Another Twist of the Tale – Episode 8 – The Coffin


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Below we present the complete text of The Coffin; episode 8  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 #8 – The Coffin

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.

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Episode 8: The Coffin

A toothache turns terrifying when the dentist chooses to enact his revenge upon the drunk driver responsible for his daughter’s death.

ANOTHER TWIST OF THE TALE

CAST LIST

NARRATOR: The Narrator

JOHN DOYLE: Detective

JAKE PORTEUS: Detective and business partner to John Doyle

WAITRESS: Waitress

COP 1: Police Officer

COP 2: Police  Officer

BAR TENDER: Bar Tender

IVY CRYSTAL: Murder Victim

COP 3: Police Officer

SFX ARTIST: Minimum one required

Act 1

SCENE 1 : INT – THE COFFIN – QUARTER AFTER MIDNIGHT (JOHN DOYLE)

  1. NARRATOR: Weirdworldstudios presents “Things you see from the Inside of a Coffin” by Philip Craig Robotham
  2. MUSIC: OPENING THEME-LET IT FINISH.
  3. JOHN DOYLE: (GROANS AS HE WAKES) Ugh. (BEAT) Where? Where am I? It’s pitch black. That was one major wallop to the back of my head. (GROANS) Ugh. Hang on… things are starting to come back to me. I’m Doyle… John Doyle, private detective and part time souse; solver of mysteries and provider of college funding for the kids of a half dozen bar-tenders around town. Well, at least I know that much. It’s time I figured out where I am as well… Let me feel around… ugh…
  4. Someone’s here. Hello? Are you awake? You feel… cold. (BEAT) No movement. Must be out cold.
  5. SOUND: TAP TAP. TAP TAP. TAP TAP – LET IT FINISH.
  6. JOHN: I’m in some kind of… box. It’s wooden.
  7. SOUND: SOMETHING ROLLS – LET IT FINISH.
  8. JOHN: What was that. A torch. If I can reach it… I can…
  9. SOUND: TORCH SWITCHES ON – LET IT FINISH.
  10. JOHN: Oh no. I’m in a coffin… and by the sound, already in the ground… nothing beyond these walls but dirt… and I’m not alone. Hey. Hey, lady. Are you…?
  11. Oh Damn… I’m in here with a corpse. Ivy! Oh, Ivy, I’m so sorry. I’m sorry I never got to you in time. I’m sorry someone put a bullet in your brain. But, mostly, right now, I’m sorry I’m stuck inside this coffin with you.
  12. (STRAINING) Ugh. Nope. That’s not gonna work. There’s probably six feet of earth above me. Best to preserve the oxygen, what little of it there is. Jake’s still out there somewhere. He’ll know I missed our meeting, so he’ll be looking. As partners go he’s the best… always has my back. He just needs to find the clues… if there are any to be found. I need to… I need to think back.
  13. MUSIC: TRANSITION SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

SCENE 2 – INT – DINER – 11:45 PM (JOHN DOYLE, JAKE PORTEUS, WAITRESS)

