Daredevil—Lives and Perspectives #3: The Accident
Story by John Rabon
1—Wide panel, daytime. The Kingpin stands next to a window in his office. He has a lit cigar in one of his hands.
CAPTION: There was a day, a long time ago. It was very sunny.
CAPTION: Picture perfect, I believe the phrase is.
2—Bird's eye view, he looks down at a truck that's being loaded with barrels.
CAPTION: I had since moved up in the syndicate. Not yet the Kingpin of Crime, but close enough to that title. I now had my hands in many activities. Many ways to further my own ambitions.
CAPTION: Extortion, drug trafficking, fixing sports events, prostitution, hazardous materials.…
3—Profile shot, neck-up.
CAPTION: Who knew how that would come back to disturb me?
4—The truck is just about ready to leave. One of the Kingpin's lackeys is talking with the Driver.
LACKEY: You know where yer headed?
DRIVER: Yeah, yeah—warehouse in Jersey. I've got the address right here.
1—The Lackey raises his finger up to the Driver, very seriously.
LACKEY: You know this stuff can't be found. Nobody's supposed to be transportin' this through the city.
LACKEY: Something happens—you get found out—you didn't get it here.
DRIVER: Got it.
LACKEY: Then getoutta here!
2—We looking right at the truck as it drives away, leaving the Lackey back on the curb.
3—Wide panel, the truck rounds the corner of the street. Perspective from the Lackey.
CAPTION: I went out to get some food for Dad and myself.
1—Young Matt Murdock stands on the corner, waiting for the Walk sign.
CAPTION: It was a really sunny day. One of those days when it's bright, and warm, but the wind blows enough that it's not hot.
CAPTION: The last day I ever saw.
2—A blind man crosses against traffic. People yell and blow their horns at him.
SFX: HONK! HONK!
DRIVER 1: What the f#@%*'s wrong wit' ya?!
DRIVER 2: Hey, buddy, you blind?!
3—The truck carrying radioactive waste is speeding towards the blind man.
CAPTION: The last day…
4—Inside the cab of the trick, the Driver sees the man and starts to turn.
TRUCK DRIVER: Oh, s#*%!
5—Matt sees the truck as it begins to turn, but it's obvious the driver won't make it.
6—Close-up of Matt as the realization of what is about to happen dawns on him.
1—Matt runs out into the street.
CAPTION: I didn't think. I just did it.
2—Matt pushes the blind man out of the way as the truck begins to tip over as it turns.
3—Wide panel. Tight shot of the Truck Driver's panicked eyes.
4—Another wide panel. This time a tight shot of Matt's eyes, like a deer in headlights.
5—The truck slams hard over into the street, the truck bed facing Matt as the barrels fly out. This panel has to be from a first-person POV, as if the barrels are flying out at you.
1—One barrel flies out and hits Matt right in the face, sending its contents out onto his eyes.
2—Completely black panel.
Splash page, bird's eye view of the street. Story title and credits. Some people are helping the Truck Driver, others the blind man. They are surrounded by people, but Matt has a much larger and tighter group around him.
VOICE 1: Somebody call an ambulance!
VOICE 2: Don't just stand there!
VOICE 3: --Bravest thing I ever saw!
VOICE 4: My God…
VOICE 5: Look at that stuff from the truck—
VOICE 6: Get back from that!
VOICE 7: His face—his eyes—
1—A younger Ben Urich runs onto the scene, pulling a small tape recorder out of his pocket.
CAPTION: I came to this city because I originally wanted to be a writer.
2—He turns it on and speaks into it.
CAPTION: At least, that was the original plan.
BEN: This is Ben Urich with the Bugle. First on the scene at 8th Street where a truck carrying hazardous materials has overturned, possibly injuring three.
3—Ben approaches the truck.
CAPTION: I studied Journalism at Columbia, as a fall back so I would at least have a job that paid a little.
4—He holds the recorder out as he taps one man on the shoulder.
CAPTION: My wife Doris, and I got married just last month. And we need some money.
BEN: Excuse me, sir?
CAPTION: I took this job just for that reason. And then something happened.
CAPTION: I realized that the real stories weren't in my head—
1—Close-up of the guy Ben tapped. He faces us. (Ben is always off-panel on this page.)
CAPTION: --They were out there.
MAN: Sure, I saw the whole thing!
2—This time it's a young woman, same pose.
YOUNG WOMAN: Some old blind guy, but—
3—A biker dude.
