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Kafka (1991)

by Lem Dobbs. Final script.

More info about this movie on IMDb.com


FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY


PRAGUE - MORNING

The Old Town is quiet.  It's very early in the twisted
streets of this ancient ghetto.  Dark corners casting a
medieval spell over a modern century oblivious to their
romance and mystery.

The River is the dividing line.  Elegant gardens on the
opposite bank embracing the monotonous solemnity of the New
Town, tower steeples silhouetted against the sombre sky.

An empty motor bus rattles along a deserted street.

A Gothic bridge links the two halves of the strange city.
Its half-moon arches becoming circles as they meet their
reflections in the water.  Thin mist swirls over the
cobblestones above.

A few boats in the water.  Fishermen casting their lines in
silence.  One or two lights now burning in buildings beyond.

In the Old Town Square the great clock on the cathedral
strikes six.

						CUT:

A MAN'S FACE

His eyes filled with terror, beads of sweat crawling on his
brow.

He stands in the middle of a murky courtyard, perfectly
still.  Waiting.  Watching.

The balconies overlooking on successive floors, looming all
around him, are empty.  All is quiet.

The man's name is EDUARD.  He dares not move for fear of
missing a single sound.  And then he hears it.  A small noise
of movement nearby.  He runs.

TINY ALLEYWAY

He runs alone in the dim light of the deserted morning.

CROOKED PASSAGEWAY

Running for his life.

NARROW LANE

Running on sheer pumping fear, long after the verge of
collapse.

BLACK TUNNEL

Coming out into the light, but by no means out of danger, he
allows himself a brief pause, gasping for air, just for a
moment looking back into the gloom, starting to retreat again
even as he does, then turning running ...

WINDING STREET

He runs on, past boarded-up houses and shuttered inns,
strange relics of the Middle Ages casting frightening
shadows.

AROUND A CORNER

Eduard appears suddenly, quickly flattens himself back
against the large notice board that covers the wall here,
layers of expressionistic theatre and film posters pasted on
it.

He breathes painfully in short bursts, as silently as he
can.  He watches the corner he's just come from, the ornate
archway through which any pursuer must emerge.

Nothing there.  But then a shadow moves.

Eduard's shoulders tense.  His eyes widen.  He holds his
breath.

The shadow ... spreading ...

Eduard edges away ever so slowly, keeping his unblinking gaze
on the archway, backing off, one arm brushing the notice
board as he feels his way along it, macabre images on the
posters, some torn and incomplete, revealing other fragments
behind, Eduard's eyes staring constant, no noise here at all
and --

A HAND!  clamps over his face from behind.  All of a sudden
and out of absolutely nowhere and not a thing he can do about
it.

But he tries, his hands coming up to grip the arm that grasps
him, an arm of iron.

The hand is huge.  It covers Eduard's face almost entirely,
only one eye gaping bloodshot through the fingers, ghastly
fingers that, just for a second, seem almost inhuman, perhaps
even fingers that seem incompatible on the same hand, a hand
covered in scar tissue, starting to squeeze as it pulls
Eduard swiftly away.

						CUT:

A ROW OF TYPEWRITERS - DAY

Clacketing incessantly under slightly more agile and refined
fingers.  Beyond these, another row of desks.  And beyond
that another, the office workers in their neat suits tapping
away.

And beyond that another, at which one worker scribbles
furiously at his figures, the next rolls a new sheet into his
typewriter, the next answers his clanging telephone, the next
rifles through the pages of a massive record book, the next
sits erect in his chair playing his machine like a piano, and
the last, by the window, dusty light streaming across him,
contemplatively taps the end of a pencil onto his desk.  This
is KAFKA.

A rather tall young man with a kind, sensitive face.
sensitive perhaps because his eyes, ears, and nose seem
slightly bigger and more inquiring than most, and his gaze
one of almost unrelenting intensity.

He's looking off at something now.

A desk, not very far from his own.  But empty.  The chair
pushed squarely under it.  The typewriter covered.

Kafka is wondering why -- when his concentration is
interrupted.

			BURGEL
	Kafka.

Kafka turns to see BURGEL, a creep.

			BURGEL
	The keeper of the files is still
	waiting for your final summation
	of the Erlanger claim.

			KAFKA
	I gave it to him yesterday.

			BURGEL
		(doesn't understand)
	You didn't give it to me.

			KAFKA
	No, I left it in his office.

			BURGEL
	Did you see him?

			KAFKA
	I've never seen him.  I don't
	believe there is a keeper of the
	files.

			BURGEL
	He's usually in the storage room
	sorting things out.  He can't
	close the file on a case until he
	has the concluding report.

			KAFKA
	He has it, he just hasn't noticed
	it yet, all right?

			BURGEL
	Who's to say he ever will?  He's
	a timid old man and quite careful
	not to tread on anyone's toes --
	In fact, I'm the only one he trusts
	and he wouldn't even look at a
	document if it didn't first come
	through me.

Burgel just won't go away.  Kafka tries to get on with his
work.

			BURGEL
	In an organization as efficient as
	ours, if a document once in a great
	while gets lost it might never be
	found at all.

			KAFKA
		(tiring of this)
	Burgel, I thought it would be
	easier, as long as I was passing --

			BURGEL
	But I'm the messenger.  An error
	like this damages my credibility.

			KAFKA
	Your credibility -- yes, it's well
	known.

			BURGEL
		(flushed)
	When I deliver a message the very
	act of delivering it, you might say,
	gives it an official stamp, and only
	in this way are both the sender and
	the receiver satisfied that it was
	delivered at all.

			KAFKA
	I'll commit that to memory.

They stare at each other with mutual antagonism.

			BURGEL
	Your position in this firm is not
	unassailable.

He waddles away.

KAFKA

Has one more look over at the empty desk before returning to
his work.

THE OFFICE

The desks make a checkerboard pattern of the huge floor as
Burgel calculates his path among them.

						 CUT:

LODGING HOUSE - MIDDAY

Kafka comes up the stairs to the top landing.  He knocks on a
door.  Waits.  Knocks again.  Leans a little closer to listen
for a moment, then goes away back down the stairs.

GROUND FLOOR

Kafka comes through the door that divides the stairs from the
hall, goes to knock on the door of the first apartment down
here.

			BIZARRE VOICE
	Yes?

			KAFKA
	I'm sorry to disturb you -- I
	wonder if you know where my
	friend Eduard is?

			BIZARRE VOICE
	I can't hear you! -- You'd better
	come in.

APARTMENT

Kafka comes in tentatively, seeing the CONCIERGE in a far
corner of the cluttered room, in bed, covers tucked right up
to her chin.

			KAFKA
	-- I didn't want to bother you.

			CONCIERGE
	Well, you have.  What do you
	want?

			KAFKA
	    (pointing upstairs)
	My friend Eduard, I wonder if you've
	seen him?  He hasn't been in to
	work, I thought he might be ill.

						 CUT:

STAIRS

The Concierge trudges up to the top floor, Kafka following
guiltily.

			KAFKA
	You didn't have to get out of
	bed -- I could have taken the key.

			CONCIERGE
	Yes, I'm sure you could.

She treats him like dirt.

EDUARD'S ROOM

The door unlocks and the two of them come in.  Kafka goes to
open the window curtain.  He turns around to see the
Concierge already poking about in drawers.

He ignores her and looks around the room on his own.  Eduard
isn't here.  Nothing else seems out of place.  He wonders
instead how he can dissuade the Concierge from her
unbelievable snooping.

			KAFKA
	Well, he's not here.

The Concierge takes a tie from one of the drawers and models
it over her own ample chest.

			KAFKA
	Do you think you ought to do
	that?

She looks at him indignantly.

			CONCIERGE
	The manners of a tramp!  It's my
	house, isn't it?

						 CUT:

OFFICES - AFTERNOON

Kafka is in another section of the building, finding his way
through a department he's vaguely unfamiliar with.  He
searches out a particular person -- a strikingly beautiful
woman with flaming hair and wild eyes.

			KAFKA
	Miss Rossmann?

GABRIELA looks around from a file cabinet.

			KAFKA
	I'm Kafka -- I work upstairs in
	Accident --

			GABRIELA
	I know.

			KAFKA
	You're a friend of Eduard Raban's.

			GABRIELA
	Why would you suppose so?

			KAFKA
	Oh -- well, I thought he once
	mentioned --

			GABRIELA
	    (shuts file cabinet)
	One of you must be mistaken.

He follows her to a counter where someone stamps the document
she thrusts forward without even glancing at her or it.

			KAFKA
	I'm sorry, but I just wondered --

			GABRIELA
	    (brushing past him)
	Excuse me, I have to copy this for
	Central Docketing by 2:30.

Kafka watches her go -- then notices some smarmy young clerks
giggling over what they suppose was a romantic rebuff.

						 CUT:

KAFKA'S DEPARTMENT

Burgel sees Kafka coming back in toward his desk, immediately
walks to intersect him.

			BURGEL
	You're late -- I knew it would
	happen one day.

Kafka ignores him utterly, leaving Burgel standing clutching
his files with a sour expression.

Kafka pauses at Eduard's desk, still untouched, then
continues on to his own.

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF CLERK

Partitioned off from the rest, but commanding a full view of
all.  Through the glass windows the CHIEF CLERK, a stern-
Looking fellow, notices Kafka and takes his watch out of his
pocket for a look.

						 CUT:

THE OFFICE BELL - EVENING

RINGS, signalling the end of the work day.  The office
workers clear their desks, start to leave.

OFFICE STAIRWELL

The office workers stream down the stairs that wind around a
central elevator shaft, the gated elevator grinding upwards
at the same time.

When Kafka reaches the ground floor he passes a pair of
SENIOR PARTNERS conferring together -- and does a double-take
when he hears his name mentioned -- then sees the two men
shake hands conclusively and turn away.  Kafka continues
walking away himself, worried about his future.

OUTSIDE

The office workers pour out of the building, all going in
different directions.  Three of them get jammed in the
doorway, untangle themselves, and Kafka is the next to
emerge.

						 CUT:

THE CONTINENTAL COFFEE HOUSE - NIGHT

A lively place, crowded with chattering, smoking, arguing
students, poets, painters ...

Kafka joins a group of friends.  It's clear that this is a
regular gathering and, from their warm reception, considered
incomplete without him.

			MARGARETE
	-- This is our friend Anna who
	works with us on the magazine.

			KAFKA
	Hello.

			ANNA
	I've been hearing all about you.

Kafka cringes.

			ERNST
	Don't worry, Kafka -- I championed
	your virtues.

			KAFKA
	I'd like to hear them.

			JULIUS
	Anna's new to the city -- we
	wouldn't frighten her needlessly.

			KAFKA
	I've lived all my life in this city
	-- it frightens me.  As it draws me
	closer into its web.

			STELLA
	-- This is an ancient lament.

			KAFKA
	No, but do you realize why? -- it
	has no present.

			ANNA
	-- I'm hoping to live in the Old
	Quarter.

			KAFKA
	Even the so-called New Town isn't
	so new.  Only the people.  People
	of the future living in buildings
	of the past.
	    (abruptly)
	Has anyone seen Eduard?

			MARGARETE
	Who?

	My friend Eduard from the office --
	I've brought him here lots of times
	-- you used to marvel at his travel
	stories.

			JULIUS
	Oh, him.

			KAFKA
	What d'you mean, oh him?  He's
	a perfectly nice person, he's never
	missed a day before.

			ERNST
	Perhaps he's taken up with those
	traveling players you two were
	so fond of.

			KAFKA
	No, it's me who always wanted to
	run away with them -- except that
	that life would be far too hectic
	for me.  I'm worried about him, no
	one's seen him.

			STELLA
	Haven't you ever called in sick
	and gone roaming about, free of
	responsibility to anyone, if only
	for a day?

			KAFKA
	When you work for a medical firm
	you can't call in sick.  They know
	malingerers like a dog knows fleas.

			ANNA
	You work in the insurance department?

			KAFKA
	You have been hearing the sordid
	side then.

			MARGARETE
	Be pleased -- you constantly inspire
	people to take an interest in your
	life.

			ANNA
	I should think it's very interesting
	work.

Kafka shrugs shyly.

			KAFKA
	My father always said I had
	no ambition.

						 CUT:

NEAR THE FRONT DOOR - LATER

Smoke heavier in the air, the coffee house more crowded with
strange groups of characters.  Kafka and his friends
preparing to leave.

			STELLA
	The cabaret will be packed this
	time of night -- we'll never get in.

			JULIUS
	Well, it has to be the cabaret
	because there's nowhere else to go.

			MARGARET
	Home, I think.

			JULIUS
	Home?

			MARGARET
		(head on Ernst's shoulder)
	You know I can't stay up late.

			VOICE
	Home is the last resort --

BIZZLEBEK

The owner of the voice.  A man sitting at the bar nearby,
turning on his stool to face them.  A dissipated dandy of a
man.

			ERNST
		(introducing him)
	-- Do you know Bizzlebek --
	the gravedigger?

			BIZZLEBEK
	Stonecutter, if you please.

			MARGARETE
	Sculptor, if only he'd admit it.

			BIZZLEBEK
	No one should admit being an artist
	unless they're paid for it.  If
	you go to the cabaret mention my
	name -- they'll find a table for you.

Turning round again.

			ERNST
	Bizzlebek has ways and means denied
	lesser mortals.  It comes from working
	in the cemetery all day -- he's able
	to transcent the physical world.

Bizz1ebek turns round again, with a bored sign.

			BIZZLEBEK
	No -- it only makes me view people
	dispassionately as so many ... slabs.

He looks about, characterizing various coffee house types:

			BIZZLEBEK
	Quartz ... slate ... gravel ...
	granite ... flint ...
		(and then)
	Marble.

It's GABRIELA from the office.  Kafka is surprised to see
her, instinctively walking over to where she's sitting at a
far table.

			JULIUS
	My God, look, he's marching forward
	willingly to make human contact.

Anna smiles.  She's interested in Kafka.   (Which means we
must see this warm attractive girl as a threat, a curse, a
trap!)

GABRIELA

--On the other hand, is an enticement.  Kafka can't help
walking towards her.  Sitting with her own friends, though
there is something less than friendly about them.  Two men,
two women.

			GABRIELA
		(as Kafka comes over)
	Hello again.

			KAFKA
	I've never seen you here before.

			GABRIELA
	Have you looked?

Kafka feels as awkward as she knows he feels.  He looks to
her friends, expecting an introduction, but no one makes a
move.

			KAFKA
	Well -- nice to know life exists
	outside the office.

			GABRIELA
		(ironic)
	Yes.

Kafka nods goodbye and walks away, berating himself for
banality.

						 CUT:

OUTSIDE - NIGHT

Kafka resists going along with the others.

			KAFKA
	No, really, I have to go home too.

			MARGARETE
	We're keeping him from his true
	vocation.

			JULIUS
	I know, he consists of writing.
	We wouldn't be his friends if we
	didn't threaten his solitude!

Julius is a little drunk.  The others help him with his coat.

ANNA

Has a private moment with Kafka.

			ANNA
	Where do you live?

			KAFKA
	Up there.

He gestures in the direction of the River, and the castle
that looms on a far hill beyond, huge and brooding, regally
dominating the city.

			ANNA
	I tried finding a place on Castle
	Hill when I arrived.  I wanted to
	share the majesty.

(The majesty of marriage is what he fears she represents.
This innocent scene could very well be a subjective
Kafkaesque nightmare as sinister in its own way as any of the
more outright horrific scenes to come.)

			KAFKA
	It's only majestic from here.
	When you get closer you see it
	for what it really is.

			ANNA
	What is it really?

			KAFKA
	A glorified office block.  They
	keep all the old records there --
	the final resting place for facts
	and figures that have ceased to
	matter in the world of the living.

			ANNA
	Well, as long as I admire it from
	afar it shouldn't worry me if it's
	hollow.

(The castle of marriage tempts him -- but would suffocate
him.)

			KAFKA
	It's more than hollow.  It's
	stillborn.  For all its size it
	serves no purpose.  It's just
	there -- like death -- hovering
	over a breathing city.

THE OTHERS

Turn back into the picture.  Margarete pats Kafka
sympathetically.

