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The Curse of Sal Balmanza
Starring: TJ Fichter, Collin Hayes, and Jake Rotollo
(Inspired by a True Story)
Credits-slightly creepy/foreboding music
INT. ATTIC - NIGHT
COLLIN sits upstairs in a dark attic with a flashlight kneeling over a notebook. He studies it for several minutes.
(Snapping the notebook shut)
INT. HOUSE - 10:30 AM
Music and credits still play as Collin silently packs a bag of tuna fish sandwiches. taking the notebook and the knapsack he rides his bike.
EXT. HOUSE – 11:00 AM
Collin rides his bike with the notebook and his knapsack of food as the creepy music and the credits play on.
EXT. HOUSE – 11:30 AM
Music and credits end as Collin arrives at a house and knocks on the door (giant mean-looking eagle knocker). No answer. Enters to find TJ in a black cape playing creepy sounds on his piano.
Oh Collin, I was just…just practicing…
(Taking out the notebook)
Dude you won’t believe what I just found in my attic.
Both lean over the notebook.
I am dead Fogwood Forest, June 17th, 1982.
June 17th man, that’s only in a couple of days! I’m gunna die!
TJ calmly looks at Collin, placing a hand on his shoulder.
Listen, you’re not gunna die. We’ll get through this together.
A rustling noise, a groan. TJ and Collin look around.
Oh sorry TJ. The door was open and I just came in. I was gunna see if I could borrow your screen name and talk to a couple of girls, but I heard this most delightful sound and crashed on the couch. What did I miss?
(Somewhat recovering himself)
This dead guy’s gunna kill me!
Oh is that all?
Look there’s only one way to end this.
Collin and Jake are silent.
We gotta find out what killed the guy. Wait, what is this guy’s name anyway?
(Scrutinizing over the name)
Looks like it’s a Gail…no a Gal, Sal, uhh…
Jake comes over and leans over Collin’s shoulder.
Yeah, yeah, Sal Balmanza.
Okay, so let’s all go to Fogwood Forest and find out what killed Sal Balmanza.
What are you CRAZY?!
Haven’t you ever seen the movies? The only way to break the curse is to find out what happened to the guy. Like “The Others”.
Oh yeah, that was a great movie. It got bad ratings though…
Well ok, if you’re sure…
Of course I’m sure. That’s why I was born on Friday the Thirteenth.
Great! So when do we start?
Lights turn out. TJ picks up a flashlight, shines it in his face.
We start at nightfall!
EXT. FOGWODD FOREST - NIGHT
The three walk in the woods crunching on leaves and broken sticks. TJ leads the way with a flashlight.
Is there any reason why we are doing this at night? I’m not scared. No, I’m just wondering, cause there doesn’t seem to be a whole lotta light and I think we’d be able to better navigate this place if it were a bit more…luminous.
Pulls a black wand from his robe, Lumos Maxima!
A burst of brilliant white light leaps from Jake’s wand and illuminates a quarter of the forest.
(Looking to Collin grumpily)
(Stumbling for words)
Oh Jake…I uhh…didn’t know you were like that.
Well now you do.
There is silence. Collin looks at Jake more closely.
Is that a sticker on your forehead?
Up there, on your forehead.
There’s no such thing it’s…Ah…What are you doing?
Collin fights Jake back and manages to peel back a lightning bolt sticker from Jake’s head. They both stare at it for a while, then Collin looks up at Jake.
You know you don’t have to pretend…
Jake Shrinks back a little and looks around.
What the fuck do you know about wizards? CRUCIO!!!
A bolt of red brilliant light leaps from Jake’s wand and assails Collin, outlining him in red.
(Convulsing on the ground)
The scene dramatically changes. Next instant three are walking gaily (nonchalantly) through the woods as if nothing happened. The three walk a minute in silence then…
(No longer wearing robe, sticker, or wand)
C’mon we can’t quit now, we are almost there. I can feel it.
Don’t worry I came prepared.
