REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY
By Allison McCulloch (C) 2003


INT. CARISSAíS HOUSE

Carissa punches the answering machine button.

LEIGH-ANNA
Sorry I havenít called you back.  I JUST FREAKING HATE YOU.  Allen was mine
and you STOLE him from me you-

Carissa turns off the answering machine.

WENDY
I thought you turned Allen down.

CARISSA
Allen asked me out and I said ďno.Ē  But Leigh-Anna was jealous that he even 
asked me out.

WENDY
That girl needs help.

CARISSA
I was never good friends with Leigh-Anna, but I am never, never speaking to 
her again.  She is a complete jerk for calling me like this.

Ext. Opry Mills Mall

Carrissa and Wendy are near the north entrance. There are a couple loose people 
hanging around the exits.

DRUG DEALER
(quietly approaches Carissa)
I got a good deal for you on this weed, man.

CARISSA
No thanks...

DRUG DEALER
You've never smoked, have you?

CARISSA
Listen, I'm messed up as it is.

DRUG DEALER
Gotcha.

DRUG DEALER backs off.  Carissa and Wendy head to their car.

INT. CARISSAíS APT - KITCHEN

Wendy and Carissa are eating lunch.

WENDY
Well, I swear, I'm never going to a movie with you again.

CARISSA
I don't mean to tell you the endings. It just kind of comes out.

WENDY
I mean, you are twisted if you could predict that ending.

CARISSA
It's not predicting. I see it. I see the ending unfold, right as the opening credits 
roll.

WENDY
Well, you don't have to tell me how itís going to end.

CARISSA
No, it's like... When I'm telling you the end, it's like the movie is already over.

WENDY
I don't comprehend you.

CARISSA
Why are you crying?

WENDY
I'm not crying, stupid.

CARISSA
Yeah, you are.

Wendy takes a bite of potato salad and tears start rolling down her face.  The tears 
roll up back into her eyes and we hear "I'm not crying, stupid," again.

Wendy senses she is crying by now and reacts loudly.

WENDY
There aren't onions in this potato salad, are there? I can't eat them.

CARISSA
You mean I saw you cry before you started to tear up?

WENDY
There's no way. That's impossible.  You're saying that you can see the future.

CARISSA
But by the time it's the future, I see the past.  So I couldn't warn you not 
to eat the potato salad, because when I saw the past, it was the future.

WENDY
That is the most stupid thing I've ever heard.  You were always the special child 
in your family because of your dyslexia.  Now since you've accepted it and reached 
your goal to blend in with everyone else, you want to be special again.  You 
want me to believe that you can see the future.

CARISSA
Not really.  I'm not saying I can see the future.  Because it's the present when 
I see the future, and by the time I realize I'm seeing the future, it's too 
late and what I can see can do no good for anyone.

WENDY
If I believed this were real, I'd say, maybe you can train your power and curb 
it, so it could be of use to other people.

CARISSA
See, I've had this power for years.  I've been trying to do just that.  But 
the power is out of my control.  I can't figure out how to use it.  I've been 
waiting to tell someone at the right moment.

WENDY
Why now?  You should have told me when we were in high school and I thought the 
Matrix was real.

Carissa laughs a little.

CARISSA
But you wouldn't have been smart enough to give me guidance on what I should do.

WENDY
I'm not sure I'm smart enough now.

EXT. CENTENNIAL PARK

Carissa and Jackson are walking at a park.  From Carissa's P.O.V. we see ducks 
walking backward.

JACKSON
What are you looking at?

We now see the ducks walking forward.

CARISSA
Nothing.  Right now they say the next big thing scientists are trying to discover 
is how memories are being made.

JACKSON
Whatever makes a big impression, right.

CARISSA
Yeah.  But it seems those who remember more train their minds.

JACKSON
I'd like to train my mind.

CARISSA
To do what?

JACKSON
(almost dreamily)
Read people's minds; I've actually read where if you study people closely enough, 
you can predict their actions.

CARISSA
Jackson, no!  Something realistic.

JACKSON
Oh...

CARISSA
Sorry.

JACKSON
That's OK.  I guess that sounded kind of stupid.

CARISSA
I'll tell you what.  That's not more stupid than what I told Wendy the other 
day.  And she blew me off.

JACKSON
I bet she didn't blow you off.  Sometimes your ideas are just crazy.

CARISSA
This wasn't an idea.  It was a confession.

JACKSON
Well, tell me what you did.  If I disapprove, I'll give you ten Hail Marys.