			MARGARETE
	Don't worry about your friend --
	I'm sure he'll turn up.

			ERNST
		(a parting word)
	What are you working on, Kafka?

			KAFKA
	I'm writing a story about a man
	who wakes up one morning to find
	himself transformed into a giant
	insect.

His friends glance at each other surreptitiously and don't
know what to say -- other than goodnight

KAFKA

Turns to go -- when he notices Bizzlebek leaning listlessly
in the coffee house doorway.  A figure in the shadows.

			BIZZLEBEK
	I've read your stories.  They're
	fantastic.

			KAFKA
		(not sure if he
		 believes him)
	I don't know what you could have
	read.

			BIZZLEBEK
	Just what you've published.

			KAFKA
	-- In magazines nobody reads.

			BIZZLEBEK
	I read the one about the penal
	colony.

			KAFKA
		(cautious)
	Did you?

			BIZZLEBEK
	The needles inscribing the
	judgement into the flesh of the
	man.
		(looks impressed)
	Very good.

Kafka suspects he's being mocked.  But perhaps not.
Bizzlebek steps out, buttoning his coat.

			BIZZLEBEK
	If I could sculpt as well as that,
	I'd be quite proud of myself.

He's already quite proud of himself -- tossing his scarf over
his shoulder with a flourish -- and striding off into the
night.

						 CUT:

THE CASTLE - NIGHT

Seen from just below, from the ancient cemetery that borders
its high, impregnable, imperial walls.  The all-seeing-eye of
the city.  An awesome edifice.

THE BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER

Kafka walking across from the Old Quarter toward the New
Town.

He passes some working-class types who seem vaguely
threatening.  Do they mutter some remark behind his back?

						 CUT:

ALCHEMISTS' ROW - NIGHT

A bizarre street.  Tiny little houses that look fashioned by
a toymaker, all bunched tightly next to each other, forming a
continuous rooftop of odd configurations and angles and
pointed chimneys.  The street named after practitioners of
the black arts and dark sciences who inhabited it in the
Sixteenth Century.

Kafka's house is toward the back, a light shining from the
single upper window.  Through it, Kafka is seen sitting at
the only desk that really matters to him -- his writing one.

KAFKA'S ROOM

He's struggling to get a sentence right -- rereading it to
himself.

			KAFKA
	"As Gregor Samsa awoke one
	morning from disturbing dreams
	he ... from unsettling dreams ...
	uneasy dreams ... Gregor Samsa ...
	Gregor ...?"
		(wondering)
	Carl.  George.  Rudolf ...

Suddenly there's a loud KNOCK on the front door below.

DOWNSTAIRS

Kafka opens the tiny front door of this almost-miniature
little house.  Two intimidating MEN stand outside, one tall,
one short, wearing similar black suits and grim expressions.

						 CUT:

ANOTHER DOOR - NIGHT

Kafka tries to match the exacting pace of his two warders,
flanking him as they walk him along a corridor, through
another doorway.

MORGUE

Kafka tugs his collar up a bit, his breath visible in the
air.  He has a feeling what's going to be under the sheet on
the lonely trolley in the middle of the room before the first
man summons him over to it.

Kafka goes.  The first man yanks the sheet off the face in
one quick movement.  The face of Eduard.  White and bloated,
the tongue jutting, the eyes bulging.

Kafka recoils, stepping back instinctively.

			SECOND MAN
		(still behind Kafka
		 at the door)
	You know him?

			KAFKA
	... Yes.

			FIRST MAN
	His name is Eduard Raban?

			KAFKA
	... Yes.

And now he hears a stirring in a dark corner.  He looks up
again.

A third man steps out of the shadows where he's been quietly
standing and walks over to Kafka.  He is a severe man,
stolid, dedicated, and never smiles.  He reminds Kafka of his
father.

			MAN
		(with an introductory
		 nod)
	Inspector Grubach.

						 CUT:

INSPECTOR'S OFFICE - NIGHT

The Inspector behind his big desk.  Kafka in front of it.

			INSPECTOR
	Kafka -- is that your real name?

			KAFKA
	Yes.  Yes, of course -- why
	wouldn't it be?

			INSPECTOR
	When was the last time you saw
	Mr. Raban?

			KAFKA
	Wednesday.  We left the office
	together.

			INSPECTOR
	Did you go anywhere afterwards --
	to have a drink perhaps?

			KAFKA
	No, we said goodbye outside the
	building.  He went off, as usual,
	toward his house.

			INSPECTOR
		(consulting papers)
	Your office is the Workmen's --

			KAFKA
	-- Accident and Compensation
	Association.

			INSPECTOR
	Where you've been employed for
	seven years.

			KAFKA
	Eight -- and seven months.

			INSPECTOR
	Engaged in the manufacture and
	distribution of ... pills and so
	forth.

			KAFKA
	Well -- other departments are, yes.

			INSPECTOR
	Would you describe your relationship
	with the dead man as close?

			KAFKA
	Yes.  Since he came to the office,
	almost three years ago, we've
	been quite good friends.
		(pause)
	How was Eduard ...

			INSPECTOR
	He was found in the River.  Could
	he swim?

			KAFKA
	I don't know.

			INSPECTOR
	Was he depressed?

			KAFKA
	No.  He didn't seem to be.  Do
	you think he drowned himself?

			INSPECTOR
	Grown men don't normally fall
	into the river, do they?

			KAFKA
	No, I suppose not.

		     INSPECTOR
		(closing the file)
	He might have had a drink or two,
	despite what you think.

			KAFKA
		(as the interview
		 seems to be over)
	Can I ask -- how you found me?

			INSPECTOR
	His landlady knew of no other
	friends to refer us to.

			KAFKA
	I don't think he really had any.
	He had no family either.

			INSPECTOR
	We know that.

Pause.

			KAFKA
	He wasn't a lonely man, though.

			INSPECTOR
	What makes you think so?

			KAFKA
	... Just a perception.

						 CUT:

HALLWAY

Kafka comes out of a door that closes behind him.  He stands
and waits.  At a high desk a POLICEMAN is reading a
newspaper.  Without even looking up from it he extends his
arm and pushes Kafka slightly to one side so he's no longer
blocking the light.

Two other MEN are here waiting, sitting on a bench, sharing a
private joke.  Kafka glances down at himself, wondering if
his appearance could in any way inspire ridicule.

The door opens again and the Inspector is back.

			INSPECTOR
	I don't usually involve myself
	with you people in the Old Quarter
	-- but the River runs its own course.
	It won't be the last time it
	deposits its unwanted debris on my
	doorstep.

Pause.

			KAFKA
	Probably not.

			INSPECTOR
	Anyway, I'd like you to reflect
	that in me you have -- I won't say
	a friend, because we're complete
	fencers, of course -- from
	distinctly incompatible social
	classes -- but to some extent, shall
	we say, an interested third party.

			KAFKA
	I'll bear that in mind.

			INSPECTOR
	   (hands Kafka his card)
	-- Should you happen upon anything
	that might be relevant.

He nods curtly at Kafka, and shuts his door.

THE TROLLEY

With Eduard's sheet-covered form on it, coming down the hall,
the SQUEAKING WHEELS of the thing loud on the wooden floor.

KAFKA

The noise causes him to turn around.  He watches the trolley
as it's pushed past.

						 CUT:

AN OFFICE TROLLEY - DAY

Similarly coffin-like, loaded with files.

KAFKA

Edges out of the way to let it by, feeling as though it has
been made for him, is waiting for him.

He walks on to the Chief Clerk's office.

CHIEF CLERK'S OFFICE

Kafka comes in.

			KAFKA
	You wanted to see me, sir.

			CHIEF CLERK
		(indicates a chair)
	Sit down, Kafka.

Kafka does.  And the Chief Clerk stands up.  He paces up and
down a bit, making Kafka awfully nervous before he finally
clears his throat and starts to get to the point.

			CHIEF CLERK
	You've been with the firm for
	nearly nine years.  You've done
	your work diligently, there are no
	complaints on that score.  But
	there's more to the job than the
	work -- there are other people to
	consider -- and frankly, Kafka, we
	eel your social situation could
	bear improving.

			KAFKA
	... My ... social situation?

			CHIEF CLERK
	You keep too much to yourself --
	you're a lone wolf.  It makes me
	uneasy, and if it makes me uneasy
	I can't imagine the impression you
	make on lesser employees.

The Chief Clerk, towering over him, also reminds Kafka of his
father.  Kafka tries putting up a defense.

			KAFKA
	To do my work well, I have little
	time for --

			CHIEF CLERK
	You must make the time.  Where
	do you go off to in the lunch
	hour?

			KAFKA
	I usually take lunch by the River.

			CHIEF CLERK
	It's not healthy, Kafka -- not for
	you and not for your workmates.  At
	the annual dinner this month you
	again failed to make an appearance.

			KAFKA
	I did not realize it was obligatory.

			CHIEF CLERK
	Have you never wondered -- and I
	mention this only in passing --
		(as he paces past and
		 Kafka turns his head)
	why other clerks have advanced to
	more responsible positions while you,
	who have been here longer, have not?

			KAFKA
	No, sir.

			CHIEF CLERK
	Attitude, Kafka.  It doesn't matter
	how well you do your work -- you
	still see it as something to be
	gotten on with rather than something
	to take an active interest in.

			KAFKA
		(leans forward in
		 rebuttal)
	Well, I --

			CHIEF CLERK
		(keeps pacing)
	Oh, I know you got along with that
	poor fellow -- what was his name?

			KAFKA
	-- Eduard --

			CHIEF CLERK
	-- Yes -- Raban -- but he was too
	much like you -- even more so
	perhaps.  He wasn't here as long as
	you, so I didn't know him as well --
	but I could see the influence he was
	having.  I simply want you to be
	aware of this because you'll be
	happier for it.

Kafka merely nods, starts to get up.

			CHIEF CLERK
	In any case -- don't ask me why --
	the word has come down you're to
	be promoted.

Kafka sits back down in the chair.

			CHIEF CLERK
	Your colleague's death has helped
	precipitate the need, though I can
	tell you it's been under
	consideration for some time.  You're
	to be given two assistants and a
	commensurate rise in salary.
		(sits back behind
		 desk)
	That's all.

Kafka nods once, starts to go again.

			CHIEF CLERK
	Kafka.

Kafka turns.

			CHIEF CLERK
	I understand you fancy yourself an
	author.

			KAFKA
		(almost visibly
		 cringes)
	In a small way.

			CHIEF CLERK
	You might find a more athletic
	hobby -- put some color in your
	cheeks.

He returns to his paperwork.  Kafka leaves.

OUTSIDE CHIEF CLERK'S OFFICE

Walking away, Kafka notices Gabriela striding along an office
corridor -- and sneaky Burgel confronting her.

GABRIELA

She looks distressed, walking tall as if to bolster her
composure.  Sneaky Burgel does not help matters by
characteristically appearing from the sidelines.

			BURGEL
	Good morning --
		(she ignores him)
	Or should I say good afternoon?

			GABRIELA
	Say what you like -- no one pays
	the least attention.

			BURGEL
		(walking quickly
		 alongside her)
	Oh, don't they?  I think you
	underestimate my station in this
	office and overrate your own.

			GABRIELA
	Not today, Burgel.  Send one of
	your memos, write up one of your
	communiques, but for God's sake
	don't bother me today.

			BURGEL
	It's my place to offer advice, not
	yours -- and by advising the Chief
	Clerk of your unpunctuality it's
	certainly not my situation that's
	compromised, if that's what you're
	implying.

			GABRIELA
		(stops to glare at
		 him)
	You're just doing your job.

			BURGEL
	It's what I'm paid to do.

			GABRIELA
	You're detestable.

			BURGEL
	And you're late!

Suddenly, in a terrific release of pent-up emotion, she slaps
him hard across the cheek, the first of what would be a
flurry of blows if not for the fact that the unexpected force
of it throws Burgel reeling backwards before she can deliver
any more.  Instead she rushes away, very upset.

KAFKA

As startled as the rest of the office by the incident.

Burgel recovers, straightening up in shock and
embarrassment.  He immediately resolves to march directly to
the office of the Chief Clerk.

Seeing him coming, Kafka quickly starts away.

						 CUT:

THE ASSISTANTS - DAY

OSKAR and LUDWIG.  They look almost the same.  At first
glance almost identical.  It's only a closer inspection that
shows them to be imperfect twins.  Dressed in matching suits.

One is sitting on Kafka's new desk, the other in Kafka's new
chair.  They're rummaging about in his papers, and whenever
one selects a particular document for closer scrutiny, the
other promptly snatches it out of his hand.

KAFKA

Coming this way, has paused, having spotted the weird duo.

THE ASSISTANTS

Continue with their mischief until one of them notices Kafka
coming and nudges the other so strongly he almost falls
over.  They're both standing at attention, looking guilty, by
the time Kafka arrives.

			KAFKA
	My assistants, I presume.

			ASSISTANTS
	Yes -- that's us.

Kafka smiles at them, half in friendliness, half in amusement
at their quirky appearance.

			KAFKA
		(offers his hand)
	I'm Kafka.

Oskar responds first, but Ludwig knocks his hand out of the
way to get there first.

			LUDWIG
		(shaking hands)
	Ludwig.

			OSKAR
		(now it's his turn)
	Oskar.

			KAFKA
	You look like brothers.

			ASSISTANTS
	Yes -- we do.

			KAFKA
	Have you worked here long?

			ASSISTANTS
	No, no, no -- quite a long time,
	yes.

Kafka doesn't quite know what to make of these two, but they
seem pleasant enough fellows and they're looking at him with
such wide-eyed innocence he doesn't know what more to say to
them.  So he turns to look around the new area he's been
assigned -- a burrow all to himself now -- even a personal
clothes peg on the wall for his coat.

The Assistants make stupid faces at each other behind his
back, but look serious again when he turns around.

			KAFKA
	Well, we'd better move things
	from my old desk.

ASSISTANTS

Look at each other with identical frowns, then back at
Kafka.  Oskar nods, as if to say "oh, all right, if we
must."  And Ludwig grins.

						 CUT:

KAFKA'S NEW OFFICE - DAY

Kafka types up forms.  He hears some noise and glances over
his shoulder to see how the Assistants are getting on --
they're sharing another desk, facing each other, and seem to
be working quietly, though with pouting expressions.

Kafka rolls a new form into the typewriter -- when a shadow
falls over the page.

			GABRIELA
	Eduard and I had lunch together
	one day ... and you saw us.

Kafka looks up at her.  He nods.

			KAFKA
	On the Embankment.

						 CUT:

THE EMBANKMENT - MIDDAY

Kafka and Gabriela stroll by the River, Kafka finishing off
his lunch as they go, occasionally offering tidbits to
Gabriela who either samples or refuses them.

			GABRIELA
	I was having an affair with
	Eduard.
		(notes Kafka's reaction)
	He didn't tell you?

		    KAFKA
	No.

		    GABRIELA
	He would have.  You were his best
	friend.  A better friend than me.

		    KAFKA
	I suspected that he -- well.

			GABRIELA
	What?

			KAFKA
	That he was -- satisfied in that
	regard.  I didn't want to pry.

			GABRIELA
		(throws her hair
		 back proudly)
	It's not that we wanted to deceive
	anyone -- but you know how these
	things are looked upon at the office.

Kafka lets out a smile at that.  Gabriela is suspicious of
smiles.

			GABRIELA
	What's funny?

			KAFKA
	This morning it was suggested to
	me that my own sense of office
	fellowship could bear improving.

			GABRIELA
	As long as it's on their terms.
	If your work and your private
	life don't correspond to their
	specifications you're labelled a
	dangerous agitator -- with no
	recourse whatsoever.

The gnarled, barren branches of a nearby tree shiver over the
two of them.

			KAFKA
	How long were you and Eduard --

			GABRIELA
	Two or three months, that's all.
		(adds)
	-- I seduced him.

HIGH TERRACE

A flight of stone steps takes them up here to this vantage
spot overlooking the River and the city beyond.  Kafka stands
by a railing -- and the huge, distorted shadow of SOMEONE
looms suddenly on the high wall under him.

			GABRIELA
	You know as well as I do that he
	didn't commit suicide.

