FADE IN INT. ST. LAWRENCE FAITHFUL CHURCH - DAY
Man kneels at altar in front of a statue of Jesus and prays for all who are sick or in pain due to an affliction which none of them had asked for.
The man departs to go to a hospital to visit a sick girl dear to his heart.
INT. FAITH IN LOVE CANCER CENTER - DAY
He enters the hospital with a Pink Panther stuffed animal under one arm and a DVD cartoon in a hand, he places them in the hall outside room 113.
Thank you Mr. Blaylock, I’m happy to see you again.
Mr. Blaylock smiles and chokes back tears as he looks at the girl whose smile illuminates the room.
Okay, Miss Alphonso, I have some laughs for you and please call me Ralph.
If you would, please call me Julia and the Lord knows we can all use some laughs.
Ralph leaves the room just long enough to grab the stuffed animal and DVD outside the room, he returns to see Julia shedding tears of appreciation.
One of the nurses was so kind to tell me you are a big Pink Panther fan and so am I.
Yes, I am, I think he is the best.
Check this out.
Ralph reaches up to the intercom and pushes page, a nurse answers back.
Okay, go ahead.
The theme from the Pink Panther begins to play over the intercom. Julia reaches over and gives Ralph a hug.
Julia and Ralph watch the DVD and half way through the second cartoon, Julia is fast asleep. Ralph kisses her forehead and departs.
INT. RALPH BLAYLOCK’S STUDIO APARTMENT - SUNSET
Ralph gets out his bible and prays for Julia to get well.
After his prayer he pulls out his hide a bed from the double doors in the living room. He turns off the light, then falls asleep to a chant of his own, he repeats over and over, Lord make her well.
INT. ST. JOSEPHINE HOSPITAL - DAY
Ralph enters room 113, it is empty. He goes to the desk and asks where Miss Alphonso was moved to.
NURSE AT DESK
I am sorry sir, she passed away at 11:51 pm last night.
You say that in such a sympathetic voice, she was a person. Even if you didn’t take the time to get to know her, she was a patient on your floor.
The nurse looks at him with total indifference.
I was right, she wasn’t cattle, you just don’t care, may God not afflict you with what stood in the way of her last few months of happiness. Better yet, I wish it was people like you who absorbed all of life’s displeasures and pains.
It is people like you, along with rapists, drug dealers, child molesters and wife beaters who made society into the hateful, putrid existence it is today.
Ralph Blaylock departs the hospital, walks directly into traffic, cars honk in the background, cuss words are thrown by different drivers as he completes his thoughtless walk across the street.
He cuts through a narrow alley and sees a hobo digging in a garbage can behind a bar and grill.
Ralph stops and hands the guy a twenty.
Go get yourself a burger and a bed to sleep in for the evening, just have a nice night.
Thank you, kind man. This burden I pass on to you, my successor.
The hobo extends out his hand for a show of gratitude.
Ralph looks at him strangely as he extends his hand for the shake. There is a jolt that runs through Ralph’s body, he feels weak and falls to the ground and blacks out.
INT. HOTEL ROOM - DARK
When Ralph awakens, he is in a strange room in a bed. He gets up and shakes off the distortion and wonders how he ended up where he is.
Ralph exits the room and realizes what happened. Flashes in his mind show an old man trying to shake his hand as he feels a jolt and passes out.
EXT. SIDEWALK IN FRONT OF HOTEL - DAY
Ralph stops in a grocery store to get a soda for a boost of caffeine to wake him up.
INT. GROCERY STORE - DAY
That will be seventy five cents please.
Ralph hands her a one. There is a yell in his ear, the cashier’s voice, she cries for him to stop, but he won’t. Her mouth isn’t moving.
What did he do? In what way did he harm you?
What are you talking about?
The cashier calls for the manager.
Sir, I have to ask you to leave.
INT. RALPH’S APARTMENT - NIGHT
Ralph goes to his apartment, slips into his bed for a restful night of sleep.
The next morning, he has a cup of coffee as he watches the local news.
He is stunned and drops his cup on the floor, it shatters below his feet.
The picture of the girl who was found dead, is the cashier from the store last night.
It is announced that Richard Smelzer, who she was last seen alive with is wanted for questioning.
