"About this time, too, it was laid down as a rule that when a pig and any other animal met on the path, the other animal must stand aside"
-George Orwell (Animal Farm)
MOTHER 3, ACT FIVE
The voice of an adult Lucas cuts in to narrate the scene through the darkness.
That's how it all began. We thought Mom's
death was the worst of it, but then all of
the violence, the men in strange masks, and Claus.
I've learned how to live again, but Father
never forgave himself for any of it. He spends
all of his time in the mountains, searching, and
comes home at night, sometimes with things he's
sure belonged to Mom and Claus. I take care of
the farm, too afraid to tell him that, after
five years, his son is never coming home...
EXT : TAZMILY VILLAGE : FARMHOUSE : NIGHT :
A view just outside the sheep pen is seen, all animals resting in silence while ocean waves collide with the shore off-screen. Out of the east, a streak of light cuts across the sky and strikes the feeble structure, setting it ablaze.
FLINT and LUCAS emerge from the FARMHOUSE, visibly dazed. Their shouting is incomprehensible among the chaos. BONEY barks from an unknown location as they race down the hill to the shoreline with buckets in hand, and then back to the burning pen. This continues as focus shifts onto the flames.
INT : TAZMILY VILLAGE : FARMHOUSE : MORNING :
Sunlight breaks in through the open window just over the bed where LUCAS lies asleep. He is now fourteen years old, with longer hair that sits at odd angles on his head. On his body is a handmade shirt covered in stains.
The sound of hammering on wood can be heard coming from outside. LUCAS awakens and exits.
EXT : TAZMILY VILLAGE : FARMHOUSE : MORNING :
LUCAS emerges from the FARMHOUSE, which has become more untidy after five years. Its right side is charred from fire, and the pen is little more than a pile of ash and blackened wood beside it.
The property is overrun with tall grass and weeds, which the surviving sheep graze on while BONEY keeps watch. LIGHTER constructs a fence at the far end of the yard. FUEL, now a young adolescent, tends to a pile of singed carcasses and debris. He acknowledges LUCAS with a silent gesture.
(rubbing his face)
Has my dad gone up to the mountains?
There is no response.
We're sorry about the pen, and your sheep.
Lightning, right? Happened to our house
maybe last week or something.
(horrified, speaking to LIGHTER)
You never said-!
Jackie and Betsy have always kept a room
open for us at the Inn. Even after all
Their conversation ends and LUCAS watches them work, but soon begins to fidget.
I want to help.
LIGHTER quits, smiling, and leans in close to LUCAS.
Go into town, see if you can find Bronson.
He may have some tools we could borrow.
Fully dressed in handmade clothes--a bright striped shirt, awkwardly stitched together, that is almost long enough to cover his frayed shorts--LUCAS kneels beside BONEY while he straps a leather harness and saddlebags to him. BONEY, now close to six years, communicates with LUCAS through a disembodied voice, suggesting a telepathic bond.
Am I taking you for a walk today?
Just into town, boy.
That feel all right?
LUCAS leads BONEY through the yard. LIGHTER and FUEL continue to work, watching the departure.
(calling to LUCAS)
I'd avoid the town square, if possible.
Take the long way around. No rush.
A pause, after which LUCAS continues and a bright green frog hops into his path, croaking.
Pigs at the bottom of the hill!
It leaps out of sight.
At the foot of the slope, PIGMASK soldiers have gathered. They converse in a garbled speech that mimics the sounds of pigs, gesturing to the decimated structure above, but stop to stare at LUCAS as he passes.
EXT : TAZMILY VILLAGE : MORNING :
The village formerly built on dirt and hand-cut stone now boasts paved roads and late 20th century structures. At the north end, where white townhouses once stood, there are individual family homes and a brown-brick mansion with luxury cars set up like lawn ornaments. In place of the well is a grassy promenade, the heart of the village, where couples and children rest on park benches and FASSAD's voice rings out loudly.