Kafka looks at her.

		     KAFKA
	No, I don't.  I'm amazed that anyone
	is able to bear life with any
	assurance at all.

		     GABRIELA
	Eduard didn't see it as something
	that needed bearing.

		     KAFKA
	The police would know the
	difference, wouldn't they?

		     GABRIELA
	Do you think people in the New
	Town care what happens over here?
		(nodding across the
		 water)
	This will always be the ghetto.

		     KAFKA
	He wasn't robbed.  He was
	identified by his wallet.

		     GABRIELA
	And you believe everything the
	authorities tell you.

		     KAFKA
	When I have no reason to doubt.

		     GABRIELA
	The very fact that they're
	authorities should give you reason.
	People will do anything to protect
	their own interests.  For all you
	know he was killed at the hands of
	the police.

			KAFKA
	-- What could he have done to
	warrant that?

For a moment she seems about to tell him, but then looks
away.  Kafka follows her gaze.

IN THE DISTANCE

Someone else has paused at the embankment wall further away
to stare at the roiling water.  He's too far away to see
clearly.  Probably nothing sinister about him at all.
Still ...

GABRIELA

Turns back to Kafka.

			GABRIELA
	Are you free tonight?

			KAFKA
	Tonight?

			GABRIELA
	There are some people I'd like you
	to meet.  Can you come to the
	Musil district at eight o'clock?

			KAFKA
	... All right.

Her eyes lock on his for a moment.  She's beautiful.  He's
fearful.

			GABRIELA
	You almost married recently,
	didn't you?

			KAFKA
	Last year.  I -- it was broken
	off.

			GABRIELA
	Eduard wanted to marry me.

			KAFKA
	And you ...?

			GABRIELA
	I'm suspicious of men who want
	to marry.  I believe they think
	it's the only thing that will
	make them equal to their fathers.

THE SHADOW ON THE WALL BENEATH

Disappears, the ominous black mass flowing off the large flat
surface as abruptly as it arrived.  While up there on the
terrace we see Gabriela walk away from Kafka.

KAFKA

Stays where he is a moment, watching her.  He may have found
his ideal woman.

			KAFKA
		(then follows
		 behind her)
	-- I don't know the Musil
	district.

			GABRIELA
		(without turning)
	You won't have any trouble finding
	it.

						 CUT:

FAT MEN - NIGHT

Sit laughing, jowls gyrating, around a table filled with an
abnormal amount of food.  One of them stops laughing then,
and the others follow suit, one after the other in turn,
until they're all silent, looking at the same thing.

We're in a fancy restaurant, and the other customers have
also turned away from their dinners for the moment to stare
at the Man in Black who stands before the Fat Men.

The man wears a black mask as well.  He presents the Fat Men
with a covered tray.  They look at it, then back at him --
but he's walked away.  They look at the tray again -- and one
of them lifts the cover.  Underneath lies the classic black
bowling ball -- with a fuse burning at the top.  The Fat Men
all try to stand up at once but --

BOOM!  Their booth explodes with them in it.

At the doorway, holding a revolver loosely in one hand to
discourage heroes, the Man in Black turns calmly to face the
stunned restaurant.

			MAN IN BLACK
		(hoarse voice)
	Long live anarchy!

He leaves.  Fire in his wake.

						 CUT:

THE OLD TOWN - NIGHT

Kafka walks the crooked streets -- in the direction of the
plume of smoke and illumination coming from the burning
restaurant.

In the dark distance behind him there seems to be a person
following him.

NOISY BEER SHOP

Neighborhood denizens have come out, hearing all the
excitement not far away.  Kafka walks past.  He looks behind
him, but the following figure has gone.

TWISTED LITTLE STREET

Kafka comes around a curve -- and sees ahead a dark figure
a black cape standing waiting under a lone lamppost.  When
Kafka gets a bit nearer, the figure starts to walk slowly
away, as if expecting Kafka to follow.

DIRTY YARD

The dark figure walks alongside a row of black window panes,
turning around the corner where they end.  Kafka follows
around the corner -- and through a dingy doorway.

A LOPSIDED STAIRWAY

Leads him up to a large attic.  Warning shadows.

ATTIC

Gloomy except for the light around a table at a far end.
Kafka advances, seeing Gabriela sitting there with her same
companions from the coffee house.  Kafka stops in front of
the table.

			VOICE FROM BEHIND
	Please sit down.

Kafka turns to see the last of the group come in, having
obviously tailed him all along.  A burly man with a BEARD.
The leader of this anarchist cell.

Kafka sits down, in between a SOLEMN man with a moustache and
a woman with a POCKMARKED face.  The seedy YOUTH who led him
in completes the circle.

			BEARDED ANARCHIST
	We'll save the introductions.
		(takes his seat)
	We don't know yet if you're friend
	or foe.

			KAFKA
	Strangers make better foes than
	friends.  Will you tell me who you
	are altogether, if not individually?

			POCKMARKED ANARCHIST
	Heralds of a new age -- does that
	sound immodest?

			BEARDED ANARCHIST
	You could say we represent the
	unofficial view of a well-ordered
	society.

			KAFKA
		(to Gabriela)
	Ah -- we're back to the "authorities"
	you spoke of.

			GABRIELA
	They're ubiquitous.  What we try to
	do ... is make them a little less so.

			BEARDED ANARCHIST
	Quite a disturbance tonight, yes?
	And perhaps you recall last month --
	the explosion at the Municipal
	Courthouse that sent one of the
	examining magistrates to join the
	heavenly choir.

			KAFKA
		(disbelieving)
	... Was Eduard one of you?

			YOUTHFUL ANARCHIST
	The last to join us, the first to
	leave us.

Gabriela darts a fierce look at her overly-flippant
colleague.  And Kafka is sad about his dead friend for a
different reason.

			KAFKA
	... Why take me into your confidence?

			POCKMARKED ANARCHIST
	That's obvious, isn't it?  We
	have an opening for a new member.

After a moment's pause, Kafka stands up.

			GABRIELA
	I nominated you as a possible
	candidate.  You were Eduard's good
	friend.  He read me some of your
	work.

			KAFKA
	I've hardly published enough for
	anyone to draw conclusions from.

			GABRIELA
	You strike me as a man with a
	defined notion of injustice -- a
	high concern for the lot of your
	fellow men.  And yet you're able to
	remain an outsider.  With the
	concomitant air of ... superiority?

			BEARDED ANARCHIST
	In short, a higher man.  It's what
	we want.  It's what we need.

Kafka notices that the Bearded Anarchist has a tattoo on the
back of his hand.

			KAFKA
	The distance to my fellow man is
	for me quite a journey.  As for
	being an outsider, it's never been
	a matter of choice.

			YOUTHFUL ANARCHIST
		(as Kafka starts to
		 leave)
	-- They may have instituted proceedings
	against you.

			KAFKA
		(turns)
	What proceedings?

			POCKMARKED ANARCHIST
	Preliminary investigations may already
	be underway.

			BEARDED ANARCHIST
	You were his friend.  One link is
	all they need.

Kafka sits down again.  He tries not to be distracted by the
Solemn Anarchist who says nothing but who takes an uncommon
interest in seeing how many matches there are in the matchbox
he's been fiddling with.

			GABRIELA
	The day he died, Eduard was called
	up to the Castle.  Did you know that?

			KAFKA
		(shakes his head)
	What of it?

			GABRIELA
	He was summoned to help correct a
	minor discrepancy of some sort in
	the Medical Records Division.
	Apparently one of his claims was
	relevant.

			POCKMARKED ANARCHIST
	-- Merely in the interests of order,
	you understand.  The officials at
	the Castle like to cover their tracks.

			GABRIELA
	He was never seen alive again.

			KAFKA
	And you still maintain -- what?
	That he was murdered.

			GABRIELA
	He was murdered.

A skylight casts moonglow over the proceedings.

			BEARDED ANARCHIST
	As you can imagine, a pass into
	the Castle -- hardly ever granted --
	was an opportunity we couldn't
	ignore.

			YOUTHFUL ANARCHIST
	The Castle represents every
	anachronism that needs to be destroyed
	if progress is to be made.

			BEARDED ANARCHIST
	As you know, it's not the most
	accessible location.  Far from being
	depressed, Eduard was particularly
	excited when he brought us the news
	of this chance invitation. He set off
	that evening carrying one of our
	custom-made briefcases instead of
	his own.

			GABRIELA
		(gauging Kafka's reaction)
	You're shocked at the thought of
	Eduard tossing a bomb through a
	window.

			KAFKA
	I have no right to be, I know.  My
	experience with real life  is
	practically nil.

			GABRIELA
	When you only see someone sitting at
	a desk all day, it's liable to
	create a false impression.

			KAFKA
	People must think the same of me --
	a quiet, dependable person.

			BEARDED ANARCHIST
	You don't have to accept everything
	as true, my friend.  You need only
	accept it as necessary.

			GABRIELA
	As the bomb never went off, we can
	only assume he was caught with it --
	and summarily executed.

			POCKMARKED ANARCHIST
	-- Merely in the interests of order.

			BEARDED ANARCHIST
	The formality of a trial would be too
	costly for them.  They're beginning
	to understand that it's the ensuing
	news of our actions that incites
	support.

			KAFKA
	Propaganda of the dead?

			YOUTHFUL ANARCHIST
	The Castle will deny he was there
	any longer than his business required.
	They're just file clerks up there.  No
	doubt he was handed over to the police
	with the utmost discretion.

			BEARDED ANARCHIST
	In any event, we've felt no
	repercussions as yet.  Eduard must not
	have talked.  You're the one they
	contacted.

			KAFKA
	So that's who my foes are -- policemen
	and file clerks.  Law and order, you
	might say.

The Solemn Anarchist looks up from his matchbox.

			GABRIELA
	You think what we're doing is so
	wrong?  And what are you doing?
	Pursuing goodness?  For what?  To
	answer to some supreme tribunal?

			KAFKA
	My only concern is the human
	tribunal.  Isn't it yours?

			GABRIELA
	Yes -- which is why "quiet,
	dependable people" have to take
	charge of their own lives.

			KAFKA
	At the cost of others?  You accuse
	people of murder without trial --
	apparently without irony.  Did you
	go to the Castle with Eduard?
		(apparently not)
	Then you have no idea what really
	might have happened that night at
	all -- even before or after he got
	there.

He stands to leave again.

			GABRIELA
	Your human tribunal will betray
	you.  Just as its members will be
	betrayed when they find no supreme
	one

Kafka starts walking away.

			GABRIELA
	Join us, Kafka.

Kafka keeps on going, the anarchists growing smaller as
they're left behind in their far corner of the long attic.

			GABRIELA
	It's sheer folly for anyone to
	try to pull through alone.

						 CUT:

MANIACAL LAUGHTER - BEFORE DAWN

Seeming to emanate from pitch blackness -- but then suddenly,
fast, out of a tunnel under a bridge come running three
terrified VAGRANTS, roused from slumber and scared out
their wits by the ghastly, crazed CACKLING chasing after
them, ECHOING under the arches.

They're at the river's edge, all running wildly, slipping and
stumbling, every man for himself, as they desperately try to
escape from whatever madness is closing in behind them.

Now from out of the tunnel appears their pursuer, seen only
from the back, literally shaking with insane, involuntary,
howling LAUGHTER.  A horrific human hyena, far further gone
than the sad wretches he's cornered here on this foul,
moss-covered ledge in the cold wind.

Seeing him, the vagrants freeze in their various positions --
then turn in panic to flee again as he starts after them,
moving like an animal, a killer predator, laughing horribly
as he goes.

The First Vagrant, propelled by fright, manages to make a
stunning leap up a wall to grab onto some overhanging chains
and pull himself up.  The Second Vagrant finds himself
trapped at the edge of the ledge -- with the Laughing Man
choosing him as the one to go after first.  He turns and
jumps into the river.  The Laughing Man, face still unseen,
turns toward the climbing vagrant instead -- who clambers
over the top just in time as the Laughing Man's fingernails
claw the moldy wall beneath him.

The Third Vagrant has made it to some steps, and down them --
glancing back to see the Laughing Man coming after him -- to
the small patch of muddy beach at the bottom, grey river
water lapping at his ragged shoes.  He doesn't know what to
do -- he doesn't know how to swim!  The Laughing Man is
running down the steps now.  The Vagrant starts wading out
into the water, crying out in fear as the HOWLS behind him
come closer and closer -- he throws himself forward,
splashing vainly -- and feels the Laughing Man grabbing his
ankles, pulling him back.

The Vagrant's screams join the Laughing Man's insane giggles
as they thrash around violently in the water.  The Laughing
Man drags the Vagrant back to the beach, then back up the
Steps, the Vagrant struggling helplessly, his head banging
from step to step, his hands flailing around but finding
nothing to clutch onto, his screaming going unheeded in this
lonely part of the sleeping city.

The Laughing Man drags him on, back to the slippery ledge and
along it, dragging the Vagrant on his back through a filthy
sewer alongside the wall, the Vagrant's cries choked by the
stagnant water, but continuing as the Laughing Man drags him
back into the dark tunnel, under the bridge, the two of them
disappearing into the blackness again, their combined
SHRIEKING louder than ever as it ECHOES horribly around the
damp stone, then dimming as they go deeper and further away,
unseen, until the screaming and the laughter can no longer be
distinguished.

						 CUT:

KAFKA'S OFFICE - MORNING

Kafka walks toward his desk.  Nearing, he sees the Assistants
laughing in lunacy between themselves.  They hush up
immediately when they notice him, and are pretending to work
when he arrives.  He watches them out of the corner of his
eye as he arranges himself at his chair.

			KAFKA
	How was your evening?

At this sign of sympathy they immediately scuttle their
chairs closer to him.

			ASSISTANTS
	Fine -- terrible.

			KAFKA
		(uncovering his
		 typewriter)
	What was the matter with it?

			OSKAR
		(indicating Ludwig)
	He can't sit still.  Just when we
	arrive at a nightclub he wants to
	go to another one.

			LUDWIG
		(to Kafka)
	You look tired.

			OSKAR
		(interrupting)
	Gabriela Rossman was here looking
	for you.  Do you know her?

			KAFKA
		(looking up)
	Do you?

			OSKAR
	We saw her naked once -- didn't we.

He elbows Ludwig violently.

			LUDWIG
	Women are all you have on your
	mind!

			OSKAR
	She went to the roof to sunbathe
	one lunch hour -- we watched her
	changing.

			KAFKA
	I didn't realize you'd been here
	that long.

			OSKAR
	You mean because it's been a while
	since there was a sunny day?  What
	a good detective you are.

			LUDWIG
	They keep switching us from
	department to department.  He
	doesn't mind because he can't sit
	still.

			OSKAR
	We used to be in the supply section,
	carrying boxes of medicine about
	but we dropped too many of them.

			LUDWIG
	It's not too bad working here.

Kafka stands up, pleased for them in their innocence.

			KAFKA
	You don't think it's a horrible
	double life from which there is
	probably no escape but insanity?

The Assistants look at each other, perplexed by this
attitude.

			LUDWIG
	No.

			KAFKA
	I'm glad for you.

He starts to go.

			OSKAR
		(calling after him)
	You should be content, you know!

The stick-like figure of Kafka turns into the long center
aisle, walking between the endless rows of busy desks.  He
sidetracks, taking a shortcut along a narrower aisle toward
the exit he's heading for.  Another clerk is coming the other
way and they both at the same instant turn sideways to sidle
efficiently by one another, an almost balletic maneuver,
perfected after years of office experience, nothing more than
a short breath of air passing between them.

						 CUT:

GABRIELA'S SECTION

Kafka working his way toward Gabriela's desk -- but he stops
before he gets to it, a familiar shiver running through him.

THE DESK

Empty.  The chair pushed squarely under it.  The typewriter
covered.

KAFKA

Stares at it -- then at the ermine Mr. Burgel who has once
again popped up out of nowhere.

			BURGEL
	Are you looking for Gabriela
	Rossmann?

			KAFKA
	Yes.

Burgel bows sarcastically to hand Kafka an envelope.  Then
chuckles spitefully, obviously knowing something Kafka does
not.  He walks off, leaving Kafka uneasy.

