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FADE IN.

EXT. WASHING LINE / EDVARD’S HOUSE - EARLY MORNING

The silhouette of two birds sitting on a Hills Hoyst washing line accompanied by the off screen sound of a wire door opening and banging closed.

A tin barrel of biscuits are held in an UNSEEN CHARACTER’s hands. The barrel is placed down onto the concrete path beneath the washing line.

As the Unseen Character plucks a biscuit from the tin, it is apparent, even from behind, that the character is an older man of average build.

As the man reaches up to offer the birds a biscuit it slips from his grasp and falls to the concrete, scattering crumbs across the path.

The man, mumbling under his breath, reclaims the biscuit tin from the concrete path and, carrying it in his hands, walks away from the washing line and towards his white, weatherboard house.

After entering the house through the wire door, the man’s face appears at a wall-set window. The man has ruffled hair the colour of salt and pepper, and has neglected to shave for a number of days.

This is EDVARD, and he watches in silence as the two birds fly down from the washing line and onto the concrete. The birds land amongst the crumbs, taking the shattered remnants of biscuit into their beaks.

Reflected in the glass that frames Edvard’s face, the birds hop together, never straying far from each others’ sides.

EXT. EDVARD’S HOUSE / CLIFF FACE – AFTERNOON

Edvard, binoculars hanging from his neck, walks from the front door of his house and into the cold, overcast day outside.

Continuing along the sandy, pebbled road that leads from his home, and past a tall, white lighthouse with a reddened peak, Edvard makes his way towards the scrub-lined, almost shear cliff face that acts as a natural platform, a viewing deck, for the ocean that stretches out below.

Edvard stops when he reaches the cliff face, raises the binoculars to his eyes, and uses them to scan the beach.

INSERT - THROUGH BINOCULARS

Captured through the lenses of the binoculars, Edvard can see the faint horseshoe of sand that borders the ocean and, in the distance, a lone car, its headlights on.

Scanning the sand, Edvard can see several rock pools, one of which seems to hold the figure of a naked WOMAN, her face obscured by her hair.

EXT. CLIFF FACE – CONTINUED

Edvard, the binoculars still held to his eyes, reacts quietly to the sight of The Woman in the water. His mouth parts slightly and, slowly, he lowers the binoculars.

EXT. ROCK POOL - MOMENTS LATER

Aside from one arm that hangs in the water of the pool, The Woman lies entirely across the rocks. Her skin is pale and carries the grit of sand and the scratches and wounds caused by the rocks, her hair is wavy, light red and long, covering her face. The Woman is obviously unconscious.

Edvard approaches from a distance. He takes strong bold steps as he makes his way toward The Woman. While he is not rushing to her aid, he is not cautious either.

Upon reaching The Woman, Edvard looks down at her naked form.

The two are small figures in the distance, the ocean a vast expanse before them, as Edvard crouches, stumbles slightly, and repositions himself before taking The Woman into his arms and carrying her away.

INT. EDVARD’S HOUSE / BATHROOM – LATER

The room is heavy with steam as Edvard, still holding The Woman against him, runs a hot bath.

After the water has filled the tub, Edvard crouches, steadies himself and supports The Woman’s weight against his abdomen. Using a single hand, and with some difficulty, Edvard leans forward and closes off the first tap.

As he reaches to turn off the second tap, Edvard notices a simple silver bangle, a small, locked heart set into it, looped around The Woman’s ankle.

Edvard’s attention turns to the second tap, which he turns off before slowly standing to his feet.

Gently, Edvard begins to lower The Woman into the waterfilled bathtub.

His hands, which are cupping the underside of The Woman’s thighs, break the water’s surface first, followed by The Woman’s buttocks.

Edvard’s sleeves slip slowly into the water, as do the ends of his shirt as he lowers The Woman into the water.

The Woman’s descent is halted, abruptly, when Edvard turns his face to hers and notices that The Woman’s eyes have just opened, as if she has awoken, suddenly, from a dream. A short, infantile sound breaks from her mouth.

Edvard reacts, a look of concern crosses his face, and The Woman’s breath begins to speed up and shorten.

Edvard’s thumb brushes back and forth against The Woman’s thigh as he makes a gentle attempt to calm her.

