO:

Fish, Sam and Merry walking off their dock toward side of cabin.

SAM

It's just like Grandpa said, isn't it?

FISH

I'm afraid so. He never really cared what caused the apocalypse, nearly

as much as he feared the people who would survive it. But, maybe, just

maybe, that's more so what's going on here, than people biting and

eating other people. I don't know, maybe I'm just being wishful. I mean,

not that a world with rioting people everywhere, is much better, but I

think I'd take it, over one where dead or alive people are snacking on us.

(thinking, followed by a laugh) I will say though, if we're dinner for the

dead, then that's one theory even your grandpa missed.

SAM

Because it isn't real.

FISH

Certainly questioning it myself. But something's real, and we'll figure

more out, in the morning. (reaching side of cabin) But now, I'm afraid

we're going to have to tie Merry up, here for the night.

SAM

How come?

Fish tying her up.

FISH

If anyone looking for trouble happens to come along, and see Merry at

the tree, they'd know we're up there.

SAM

But what if they see her here?

FISH

They'll think we're inside. It'll give us an opportunity to determine if

they're looking for trouble, or for help.

SAM

What if it's trouble?

Fish finishing with Merry and turning toward tree house.

FISH

Well then, you'll get your chance to fire a gun...

CUT TO:

Fish pulling ladder up into tree house.

FISH

Main reason we put in a pull up ladder was to keep teenagers out.

Never figured it end up being so convenient like this.

SAM

That's not what Zane said...

DISSOLVE TO: FLASHBACK - (about a month ago)

EXT. TREE HOUE - DAY

Base of tree (with background noise of power equipment/hammering), where Zane and Dakota work on attaching strips of wood onto tree (as a ladder), as Sam approaches.

SAM

But we have a real ladder, why are you making this?

DAKOTA

It's a decoy.

ZANE

When the world ends, a few centuries from now, you won't want people

thinking your family is surviving up there. One look at this old "busted"

ladder, and they'll assume it's abandoned. (pointing to his head) Gotta

be a thinker, Sam. (walking up ladder attaching another strip)

SAM

What do you mean busted?

DAKOTA

Once finished, we'll break these bottom strips, enough to where no one

could use it to get up there. There's a ladder in the brush, over there on

that other tree, to reach the rope for the pullout ladder.

SAM

(thinking)

So, is he serious about it being centuries, or was that sarcasm?

DAKOTA

(chuckles)

Little of both.

ZANE

See Sam, technology will save our future family and mankind, before

the compound or this tree house does. We'll be living in space long

before the planet reaches its expiration date.

SAM

Well, what if technology itself, causes the planets expiration date?

(Zane heading down)

DAKOTA

(smirk)

Ha! She's got you there, big brother.

ZANE

You're only ten, stop saying crap like that.

DAKOTA

Don't sweat it Sam, he hates it whenever I outsmart him too.

ZANE

I sure would, if and when that day comes.

Dakota a roll of the eyes, as she leads Sam away.

DAKOTA

Come on Sam, food that smells that great, must be ready to eat.

POV panning back to entire area (tree house only half built), while Sam's family is hard at work, building the tree house or preparing the feast (lot of dogs playing/running around)...

CUT TO:

Grandpa at head of multiple tables where entire family sits, giving him their attention.

(Hunter (49), wife April (34), son Miles (30), his wife Jennifer (31), their daughter August (6), son Jax (4), son Maddox (3), Hunter's son Gunner (28), his wife Rachel (28), their son Blaze (3), Hunter's son Wyatt (27), wife Sarah (26) all present)

(Leo (48), wife Mary (50), son Zane (26), Troy (24), pregnant fiancé Angela (24), Leo's daughter Kate (23), Dakota (21), Leo's son Jagger (19) all present)

(Mason (46), girlfriend Missy (40), son Chasin (28), wife Catherine (29), their son Bo (6), daughter Kat (5), Mason's son Rich (21), Mason's daughter Jaelyn (19) all present)

(Vincent (44), son Greg (20), son Mark (18) all present)

(Scout (40), daughter Hope (18), daughter Ryder (17), son Bryant (15) all present)

(Fish (42), Sam both present)

GRANDPA

(Sam)

Well, before I begin boring you all with one of my pre-meal speeches

(cutoff)

SAM

(sitting next to Scout)

We love your boring speeches, Grandpa!