						 CUT:

EDUARD'S LODGING HOUSE - DAY

Kafka bounds up the stairs.

EDUARD'S LANDING

The door to his room is open.  Kafka goes in.

EDUARD'S ROOM

Kafka comes in.  Gabriela is here, gathering up Eduard's
belongings from drawers.

			GABRIELA
		(hardly glancing at
		 him)
	I'm collecting Eduard's things.
	If there's anything you want, take
	it or I'll give it to charity.

			KAFKA
		(taking her note
		 from his pocket)
	Burgel gave me this -- what does
	it mean?

			GABRIELA
		(now looks up)
	Burgel! -- I didn't leave it with
	him.

			KAFKA
		(going closer)
	Why were you given notice?

			GABRIELA
	They're not obliged to tell.

			KAFKA
	It couldn't be for that incident
	with Burgel the other day.

			GABRIELA
	Of course it could -- Burgel's
	been trying to get me thrown out
	as long as I can remember.  He
	could've killed Eduard.

			KAFKA
	You don't believe that.

			GABRIELA
	I wouldn't put it past him.

She's stuffed the last of the clothes into a small bag,
goes to take the few other possessions from shelves and
elsewhere.

Kafka notices that he's standing by a dumbwaiter.   For lack
of anything better to do he pulls the rope to bring it up.
It's filled with more clothes.  Gabriela comes over with her
bag, holding it out for him as Kafka puts the clothes in --
but not as many clothes as they thought.  Behind the bundle,
hidden at the back, is a briefcase.

Gabriela recognizes it.  Kafka sees her surprised reaction.
He removes the case and carefully flips the latches.  Inside,
a complex mechanism, wires connected to a clock -- and a
clump of dynamite.

Kafka just looks at it sadly.  He closes the case.

			KAFKA
	It seems I knew Eduard a little
	bit, after all.

GROUND FLOOR OF BUILDING

The ratty old concierge peeks up the stairs inquisitively.
In the doorway of his room, a LODGER clips his fingernails at
a little folding table, neatly lining them up.  The concierge
turns and notices.

			CONCIERGE
	Lodgers!  Not one of them thinks
	to spare me such spectacles!

She slams the door on him then returns to her own apartment,
slamming that door too.  The hallway is empty now.

EDUARD'S ROOM

Gabriela turns to Kafka.

			GABRIELA
	You might think -- I thought so
	myself at first -- that Burgel's
	too insignificant to be dangerous.
	But that's the very reason to beware!
	It's the small men to watch out for
	-- the ones who substitute method
	for character.

			KAFKA
		(sighs at her
		 relentlessness)
	Now you've fallen into his trap.
	When he goes to bed at night
	Burgel dreams of inspiring as much
	fear in others as they inspire in
	him.

			GABRIELA
	It's still easier for you to
	understand suicide, isn't it.

She's got his number.  He's so in awe of her he has to turn
away -- looking out the room's small window.

			KAFKA
	That street down there -- I
	always used to call it the approach
	road for suicides.  It leads
	straight down to the bridge and
	the River.

			GABRIELA
	Burgel hated Eduard.  And me.  I'm
	sure he knew about us -- and I'm
	sure it drove him mad.

			KAFKA
	Burgel doesn't like anybody!

			GABRIELA
	He used to like me -- very much
	more than I liked him.

			KAFKA
	He's jealous, yes, but that
	jealous?  He's too cautious.

Gabriela clears some more items off a mantelpiece with a
sweeping gesture.

			GABRIELA
	Of course he is -- the Castle
	precincts are not the safest part
	of the city after dark.  People
	disappear up there regularly.   If
	you want to lie in wait for someone,
	that's the place to do it.

			KAFKA
	Now you're saying Eduard was lured
	there?

			GABRIELA
		(puts away the last
		 few books)
	How often does one of our clerks
	have business in the house of records?

			KAFKA
	I've heard of it happening.

			GABRIELA
	And Burgel is the bringer of
	messages, isn't he?

			KAFKA
	Usually.

Putting the bag down, Gabriela goes closer to Kafka, so close
he almost cowers.

			GABRIELA
	Or what if there really was an
	error? -- I don't know what kind --
	any kind that needed correcting --
	and what if Burgel was responsible
	for it?  One mistake -- even a small
	one in a firm like ours -- it could
	cost him a promotion.

			KAFKA
	First these nameless authorities
	were the root of all evil, now it's
	insignificant Burgel.  If indeed
	there was a mistake -- and a minor
	one at that -- you're suggesting
	someone went to a lot of trouble
	over something so trivial as to
	not matter at all.

			GABRIELA
	What seems important to these
	people is not determined by the
	amount of work it entails -- you're
	far from understanding the
	authorities if you believe that.

			KAFKA
	Now Burgel's one of the authorities?

She turns away from him, reddening.

			GABRIELA
	For all his big talk he is.  Does
	he really have access to the Directors
	of the firm as he always claims?  --
	or only the Deputy Managers -- people
	of no importance whatsoever.  Someone
	ought to follow him for a change.

Kafka sees an opportunity to go to her, to try to calm her,
to make a timid approach to this woman.

			KAFKA
	You won't make any sense of it
	while you're upset.

-- But she breaks away.

			GABRIELA
	Burgel is only there for one
	purpose -- to spy on the employees
	and report any and all indiscretions,
	real or imagined.  If he didn't
	send Eduard to the Castle, you can
	be damn sure he's in league with
	whoever greeted him there.
		(very upset now)
	All those bastards are in league
	with each other -- why can't you
	see that!

She takes hold of him as if to shake some sense into him --
but really because she needs someone to hold.

			KAFKA
	... I don't see anything.  I see
	a message on its way to me -- with
	all the right answers.  Only it
	never arrives -- it's always just
	on its way.

Gabriela doesn't seem to be listening.  She's looking around.
the little room, as if it's someone else she's holding ...

			GABRIELA
	Eduard ...

Her head against his, Kafka tentatively touches her hair
and she pulls away, the spell broken.

			GABRIELA
	Your ignorance of the way things
	are here is so appalling that it
	makes my head spin to listen to
	you and compare what you say and
	have in mind with the real situation!

She storms out, vehemently picking up her bag on the way out,
and slamming the door quakingly behind her.

Kafka is too astonished at her behavior to make a move for a
moment, then he glances at the bomb-case she's left behind,
then he goes out to the landing.

GABRIELA

Rushing down the stairs in anger, tearing open the door at
the middle landing and slamming that one too once past it.

KAFKA

Following her down.

GABRIELA

Coming down the final flight of stairs, disappearing through
the door at the bottom, slamming that one as well.

KAFKA

Almost caught up with her, coming down to the last door.

GROUND FLOOR HALLWAY

Kafka comes through the door from the stairs, out of breath,
and stops.  He's too late.  The hallway is empty.  The front
door at the end of it is shut.  He makes a face and a moment
later starts to go back up.  Then stops again.  Turns.  Looks
back at the front door.  ... The one he didn't hear slam.

OUTSIDE

The front door opens and Kafka steps out.  He stands on  the
stoop.  He looks up the street one way.  Deserted.  He looks
down the street the other way.  Deserted.

						 CUT:

INSIDE - DAY

Kafka leads the police Inspector back along the lodging house
hallway.  The two subordinate policemen follow behind.

			INSPECTOR
	You said she was extremely upset.
	People who are extremely upset --
	Kafka -- are given to disappearing
	in a hurry.  They go and calm down
	for a day or so and then they come
	back.

They've come to the door to the stairs now.

			KAFKA
	But that's just my point -- she was
	more than upset, she was livid.
	She slammed every door on her way
	downstairs -- except that one.
		(points at front door)
	I was just behind her and I didn't
	even hear that one shut -- not at
	all.

			INSPECTOR
	That's not what I call conclusive
	evidence of an abduction.

			KAFKA
	If someone was waiting here in the
	hallway to spirit her away, wouldn't
	they have shut the door as quietly
	as possible?

The Inspector stares at him.  The two other policemen roll
their eyes at each other.

						 CUT:

EDUARD'S ROOM

Kafka keeps his eye on the two policemen as they poke around,
one of them getting close to the dumbwaiter.

			INSPECTOR
	Why would someone want to kidnap
	this woman -- the name is Rossmann?

He says it rather derisively, separating the syllables of the
name.

			KAFKA
	You told me to contact you if
	anything relevant came up --
	Gabriela is relevant.  When I
	spoke to you before I didn't know
	she'd been seeing Eduard.

			INSPECTOR
	That's been noted.  But where
	does it lead us?  Unless you have
	something more to add.

			KAFKA
	She's missing.  I went to her house
	and she hadn't returned there.

The policeman at the dumbwaiter peers down the shaft -- but
then moves on.

			INSPECTOR
	She lost her job today.  Just
	between you and me, I'd probably
	go away and brood a bit myself.

He signals his men, time for them to go.

STAIRWAY

The two Policemen lead the way back down, the Inspector
behind them, Kafka remaining on the top landing.

			KAFKA
		(manages to blurt out)
	Maybe it's true then what she said.

			INSPECTOR
		(pauses)
	What did she say?

			KAFKA
	That the police may have allegiance
	to something other than truth.

The two other policemen look at each other ominously.  The
Inspector turns to them, giving them a look, and they go off
down the stairs.  The Inspector plods back up to Kafka Like a
stern parent.

They confront each other, Kafka trying not to cringe too
baldly.  Scary shadows around the bizarrely-angled stairway.

			KAFKA
	-- She didn't think Eduard
	committed suicide.
		(then)
	Any more than I do.
		(then)
	She was convinced of it.

Pause.

			INSPECTOR
	I'm going to say something, and
	I hope it's quite clear because
	I won't be repeating it.

People treat Kafka like a child.  And other people seem big
to him anyway.  The Inspector leans his face very close.

			INSPECTOR
	We don't have to hunt for criminals.
	We're drawn towards them.  The
	guilty show us the way.

He leaves Kafka alone on the top landing.

						 CUT:

CONTINENTAL COFFEE HOUSE - NIGHT

Kafka comes in, looks around, doesn't see his friends
anywhere.  But at the bar, at his usual perch, is Bizzlebek,
the coffee house habitué.

			BIZZLEBEK
	Where are your friends?

Kafka turns and looks at him.

			KAFKA
	Good question.  Who are my friends ...
	would also be of interest.

						 CUT:

TABLE

Bizzlebek sits listening to Kafka's tale of woe.

			KAFKA
		(staring into steaming
		 coffee cup)
	Gabriela was right -- it's
	easier for me to understand suicide.
	I'm a practicing suicide.

			BIZZLEBEK
		(slightly mocking
		 as ever)
	-- In what sense?

Kafka stares at men and women around the coffee house --
couples, holding hands, kissing.

			KAFKA
	Bachelorhood is just the slow
	form.  The bachelor doesn't sew
	seeds.  Only the moment matters.
	The space he occupies grows
	smaller and smaller -- until the
	only space right for him is his
	coffin.

Pause.

			BIZZLEBEK
	These strange stories you write --
	they come naturally, do they?

			KAFKA
	Naturally? -- that's not the word
	I would have chosen.

			BIZZLEBEK
		(seriously)
	Where do you get your ideas?
		(quickly)
	Only joking -- I'm just joking.
		(laughing)
	Let's go to a brothel then,
	Kafka, come on.

			KAFKA
	I haven't got the energy.  I
	mean, I have to conserve my energy.

			BIZZLEBEK
	Why do you work in that hideous
	insurance office?  -- dealing with
	people who fall off ladders.  Now
	take me -- I make my living as a
	stone mason.  It's not my art --
	but it's the tools of my art.  You
	could be -- a journalist.

Kafka shakes his head sadly.  He's obviously heard
argument before.

			KAFKA
	That would be even worse -- it would
	be a compromise.

			BIZZLEBEK
	Success or nothing?

			KAFKA
	No -- not even success.  My writing
	is not for making a living -- it's
	for living.  Not for other people,
	it's for me.

He stares at a woman who reminds him slightly of Gabriela --
a sexy woman and the man with her treating her as a sexy
woman.

			KAFKA
	... I'm the exile.  Gabriela was
	right about that too.

						 CUT:

CHARLIE CHAPLIN - EVENING

Being chased around a table by a big bearded man in
flickering black-and-white.

AN AUDIENCE

Watching, laughing.  A great sea of grinning teeth and teary
eyes.

Except one.  Kafka sits grimly alone near the back.  But
suddenly he's not alone -- the Bearded Anarchist has sat down
in front of him -- and now turns round, startlingly.

			BEARDED ANARCHIST
	We have another theory.

And the Pockmarked Anarchist is suddenly sitting beside him.

			POCKMARKED ANARCHIST
	We may have attached too little
	importance to the reason Eduard
	was summoned to the Castle to begin
	with.

And the Youthful Anarchist is behind him, thrusting his head
suddenly forward.

			YOUTHFUL ANARCHIST
	-- To correct a small discrepancy,
	you may recall.

The Solemn Anarchist is on Kafka's other side -- but he just
watches the movie.

			POCKMARKED ANARCHIST
	-- Ah, but what if it wasn't?

			BEARDED ANARCHIST
	-- Small.

			YOUTHFUL ANARCHIST
	-- What if it was a large
	discrepancy?

Kafka's head keeps turning around as they speak.

			POCKMARKED ANARCHIST
	Yours is a very powerful and important
	firm -- it has a lot at stake.

			BEARDED ANARCHIST
	Perhaps Eduard was closer than he
	knew to discovering it and so had to
	be silenced.

			YOUTHFUL ANARCHIST
	-- Or he was even more an innocent
	victim than that -- he was chosen to
	bear the blame if the crime was
	uncovered by anyone else.

			POCKMARKED ANARCHIST
	-- The crime so scandalous that the
	poor young clerk committed suicide
	rather than own up to it.

			KAFKA
	That's mad.

			POCKMARKED ANARCHIST
	-- Oh, yes, it's mad.

The Solemn Anarchist suddenly laughs -- probably at Charlie
Chaplin.

			KAFKA
	-- You said so yourself the firm
	is large and powerful.  If the
	discrepancy really was something
	big, Eduard's responsibility would
	still have to be small.  No poor
	young clerk could find himself in
	such a fix.

			POCKMARKED ANARCHIST
		(sarcastic grunt)
	When a scapegoat is needed, my
	friend ...

			BEARDED ANARCHIST
	We have to know what he was working
	on at the time of his death.

			KAFKA
	He worked on routine claims.  His
	visit to the Castle was probably as
	minor a mission as he said it was.

			POCKMARKED ANARCHIST
	Why are you so aggressively
	unimaginative?  Eduard is no longer
	the only casualty.

			KAFKA
	Then why haven't I been --

			YOUTHFUL ANARCHIST
	-- Kidnapped or murdered?  Because
	your connection with Eduard was
	obvious and above board -- not as
	easily misconstrued.

			BEARDED ANARCHIST
	-- Not secretive, therefore not
	suspicious.

			POCKMARKED ANARCHIST
	-- Gabriela, on the other hand, had
	made an enemy of this man Burgel.

			KAFKA
		(head turning, exasperated)
	Oh, Burgel!  Gabriela was having an
	affair with Eduard.  They were both
	members of this group.  If any
	crime's been discovered and people
	are paying for it, I'd look to
	yourselves!

			POCKMARKED ANARCHIST
	The loyal civil servant.  I suppose
	you'll deny that shortchanging the
	workers to whom compensation is due
	is standard company policy.

			BEARDED ANARCHIST
	It wouldn't surprise us if the
	discrepancy was between medicines
	sent and medicines received.

			YOUTHFUL ANARCHIST
	-- People die for such discrepancies.

Kafka's head is spinning -- and the Solemn Anarchist suddenly
looks at him.

			SOLEMN ANARCHIST
		(the hoarse voice of the
		 restaurant bomber)
	We must have a look at Eduard's
	file.

						 cut:

STORAGE SECTION - DAY

Kafka follows the KEEPER OF THE FILES along labyrinthine
alleys between shelves packed with files.  Walls are obscured
by columns of documents tied together, piled on top of each
other.  There's Hardly room to move.  Stacks of files are
everywhere, balancing precariously, even falling from time to
time, from sheer Pressure in all directions.

