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THE CONFESSIONAL

The Script














Home | The Story | The Creators | Father Bellicose - MISSING! | The Script | PAGE ONE | PAGE TWO | PAGE THREE | PAGE FOUR | PAGE FIVE | PAGE SIX | PAGE SEVEN | PAGE EIGHT | PAGE NINE | PAGE TEN | Thumbnail layout | From Script to Page | PDF version





THE CONFESSIONAL
Story - Grant LaFleche
Pencils & Inks - Garry Brown
Letters - Thomas White



PAGE ONE (one panel)



Panel 1. We start with the interior of a cathedral. We are looking towards the altar from the back of the church, down the center aisle. The altar is dominated by a massive crucifix. The figure of Christ should appear to be looking down at the center aisle. The cathedral has a high vaulted ceiling. There are pews on either side of the aisle. There are only a few people in the pews, praying silently. Down the center aisle walks a priest in Catholic robes. He is tall and lean, with thinning hair. He wears glasses that rest on the end of his nose. Walking toward the reader, he clutches his cross tightly.



Cap.1:
It's Monday. 11 a.m. to be exact. The usuals have already arrived, looking especially guilty. A few are still shaking off the effects of the weekend. Business is always good on Monday.

Cap. 2:
A couple of new ones wander in, looking nervous. Like they're about to visit a dental surgeon for a root canal. Without the anesthetic. I cannot tell how warm and fuzzy that makes me feel inside.

Cap. 3:
I hate Mondays.

PAGE TWO: (five panels)

Panel 1: We see the priest in profile sitting in his confessional booth, slouching forward in his chair, looking rather bored. To his left we can see the confessional screen. A silhouette of the person on the other side can be seen.

PERSON BEHIND SCREEN:
Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.

Cap. 1:
This is Freddy King. Works for a multinational oil company. He's having an affair with his assistant. Again. I tell him to get a new assistant. A man this time. An ugly man. I tell him this and to go in peace.


Panel 2. Same as the last panel. The priest is now leaning back in his chair, staring at the ceiling, looking more bored.

PERSON BEHIND SCREEN:
Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.


Cap 2.
Andrea Clancy. She's been stealing money from her employer to pay for credit cards she maxed out buying clothes she cannot afford. I tell her to cut up her credit cards and return the money. Then polish up her resume. I tell her this and to go in peace.

Panel 3. Same angle as previous panels. The priest is now using his robes to polish his glasses.

PERSON BEHIND SCREEN:
Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.


Cap 3.
David Al-Kayed. Owner of a local deli. Best roast beef on rye in town. Says he spit into the sandwich of a customer who called him a terrorist. I tell him to use extra hot peppers next time. I tell him this and go in peace.

Panel 4.
Same angle as the previous panels. The priest is leaning back again, and he is pinching the bridge of his nose with his fingers. He is beyond annoyed.

PERSON BEHIND SCREEN:
Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.

Cap. 4
It's Freddy King again. He wants to know if an ugly woman will do. I tell him no and to go in peace.

Panel 5.
Same angle as the previous panels. But now the priest is sitting upright and is looking right at the confessional screen. We still only see a silhouette of the person on the other side.

PERSON BEHIND SCREEN:
Hello, Billy.

Cap. 5
Billy??

PAGE 3: (three panels).

Panel 1. We are now looking up from the floor at the priest in the confessional. This should be the largest panel on the page. It should have a fish-eye lens look to the panel. He has gripped the arms of his chair so tightly they are shaking. He is looking in shock at the screen.

Cap 1.
There is a smell. A harsh rasp of a voice and a smell. I can't place it. Rotten eggs? And why does he call me that? Why Billy?

PRIEST:
Pardon me, my son?


PERSON BEHIND SCREEN:
Oh yes, I should think you would like that, Billy.


PRIEST:
Like what?

PERSON BEHIND SCREEN:
To have someone pardon you. That is what a confession is all about, isn't it, Billy?