SCOUT

OWWW!

FISH

(jokingly)

Speak for your own generation!

SAM

DAD!

HUNTER

Yeah, we've been hearing these speeches for forty-fifty years!

VINCENT

Just don't put us to sleep like you did at the 94 reunion! (few laughs)

MASON

Yeah, I still have trouble keeping my eyes open from that one! (few laughs)

SCOUT

I used it as a bed time story, to put my kids to sleep! (lot of laughs)

SAM

SCOUT!

HUNTER

Me too, but only when they were really bad! (laughs)

ZANE

Yeah, why count sheep when we can count his speeches! (major laughs)

Grandpa a chuckle and looking around waiting for anymore possible interruption, before going on.

GRANDPA

Is that it? Cause I could almost go for a nap myself, after all these corny

so-called one-liners. (few laughs) I mean...how much time and preparation

exactly goes into that material, because if I was a little off in 94, well...I'm

up here in front of you all, just winging it. So, what's your excuse?

Few laughs, and Zane about to open his mouth but halted by Grandpa.

GRANDPA

Zane, don't answer that! I love you and you may be standing up here

leading this family yourself someday (Leo an irritated look), but please

don't answer that.

SAM

Wait...(a look from Zane, to Grandpa, and back to Zane) I'm sorry,

Grandpa, I wanna hear what he was going to say. (everyone cracking

up, even Zane amused) What? He's funny.

ZANE

And that's why, Sam, you'll be my number two, someday.

GRANDPA

SAMANTHA! Where you at?! You were just defending me a second ago!

Lots of laughs, Zane mouthing, "I'll tell you later", to Sam, who smiles.

GRANDPA

Anyway...I honestly meant to keep it short this year, and for the most

part, simply wanted to thank Samantha, Scout, her beautiful girls, you

too Bryant, along with both Greg and Mark, for their wonderful and

creative suggestion, of not only having this year's reunion, at this

gorgeous location, but to share in such an imaginative project, while

doing so. It's days like this, that provide me with an answer to just what

it is that makes this family so special.

ZANE

Your bank account? (some laughs)

GRANDPA

There indeed was a time while young and immature, like Zane, that I

too, believed it was our family fortune that was the envy of others, but

it's this right here. (motioning at them and the scene) Us, that tree

house, this food, our traditions, the important ones and even the silly

ones. I have been so blessed to have such big dreams, and to see them

come true...yet it's you people here, who continue to blow my mind. It's

you people who have turned this old man, from the tough, strict,

entrepreneur he once was, to a father, a grandfather, a great grandfather,

and now...the most sappy son of a bitch on the planet, so KNOCK IT OFF!

Everyone applauding and laughing.

SAM

WE LOVE YOU GRANDPA!

Sam and Scout cheering together.

DISSOVLE TO: PRESENT TIME

INT. TREE HOUSE BEDROOM - NIGHT

Sam climbing into bed, Fish in background doing the same and shutting off lantern (light from cabin coming through window).

SAM

Dad?

FISH

Yeah?

SAM

Bo and Kat are safe, right? And Blaze, August, Jax and Maddox?

FISH

Hunter's entire family is there. Bo and Kat, along with their parents,

were on their way. I'm sure safe and sound by now.

SAM

Who else isn't there, yet?

FISH

I'm not sure, I got cutoff before getting all that information. I know

something was said about Zane and Leo, at the SSH.

SAM

Zane will get them all there... You really think we can make it?

FISH

Tomorrow? Maybe, maybe not. I'm not going to risk getting stuck in

traffic. Not when we can easily ride it out here for awhile, till it either

ends or the roads become passable.

Silence for a moment...

SAM

But, if it doesn't end, how does the road become passable? Where

does everyone go?

