For The Record
Ouija: For The Record
by D. L. Cain
OVER BLACK: A DRONING BUZZ AND A QUIET WHOOSHING NOISE.
TITLE CARD - "1968 - Avondale, Arizona. Based on True
FLASHBACK: INT. GOODWILL - DAY
The buzz comes from florescent lights overhead, and the
whoosh from a box AC in a musty-looking Goodwill store.
Completely oblivious to the world, DIANA CAIN, 13 and her
sister TRICIA, 14, hug their arms to their chests and face
the box AC, which has faded colored streamers tied to the
Diana is bookish, with curly poodle hair (like her sister’s)
and wears shabby, too-short hand-me-downs. She takes off her
rubber sandals to feel the coolness of the linoleum tiles.
The girls’ mother, MARY, 45, browses racks of dresses
brightly. She takes one out. In her strong Southern accent:
Ugh, this one is perfectly hideous.
Diana wanders off to look at a shelf, as Mary turns back to
the rack and pulls out a red dress. She examines it, very
Mary drapes the dress over her arm and walks to Diana, who’s
been examining a thin cardboard box.
Well, I’ll be! It’s a Ouija board.
You ever seen one of these?
The girls shake their heads. Mary is excited.
Good find, Di!
Diana looks exceeding proud of herself.
Is it a game?
Yep, kinda like a gypsy. It can
tell the future - but you gotta be
careful with it.
She pulls it off the shelf and blows the dust off.
What the hell, it’ll give you kids
something to do this summer.
EXT. TRAILER - DAY
The outside of the Cain house-- dingy and unadorned.
INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
From a perspective underneath, three faces lean in overhead,
We see that they’re in a cramped, sparsely-adorned living
room. Sitting on the floor, their fingers on a tear-shaped
indicator over a Ouija board, are Tricia and Mary. Kneeling
behind them is Diana, who is scrawling on a notepad as she
Diana reads off the notepad.
No sir. Bobbie Kennedy’s going to
win, everyone knows that.
The indicator moves to "No."
Mary turns to the board brightly, ignoring the question.
Ouija, are we gonna have lots of
With one hand, Mary puts a hand to a large crucifix necklace
around her neck. The indicator, with Tricia and Mary’s
(other) fingers still on it, moves to "Yes."
Mary clasps her hands together gleefully as Diana squeals. A
smoking figure moves into the doorway of the living room: it
is patriarch LEVOY CAIN, 42, who takes a step in to watch.
Riches? Like Aunt Edith?
Levoy scoffs. Like Mary, he has a pronounced Southern drawl.
Diana, just because your mother’s
sister has a washing machine does
not make her rich.
Mary waves her hand at him disapprovingly.
Hush, Levoy, we’re just playing a
game; no need for sourness.
She turns to the girls, forcing a smile.
So, riches for us, huh? Well,
praise the Lord Jesus! Hey Ouija,
what kind of riches? Jewelry? Or--
I don’t think this is the point of
Mary clearly disapproves of Tricia’s disrespect.
It told us to ask it questions.
Girls, stop sitting on your spoiled
behinds and do some work around the
house for a change.
Are you undermining me?
As she speaks, the indicator moves:
"Mary is special. Meant for greater
Mary seems happily startled. Levoy grunts.
Indicator moves as he goes outside.
"Watch for blood."
The sound of Levoy slipping and falling can be heard from
outside the screen door. Diana and Tricia jump.
What was that?
Dammit! Goddamn neighbor’s dog left
a dead rat outside the door.
Mary glares at Tricia.
Maybe if you didn’t feed him every
time comes over whining!
Beat. The three slowly turn to the board in wonder.
But how did it--
Ouija, is that what we should call
you? Ouija? Who are you really? Who
do you speak for?
The indicator moves. Diana reads, confused:
"The Holy Prophet Elijah."
They watch the indicator move suddenly to "Goodbye."
EXT. TRAILER - DAY
A few days later. Inside, holding her notepad in one hand,
Diana sips a tall glass of iced tea. Looking out the window,
she watches Levoy fixing the porch, cigarette flopping from
INT. BEDROOM - DAY
Diana walks in on Tricia sitting on their bed, playing with
the Ouija. She seems to be looking away from the board,
moving her fingers, and then checking, as if to see if she’s
landed the indicator on the right letter. She notices Diana.
Mom says we have to get out of our
Diana looks at Tricia.
I thought we weren’t supposed to
take that out of the living room--
Just shut up, okay? I’m older than
you; I can do what I want.
What are you-- practicing?
Tricia gets up and knocks Diana as she strides out. Beat.