INT. FUNERAL HOME WAKE FOR CASHIER - DAY
Ralph touches her hand as he passes by. A voice yells out, please give him my pain, make him suffer as I did before I died. Find him at 2112 Ashbrook Lane. Send him my hurt, you are the avenging angel.
Ralph leaves to find the hobo.
He sees the hobo and stops him.
What have you done to me?
I hear voices, what does this mean?
Let’s go sit at the park, if you buy me some Mad Dog 20/20, then I will tell you all I know about the responsibility you have been burdened with.
EXT. MEANDER PARK - DAY
The hobo breaks the seal on the 20/20
and offers Ralph a swig.
Go ahead, take a long gulp. You can buy me another because you are going to need it to fathom what I am going to tell you.
Ralph grabs the bottle of the alcohol grape flavored kool aid.
He gulps it down and holds back the constipated look on his face.
So please help me understand, what have I been cursed with?
The hobo takes the bottle from Ralph, takes a big gulp, then begins to speak.
Curse is right, but it can be used to your advantage. You see, I never truly harnessed the true power that you now possess, never really put much effort into anything except reaching the bottom of the bottle that I keep in my hand.
The hobo extends his right hand.
Take my right hand, tell me what voices you hear.
Ralph begins to sweat profusely as he grabs the hobo’s right hand.
The jolt once again enters his body, Ralph passes out.
An hour later, the sun going down, two policemen standing over him poking him with their night sticks.
POLICEMAN # 1
Come on man, get moving or face some vagrancy charges.
POLICEMAN # 2
Yeah man, you don’t want that.
Ralph once again shakes off the fog in his brain, gets up and walks away.
I am not letting that slippery little bastard touch me again.
INT. RALPH’S APARTMENT - NIGHT
Ralph cranks up his portable boom box as he listens to Don’t Fear the Reaper, he laughs at the irony of it all.
That night he hears people calling out to him, they are all in pain, children, women and even men.
Ralph cannot sleep, so he goes to the liquor store on the corner to purchase some Nyquil and Mad Dog 20/20, then does some chasers to calm his nerves and knock him out. He returns to his apartment and pours his first Dogquil.
Ralph hears a knock on his door, he looks out the peephole, it is the hobo.
He opens the door and invites him in.
The hobo is eyeballing the 20/20.
Ralph offers him one of the bottles.
The hobo sits on the sofa and begins to speak.
I came by to tell you I must touch your being one more time.
What are you a Martian, I thought you would have been green like in the movies.
No, I am not an alien, I am just someone who can get back to a normal life, thanks to you. You are the chosen one.
What’s this chosen one shit?
What have you done to me?
The hobo reaches out to touch Ralph’s hand. Ralph pulls away quickly.
Don’t touch me, I need to know what is going on.
You will be the one who can really make a difference in all people who do right and punish those who do bad.
Ralph’s eyes light up.
Now you’re talking, tell me more.
Every 15 years, there must be an update on the one who chooses the deserving and each turnover to the new successor becomes more extreme due to the deserving.
What is the deserving you keep talking about?
Your powers are only limited to what you choose to do. Let’s say if you would have met me a week ago you could have saved that girl in the hospital.
I am no doctor, I couldn’t save a rat from drowning.
Let me touch you to complete the transfer. I will not leave this time until you fully understand your responsibilities.
What responsibilities? I never asked for any of this.
The hobo extends out his right hand and Ralph shakes it. Ralph immediately feels a strong power surge running through his body.
His microwave and TV turn on and off continuously until the transfer is completed.
Ralph passes out.
When he awakens the hobo has showered, shaved and wearing brand new clothes.
He looks ten years younger.
Now that I am conscious again, finish explaining what I am afflicted with.
Let me first introduce myself, my name is Steve Crawford. I wish to congratulate you. You will be a strong receiver, carrier and deliverer for the deserving.
Why no voices?
The transfer is complete, now you only receive them when you come in physical contact with them.
You know everyone asks why me when they feel they are receiving what they perceive as misfortune. I wonder who they would choose if they were asked if not you with the misfortune, then who do you think deserves it? Every human will point their finger toward a drug dealer, a rapist, child molester, a murderer, a preacher at a church or maybe even a corrupt official of the government.