BIKER: -some kid just ran out—
OLD WOMAN: -so brave, just pushed that man out of the way—
BEN: And the kid?
BUSINESSMAN: He was hit by one of the barrels—
ARTIST: -got him right in the eyes, man! I mean, that's gotta suck—
BEN: And what about the stuff?
PUNK: The stuff?
8—A cop with his hat off, scratching his head.
BEN: Yes, the stuff on the truck—
1—People are still surrounding Matt. His face is beaten badly. His nose is bleeding, his face is cut up, and he is also much bruised. Radioactive gunk is also on and in his eyes.
BEN: -is it radioactive?
2—Wide panel, black.
CAPTION: It courses through my blood. It changes me.
CAPTION: It burns so badly.
3—Cross-section of blood vessels as blood pumps through them.
CAPTION: --My blood-- it gushes through high power hoses and slams against the base of my skull.
4—Bird's eye view as paramedics wheel Matt on a gurney into the Emergency Room. A doctor comes up beside them.
DOCTOR: We need to prep him for surgery, stat! This way!
MATT: IT HURTS! IT HURTS!
DOCTOR: I know, son.
CAPTION: You don't know. How can you?
5—Wide panel, black.
CAPTION: Everything hurts.
1—Wide panel as Matt is wheeled into the OR.
CAPTION: I don't know where I am.
2—Wide panel, all black.
CAPTION: Sandpaper scrapes my skin every time I move—no—not sandpaper—sheets—starched sheets.
CAPTION: --I'm in a bed—somewhere—
CAPTION: --And the smells…
3—From one of the tables in the room, it's filled with beakers and medical things. From this perspective we see Matt.
CAPTION: …chemical smells. Disinfectants.
CAPTION: Hospital. I'm in a hospital.
4—The surgical team enters the OR.
CAPTION: The door swings open on screaming hinges. People come and go. Smelling like bathtubs full of sweat—
5—Another black wide panel.
CAPTION: --smelling like eaten food—like Italian sauces and half-digested eggs—
1—Matt screams and thrashes on the operating table as he is held down.
MATT: STOP IT! IT HURTS! STOP!
SURGEON: HOLD HIM DOWN! (connected) YOU! GET OVER HERE WITH SOME MORE ANESTHESIA!
2—Another wide, black panel.
CAPTION: --They stab me with needles. They fill me with drugs. But the drugs don't fool me. I know they cut my face.
CAPTION: I can feel it you idiots—Can't you see there's nothing you can do to stop me from feeling it?
3—Matt lying in a hospital bed in his own room. A nurse is closing the door as she leaves.
CAPTION: Everything hurts.
CAPTION: All I want to do is die.
4—The nurse walks out to the nurses' station and begins to talk with the one at the desk.
NURSE 1: Did you hear all of that?
1—The other nurse answers.
NURSE 2: How could I not? I didn't think he'd ever calm down.
NURSE 1: You should have listened to all the things he was yellin' about. Almost made it sound like we were torturing him.
2—As they continue talking, a muscular male figure is racing up the hall.
NURSE 1: I mean, lord, seemed like he could hear clear across the hospital.
3—The figure turns out to be Jack. He stops at the nurses' station.
NURSE 2: Well, give the kid a break; he's been though a lot. (connected) It's probably just shock.
JACK: Excuse me?
4—Nurse 2 turns to face Jack.
NURSE 2: Yes, sir. How can I help you?
JACK: I'm looking for my boy. They said he was here. Matt—Matt Murdock.
NURSE 2: You're his father?
5—Nurse 1 leads him to Matt's room.
NURSE 2: Right away. Betty there'll take you to him.
NURSE 1: Right this way, Mr. Murdock.
1—Interior of Matt's hospital room as Betty opens the door. We can see her and Jack in the doorway.
NURSE 1/BETTY: Here he is, sir.
2—Jack kneels down to Matt's bedside as the Nurse Betty stands over them. Jack is putting his hand on Matt's forehead.
BETTY: You'll be happy to know that his condition has been upgraded to stable. (connected) Unfortunately, though, we had to give him a lot of medication due to shock, so I'm afraid he won't be able to answer right now.
JACK: Ok. Thanks for looking after him.
BETTY: No thanks are necessary Mr. Murdock.
3—She closes the door on her way out, leaving Jack alone with Matt.
1—Big black panel in which Jack's question from Panel 3 takes up the whole panel. (Just like in DD #229).
CAPTION: So loud. Smelly. A thundering voice and a wave of whiskey.