The Woman continues to panic, so Edvard lowers her into the water completely before standing, turning, and leaving the room. He closes the door behind him as The Woman, frightened, looks on from the tub.

LATER

The door to the bathroom opens slightly, causing The Woman, who had been splashing happily in the tub, to become visibly tense.

From the small crack in the door, Edvard’s arm reaches into the room, a thick white bathrobe and a pair of slippers held in his hand.

These items are set down onto the bathroom tiles before the arm retracts and the door eases shut.

INT. WOMAN’S ROOM – LATER

The Woman stands in her small simple room, the white robe draped childishly over her shoulders, as Edvard, politely, attempts to dress her correctly.

Confused, The Woman considers Edvard’s actions with interest. She yawns, animated and quietly, neglecting to cover her mouth, after which she casts a nonchalant glance around the room.

Edvard continues to struggle with the robe. The Woman remains oblivious.

After finally navigating the robe up onto The Woman’s shoulders, Edvard, a look of satisfaction crossing his face, takes The Woman’s arm in an effort to fit it through one of the sleeves. The Woman recoils from his touch. Edvard makes a secondary attempt, which The Woman reacts to verbally before twisting away, causing the robe to fall from her shoulders, undoing all of Edvard’s good work.

The Woman, oblivious once more, stands naked in the middle of the room, staring with interest at the window that looks out over the scraggly sea scape.

Edvard follows The Woman’s eye-line, noticing, as she has, the birds that have landed upon a tree branch.

INT. EDVARD’S HOUSE / KITCHEN – AFTERNOON

The kitchen is small, the white wallpaper adorned with orange flowers. Towards the far end of the kitchen, the dinner table is built into a snug, rectangular booth. Two glasses of lemonade stand on the table, as do the tin barrel of biscuits, two side plates and a neatly stacked pile of newspapers, on top of which rests an equally neat pile of bills. Two long benches, which accommodate three people comfortably, sit opposite each other on either side of the table. A light hangs from the ceiling above the table, covered with a orange shade. Brown linoleum, patterned with small green squares, covers the floor.

The door to the kitchen opens and Edvard enters, The Woman waddling in her robe behind.

Edvard moves to the table, takes his seat, and then motions for The Woman to sit at the seat adjacent to his.

The Woman, paying little attention, shakes her shoulders lightly before preening her hair with her mouth.

Edvard, slightly exasperated, stands and walks to The Woman’s side, taking her by the elbow and ushering her into her seat. Once seated, Edvard pushes a glass of lemonade toward The Woman before taking one for himself. He then opens the biscuit tin and offers her a biscuit.

The Woman, unsure of how to react, remains motionless. Edvard picks a biscuit, a simple square sugared biscuit, and places it on her side plate. He takes another for himself, a heart shaped one, and he begins to eat it.

The Woman pecks at her biscuit, the motion of her head causing the biscuit to slide along the table and away from her.

Edvard, noticing this, picks up her biscuit and holds it in front of him and, smirking, as The Woman begins to peck again, with more success this time.

INT. WOMAN’S ROOM – EVENING

A fire burns in the fireplace. Sticks of kindling and logs of wood sit to the side.

The Woman kneels beside the sticks, playing with them. She has shrugged off the robe and it lays crumpled beside her.

INT. LOUNGE ROOM – SAME

Edvard, reclining in his chair, sleeps with a newspaper spread open across his chest. In his dreaming his mouth moves slightly.

Beside him, there is a archaic gramophone. A record rests atop the turntable.

Gradually, a low and indiscernible word escapes.

INT. WOMAN’S ROOM – SAME

The Woman begins to scoot the sticks out into the room using her feet. She toys with the sticks, busily shifting them about her.

INT. LOUNGE ROOM – SAME

Edvard becomes more animated in his sleeping. The word he calls starting to take form.

EDVARD (croakily) Eleanor...

Shifting in his chair, Edvard speaks again, still sleeping.

EDVARD Eleanor...

The newspaper falls from his chest.

INT. WOMAN’S ROOM / HALLWAY – SAME

While using her feet to sweep the sticks across the floor of her room, The Woman hears Edvard call out from the lounge.

EDVARD (O.S.) Eleanor!

Startled, The Woman lets the sticks fall from her toes. She hesitates.

Tentatively she exits the bedroom and walks down the hall way toward the lounge room.