Panel 2. Close up of the priest's face. The pattern of the confessional screen is casting a shadow on his face. He is clearly unnerved and starting to sweat.

PRIEST:
My son, the sacrament allows you to confess your sins before God...

PERSON BEHIND SCREEN:
Is it now? Well, I never did pay attention much in Sunday... cough ... school...wheeze.

Panel 3. We are now looking directly at the confessional screen. We cannot see much of who is behind it. Whoever it is, is in profile, but mostly obscured by the screen.

PRIEST (OP)
Are you alright?

PERSON BEHIND SCREEN
Yeah. I'm just not in the best of health, Billy. Heh. No, sir, I'm not.

PRIEST (OP):
My son, my name is not Billy. It says quite clearly on the board in the lobby. I am Father Joseph Bellicose. You may call me Father.

PERSON BEHIND SCREEN
That just seems so impersonal, Billy. But, I'll humor you.

PAGE FOUR: (Four Panels)

Panel 1. We are now looking down at the person in the confessional booth. We still cannot see much. We see it is a man, wearing a fedora and trench coat. We cannot see much else.

PRIEST (OP):
When was your last confession?

PERSON BEHIND SCREEN:
Well let's see, Father. It's the 16th and a Monday. So I guess that makes my last confession, well, never...cough...


PRIEST (OP)
You have never confessed your sins?



PERSON BEHIND SCREEN:
Nope. Probably should have, but no use cryin' over spilt milk.

Panel 2. Same view as previous panel, but of the priest, who is leaning toward the screen, trying to peer through.

PRIEST:
But you have to come to seek forgiveness today?


PERSON BEHIND SCREEN (OP)
Forgiveness? ... cough... Maybe. But it'll take some explaining.

Panel 3. View is a tight shot of the priest as he leans forward to peer through the screen. His face is really close to it.

Cap 1.
Who is this?

Panel 4. The priest jerks his head back from the screen because the person on the other side just hit it. Whoever is behind the screen doesn't want to be seen.

SFX:
Bam!

PERSON BEHIND SCREEN
Now, now Father, that's cheating.

PAGE FIVE: (Four Panels)

Panel 1. We see two men climbing the side of a mountain. They are both looking pretty rough and beat up. They don't have much gear and their clothes are torn and tattered. They looking weak and both have unkempt beards and hair. The wind and snow is blowing hard.

Cap 1. PERSON BEHIND SCREEN
You see, Father, it all starts with two men. Brothers, really. Not biologically, mind you, but in every way that matters...

Cap 2. PRIEST
My son, I don't

Cap 3. PERSON BEHIND SCREEN
Please, Father, patience.

Panel 2. One man is standing on a narrow ledge on the mountain, and is helping pull the other man up. Both are struggling against the wind. They should appear as though they have been battling against nature for weeks without a break.

Cap 4. PERSON BEHIND SCREEN
Now, where was I?...cough... yes...cough...our two brothers. Well, you see Father, these two were on a quest of sorts. A travel-to-the-ends-of-the-earth-searching-for-the-holy-grail sorta thing.

Cap 5. PRIEST
The Holy Grail?

Cap 6. PERSON BEHIND SCREEN
Sorta.

Panel 3. We see the two men, holding make-shift torches enter the opening of a dark cave.

Cap 7. PERSON BEHIND SCREEN
What they were after was something much more ancient. More powerful. More dangerous. But it would grant them their souls' desires.

Cap 8. PERSON BEHIND THE SCREEN
And the brothers...wheeze... they swore a blood oath to find it together. To stand shoulder to shoulder no matter what. No turning back. Their fates would be bound together.

Cap. 9 PERSON BEHIND THE SCREEN
Dramatic, huh?

Panel 4. The two men have moved deeper into the cave and are standing before a dais of rough rock. There is a small vial sitting on the dais, glowing dimly.

Cap 10. PERSON BEHIND SCREEN
When they found it...oh, Father, it was the most beautiful thing these two sad souls had ever laid their miserable eyes on.

