by Pete Milan.
Establishing shot of a warehouse somewhere in Florida. It looks to be that indispensable setting of comic books and action movies throughout time, the abandoned warehouse. It isn't.
The camera follows the interviewer to the front door. The interviewer opens it.
Q: Hello? Hello, Mr...Mike? Hello?
Before the interviewer can get through the door, a massive hand reaches out, grabs the interviewer by the head, and begins shaking him. Chaos erupts. The interviewer is screaming. The owner of the hand is screaming. The cameraman has dropped the camera and is trying to loose the interviewer from his attacker. We can see the silhouette of a gigantic form through the doorway.
Cut to the interior of the warehouse, some minutes later. The interviewer and his subject are seated on opposite sides of the table, both of them still shaken up. We get our first look at the subject. He is frighteningly tall, at least twelve feet, and almost as thin as the interview's initial subject. But this is not the thinness of anorexia or malnutrition...he presents the odd picture of having been stretched, like a widescreen image made to fit a square television set, as though there simply isn't enough of him to go around.
A: I can't believe Haly just told you where I live. Do you have any idea how hard it was to find this place? It's not like I can just rent a loft without attracting attention, you know!
Q: I can certainly understand that, but we took care to make sure we weren't followed. We switched cars twice between here and the circus. We're quite aware of your need for privacy.
A: Not privacy. Secrecy. There's a difference.
A: I'm not hiding out in this place because I don't want people looking at the circus freak. I'm here because I don't want him to find me.
Q: Who do you mean?
A: Who do you think? The man who did this to me.
Q: You...you believe that he's out to get you in some way?
A: Because I learned his secret.
He reaches under the table and pulls out a large cardboard box that is overflowing with papers and photographs.
Q: Is this something you learned on the factory tour?
A: (laughs) I didn't learn s*** on the factory tour. Well, okay, I learned that our host was a f***ing psycho, but that's it. What was I supposed to do, change my whole personality because he shrunk and stretched me? F*** that.
Q: Then what--
A: Relax, limey. We'll get there. (searches through the box as he talks) Let me lay it out for you. To be honest, at first, this stretching thing was kinda cool. I was ten years old and ten feet tall and I wasn't even finished growing yet. Good thing I managed to fill out a little. I kicked ass on the basketball court. Mowed those suckers down. And believe me, nobody f***ed with me, on or off the court, or they went to the hospital, you dig? Well...anyway, I ended up getting a full scholarship to Loyola. And the chicks? The chicks loved it.
Q: Yes, but you left basketball behind after your college graduation and never went into the NBA. Why is that?
A: Because I found this. (He pulls a photograph from the box and slaps it down on the table.) You, camera guy, get a good look.
The photo appears on screen. It shows a grinning Mike, wearing a cowboy hat and six shooters, holding out a golden piece of paper to the camera. Standing on either side are his parents. They are in their front yard, posed sideways to the house so that the neighbors' house is visible in the background.
A: You see?
Q: This is on the day you found the ticket.
A: Yeah, yeah, but look closer. Do you see it?
Q: (looks closer) What am I meant to see?
A: In the bushes.
The camera pushes in on the picture. It's out of focus, but there does appear to be something in the bushes. A dark, tiny face.
A: Now what does that look like to you?
Q: ...a baby?
A: There was only one black family living in our neighborhood, and that isn't their house, and they didn't have a baby. Look closer. Look at its chin.
Q: Well, I...I suppose he could have fallen and gotten some dirt on his face--
A: It's a beard. He's one of them. One of those little guys who works in that factory! Except they don't all work in that factory!
He begins pulling more pictures out of the box. Surveillance photos. Group shots. Many of them have circles added to point out little faces.
A: We were set up, all of us. He knew exactly what he was going to do. He knew.
Q: You're saying that--
A: Look, just think about it for a minute. He holds a contest where the secret aim is to find a kid to take over the chocolate factory. But not just any kid. The best kid in the world, the nicest little f***er to ever come down the pike. Now what are the odds? What are the odds that out of five kids in the whole world, he found the best one? Not to mention four kids with such severe personality disorders that no one would blame him if they got taught a lesson?
A: That's right, they are. High. Really f***ing high. And I'll tell you something else. Do you know how Charlie got into the contest?
Q: He bought a chocolate bar.
A: He was starving to death. He was broke and starving to death. I mean, this kid could not catch a break to save his life, literally. And then one day, amazingly enough, he finds a dollar bill right in his path! Does that make sense to you?
Q: Well, yes, frankly. People drop dollar bills all the time.
A: But when you add up the staggering amount of coincidences necessary for all this to happen, you realize it isn't a f***ing coincidence anymore! It's a conspiracy!
Q: To what purpose?
A: His own f***ed-up design. He's got those little creeps spread out across the globe. Gathering information. Spying. His own personal CIA. Chocolate Intelligence Agency. (laughs bitterly)
Q: Isn't that a bit farfetched?
A: You tell me. I've got evidence. I've been collecting it for years, ever since I first saw that picture and put two and two together. I've talked with investigators. Do you know there was an investigation into what happened on that tour? Hard as it is to believe, you can't just have a bunch of children mauled in your factory without answering for it. But they were pulled off the case after that business in the Space Hotel. Don't you think it's odd that he managed to go and save the world just in time to cover his own ass?
A: And now he's untouchable. I've been trying to get back into that place for years, but he's got it sealed up tight. And Charlie, he's no help.
Q: You've been in contact with Charlie?
A: Charlie's a good guy, no doubt about it, but he has no idea, man, he has noooo idea who he's really working for. The--
There is a knock at the door. Everybody freezes.
A: You told me you weren't followed.
Q: We weren't!
A: You damn well were. Son of a bitch!
He stands and pulls a gun from his pocket. It looks like a toy in his oversized hand.
A: DIE! DIE YOU F***ERS! DIIIIIIE!
He fires three times into the door, the sound reverberating through the warehouse. He then turns, grabs the box of evidence, and runs for the rear door.
Q: Bloody hell...Mike! Mike, wait! Mike!
The cameraman moves to the door and pulls it open. Some distance away, there can be seen a tall, ungainly figure completely covered in a trenchcoat and wide-brimmed fedora, running for dear life. It might be a very tall man.
It might also be three very short men standing on one another's shoulders.
The tape stops and resumes. It is some hours later.
Q: Our...our interview subject is gone, and so is any trace of his presence. At this time, we cannot ascertain if he was correct in his presumptions, or if he has simply disappeared down his own rabbit hole. All we have left is this.
The camera shows the picture of Mike and his parents. It slowly focuses on the face in the bushes. The face appears to be smiling with some malevolence.