INT. LOUNGE ROOM – SAME

The Woman, confused, slowly enters the lounge room and continues to walk until she is standing opposite Edvard, who remains asleep, still calling out Eleanor’s name.

EDVARD Eleanor...Eleanor.

Watching Edvard as he dreams, The Woman begins to slowly mouth the word ‘Eleanor’, mirroring the movement of Edvard’s lips.

Woman exits.

INT. WOMAN’S ROOM – SAME

The Woman enters the room and inspects the sticks. Bored she turns her attention towards the slightly open wardrobe and ruffles her way inside. A lone dress, a soft shade of pink with lace bodice and small bell pinned to the bust, hangs in the empty wardrobe.

The Woman nibbles at the hem of the dress and in doing so causes the full material to cover her head. As The Woman moves about within the dress the bell begins to chime and excited The Woman searches for the sound.

The dress falls from the coat hanger and down over The Woman.

With the dress sitting askew, her left arm locked upright in the sleeve like a music box ballerina, The Woman walks from the wardrobe and stands in the room, struggling to free herself from the restraints of the dress

INT. LOUNGE ROOM - MOMENTS LATER

Edvard wakes up, leaning forward in his chair and grimacing as the strain of sleep sends a jolt through his back.

Standing, and gingerly rubbing his aching back, Edvard walks through the room and toward a small, domestic bar complete with varnished bar top and stools.

Resting on the bar top there is an 8MM film cannister. Edvard lifts the canister into his hand and walks with it to a antiquated projector that sits on a small table beside his chair.

Edvard opens the canister and loads the film into the projector. He then sits in his chair and flicks the switch that sets the projector into motion.

Light pours from the lens and onto the lounge room wall. The projected image spills into focus to show the base of the lighthouse, filmed at night. Close into the base of the frame, the blurred pink profile of a woman’s face can be seen. Her lips move as she talks, although no sound is heard. The Woman brushes her hair out of her face and, as she does so, the image zooms out to reveal ELEANOR, wearing the pink dress from the wardrobe, and smiling at the camera. She is illuminated in the glow of an unseen car’s headlights. Eleanor, still talking while making slight, bird-like movements, remains framed by the lighthouse and the darkness of the night around her.

Edvard reaches across to the gramophone and lifts the ornate, brass arm, lowering the needle onto the record.

As Eleanor begins to dance, the opening strains of Schubert’s Piano Trio In E Flat, C.929: II. Andante con moto fill the room.

Edvard, reclining, watches Eleanor dance.

The Woman, drawn by the music, appears in the lounge room doorway. Eleanor’s pink dress still sits awkwardly over her frame.

Upon entering, The Woman is surprised by the colours flashing on the wall. She notices Eleanor’s dancing, and also the lull of the music, and begins to move accordingly.

The bell on the dress begins to jingle as The Woman dances, and it is this sound that draws Edvard’s attention to her. He smirks upon noticing The Woman’s arm trapped in the sleeve and, pulling on his own sleeve and looking from her to the film and back again, suggests that she try to remedy the situation.

The Woman, confused, shrugs in response. She then turns to Edvard and considers him with almost human comprehension.

THE WOMAN Eleanor.

Edvard’s eyes become dull and glazed, his expression cold. Edvard scrapes the needle across the record as he returns the gramophone’s arm to its cradle.

Frightened, The Woman flees from the room.

FADE OUT. FADE IN:

INT. HALLWAY – MORNING

Edvard stands outside the closed door that leads to The Woman’s room. He hesitates, lifting his knuckles up to the door and preparing to knock. He steps loudly upon the floor, skirts the floorboard with his foot and clears his throat. He waits for a response, which is not forthcoming.

Edvard knocks, an awkward knock that peters out into a shallow rapping.

There is still no response.

Edvard, defeated, and unsure how proceed, whistles. This whistle is returned by The Woman from behind the door. Following the whistle, Edvard sheepishly eases the door open and steps inside the room.

INT. WOMAN’S ROOM – CONTINUED

Upon entering the room, Edvard finds The Woman sitting amongst the sticks and logs that she has fashioned into a large nest. Also in the nest is the pink dress, which The Woman has scratched at and torn. The dress has been bunched into the nest with little concern for its safety.