PAGE SIX: (Four Panels)

Panel 1. Close up of the faces of the two men looking closely at the vial. There is a clear liquid inside it. It is now the only light source, leaving anything behind the two men in utter darkness.

Cap. 1 PRIEST
What was it they found?

Cap.2. PERSON BEHIND SCREEN.
Oh, I know you will appreciate this, Father, you being a priest and all. It was the Tears of the Morningstar. See, these brothers got their hands on a scrap of the original copy of the Necronomicon, which said the tears were collected in vial when the Morningstar wept after being cast out...

Cap 3. PRIEST
The Necronomicon is a myth...

Cap 4. PERSON BEHIND SCREEN
You wanna tell the story?

Panel 2. The man with the vial gulps back a drink from it, while the other reaches out, apparently attempting to stop him.

Cap 5. PERSON BEHIND SCREEN
The younger brother goes first. He wants eternal life. With that, the world is his oyster.

Panel 3. The man who drank from the vial drops to his knees, his hand to his throat. The other man looks on in horror, backing away.

Cap 6. PERSON BEHIND SCREEN
The younger one begs his brother to do the same...cough...They swore a blood oath. But he doesn’t. He runs. Leaving his brother behind...

Panel 4. We see the one man running from the cave, his back to the reader. In the foreground we can see a shaking hand reaching out to the fleeing man.

Cap. 7. PERSON BEHIND SCREEN
He ran...

PAGE SEVEN (four panels)

Panel 1. We return to the confessional. We are inside the booth with the unseen person. We just see him as a silhouette, perhaps making out vaguely the shape of his face which appears to be more of a skull than a flesh and blood face.

PERSON BEHIND SCREEN

He never stopped running. Running and wondering...cough...wondering what became of the brother he left to die on some god-cursed mountain...wheeze...Oh, he tried to move on, Father... cough...To make good. He really did. But always his mind is bent upon that mountain.

Panel 2. The priest leans back in his chair and wipes his forehead with his hand.

Cap1. PRIEST:
He stops talking. I can't even hear his constant wheezing. There is just silence. Even that smell of rotten eggs is gone.


PRIEST
My son, I am a man of faith, but I cannot believe this tale. What I do believe is that you did abandon someone, somehow, sometime in your past. And I believe that is what you have come seeking forgiveness for. But I cannot grant it if you first do not repent and ask for forgiveness.

Panel 3. Same angel as above panel, but the priest is looking worried.


PRIEST
My son, do you repent your sin?

Panel 4. The priest leans toward the screen to and tries to see who is on the other side.

PRIEST
My son?

PAGE EIGHT (four Panels)

Panel 1. The priest has left the confessional and stands before the door to the confessor's booth. If he opens the door, he will come face to face with whoever is inside. His hand is shaking reaching for the door knob.

Panel 2. Large panel, showing the open door to the confessor's side of the confessional. It's empty.

Panel 3. The priest is walking down the centre aisle of the church again, toward the reader, looking around. The whole place is empty and dark. There are a few lit candles on the altar behind the priest.

Panel 4. The priest is still in the centre aisle but now is looking at a pocket watch.

Cap 1. Midnight? It's midnight! I must have fallen asleep in the confessional. Well, that's it! No more sacrificial wine with breakfast for you, Father.

Cap. 2. I hate Mondays.

PAGE NINE (Two Panels)

Panel 1. Similar panel to last panel on page 8. The priest is still in the centre aisle of the church, but is now looking straight forward at the reader, eyes wide open. Behind him we can see the shadowy figure of a tall man in a trench coat and fedora with his arms reaching toward the priest.

VOICE (No tail)
Biiilllllly!

Panel 2. We see a close up of the crucifix behind the altar, same as page one. Over it we can see the shadows of two men - a man in a trench coast and fedora apparently strangling another man, the priest.

PRIEST (OP)
I repent! I repennnnnnt!

Cap 1.
And wrath has left its scar - that fire of hell,
Has left its frightful scar upon my soul.
- William Cullen Bryant