			KEEPER
		(vexed)
	"Raban" -- that'll be nearly at
	the back of the alphabet.

			KAFKA
	It usually is.

			KEEPER
		(snaps at him)
	I'm not obliged to give you access,
	you know -- not without authorization --
	but I'll make an exception this one
	time.

They turn down another row, walking further, turning again.
Kafka keeps flinching as thick bundles of documents CRASH
down around him, narrowly missing him.

			KEEPER
		(oblivious to the
		 danger)
	I'm overworked as it is.
		(finds the right
		 section)
	"Raban" did you say?

			KAFKA
	Yes.  Isn't it there?

The Keeper of the Files is rifling through folders -- causing
others to fall out onto Kafka who tries to catch them.

			KEEPER
		(pauses)
	Wait a minute.  "Raban?"  Where
	have I heard that name?

			KAFKA
	He's the clerk who died last week.
	From the insurance department

The Keeper of the files looks extremely displeased.  He
pushes past Kafka, going back the way they've come.

			KAFKA
		(follows anxiously)
	What's the matter?

			KEEPER
	Why would we keep files on dead
	employees?  All old files are sent
	up to the Castle.  Do you think we
	have room for two hundred years worth
	personnel records?

			KAFKA
		(dodges another
		 paper landslide)
	It's gone out so quickly?

			KEEPER
	Whenever an employee departs, shall
	we say, it's up to the head of his
	department to requisition his file,
	reassign any outstanding claims,
	and send it off.

			KAFKA
	-- You mean my Chief has it.

Documents come crashing down and we can't see Kafka and the
Keeper anymore.

						 CUT:

THE CHIEF CLERK - DAY

Looks up from his desk and sticks his chin out, which is his
way of asking Kafka what the hell he wants.  Kafka dares to
come in.

			KAFKA
	Excuse me, sir -- I understand
	you have Eduard Raban's file.

			CHIEF CLERK
	I do.

			KAFKA
	I wonder if I might look to see
	if there's an address for family
	-- I thought I'd like to write
	to them.

The Chief Clerk has little time for such sentimentality.  He
gives Kafka a little exasperated look before reaching down to
-- a right hand desk drawer -- which Kafka notices -- and
taking out a folder.

			CHIEF CLERK
	No -- just as I thought -- no
	entry for family.

Kafka nods a bit, wondering what to do now.

			CHIEF CLERK
	Was there something else?

			KAFKA
	No -- I just -- I feel a sense of
	obligation.  He was my friend --
	if I can be of any help -- closing
	his affairs.

			CHIEF CLERK
		(putting file away
		 again)
	No, there's only one report to
	complete.  I'll be doing it myself
	and submitting it to the Castle
	today or tomorrow.

			KAFKA
		(as ingenuously as
		 possible)
	I see -- it's just the Erlanger
	claim then.

			CHIEF CLERK
		(looks up)
	The Orlac claim.

			KAFKA
	Sorry, yes -- well -- thank you,
	sir.

The Chief Clerk watches him as he starts to leave.

			CHIEF CLERK
	Kafka.

Kafka reluctantly turns.

			CHIEF CLERK
	You're too sensitive.  Let your
	friend rest in peace.
		(returning to
		 paperwork)
	I've known suicides.  Such a song-
	and-dance about nothing.

Kafka nods once.

			KAFKA
	Yes, sir.

The Chief Clerk looks at him with seemingly genuine misguided
concern.

			CHIEF CLERK
	Give it up.

He goes back to his paperwork.  Kafka leaves.

OUTSIDE CHIEF CLERK'S OFFICE

Kafka shuts the door behind him, breathes a sigh of relief.

						 CUT:

THE KEEPER OF THE FILES - DAY

Looking very annoyed, leading Kafka back through the stacks.

			KEEPER
	If it was Accounts you wanted
	why did you ask for Employees?

			KAFKA
	Orlac is an account?

			KEEPER
	It's a factory in the northern
	mountains.  One of our best
	customers.
		(as they disappear
		 around a corner)
	Without a proper request I'm not
	obliged to do this, you understand
	-- but I'll make an exception on
	this one occasion.

ANOTHER ROW

Kafka glances nervously around as shelves CREAK threateningly
under the weight of documents.  Up on a ladder, the Keeper of
the Files finds the Orlac folder.

			KEEPER
	At least the account is current
	even if the employee isn't.

He pulls it out -- with great difficulty.  The Orlac file is
very, very thick.  Kafka prepares himself to catch it, but
the Keeper of the Files manages to hand it down to him
without serious injury.  Still, it's quite cumbersome and
heavier than Kafka expects.

			KEEPER
		(coming down ladder)
	That place has so many accidents,
	it's a good thing the type of
	peasants who live up there don't
	seem to have any trouble propagating
	their race.

Kafka winces at that slur but says nothing about it.

			KAFKA
		(leafing through pages)
	All these in the last year?

			KEEPER
	You must have read about it in the
	papers -- there was a terrible
	cave-in.  It wouldn't have been so
	bad, but even the Medical Officer
	for the district was killed!

			KAFKA
	I did read that.  They gave him
	a posthumous medal.

			KEEPER
		(nods)
	Dr. Murnau was the bravest of men.
	He spent an entire career in those
	backwaters with no regard for
	personal gain.  A great loss.

			KAFKA
		(a particular document)
	This is the cross-reference of
	clerks who've worked on Orlac
	claims?

			KEEPER
		(nods)
	Is your friend's name among
	them?
		(Kafka shakes his
		 head)
	Then he only worked on the one
	case.
		(taking file back
		 again)
	Your Chief will send me the final
	summation when he's finished with
	it.

			KAFKA
	Once a file's been sent to the
	Caste, is it possible to recall
	it for review?

			KEEPER
		(going back up
		 ladder)
	Of course not.  Only by a Director
	of the firm.  Who'd want to let in
	all kinds of riff-raff off the
	streets?

			KAFKA
	What good are records if they're
	not open for public inspection?

			KEEPER
		(stuffing file back
		 in place)
	These laws have been with us for
	centuries -- how can you doubt
	them?

			KAFKA
	What if I petitioned one of the
	Directors?

			KEEPER
		(coming back down)
	You do not summon them -- they
	summon you -- and this, of course,
	hardly ever happens, if at all.
	The Directors are an eccentric lot
	and by nature cautious.

			KAFKA
	Where do our records go to in the
	Castle?

			KEEPER
		(starting to walk
		 away)
	We're a medical firm, aren't we?
	They go to the Medical Records
	Section.

			KAFKA
	I could always apply there.

			KEEPER
	It so happens, my dear simple sir,
	that the Head of Medical Records at
	the Castle is one of the Directors
	of this firm.

Kafka scowls, and follows the Keeper of the Files in silence.

						 CUT:

THE OFFICE - EVENING

Kafka works at his desk, finger tapping at an adding machine.
He checks the office clock -- nearly the end of the day.

THE ASSISTANTS

One is sweeping the floor.  The other is scribbling at their
desk.  His pen blotches his paper.  He has a fit and crumples
it up and throws it down.

KAFKA

Looks over at the Chief Clerk's office -- sees him writing
intently at his desk, pausing to turn on a lamp.

THE ASSISTANTS

The sweeping one bangs his knee against a desk and starts
hopping about.  The pen of the other one leaks again.  He
crumples up his new sheet and flings it away even more
angrily than before.  Then he examines his pen, determines
that the cap at the back is loose, and starts banging it on
his desk in an attempt to tighten it -- while the other
assistant keeps jumping around holding his hurt kneecap.

KAFKA

Glances over his shoulder at them, starts to say something --
but then notices Burgel, not far away, sometimes blocked by
other employees, walking in the direction of the Chief
Clerk's office.

THE ASSISTANTS

The one assistant has just fixed his pen when the other one,
still hopping around, bumps into him, causing him to knock
over a bottle of ink.  The two of them start shoving each
other about.

Kafka whirls around, can't ignore them any longer.

			KAFKA
	Do you mind!

The Assistants look at him, surprised at this outburst.

			OSKAR
	-- I was just trying to finish
	some work!

			KAFKA
	You mean you've actually begun
	some?

			LUDWIG
		(pointing at Oskar)
	-- Just because he's done nothing
	today, he doesn't want me to show
	him up!

Oskar tries to lunge at Ludwig, but Kafka holds him back.

			KAFKA
	My assistants!  You might as well
	have fallen from the sky for all
	the thought that was spent in
	choosing you!

The Assistants look at each other sheepishly.  Then smile at
Kafka, submissively or mockingly, it's hard to tell.

			OSKAR
	It's not our fault.  We're
	naturally nervous.

			LUDWIG
	And we're upset too.

			KAFKA
	What's the matter with you?

			OSKAR
	I can't make a simple statement
	without him taking issue with it

			KAFKA
	-- You should meet my father.

			LUDWIG
	We've been together too long.  His
	personality is overflowing into
	mine and vice versa.

			OSKAR
	-- How would you like to be in a
	horrible situation like that?

KAFKA

He wouldn't.  It's the nightmare of his life.
But now he's distracted again -- noticing Burgel walking away
from the Chief Clerk's office (without ever having seem him
actually enter it).  And Burgel is carrying a parcel under
his arm.

			KAFKA
		(to Assistants again)
	All right, you might as well go
	home -- go on.

The Assistants do as they're told, Oskar returning to his
desk to clear up, turning his back on Ludwig -- at which
Ludwig  immediately rushes up very close behind him and shakes
his fist strenuously at him, turning away quickly when Oskar
turns around again to try and catch Ludwig at it.

Kafka isn't paying them any attention anymore.  He
efficiently cleans up his own space, keeping an eye on the
Chief Clerk's office.

When the office bell RINGS the Chief Clerk immediately turns
off his desk lamp, puts on his overcoat, and shuts his office
light on his way out.

Kafka doesn't think twice.  He forces himself to start
walking to the Chief Clerk's office.  Other departing office
employees crisscross past him, but he walks in a straight
line, businesslike, toward the Chief Clerk's office.  He has
a piece of paper in his hand.  He enters the Chief Clerk's
office, holds the paper out to drop on the Chief Clerk's desk
-- but lets it slip off onto the floor.  When he bends to
retrieve it he quickly opens that bottom drawer where
Eduard's file was -- but it's now empty.

						 CUT:

DARK STREET - EVENING

Burgel walks along, adjusting the parcel under his arm.

KAFKA

Following him.

						 CUT:

ACROSS THE RIVER

Burgel heads into the Old Town.

KAFKA

Pauses in some shadows.  He glances up at the distance, the
way Burgel is going, up at --

THE CASTLE

Almost glowing as it's outlined against the blue of the
darkening night.

						 CUT:

WHORES

Giving Kafka the eye as he goes past doorway after doorway
filled with their frightening/tempting forms.  But he tries
never to lose focus on the small form of Burgel further up
the street.

Men milling about, up and down the street, prostitutes
roaming amongst them, Kafka negotiating his way through.  An
urgent moment when he almost loses Burgel -- then sees him
turning down an alley.  Kafka hurries after him, avoiding a
pair of drunken louts in the way.

FURTHER ON

The Castle visible, but still a little in the distance.
Kafka comes into view.  He sees Burgel entering a building.

						 CUT:

UPSTAIRS HALLWAY

Very dingy.  Burgel leaves the top of the stairs and walks
down to a room at the end.

DOWNSTAIRS

Kafka waits momentarily at the bottom, then goes up.

HALLWAY

Peeking around the corner, he sees a YOUNG GIRL embracing
Burgel in her doorway before letting him in.

						 CUT:

OUTSIDE

Kafka comes out of the building.  He hears a noise, turns
around, sees Burgel and the girl on the tiny baroque balcony
outside her room.  Kafka retreats into the shadows.  He
watches the girl unwrap the parcel Burgel's given her.  She
smiles as a box of chocolates is revealed.

KAFKA

Watches -- with an expression of guilt, sadness?
Until a door suddenly opens at his back.  A MAN shuffles out
past him.  A rather ugly WOMAN in a dressing gown holds the
door open, giving Kafka a cursory look.  Beyond her inside, a
quick glimpse of MASOCHIST yelping as he's whipped.

			WOMAN
	Well, what're you waiting for?

She's nodding him inside.  Kafka backs away from her and her
invitation.

						 CUT:

DIRTY YARD - NIGHT

Kafka heads for the dilapidated building or the anarchists.

DINGY DOORWAY

He goes through.  A MOUSE scurries past him across the
threshold.

THE LOPSIDED STAIRWAY

Leads him up to the attic.

THE BEARDED ANARCHIST

Watches Kafka's approach.  But sees nothing.  His eyes are
wide open, but lifeless.

Kafka stops at the anarchists' table.  They're all lying
around it on the floor except for the Pockmarked Anarchist
who's slumped over it, her face sunk in a pool of her own
blood.

The Youthful Anarchist lies on his back, mouth open, still
dribbling red.  The Solemn Anarchist seems less than solemn
due to the almost comic, convoluted, broken-backed position
he's in.  And the neck of the Bearded Anarchist is all
twisted.

Kafka just stares in disbelief -- then SCRATCH! -- a noise
from a spiral staircase close by, leading to the roof.  Kafka
looks around in panic -- the attic entrance is too far to run
to and there's nowhere else to hide.

THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE

A man appears from above (MR. PICK).  Legs draped in
expensive trousers, the skirt of his high-buttoned coat
flowing around them due to the breeze from the roof.

			MR. PICK'S VOICE
	-- Come on -- there's no one up
	there.  We're going now.

He raises his arm up to help down whoever it is he's talking
to.  We hear a strange GROAN.  Followed by the appearance --
unclear, from the back, face hidden, or otherwise blocked by
Mr. Pick -- of A STRANGE hunched figure.  He moves in a
halting, cowering way.  Mr. Pick helps him down the steps.

			MR. PICK
	That's it -- it's all right --
	you've done very well.

Mr. Pick's voice is reassuring, though he has a dark,
diabolic face.  They're at the bottom of the staircase now,
Mr. Pick leading his odd companion toward the exit.  The odd
companion lurches towards the dead anarchists, but Mr. Pick
restrains him.

			MR. PICK
	Never mind them -- they'll be
	attended to.

KAFKA

Pretending to be one of the dead anarchists.  Hiding under
the large body of the Bearded Anarchist.  Trying hard to
emulate his lack of movement.  Blood from the Bearded
Anarchist's ear drips onto Kafka's face.  He tries to blink
it away while his other eye remains fixed on the two figures
walking away to the doorway until they're through it and
gone.

After a moment, he unloads the Bearded Anarchist and softly
hurries over to the attic doorway.

STAIRS

The Strange Man utters another low moan as Mr. Pick leads him
like a dog down the creaking old steps.

KAFKA

Comes cautiously out onto the landing.  He leans over the
bannister, watching the two figures slowly going down the
long stairs, vanishing from sight at a certain turn of the
staircase on every floor and coming into view after a moment
or so.

						 CUT:

STREET OUTSIDE

Mr. Pick and the Strange One walk away.

KAFKA

Follows at a respectable distance.  He pauses when he hears a
WAGON -- looking back at the anarchists' building to see it
pulling up outside.  The DRIVER jumps to the ground.

Kafka looks from the wagon to the two men walking away in the
distance and makes his choice -- continuing after the two
men.

						 CUT:

THE QUARRIES - NIGHT

On the outskirts of the city, beyond the Castle.

Mr. Pick and the Strange Man approach.  Some distance behind
them, Kafka takes cover behind a tree, watching.

Mr. Pick leads the Strange Man down the central quarry to
where a third man, a LABORER by the look of him, is waiting.

Kafka finds a vantage point somewhere above the central
quarry.  He flattens himself on the ground and peers over the
edge.

In the quarry, Mr. Pick steps back a pace from the Strange
Man as they meet up with the Laborer and suddenly grabs the
Strange Man, pinning his arms behind him, baring his chest
or the Laborer to stab a dagger into!

Kafka is shocked by the abruptness of this.  He sees the
Strange Man slump to the ground.  He crawls a little closer.
He sees the Laborer replace the knife in its sheath on his
belt, then help Mr. Pick drag the Strange Man off to some
side shadows where they dump him.