The Woman appears to have just woken up. The fire is out, the room is cold and The Woman, naked, is shivering.

Edvard, visibly annoyed at the mess The Woman has made, and upset to find the pink dress treated with such disrespect, makes a sharp angry noise and moves toward The Woman.

The Woman, frightened, emits a little squawk. Her arms raise up defensively and she hunches herself.

Edvard relaxes, slightly, and a look of concern crosses his face.

The two consider each other for a moment before The Woman begins to preen herself.

From outside, the distant sound of the ocean swells into the room.

Edvard, still concerned, exits.

Almost in time with the ocean sound, The Woman moves against her nest, still preening.

Time passes.

Edvard returns with the robe and The Woman acknowledges his presence by rubbing her sides against the nest.

As Edvard approaches, The Woman considers him with interest, chirping quietly until Edvard attempts to cover her head and the tips of her shoulders with the fluffy white robe.

The Woman struggles, her chirping raises in pitch and Edvard firmly holds the robe down over The Woman’s head.

The chirping stops and The Woman becomes still.

INT. KITCHEN – LATER

Edvard sits beside The Woman on one of the kitchen benches. The Woman’s head is still covered by the robe, she is motionless.

Edvard, deep in thought, stares out across the kitchen table. Except for the sound of the ocean, all is quiet.

EXT. ROCK POOL – LATER

Edvard carries The Woman, who has been dressed in the robe, back down toward the rock pool. It is a cold, windy day and The Woman, even now, is shivering.

Upon reaching the rock pool, Edvard places The Woman back amongst the rocks and removes the robe. The Woman shivers and Edvard stares on hopelessly.

Saddened, Edvard turns his gaze from The Woman and heads back toward the cliff, the robe hanging from his fingers. The Woman continues to shiver behind him, watching as he disappears.

EXT. CLIFF FACE – LATER

Edvard stands and uses his binoculars to survey the rock pools.

INSERT - THROUGH BINOCULARS

The Woman can be seen, as she was originally, naked and cold and laying across the rocks.

EXT. CLIFF FACE – CONTINUED

Edvard lowers his binoculars and walks away.

FADE OUT. FADE IN:

INT. EDVARD’S HOUSE / KITCHEN WINDOW – LATER

Outside the kitchen window, two birds stand perched atop the Hills Hoyst. Edvard watches, recognition passing over his face. He sighs, a lonely and broken sigh, before moving away.

INT. WOMAN’S ROOM – LATER

Edvard stands in the cold room, empty except for the remains of the nest that was obviously scattered when The Woman was carried away.

The pink dress still lies bunched in the nest’s center. Slowly, Edvard approaches the nest. He crouches, runs his fingers over the scattered wood before lifting the dress into his hands.

Standing, Edvard holds the dress, turning it over and inspecting it. While the dress is slightly damaged, it is far from irreparable.

As he turns to leave, Edvard casts another glance at the nest and, after a moment’s pause, heads back toward it.

EXT. WASHING LINE – LATER

The dress, damp and dripping and freshly cleaned, is lifted up to the washing line and pegged in place.

Edvard steps away to consider the dress as it hangs. The two birds are still perched on the Hills Hoyst.

Edvard shoos them away and the birds, frightened, take flight.

Edvard watches them fly, his eyes drawn tight with regret.

INT. LOUNGE ROOM – NIGHT

Edvard is once again reclining in his chair, the film of Eleanor playing out across the wall, the Schubert piano piece crackling from the gramophone.

Again, Eleanor dances, her face and the dress aglow in the car’s headlights.

Now, the film continues on, past the point where Edvard previously turned it off.

Eleanor gradually stops dancing, the smile fading from her face, as she motions to whoever is holding the camera to stop filming.

She speaks, although no sound is heard, before angrily waving the camera away.

The image dips, loses focus, and eventually burns to white.

Edvard removes the needle from the record as the film reel flaps against the projector.

The stray film continues to make a dry, flickering sound as it loses momentum.

Flicker, flicker, flicker.

The flickering begins to slow, the image on the wall gradually becoming a glacial slide-show of empty frames. Eventually, the film reel comes to a halt, but the sound continues - A distant, perpetual flapping sound that arrives at the lounge room from somewhere outside the house.

Nervously, Edvard raises himself from his chair and walks slowly from the room and toward the source of the sound.