CARISSA
You are so weird.

JACKSON
Nope, you're weird.  So what's the big deal?  What'd you do?

CARISSA
Well, it's not something I did.  
(she pauses and then turns to him)
OK, I think I can see things backwards in time.

JACKSON
Oh, right.  Well, you were dyslexic.  Is that what you meant?

CARISSA
I didn't confuse my B's and my D's, Jackson.  I think they misdiagnosed 
me.  When the teacher wrote a letter or a word on the board, I would see the 
whole thing backwards.

JACKSON
What the heck do you mean?

Carissa demonstrates by writing out the word cat backwards on the sheet of 
paper.  

CARISSA
I wrote exactly what I perceived to be on the board.  They kept telling me 
it was backwards.  So I learned to write backwards.

Carissa writes cat the right way.

CARISSA (cont'd)
But I was always a slow learner, because in the higher grades I'd have to 
figure out how to spell words like preposterous backwards.

JACKSON
I can't even spell preposterous.

CARISSA
Well, you get the idea.

JACKSON
Now I do.  I thought you meant that you saw things backwards.  Like that duck.

Jackson points to the duck who is walking forward.

CARISSA
Actually, it's not just letters and words.  I do see that duck walking backwards.

Carissa's P.O.V.: The duck is walking backwards again.

JACKSON
(amused)
And Wendy was freaked out!

CARISSA
She's my best friend; I thought she'd be supportive.

JACKSON
Well, you can't expect her to understand.

CARISSA
When I was eight I attended therapy briefly.  My parents thought that since I 
was dyslexic, I might have other mental problems.

Jackson laughs.

CARISSA
No, really.  They did.  The therapist returned me to my parents as the normal, 
healthy child they wanted so much.  I sometimes wonder if my life would have been 
different if I had told the therapist that I see backwards.

JACKSON
I admit growing up in a mental institution might have been different.

CARISSA
(nicely)
Shut up.  I've always kept it to myself like I know better to tell anyone else.  
But now, I've stopped caring.  Who cares who knows.  I feel misplaced.  
I feel as if my life isn't heading in the direction it should.  I mean I'm not 
a criminal wanting to turn over a leaf, I'm just a wanderer.

JACKSON
You lost me.  But don't think I'm not being supportive, because I am.  I 
mean I'd like to be.  I just have to interrogate you a little bit and see what 
you're able to do.

CARISSA
OK.

JACKSON
Detail everything you can see backwards.  We know you can see people and/or 
ducks walking backward, people writing backwards...

CARISSA
People eating backwards.  People getting food on the side of their mouth before 
it happens.  Lights turning red before it happens.  That's why I can't drive.

JACKSON
Wait, wait.  You said you can see things backwards.  But in reality, you can 
see a little bit in the future.

CARISSA
A very little bit.

JACKSON
Do you think that maybe you can try to see more into the future?

CARISSA
I've tried.

JACKSON
How hard?

CARISSA
Well, how in the world do you try to see more into the future?

JACKSON
I'm afraid I can't help you there.  But just think if you could see a little bit 
into the future.  If the person next to you was shot, you could move them out of the way.

CARISSA
But what are the chances of standing next to someone, about to be shot?

JACKSON
You could hang around the ghetto.

CARISSA
Uh, that's OK.

JACKSON
Would you like to "use" your power?

CARISSA
Of course!

JACKSON
Have you ever tried?

CARISSA
I could have tried to stop Wendy from eating the potato salad with the onions 
in it.  She's allergic to onions.  I saw her start tearing up from eating it, 
but I had no idea it was from the onions in the potato salad or I'd have warned 
her.  So see, maybe if I were smart or had an extra sense, this power would be 
helpful.

JACKSON
You must have it for a reason.

CARISSA
Cause I won't abuse this power, because I don't even know how to use it correctly.

JACKSON
Ha, ha.  But once you know how to use it, I bet you'll get a power trip.

CARISSA
Well, I can't imagine using this power for anything but preventing bad things 
from happening.

JACKSON
That's because you're sweet.

CARISSA
Aww, thanks.

JACKSON
But if you had a sick mind, you could probably come up with a way to misuse your 
gift.

CARISSA
Well, I'd have to have a really sick mind then, because I can only think of 
good ways of using it.  But see-

JACKSON
What?