Kafka strains forward a little, trying to make out their
faces -- and the ground gives way!

MR. PICK AND THE LABORER

Spin around at the noise.

KAFKA

Lands at the bottom of the incline, dazed.  He's still quite
far away from the other end of the quarry where they are.

MR. PICK AND THE LABORER

Look at each other once -- then go after the intruder.

KAFKA

Sees them coming.  Scrambles to his feet.  It takes him a
split second to establish his options.  Namely, the best
route is back up the way he came.  If only he can get up it
again as fast.

Mr. Pick and the Laborer start to run.

Kafka starts to climb.  The incline is steep.  The gravel is
loose.  He slips back down.

Mr. Pick and the Laborer are gaining speed.

Kafka digs his fingers into the dirt, pulling himself up with
all his might, even though his shoes don't sustain holds.

Mr. Pick is a better runner than the burly Laborer.  He's
almost there.

Kafka slips back down again.  Mr. Pick could almost grab him
-- but Kafka literally throws himself up the slope again,
gasping -- and Mr. Pick stretches but can't reach that far
and Kafka's nearly at the top again -- Mr. Pick climbing
after him now -- and Kafka's arm comes over the edge, he
struggles over, kicking gravel back down in Mr. Pick's face.
Mr. Pick slides back down to the bottom -- and Kafka's gone.

The Laborer fell over Mr. Pick as he came crashing back down,
now Mr. Pick pushes him off in one direction while he goes
another.

						 CUT:

SLOPING STREET

Escaping back into the Old Quarter, Kafka runs downhill.  But
even the momentum doesn't carry him as fast as he'd like.

SMALL SQUARE

A number of streets branching off.  Kafka sees Mr. Pick
coming down one of them -- and the Laborer coming down
another.  Kafka runs off along a third.

CIRCUITOUS PASSAGE

Kafka runs.  Looks behind him.  Mr. Pick is coming.  He runs
faster, under a weird archway.  Looks behind him.  Mr. Pick
and the Laborer are coming.  Kafka darts down a side street.

SIDE STREET

Another twisting little road.  He winds around one corner
only to be met by another, the end of this street impossible
to determine.

BEHIND HIM

Mr. Pick and the Laborer are catching up.

KAFKA

Turns another corner and finds himself at the bottom of an
incredibly long flight of steps.  A staired street.  On and
on and on.  He doesn't know if he can make it.

MR. PICK AND THE LABORER

Come around -- look at the steps -- look at each other.  They
take deep breaths and start up.

THE TOP

Here they come, huffing and puffing.

THE BOTTOM

Kafka comes out from behind an extravagantly designed iron
gate grillwork.  He sneaks away, back the way he came.

						 CUT:

THE CENTRAL QUARRY

The body of the Strange Man lies face down where it was
dropped.

Kafka walks toward it, looking around nervously in case
anyone's coming.  Someone is.  When he gets to the corpse he
hears the sound of an approaching WAGON.  He crouches quickly
by the body to do what he's come here to do -- turn it over
to look at --

THE FACE

Of a monster.  Horribly disfigured, scarred and stitched.
And it isn't the kind of patchwork mess caused by acid or
accident.  There seems to be design behind it.  Human
design.  And beneath all this warped, mutilated flesh, almost
unrecognizable ... the features of the vagrant snatched from
the River.

KAFKA'S FACE

Revulsion.  He goes.

THE WAGON

Parks above the quarry.  The evil-looking Driver jumps down
and pulls a large sack off the back.  He starts down into the
quarry.

KAFKA

Appears over another edge.  He looks over at the wagon.  He
sees that now the back is loaded up, and covered by a sheet
of tarpaulin.

						 CUT:

THE ANARCHISTS' ATTIC - NIGHT

All the bodies are gone.  Even the floorboards and pieces of
furniture that might have had blood stains on them have been
torn away and removed.  Kafka stands alone.

						 CUT:

THE CITY - NIGHT

An eerie moon shines over the Castle.

KAFKA'S HOUSE

He comes in.  Before taking off his coat, he finds in a
pocket Inspector Grubach's card.  But what can he do again
without evidence?  He puts the card back in the pocket.

						 CUT:

KAFKA'S DESK - BEFORE DAWN

He sits writing into the night in his little room under a low
ceiling.

			KAFKA'S VOICE
	"-- oh, and thank you for the suit
	from Father, although I don't know
	why he didn't simply return it.  If
	it's too small for him why do you
	immediately suppose it will fit me?
	... Your son ... Your loving son ...
	Your somewhat loving son ... Your
	occasionally loving son ... Your
	incapable-of-loving son ... Your
	absolutely-bored-to-death-with-any-
	kind-of-family-life son ..."

The BARKING of a DOG outside distracts him.  He stands up to
stretch by his open window -- and we SEE that he's wearing a
suit that's far too big for him, sleeves overhanging his
skinny arms and  ands, trouser bottoms drowning his shoes.
He looks out at the sky which is turning blue.

THE BRIDGE

Two men walk across the river.

A WAGON

Rolls along one of the moribund streets of the Old Town.  The
Driver swivels in his seat, looking over his wide shoulder,
as if to see if he's being followed.  The glint in his eye
suggests Evil.

KAFKA'S ROOM

Kafka puts a stamp on his letter, then adds it to the stack
of obsessive correspondence already piled on one corner of
his desk.

						 CUT:

THE OFFICE - EVENING

With an ink-pad stamp, Kafka POUNDS the date onto a
succession of documents.

THE OFFICE CLOCK

Strikes six.

THE ASSISTANTS

Jump in unison when the BELL goes off.  Then in their hurry
to leave start shoving all their papers and whatnots
haphazardly into various drawers, opening and slamming them
regardless of whether or not the contents are fully inside,
resulting in a lot of crumpled documents and snapped pencils.

BURGEL

Suddenly hovering by Kafka's side, handing him something.

			BURGEL
	The Chief Clerk would like this
	ready for tomorrow morning.
		(oily)
	He says it should only take you
	an extra hour or two.

						 CUT:

THE OFFICE - NIGHT

Dead silence after the daily racket of typewriters and
telephones and adding machines.  Kafka works alone in the
utterly deserted office building.

He looks out the window and sees a POLICEMAN walking by on
the street below.  He thinks again about going to the law --
but goes back to work.

He hears a SOUND.  He looks around.  A sort of a SCRATCHING
sound.  It's coming from the other end of the office
somewhere.  Maybe the bathroom.

Kafka walks slowly back there.  At the bathroom door he
pauses momentarily, then turns the handle to go inside.

BATHROOM

SCRATCH, SCRATCH.  Kafka looks for the source of the sound --
and in sudden startled shock instantly finds it -- where a
huge arm has just been thrust through a small, high window --
and the ugly hand at the end of the arm is feeling around for
the window-latch.

Kafka starts backing away -- as the hand flips open the latch
-- and now the window, swinging open with a bang, and the
rest of the intruder starts coming into view -- out before
all of him appears Kafka has run out and slammed the door
behind him.

OFFICE

Kafka pulls a desk across the bathroom doorway.

BATHROOM

The MANIAC -- because that's what his posture and breathing,
seen from the back, suggest -- lurches into the bathroom from
the window.

OFFICE

Kafka grabs his coat -- and an umbrella off a rack.  He looks
back at the bathroom -- the desk rocking back and forth as
the intruder behind the door pushes.  Kafka runs away.

HALLWAY

He runs to the elevator, sliding open the gate.

OFFICE

CRASH!  The desk tips over as the bathroom door is forced
open.

ELEVATOR

Kafka descending.  The elevator cranking slowly downwards.
Then, nearing the ground floor, it slows down even further.
Then it suddenly stops dead.  Kafka reaches for the walls to
steady himself.  He looks through the gate, assessing the
distance to the ground floor below.  He tries the gate but it
won't open.

			KAFKA
		(calls down there)
	-- Help!  HELP!

He looks around the tiny space of the elevator.  The roof
hatch.  He reaches up, pushes it open, starts to climb up --
and YAAHH! -- the Maniac's face appears in the opening!  It's
another monster face -- this one even worse than the one
Kafka uncovered at the quarries.  A groaning, drooling,
misshapen lump of wrinkled tissue.  And its owner's arms now
come through to stretch after Kafka.

Kafka beats them back with the umbrella while still trying to
pull the unyielding gate open.  The Maniac yelps as Kafka
bashes the umbrella up at him, dodging his head out of the
way each time the umbrella sweeps back at him, swinging his
thick arms wildly to ward off blows and try and snatch the
umbrella for himself.  He finally retreats under the barrage
of blows and Kafka quickly takes the opportunity to lever
open the gate with the umbrella.

The Maniac's face reappears overhead.  Kafka stabs the
umbrella up at him some more -- and the Maniac manages to
grab it.  Kafka sits down on the elevator edge to jump down
to the ground floor and --

THE MANIAC

Lunges forward from above, scooping both arms down in a vain
attempt to catch Kafka just as he drops out of sight --
landing on the ground floor with a roll.

The Maniac HOWLS at his failure, his features even more
horribly contorted, Practically filling the small opening of
the roof hatch as he SHRIEKS.  And as his atrocious face
comes CLOSER and CLOSER and CLOSER -- one of his eyeballs
falls out! -- POP! -- out of the socket suddenly -- dangling
into the elevator, hanging by a single sinewy bloody thread.
The Maniac cries out and reaches for the eyeball, bringing it
back up to try and stuff back in place ...

STREET OUTSIDE

Kafka runs away from the office building, in horror, off into
the night.

						 CUT:

KAFKA'S STREET - NIGHT

He stands at a corner, looking at his own house, scared even
to go home.  But everything seems normal.  He starts walking
there.  But when he reaches his front door:

			VOICE
	Did you think you'd be safe back
	in your little burrow?

Kafka turns.  One of the Assistants stands next to him.

			OTHER VOICE
	No matter how deep a hole you dig
	for yourself, the beast will always
	find you.

Kafka turns the other way.  The other Assistant is on his
other side.  Kafka looks between the two of them.

			OSKAR
	We're to take you to the Castle.

Kafka might have expected this.

			KAFKA
	So.  You're the guides up there.
	And we thought it was Burgel.

One of the Assistants draws a revolver.  The other chuckles.

			LUDWIG
	They wouldn't let Burgel into
	the Castle.  You should look upon
	this as a great favor.

Kafka starts walking the way a flick of the revolver
indicates, the Assistants flanking him.

			KAFKA
	I don't want any favors from
	the Castle -- just my rights.

			LUDWIG
	We answer directly to Ekman, the
	Senior Partner -- he practically
	runs the Castle.  In a case like
	this you're better off dealing with
	the highest authority -- even
	though it's equally futile.

			OSKAR
	When you speak to him you have to
	lean quite near his right ear
	because the left doesn't work so
	well.

AROUND THE CORNER

They head up in the direction of the Castle.

			KAFKA
	For all your incompetence I was
	beginning to think you were at
	least loyal to me.  You're very
	good ham actors.

			OSKAR
	-- Just doing our job.

			KAFKA
	It's a farce.

			LUDWIG
	We think you'd better accept your
	position instead of pointlessly
	annoying us.

			KAFKA
	What position?  Being prosecuted
	in a case like this means having
	already lost it.

			OSKAR
	Still, we're probably closer to you
	at the moment than any of your
	fellow human beings.

			KAFKA
	Close only by virtue of antithesis.

One of the Assistants keeps making a show of wiping his brow,
though it's by no means hot.

ANOTHER STREET

Kafka walks stiffly between the Assistants, the three of them
almost locked together as one unit, like lifeless matter.

			KAFKA
		(shaking his head)
	My assistants.  I should have known.
	Nothing is given to me.  I have to
	acquire everything.

			OSKAR
		(laughs)
	It's all right to be sarcastic in
	private to us -- because we have a
	sense of humor -- but when we're up
	at the Castle we suggest you don't
	make a fuss.  It would spoil the
	not unfavorable impression you make
	in other respects.

			LUDWIG
	Frankly, we don't understand why
	you've even bothered pursuing this
	business.

			KAFKA
	It would be more accurate to say
	that it has pursued me.

			OSKAR
	But your goal is so hard to reach.
	Do you think the official network
	would surrender to one man?  We
	would never think of attempting
	anything remotely as difficult.

			LUDWIG
	My mother used to tell us of the
	young man who decided to ride to
	the next village and how she was
	afraid that -- not even mentioning
	accidents -- the span of a normal
	happy life might fall far short of
	the time needed for such a trip.

Kafka suddenly points at the ground.

			KAFKA
	You've dropped some money.

The Assistants immediately bend their heads to look -- and
Kafka bangs them together as hard as he can.

The Assistants sit on the ground in a stupefied daze while
Kafka's running footsteps echo around the dark street.

						 CUT:

CONTINENTAL COFFEE HOUSE - NIGHT

Bizzlebek, perched on his usual stool, turns to see Kafka at
his side.

			KAFKA
	You work in the cemetery.

			BIZZLEBEK
	A man must eat --
		(raises glass)
	And drink.

			KAFKA
	The Castle cemetery.

						 CUT:

CEMETERY - NIGHT

Ancient tombstones crumbling with age, slanting out of the
ground at bizarre angles, and cluttered so close together
that a way can scarcely be made between them.

Bizzlebek leads Kafka along the crooked little pathways,
overgrown with crawling weeds, upwards towards the high
section of the cemetery under the dark wall of the Castle.

Bizzlebek, who knows his way around, seems more cheerful here
than we've seen him before.  Kafka more fearful.  Wind
WHISTLES.  Leaves RUSTLE.  CREAKING trees cast ghastly
shadows.  Scary tombs, all shapes and sizes, strange symbolic
symbols on them, mystical figures and designs.

Trying to keep up with Bizzlebek, Kafka spots a horrendous
shape looming ahead of him.  He starts to bypass it -- and
jumps when a tall plant brushes against him.

			BIZZLEBEK
		(waits for Kafka)
	Are you sure you wouldn't prefer
	going through official channels?

The awful dark shape turns out to be no more than a
particularly large tombstone, crumbled in places to give it
an animal-like suggestion.

			KAFKA
	Official channels -- a lot of good
	they've done me.  My only hope is
	to approach the officials personally.

He keeps walking -- and we SEE that he's carrying the bomb-
briefcase he found at Eduard's.

			BIZZLEBEK
	-- I'm flattered, of course, to be
	considered a friend -- even without
	knowing all the details.
		(Kafka doesn't take
		 that cue)
	-- To see such determination is
	reward enough for me.

			KAFKA
	The Kafka men are famous for it,
	you know.  Delivering meat barefoot
	in the depths of winter, picking up
	sacks of flour with their teeth --

A BIRD rapidly swoops down from a tree, zipping past Kafka's
head with a shrieking SQUAWK!

			KAFKA
		(gulp)
	-- Oh, yes, determination runs in
	the family.

			BIZZLEBEK
	There is one thing I'd like you
	to tell me.

			KAFKA
	I'm trying to find things out myself
	-- that's the whole point.

			BIZZLEBEK
	What made you think I'd be able to
	get you into the Castle?

			KAFKA
	The cemetery is nearer the Castle
	than anywhere else -- wasn't it part
	of the Castle originally?  -- I
	always assumed there'd be a gate or
	something.
		(stops again, concerned)
	Isn't there?

			BIZZLEBEK
	In a manner of speaking.

						 CUT:

HIGHER GROUND - NIGHT

They're at the graves at the very back of the cemetery, right
up against the bottom of the Castle wall that stretches high
above them into the black sky of night.

Trees quiver around them.  Shadows dance.  Bizzlebek pauses
at a particular grave, apart from the others, more hidden by
overgrowth.  He runs his fingertips over the old, strangely
lettered inscription.  He looks around the graveyard, making
sure they're alone, then he moves to one side of the stone
and leans his weight against it, pushing.  It shifts and
slides open, uncovering the hole that lies beneath.

			BIZZLEBEK
	I was restoring some stones here
	in the upper section one day --
	and I found this.

			KAFKA
		(unclear)
	An empty tomb?

			BIZZLEBEK
	A cenotaph -- a monument to someone
	whose remains ended up elsewhere.
	But look --

Having lit the lantern he's brought with him, he holds it
over the dark hole -- revealing a shaft and the rungs of a
ladder.