You will never hear anyone ask why me when they are the benefactors to something good.
So, are you telling me I get to decide who has bad luck and who has good luck.
Kind of, but you are just a carrier who delivers it to the deserving.
How does it work?
Let’s say you find a family who is homeless and haven’t a chance to get back on their feet because our own government don’t care about them, they would rather spend the American dollars overseas and help out someone there rather than their own people.
You can transfer their problems to a drug dealer and give that family a new lease on life.
So I could have taken Julia’s sickness and gave it to a scum bag and she could have had a normal, happy life.
Now you are getting it, but be aware, from my experience in the last 15 years not everyone who seems to have misfortune are a candidate for your help.
Do your homework before you decide to help them, follow them around, study their habits and circumstances.
You cannot hold the transfer in for more than 48 hours, or it becomes yours permanently. One other thing the results are not immediate, they don’t alter anyone’s life until the transfer is complete.
I know now what my responsibilities are.
I will use them wisely. Will I be able to find you when I need some advice?
Steve hands Ralph a tied together bundle of compostion books and a key.
These are journals that I kept when I would help someone, I suggest you do the same.
What is this key for?
It is a key to a safe deposit box where you can find journal entries from previous carriers. Put the key somewhere safe, you must have it available when you transfer the power to the next chosen one.
Any more questions, I have got to go.
Steve exits Ralph’s apartment.
I bet my bathroom is a mess.
Ralph enters the bathroom, everything is clean, the shower and towels are bone dry.
Ralph looks in the mirror, he now has gray hair, he had jet black hair yesterday.
Ralph sleeps that night in total peace.
For the next few days, Ralph studies the news to find who the deserving really are.
The news tells the story about a teenage girl struck by a drunk driver. The girl is a paraplegic and the drunk is already up for parole and will be reinstated as licensed driver.
Ralph does his research and finds the address of both people.
EXT. OUTSIDE DRUNK DRIVER’S HOME - DAY
Ralph follows the man to Durante’s bar, then follows him inside.
INT. BAR - DAY
He watches as the man orders a double shot of Jack then sits at a stool in front of the bar.
A waitress comes by and asks Ralph what he wants. Ralph orders a draft beer.
Then he sees the guy order another, then a third.
The guy’s speech is starting to slur as he places another twenty on the table, then buys a beer as a chaser.
The man pays his tab and leaves.
EXT. TAILING TH MAN - DAY
Ralph follows him as he goes to a liquor store where he purchases a bottle of gin and a six pack of club soda.
Ralph follows the man back to his residence then leaves after the man enters his house.
For a week Ralph gets familiar with the man’s routine, same bar, same liquor store, same drinks.
EXT. FEMALE PARAPLEGIC’S HOME - DAY
Ralph now parks outside the home of the victim of the man who still does the same thing he did before he ruined this poor girl’s life.
He watches each day as she struggles to get in the van and go to physical therapy.
He has tears of anger in his eyes as her routine is much less enjoyable than that drunken bastard still getting behind the wheel and enjoying his life.
Ralph studies the female and sees she is a big fan of biking.
The female leaves once again for therapy.
Ralph is waiting at the hospital.
INT. HOSPITAL - DAY
Ralph approaches her with a dozen roses and portrays a volunteer at the hospital.
Hello, my name is Ralph.
I am Jennifer Hollings.
Ralph shakes her hand with a slow and caring nature. He feels something coursing through his body.
He hands Jennifer the flowers then walks away.
EXT. DURANTE’S BAR - EARLY AFTERNOON
Ralph parks and waits for the man follows the man home.
EXT. MAN’S HOME - EVENING
Ralph exits his car comes up behind the man.
Excuse me sir, would you like to buy a magazine subscription?
The man turns around, Ralph sprays him with pepper spray in his eyes.
The man falls in agony. Ralph touches the man’s forehead, he feels the burden leaving him and entering the man.
INT. RALPH’S APARTMENT - MORNING
Ralph turns on the TV to the news. The miracle that occurred last night with the paraplegic girl spontaneously having feeling back in her extremities and the unexplained medical irony of the man who put her in the wheel chair is now a paraplegic.
Ralph smiles as the man asks why me?