2—Another all black panel in which Jack Murdock's words encompass the panel.
JACK: Can you hear me, son?
CAPTION: Hear you—what do you expect—you're shouting—
3—In this one, the blackness begins to take the shape of everything in the room. Jack Murdock's voice still looms over the panel.
JACK: The doctors…they say you'll be fine, son.
CAPTION: --like all the rest—breathes like he's a hundred feet tall…
4—The scene blends in together a little more, as the shapes become more defined and faint colors begin to appear. The voice is still huge.
JACK: You're a hero, boy.
CAPTION: …so big…it's like I'm in him…it's…
5—Now the panel has dissolved back into the hospital room, no blackness. Jack's voice is still huge in the background, even as he speaks in regular voice to Matt.
JACK: You just rest now.
CAPTION: …is that my father?
1—From the interior of the room, Jack is leaving, small tears in his eyes; Matt is still lying in the bed.
2—From the outside, Jack closes the door.
3—He starts going down the hall, looking down at his feet. A nun is coming towards him in the opposite direction. Her head is also down.
4—Jack slightly bumps the nun. He tries to apologize, but she never looks up.
JACK: Oh, sorry, Sister…
5—She nods, but says nothing.
6—She is heading towards Matt's room, Jack is looking at her back as he continues to walk down the hall.
1—Interior as she enters Matt's room.
CAPTION: I could hear her coming down the hall.
CAPTION: A new set of steps. Soft. Softer than the nurses'—or Dad's.
2—She comes close to Matt's bed, saying a prayer silently and crossing herself.
CAPTION: A soft scent. And a soft voice.
CAPTION: As soft as her words are, I can hear every part of the prayer that she says over me.
CAPTION: And I wonder—is this an angel?
3—She sits by his bed, holding his hand.
CAPTION: Her touch is soft as well as she holds my hand. Tightly, but gentle.
CAPTION: It's a strange new feeling.
CAPTION: But so familiar…
4—Sister Maggie sits there, keeping an ever-constant vigilance over her son.
CAPTION: She never leaves, and every few minutes I can hear her soft prayer over and over.
5—Wide panel, all black.
CAPTION: Later, I wake up—but it takes me a while to realize that I'm not asleep anymore.
CAPTION: It takes me a while to realize I can't see.
CAPTION: I don't cry or scream.
CAPTION: She's still there, and somehow her very presence is calming.
CAPTION: And then she speaks to me.
1—Maggie is leaning over the bed, still holding Matt's hand as she speaks. A calm pulse line runs at the bottom off the panel.
MAGGIE: Why does it hurt?
MATT: So loud…so smelly…everything…
CAPTION: Even her heartbeat is calming. My own beats like a huge drum, like it's going to jump out of my chest with each breath.
2—She looks into Matt's face and touches his cheek. Matt's own hand comes up to touch that of his mother's.
MAGGIE: I see…
CAPTION: She breathes. Down the hall the coughing subsides.
3—She holds onto both of Matt's hands. In the window, there is a faded picture of DD.
CAPTION: When she speaks again, it's a gentle whisper.
MAGGIE: This…may not be a bad thing. What you could do with it.
MATT: Do…with it?
4—She leans over him again, giving him a slight hug.
MAGGIE: Just think of it. It's a blessing Matt.
CAPTION (MAGGIE): Perhaps…perhaps something good will come of it.
MAGGIE: It's yours. Yours.
CAPTION (MAGGIE): Please let something good come of this, Lord. His life's been so hard. He needs something…
5—She leans close to him. Whispering in his ear.
MAGGIE: And it's our secret. Don't tell anyone. (connected) Promise me now.
MATT: Who are you?
CAPTION (MAGGIE): And please forgive me, Lord…
6—Close-up as she kisses him on the forehead. Her gold cross dangles from her nun outfit. He reaches up and touches it.
CAPTION (MATT): Lips, warm…kissing my forehead...loving…
CAPTION (MATT):…and something hard, dangling from her neck…
CAPTION: It's a cross…
MAGGIE: Promise me…
1—She is leaving the room, opening the door. There are tears streaming down her face.
CAPTION (MAGGIE): Please forgive me…
2—Matt feels around for her hand, for any part of her. She looks on heart-achingly. CAPTION:…Lord…
3—Close-up of his confused face.
4—He calms down.
MATT: I promise.
CAPTION (MAGGIE): Please forgive me for leaving you, abandoning you.