Diana examines the board still on the bed. She looks around
nervously, then sits next to it, resting her finger on the
She screws her eyes up tight, and (clearly) pushes the
indicator on her own. She opens her eyes, dejected. She
hears shuffling down the hall and in a snap folds up Ouija.
INT. LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
The living room is messier than it was before. Clothes are
draped around the furniture. Levoy is there watching TV.
Mary calls out:
Girls! Come on, let’s take out
Ouija! I’ve got a question to ask
(without turning from the TV)
Do you mind doin’ that somewhere
Diana scurries in with the board as they bicker.
No other place with good enough
light-- now if you’d put up the
fixtures in the hall like I asked--
Tricia walks out of the kitchen as Diana cautiously moves to
the shelf where Ouija is normally kept.
I got it!
She sits and kneels by it as Tricia eyes her, not saying
anything. the open Ouija board waiting. Diana pulls out the
notepad and pencil from her back pocket. Mary walks over and
sits between them. She turns to Tricia.
Tricia nods happily, and the two put their fingers on the
Ouija? Er-- Elijah? No-- Ouija?
Mary’s flustered. She edges closer and goes on:
Is this heat spell gonna end soon?
I gotta know if I can start buying
some proper cotton dresses.
Indicator moves as Levoy grunts to himself:
That’s where all my money’s going--
He turns off the TV, having given up, and heads down the
hall. Diana has trouble pronouncing what she has written:
"Imal...a...chai [’ch’ pronounced
like in ’cheese’] 4 5 6?"
She cocks her head, confused.
You sure you wrote that down right?
I wrote what it spelled! Is that
another language, Mama?
Mary has been staring at the Ouija board, frowning.
Diana, get the Bible.
Diana runs out and comes back with the Bible. She hands it
to Mary, who flips through it rapidly. Tricia’s and Diana’s
expressions turn slightly fearful as she reads:
I Malachi 4, 5, 6... here we go...
"Behold, I will send you Elijah the
prophet, and he shall turn the
heart of the fathers to the
children, and the heart of the
children to their fathers, lest I
come and smite the earth with a
Indicator moves. Diana notices that despite Tricia’s obvious
distraction (she’s not even looking), it glides very easily.
"You will leave soon. To build a
temple for me."
(in a near whisper)
"Levoy, stop smoking."
Indicator then moves to "Goodbye." Diana gapes at the board,
then at Mary and Tricia, who share looks of awe.
EXT. TRAILER - LATER
In near-darkness, Levoy finishes smoking a cigarette. He
flicks it away from the front door, and ambles inside.
INT. BEDROOM - EVENING
On their bed, Diana flips through a magazine with Davy Jones
on the cover, dabbing her face with a cool rag from a bowl
on the nightstand, while Tricia combs her hair carefully.
Diana hears her mother talking and peers through a crack to
INT. KITCHEN - DAY
Mary leans against the counter, talking on the phone. She’s
wearing the red dress she found in Goodwill, and is swirling
a full whiskey glass with ice.
We’re just stayin’ in most days,
Mary listens to something, frowning slightly. Her
conversation turns argumentative.
Well, Lord have mercy, Edith, don’t
hold such superstitions, it’s just
a board game. ... Well-- why don’t
you mind your house and I’ll mind
She slams the phone down and leaves the kitchen
INT. BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS
Diana sees her mother storming toward their room and quickly
covers her face with the magazine, terrified.
The door flies open, and Diana looks on as Mary storms in
straight to Tricia and slaps her, furious.
Don’t you ever go telling my sister
what’s going on in my house. You
got that? It ain’t none of her
Tricia’s look of shock hardens as she sets her jaw and rubs
her cheek. Diana’s eyes widen as she peeks out from above
Yea. I got it.
Mary turns, snarling, to Diana, who quickly hides back
behind the magazine. Mary stamps out, slamming the door.
Quickly, Diana rushes to Tricia, who half-heartedly pushes
her away at first. Diana reaches for the basin on the
nightstand and gives the rag to Tricia to dab on her cheek.
INT. LIVING ROOM - LATER
The family sits on the couch and sofa chairs in front of the
TV, watching and eating in silence. Mary has put on some
lipstick and blush, and still has her glass of whiskey.
The family eats glumly in silence. Levoy takes a match and
lights a cigarette for himself.
Levoy groans to himself and puts it out on his dinner plate.
Mary looks tense-- Diana tries to put her at ease.
You look really pretty tonight,
Thank you, baby.
Doesn’t she look pretty, Daddy?
Levoy just grunts, not looking up. Mary looks distant.