LUCAS enters on the south road beside YADO INN, which has expanded upward, and shifts onto the concrete walk as cars roll by. He stops at the corner to watch the gathering around FASSAD.
Every day he's there. Just like every day
Dad goes out to look for Claus.
BONEY nudges him.
It just seems like things were better
before he came, but maybe it's just me.
They walk on.
INT : TAZMILY VILLAGE : BLACKSMITH SHOP : MORNING :
The interior of the shop is divided into two sections, with home furnishings at one end and a workspace at the other. A wide gray kiln with digital panel sits at the back, not far from a pink box encasing a television screen. The feed is grainy, partially obscuring an image of a pig while a marching tune plays.
Behind a cluttered table, BRONSON and JACKIE stand together in mucky orange coveralls, laughing.
I'm tellin' ya! It could be. He looks
just like him. It's been so long.
Exactly. And if he were still alive,
he would've come back by now.
Unless he didn't wanna come back.
Think about it. Old Man Wess was
always on his case. He's old enough
to take care of himself. Maybe he
just wanted to get away.
Their conversation fizzles out when LUCAS enters with BONEY.
Well hey, a customer.
Haven't seen you in a while, Lucas.
You're gettin' big.
BRONSON rounds the table to meet him.
I'm sorry, was I interrupting?
Nah, ol' Jack just thinks the bass player
down at Club Titiboo looks like Duster.
(speaking to BRONSON)
I would swear on my life that's him!
Then it's your life, but it's been five
years and I say he's no more alive now
He cuts himself off abruptly and looks at LUCAS, who stands silent and expressionless.
I'm sorry, kid. It's just your old man-
I know. Dad won't give up, though.
BRONSON moves behind the table again.
You hear about the lightning last night?
That's why I'm here, actually. We got hit,
but we managed to stop the fire before it
spread to the house.
The second in a month. And it hasn't been
too long since Alec's place burned down.
He still live at the center across the
bridge, your grandfather?
Wouldn't stay with us, even when we asked
him. He said it made him feel sad.
A lull in conversation, which gives them time to fidget before talking again.
So, what is it you need, kid?
Just to borrow some tools, please.
Lighter and Fuel are helping put up a
fence on the hill.
BRONSON leads him across the workspace to a storage cabinet, kneeling before it. LUCAS watches the broadcast on the screen nearby. It flips through photographs of a brightly lit city while it continues playing the same fanfare.
You still have that Happy Box thing?
Why wouldn't I?
(standing, tools in hand)
Here, these should help. If you need
anything else, let me know.
LUCAS whistles for BONEY and puts the tools into his saddlebags.
Don't you have one yet?
A Happy Box. They're really great, gives
me something to do at night. Couldn't
imagine living without one.
(speaking to JACKIE)
Ain't that right?
There is a nod from JACKIE, but he does not respond. His attention has shifted out the window along the right wall, which offers a view of the street and central promenade.
Ain't that Old Man Wess out there?
(moving to window)
Well I'll be damned. He's a glutton for
it, all right. Ever since Duster up
and disappeared. It's like he can't be
happy with life anymore.
All the more reason to tell him!
LUCAS exits with BONEY at his side.
What? Your crackpot theories? No, let
it go. I know you're wrong, and the
truth would kill him. He's not what
he used to be.
No. He's gotten worse.
EXT : TAZMILY VILLAGE : MORNING :
Emerging from the shop, LUCAS moves toward the south road. He stops when the noise picks up across from him and turns to the promenade.
A larger gathering has swelled around FASSAD, a half-circle on his right side. He watches WESS from a paved island within the grass. The older man is slow to approach, bent slightly, hindered by his dirty clothes.
You think we don't see? You believe us
all to be fools?
FASSAD glances about the promenade and adjacent streets.
I'm old, but I'm not blind. I've watched
you kill us slowly for years and I won't
have it anymore!
Another tirade, old man? You really should
be home relaxing.
Your pigs destroyed my home!
