Another Twist of the Tale – Episode 6 – Just Business


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Below we present the complete text of Just Business; episode 6  of Another Twist of the Tale.

Voice Actor by Miyukiko &copy 2015

Parental Guidance Recommended: May contain content some parents may feel is inappropriate for younger children

Parental Guidance Recommended: May contain content some parents may feel is inappropriate for younger children

ANOTHER TWIST OF THE TALE

EPISODE #6 – Just Business

by Philip Craig Robotham

Cover Illustration by Miyukiko

Unedited Draft

Copyright 2013 Philip Craig Robotham

Creative Commons Attritubution Non Commercial No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) Edition .

CC by-nc-nd 4.0

CC by-nc-nd 4.0

This play is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) International license. This play may not be commercially reproduced, performed, or sold.   Non-commercial production, performance, and reproduction is allowed under this license so long as attribution is maintained.  No derivative content or use is allowed.  It can be freely shared in its current form (without change) under this license.  If you would like to purchase one or more copies of this work (for your own personal non-commercial use, or to help financially support the author) then please return to http://www.weirdworlstudios.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Other works by this author can be found at the author’s website: http://www.weirdworldstudios.com or through select, online book retailers.

Episode 6: Just Business

Wall Street shark, Tom Charlton, believes he’s found the woman of his dreams.  Her name is Chelsea Reynolds and she’s smart, ruthless, and has killer business instincts.  But will her sudden illness ruin their happiness?  It appears there’s more than one type of predator in this world.

ANOTHER TWIST OF THE TALE

CAST LIST

NARRATOR: The Narrator

PHIL: Friend of Tom

TOM CHARLTON: Successful business man

DOCTOR: Doctor

CHELSEA REYNOLDS: Widow of Industrialist

SFX ARTIST: Minimum one required

Act 1

SCENE 1: INT – A DULL BUSINESS PARTY (NARRATOR, TOM, PHIL)

  1. MUSIC: OPENING THEME – LET IT FINISH.
  2. SOUND: (WALLA) RADIO BEING TUNED IN – UNDER.
  3. NARRATOR: Ah, “love”; the back and forth of finding one’s life’s partner. It’s never easy now, is it? But still, the chase is worth it in the end. Or does tragedy mar that special connection?
  4. SOUND: (WALLA) BACKGROUND LAUGHTER, POLITE CONVERSATION, DRINKS ETC. – ESTABLISH AND UNDER.
  5. PHIL: How’s your latest acquisition, Tom.
  6. TOM: (BORED) Oh, you know how it goes. We borrow in order to buy. That profitable organisation we acquire is suddenly saddled with debt. The previous owners make out like bandits, as do we, and we sell it all off for parts while the employees are rewarded for their hard work with layoffs, and sell-offs.
  7. PHIL: You make it sound like you’re a pirate, not a business man.
  8. TOM: Hey, it’s nothing personal, and if you don’t have the stomach for it, then you shouldn’t be in this game. Besides, maybe I like being a pirate?
  9. PHIL: Fair enough. Here’s to piracy… within the strict meaning of the law of course.
  10. TOM: Ha ha. Of course. Hey, who’s that?
  11. PHIL: Who?
  12. TOM: What, are you blind? The woman over there in the corner.
  13. PHIL: Oh, her. I don’t think you really want to meet her.
  14. TOM: Well, now you’ve really got me curious. Who is she?
  15. PHIL: That’s Chelsea Reynolds. She’s the widow of Arthur Reynolds, the shipping magnate.
  16. TOM: Wait, what? She’s late twenties, early thirties? Reynolds died in his 80’s!
  17. PHIL: Uh-huh.
  18. TOM: Gold digger?
  19. PHIL: You’d think so, but it doesn’t look like it. I did a bit of digging and Reynolds chased her for a year while she wouldn’t have a bar of him. In the end he wore her down. They’d only been married 6 months when he developed the illness that killed him.
  20. TOM: So what’s the problem? He’s been gone two years at least.
  21. PHIL: I don’t know. There’s something just a little off about her. The way she looks at you. It feels like she’s looking to see what sauce you’d taste best with.
  22. TOM: Oh, Phil, seriously? A shark like you getting all in a knot over a dame?
  23. PHIL: Shut up, Tom. I can be a predator, sure, but I’ve got the good sense to recognise when I’m staring a monster in the face.
  24. TOM: It sounds like she’s just my type. I think I’ll go say hi.
  25. PHIL: It’s your funeral, Tom.
  26. MUSIC: NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH

SCENE 2: INT – THE SAME DULL BUSINESS PARTY (TOM, CHELSEA)

  1. SOUND: (WALLA) BACKGROUND LAUGHTER, POLITE CONVERSATION, DRINKS ETC. – ESTABLISH AND UNDER.
  2. TOM: Hi.
  3. CHELSEA: Hello
  4. TOM: I couldn’t help noticing you were all alone over here.
  5. CHELSEA: Pity.
  6. TOM: Pity? Why?
  7. CHELSEA: I think I preferred it when all you were doing was noticing.
  8. TOM: Don’t be like that, I’m Tom Charlton.
  9. CHELSEA: Chelsea Reynolds.
  10. TOM: Thanks, I know who you are.
  11. CHELSEA: And I you, Mr Charlton. Congratulations on buying up Wheaton Exports.
  12. TOM: Why thank you. I take it you have an interest in the markets?
  13. CHELSEA: Remember when you were looking to buy Essex Processing and Logistics last year?
  14. TOM: Yeah, we got drubbed over that one. Pycon Electronics swooped in and snapped it up just when we thought we had everything sorted.
  15. CHELSEA: I own Pycon.
  16. TOM: Well I’ll be. Hey, maybe we could have lunch some time.
  17. CHELSEA: I don’t think so, Mr Charlton.
  18. TOM: No, really. I think we could do some business. I have a feeling that some of our interests are aligned.
  19. CHELSEA: Just business, Mr Charlton?
  20. TOM: Just business.
  21. MUSIC: NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

SCENE 3: INT – QUIET RESTAURANT (CHELSEA, TOM)

  1. SOUND: (WALLA) RESTAURANT NOISES, CUTLERY PLATES ETC. – ESTABLISH AND UNDER.
  2. CHELSEA: Well, Mr Charlton, I think I like your proposal a good deal.
  3. TOM: Thank you, Mrs Reynolds…
  4. CHELSEA: Chelsea, please. (knocks glass over). Oh, how clumsy of me.
  5. TOM: It’s all right… Chelsea. Easy to mop up. I think we’ll double our money in eighteen months.
  6. CHELSEA: How’d you get them to sell to you? I would have thought they’d have baulked at doing business with someone of your reputation.
  7. TOM: I set up a shell company and had one of my people pretend to be its independent head. He was instructed to assure them that, under his leadership, their company would be preserved and grown.
  8. CHELSEA: Lies of course.
  9. TOM: Sure. We’ll just break the company up and sell off the pieces. It’s not like they’ll be able to do anything to stop us once the paperwork is signed.
  10. CHELSEA: (LAUGHS) You’re a ruthless man, Tom Charlton.
  11. TOM: Is that bad.
  12. CHELSEA: On the contrary, I like ruthless men.
  13. TOM: How about dinner?
  14. CHELSEA: (AMUSED) I thought you said this was just business.
  15. TOM: Yeah, and this will just be dinner.
  16. CHELSEA: Just dinner?
  17. TOM: Just dinner.
  18. MUSIC: NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER – LET IF FINISH.

