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INT. CABIN - DAY
MAID, young and timid, is bustling about one of the ship’s
cabins, doing a thorough cleaning. It is very quiet except
for the lapping of the water against the hull of the ship.
There is no sound of other people being about. Suddenly
there is a WHOOSH sound at the open porthole. MAID crosses
to the porthole to close it. As she does, she scrapes
herself against it, causing her finger to bleed. Steady
drops of blood hit the carpet. MAID panics and hurries from
the room to get something that will help her clean up the
blood from the carpet. CU of stain as it disappears into the
carpet fully, leaving no trace of a stain whatsoever. MAID
reenters cabin and kneels to clean the blood. When she sees
that the blood has disappeared, she is dumbfounded. As she
stares at the spot where her blood should be, there is
suddenly a hissing, cackling noise that comes from the
closet of the cabin. MAID stands up slowly and bravely
crosses to the closed closet. The eerie noises increase in
volume as she gets closer to the closet. She opens the door
and her face screws up in hysterical terror at what she
sees. At this moment the hissing cackle reaches a very high
volume. The audience does not see what is in the closet, nor
do they see whether it attacks the maid.
TITLES: AMERICAN HORROR STORY: NAUTICA
Title: New York Harbor, 1928
EXT. HARBOR - DOCK - DAY
A wealthy-looking couple, OLIVER HAZARD (age 70) and CLAIRE
SMITH (age 30’s), presumably husband and wife are standing
outside a Rolls Royce and looking up at the impressive ocean
liner that is the Nautica. Claire is holding a toy poodle,
MITZI, in her arms. OLIVER has a cheerful look, but Claire
is eying the ship as if it were something disgusting. Their
driver is unloading their luggage and placing it by the car.
Well, my darling? What do you
think, eh? Quite a beauty, isn’t
A private plane would be more
Claire, I’ve already explained to
you. Travel by plane is nowhere
near as comfortable as by ship, and
not nearly as safe.
We’ll see how safe YOU are once
I’ve been stuck on this dump for
You said you wanted to go to Paris,
so I’m taking you to Paris.
Two weeks at sea, two in Paris, and
then two more at sea to get back.
That’s FOUR WEEKS at sea.
Oliver is starting to lose patience with Claire.
Is this how you are going to act
for the whole trip? I give you
everything you want-
I wanted to FLY to Paris. Not take
some rusty death trap across four
thousand miles of ocean!
I can’t afford to be renting
private airplanes because you don’t
You could afford it if you weren’t
keeping TWO different women at your
Oliver is silenced momentarily by this cutting comment.
I love YOU. I’ve told you countless
times that she is nothing to me.
No plane. Now you take your mutt
and get in that ship or I’ll haul
you over my shoulder and do it
Claire and Oliver begin to walk toward the ship’s gangplank.
Mitzi starts yapping in excitement.
At your age, Oliver? Please.
(under his breath)
I meant the dog.
EXT. DOCK - DAY - LATER
Jeremiah, age 27, and his daughter, Gem, age 5, are sitting
near the dock of the Nautica. They are watching as
well-dressed men and women board, along with their maids and
manservants and luggage. Jeremiah and Gem are not at all
well-dressed. On the contrary, their clothes are dirty and
Where is the ship going, daddy?
I don’t know, my sweet. Where do
you think it’s going?
I think it’s going to... Luna Park!
Luna Park? You think this huge ship
is just going around the corner to
Ha, well maybe.
Can Mommy come with us to Luna
Jeremiah looks unsettled by this question.
I tell you what, Gem. If this ship
is indeed going to Luna Park, then
we’ll bring Mommy. Okay?
They continue to sit together for another few moments,
Jermiah still looking troubled. He watches as Hazard and
Claire walk up to the ship. He notices that they are
unaccompanied by a servant.
Well, time to earn our passage!
Jeremiah stands and pulls Gem to her feet. He has a knapsack
with him, and carefully pulls out a fine black coat. He puts
it on, and hastily runs his fingers through his hair, trying
to tidy it.
Alright, sweet, let’s go.
Jeremiah and Gem make their way up the ship. Jeremiah
glances at Hazard’s pile of luggage, sneaking a look at the
name on the tags. He makes to go on board, but is stopped by
one of the ship’s crew who has a list of names.
Hang on, then. Where’s your ticket?
I’m not a guest, I am Mr. Oliver
Hazard’s manservant. This is my
daughter Gem. Now kindly allow us
Even servants require a ticket,
sir. Come back once you’ve got one.
My my my, such manners you have!
If you haven’t got a ticket, you
haven’t got passage.
Hold on- are you accusing Mr.
Hazard, the Mr. Hazard of the noble
family Hazard, of trying to sneak
his manservant aboard without
paying the fee?
Now hang on a minute. I would never
Did you know that Mr. Hazard is the
great great great grandson of
Abraham Lincoln himself?
Is that a fact?
That’s right! Kin to our second
president of these United States
and you’re accusing him of filthy
Crew Man suddenly looks down and addresses Gem.
Hello, little lady. So tell me: Is
this man your daddy?