FISH

That's something I don't want to think about, baby girl. But again, if

that happens, we'll be plenty safe here, till we can get to Grandpa, or

until they can get to us.

More silence...

SAM

They must be so worried about us.

FISH

Which is why they'll come get us if we can't get to them. They've got the

resources to get here, and you know it. Now sleep, baby girl...

DISSOLVE TO: FLASHBACK - (same reunion)

EXT: LAKE (background music playing from radio) - DAY

Sam sitting down next to Bo (6) and Kat (5) (both taking off life jackets), on a blanket by the river, munching on a bag of chips as Miles and wife Jennifer, pull their kids (on floating devices) August (6), Jax (4) and Maddox (3) to shore, and over to blanket with Sam and others. In background, Scout and daughters Hope and Ryder, are all in water, where Bryant backflips into the scene, splashing down into the lake from a rope swing, as Fish zips by with his boat, pulling Greg on water skis, with both Zane and Dakota cruising around on jet skis...

SAM

Rest 5 minutes, then back in we go.

SCOUT

(shouting from water)

Samantha, get your cute butt back out here, girl!

SAM

I'm busy using my cute butt to sit here making my tummy happy

(munching on chips) and will meet you out there in 5.

Scout and her girls laughing, and splashing around, with Chasin swinging into scene, dropping in from rope swing, as POV settles on Grandpa arriving and crouching down in front of Sam, and the other children there on the blanket.

GRANDPA

Samantha, watching you here with your little cousins is no different than

it was watching your dad, do the same thing with all your older cousins. It

makes me happy to see you being the same kind of leader, he was. (patting

her head as he leaves, Sam smiling) Keep up the good work, soldier.

SAM

(saluting him)

Yes sir!

DISSOLVE TO: PRESENT TIME

INT. TREE HOUSE BEDROOM - NIGHT

Silence as they both lay motionless in bed...

SAM

Dad, you asleep?

FISH

No, was just wondering if you were.

SAM

I'm about to be...

FISH

Me too. Night baby girl. It will all get better in the morning. (barely

speaking, more so drifting) After a night of rest...

Lights from outside all going off, as neither of them move for a moment, before Fish suddenly comes to life, instantly up and over to window, which forces Sam to pop up and do the same.

SAM

Did the power just go out?

FISH

Yes, I was afraid of that. (now moving to other window)

SAM

What are you looking for?

FISH

Mrs. Pederson.

His POV of her dark place.

SAM

(off-screen)

You gave her a flashlight. I don't see it.

FISH

She's probably asleep. Like we should be. (guiding her back to bed)

Come on, this changes nothing, other than the importance of

getting that rest.

Both of them climbing back into bed, snuggling themselves up under their blankets...

SAM

(emotion in her voice)

I can't stop thinking about Grandpa. I feel like we're letting him down.

FISH

Baby! He is worried about us, yes, and will be till he sees us, but the day

you let him down, is the day I no longer care what the world's doing out

there. He knows we're doing everything we can, and like I said, if we can't

get to him, you most certainly know he's coming for you. That man is

crazy about you. Almost as much as I am, and people with that kind of

addiction, well, they need help! (Sam laughing a little)

SAM

Don't make me laugh, I'll never get to sleep.

FISH

Beats crying. Think positively baby, you'll sleep much better.

Silence for awhile, before guns shots in the far distance cause them both to rise and listen. About a dozen shots are fired, before ceasing...

SAM

Dad?

FISH

It's okay.

SAM

How far is that?

FISH

(while going from window to window to look around)

Nowhere near us.

SAM

(still in bed)

What are you looking for? What do you see?

FISH

Nothing. I'm just thinking. (stopping and actually just thinking)

SAM

What, dad? What?!

FISH

(heading out)

Wait here.

SAM

Dad, where you going?!

CUT TO:

Sam helping Fish, up from ladder with more boxes. Fish carries them into bedroom, unloading more guns and ammo, as he begins preparing them all and placing next to windows.

