EXT. DILAPIDATED HOUSE - NIGHT
RADU, an unshaven, rough-looking man in his late twenties, sits in a nondescript car across the street from the building. There are several cars parked outside, but all the lights appear to be out. RADU shuffles through several snapshots carefully, as if to burn each of images into his mind.
a dozen times.
He places the pictures back in a small suitcase on the passenger seat and removes a handgun. He focuses on the gun.
One more time and you're all paid up. And this'll be over.
RADU loads the gun and slides it smoothly into a holster on his hip.
One more time, God. Please.
He opens the car door and slowly stands up.
Just in case you're listening.
RADU walks silently across the street and up to the door. He produces a lockpick.
I figure you've got to be. I’m still alive.
RADU inserts the lockpick into the lock and slowly twists it to the right until it clicks.
Though I don't know why I bother anymore.
He slides the door open, revealing a shadowed hallway.
I’m not exactly the faithful son.
RADU slips into the house.
INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT
RADU comes to a turn in the hallway and hesitates. A GUARD is walking towards the bend in the hallway from the other direction. RADU listens intently the measured footsteps coming towards him.
Just one. Slow.
RADU waits for the GUARD to reach the edge of the hallway.
I can make this quiet.
He slides a butterfly knife into his hand, but does not open it. He leans against the wall, anxious, his face a mask of tension.
I don't even know why to believe at all. Because I decide
who lives and dies. I deliver judgment on those found -
The GUARD reaches the end of the hallway. RADU flips open the knife and slips behind the guard, covering his mouth with one hand. He slashes his throat.
RADU releases the GUARD. The body crumples to the floor. RADU studies the shape.
But that’s all I do. Until –
A flicker of blanch crosses RADU’s face. He turns away, flips closed the knife, and continues down the darkened hallway.
It’s not like I expect you to be smiling down on me.
RADU whispers up a flight of cramped, narrow stairs and slowly opens a door at the top to reveal another long, empty hallway.
But who’s to say you ever were?
He enters silently.
I used to fight it, God. I used to think that you told us
not to kill because you didn’t want us to know how good
RADU reaches the end of the corridor. He seems to sense that around the corner a GUARD is coming. He withdraws a piano wire from his belt and readies it in his hands.
That surge – like every one of your veins is so alive.
The GUARD reaches the end of the corridor. RADU slips out from behind the wall and flips the piano wire around the GUARD’s throat.
Like nothing could ever hurt me again.
RADU closes his eyes tightly, as if to shut out the sight, and tightens the wire around the man’s throat.
CUT TO BLACK
We hear the GUARD strangling slowly, then RADU’s voice coming as if in a dream.
Hold on. Thick neck. Don't think about it. Don't let him pull you.
He's scared. Don't think. Just hold. One moment more.
The sounds of the GUARD’s struggle finally cease.
You're still alive.
INT. HALLWAY – NIGHT
RADU is still holding the GUARD’s body in the piano wire. He lets go, and the corpse slumps to the floor.
Oh, God - it used to hurt to watch them fall.
He hesitates over the body. He looks nervous, even scared, for a moment.
I wish it still did.
RADU moves down the hallway. He comes to another door, reaches for the handle, then withdraws his hand.
RADU waits for a moment. His breathing gets a touch heavier.
One more. Don’t think about it. It'll all be over.
RADU slips his gun out of the holster and readies it. His gaze flickers upwards plaintively for a moment, then focuses back down on the gun.
It'll all be over soon.
RADU turns and bursts through the door.
INT. OFFICE – NIGHT
RADU scans the dark office quickly. The only light comes from an open window on the other side of the room. RADU notices the open window, and relaxes slightly and lowers his gun a fraction. At that moment, a scrawny BOY of about fifteen grabs RADU around his torso and attempts to stab him in the chest. RADU lurches away and his gun skitters across the floor. The BOY charges toward him as RADU scrabbles backwards.
The BOY swings his knife at RADU, who dodges. RADU tries to pull out his butterfly knife but it slips from his grip and slides away across the floor.
The BOY takes another swing with the knife at RADU, who blocks the BOY’s forearm with his leg and twists away. RADU spies his gun a few feet away.
The BOY swings again at RADU. RADU dodges, then kicks out and connects with the BOY’s elbow with one foot, knocking the knife from the BOY's hand. The boy scrabbles backwards for the knife as RADU rolls over and comes up with the gun. He rises to his feet as the BOY begins to back up desperately until he finds himself against a wall. He stares terrified at RADU. RADU raises the gun to eye level with the BOY, but for a moment seems to reconsider. In the pause, the BOY lunges screaming towards RADU. RADU pulls the trigger, his face twisted in pain. The BOY’s body crumples to the floor. RADU contemplates the blood pattern on the wall. He looks deeply shaken.
Don’t forgive me for this, God. I can’t take it. Let me be.
RADU replaces the gun in the holster.
EXT. DILAPIDATED HOUSE – NIGHT
RADU exits the house, pauses on the front porch, and stares longingly at the sky. Then he turns away, walks to his car, and drives off.