			BIZZLEBEK
	The Castle gates were blockaded
	in the time of the great plague --
	it's an escape route.
		(offers Kafka the
		 lantern)
	Don't get stuck.

			KAFKA
		(accepts it)
	Not a chance.  I'm the thinnest
	person I know.

THE SHAFT

Kafka starts to climb down, shoes loud on the rungs affixed
to the stone wall of this well.  But then he remembers
something, pops back up.

			KAFKA
	-- You appreciate my writing.

			BIZZLEBEK
		(taken aback)
	Yes.

			KAFKA
	Will you do me a favor then?

			BIZZLEBEK
	Another one?

			KAFKA
	If I don't see you later -- go
	to my house and find my notebooks --
	and destroy them.  All my
	manuscripts -- just burn them.
	Please.

			BIZZLEBEK
	What an extraordinary request!

			KAFKA
	It's my last and final one.

			BIZZLEBEK
	Then its authority is in doubt.

			KAFKA
	A true friend would do it.

			BIZZLEBEK
	Not necessarily.
		(a pointed look)
	A wife would.

						 CUT:

SECRET PASSAGEWAY - NIGHT

A stooping Kafka makes his way along this gloomy underground
artery, the lantern lighting the way.

He comes to the end of it and what appears to be a little
door.  He bends low to listen at it -- then unlocks the
latch.  He pushes -- and the door moves forward.

OTHER SIDE

Kafka stands up -- and he's inside a big filing cabinet
drawer.

He steps out of it and looks around.  He's in an entire room
full of file cabinet drawers.  A morgue of file cabinet
drawers.  He shuts the one he came out of before walking
away.  "D-7" says the label on the outside of it.

						 CUT:

VAULTS AND CRYPTS

Kafka makes his way through the shadows down here in the
underground depths of the Castle.  A fiery glow and noise
comes from an archway ahead of him.  When he gets to it and
looks through he sees a sweating STOKER shoveling coal into a
giant furnace.

						 CUT:

NEAR THE END OF A THIN PASSAGEWAY

A sudden door SLAM.  Kafka dodges back around a corner.  He
HEARS:  the quick cry of a man's agony, a scuffle of shoes on
hard stone floor, a dull thud, a wave of peculiar shouts,
running footsteps, more mumbled mingled voices -- which soon
die out, leaving silence.

AROUND THE CORNER

Kafka walks slowly, straining his neck a bit in expectation
of whatever lies ahead.

The passage brings him to a row of dungeon cells.  A line of
doors with a barred window in each.  One of them isn't closed
-- and lying across the threshold is the Laborer who chased
Kafka from the quarries the other night.  The knife is gone
from his sheath and his scull is caved in, a wooden stool
lying on the floor beside him.  At the other end of the row
of cells another door swings open at the top of a few steps.

SUDDENLY fingers spear through the bars of another cell to
touch Kafka!  A GAUNT MAN inside.

			GAUNT MAN
	You've killed him!  Like a dog!

Kafka dropped his lantern in surprise, and shrinks back,
CRUNCHING glass.

			GAUNT MAN
	-- They won't like that.  Not a bit!

			KAFKA
	I didn't --

The inhabitants of the other cells start RATTLING their bars
and beseeching Kafka.  He looks around, bewildered and
horrified.  Hideous faces looking back at him.

			GAUNT MAN
	You'll incriminate the rest of us!
	Let me out too!

Shuddering, Kafka is moving away, making it through the
shocking gauntlet, toward the door at the other end.

			HORRIBLE VOICES
	Help us! -- release us!

			GAUNT MAN
		(yelling above the din)
	You're in the bowels now, my friend!
	You've thrown yourself in it now!

A HAGGARD MAN who may have had his tongue cut out gestures
desperately at a lever on the wall to unlock the cells.
Kafka starts to tentatively reach for it -- when there's a
sudden SHRIEK beside him.  He whirls to see, behind more
bars, the raving, convoluted face of the creature that
stalked him at his office (whose loose eye has now gone
completely) -- BANGING violently against his door.

			GAUNT MAN
	Let me out -- I'm all right -- they
	haven't treated me yet!  We can go
	together!

But now the evil Mr. Pick appears at the end of the passage
from which Kafka came -- a gun in his hand.

			MR. PICK
	You!

Kafka yanks the lever and runs away.  Mr. Pick FIRES after
him, starting to chase -- but the prisoners are coming out of
their cells -- coming for him.

						 CUT:

SPIRAL STONE STAIRWELL

Kafka runs upwards, around and around and around.

ANOTHER FLOOR

Here is a part of the Castle Kafka can understand -- office
workers toiling away.  Kafka walks past one long row of them,
SCRIBES sitting at a single endless desk.  They look like
students under examination, hunched over their writing, a
virtual conveyor belt of paperwork.

In the center of this floor is an actual conveyor -- a chain
pulley running slowly up and down, presumably throughout the
entire Castle, through small holes in the floor and ceiling.
There are little pockets on the chain which the clerks
continually pluck papers out of and slip papers into.

The ink bottle of one of the scribes runs dry.  He takes it
over to a sink with three taps -- Hot, Cold -- and the third
one he turns -- Ink.

						 CUT:

CORRIDOR

Kafka passes a FRIENDLY CLERK.

			FRIENDLY CLERK
	Are you lost?

Kafka nearly laughs at the enormity of the question.

			KAFKA
	I'm, uh, looking for the
	Medical Records Section.

Pause.

			FRIENDLY CLERK
	Oh, you're miles away.  From here
	you'll want to go left, left again,
	right, right again, left then right,
	right then left, and take the Blue
	Staircase.

			KAFKA
	Thank you.

			FRIENDLY CLERK
		(going on his way)
	-- I haven't seen you here before.

			KAFKA
	No ...

KAFKA

He stands there, a man in a suit with a briefcase in an
antiseptic corridor.

			KAFKA
	... I'm new.

						 CUT:

UNDERGROUND CELLS

Mr. Pick leans against a door, trying to keep back the
howling horde of prisoners pushing from the other side.
Another JAILER joins him, helping him to try and push the
door closed.  Then a SECOND JAILER too.  A bestial hand
reaches through and Mr. Pick presses his pistol muzzle into
the outstretched palm --

BANG!

-- A book falls to the floor like a pistol-shot -- and
Kafka hides back in shadows hoping no one heard.  He's in a
round --

LIBRARY

-- Surrounded by books from floor to ceiling, even on the
tall door through which he entered.  A sliver of light gives
it away -- and on the other side of it he hears FOOTSTEPS.
But they pass by.

There's another sliver of light indicating another door in
the books opposite him.  He walks over and pulls on the
shelves.  Here the dark wood is merely a disguising cover for
the shiny modern steel he discovers on the other side of it
And he finds more than that as he enters --

THE LABORATORY

A real mad scientist's workshop.  Chemicals of bizarre colors
rush and FIZZ through mazes of glass pipes and beakers, in
some places boiling and steaming, in others frosting or
freezing.  Circuits and test tubes flash and glow as sparks
and filamentary arcs CRACKLE with electric incandescence.
insane instruments and devices, interconnected with complex
wires, perform strange and villainous functions.  It's the
most modern setting we've yet seen -- but at the same time
all this futuristic technology seems somehow archaic, as if
put together from old, familiar materials and elements, both
eccentric and eclectic.

The chain that runs through the floors of the Castle carrying
documents runs up and down through the laboratory too.

Amidst this feast for the eyes, what Kafka now focuses in on
a simple cigarette -- left smoking in an ashtray.  And by
the look of the ash, not very long ago.  Kafka looks around
anxiously -- notices an archway leading to another room.

						 CUT:

UNDERGROUND CRYPT

Mr  Pick and the two Jailers can't hold back the dreadful
prisoners any longer.  Mr. Pick runs, letting the Jailers
fend for themselves.

						 CUT:

LABORATORY - SMALLER ROOM

Kafka comes into what looks like a small museum -- vertical
glass cases in which naked BODIES float suspended in
preserving gelatin solution.

Kafka seems deadened himself by all that he's seeing -- until
he sees someone he recognizes.  The Bearded Anarchist.  Kafka
goes closer.  Looking down, he sees that the Bearded
Anarchist has a hand missing.  The other anarchists are here
in glass cases too.  Now with a gasp Kafka turns around --
looking for Gabriela -- but she's not here.

						 CUT:

MAIN LAB

Holding himself together, and with new determination etched
on his face, Kafka walks to the center of the lab -- and an
operating table.  Ignoring the implications of the table, he
sets down the bomb-briefcase -- flicking the latches to open
it.

The sight of the explosive mechanism inside causes him a
moment's hesitation, but a look round at various animal parts
hanging from hooks above the table or bobbing in jars
alongside sinister implements laid out in preparation for an
operation renews his anger -- and he decisively turns the
dial on the bomb's timer-clock, setting it to the maximum
allowance of one hour.

He closes the case and locks its latches.  The case begins to
TICK.

Kafka takes it to a dark spot beneath the mass of elaborate
laboratory equipment, hides it under there, and leaves.

						 CUT:

CORRIDOR

Kafka tries finding his way back the way he came.

END OF CORRIDOR

Kafka looks down a long dark staircase -- a hint of light
glowing at the bottom.

BOTTOM OF STAIRCASE

Just as he reaches the light something lunges at him from one
side!  It's the Laughing Man, hysterical as ever, face now
SEEN for the first time, SCREECHING, salivating, eyes
watering.  The human hyena.  His grin contorts his face from
ear to ear, his CACKLING is truly terrifying, and the hand he
stretches forward has a tattoo on it (Bearded Anarchist's
hand) -- a hand too big for his wrist -- reaching, reaching,
reaching for Kafka.

						 CUT:

DARK OFFICE - NIGHT

The Laughing Man pushes Kafka down into a chair and shakes
with uncontrollable sobbing shrieks.

Someone else is sitting in darkness behind a huge desk
(MURNAU).  His hand holds out a small vial.  The Laughing Man
grabs it and leaves, gulping down its contents voraciously.

			MURNAU
	I assume you're wondering ... what
	all this has been about.

Kafka tries to see into the shadows.

			KAFKA
	Are you the Head of Medical
	Records?

The door behind Kafka opens again and an officious bureaucrat
(EKMAN) comes in.  He sits in a chair and looks at Kafka.

			MURNAU
		(to Ekman)
	He's come on his own initiative.
		(to Kafka)
	-- Not something we encourage, mind
	you, but we like to know it exists.

And he's stood up.

			MURNAU
	What it amounts to is simply this ...

He's coming around the desk.  He's drying his hands on a
towel.

			MURNAU
	A piece of paper was delivered to
	the wrong clerk.  It was essential
	he bring it back to us.  These
	complications have arisen because he
	had friends -- like you, among
	others -- friends unlikely to let a
	sleeping dog lie.

He tosses the towel onto the desk.  Ekman looks irritated by
this.

			KAFKA
	... A piece of paper ...

			MURNAU
	A mere slip.
		(coming forward)
	Your friend Mr. Raban dealt only
	with claims that came in, another
	department being responsible for
	compensation that goes out -- this
	is correct?

He places a fatherly hand on Kafka's shoulder.

			MURNAU
		(not quite in the
		 light yet)
	Through a very unfortunate -- and
	I might add extremely rare --
	mishap, a document intended for
	the one department was sent to
	the other.  And for the first
	time -- though your friend
	wasn't aware of it -- two and
	two could have been put together
	to make one.

			KAFKA
		(again)
	... A piece of paper ...

			MURNAU
		(face bending into
		 the light)
	You see, Kafka, in all cases
	relating to the factory at
	Orlac -- which is what this
	paper referred to -- the
	authority that puts in a
	request and the authority that
	grants it is, to all intents
	and purposes, the same authority.

And he's an impressive, imposing figure of authority
himself.  You'd probably trust him.  You'd certainly respect
him.  But if you look into his eyes, he's frightening.

						 CUT:

UNDERGROUND CRYPTS

Mr. Pick runs from the crazed prisoners chasing him.  Fires
his gun back at them, dropping one or two -- but then runs
out of bullets.

The prisoners slowly surround him.  He backs away.  One of
those chains that run throughout the Castle has its base
here.  Mr. Pick keeps backing up, unavoidably, the deranged
prisoners closing in -- until he falls backwards with a cry
into the grinding wheels of the chain-system.

Caught up in the chain, he's carried aloft with it, up to the
ceiling.  The chain is the lifeline of the Castle and does
not, could not, ever stop.  Instead it forces Mr. Pick to go
along with it, his head CRACKING through the glass or wood
"manhole" cover through which the chain passes.

						 CUT:

MURNAU'S OFFICE

Kafka tries not to flinch in the presence of this deadly
figure.

			MURNAU
	-- You seem amused.

			KAFKA
	It only amuses me in that
	it gives me an insight into
	the ludicrous bungling that
	in some circumstances may
	decide the life of a human being.

Ekman sighs -- as if at a difficult child.

			MURNAU
	It's merely a matter of
	expediency.  It's imperative
	that my room to maneuver not
	be hindered by ... bureaucratic
	ramifications.

Ekman, who doesn't hear very well, directs one ear in
particular back and forth between the other two.  Kafka just
keeps looking at the charismatic man pacing around him --
who's now lighting an expensive cigarette of the kind that
was in the ashtray at the lab.

			MURNAU
	-- If an obscure official up
	there in the distant mountains
	so far away from civilizing
	influences happens to meet
	with an unfortunate accident
	-- and should he tragically die
	in spite of the District Medical
	Officer's strenuous efforts to
	save him -- the firm wants to
	see the next of kin pacified
	and the disposition of the
	remains handled with the
	greatest possible ... efficiency.

			KAFKA
		(becoming clearer)
	"Accident and Compensation" --
	no one can accuse the firm of
	not supplying exactly what it
	promises.

			MURNAU
		(to Ekman)
	I believe we've exceeded his
	expectations.

			KAFKA
		(virtually to
		 himself)
	I had the grandest of financial
	plots in mind, the most
	malevolent of personal motives,
	conspiracy theories extending
	to every ... authority I could
	see.
		(looks up)
	And I find you.  A body snatcher.

Murnau laughs.

			MURNAU
	Life is more than a Chinese
	puzzle, my friend.

						 CUT:

FLOOR OF CLERKS

Uniformly, like a chorus line, the infinite row of clerks
turn their heads from their single endless desk when they
hear an awful NOISE:

Mr. Pick is breaking through from the floor below.  The
inexorably rising chain has hauled him floor by floor through
the Castle, breaking open holes too small for his body,
shredding him along the way, and still carrying him upwards
...

						 CUT:

CASTLE CORRIDOR

Kafka walks along with Murnau and Ekman.  The Laughing Man
holds Kafka's arm.

			KAFKA
	And I suppose Dr. Murnau didn't
	die in a cave-in.  You killed
	him to free the Position of
	Orlac Medical Officer for your
	own ends.

			MURNAU
	Yes, well -- we're looking for
	a new village now.  If we stay
	too long at one source ... people
	become suspicious.

They pass another of those grinding chains carrying memos and
inter-office directives up and down.

			MURNAU
	But you're quite right that
	he didn't die in that cave-in.
	In fact, he didn't die at all.
	He was simply recalled -- by
	himself.  As well as being Head
	of Medical Records here and a
	Director of your firm -- I'm
	Dr. Murnau, of course.

The Laughing Man giggles crazily.

LIBRARY

The Laughing Man, subdued for a moment, merely smiles a
little, opening the door to let Kafka in first, guarding him
close.  Dr. Murnau then leads the way across to his
laboratory door.

			MURNAU
	May I ask where your two
	warders are?

			KAFKA
	Lying in the gutter where
	they belong.

Murnau laughs, but then has to stop as it encourages the
Laughing Man, bringing forth a mad chuckle or two from him.

			MURNAU
	Pity.  They're an amusing pair,
	didn't you find?  Absolute
	innocents.

He pushes the tall door open into his lab.

LABORATORY

Murnau spreads his hands proudly as they enter, displaying
his amazing factory.

			MURNAU
	I so rarely get the chance of
	showing my work to anybody --
	anybody capable of appreciating
	it, that is.  You might say I'm
	a student of human reaction.