FISH

Now I know I don't have to warn you not to touch or pick up these

weapons, but I'm going to anyhow. Samantha, do not touch these

weapons. (picking up the one he trained her with) This one, you can

pick up, if told to, or for some reason I'm not here to tell you, and

you know it's what you have to do. (places gun under her bed) I am

trusting you with this one, and it's fully loaded and ready to go, if

the time comes.

Fish stopping to look at her. She looks back, with a tear in her eye.

FISH

I know, you're scared.

SAM

I am, I don't understand. I thought we were just going to sleep, and

trying to get to Grandpa in the morning.

FISH

We are, but something's going on out there and we might have to

defend ourselves. I don't actually believe we will, but I had to prepare

us just in case. This is what Grandpa would want us to do. (helping

her back under covers) He's going to be so proud hearing about our

adventures here, and how we kept ourselves out of trouble.

SAM

I can't wait to tell him.

Fish over to his bed, placing gun within reach. Sam watches him, then closes eyes. Fish covers up, closing his eyes. Both laying there in silence...

SAM

I can't wait to tell Zane, too. Maybe once there, he can work with me

on shooting? He'll be so surprised I know how to handle it. No one's

gonna mess with our family, long as Zane's with us...

DISSOLVE TO: FLASHBACK - (same reunion)

EXT: TREE HOUSE - DAY

Lot of hammering/power equipment as the family is back to work on the tree house. POV pans around the entire group, coming to find Mary (Leo's wife) walking away from the cabin. POV moves toward back of cabin, finding Fish and Leo.

LEO

It's humiliating, the way he stands up their praising Zane,

while ignoring me as if I don't even exist.

FISH

You're the only one who sees it that way.

LEO

The boy is a high school Freshmen baseball coach. His income does

nothing to contribute to this family or that compound. Couldn't even

make it out of the army! Kid has no respect for authority.

FISH

This family is as secure as it needs to be, he's the best damn Freshmen

coach there's ever been, and do you even know what he does with his

spare time? The kids he influences? He's doing the things Dad never

had time to do, and he's great at them. He's going to be an amazing

coach, affecting lives year in and year out, once he takes over the school's

team. He'll be a legend there.

LEO

Yet he doesn't even have kids of his own.

FISH

He's only 26. I only have one of my own, and don't make enough extra

income to contribute to the family. What does that make me, Leo?

LEO

Someone who knows his place, and is not trying to lead.

Fish simply staring at him for a moment...

FISH

You're right Leo, I'm not. But you know what? Sam just might. And if

and when she does, or if and when our father mentions the idea of it,

I'll be proud, (a strong look right at Leo) not jealous!

Fish walking away, around side of cabin. POV Zane, inside walking away from the open window, where Leo stood outside it...

CUT TO:

Music blasting on radio as Hunter, Miles, Gunner and Wyatt, work together on raising heavy pieces of the tree house, up into the tree, followed by multiples shots of hard work that expresses how the outhouse and running water works, among other aspects.

One family member can be heard explaining the need for an extra bedroom, for when they have family sleepovers. Final shot is of radio going off, as majority of family rushes toward Zane and Leo, who are exchanging punches. Sam watching and crying. Fish, the first to break it up, with help from Miles and Dakota.

Leo more annoyed than anything, and simply walking away into cabin, slamming door.

FISH

I was just defending you to him. (Zane about to speak but cutoff) Oh

yeah, I know he's a real SOB, but here you are letting it affect you in

the worst way possible. (Fish in close, talking amongst the two of

them) Look at your young cousins, baring witness to this mess. A

memorable weekend ending with this crap. (walking away, looking

right at him) I'm disappointed in you, son...

Zane devastated...

DISSOLVE TO: PRESENT TIME

INT: TREE HOUSE BEDROOM - NIGHT

Silence as they both lay motionless in bed...

SAM

Dad, you asleep?

FISH

Close. You?

SAM

Yes. Stay up 3 more minutes, I'll be out by then.

FISH

Okay, baby...

Silence, several moments, until car lights send them both leaping out of bed, looking out window.

SAM

Uncle Vincent!?

FISH

Oh god, please. (shaking head) Nope. That's not his car.