INT. HALLWAY – CONTINUED

Edvard continues on his way, making almost no noise at all as he follows the relentless flapping.

As Edvard approaches the kitchen, the volume of the flapping increases.

INT. KTCHEN / WINDOW – CONTINUED

The flapping sound fills the room.

Edvard approaches the window, outside of which the origin of the sound is almost visible.

As he moves closer, and the flapping increases in intensity, Edvard can see the pink of the dress, and the red of The Woman’s hair, knocking against the windowpane.

Rushing from the kitchen, Edvard makes his way outside through the wire door. The door shudders behind him.

A moment passes before the door is flung open and Edvard returns, The Woman shivering against his chest, his arm around her shoulder and around the dress that fits perfectly upon her frame.

INT. WOMAN’S ROOM - MOMENTS LATER

The door to the room opens and Edvard enters, The Woman still clinging to his chest.

He gently ushers her inside before closing the door behind them.

The room glows orange from the fire that once again burns in the fireplace. There are newspapers and catalogues, used for kindling, stacked beside the logs.

Leading her toward the warmth, Edvard cocks his head to one side, motioning at the floor.

The Woman’s eyes follow, eventually coming to rest.

Her nest has been rebuilt. The sticks and logs have tripled in number, and have been fitted together with some care and dedication. The interior of the nest is home to an assortment of leaves and grass.

Edvard smiles widely. He then releases The Woman, who stands, somewhat uncertainly, by the fireplace.

Still smiling, Edvard walks from the room, gently closing the door as he goes.

The Woman stands motionless for a moment before moving toward the fireplace and staring at the catalogue that sits open atop the stack.

INSERT – CATALOGUE

It is a lingerie catalogue, the front page of which shows a drawing of a lady wearing a corset. She is holding her hair up and her expression is sultry.

BACK TO SCENE

The Woman attempts to mimic the lady from the drawing, using her hands to sweetly fumble through her hair, her fingers lacking delicacy. The Woman continues until she has adopted a pose similar to that of the illustrated lady.

The Woman’s hair, held up and messy, is enough like the lady’s in the drawing to prompt her to move on.

INSERT - CATALOGUE

The Woman uses her foot to flip the page of the catalogue, revealing another drawing of a lady. This lady has her hands pressed to her heart, snuggling into them, and smiling coyly.

BACK TO SCENE

The Woman attempts to mimic the lady in the new drawing, and is able to do so perfectly.

EXT. GARAGE – LATER

The garage is a wooden shack with a thick wooden door, and through the frame of the door light shines out into the night air.

The sound of a wielding torch buzzes from inside, followed swiftly by the dimming of the light as it shorts out and dies.

The buzzing continues, sparks being visible through the frame of the door.

Eventually, the interior lights are rekindled, shining onto the potted plants that surround the garage.

The light also reaches the dewy garden, streaking out beneath the washing line to where two pegs sit beside each other in the wet grass.

The colour of the grass brightens as, somewhere, birds begin to sing. It is morning, and the blue light of the sunrise is slowly replacing the orange glow from the garage.

INT. KITCHEN / WINDOW – MORNING

The Woman stands at the kitchen window, whistling along with the birds, as sun light swells through the glass.

The wire door swings open and Edvard, visibly fatigued but in high spirits, enters the kitchen from outside.

His clothes bear the marks of a night’s work.

Edvard makes his way to the kitchen table and, slouching slightly, releases a dramatic yawn which he fails to cover with his hand.

This prompts The Woman to make her way across to the kitchen table where she sits opposite Edvard and, after removing the lid from the biscuit tin, holds it aloft to him.

Edvard chooses a biscuit from the tin, one in the shape of a heart, and, as he did so before, holds it before The Woman.

The Woman, rather than accepting Edvard’s offering, chooses her own biscuit from the tin before placing it back onto the table and replacing the lid.

They hold their biscuits at the same height and watch each other, Edvard eventually taking the initiative and biting into his biscuit. He chews broadly and The Woman watches with interest.

The Woman then takes a bite out of her own, and recoils as the biscuit crumbles and falls apart all over the table. Edvard chuckles, quietly, and continues to chew. The Woman mimics Edvard’s laughter before leaning forward and, using only her mouth, eats the biscuit crumbs from the table’s surface.