  1. SOUND: (WALLA) DINER INTERIOR, MURMOR, PLATES CUTTLERY, WAITRESSES – ESTABLISH AND UNDER
  2. SOUND: JINGLE OF BELL OVER DOOR – DOOR CLOSES
  3. JOHN: Does this diner have a phone?
  4. WAITRESS: Sure hon. There’s one over on the back wall. But you better be quick. We’re closing in a few minutes. It’s nearly midnight.
  5. JOHN : Thanks.
  6. SOUND: FOOTSTEPS – LET IT FINISH
  7. SOUND: DIALING – RINGING THROUGH PHONE – LET IT FINISH
  8. JAKE PORTEUS: (WAKING UP – FILTERED THROUGH PHONE LINE) Yeah. Hello?
  9. JOHN: You’re home. Great. It’s me, Doyle. I thought you might still be out following our client’s wife.
  10. JAKE: Hey, Doyle, what’s up? Mrs B went home early for once, so I was getting some shut-eye. Unless I’ve slept through to tomorrow?
  11. JOHN: No, it’s still today… at least for another 15 minutes or so. Sorry buddy, but I’m in trouble. Big trouble.
  12. JAKE: Yeah, what’s happening?
  13. JOHN: I’m on the run. The cops think I killed a woman – name of Ivy Crystal. I ran but they’ll be knocking on your door soon with a whole lot of questions and very few answers.
  14. JAKE: You didn’t kill her did you?
  15. JOHN: Of course not. But that won’t stop ‘em sending me to the gas chamber for it just the same. I found her body over at the Olive Grove – it’s a long story and there isn’t time for it all right now. Suffice to say I found the body and was leaning over her when I spotted a gun lying on the floor. It was probably the murder weapon, and, like a chump, I picked it up. That was when the cops burst in.
  16. JAKE: Geez, Doyle! How many times have I told you not to disturb the evidence at a scene?
  17. JOHN: Yeah, yeah. Do you really think this is the time for a lecture?
  18. JAKE: Fair enough. (BEAT) Look, if it’s all like you say, the cops’ll be swarming all over me too, shortly. I can handle ‘em okay, but It’d be better if I just plain wasn’t here when they came calling.
  19. JOHN: I need to lie low for a bit, too. Someone took a shot at me outside our office. I need to stay under the radar. I can’t go back to my place and I’ve got no money.
  20. JAKE: Alright, I’ll grab some cash and meet you at the old fair ground, got it?
  21. JOHN: Yeah, thanks Jake.
  22. JAKE: What’re partners for? Just keep your head down long enough for me to meet you and help keep it from getting blown completely off.
  23. MUSIC: SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

SCENE 3 – EXT – FAIRGROUND – MIDNIGHT (JOHN DOYLE)

  1. SOUND: (WALLA) NIGHT AMBIENCE – WIND, CRICKETS ETC. – ESTABLISH AND UNDER
  2. SOUND: FOOTSTEPS ON GRAVEL – LET IT FINISH.
  3. JOHN: (BLOWING ON HANDS) Dang, but it’s cold at midnight. I hope Jake isn’t too much longer. It was smart him suggesting we meet here. He’s always been clever like that. The fairground won’t be on the cops’ radar. Not yet, anyway. Creepy place all the same. I’ll be glad of the chance to hide out in one of Low Town’s flea-bag pay-by-the-night’s.
  4. SOUND: SNAPPING TWIG – LET IT FINISH.
  5. JOHN: Who’s there. Jake is that you?
  6. SOUND: GUN BEING COCKED – LET IT FINISH.
  7. JOHN: Look buddy, I can’t see you but I’m armed, I’ve been shot at once today already, and I’m in no mood for games so if you’re not Jake you need to…
  8. SOUND: METAL CLANG OF SHOVEL STRIKING HEAD – LET IT FINISH.
  9. JOHN: Ugh.
  10. SOUND: BODY DROP – LET IT FINISH.
  11. MUSIC: SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

SCENE 4 – INT – COFFIN – HALF PAST MIDNIGHT (JOHN DOYLE)

  1. JOHN: That bang on the head hurt. Jake wouldn’t have been far away when I got jumped. And… ugh… given the amount of blood that crack on the skull cost me, I’m betting it won’t be hard for him to figure out what happened. If whoever did this had Ivy’s body with him, he wouldn’t have gone far, either. I’m probably buried somewhere inside the fairground. If I can just hold out long enough, then Jake’ll figure it out… maybe… Best not to think about what happens if he doesn’t. I’ll think about what got me here instead. Back before I called him. Back at the Olive Grove. I’d arrived about eleven o’clock, looking for Ivy. The place’d been locked up so I let myself in.
  2. MUSIC : TRANSITION SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH

ACT 2

SCENE 5 – INT – THE OLIVE GROVE – 11 PM (JOHN DOYLE, COP 1, COP 2)