Come, leave my girl out of it.
But Crew Man ignores Jeremiah.
And does he work for Mr. Hazard?
Gem looks up at Jeremiah for guidance. He subtly nods.
And you want to go to Europe too, I
No. I’m going to Luna Park.
I see. Is your daddy a butler?
Glancing at her daddy again.
And is that why he is wearing
Gem is confused and looks over at her father’s wrists that
have been accidentally exposed. There are broken cuffs on
them, carefully hidden up to this point.
Wait, no, it’s a misunderstanding.
Very funny story actually...
You wait here, I’m calling the
Crew Man turns to find a fellow ship’s officer for
assistance. Jeremiah grabs Gem’s hand and rushes away.
Time to go, sweet.
By the time the Crew Man has found someone to help him,
Jeremiah and Gem are nowhere in sight.
Jeremiah and Gem are hurrying away from the gangplank, and
they duck behind a mountain of cargo.
I’m sorry, daddy.
Jeremiah puts his hands on her small shoulders and comforts
Oh, no no no, sweet, that was
daddy’s fault, not yours.
We don’t get to go on the boat?
Of course we do! We just need to
get creative. Now let’s see...
Daddy... why do you have those on
Jeremiah stops to face his daughter.
Magic show, sweet. Didn’t I tell
you I’ve been practicing to be a
But clearly I need to keep
practicing, don’t I?
He gestures to the broken cuffs. Gem smiles, her worries put
to rest. Jeremiah looks about his surroundings and his eyes
fall upon the large pile of Hazard luggage once again. It
has not yet been brought on board.
Some crew are heaving Claire’s large trunk up towards the
ship, and are mumbling about how heavy it is. Camera pans to
the cargo area where Jeremiah and Gem were hiding. A pile of
fancy ladies’ clothing, hats, and shoes is lying there on
the dirty ground, hundreds of dollars of clothing instantly
INT. SHIP’S LOBBY - DAY - LATER
There is hustle and bustle as guests and crew travel through
the lobby of the ship. The ship’s captain, CHRISTIAN COLE,
age 36, is strolling through the lobby with the Nautica’s
owner, WALTER SNOW, age 50’s.
Well, what do you think, son?
You have a beautiful ship, Mr.
Please, call me Walt.
You have a beautiful ship, Walt.
Don’t I know it, Captain! Built in
1909, and still the most beautiful
dame I ever saw. Used to be just
for immigratin’, ya know.
Oh yeah. Mostly Germans. But now
with the new immigration laws and
all, well... it’s not really the
business to be in now, if you know
what I mean.
But taking a luxurious voyage
across the Atlantic to visit some
of the world’s wonders? Now that’s
the business to be in. I daresay
even you will take to some of the
pleasures you may encounter once
you get to shore.
You have a reputation for being a
religious man, Cole. Some would
even say sanctimonious.
I hardly think that worshiping our
Holy Father and living by His word
COLE (cont’d)is sanctimonious. I merely take my
vows to Him a little more seriously
than some men do.
Yes, yes of course. Ah, Mr.
Daniel Griffin, age 43, handsome and dressed in a ship’s
officer uniform comes up to Cole and Snow and salutes them.
First Mate Daniel Griffin,
Welcome Mr. Griffin. I trust you
had a safe journey?
As safe as it gets on the New York
A ships’ maid, Josephine, 20’s, (not the maid from the
opening), comes up to Snow and whispers something in his
She cannot be serious! I told her
already- (turning to Cole and
Griffin)- I’m sorry, gentlemen, but
I must attend to the preparations
for the voyage. See you in six
weeks. Good luck, boys.
Snow EXITS, following Josephine. Cole and Griffin stand
together awkwardly for a moment. Then Cole steps forward and
shakes Griffin’s hand.
-Cole. Yes, I know all about you.
Oh yes, I do a fair bit of snooping
around before taking a post with a
GRIFFIN (cont’d)captain that I have not had the
pleasure of sailing with before.
Snow is clearly not alone in his
researching tendencies I see.
I even know your darkest secrets.
I- I’m sure I don’t know what you-
Come off it, Cole! I know all about
the crazy stunts you pulled at
(exhaling with relief)
Oh- yes- University. Well, I was
pretty wild back then.
But now that you’re an old man you
spend your years dragging yourself
from ship to ship, picking up
whatever job might help you pay the
bills. Just like me.
Yes, Mr. Griffin, you seem to have
the truth of me figured. Though
thirty-six years hardly makes for
an old man. Please, let me give you
a tour. The Nautica may seem like
every ocean liner you’ve
encountered, but it is hardly
Cole starts to lead Griffin out of the lobby, but suddenly a
very dirty man, TROSS, age 40’s, with oil in his hair and
soot all over his face and clothes, trots over to them.
Oy! Hello sirs! I’ve just prepared
all the boilers and all for the
voyage. We’ve got enough coal up
our arses to last this trip and
Cole puts a hand behind Tross and roughly pushes him to a
corner of the room. He then speaks to him in a hushed but
Mr. Tross, what do you think you’re
doing, coming up here among our
guests in that state?