5—The hallway, she closes the door.
CAPTION (MAGGIE): --Again—
CAPTION (MATT): Wait—
6—She walks down the hallway, away from the room.
CAPTION (MATT): --how did you know my name?
1—Wide panel, all black.
CAPTION (MATT): I'm back home now. And I remember my promise to the angel lady.
CAPTION: I don't tell anyone about my abilities. –Not even Dad. In fact, he doesn't even know that lady was ever there.
2—Matt out on the fire escape. His eyes are bandaged.
CAPTION: It's amazing. All around the neighborhood things are happening, and I can hear it all.
CAPTION: Cats fighting. Phone calls. Cars backfiring—or least I think they're backfiring.
CAPTION: It's amazing how I can hear all of this—
3—Inside the small living room/dining room/kitchen, two men talk with Jack Murdock while Matt can be seen sitting outside on the fire escape.
CAPTION: --but my Dad and the men inside think I can't hear them.
CAPTION: They're wrong.
CAPTION (JACK): I was angry over the whole damn thing— more than any time I was in the ring. My boy was gonna be blind for the rest of his natural life ‘cause of goons like this.
CAPTION (JACK): I feel so powerless.
CAPTION (JACK): If only you could hit lawyers…
4—One of the lawyers is setting down a briefcase on the table, the other is trying to talk Jack. Jack has his fists clinched in anger and frustration.
JACK: Your boss has to do something. My son won't ever see again! (connected) It was hard enough before. His mother's dead, and I've been raisin' him all his life.
JACK: --Now I have a whole new set of problems and he's gotta learn how to read Braille, and I have to special order all those books!
LAWYER: I know—I know Mr. Murdock. (connected) And I sympathize, I really do. (connected) --But there's a problem, you see.
LAWYER: My employer can't be held responsible for the actions of a driver who was DUI on the scene of the accident. To be honest, the corporation my employer represents doesn't consider itself accountable.
1—Jack explodes with anger. The first lawyer is trying to calm Jack down while the second holds some paperwork in his hands.
JACK: WHAT?! (connected) It was your junk that hit ‘im, you f%^$#@* shyster!
LAWYER: Please, Mr. Murdock, calm down. (connected) Anyway, we do have an insurance policy—
2—The second lawyer hands Jack the papers.
LAWYER: —for you, anyway—
3—Jack looks through them. It's all evidence of his connection to the Fixer.
2ND LAWYER: You see, your boss works for our boss, Mr. Murdock.—And it would look very bad for everyone if you were to do something stupid like filing a complaint or going to the press.
4—Back to all three of them standing together, Jack looks defeated.
LAWYER: If you were to do something like that—we would reveal your association with the Fixer, and everyone in our organization would remain untouched.
LAWYER: Your son is blind. Accept that and move on. (connected) From the way you talk, it sounds like right now he could use a father who's here—not in jail.
2ND LAWYER: Good day, Mr. Murdock.
5—As they leave, Jack slumps into his easy chair.
CAPTION: I failed you, Matty. I failed again—
1—In the gym, we watch from the doorway as Matt tries to hit the punching bag, but keeps missing.
CAPTION (STICK): I'd noticed the kid in the gym before. He used to come in always to take his old man home.
2—Matt trips trying to do jump rope, there's a look of frustration and anger on his face.
CAPTION: He didn't know that I saw him.
CAPTION: Especially the times when he would break in to work out on his own.
CAPTION: He didn't think anybody knew.
3—Matt tries the gymnast balance bars.
CAPTION: I knew.
4—Close-up of Matt's face, and the grey, glazed-over look in his eyes that some blind people have.
CAPTION: Now he's blind.
CAPTION: A weakness to some.
CAPTION: An excuse to him.
5—Matt falls off the balance bars. He's crying. We can see Stick's right foot in the far left of the panel.
MATT (SFX): …sniff—sniff—
CAPTION: Weakness. I hate it.—Especially seeing it in others.
6—Still seeing only his feet, and now the bottom of his stick. He walks over to Matt.
CAPTION: It's time…to put away this self-pity, this self-doubt—
1—Wide panel. Stick hits Matt in the back with the stick. We still can't see Stick's face, his back is turned to us.
CAPTION: It's time to put away the tears…
STICK: Get up.
2—This panel fills the rest of the page. Worm's eye view, Matt looks up at Stick.
STICK: Quit feeling sorry for yourself and get up.
CAPTION: It's time to turn weakness into strength.
To be continued…