Footprints: An Online Soap -- Episode #35

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Episode #35
Immediately After #34




The mysterious MAN is still looking inside the apartment’s front window. He can see MOLLY sitting on the couch.

His face is hidden by a ski mask that covers the whole face except for the eyes and mouth. He passes a black-gloved hand over the window as he continues to peer in.



MOLLY is still sitting on the couch. The TV is on, but she is paying no attention to it.

MOLLY (THINKING): I can’t marry Craig. It’s not fair to him ... it’s not fair to me. I’m not really in love with him. But how do I tell him that? He’s been there for me through so much. He’s held me up throughout this whole stalker mess. Can I really do this to him?

A knocking sound is heard. She glances instinctively over to the window, where the sound came from. No one is in sight.

MOLLY: That’s really weird.

She tries to focus on the TV again but appears distracted. The knocking sound resumes. Again, Molly looks to the window, but there is no one there.

MOLLY: What is going on?

She rises and walks over to the door. She looks out the peephole but again sees no one.

MOLLY: Hmm ... I wonder if my mind is playing tricks on me. I’m--

She is interrupted by the knocking noise. She again looks to the window, but this time sees a BLACK-GLOVED HAND holding a KNIFE.

MOLLY: (terrified) Aaaaagggghhh!

The MAN, clad in all black, steps into full view of the window. He hurls a ROCK through it and it shatters, exploding into thousands of pieces. Finally he reaches a hand in and unlocks the door. As he begins to turn the doorknob, she bellows again.

MOLLY: (screaming in terror) Help me!! Help!!

The man opens the door and walks into the room menacingly, holding the knife high with the blade turned towards Molly. She continues to scream. She backs up as he lowers it down over her.

BRENT (OS): Stop!

BRENT rushes out from the back of the apartment, clutching his GUN. He holds it towards the man, who nearly drops his knife in shock.




SARAH is driving alone.

SARAH: (sotto voce) I wonder why Brent’s not picking up his cell phone. I wonder where he is. Hopefully not with Molly ... Although he more than proved to me that it’s me he loves, not her, when he renewed those vows to me. I mean, I love my sister and all, but if she does anything to screw up my marriage, I don’t know what I’ll do to her.



BRENT has his GUN pointed at the MYSTERY MAN, who is still pointing a KNIFE in MOLLY’S direction. She rushes up to Brent.

MOLLY: Brent -- thank God you’re here!

The man looks frozen in place. He is unsure of what to do. Finally he charges at them.

MOLLY (CONT’D): Stop it! Stop!!

He grabs her by the throat and presses her onto the ground. He dangles the knife inches above her face.

BRENT: Put down the knife or I’ll shoot!

The man looks up at him through his ski mask.

BRENT (CONT’D): I’m not kidding -- I will!

He points the gun at the man, preparing to pull the trigger.




SARAH is driving alone.

SARAH: (sotto voce) I just hope that Molly is smart enough to take what she has with Craig and accept it. He’s totally in love with her ... he’ll give her anything she wants. Brent, on the other hand, is mine -- all mine.

The police radio makes a crackling noise.

DISPATCHER (OS): Car 28, we’ve got a domestic disturbance at 412 Sycamore Street, Apartment B8! Repeat -- a domestic disturbance at 412 Sycamore Street, Apt. B8! Please report for duty at once!

SARAH: Oh my God -- that’s Molly’s address.

She turns the steering wheel and is on her way.



BRENT has his GUN aimed at the MYSTERIOUS MAN, who has MOLLY pressed to the floor and is holding a KNIFE not far from her face.

BRENT: Drop the knife, buddy!

Molly closes her eyes and winces.

BRENT (CONT’D): I said drop it. Now.

The man still does not respond, but presses himself further on top of Molly.

Brent stalks up slowly from behind them. His concentration unbroken, he lowers himself down over the man.

Molly, meanwhile, has locked eyes with the man through the holes in his ski mask. She looks deeply into his eyes and stares for a moment, her look lingering suspiciously long. She gasps suddenly, startling the man, who rises off of her and knocks right into Brent.

MOLLY: Brent! Watch out!

The man shoves Brent, knocking the gun from his hand. As the gun hits the floor, the man hurls himself at Brent. Brent retaliates by shoving the man backwards into a bookshelf. A heavy BUST falls from the top of the shelf and strikes the man square on the head. He sags to the floor, unconscious.

BRENT: He’s out cold, Molly ... let me help you up.

He moves over to her and reaches a hand out to help her up. She accepts the hand but makes no effort to hoist herself up; she appears to be in shock. Her face is pale as death.

BRENT (CONT’D): Molly, what’s wrong? There’s nothing to worry about ... he’s down for the count.

Her lips struggle to utter the words as she responds ...