  1. SOUND: BREAKING GLASS – LET IT FINISH.
  2. JOHN: Whoops. Jake wouldn’t approve of that. He’s always saying I’m too much of a blunt instrument for the “subtleties” of the detective business.
  3. SOUND: DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES – LET IT FINISH.
  4. JOHN: Still, whatever gets the job done, right? I’ve managed to get inside after all.
  5. SOUND: FOOTSTEPS THEN STUMBLE OVER CHAIR – LET IT FINISH
  6. JOHN: Ouch. This might be a swank restaurant during the day, but in the dark it’s a hazard. Where’s the light switch?
  7. SOUND: CLICK OF LIGHT SWITCH – LET IT FINISH.
  8. JOHN: Now, that’s better. A guy can see to… Aw Hell. (BEAT) Miss Ivy Crystal, I presume.
  9. SOUND: FOOTSTEPS AND STOP – LET IT FINISH
  10. JOHN: Well, I guess you can’t tell me too much about what happened with a bullet between your eyes can you? (BEAT) Still warm. I guess this happened pretty recently, and, what’s that? A gun. And the barrel’s still hot…
  11. COP 1: (AT A DISTANCE) I’m telling you I heard something.
  12. COP 2: And I’m telling you, it was probably a cat.
  13. COP 1: Does a cat know how to turn on the lights? The place is supposed to be closed up.
  14. SOUND: DOOR OPENS – LET IT FINISH.
  15. COP 2: Alright you’ve sold me. I just don’t like getting… Hey! Hey you! Hold it right there!
  16. JOHN: Uh oh. Time to go
  17. SOUND: GUNSHOT SMASHING LIGHTBULB – LET IT FINISH.
  18. COP 1: He’s shot out the light. Get after him.
  19. COP 2: Don’t let him get away.
  20. SOUND: STUMBLING PURSUIT – FADE
  21. MUSIC: SCENE ENDER

SCENE 6 – EXT – OFFICE – 11:10 PM (JOHN DOYLE)

  1. SOUND: (WALLA) NIGHT NOISES CITY – ESTABLISH AND UNDER
  2. SOUND: FOOTSTEPS TO STOP
  3. JOHN: There’s the office. And I’ve lost those cops. But what the hell is going on? Ivy’s dead and they think I did it. And the murderer…?
  4. SOUND: BULLET RICOCHET – LET IT FINISH.
  5. SOUND: RUNNING FEET – FADE.
  6. JOHN: Damn. Where’d that come from? I need to get somewhere safe. Somewhere I can think and call Jake. He’ll know what to do. Not the office, though. Not now. Someone’s sure to have called the cops after that gunshot. So… the diner! I’ll go there. But that shot? It means I was followed. And if I was followed that means Ivy’s killer saw me at the scene. He must have still been there when I arrived.
  7. MUSIC: SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

SCENE 7 – INT – COFFIN – FORTY PAST MIDNIGHT (JOHN DOYLE)

  1. JOHN: Yeah, he was there alright. Or how else would I be in this box with you now, Ivy? He was probably only feet away. When the cops took off after me it gave him the perfect opportunity to move your body. But if he took the time to shift your body (and that must have confused the cops some when they came back) then how was he able to trail me back to my office? Something’s missing. Something doesn’t make sense. Did he know who I was? Did he know I’d head for the office after I gave the cops the slip? Easy, John, don’t get worked up. Jake’ll find you soon. Just keep focused. Don’t use up the air too quick. You need to dig back further. Back to when you visited her apartment. About ten forty-five or thereabouts.
  2. MUSIC: SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

SCENE 8 – INT – IVY CRYSTAL’S APARTMENT – 10:20 PM (JOHN DOYLE)