Levoy notices that Tricia is stabbing her peas especially
viciously. Like his wife, he has a pronounced drawl.
What’s gotten into you, sister?
Levoy looks between the two of them and grunts.
This got something to do with that
goddamn board? Would do better to
burn the damn thing.
Mary shakes a finger at him wildly.
You will do no such thing, Levoy!
As she scolds, she knocks over Diana’s glass. Diana jumps.
It’s okay, Mama.
Oh! Oh, oh, baby, I’m so sorry--
let Mama just--
Levoy stands up, throws his napkin down and leaves. Mary
scowls after him.
Diana tries to console her mother and sop up the liquid.
INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
Tricia and Diana watch TV on the couch, Diana idly thumbing
through her notepad. Mary, looking far more unkempt than
usual, marches in, holding a glass of amber liquid and the
Ouija board under her arm. She turns off the TV abruptly.
C’mon, we’re gonna talk to Ouija.
But we’re watching Dick Van Dyke!
Ignoring her, Mary sits on the floor with the board and
grabs Tricia to sit with her, but Tricia pulls away.
Can’t we just watch TV, Mama? I’m
tired of playing with Ouija.
Diana puts aside the notepad and, wide-eyed, watches Mary
glare at Tricia. Her expression is wild.
Don’t you understand, Patricia
Faith? We’re not playing anything.
She yanks Tricia’s forefinger roughly and puts it onto the
indicator, then puts her own finger on as well, as Diana
grabs the notepad from next to her, ready to write.
Tricia and Mary each take a deep breath. Indicator moves:
"Diana, get the globe."
Realizing what she read aloud, Diana opens her mouth to
protest, but thinks better of it. She gets up, grabs the
globe from the end table, and brings it down to the floor in
a huff. Indicator moves.
"Spin and stop with your finger."
She spins it, hard, and jabs it with her finger.
What does it say?
Indicator moves, as Diana jumps to her notepad to write.
"You will go there."
On a trip?
Indicator moves to NO. Beat.
... To live?
Indicator moves to YES. Mary thinks for a second.
Is that where we’re supposed to
build your temple?
Indicator moves to YES. Mary fingers a cracked leg on the
coffee table, which is held together by tape.
Ouija, where am I going to find
that kind of money?
"You are in God’s hands."
Mary nods slowly, as Tricia stares at the board, transfixed.
Ouija, why-- why do you ask this of
me? Why this family?
"You are special, Mary."
Mary picks her head up, heartened, as indicator moves:
"Take your children and go there."
Mary scoffs, taking a sip from her glass. She speaks to the
board, almost conversationally:
I see Levoy is being left out of
Before anyone can respond, indicator moves:
"He is a non-believer."
Diana’s eyes widen at the board. She is stunned. Mary simply
nods her head, completely dutiful.
INT. LIVING ROOM - LATER
Levoy sits in the sofa chair, watching a flurry of activity
around him: Tricia and Diana bustle around with suitcases,
clothes and personal items. They both head outside.
Mary walks in, lugging a giant suitcase.
What the hell are you doing, Mary?
Mary throws down the suitcase and walks up to Levoy. Her
hair is wild, and her face is sweaty. She leans down and
juts her face a few inches from Levoy’s, snarling.
We’re leaving, Levoy.
She tears herself away and resumes packing furiously.
Where do you think y’all are going,
We’re staying with my sister until
I get our passports and our
reservations made. Then we’re
moving to Afghanistan, all three of
us. Ouija will look after us.
The girls come back in to grab more items. They stop and
stare at their parents fighting.
C’mon, Mary, don’t be an idiot.
Do not speak to me that way! I am a
servant of God!
Says who? That goddamn piece of
cardboard? That what you’re gonna
be yelling when it tells you to
drive off a cliff?
Again, Mary approaches him quickly. She leans in, her hands
gripping each of the arms on Levoy’s chair.
Ouija speaks to us because we were
chosen. Because I am special.
Levoy laughs, right in her face. Mary is clearly broken by
his scoff. She stands upright and walks to the girls, as
Levoy, looking almost remorseful, turns his chair away.
(in a near-whisper)
These are the last ones, Mama.
Mary nods, then grabs a piece of luggage and scoots Tricia
out. The slam of the screen door as they leave seems to jolt
Diana back to life, still standing by the kitchen, staring
at her father. She picks up Ouija board from the end table.
Diana watches Levoy (from behind) light a cigarette. Beat.
(not turning to face her)
Be safe, now.
Very slowly, Diana takes a step, and then another, never
taking her eyes off the back of her father’s chair. She
grabs the handle to the door and exits.