The crowd hushes. LUCAS waits for the street to clear, and then crosses with BONEY, merging with the onlookers.
Mr. Wess, you gave it up of your own free
will, don't you remember? It's now the home
of the elderly, the less fortunate and
retired, like yourself.
Come now, you're in no condition to be out
WESS pushes FASSAD away.
Keep your hands off me. And take your filthy
snouts out of our affairs. Life was good
until the pigs came to town.
(speaking to the crowd)
Am I right? Anyone remember when our lives
were simple? When lightning strikes were a
rare and accidental happening?
Noise within the crowd rises. LUCAS appears uncomfortable, ignorant of BONEY's quiet attempts to get his attention.
I'm sorry, what is it you're saying?
You can't possibly think-
As I said, I'm no fool.
A pause, and then FASSAD bursts into laughter, which is joined by much of the crowd.
Old Mr. Wess, I'm so glad there are people
willing to take care of you in this fragile
time of your life. Perhaps you ought to
go home. Consider ways in which you too
can find happiness in life.
FASSAD approaches again and WESS backs off, spitting at the ground in front of him.
Keep your damn happiness and lies.
First stunned and then complacent, FASSAD waves two burly BLUE PIGMASKS into the promenade. They grab WESS, one at each arm, and haul him away without effort.
Send in your filthy swine, but you
can't ignore me forever, Fassad!
LUCAS steps out of the crowd but is intercepted by FASSAD, who ignores the distant cursing.
Young Lucas! How very quiet you are.
I would have never known you were here.
And doggy as well-
So, have you come to learn of our progress,
or did you at last decide to purchase a
Happy Box for your home?
WESS shouts from somewhere off-screen, capturing LUCAS's attention.
I think I'll find my own happy, thanks.
He exits, watched closely. FASSAD resumes his speech to the crowd.
A side street between two small shops, where trash and propaganda fliers have accumulated. WESS lies among them in a smattering of blood, his face swollen and purple on one side. The PIGMASKS beat him down when he tries to stand.
Going to torture an old man for speaking
his mind? Go ahead! I'm not the only one
who sees what's going on.
One PIGMASK crushes WESS's hand and he screams.
LUCAS enters. The soldiers turn on him, grunting through the snouts on their helmets.
Both soldiers back off of WESS as BONEY lunges, catching one on the arm. He squeals, wrapping his free limb around BONEY's throat. The second PIGMASK makes a dash toward LUCAS, who is snatched at the midriff and pulled screaming into the fray.
BONEY ducks under the arm of his captor and launches onto the second PIGMASK, tearing off its helmet in the process. The soldier's face is revealed, bloated and misshapen, with scars snaking across his hairless scalp. His nose is upturned, elongated and broad, and his ears hang as loose flaps of skin.
The PIGMASK drops LUCAS, backing away into his partner with an expression of fear. He tries to speak, but his voice is no more than a shrill squeal. This is followed by a pause in which both soldiers stand their ground. BONEY issues a warning growl and they retreat, the unmasked shielding his face with both arms.
WESS lifts himself out of the pooling blood, leaning into the wall.
INT : TAZMILY VILLAGE : RETIREMENT CENTER : LATE MORNING :
Threadbare sheets speckled with the stains of bodily fluids hang off the bed. There are no matching pieces of furniture to accompany it, only a nightstand propped up with books, a rusted serving cart and used trays, and a table in the opposite corner where a Happy Box buzzes tirelessly beside a caged pigeon. The walls and floors are cracked, painted with more mysterious stains. Narrow barred windows near the ceiling provide tiny slivers of sunlight, which do little to brighten the room.
LUCAS eases WESS onto the bed as he holds a wet cloth over his face to sop up any leftover blood. BONEY drops to the floor beside them, sighing.
It's all right, I'm fine! Good Heaven-
(pause, lying down)
I'm not an invalid yet.
Several moments of silence pass. LUCAS backs away until he hits the cart, knocking several trays to the floor as he fumbles to catch them. WESS looks at him.