Collin takes out a tuna fish sandwich from his knapsack and throws it to Jake. Jake jumps on it and devours it whole. Collin puts the knapsack down and walks over to TJ.
Hey TJ, what happens if we can’t find what killed Sal Balmanza?
Oh, we’ll found out whatever it is that’s out there. By Jove we’ll find it. We just haven’t attempted to make contact with our little friend quite yet.
Everything turns blue. There’s a fear factor meter on the bottom of the screen. TJ stands holding some kind of device in his hand. It’s making a static sound.
If there is a presence, please make yourself known to us. We are merely guests in your house and we mean you no harm.
The forest grows silent.
Please if you can hear us, give us a sign so that we can know you understand.
An owl hoots twice in the distance.
Hoot once if you can see us.
The fear factor pulses.
Hoot twice if you think I’m sexy!
Damnit, it’s a guy ghost!
Hoot once if you want to warn us of some oncoming death!
The Fear factor spikes off the scale. The blue screen fades back to its original color. Something snarls behind TJ and Collin. TJ drops his device and they both slowly turn to find Jake drooling from the mouth.
Are you okay?
I’m so-o-o hungry!
Look in the bag. There should be another…
A blue strap falls from Jake’s fang.
YOU ATE THE BAG?!
I’m so-o-o-o hungry!
Jake staggers a step forward. Collin and TJ take a step back.
(His voice changing)
I must eat something…
Whoa, whoa take it easy there. You wouldn’t eat your nice plump juicy friends would you?
(Punching TJ in the arm)
Jake staggers a step closer.
Don’t look at me, I’m all skin and bones. You wouldn’t get any calories off me, not to mention all the protein and calcium you get from human flesh, which I hear is a really good source of fiber…
Jake’s eyes bulge. His jaw drops, revealing his wet fangs. With claws outstretched, he springs…
Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London” Starts up.
(Positions- Dr. Frankenstein opens with verse on piano. Jake chases Collin and TJ around the forest. Scooby-Doo Door Cartoon-multiple doors in hallway. All run into each other and then run away. Solo Part-Jake takes up a red electric Fender Stratocaster guitar and jams. TJ is dressed as a skeleton at the drums with “bone sticks”. Dr. Frankenstein takes it away.)
Whoo yeah!! That was awesome!
You said it man!
Hey, where’d Jake go?
All that remains from the dream is a red fender Stratocaster guitar lying there on the ground.
(Cradling the guitar)
He’s gone to a better place.
Collin finds paw prints and tiny swastikas leading off into the woods.
Oh well, let’s keep going.
Okay. Hey, what’s that?
A light pierced through the trees and the silver moon dipped behind a mansion. Fog rolled over its front steps and lightening cracked at its rooftop.
The power of the music must have soothed the spirit’s soul, and in so doing he granted us this prime landscaping as our just reward. This must be the place where Sal Balmanza died.
The spirit’s a guy?
Yes, we already established that remember?
TJ and Collin make their way up the front steps. Collin knocks on the giant cobwebbed door and it eerily opens. They enter into a great foyer. Two flights of stairs lead up to the second floor on either side. There are two side doors that lead off into other parts of the mansion. And directly in front of them is an enormous grandfather clock. There is movement at the top of the clock. Collin and TJ gasp. A great owl perches itself on the edge of the clock.
(Ruffling its feathers, it peers down)
Good evening boys. I was wondering how long it was going to take you to get here. I’ve been watching you for some time now.
(Whispering to Collin)
Yes, I do really know all about you and why you came. And just so you two don’t get any silly ideas…
The owl waves a wing and the front door bolts shut.
There, that’s much better now isn’t it? Now we can have a nice, easy conversation. (Looking around) Oh, where have my manners flown to?
Another wave of the wing sends two velvet armchairs flying out from behind TJ and Collin. They just stood there looking at them. They were stained and covered in cobwebs.
Suit yourselves. We don’t get too many visitors these days. In fact, we never get any visitors in the mansion. All are permanent residents. You name it -goblins, ghouls, neo-Nazi undergrounds -we house em all. This is the nearest safe haven for the next thousand miles.”