Fish now reaching down for his gun, along with binoculars, leading Sam to safest place to stay down at, and signaling her to keep quiet, as he leans down close to window, looking and listening. Merry now barking, as three guys climb out of car, gingerly looking around. Fish motioning for Sam to continue her silence, as he works hard to listen...

CUT TO:

Those men coming together.

MAN 1

(from passenger side, holding a knife)

Well, I'll tell you one thing, whoever owns this place is loaded.

MAN 2

(driver, holding a knife)

And obviously here.

MAN 3

(backseat, carrying an axe)

We got no play here. Might have eyes on us already, and those eyes

are probably aiming something, right at us.

MAN 1

We need that something.

CUT TO:

Fish watching/listening.

FISH

Damn it, I can't hear most of what they're saying. Wait...looks like

maybe...looks like they're leaving. Think Merry scared them off. (as

she stops barking)

SAM

What did you hear them say?

FISH

Not much. That they could tell we were loaded. Must of made em'

think twice, before messing with us. (watching them pull away)

SAM

So, they weren't here to eat us?

FISH

(slight chuckle)

No, but they were holding weapons. An axe and a pair of knives.

three guys altogether.

SAM

So, they were looking for trouble?

FISH

(sitting on his bed)

That, or they were just scared, not sure what to expect, from

whomever they encounter.

SAM

Is this how it's going to be, until it ends? We have to be scared of

everyone we see?

FISH

(hesitating)

I hate to say it, but yes. Until there is some sort of order, we really can't

trust anyone. With any luck, that order will be taking place sometime

tomorrow. (glancing toward the window, hesitant to lay back down)

SAM

Can we go to sleep, now?

FISH

Yeah, I just keep wondering if I should move the car closer.

SAM

Why?

FISH

I don't know, in case we need to get to it quickly.

SAM

That's not helping me sleep.

FISH

Sorry, baby. (getting under blankets) Let's sleep.

Few moments pass...

SAM

You sure Merry will be okay over there?

FISH

Merry kicks ass. She just saved us, those dudes wanted nothing to

do with her.

SAM

But, what if they would have?

FISH

They'd all have trouble sitting for awhile, cause I would've shot each

and every one of those punks, right in the ass.

Sam a faint laugh followed, by a yawn. Fish yawns. Several moments of silence...gunshot in far, far distance, with several seconds of silence to follow...

SAM

Dad?

FISH

I'm awake, I heard it. Was just listening for more. That one was

pretty far, though.

Fish laying there with his eyes open.

SAM

God, I hope we're going to sleep in warm beds, safe and sound at the

compound with mom, tomorrow night.

Fish sadly closing his eyes...

Several moments of silence, before Merry suddenly barks wildly, followed by the sound of their cabin door being kicked in, along with a window and a ton of racket as both Fish (grabbing gun) and Sam, tear out of bed, looking to window (as Fish keeps her back).

His POV of cabin, where Merry barks right at it with door wide open, and people with flashlights inside moving around quickly.

SAM

(scared)

Dad, what is it!?

FISH

Someone's inside.

SAM

Merry!

FISH

She's fine. (pulling his gun up closer, ready if need be)

CUT TO:

Cabin, where the sound of people inside comes to a slow, with flashlights coming together and toward front door/porch, where those same three men come out (Merry barking louder), instantly looking all around, and eventually all of them coming to focus directly on the tree house.

CUT TO:

Fish grabbing Sam's gun, handing to her, speaking to her quietly but sternly.

FISH

The safety is on, you know how to take it off and how to fire. If

something happens to me, that's exactly what you do, to anyone who

tries to hurt you! (Sam beginning to cry) Baby I got this! I'm just

preparing you and you got this too, now man up!

Sam working hard to shift, from emotion to focus, as Fish watches/listens.

MAN 3

(off-screen)

That dog (with annoyance) needs to be put down!

MAN 2

(off-screen)

I got it.

Sam an instant look at Fish, who stands, fully lifts window, aims, and fires several shots at the ground (at their feet), sending all three men running into the brush. Merry still barking.

SAM

Dad! Is Merry okay?!