MOLLY: Those eyes ... his eyes. It’s him.

Out on the unconscious man, his head tipped sideways on his shoulder. His eyes are closed.




A throng of POLICE OFFICERS, including SARAH, has gathered outside the apartment. A few are up on the landing with weapons ready. Sarah approaches an OFFICER who is looking up at the broken window of the apartment.

SARAH: (deeply concerned) What happened here?

OFFICER: We’re not sure. Some guy must’ve slipped by the guards who were posted here. He broke the window and got into the apartment. By the time the guards heard the fighting and called for backup, we realized the guy who was in there protecting her had knocked the intruder out.

Sarah pushes her way up the stairs and onto the landing.

SARAH: (sotto voce) I can’t believe this has gone this far. We put those guards here for a reason ... at least Craig was here to protect her.

She reaches the landing and manages to steal a glance inside the window. To her astonish- ment, it is BRENT who is there with MOLLY, helping her up from the floor.



BRENT is trying to help a stunned MOLLY up from the floor. Although she has grasped his hand, she is making no visible effort to pull herself up. The color has been drawn from her face and she stares dead ahead, failing to make eye contact with even Brent as she speaks.

BRENT: What do you mean, "It’s him"?

MOLLY: It’s him, Brent. Look in his eyes. You’ll see it.

BRENT: Who? Who is it?

MOLLY: Just pull off the mask. You’ll see.

She finally picks herself up and breaks her frozen gaze as she follows Brent over to the unconscious MYSTERIOUS MAN, who is propped up at the foot of the bookshelf.

BRENT: You ready?

MOLLY: I already know what’s under there.

Brent begins to slide the mask up over the man’s head. As he reaches the nose, he freezes, but Molly gestures to keep going. He finally pulls it all the way up, revealing the face of CRAIG.

BRENT: Oh my God.

MOLLY: I don’t believe it.

BRENT: Neither do I.

Both seem to be in a trance as they speak.

MOLLY: What should we do?

BRENT: It looks like backup has already arrived. I’ll arrange to have Craig moved.

Brent heads out to the landing to consult with the other OFFICERS, including SARAH.

MOLLY: (mumbling) Why, Craig, why?

As Brent walks towards the front door, Craig’s eyes begin to open slowly. He wraps his fingers around Brent’s GUN, which is lying on the floor not far from him. Then he leaps to his feet, pointing the gun at Brent.

CRAIG: Don’t move another inch, Brent!

Brent freezes in his tracks and turns around.

BRENT: Put it down, Craig. It’s over.

CRAIG: It’s only just begun, Brent. The party’s just getting started.

BRENT: Craig, don’t do anything stupid. Please.

He tries to step closer to the door, but is stopped again by Craig’s voice.

CRAIG: I’m serious, Brent! Don’t move -- or she gets it!

He grabs Molly and pulls her to his side, holding the gun close to her temple.




SARAH is on the landing among several other OFFICERS, all of whom are trying to see what is going on inside the apartment.

SARAH: What’s going on? Can anyone see? That’s my husband in there!

OFFICER: It looks like that guy who had the mask on pulled a gun on Commander Taylor.

SARAH: Is he okay?

OFFICER: Nothing’s happening ... they’re just talking.

Sarah moves her head around and stands on her tiptoes. Finally she manages to get a brief glimpse of the action inside the apartment before her view is blocked again. What she does see provokes a deep gasp.



CRAIG has a GUN pointed at MOLLY’S temple as he holds her close to him. BRENT stands paused halfway between them and the door, frozen in his tracks.

BRENT: Please, Craig, don’t do anything stupid, okay?

CRAIG: I’ve pretty much already covered stupid, haven’t I?

BRENT: It’s not too late to stop, Craig.

CRAIG: I can’t stop now. This needs to be finished.

BRENT: What needs to be finished?

CRAIG: All of this. It’s gone too far. This whole charade needs to end -- now. And I think I know just how to do it.

He looks at Molly intensely as he prepares to squeeze the trigger.

BRENT: You wouldn’t, Craig! You love her!

CRAIG: Lotta good that’s done me, huh?

MOLLY: What are you talking about?

CRAIG: This wedding coming up ... it’s nothing but a sham. You don’t want to marry me -- you know it, I know it. I’ve known it for too long. But what could I do?

BRENT: I have no idea what’s going on here, Craig. Would anyone care to fill me in?

MOLLY: I don’t--

CRAIG: Let me tell him, dear. I’m surprised he doesn’t already know what’s going on. It seems pretty damn obvious to me.

BRENT: What, Craig? What is so obvious?

CRAIG: She’s in love with you, Brent! Duh! It’s not that hard to figure out!



SARAH has overheard the last comment. Her eyes open wide with fright and her jaw drops.