Just leave them. Maybe I'll clean up
this place later, after I've had a
bit of rest.
You ought to stop in to see Alec.
I don't want to make Grandpa upset.
Lucas, no one could ever be upset by
a visit from you. Certainly not your
He just gets sad sometimes, thinking
about Mom and Claus, and Dad, too.
Yes, well, your father is-
He stops when LUCAS turns to him, sighs, and sits upright.
He's just trying his best.
Let me help you. Maybe I could get
No! No, I'm fine. I don't have much
of an appetite anyhow.
A pause, in which WESS hangs his legs over the bed and stares ahead. LUCAS roams over the walls, taking in a pair of iron shackles hanging between two windows, and then abruptly looks away.
I seem to recall a story. Or maybe it
was something someone said, I don't know.
We are to be judged by how we treat
the least among us.
(sitting beside WESS)
I've never heard that one before.
Couldn't tell you where I got it from,
but it reminded me of you.
(pause, looking around)
This used to be my home, a place for
me and my son. Now I wouldn't take
it even if they paid me. Just look
at it! And the smell! It's like pork
stew gone horribly wrong.
Yeah your son, Duster. I remember him.
And I've heard some people talking lately.
All nonsense, I suppose. Like the rest
of the sheep, they're happy just to
follow whatever comes their way.
The screen on the Happy Box switches to a brighter picture, displaying a waving flag with the nose print of a pig at its center. It plays the familiar marching tune.
There it is again. What a load of-
Should I turn it off for you?
It doesn't turn off. Day and night it
plays. I've learned to sleep through
all the noise.
We could break it.
Tried that a couple years ago.
WESS looks up along the walls to where the shackles hang. LUCAS stares down at the floor and shivers.
So, um, is there anything else you need?
Humor an old man for a while. What was
it you've heard about my son?
Oh, well nothing bad! Just that some
people were talking like they'd seen
Duster not too long ago.
They think someone at Club Titiboo looks
like him. Do you know that place?
Yes. Just down the tracks, by the factory.
Silence, and then WESS slides off the bed and hobbles to the far table. LUCAS follows.
Mr. Wess, please sit down. If you want
something, let me get it for you.
I do want something, Lucas, though it's
quite a big favor to ask.
I don't mind.
WESS turns around with the caged pigeon in hand.
Although it may be a long shot, I want
you to find my son Duster for me.
(handing over the cage)
Call me a fool, call me desperate and
otherwise hopeless, but this is the
only chance I've got. I've nothing else
to live for, although-
Heckling that pot-gut Fassad is quite fun.
He laughs. The bird flutters in its cage, staring at LUCAS.
Are you sure, Mr. Wess? What if it's not
him? What'll I do?
Then bring back the bird in its cage, no
harm done. But if by some miracle we're
right, set it free. It will fly back here,
and then I'll know.
WESS returns to the bed as LUCAS straps the birdcage to BONEY's harness, setting it upright on his back.
This is a bit much.
Mr. Wess, I have some tools with me.
I'll have to take them home first.
Lighter and Fuel are helping us fix
our sheep pen.
You were the ones hit by lightning
How did you know?
A lucky guess. Don't worry about them.
I'll take whatever they need. Maybe
I can convince Alec to join me.
Are you sure? Because I can go!
No, I can manage. It's about time I
had a chat with Lighter anyhow.
(kneeling beside BONEY)
Oh, well thank you.
Just hurry back, protect yourself and
be extra cautious! Stay far away from
the pigs, if you can. They're nothing
LUCAS empties the saddlebags and WESS piles the tools onto the bed.
EXT : TAZMILY VILLAGE : CROSSROAD : TRAIN STATION : AFTERNOON :
Paved roads lie in place of dusty trails, running south into the village and west toward the forest. The northbound road to SUNSET CEMETARY is still composed of dirt and appears mostly unused. Stretching to the east are train tracks that merge with a manmade tunnel carved through the surrounding cliffs.