Fish a little shocked, but quickly bringing Sam to window, holding her steady and helping her aim her gun toward direction men went (but a little toward the sky).

FISH

This is your chance to learn.

SAM

I'm going to fire it?

Fish holding her steady.

FISH

Remember what I told you about the kickback. Yes, right now Samantha.

She fires...

FISH

Three more...

She fires once more, then two straight shots...Fish looking/listening out window as car is heard skidding away. Fish all wound up, begins yelling out window.

FISH

PUT DOWN MY DAMN DOG WILL YOU!? (quickly calming down, looking

at Sam) Put the safety back on and place the gun back under your bed.

She does, comes up looking at him and goes in for a hug.

FISH

I am so proud of you.

SAM

Dad...

FISH

Yes?

Sam not answering as Fish comes out of hug, looking at her face full of tears.

SAM

Please go get my dog.

Fish hesitating a moment...

FISH

Sam, we really need her down there warning us (cutoff)

Sam instantly losing all control of her emotions (bawling), and pleading for him with her body language, to go retrieve her dog, as he hugs her tight.

FISH

Okay, okay of course baby. I will go get her. It's okay Samantha, it's

okay. (Sam practically hyperventilating) Calm down baby. Breathe...

CUT TO:

Fish at side of cabin petting an overly excited Merry, with a look back toward the tree house.

Sam at window with a smile.

FISH

(off-screen)

I'm going to move the car first, then get her some water.

Sam watching him, then looking down at the gun, in her trembling hand.

CUT TO:

Fish cautiously looking, around as he reaches vehicle climbing inside, starting engine and pulling over closer to the tree house, while Sam cautiously keeps a good lookout from the window.

Her POV of Dad moving the vehicle her way, as she scans the entire area, from Merry to the lake, brush below, the surrounding trees, and all the way over to the driveway.

Fish now turning off vehicle, stepping outside, and while closing door, two of those guys are back behind him, charging (quietly) from the brush, trying to sneak up on him, but suddenly a series of shots are fired, from above, as Fish turns, firing his gun and nailing man with axe, who falls dead. Other guy arrives, sticking Fish in gut with blade, then ducks to avoid the series of shots still going off. Once shots cease, he races away, toward car that is now arriving.

MAN 1

Go! Go! Go! (jumping into car)

MAN 2

(driver)

You didn't get any firepower!

MAN 1

They killed Lonnie! There's too many of them! Just GO!

Car speeding away...

CUT TO:

Sam still firing gun (out of ammo) toward sky with a look of shock, as she slowly drops her arm, followed by gun to the floor and looking out window toward her dad laying on ground, next to the car. In complete shock, she mouths the words several times, before getting them out.

SAM

DAD!? DAAAAAD!?

She freezes as she hears him try to speak, before instantly dashing out of room. Fish laying on ground in bad shape. Sam almost falling off ladder, rushing to his aid, and dropping down right near his face.

SAM

Daddy, daddy, daddy! Oh my god dad! What can I do, what do I do?!

How do I fix it?! We have to go, we need a doctor! Daddy...(just crying)

FISH

(hard to speak)

Ms...Mrs. Pee...Pederson. Stay here, with her. Wait for...fa...fam...family...

Closing his eyes for last time, as Sam screams the loudest most silent scream ever, and dropping her head to his chest...

DISSOLVE TO: FLASHBACK - (same reunion)

INT. CABIN LIVING ROOM - DAY

Sam pulling at Fish by the arm.

SAM

You need to talk to him, right now.

FISH

Samantha, he knows where to find me.

SAM

Dad. He was crying. I've never seen him cry before. (again pulling,

trying to lead him away) You have to talk to him.

CUT TO:

Zane smoking a joint, looking out over the gorgeous lake, as Fish walks up from behind.

ZANE

In a way, it's almost like your own little compound here, isn't it? I

remember Grandpa wasn't thrilled when you put so much effort

and pocket change into a place here, rather than at the compound.

You love the family, Fish, you just don't let it dictate you.

Fish looking from Zane, to the joint in his hand.