INT. WOMAN’S ROOM / WINDOW – LATER

The Woman stands by the window in her room, a blanket wrapped around her and held tightly against her shoulders.

From the window, the beach can be seen and, walking slowly across it, distant and small, are a man and a woman, ROY and JANINE, holding each other as they walk.

A dog runs along the beach in front of them.

The Woman, leaning toward the window, begins to whistle, in a quite staccato, the piano part from the Schubert piece that played alongside the film.

INT. KITCHEN / WINDOW – SAME

Edvard stands by the kitchen sink, happily washing dishes and staring out of the window at the Hills Hoyst that is, once again, home to the two birds.

Quietly, from The Woman’s room, the Shubert whistle can be heard.

Edvard begins to whistle as well, filling in for the cello part from the same piece of music. His interpretation is distracted and simple, but the melody is unmistakable.

INT. WOMAN’S ROOM / WINDOW – SAME

Still whistling, and joined now by the sound of Edvard’s melody that floats from the kitchen to her room, The Woman continues to watch as Janine raises her arm and throws a ball to the dog, who chases it with vigour.

The Woman, mirroring Janine, softly mimics the throwing of the ball.

INT. KITCHEN / WINDOW – SAME

Edvard, smiling, continues to whistle, and it is now that he and The Woman’s song is joined by the actual piece of Schubert’s music that played in unison with the film.

This music swells from a soft, almost imperceptible whisper until it joins the whistling completely, creating an envelope of sound.

INT. WOMAN’S ROOM / WINDOW – SAME

On the beach, the wind has started to blow with some ferocity and Janine holds herself tightly to Roy’s chest.

The Woman, still whistling, pulls the blanket tightly around herself, ruffling her shoulders into its warmth.

INT. KITCHEN / WINDOW – SAME

Edvard watches through the window as the two birds grip the washing line as it billows in the wind. They sway and balance themselves as the line rocks back and forth.

Smiling, and still whistling, Edvard walks away from the sink and toward the wire door that leads outside.

INT. WOMAN’S ROOM / WINDOW – SAME

The Woman watches as Roy and Janine walk further along the beach until they eventually disappear from her view. The Woman remains at the window, still whistling, still looking out over the beach.

She moves suddenly as she uses one foot to scratch an itch that has developed on the other.

Frowning when this action does not produce the desired result, The Woman stops whistling and, as she does so, the music stops as well.

The only sounds now are of the wind as it rattles the windowpane, and of a quiet jingling that accompanies the scratching of her feet.

The Woman kneels and begins to scratch her foot with her fingernails. As her fingers brush the locket that hangs from her ankle, it jingles and rocks against her skin.

There is a knock on the door which causes The Woman to rise. She whistles, once, after which the door sways open. Edvard enters carrying a heavy brass bell, roughly the size of a beach ball. He is having some trouble carrying it, due to its weight. The join in the bell, sealed by the wielding torch, is clearly visible.

Walking with some difficulty, but struggling not to show it, Edvard walks further into the room until he stops directly in front of The Woman.

He holds the bell out before him so that it is elevated between them.

EDVARD I made this for you.

The Woman responds by adopting the sultry pose of the lady in the catalogue, running her fingers through her hair and holding it, messily, as she did before.

A curious smirk crosses Edvard’s face before he furrows his brow and stares in mild confusion.

The Woman reacts by reverting to the pose adopted by the second lady in the catalogue, folding her hands across her heart and flashing a coy, inviting smile.

Edvard smiles back, warmly, before taking the bell into the middle of the room, raising it up to meet a hook in the ceiling, and hanging it there over the nest on the floor.

Once he is done, Edvard swings the bell, which chimes loudly. The echo of its hammer reverberates throughout the room.

The Woman, her face glowing as the bell chimes, shuffles to meet Edvard, resting her chin on his shoulder and nuzzling at his ear.

The bell continues to chime...

INT. KITCHEN – LATER

...as Edvard and The Woman sit beside each other on the kitchen bench.

Edvard looks out across the kitchen table, and his face is awash with happiness and contentment.

The Woman, still wearing the dress, lifts a glass of lemonade from the table, holds it to her lips, slurps from the glass and puts it down again.

They sit together, Edvard and The Woman, and stare out into the light.

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