CARISSA
My brain is too slow or too dumb to figure out how to prevent situations 
from occurring.  After the whole situation has occurred, I can look back and say 
"this is what I should have done".  But at the time, I feel powerless.  
So seeing backwards is just as helpless as seeing forwards, only it's more confusing.  
And the moments are so rare when I could actually use my so-called "power", 
when there's actual problems that need solving.

JACKSON
Well, think about it.  Think about what you can do.

CARISSA
Listen, I've been thinking about this for the last twenty-two years.  I'm asking 
you to think about it and let me know.   Maybe you can take a look at situations 
this week and wonder how you would handle it if you saw things backwards.

JACKSON
That's a lot to ask.

CARISSA
Well, I'm just asking for some help.  

JACKSON
How far into the future can you see?  Or do you think it's the future and it's 
really the past?

CARISSA
I know it's the future, because I can predict the ends of movies.  Only it's 
not predicting, it's unveiled in a sort of reverse order.  In fact, the only 
movie that has made sense in a long time was Memento. 

Jackson laughs.

CARISSA (cont'd)
I didn't get the black-and-white sequences though.

JACKSON
That movie took me five times to figure out.

CARISSA
Sleepless in Seattle took me five times to figure out.

JACKSON
You're crazy.  So let me get this straight.  Movies are one and a half to 
two hours long.  You can see the endings of the movies, at what point?

CARISSA
In the very beginning, sometimes.   Usually more towards the middle of the film.  
When it's the beginning, I think I see the middle, and when it's the middle it's 
like I'm walking out of the theater.  And then, while I see myself discussing 
the movie with Wendy or someone, it so happens that I'm really still watching the 
movie.  And the last time I saw a movie, it was with Wendy.  I was talking about 
the psycho ending and ended up ruining the movie for her, cause we were still 
in the movie.  Do you get me?  Am I repeating myself?  Am I stupid?

JACKSON
Youíre not stupid, Carissa.  Your giftís amazing!  If you could predict the 
ends of movies, maybe you can predict horse races or baseball games.

CARISSA
Nope.  No betting.  I am against gambling.

JACKSON
Wait, wait.  Maybe you can watch a few games and make a few predictions 
before you actually set any money at stake.

CARISSA
No, no.  I'm not into sports anyway.

JACKSON
Maybe you could predict the lottery numbers?

CARISSA
No, no.  It's nothing like that.  I'd like to do simple things to keep the 
world going just a little bit smoother.

JACKSON
You're incredible.  A fatter bank account seems like a little smoother to me.


	ONE YEAR LATER

INT. CARISSAíS APT.

Carissa is watching the dishes while listening to the evening news on the radio.

NEWSCASTER
At the Grubbs Inn tonight, three were shot in a brawl before the police were 
able to get there.  The names of the victims have just been released: Jorden 
Summers, Bobby Tyrone, and Leigh-Anna Yewson.  The time is ten seventeen.  
Thank you for listening to WGGU.

Carissa drops plate.

CARISSA
Oh my gosh!  Sheís dead.  That bitch.  I canít believe it.  Thatís terrible.  
Iím going to have a heart attack.  Wait a second, itís not ten seventeen.

Carissa looks at the clock and itís six seventeen.

CARISSA
This is it!  I know what to do.  I have to call her and distract her, so she 
doesnít go to Grubbs.  Where is her darn number?

Carissa frantically dials Wendyís number.

WENDY
(filter)
Hey.

CARISSA
I need Leigh-Annaís number RIGHT NOW.

WENDY
Whoa, since when were you and her friends again?

CARISSA
Well, I feel I have to tie up loose ends.  Leigh-Anna is a decent person 
and I feel so guilty that I just let her go like that.

WENDY
Carissa, she let YOU go.  I donít know why youíre chasing that girl down.  
Sheís going to ignore you.

CARISSA
Let her ignore me!  I have to at least try to reconcile this.  I bet sheís 
over Allen by now.

WENDY
Hereís her number:  555-5420

CARISSA
Thank you! See ya later, Wendy.

WENDY
Bye.

Carissa hangs up phone and frantically dials Leigh-Annaís number.

LEIGH-ANNA
Hey, whoís calling?

CARISSA
This is Carissa Whitland.

LEIGH-ANNA
Get out!  How are you?

CARISSA
Iím doing good, but I really need to see you tonight.

LEIGH-ANNA
Maybe some other time.  Iím meeting some people at Grubbsí Inn tonight.  
Theyíre having this cool DJ for their lounge party and Iím meeting some 
friends.  Maybe you could go with us even?

CARISSA
Whoís the DJ?

LEIGH-ANNA
DJ Carillo.