FISH

Fraid' I can't partake in this kind of conversation, without (grabbing

joint) partaking in a bit of this.

Fish hitting it.

ZANE

I understand how I let you down, and absolutely agree with you. I let

him make me act like he does, and I knew it was a mistake, the moment

I did. (Fish releasing hit) I hope you understand, Fish, you're more of a

father to me than he has ever been. He can't make me feel the way you

did, when you ripped into me like that. That's what I've been standing

here trying to contemplate. How his words make me angry, but yours...

FISH

Damn Zane, you went one way with this conversation, and then just

turned around and took it another direction. (Fish hitting again)

ZANE

Yeah, I can do that. (Fish releasing)

FISH

There's just always been an angry side to him, that he

believes no one can understand, and maybe we can't.

Unfortunately, it's a side that you seem to be burden

with seeing, much more than the rest of us.

ZANE

Thank you!

FISH

He just pushes you harder, knows how special you are.

ZANE

(with a laugh)

That's sure a nice way of putting it, I guess. The thing is, it's not that he

believes I fail or will fail, it's that he wants me to fail...I feel like a threat

to him...

Zane hitting joint...Fish searching, but at a loss for words...

FISH

I'm...honestly at a loss for words. A little stoned but, just sad, son, that

you have to feel that way.

Zane releasing hit, and placing arm around Fish as they walk off.

ZANE

That's what I have you for, Fish...

DISSOLVE TO: PRESENT TIME

EXT. BELOW TREE HOUSE - NIGHT

Dark with sound of vomiting, as Sam pulls her head up from ground, back to extreme hysterics, over the death of her father, laying there motionless next to her.

Several POV's from behind the brush, the tree house, the lake, the cabin and others, all of Sam laying/sitting there crying...

Suddenly, her dad moves a bit, causing her to jump, and become dead quiet, before a sound comes from him.

SAM

DAD! Dad, you're still alive! (going right over the top of him)

Dad, what can I do?

Dad suddenly rising with a grunt, as she excitedly throws her arms around him.

SAM

You're okay!

Sam pulling back, looking at him, suddenly scared, as he lunges with open mouth, as if trying to bite her.

SAM

Dad, what...(she braces him with her hands but he becomes aggressive)

Dad!?

Knocking her to the ground, quickly climbing on top of her, as she screams and fights him off enough to rise to her feet, slowly backing away as he rises, immediately going after her.

SAM

(crying)

What are you doing? What is this?

Sam hearing her dad's voice in her head, explaining people eating people, as she continues to back away from him, toward tree house. She could hear her dad's voice, questioning whether dead or alive people were eating other people, which only made her cry more, as she was putting it all together, and realizing the corpse in front of her, was no longer her dad. She turned and ran to the ladder, climbing up top, simply dropping face down against deck, sobbing for several moments, before quickly looking below (about to pull up ladder), realizing he could not climb up after her. She again begins vomiting, a bit, and on the verge of maybe passing out, but looking down as Merry begins to bark. She looks from Merry to her dad, who slowly begins turning around toward Merry, where Sam again desperately looks. Fish now retreating from base of ladder, making his way toward Merry, as Sam again tries to speak, but with no words, at first...

SAM

No...Merry. No Merry, no!

Merry at side of cabin barking. Fish approaching. Sam now looking completely panicked, and it is heard in her voice.

SAM

Dad no. Fish! Dad, I'm right here! Dad what are you doing?!

Sam banging ladder. Merry barking louder. Fish getting closer. Sam banging harder, crying hysterically.

SAM

DAAAAAAD! Daddy, no!

Merry barking as Fish closes in. Sam in hysterics at top of ladder. Merry now expressing fear as Fish is almost on her. She now whimpers, pees herself and simply lays down, as Fish bites into her, causing her to yelp. Sam in complete shock again, without the strength to form words/sounds, with mouth wide open. Fish and Merry a bloody mess, as Fish eats away. Sam finally letting out one last scream, followed by extreme dizziness, and passing out with her head hitting the deck, of the tree house.

BLACK

CREDITS

THE END