TJ and Collin stand looking completely dumfounded.
You see, we can only do our haunting at certain hours of the day, mainly at night at the places in which we died. Then, we get sent back here. The place I died was outside, in this very forest, but you know that already. So allow me to state the obvious,”
The owl flutters down the back of an armchair.
(Bowing with one wing)
My name is Sal Balmanza,
I won’t bother explaining to you why I’m in this ridiculous state. Some questions are best left unanswered. So here’s the deal (Leaning closer). You got my notebook. I need it if I’m going to get out of this place so cough it up. These talons aren’t just for show you know (clinking his talons together menacingly).
TJ looks at Collin, but he just looks back.
Well where is it?
The notebook. You had it!
What? No, wait. The knapsack...(Looking at TJ) Jake! He must have had it when he-
The Jurassic Park III cell phone goes off and there is Jake in the doorway, no more than three feet away looking up evilly, growling hungrily through his breath.TJ and Collin Instinctively take a step back. The cell phone keeps going off. Jake sighs, drops his shoulders and answers the phone.
Yes? I’m a little busy here. Bout to devour my best friends…No. NO! Don’t order take out! I got dinner…It’s French…Le Friend Stew…No, no, it doesn’t have any meat in it at all. I know how you like it Ma…No! Not veggie pizza! But Maaa…Okay I’ll be home in ten minutes…What?! Right now? Aww…Alright. Grumbling, he hangs up the phone. (Pointing at Collin and TJ) You ain’t seen the last of me!
Jake pounces out the door.
You incompetent fools!
Sal Flutters angrily at TJ and Collin giving them each a sharp peck on the head.
You have until those hands strike midnight to get that notebook and bring it here said (pointing at the clock). Or I’ll haunt your houses forever!! Now be gone with you!
In a fury, Balmanza beats his wings and creates a raging whirlwind that blows TJ and Collin right out the front door.Collin and TJ Stumble over each other, they pull on each other to get up. Collin Brushes himself off
Well that was pleasant. Now what do we do?
We gotta get that notebook. I don’t want a dead guy haunting my house for the rest of my life!
Dude! That thing’s probably halfway to Jake’s colon by now!
TJ takes a stick and starts drawing rough formations in the dirt and dead grass.
Maybe not, Alright here’s the plan. Let’s say this is the notebook (drawing and ‘X’). That is our target. And this is Jake (drawing an ‘O’). And this is us, drawing an (‘XO’).
Now we gottta find a way around Jake and get the notebook (drawing an arching line)
But he ate it!
Not necessarily. We know he didn’t have it with him when he entered the house, but we also know that it would be pretty uncommon of Jake to eat something so spooky and spiritish. You know how superstitious he is. He practically burst through the tent that time that old woman took out a David’s Star. No, in my eyes Jake would want to be as far away from that thing as possible, lest he get cursed.
Okay, so where could he have put it?
(Pausing and stroking his chin)
Now that’s the real question. So let’s think, If you were a big, stinky, drooling werewolf creature what would you do with a dead guy’s notebook?
Hmm…I’d probably ditch it or burry it somewhere.
(Snapping his fingers)
Exactly! Now where would he burry something spooky and cursed so that the demons won’t wrestle him in his sleep?
Uhh…I don’t know. You got me there.
How bout a graveyard?
Whoa. Really? Is Jake really that smart?
Probably not, but it’s worth a shot. Let’s go.
TJ Takes the flashlight out from his pocket turns to go. Collin Still looks a tad confused.
But uhh…where are we gunna find a graveyard?
No spooky, haunted mansion is complete without a fifteen mile graveyard in the backyard. C’mon.
Collin and TJ make their way around the mansion. They look out in shock over the yard. The full moon reveals everything.
Whoa, this may be harder than I thought. Well, we better get moving. (Looking at his watch) It’s already 11:15.