Ekman, who's seen it all before, goes to lean somewhere,
bored.

			KAFKA
	The fact that it's live bodies
	you practice your trade on
	doesn't seem to matter to you.

			MURNAU
	On the contrary, it matters a
	great deal.  We're engaged in
	immensely important research
	here.  I'm a revolutionary
	too, you know -- but a much
	more pragmatic one.

As if in response to that the Laughing Man convulses anew.
Ekman immediately turns to a shelf for another vial and goes
to give it to the Laughing Man.

			MURNAU
	-- I can't very well administer
	experimental treatments to
	corpses -- and if they become
	corpses, why, they have their
	uses too -- that's why speed is
	essential.  Living tissue, even
	if its owner has passed on, is
	our most valuable acquisition.

The Laughing Man gulps down the potion and starts to calm
down a little.

			MURNAU
	We've tried transfusions on
	our ... volunteers.  Unfortunately,
	far from infusing superior
	characteristics it's tended to
	make them insane -- murderous
	even -- a condition we've had
	occasion to make use of.

THE HIDDEN BOMB-CASE

TICKING lightly away.  The clock inside the bomb-case,
becoming visible as if by X-Ray, is SEEN to be a matter of
minutes away from blast-off.

THE LAB

Murnau walks to where the elaborate distillation processes
are going on.  The very section where Kafka hid the bomb.
Kafka wipes his brow, quickly, conscious of Ekman staring at
him.  Murnau gazes obsessively at his contraptions, his
piercing eyes following the routes of the flowing chemicals.

			MURNAU
	-- And the new patients they
	bring me aren't usually as
	dexterous as you've been in
	evading us.  Not perfect
	specimens by any means, but
	not the type of person who'll
	be missed either.

			KAFKA
	What have you done with
	Gabriela Rossmann?

			MURNAU
	As a matter of fact you've
	caught us in a state of
	considerable excitement.  Our
	latest preparation we believe
	-- we pray -- is perfected.
	It should take years off her.

He's concocting another potion now, pouring an acidic-looking
liquid from one container to another.  Kafka is looking
increasingly worried.

			MURNAU
	And if not -- well, there are
	always what I call my caprices
	of vivisection.

He glances at the dangling animal parts.  And now, finished
mixing his cocktail, he picks up some sort of suturing tool,
pressing the trigger on it to start the end burning and
SIZZLING.

			MURNAU
	Actually, if it weren't for
	the aberrant dilemma posed by
	someone like yourself --
	continually asking for out-of-date
	files -- I'd probably give up my
	revisionist policies altogether.
	I'm sure what we have to do is
	start instead at the very
	inception -- with the embryo --
	from a single cell even.
		(leers at Kafka)
	The lure of the Golem -- the
	man-made man.  You appreciate
	that, I know.

Ekman takes Kafka by the arm to lead him toward the operating
table.  The Laughing Man moves in closer too, emitting a
psychotic chortle.

			MURNAU
	To corrupt the image of man
	and then offer redemption ... This
	is the dawn, Kafka.  A new man is
	being born here.  A more resilient
	man ... A superman.

Kafka attempts an escape around the operating table, but the
Laughing Man blocks his way and corrals him back to where he
was before.  Dr. Murnau holds out the sinister aperitif for
Kafka to take and drink in toast.

			MURNAU
	To a new world -- of Gods
	and monsters.

The glass comes closer and closer to Kafka's lips -- if he
leans away from it any further he'll be lying on the
operating table -- but now a WRENCHING noise makes everybody
turn.

The body of Mr. Pick, bloody and ragged, is dragged up with a
SMASH through a breaking floor-panel by the great chain.

Kafka has his chance.  The next time anyone looks at him he's
holding the nozzle of the burning device under Ekman's
throat, finger on the trigger.

-- And on the other side of the laboratory a wide elevator
platform rises into view -- carrying the prisoners from the
dungeons!

KAFKA

Throws Ekman aside and runs away.

EKMAN

Falls to the floor, holding his hands up over his head with a
SCREAM as the ghastly creatures from the depths converge on
him -- but they pass him by -- intent on getting Murnau.

The last out of the elevator is the most horrible BEAST-MAN
yet -- and we finally see the use to which various
animal-parts have been put.

MURNAU

Just stands by the operating table, waiting for them.  He
knows there's no way out and he's far too practical a man to
waste energy running or screaming.

						 CUT:

DOORWAYS

Kafka running through the Castle, through door after door
after door after door, leaving them all banging behind him,
back and forth.

						 CUT:

THE LABORATORY

Ekman stumbles to his feet, watching in horror as the
prisoners of the Castle strap Murnau to his own operating
table.

One by one, the prisoners file past the intricate surgical
tools neatly laid out on white cloth.  Each prisoner selects
the implement of his choice.

Ekman, too, runs away out of the laboratory.

The Laughing Man, snickering, isn't sure whose side he's on.
But then, LAUGHTER BUILDING, he goes to join the others in
line.

						 CUT:

DOORWAYS

Kafka still running in the maze -- through a final door.  And
he finds himself right back in --

THE LIBRARY

With the brightness of the laboratory facing him through its
open door.  Horrible SOUNDS coming from in there.

THE HIDDEN BOMB-CASE

Almost time.

KAFKA

Running again, through the maze of corridors.  He HEARS
running footsteps behind him -- looks back to see Ekman
running after him.  Ekman catches up -- but runs past Kafka
in his panic to escape -- out onto a metal walkway around a
central area of offices.

THE LABORATORY

Murnau can't be seen, only the deranged men huddled closely
around the operating table.

THE HIDDEN BOMB-CASE

Abruptly stops ticking.

THE CENTRAL OFFICES

The floors SHUDDER as the BOOM in the laboratory is heard and
felt.  The metal walkway breaks and Ekman goes sliding off it
-- while Kafka manages to hang on.  He ducks his face down as
glass from all the surrounding office windows SHATTERS and
SHOWERS -- and then paper starts sailing down all around.
Literally a hailstorm of documents.

On the floor below where he fell, Ekman tries to stand, but
the falling flurry of paper keeps him at bay.  He waves his
hands wildly trying to see his way through it all, but it's
too much.  Now his feet are trapped in it.  It's starting to
rise around his legs.  Papers are fluttering down from floors
and floors of surrounding offices above, filling the air.

Ekman suffocates and drowns and disappears in the paper
piling up around him -- one lone arm and hand the last we see
of him.

THE LABORATORY

Totally wrecked -- and jutting out of the broken walls are
burst pipes -- spurting red, blue, and black INK everywhere.

THE CENTRAL OFFICES

Kafka is managing to climb back onto the unsafe metal walkway
-- when ZING! -- a bullet ricochets near him.

The Assistants!  They've nearly fallen through another
doorway where the walkway on that side broke, but got each
other stuck in the door just in time.  One of them is wildly
FIRING a revolver in Kafka's direction.  The other tries to
grab it and both FIRE it together in all directions.

Kafka runs away, avoiding a snake of broken wire, flipping
about, SPARKING off the metal.

The Assistants, shoving each other, extricate themselves back
through their doorway to find another way to chase Kafka.

THE LABORATORY

The burst ink pipes drip empty.  The sound of maniacal
LAUGHTER abruptly stops.  The ink has filled the lab halfway
to the ceiling.  It's covered everything and every ... body.
A last bubble pops, leaving a lake of ink with a surface
smooth as glass.

						 CUT:

UNDERGROUND FILE VAULT

Kafka has found his way back here -- rushing in.  But wait:
Which file cabinet did he come out of?  He's surrounded by
file cabinet drawers all alike.  He starts running around,
pulling open drawers, trying to find the secret doorway
through one of them.

SPIRAL STONE STAIRCASE

Here come the Assistants, running round and round.

UNDERGROUND FILE VAULT

Kafka runs round and round, opening drawer after drawer.  He
finds the one!  Jumps in!  Pulling it closed after him just
as --

-- the Assistants stumble in.  They look at each other, then
immediately start rushing around opening drawers.  They run
back and forth and all around, bumping into each other,
making themselves dizzy.

			LUDWIG
		(pulls open a drawer)
	Oskar!

			OSKAR
		(turning from another)
	Ludwig?

-- But Ludwig just pulls out a file folder.

			LUDWIG
	This is filed incorrectly!

			OSKAR
	Here too!  They're all in a
	dreadful muddle!

They start trading files back and forth, trying to put the
system back in order.  The attention span of squirrels,
they've forgotten all about looking for Kafka.

						 CUT:

CASTLE GATES - DAWN

Opening.  The police Inspector enters the main courtyard.
Behind him come the two secondary policemen.  Behind them,
obscurely, a few more.

CASTLE COURTYARD

He and his men pause, reacting ...

... as the few wretched survivors of the Castle prison
stagger out of the shadows to greet them.

						 CUT:

EMBANKMENT - MORNING

On the Old Town side of the River.  Foggy.

KAFKA

Walks slowly, tiredly.  He looks up at the sky, but the sky
is a silver shield against anyone who looks for help from it.

FURTHER ON

Kafka stops.  Turns.  Did he hear something other than the
wind and the water?

FURTHER ON

He passes through a small park, approaching a gate on the
other side of it.  Leaves RUSTLING.  Mist swirling around
him.  He opens the gate and -- BOO!

GABRIELA

Standing there, half in shadow, in profile.  Her glorious
profile.

			KAFKA
	Gabriela! -- you did get away.

			GABRIELA
	I knew you walked this way to
	work.  I wanted to find you
	before they did.

			KAFKA
	-- I've just come from the
	Castle.  It's over.

			GABRIELA
		(her eye glancing
		 far away)
	Over?  It's only over when
	you can crawl to a clean little
	spot on earth where the sun
	sometimes shines and you can warm
	yourself a bit.

Kafka is beginning to sense something quite wrong with her.

			KAFKA
	Gabriela ...?

			GABRIELA
	Should I tell you why I joined
	our late lamented nihilists?
	Why I became a murderer?
	Because murder ... is bliss.
		(looks at him)
	It's easier than you might
	think to absorb and assimilate
	Evil -- once you've adopted its
	procedure.

Kafka just watches her ... The breeze sings in
the air.

			GABRIELA
	Have you ever watched a person
	deteriorate?  Day by day.  I
	don't mean in a spiritual sense.

Kafka doesn't answer.  She turns fully to him.  The other
side of her beautiful face is ... fungus.  Alive.  Seething.
Frothing.  Bubbling.  Kafka backs away a couple of steps.

			GABRIELA
	Only two steps back?  Even the
	man they left to guard me
	retreated further than that.

			KAFKA
	I -- I found your jailer.

			GABRIELA
	This is the result of their
	elixir of youth.  They were
	to come and check on it during
	the night.  I contrived to
	miss the appointment.

			KAFKA
	They're dead now.  We can
	get help.

			GABRIELA
	I know how they reward failure.
	If they saw this I'd be rotting
	in the quarries by the afternoon
	-- with all the others.

			KAFKA
	There's a new potion -- he
	said it was perfected.

			GABRIELA
	I know there is.  And you're
	what I have to bargain with.
	For now you're the last one
	in their way.

			KAFKA
	I told you, they're dead.  It's
	finished.

			GABRIELA
	Why should I believe a man who
	never believed me?  They're
	absolutely right, you know --
	guilt should never be doubted.
	It's easier that way.

Kafka starts to back away some more.  Gabriela starts to
follow him.

			GABRIELA
	I think you've just escaped for
	the moment.  Just as I did.  As
	Eduard did.  As they let us do.
	But only for the moment.

			KAFKA
	No -- not this time.

			GABRIELA
	I know better than you what
	people will say when they have
	to.  When they brought me in
	for questioning I informed on my
	friends the very first day.

			KAFKA
	-- Listen to me --

			GABRIELA
	I do.  Always.  You understand
	the world better than any of
	us, Kafka.  And what it's
	becoming.
		(pause)
	I've always held you in the
	highest regard.

And suddenly she's slashed a knife across Kafka's chest.  He
shouts in pain, staggering backwards.  She comes after him.

			KAFKA
	-- Gabriela!

She comes after him, blade glistening.  Kafka does his best
to run.

THE BRIDGE

Kafka giddily staggers forward, one arm wrapped around his
bleeding chest, Gabriela close behind him.  Too close for him
to get away.  He turns to face her as he reaches the bridge
and as she comes upon him again with the knife, raising his
arm to block the thrust and hold her wrist back.  She's
strong, though, made more so by her madness.  She forces him
down to the ground, straddling him, the knife pushing
closer.  Kafka gasps in pain, finally succumbs, no longer
able to hold his hand up in defense, simply shutting his eyes
with a terrible sigh to await the fatal stab.

It doesn't come.  Almost.  But not quite.  Gabriela's arm
pauses, shaking in the cool, cloudy air, her sleeve trembling
in the breeze off the River, the sharp blade, inches from
Kafka's throat, flashing in the new day's light.

Gabriela stares away over the River, the destroyed half of
her face in shadow again, the other more strikingly beautiful
than ever.  As Kafka watches, passive, she gets off him and
slowly walks to the wall of the bridge, letting the knife
drop from her hand along the way.  Kafka manages to lift
himself to his knees, clutching his wound.  He looks up.
Gabriela in one graceful movement climbs over the wall and
throws herself into the River.

Kafka lowers his head.

						 CUT:

CONTINENTAL COFFEE SHOP - MORNING

Quiet in here.  Breakfast business not as crowded as
evening.  Kafka sits alone at  his usual table.  Looking
dazed, almost in shock.  Mostly just tired.  Waiting.  He
sips from his coffee cup.  He COUGHS a little into his napkin
-- and notices blood on it.

He has a pen in his hand.  Tapping it slowly on a newspaper
on the table ...

Bizzlebek comes into the coffee house.  He sees Kafka sitting
in the far corner and gives a grand smile and wave.  But then
he notices Kafka's other friends entering and he'd rather not
have to deal with them -- so he gives Kafka a "catch you
later" gesture and turns onto his own usual stool at the bar.

Kafka stares at his friends over there.  They're taking off
their coats and  greeting other people.  The girl, Anna, is
the first to start walking to join him.

He starts to write, a first line that has occurred to him,
the pen moving as if he can't help himself ...

			KAFKA'S VOICE
	Dearest Father ...

Anna's approaching.  Kafka just watches her coming.  He
knows he'll end up going out with her, sleeping with her,
getting engaged to her ... We see the future on Kafka's
face

			KAFKA'S VOICE
	You asked me recently why I
	maintain that I am afraid
	of you ...

						 CUT:

KAFKA'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Alone again in his little room, Kafka writes on into the
night.  The famous "Letter To His Father" is pages and pages
long.  We notice too that his chest has been bandaged.  He
COUGHS a little as he forces himself to keep writing.

			KAFKA'S VOICE
	Naturally things cannot in
	reality fit together the way
	the evidence does in my letter
	-- life is more than a Chinese
	puzzle.  But in my opinion
	something has been achieved
	which so closely approximates
	the truth that it might reassure
	us both a little and make our
	living and our dying easier.

						 FADE OUT

FADE IN

WATERFRONT WHARVES - MORNING

The Assistants sit on a big packing crate, brushing soot from
their suits, shaking dust out of their hair, fiddling with
the rips in their jackets and trousers.

			LUDWIG
	We could go back to the office.
	Explain ourselves to the Chief
	Clerk.

			OSKAR
	They'd drive us away.  That
	Kafka's made things very hot
	for us.

			LUDWIG
	I understand he was wounded
	in the lung.

			OSKAR
		(sulky)
	It doesn't matter.  It's too
	late for all of us.

			LUDWIG
		(looks at O.)
	What's to become of us now?

Oskar has a long think.

			OSKAR
		(looks at L.)
	Amerika.  That's the place to go.

Ludwig jumps off the box and gapes at Oskar, tremendously
impressed by this brainstorm.

			LUDWIG
	Everyone in Amerika has a
	toaster in their building!

Oskar jumps down from the box.

			OSKAR
	Then that's the place for us!

			LUDWIG
	Amerika for us!

			OSKAR
	Amerika!

And, linking arms, they do a strange dance along the quay ...

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