SCENE 4: EXT – OUTSIDE A CHURCH (TOM, CHELSEA)

  1. SOUND: (WALLA) WEDDING BELLS, GUESTS THROWING RICE AND CHEERING – ESTABLISH AND UNDER
  2. TOM: Well Mrs Charlton, that’s that.
  3. CHELSEA: That’s that Mr Charlton. I still can’t believe you convinced me to marry you.
  4. TOM: You won’t regret it. (JOKING) After all it’s just marriage.
  5. CHELSEA: (laughs) Yes, it’s just… ugh.
  6. TOM: Chelsea, are you okay?
  7. CHELSEA: Sure, I’m fine. Just a little overwhelmed by the day, I think. It’s just marriage, like you said.
  8. TOM: Yeah, sure. Here, let me help you to the car.
  9. CHELSEA: You are a dear.
  10. TOM: You don’t mind that we’ve had to put off the honeymoon for a bit do you?
  11. CHELSEA: Of course not, darling. The Patterson acquisition is too good an opportunity to pass up.
  12. MUSIC: NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

SCENE 5: INT – DOCTOR’S OFFICE (DOCTOR, TOM)

  1. SOUND: WHOOSH OF RESPIRATOR AND BEEPING OF HEART MONITOR – ESTABLISH AND UNDER
  2. DOCTOR: Mr Charlton, your wife’s condition is deteriorating quite rapidly. I suspect she will not be able to last the next six months.
  3. TOM: Is there anything that can be done?
  4. DOCTOR: Nothing. We can only try to make her as comfortable as possible. She’s asking to see you.
  5. TOM: Yes, of course.
  6. MUSIC: NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

SCENE 6 INT – HOSPITAL ROOM (TOM, CHELSEA)

  1. SOUND: WHOOSH OF RESPIRATOR AND BEEPING OF HEART MONITOR – ESTABLISH AND UNDER
  2. TOM: Chelsea, how are you? (BEAT) Sorry, stupid question.
  3. CHELSEA: (COUGHS) Better for seeing you darling.
  4. TOM: I’m so sorry. I wish I could take your place, go through this for you?
  5. CHELSEA: Oh, do you Tom, really? I don’t think I’d wish this on anyone. Don’t worry Tom, it’s just life after all.
  6. TOM: (HALF-HEARTED LAUGH) Just life? Yes, I guess it is. Still I want to make things better for you if I can.
  7. CHELSEA: You can, Tom. There’s only one thing I want.
  8. TOM: What’s that?
  9. CHELSEA: (WEAKLY – COUGHING OCCASIONALLY) Back at the house… there’s a drawer by the bed. In it is a box containing a signet ring. It matches the one on my hand. Bring it to me, please? It’s important.
  10. TOM: Alright, Chelsea. I’ll bring it.
  11. MUSIC: NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

SCENE 7 INT – HOSPITAL ROOM – LATER (TOM, CHELSEA)