CRAIG has a GUN pointed towards MOLLY intensely. BRENT stands halfway between them and the front door.

BRENT: What?

CRAIG: She doesn’t want to marry me -- it’s you she wants! How could you not know that?

Molly is obviously uncomfortable not only with having a gun held to her head, but also with the information being discussed.

MOLLY: Let me go, Craig!

CRAIG: Like hell I will! You’ll finally be mine, Molly -- there’s only one way to ensure we’ll be together forever.

He grits his teeth as he prepares to pull the trigger.

BRENT: Don’t, Craig! Don’t shoot her!

Craig seems to struggle with his decision. He knows he wants Molly to be his and only his, but at the same time has trouble dealing with the thought of killing her.

MOLLY: Craig, don’t!

He doesn’t answer.

MOLLY (CONT’D): Please, just answer me one question.

He relents slightly with the gun.

CRAIG: And what would that be?

MOLLY: What are you doing here? Has it been you all along?

Craig seems to debate his answer.

MOLLY (CONT’D): Has it, Craig? Have you been doing this to me for all these months?

CRAIG: (blurting it out) Of course I have! It was me!

Molly looks stunned by his admission, but was prepared to hear that. Brent looks totally taken by surprise.

BRENT: It was you? (beat) Why?

CRAIG: At first it was just to get her attention. The first two things -- the black roses by your door and then the writing on the car. I figured if you were nervous, you’d need some comforting.

MOLLY: And that’s where you came in.

CRAIG: Yeah.

BRENT: But why did you feel the need to keep going with it after you were a couple?

CRAIG: (takes a deep breath) Well, I planned to stop it. I honestly did. But then ... I felt that Molly was distracted. I wondered if there could be another man. So I sent her those e-mails.

MOLLY: ... And then we all went to Denver.

CRAIG: Exactly. It was then that I noticed something between the two of you, something strong. I knew I couldn’t let that connection grow. I had to cut it -- and the only way was to keep you running back to me.

BRENT: So you planted all those little "surprises" for her?

Craig nods, hanging his head with a sly smile on it.

BRENT (CONT’D): What about the bomb in the office?

CRAIG: I knew it wouldn’t hurt her -- it couldn’t. You guys figured that out pretty quickly too.

BRENT: Our experts figured that it was rather harmless, yeah.

CRAIG: That was when I first told Molly I loved her. I needed something to make her say it back to me.

MOLLY: But then I accepted your marriage proposal.

CRAIG: I know, Molly. I thought it was finally time to stop all this. I felt I finally had you all to myself, that I didn’t need to use any more tactics to keep you close to me. But that-- that connection with him--

He gestures with disgust towards Brent.

CRAIG (CONT’D): -- I saw that it was so strong. At the wedding last week--

BRENT: When Sarah and I renewed our vows?

CRAIG: Yeah. At the wedding, I saw that Molly was in love with you, not me. I’m nothing more than a security blanket to her. Aren’t I just that, Molly?

He begins to stare her down.

CRAIG (CONT’D): Aren’t I?

Out on Molly, nervously trying to figure out a "safe" answer.




SARAH stands among the POLICE OFFICERS gathered on the landing, constantly struggling to see inside the apartment.

SARAH (THINKING): I really don’t believe this. Craig picked up on everything between Molly and Brent ... I knew I couldn’t be crazy. I knew there was something there. But Brent does love me -- he renewed his vows to me, he told me he’d love me forever. What if Molly really is in love with him, though? I hope she doesn’t try to steal him away from me. (beat) But more than anything, right now, I just hope that my husband and my sister get out of this mess all right.



CRAIG has a GUN pointed towards MOLLY intensely. BRENT stands halfway between them and the front door.

CRAIG: I’m nothing more than a security blanket to you, am I?

MOLLY: You-- I-- I did love you. (beat) Or at least I thought I did. But then there was this tension, this jealousy, this static between us. I realized I wasn’t really in love with you.

CRAIG: So it’s true? You’re in love with your brother-in-law, aren’t you?

MOLLY: (defensively) I didn’t say that! I said I’m not in love with you! I-- I’m sorry. I’m really sorry, Craig.

CRAIG: Well, "sorry" isn’t gonna cut it anymore. We’re way past sorry.

BRENT: One last question, Craig -- Why did you come here tonight?

Craig tries to think over his answer.

CRAIG: I wasn’t really sure. I’m still not. But I needed to do something about this. Maybe scare her a little. Scare her into going through with the wedding. Or maybe end it all. Put us both out of our misery. (beat) But I didn’t plan on you being here!

BRENT: She called me to come over after the threatening call came in.

MOLLY: He was in the bathroom, fixing that stupid faucet for us. He came over to keep me company and he said he’d fix the faucet while he was here. That’s all. It’s the only reason he was here.