  1. SOUND: KNOCKING ON DOOR – LET IT FINISH.
  2. JOHN: Miss Crystal? Ivy? Are you there?
  3. SOUND: DOOR SWINGS OPEN A LITTLE – LET IT FINISH.
  4. JOHN: (OBSERVING) That ain’t good.
  5. SOUND: DOOR SWINGS OPEN WIDE, JOHN ENTERS, DOOR CLOSES– LET IT FINISH.
  6. JOHN: Miss Crystal? Your door’s open, so I’m coming in. Don’t shoot me or anything, okay? (TO SELF) Now that’d just take the cake. Jake’d have a field day if I got myself shot trying to figure out if that phone-call really came from a damsel in distress or not. For all I know, this isn’t even the right place. The bartender could just have sent me on a wild goose chase. (BEAT) Hello? (TO SELF) Where’s the light?
  7. SOUND: CLICK OF LIGHT – LET IT FINISH.
  8. JOHN: That’s better. Not much of a house keeper, are you Miss Crystal? Hmm, what’s this?
  9. (READING) Ivy, Meet me at the Olive Grove at 10:45. Don’t make me come and get you. – J.
  10. JOHN: Who’s J? A boyfriend, maybe? The guy in the white hat? This note sounds vaguely threatening. What’s the time? 10:45. The meeting’s happening now. Here’s hoping I can get over there fast.
  11. SOUND: DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES – LET IT FINISH.
  12. MUSIC: SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

SCENE 9 – INT – COFFIN – FIFTY PAST MIDNIGHT (JOHN DOYLE)

  1. JOHN: (SIGHS) It’s getting stuffy. C’mon Jake. Don’t drag your heels. I could really use your help right now. Just gotta breathe shallow, keep the panic at bay, think about the case some more.
  2. I got to the meeting alright. But I was too late. She was dead already. (BEAT) “J” the note said. Not much help there. There are a lot of J’s in this world. My partner’s name is Jake. My own name’s John. For crying out loud, there could be a hundred “J”s living inside a ten block radius. For all I know it could mean Jack the Ripper. No, not much help there. Maybe I need to go back even further. Back to the bar. The first place I tried to find Ivy. Playing a hunch. What time was that? About ten twenty-five?
  3. MUSIC: SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

SCENE 10 – INT – THE ROCCOCO CLUB – 10:25 PM (JOHN DOYLE, BARTENDER)

  1. SOUND : GIRL FROM IPANEMA PLAYS ON GRAMOPHONE – ESTABLISH AND UNDER
  2. SOUND : (WALLA) MURMUR OF DRINKING PATRONS – ESTABLISH AND UNDER
  3. SOUND: FOOTSTEPS ON WOODEN FLOOR – LET IT FINISH.
  4. JOHN: Is this the Roccocco Club?
  5. BARTENDER: Sure, buddy. What’ll you have?
  6. JOHN Got some Rye?
  7. BARTENDER: Ahuh.
  8. SOUND: CLINK OF GLASSES, POURING DRINK, SLIDE ACROSS COUNTER – LET IT FINISH.
  9. JOHN: Thanks. (DRINKS) Would it kill you to put up a sign? A fella could get lost trying to find this place.
  10. BARTENDER: You from out of town? This used to be a speak-easy. Everyone knows where it is, so what’d be the point of a sign?
  11. JOHN: I thought I knew most of the watering holes in this town, but fair enough. What’s life without a bit of mystery? (BEAT) I’m looking for Ivy Crystal. You know her?
  12. BARTENDER: Sure I know her. She works here. You just missed her.
  13. JOHN: Really? When’d she leave?
  14. BARTENDER: Maybe ten minutes ago, why? You a friend of hers?
  15. JOHN: Ten minutes ago. That’d put it around ten fifteen. Funny time for a shift change.
  16. BARTENDER: Look buddy, she works here, but she wasn’t working tonight. Tonight was social.
  17. JOHN: She leave with someone?
  18. BARTENDER: You ask a lot of questions. You a cop?
  19. JOHN: Private Detective. I got a call from her and it sounded like she was in trouble.
  20. BARTENDER: I wouldn’t know about that. But, come to think of it, she did seem kind of jumpy earlier. I figured she just needed some juice.
  21. JOHN: How so?
  22. BARTENDER: Well, I won’t say the lady’s a lush – she tends bar here, so she couldn’t be, right?
  23. JOHN: Right…
  24. BARTENDER: But she does like a drink in her off hours and sometimes…
  25. JOHN: Yeah?
  26. BARTENDER: Well, sometimes, she looks like she needs one, if you know what I mean.
  27. JOHN: And she looked like she needed one tonight?
  28. BARTENDER: Yeah, I guess.
  29. JOHN: So, did you see her leave with anyone?
  30. BARTENDER: Yeah, she left with some guy in a white hat. He had her by the arm and hustled her out fast. She didn’t look real happy about it.
  31. JOHN: And you didn’t think to do something?
  32. BARTENDER: Hey, I don’t get between a man and a woman, even if I do know one of ‘em. You don’t do that kind of thing if you like your nose the shape it is.
  33. JOHN: So you think he was Ivy’s steady?
  34. BARTENDER: I suppose. None of my business, really. I hadn’t seen her with anyone recently. But things like that can change pretty quick.
  35. JOHN: Yeah, okay. Did you happen to overhear where they were going?
  36. BARTENDER: Nah. They weren’t talking and I didn’t ask.
  37. JOHN: Damn. That puts me pretty much at a dead end.
  38. BARTENDER: Well, Ivy’s got an apartment not too far from here. I could give you the address if you think she’s in some kind of trouble.
  39. JOHN: Thanks buddy. And here’s a little something for your time.
  40. MUSIC: SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

