KAFKA


                               by

                            Lem Dobbs










        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 habituČ.

                                  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 ...