Filthy, greasy, black with coal.
And you smell like shit.
I- I hadn’t noticed a smell, sir-
Get back down to the boiler room
where you belong. If you ever come
up here again, unless you are
wearing a proper suit and are
freshly bathed, I will deal with
you accordingly. Do you understand
Cole raises his eyebrow impatiently.
Yes, Captain Cole, sir.
Very well. Now get out.
Tross exits. Griffin smiles.
My, Cole, you certainly have a way
with your inferiors.
He should know better.
Now he does. Shall we?
Griffin and Cole exit the lobby. Camera pans to another area
of the lobby- the bell desk. Oliver and Claire and standing
at the desk.
Hazard. Oliver Hazard. And this is
my wife, Claire.
Claire throws up her hand, acknowledging herself. There is
still a sour look on her face.
BELL DESK LADY
Yes, sir. Would you mind signing
the guest book?
The lady pushes the large guest book toward Oliver, along
with a fountain pen. He takes it rather grudgingly and
signs. Then he pushes the book back towards the desk lady.
BELL DESK LADY
Thank you, sir. Your key, sir. And
your luggage is being taken to your
cabin as we speak.
Hazard takes the key and he and Claire (and Mitzi) turn to
go to their private cabin.
Did I tell you I get seasick?
I’ll buy you a box of crackers.
A LARGE box of crackers, then.
They EXIT. Camera pans to corner of room where a lady
covered up in shawles and a hat, PRIMROSE, age 60, has been
standing and watching Oliver and Claire.
INT. HAZARD’S CABIN - DAY - LATER
Two young stewards are carrying Claire’s trunk into their
private cabin, at which they have not yet arrived. The
Hazard cabin is an expensive-looking suite, with several
rooms attached. The trunk is the last item to be brought to
the cabin, and the young men stretch their arms and backs as
they exit the cabin and lock the door behind them. After a
few moments of silence, Jeremiah very carefully begins to
lift up the lid of the trunk with his head. But after only a
few seconds of raising the lid, he sees someone coming
through the door. He quickly shuts the lid. At that exact
moment, the Maid from the opening scene enters the room. She
goes up to the luggage and begins to poke through Claire’s
and Oliver’s possessions. She dabs some of Claire’s perfume
on herself, smiling. Meanwhile, Jeremiah and Gem are trying
hard not to make a sound in the dark of the trunk. Maid goes
over to trunk and goes to open it. In desperation, Jeremiah
clings on to the inside of the lid, hoping to make the trunk
seem as though it is locked. He and Maid struggle against
each other to open it. Seemingly defeated, Maid releases the
lid and stands up. Jeremiah releases his side of the lid.
She turns to leave, but suddenly turns back and throws open
the trunk, revealing the shocked Jeremiah and Gem. Silent,
tense moments pass as Jeremiah and Maid stare at each other.
Please. Please don’t say anything.
Maid seems to struggle with what she should do. Jeremiah’s
eyes plead with hers. Gem begins to cry silently. Suddenly
the Maid shuts the trunk and stands in one motion, and exits
the cabin. The second she leaves, Jeremiah throws open the
trunk, grabs Jem, and they hurry out of the cabin. As they
walk down the hall, we see Oliver and Claire turn the corner
and almost collide with Jeremiah and Gem.
He and Gem hurry off. Claire wrinkles her nose at his
impoverished looks. Clair and Oliver walk up to their cabin
Here we are.
Oliver takes the key from his coat pocket and unlocks the
cabin. They enter. Claire lies down on the bed sullenly.
Oliver walks about the cabin, admiring the decor.
Not shabby, eh? I insisted on the
most expensive cabin.
Anything for the woman I love.
Oliver lies down on the bed next to Claire and starts to
kiss her neck and raise up her skirt. She sits up quickly.
Mitzi needs water.
Get her water then. We brought her
dish. The powder room is right over
Not the powder room water, Oliver.
Sometimes I just can’t even believe
It’s the same bloody water as
anywhere else on the ship!
Get Mitzi some water. And then we
can, perhaps, move on to other
Oliver raises himself from the bed and exits the room.
Claire lies back down on the bed, and stares up at the
ceiling moodily. After a few moments she hears the click of
That was fast. A little eager,
There is no answer. She looks around the room. Whoever
entered is not in the bedroom. Claire calls in the direction
of the attached parlor.
There is a shuffling noise coming from the parlor. Claire
gets up from the bed and slowly makes her way into the
parlor. The shuffling stops suddenly. Frightened, she looks
about the room. Nothing. Her eye falls on the wardrobe in
the corner. She approaches it, her fear growing and growing.
Hand shaking, she grasps the handle, and then carefully
opens the wardrobe. There is nothing there. Feeling a little
silly, but certainly relieved, she exhales sharply.
Suddenly, something grabs her from behind. The assailant
raises a gleaming butcher knife in front of Claire’s face.
She sees it and tries to scream, but the attacker has a firm
grasp around her throat. The knife makes one swift slice.
Splashes of blood hit the carpet and are instantly swallowed
up into the floor, leaving no trace.