SCENE 11 – INT – COFFIN – 12:50 AM (JOHN DOYLE)

  1. JOHN: (COUGHS) The air’s getting pretty stale. I guess I’m running out of time. Come on Jake, buddy. You’ve never let me down. Don’t let this time be the first. And you, Ivy, what am I missing? I bet you’d be able to clear this up in a minute if it weren’t for the bullet that’s shredded your brain. Who’s the guy in the white hat? I’m guessing he’s your killer. Our killer if nothing changes. What’s he to you? And why were you afraid? (COUGHS) Damn. I’ve got to hang on. Got to think. Remember. Back in the office about an hour before closing.
  2. MUSIC: SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

SCENE 12 – INT – DETECTIVE’S OFFICE – 4:00 PM (JOHN DOYLE, JAKE PORTEUS)

  1. SOUND: (WALLA) ELECTRIC FAN – UNDER.
  2. JAKE: (YAWNS) Aw hell, it’s four o’clock already. I’ve gotta head out and start tailing Mrs Burton again. I’m getting too old for this kind of work… too tired after last night’s stake out. You able to hold things together here at the office?
  3. JOHN: I don’t know, Jake. Seeing as how I’m run off my feet because of all the clients we’ve got lined up round the block.
  4. JAKE: Well, I’ve still got a buyer on the line if you ever get sick of all this glamor and industry. We could sell up the partnership and retire to Bermuda or something. Last chance?
  5. JOHN: Like we don’t both already know the only way I’m leaving this job is in a pine box.
  6. JAKE: Heh. Yeah, I guess I know you too well. Okay. See you later, Doyle.
  7. SOUND: DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES – LET IT FINISH.
  8. JOHN: Yeah, sure Jake. See you later.
  9. SOUND: PHONE RINGS – LET IT FINISH.
  10. MUSIC : TIME PASSES TRANSITION – LET IT FINISH.
  11. JOHN: Porteus and Doyle Detectives, John Doyle speaking.
  12. IVY CRYSTAL: (GIRL FROM IPANEMA PLAYS ON GRAMAPHONE IN BACKGROUND – ESTABLISH UNDER)(BEAT) Hello? Mr Doyle? My name is Ivy Crystal. I’m in danger, please help me. I’m being followed by a man in a white hat. Please… I’m at the…
  13. SOUND: LINE GOES DEAD – UNDER.
  14. JOHN: Miss Crystal? Are you there? Miss Crystal? I need your location. Miss? (BEAT) Damnit. She’s gone. I can’t help her if I can’t figure out where she is. Wait a minute. The music in the background. It’s the Roccocco club. She’s there. I need to call a cab.
  15. SOUND: PHONE BEING DIALED – FADE
  16. MUSIC : SCENE ENDER

