1.

ACT I

EXT. COUNTRYSIDE - NIGHT

A man jogs down a country road in the darkness. Snow falls around him. He is almost out of breath. He checks over his shoulder and then ducks quickly behind a row of bushes as a car goes by.

DAMON

Shit. Did they see me?

The car moves on and he continues running, his tall, six foot figure huddled against the snow.

NARRATOR

Where I was going, I had no idea.

Truthfully I hadn't put much thought

into it when I had decided to set out

on this so-called adventure, and that

wasn't good.

DAMON

(under his breath)

A man always has to have a plan. Some

kind of plan.

He wipes sweat from his forehead, breathing deeply. It looks as if his biceps are covered in a thin layer of sweat despite the cold.

BRIEF FLASHBACK

Close-up of Damon loading a gun and grabbing his wallet off a table.

END FLASHBACK

2.

He stops running for a moment and leans against a tree, breathing heavily. He looks around and then ducks behind the tree as another car drives by. For a moment he doesn't move. His back presses into the tree, his head is back, and his eyes are closed. He breaths deeply.

BRIEF FLASHBACK

Damon aims a gun and shouts incoherently. His hands shake and a man shouts obscenities back.

END FLASHBACK

After a long pause, Damon continues to jog reluctantly. He jogs for another twenty yards and then stops dead in his tracks. He sees a small house with windows lit by small electric candles.

NARRATOR

It was the first house. The next one

could be ten miles down the road. It

didn't seem like I had a choice unless,

of course, I wanted to freeze to death.

Damon looks up and down the road checking for cars, then walks up to the side of the house. He paces the length of the house, looking up at the windows and then back down the road. Then he reaches into his pocket and leaves his hand there.

NARRATOR

A knife. How easy it was these days

to get your hands on a weapon. Too easy.

Just walk right into a store and take it.

Straightening up, he crosses the front yard and looks up at the front door. Licking his lips, he slowly climbs the steps, hanging onto the railing as he moves. Occasionally he looks back at the road. He stares at the wreath on the door for a moment, then knocks loudly.

3.

DAMON

(whispers)

Oh well, no one home.

He is about to turn and leave when the lock on the door clicks and the door opens.

Enter SOPHIE BRENTWORTH, the resident. She is relatively petite in comparison to him, with shoulder-length hair that shines. The look of content on her face immediately drops off when she sees him, a man in an undershirt and jeans, completely out of breath and shivering madly.

SOPHIE

Oh my God! What happened to you?

DAMON

Can I um…can I use your phone?

He scratches the back of his neck in uncertainty.

DAMON

(continuing)

My…my car broke down about a mile from

here and I just need to call a tow truck.

My cell phone died.

Sophie stares at him for a moment in shock.

NARRATOR

I expected her to say something like

"I'm sorry. I can't help you", because

who would trust someone who looked like

me banging on the door late at night?

Sophie opens the door wider and steps back.

SOPHIE

Come on in. I'm baking Christmas cookies,

so just let me check on them.

4.

INT. SOPHIE'S HOUSE

The living room is decorated with countless strings of Christmas lights, a large tree, and a crackling fire. Music plays softly. Damon stands still, staring in fascination.

Sophie walks past him into the kitchen. He follows her to the doorway. She peers into the oven, then straightens again.

SOPHIE

So why did you say you were here again?

DAMON

(nervously)

Oh, my car broke down.

NARRATOR

I was being cautious of what I said. One

wrong word and I would probably be forced

to do something I didn't want to do.

There is a very long pause.

DAMON

I hiked about a mile or so. Tore my

jacket off because I got too hot along

the way.

SOPHIE

Did you want me to call Triple A?

DAMON

But isn't it Christmas Eve? It would take

forever for someone to get all the way

out here.

SOPHIE

Oh, that is a problem.

5.

DAMON

Um...maybe...maybe I should just go back

to my car and try to fix it.

He starts toward the front door.

SOPHIE

Wait! It's freezing out there. Why don't

you just stay a while?

Damon rubs the side of his chin.

NARRATOR

She had just offered me a place to stay,

probably for the whole night. I couldn't

turn that down when it was freezing out-

side and I had nowhere else to go.

DAMON

(struggling)

Well...if you don't mind.

SOPHIE

I don't mind!

She laughs and smiles warmly.

SOPHIE

I'd love to have someone around on

Christmas Eve. It'll be great.

Sophie turns toward the oven again and pulls out a sheet of Christmas cookies. She places them on the stove.

NARRATOR

Why was this girl being so damn nice to me?

I couldn't understand it. And she had this

beautiful house. Where was her family?

6.

SOPHIE

You can have as many as you want.

She wipes her hands on a cloth and smiles at him.

DAMON

(pauses)

Thanks. Thanks a lot.

SOPHIE

Go ahead and sit down. Help yourself.

He slowly sits down at the table. She places a plate piled with cookies in front of him. Damon eats three quickly as she pours a glass of milk and hands that to him.

DAMON

Sorry. I haven't eaten all day.

SOPHIE

It's okay. I have plenty already, and I'm

making more.

Damon continues chewing loudly.

NARRATOR

The food she had given me was delicious.

I had no idea why she was being so nice to

me, but I had a feeling she wouldn't be this

way if she really knew who I was.

FADE OUT

END ACT I