  1. SOUND: WHOOSH OF RESPIRATOR AND BEEPING OF HEART MONITOR – ESTABLISH AND UNDER (WALLA)
  2. SOUND: DOOR OPENS – LET IT FINISH.
  3. TOM: Chelsea, are you awake?
  4. CHELSEA: (Wheezing breath) Tom, I didn’t think you’d get back in time.
  5. TOM: I’m here.
  6. CHELSEA: (Wheezing) Did you find the ring?
  7. TOM: Yes. It’s here. Why is it so important.
  8. CHELSEA: Just put it on for me darling. That’s all I want.
  9. TOM: Alright… There. It’s even the right size. It’s…
  10. SOUND: MAGICAL CHIMES – LET IT FINISH.
  11. TOM: Wait. I feel so strange. I feel like I’m… (TOM AND CHELSEA EXCHANGE BODIES)
  12. CHELSEA: (Wheezing) dying… like I’m… wait. What’s happening?
  13. TOM: Oh, Tom darling. Thank you so much. I’m so glad you were willing to take my place. That body just didn’t suit me at all.
  14. CHELSEA: (Wheezing) What? I don’t understand. How’d I get in this bed? Chelsea, where are you?
  15. TOM: I’m right here. It’s the rings, darling. They’re magic. Not that you’d believe in magic, would you? I do like this sceptical age. No-one ever suspects what is happening. And no-one ever believes anyone who tries to expose me. It makes things so much easier.
  16. SOUND: WHOOSH OF RESPIRATOR AND BEEPING OF HEART MONITOR – FADE IN UNDER AND CONTINUE UNTIL 115.
  17. CHELSEA: (Wheezing) No, please. Change us back.
  18. TOM: Now why would I want to do that? You said you wanted to be able to take my place after all. I’ve been swapping bodies for centuries. There’s always someone else to provide me with a new vessel. (BEAT) I have to say, I do prefer being a man, though. The world is largely made for men. And the pack leaders? Well, they have it all, don’t they? Yes, I think I’m going to enjoy living your life,Tom.
  19. CHELSEA: (Wheezing) But… but…
  20. TOM: I’m going to turn off your respirator now, darling. It’s nothing personal. Really… it’s just business.
  21. SOUND: RESPIRATOR AND HEART MONITOR SHUT DOWN – LET IT FINISH.
  22. CHELSEA: (EVER MORE WEAKLY) No… no… please… no. (FINAL DYING SIGH).
  23. SOUND: LONG BEEP OF HEART MONITOR – LET IT FINISH.
  24. TOM: Now, I’ll just take the signet on your finger back. There. It wouldn’t do to leave it behind. After all you can never tell how quickly a body will wear out… and you never know quite when you’ll need a new one.
  25. MUSIC: NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.
  26. NARRATOR: Well, love, and trust can have their downsides now, can’t they? But all’s fair in love and war? There are winners and losers. And when the thrill of the chase is over, the hunter may find himself meat for the hunted. Mwahahaha.
  27. MUSIC: CLOSING THEME – LET IT FINISH.

CASTING SHEETS — MAJOR CHARACTERS

NARRATOR: Hello, I am your spooky voiced narrator. I introduce the cold stormy nights on which our stories take place, the dark alleys, and darker personalities who inhabit the lonely city. It is my job to set the scene and establish the serious tone of suspense and intrigue that will carry the story forwards. I do this with a creepy laugh and ghoulish enthusiasm for the misery that is about to be unleashed upon the characters.

PHIL: I’m a business man, though corporate raider is closer to the truth.  And I’m not in Tom’s league, though I make out all right.  I know what I am and what I do and I don’t let it cost me any sleep.  If I wasn’t doing this, there’s another nine guys waiting in line behind me to do it.  It’s just business.

TOM CHARLTON: I’m the best there is at this.  Mergers and acquisitions, corporate raiding, wheeling and dealing.  I live for the adrenaline buzz.  Hell, I don’t even care about the money that much.  Most of the fun is in the kill.  Everything’s about conquest after all – even matters of the heart.

DOCTOR: I’m a consumate professional; comforting, skilled, professional.  But giving people bad news never gets any easier.  I just do it and try not to think about the look in their eyes when it’s been done.

CHELSEA REYNOLDS: They all want me.  For my looks.  For my money.  I’m a challenge to them, but I always come out on top.  Life’s about taking what you can and leaving nothing behind.  I’m very good at it.  Most men freeze up when they realize just how effective I’ve been at business.  None of them have proved worthy… so far.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Philip Craig Robotham grew up in a house full of books and has held numerous jobs as a teacher, computer programmer, graphic and web designer, e-learning consultant and, most recently, writer. He currently lives in Victoria, Australia with his wife and two sons. When he was younger and fitter he enjoyed martial arts, but in recent years his hobbies have tended towards more sedate fare (board games, movies, books, and role-playing games).

He is extremely grateful for the encouragement he receives from his biggest fans — his wife and two boys — all of whom read and enjoy his scripts and, in general, make his life worth living.

You can contact the author regarding performance rights (or simply to say hello) through his website: http://www.weirdworldstudios.com.

THE END

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This post and all its content is copyright © 2013 Philip Craig Robotham and has been released under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license. This play cannot be reproduced, shared, or performed commercially without the written permission of the author.  The production of derivative content, merchandise, or creative works and materials is expressly forbidden under this agreement. However you may share, reproduce, and perform this play freely so long as authorship is acknowledged, no money changes hands, and the play is not modified in any way.