Collin and TJ fan out among the graves, shining their lights on tombstones. Collin glances at a few epitaphs – IMA GONNER, ART B. BACK, U. R. NEXT, gasps and reads on, GON. R. RIA, DEAD E. ROOSEVELT, E. CON. NOMY.
Collin runs in full-fledged fear, flashlight bobbing up and down. He trips and falls over something white lying on the ground. Collin picks himself up, dusting himself off.
I’m terribly sorry. I really must take better care of where I leave my outstretched appendages.
It’s okay. It happens to the best of - –
Collin comes face to face with a maliciously smiling skeleton with red coals for eyes. Still smiling, the skeleton draws a blade to Collin’s chest.
And now I’m afraid I have to annihilate you.
Is that Michael Jackson?
Collin takes off yelling. The clink of running bones follows him, but using his crazy soccer speed, Collin gets away. Collin slows down breathing heavily.
Not so loud. You’ll wake the dead. I’m over here.
Collin follows TJ’s voice to an enormous tombstone covered in cobwebs. TJ points his flashlight to the fresh mound of dirt.
This is it. There’s no turning back. Looks like Jake’s got us started. (Picking up a shovel) Let’s dig in!
Dirt is thrown into the starlit sky. Clouds roll by. Thunder rumbles in the distance. Just then TJ hits something hollow.
(Licking his lips)
This is it!
Collin helps TJ pry open the casket. Dust billows out.
(Holding his nose)
Whoo-wee! What a stench!
Oh god, he’s holding it!
Collin takes a stick and pokes the decomposing body.
Ooh, its squishy.
TJ snatches the stick and goes for the notebook.
The stick catches on Sal’s shirt. TJ makes a lunge for the book with his hands, but Sal doesn’t give it up. They battle and TJ steals the notebook taking a constricted hand with it.
(Flailing the book around)
AGHH! Get it off! Get it off!
Collin throws the book at a tree shattering the hand instantly. TJ recovers, placing a hand on Collin’s shoulder.
Let’s just get this over with.
TJ glances at his watch.
It’s 11:50! We gotta move!!
TJ and Collin pick up a nice pace through the graves. A twig snaps. Collin turns around uneasily.
I forgot to tell you…
The clinking noise gets louder. The sky gets dark.
I ran into a skeleton and he wasn’t very happy…
TJ gasps. An army of skeletons advances from behind the two. Collin and TJ run towards the mansion screaming like little girls, but Collin’s soccer speed is not enough to save them. Just when they are about to get caught, the clouds move away from the moon and a shrill A-WOOOOO!!!! Sends shivers up their spines.
COLLIN AND TJ
Jake jumps onto a skeleton.
The army of skeletons clanks and clatters in fear as Jake chases them back to the graves from whence they came.
Quick! The mansion! It’ll be midnight any min-
The two run at turbo speed and manage to just make it in the door as the bell chimes end.
Aww. And I was almost looking forward to haunting you for the next millennia. Now lay it on the ground there and open it up to the exact page.
TJ opens the notebook and the I AM DEAD June 17th leaps off the page and swirls around in the air creating a vortex. Dust swirls. Shutters snap shut. A window breaks and a femur goes flying with Jake in hot pursuit.
(Clinging to the bone)
At last I am free!!!
He ascends to a white light radiating from the ceiling.
Take care boys and stay out of trouble.
Wait! You never told us how you died!
Never go all in in a game of Seven Card Stud.
Sal hits the ceiling and with an explosion of brilliant white light, he and his notebook vanish. Jake, now human again, spits out the end of a femur.
Eww! Yuck! I can’t believe I ate that stuff. It’s the worst source of calcium yet!
TJ and Collin stare in awe at the ceiling. Jake gets up and slaps Collin on the back.
(Still in awe)
So what do we do now?
I guess we just go home.
Ooh! A walk through the woods? Anyone got some s’mores we can roast on the way? I’m starving!
The three friends leave the mansion and begin their long journey home.
Closing Song -–“Friends” by Led Zeppelin