Crowds of people mill about the station, which is little more than a raised platform at the end of the road, an awning and guardrails accented by flower boxes and white park benches.
LUCAS enters on the south road with BONEY, approached by a line of PIGMASKS who stare at them as they move off into the grass. An airship passes overhead, filling the CROSSROAD with thunderous noise. The marching tune plays and all soldiers stand at attention, saluting and squealing while the civilian crowd drops to its knees.
What's happening? It's so loud!
Just keep walking, boy.
They continue toward the station beneath the shadow of the airship. People stare at LUCAS. A PIGMASK breaks formation to draw a gun from his belt and take aim.
LUCAS is pulled to the ground from a force off-screen--ISAAC, clothed in the same dingy coveralls as BRONSON and JACKIE. He wraps an arm around LUCAS, who struggles.
Just be still a moment!
He is shushed again and goes quiet. BONEY waits beside them, whimpering until the airship has passed, its song and engine roar fading into the background.
The crowd and assembled PIGMASKS resume normal activity. ISAAC and LUCAS stand.
You must be crazy, kid. Don't you
know the rules by now?
Rules? It was just an airship passing.
I wouldn't talk like that around people.
A lot of them aren't so understanding.
So, where you off to in such a rush?
An errand for Mr. Wess. I need to use
Train, huh? Got yourself a ticket?
The trigger-happy PIGMASK passes through, grunting fiercely at LUCAS.
Gotta have a ticket to ride the train.
You should go buy one.
Oh, well I don't have any money.
Sorry, kid. Maybe you could earn some,
though. Do odd-jobs in town. Shouldn't
take too long.
Say hi to Flint for me.
He exits. LUCAS looks at the tracks as a small passenger train rolls out of the tunnel, an engine at both ends, and stops in front of the station.
Puffing out thick plumes of smoke from its rear engine car, the train grinds back out of the station into the tunnel, ruffling LUCAS's clothes and hair as it passes. Once gone, LUCAS steps onto the tracks, the pitch blackness of a seemingly endless path lying in wait before him.
It went through there. We could just
follow it on foot. Walking doesn't
cost any money.
I'll make sure you don't get lost.
A station ATTENDANT in brown uniform shouts at LUCAS from the platform.
Hey you kid! Get off the tracks!
EXT : TRAIN TRACKS : AFTERNOON :
LUCAS walks side-by-side with BONEY into the dark, their bodies rimmed by the sunlight behind them.
Just like going down the road.
Shouldn't take too long, I hope.
They continue in silence. All available light begins to fade. Suddenly, BONEY is alert.
I hear something.
What boy? I can barely even see.
There is light not far from us,
but pay attention. There are
unfriendly smells here.
An animal darts past them, unseen in the darkness. BONEY gives chase while LUCAS struggles to keep up.
Boney, wait up! Sit boy!
Another burst of light at the tunnel opening, which gives way to an enclosed valley beyond. Here the soil and surrounding cliffs are redder, the vegetation sparse.
At the mouth of the tunnel BONEY engages the animal, a small white terrier with various species of mushroom growing out of its back. There is a clump of them atop its head, sprouting from the eye sockets, though its vision is not impaired.
LUCAS enters the shot, breathless.
What is it?
The terrier snaps at LUCAS, and then cries out when driven back by BONEY. It lunges but he steps aside.
I can't hear its voice. It's like
there's nothing there!
Keep away, Lucas. It is sick.
BONEY snarls and the smaller dog flees back into the tunnel. Inside its cage the pigeon is restless, but falls asleep when LUCAS puts his hand over the bars.
I wonder where it came from.
No place safe. Follow me now, the
sounds are closer to us.
I still don't hear a thing.
They emerge from the tunnel. LUCAS shields his eyes, stumbling off the tracks as BONEY races toward the northern cliffs where a lime-green dress and matching shoes lie beside the mouth of a cave. He scours the immediate area with his nose, but LUCAS hangs back, stunned by the sight of an immense white feather near the abandoned clothes. It is half the length of his body.
