At the Sound of the Tone

When a stranger confesses to murder on her answer machine , and a frightened young architect enlists an Apache policeman with a troubled history of his own.

Architect Annabel McCurdy is at the top of her game, until a killer's voice keeps leaving his confession on her answering machine. She lives alone after a messy divorce, but her career is blossoming. Finally breaking out on her own terms, she is determined to become successful away from the shadow of her influential father. The calls are becoming more frequent and more menacing: "I think I killed her." "Help me." Her early morning jogs in the desert don't relieve her stress any longer. Is this related to her ex-husband’s jealousy or her late father’s list of enemies among Arizona's rich and powerful?

Finally deciding to unwind the mystery, she turns to Lucas Still Waters, a taciturn detective with a hero’s commendation and a tenuous connection with his Apache family on the reservation. A loner, Lucas likes to operate off the grid and sometimes out of bounds. His curt manner and quiet nature clash with her driven personality, but she is desperate to end the calls and the feeling that someone is watching her.

Rejecting electronic devices, he uses unorthodox means. He reluctantly returns to his Apache origins to consult his blind aunt, whose acute listening skills focus on the voice of the man that stalks Annabel and the ambient sounds on the recording. Lucas steps tentatively back to a reservation childhood's violent memories of a family assault. Slowly, he uncovers the clues that point to a Native American victim, and he becomes obsessed with tracking the killer.

The calls come more frequently and suggest a meeting. Can he find the killer before he strikes again? Will Annabel have the courage to face the voice that has terrified her for so long? Will the hunt take Lucas and Annabel back to painful events that both of them have tried to overcome?

Script Excerpt
Written by:
Starring Roles For:
Benicio Del Toro
Kate Mara
Edward Norton
In the Vein Of:
Phone Booth
Someone is Watching Me
Author Bio:
High school social studies teacher and former newspaper/magazine columnist

Writing credits include educational testing materials and 3 unproduced screenplays

Contest Results:
American Screenwriting (Semifinalist) [2003]
Hollywood's Next Success (Quarterfinalist) [2002]