CRAIG: Yeah? Well, it really screwed everything up! And now we’re gonna end that, Molly! We’re gonna be together forever! (beat) Say your prayers -- it’s the last chance you’ll get.

He tightens his grip on the trigger as Molly shrieks.



SARAH stands among the POLICE OFFICERS gathered on the landing.

SARAH (THINKING): He can’t do it. He can’t shoot Molly.

SARAH: Isn’t there anything any of us can do?

OFFICER: Doing anything sudden would just provoke him. We need to let Commander Taylor deal with it. It’s all up to him now.

SARAH (THINKING): Dear God, please let Molly and Brent make it out of there all right. They’re two of the people I love most in this world, and now I’m helpless to protect them. Please watch over them -- please keep them safe tonight.




CRAIG has a GUN pointed directly at MOLLY’S temple, preparing to squeeze the trigger. BRENT stands halfway between them and the front door, trying to remain cool.

BRENT: Don’t do this, Craig! You have so many more options!

CRAIG: Like what? Rot in a jail cell for the rest of my life without the only woman I’ve ever loved? I can’t do that, Brent.

BRENT: Please -- consider what you’re doing.

MOLLY: Craig, please, don’t! I’ll do anything for you! Just don’t kill me!

CRAIG: Would you just love me? Would you be able to do that?

MOLLY: (shaking) I could try.

CRAIG: That’s not good enough! I want your total, unconditional love, but I can’t have it. I know that -- and it’s because of him.

He points to Brent.

CRAIG (CONT’D): It’s because of him you don’t love me, isn’t it?

Molly doesn’t answer. He tugs on her hair and she winces in pain.

CRAIG (CONT’D): Answer me!

MOLLY: (crying) No, no, it’s not because of Brent. I swear to you, Craig.

CRAIG: I have a feeling it is, Molly. And now he’s gonna pay for what he did to us.

He holds the gun up once again and points it at Brent.

BRENT: Craig, don’t!

With his hand behind him, he signals to the OFFICERS just outside the door to move in.

BRENT (CONT’D): Craig, please! This has got to stop!

CRAIG: Just stand there, Brent. It’ll all be over in a matter of moments.

He takes aim.

CRAIG (CONT’D): Prepare to die!

Brent lunges at him just before he can pull the trigger and knocks the gun to the ground. The officers from outside move in, but SARAH remains out on the landing, looking in on the apartment in shock. As the officers all take aim at Craig, Brent and one other officer try to pin Craig down to cuff him.

Molly has moved over to the side of the room.

MOLLY (THINKING): God, please let Brent get out of here all right. He has to.

As Brent and the officer try to roll Craig over onto his stomach and pull his hands behind him, his right hand breaks free. He grabs the gun again and shoves it into Brent’s side.

CRAIG: Get off of me!

Brent looks down and sees the gun. He tries to smack it out of Craig’s hand just as Craig’s finger squeezes the trigger for real. A gunshot sounds.

Out on Molly, turning her head to avoid seeing the tragic scene.




Sirens sound outside the apartment. A much larger CROWD than before has gathered, consisting of NEIGHBORS, POLICE OFFICERS, and REPORTERS. Ambulances and more police cars have arrived on the scene.

MOLLY, SARAH, PAULA, BILL, TIM, and JASON all stand together.

PAULA: I still can’t believe it was Craig all along.

TIM: He obviously had way more problems than we figured.

MOLLY: Tell me about it! I swear, those were the scariest moments of my entire life, waiting in there with a gun pressed to my head.

SARAH: I was called over in the squad car, but by time Brent gave everyone the signal to move in and nail Craig, I was pretty much paralyzed with fear. I couldn’t come in and get involved.

MOLLY: The worst was when the gun went off. I knew-- I knew he was dead.

BRENT approaches them. Sarah rushes up to him and throws her arms around him.

SARAH: I’m so glad you’re okay!

BRENT: It feels pretty good to be alive right now, I’ve gotta tell you.

BILL: So what’s the deal right now, Brent?

BRENT: Craig got shot in the head when he tried to shoot me. The bullet went straight through his brain -- he was dead by the time the ambulance got here. From what he told us, he’s been the stalker all along.

JASON: I still don’t understand something: Why did he keep stalking you after you agreed to marry him?

Molly and Brent look at each other and exchange looks before Molly answers.

MOLLY: He was so insecure about the whole relationship. Even at the very end, all he was doing was begging me to love him.

She sighs deeply and takes out another tissue to wipe her tear-stained face.

PAULA: Don’t worry, Molly ... the worst of it is over now. Now we just need to cope with this and get on with our lives.

As Paula says these words, Brent and Molly again lock eyes. Both uncomfortably pull away from the gaze, but then turn their eyes back toward the other.


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