Working Title – ‘Forever Cold’
Synopsis…Widower trying to cope with untimely death of his wife under suspicious circumstances, enlists the help of a plucky young female sheriff in a small mountain town to solve the case. Small town politics and shadowy individuals in a rural, rugged section of the mountains make getting information difficult at best. Select townspeople turn out to be reliable and quirky. The young beautiful sheriff and our widower (a former big city FBI agent, since retired) form a tight friendship that eventually leads to a more romantic relationship.
Location…The high Rockies where the weather is unpredictable and dangerous.
Timeframe…Recent and current.
Opening setup…One year ago…
Exterior…The camera is high overhead. The view is of a forest in late fall. Few leaves remain, and those that do are brown and dingy. It is a gray, cold dark day where it doesn’t know whether to rain or snow, so it does both at once. A breeze coming in over the lake makes it even colder. The snow is skipping over the water and landing on the thin layer of ice jutting out from the shore a few feet. All in all, a day to spend indoors.
A thin line meanders through the forest, sometimes alongside the large lake, sometimes in the middle of the forest. The camera starts descending along with the rain and snow mix. We see vertical silvery drops of rain and snowflakes passing in our field of view. As the camera gets lower we see that the thin line is becoming a gravel road through the forest. A sedan is traveling down the road. It is swerving slightly and appears to be going too fast for the conditions.
Car Interior…She is so tired. The cars heater is stuck at full blast. The radio is playing quietly. The controls on both of them seem to be glued in place. She tried to move them but they wouldn’t budge. So she left them and started home. Halfway home her eyelids are so very heavy. Between the glasses of wine at the bar and the car heater she is too relaxed. She is fighting sleep and is steering the car occasionally, trying to keep it in between the ditches on both sides of this gravel road she uses as a shortcut to home. She misses the sharp turn by the lake.
Exterior shot…The car hits the small berm on the side of the road and launches into the air. We see the car do a nice arc, nosing into the lake and stopping violently as it hits and sends up a large plume of freezing water at its front bumper.
The airbags deploy explosively, waking her up immediately. Adrenaline pumps through her veins as she wildly looks around and tries to orient herself. Water is already streaming through the floorboards and somewhere under the dash. The freezing water is already up to her knees causing her legs to cramp. The seatbelt is so tight, it wont release its hold on her, keeping her back against the seat. She fumbles for the seatbelt release latch, it too won’t budge. neither the door handle or the power windows will move. Everything she tries seems frozen into place. The water is now at her waist and rising rapidly. The airbags are holding some leftover air and are bobbing at her face in the rising water. She is in full-on convulsions now. The adrenaline in her body and the cramping in her body are working against her, causing sharp pains and keeping her from pulling in a full breath of air. She is asphyxiating already, and there is still a full minute before the car goes under. She claws at everything in her reach. Water is now up to her neck. She strains up to the ceiling for any remaining air. Now that the car is tilting towards the bottom of the lake, the air is migrating up and towards the back of the car, away from her. Only a few breaths left, and then she sees the note. It is a yellow sticky note attached to the lining of the roof, by the rearview mirror. With her last remaining thoughts she tries to fathom what it says.