CARISSA
Iíve heard he isnít that good.  Why donít you come to my house?  We can rent 
a movie or something.

LEIGH-ANNA
Dude!  Iím not scrapping my whole night to rent a movie.

CARISSA
We can do anything else.  I just donít think you should go over there.  
I had a cousin who used to work there and he said it was unsanitary.

LEIGH-ANNA
Iím not going to stop my plans because you ďjust donít thinkĒ I should go 
there.  Come off it!

CARISSA
Grubbsí Inn can be pretty rough.  Listen, I have some information about 
whatís going on tonight.  It looks like something bad will happen.

LEIGH-ANNA
What kind of information?

CARISSA
Iíd go some other night.

LEIGH-ANNA
Well, DJ Carillo isnít going to be there another night!  Heís coming all the 
way from Baltimore.  Iím going tonight!

CARISSA
Iíll buy you his record.  Just donít go there.

LEIGH-ANNA
What kind of information do you have?

INT. CARISSAíS APT.

Carissa and Leigh-Anna are listening to the ten seventeen broadcast over the 
radio.

NEWSCASTER
At the Grubbs Inn tonight, three were shot in a brawl before the police were 
able to get there.  The names of the victims have just been released: Jorden 
Summers, Bobby Tyrone, and Moline Truett.  The time is ten seventeen.  
Thank you for listening to WGGU.

LEIGH-ANNA
I am speechless.

CARISSA
No youíre not!!

LEIGH-ANNA
I canít believe you.  I want you to thank your cousin for me!  That could have 
been me!

CARISSA
It really could have.

LEIGH-ANNA
I donít buy that cousin story.  How did you really know?

CARISSA
WellÖ I could tell you.  Iíve told two other people, but itís done no good for 
me yet.  Iíve had to use my own brain.

LEIGH-ANNA
Tell me.

CARISSA
I donít know if you would believe me.  

LEIGH-ANNA
What is it?

CARISSA
I can see backwards.  I see something before it happens, and then am thrown back 
to the past by the time it happens.  But itís continuousÖ. Everything I see is 
backwards, a mirror image.

LEIGH-ANNA
Shoot!

CARISSA
I heard the report about the Grubbsí Inn four hours before it happen.

LEIGH-ANNA
Shoot.

CARISSA
You were supposed to die.

LEIGH-ANNA
I canít believe it.  I thought you hated me!  Why didnít you tell me you had 
this kind of power?

CARISSA
I knew you wouldnít believe me, at least until it already had happened.

LEIGH-ANNA
That is so cool.  That only three people died, instead of four.

CARISSA
Oh no.

LEIGH-ANNA
What?

CARISSA
Thatís just awful.  Someone died in your place.  I canít believe that happened.

LEIGH-ANNA 
Who did?

CARISSA
I donít remember.  Her name was Truett or something.

LEIGH-ANNA
So youíre saying that someone else was killed in my place, that three people 
would have died anyway.

CARISSA
I donít know.  Iíve never tried to rescue someone before.  I thought that maybe 
only two people would die, instead of three.  But things didnít turn out the 
way my brain thinks.

LEIGH-ANNA
Wait just a moment.  Why didnít you warn the other two people?

CARISSA
There was no time.  I only heard your name.  I only knew how to get into 
contact with you.  I didnít even know it was a broadcast from the future 
until I looked at the clock.  It was six seventeen and the radio said it was 
ten seventeen.

LEIGH-ANNA
I know you didnít know those people.  If you had warned all three of us, three 
other people would have died.  What Iím saying is, what you did was alter fate 
in your own small way.  Thatís pretty cool.  Next time, shoot for saving all 
three people.  You never know.  Maybe only one or two people would die.   Then 
the challenge would be in contacting all three people in four hours.

CARISSA
But what if I didnít have four hours?  I mean, it was hard enough getting you 
here.  What about someone I didnít know.

LEIGH-ANNA
Iíll help you.  We could set up a network.  If you can see something in the 
future, contact me and weíll delegate the work.

CARISSA
But it was if I was in a trance when I heard your name.  Iím not able to 
concentrate and piece it all together so fast.

LEIGH-ANNA
Well, maybe I could sit down with you and you could tell me whatís going on 
and I could transcribe what you hear on the newscasts.  If the bad things 
havenít happened yet, weíll try to stop it.

CARISSA
Why are you willing to help me like this?

LEIGH-ANNA
All I can say is I have no idea why you were willing to help me.

THE END

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