Look at that!
BONEY sniffs it and moves on.
I don't recognize the smell.
But it's huge! I've never seen any
birds that big-
A voice emanates from the cave and sings softly to itself. LUCAS and BONEY follow it inside.
The cave is only large enough to hold a low outcropping of rock and natural hot spring. IONIA lounges within it, eyes closed. LUCAS enters, then screams when he sees her, arms over his head. She awakens with a start.
I'm sorry! I'm sorry, I just heard
someone in here! I didn't mean anything!
Oh! Well, you gave me quite a scare,
little one. It seems you've caught me
with my trousers down, as the saying goes.
IONIA approaches the edge of the pool, resting her arms on the bare rock. LUCAS keeps his face covered.
It's all right, dear. I'm quite
comfortable. Let me see your face.
He unwinds his arms and looks at her with red cheeks.
There we are. You look so much like
him, your brother.
You knew Claus?
I met him once several years ago,
just a tiny thing with hair like fire.
He's gone now.
Yes, I felt his presence leave this
world, but yours is still just as
strong. It's very easy to pick you
out from the rest of the humans.
BONEY lies beside the pool, completely at ease, but LUCAS backs off. His expression is full of concern.
Are you all right, dear? You look as
though you've eaten something awful.
Who are you?
My name is Ionia. I am a Magypsy.
It's nothing for you to worry about
now, dear. I sense loads of spiritual
power coming from you. Have you not
felt it yourself?
A pause, and then IONIA speaks to BONEY through telepathy.
He's a bit slow, isn't he?
And he trips a lot.
(embarrassed, speaking aloud)
Ah! So you can hear us.
I've always been able to do that.
Yes, my dear, but you can do so much more.
Come join me for a while.
In my clothes?
However you prefer. I'll turn around,
if you like.
She looks away while LUCAS waits on the edge. In a flurry of movement, he begins to undress.
IONIA turns back as the water ripples around her. LUCAS clings to the rock, submerged from the waist down. When he lets go, he drops into the pool, which covers him up to his neck. IONIA approaches.
There we are. It's like the water's
trying to tempt you further, isn't it?
Just lean back and let it take you.
Water sloshes around LUCAS. He flinches when IONIA touches him.
What're you doing?
Just endure it, little one. There's
a lot in you and it's going to take
some effort to draw it out.
Again LUCAS flinches, trapped between IONIA and the wall of the cave. Their bodies touch. She wraps both hands around his head as his breath quickens. The sound of his heartbeat begins to pervade the scene, growing in intensity. LUCAS thrashes but she maintains her hold.
Not much longer, my dear. Try to relax.
Back arching and beads of sweat dotting his exposed flesh, LUCAS screams. He attempts to break free from IONIA but she forces him down again. His eyes well up with tears. Then, they part. IONIA is flung across the pool, her face infused with scarlet.
Oh! Oh my-
It has been a very, very long time
since anyone has made me blush.
LUCAS stares at her, exhausted and gasping for air.
You sly devil, you. Harboring such
immense power and not even knowing.
I am sorry if I've hurt you, dear,
but someone with your talents doesn't
come along too often. I do hope you'll
make good use of them, but for now I
suggest sleeping it off. The pain will
subside in time, but to strain yourself
now could prove deadly.
IONIA rises out of the pool and focus shifts to LUCAS, who watches her exit.
We may see each other again sometime,
my sweet Lucas. Until then, take care.
A rush of wind blows into the cave, upsetting layers of dust. LUCAS emerges from the hot spring when the air clear and sits beside BONEY, covering his lap with his clothes.
What just happened?
BONEY looks at him, turns over, and rests his head in his lap.
I feel different, but I'm not sure how.
Like opening a big door to somewhere new.
At least it doesn't hurt anymore.
He closes his eyes and, within seconds, is asleep.
FADE TO BLACK
END ACT FIVE.