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THE PIPER Rani, a dark-skinned Indian woman, medium height and indeterminate age. Long wavy hair. Dressed like Albrecht Durer’s foppish self-portrait. Carries a fife.
CROWS and zombie RATS. Oversized, grizzled, mean and crazed-looking.
CORPSES dressed in simple renaissance German garb.
German hill town, the early Renaissance, in the grip of The Plague. Moderately wealthy. Night. A sky spangled ridiculously with stars. Streets choked with discarded clothing and refuse. The town is hastily boarded up.
Pn. 1— CLOSEUP. An ominous swarm of zombie rats gnaw at sprawled parts of corpses.
Pn. 2— CLOSEUP. Booted feet approach, scattering terrified rats. We see more of the street.
SFX: CRUNCH. CRUNCH.
Pn. 3— CLOSEUP. The Piper looks disgusted, turned slightly away, covering her face with a kerchief. She holds up a glass and metal lantern.
Pn. 4— BLEED. In the foreground a silhouetted crow pulls meat from part of a corpse. An open square with a beautiful bronze figural fountain crowded with and mired by crows. Newly rotting corpses litter the street, trailing from a pile of trash in the open square; a plague of rats gnaw them. Refuse and signs of a hasty evacuation are scattered everywhere. A narrow street winds up the hillside; the black silhouette of a church rises uselessly in the distance. Crows lurk on cornices and street corners.
Pn. 1— The Piper throws her lantern at the pile of corpses.
Pn. 2— Crows and rats scatter as it lands, shattering, some of them flaming.
Pn. 3— She draws a fife from her pocket, lit dimly by the rising flames—
Pn. 4— and sits cross-legged on the edge of the fountain playing it, ghastly lit by the now-blazing fire spreading through the pile.
Pn. 5— CLOSEUP. Some rats look up in a mix of gestures, sniffing the air. Some with raised paws, a little zombie-like, others with heads cocked, others still gnawing.
Pn.1 CLOSEUP. Bird’s eye shot. The Piper looks intent, music weaving around her. Her hair begins to billow in the wind.
Pn.2— CLOSEUP. Crows look attentive.
Pn.3—They take off flying in a dark, whirling mass.
Pn.4— Corpses of rats rise, some flaming, zombie-like.
Pn.5— The Piper stands near the fountain, and seems to be dancing, hair and clothes billowing, continuing to play as rats and crows trail towards her.
FULL-PAGE SPLASH. A silhouette of a beautiful dancing woman in a sari who looks like the Piper is superimposed above the street, arms gesturing as if she is directing the swarms of rats and crows who swirl and follow the Piper, head and shoulders large in the foreground. The Piper’s hair billows around her. She looks dangerous.