SCENE 13 – INT- COFFIN – 1:00 AM (JOHN DOYLE)

  1. JOHN: (COUGHS) It took me hours to find the club. One of the city’s best kept secrets I guess. It’s getting hard to stay… awake… to think straight. I’m so close. There’s something. If only I could… but how’d I know what music played at the Roccocco club? I’d never been there before. Something Jake said earlier… something…
  2. MUSIC: SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

SCENE 14 – INT – DETECTIVE’S OFFICE – 2:00 PM (JOHN DOYLE, JAKE PORTEUS)

  1. SOUND: (WALLA) ELECTRIC FAN – UNDER.
  2. SOUND: DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES – LET IT FINISH.
  3. JOHN: Two o’clock in the afternoon, Jake? What time do you call this to be getting to work?
  4. JAKE: Give me a break, Doyle. I was on the Burton stakeout all night.
  5. JOHN: Yeah, I ain’t forgotten. I was just bustin’ your chops. Things have been quiet as the proverbial grave here all day.
  6. JAKE: Well, I still got that offer on the table from Eckersley for you to consider.
  7. JOHN: You really want to give up all this personal freedom and sell out to a mob like the Eckersley Detective Agency? That’ll be the day.
  8. JAKE: We’ve been getting some good press lately. Enough so Eckersley sees us as a threat to his business. I don’t reckon we’ll get a better offer.
  9. JOHN: Aw, who cares? I ain’t interested in selling and he won’t buy unless we’re both in.
  10. JAKE: Meh. It was worth a try.
  11. JOHN: How’d the stakeout go?
  12. JAKE: Dull as dishwater. I sat in an obscure little gin joint called the Roccocco club all night watching Mrs Burton nurse a single malt scotch on the rocks. She’s a sad and lonely woman, but I don’t think she’s stepping out on Mr Burton.
  13. JOHN: All to the good. It means we can probably score some more scratch following her around for another couple of days. The expense account’s looking a little thin just now.
  14. JAKE: Yeah, well, I hope she picks a different watering hole tonight. The only thing that passes for entertainment over there is an old gramaphone playing the Girl from Ipanema over and over.
  15. JOHN: Speaking of which. It kind of suits you.
  16. JAKE: What?
  17. JOHN: That new hat of yours. The Panama. (BEAT) Ipanema? Panama? The one made me think of the other.
  18. JAKE: Oh, sure. You always have been good at connecting the dots. I got it this morning. You like?
  19. JOHN: White’s not really your color.
  20. JAKE: Heh. Everyone’s a critic.
  21. JOHN: You know me Jake. I call things as I see ‘em.
  22. JAKE: Yeah, I guess I do know you at that. Look, I gotta get these case notes written up for Mr Burton before I go back on the clock following the Mrs. around some more.
  23. JOHN: Yeah, no problem.
  24. MUSIC: SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

ACT 3

SCENE 15 – INT – THE COFFIN – 1:10 AM (JOHN DOYLE)

  1. JOHN: (COUGHS) (CROAKING) Yeah, that was it, Jake was how I knew where she was. He’d been staking out the club. Tired, Joking about how we should sell the business and go spend some time in the sun, griping about how the Roccocco club only played Girl from Ipanema over and over on its old gramophone, sporting that new white hat. That’s where the hunch had come from – I heard the song from Ivy’s end of the phone conversation and connected the dots. It was a hunch, but I thought I’d check it out. Took me hours to find the place but Jake had given me the clue. Good old Jake. Jake and his brains and his new white hat… that hat!
  2. (BEAT) (REALIZING) Aw,hell. Jake’s not coming… (GASPING THROUGHOUT) Jake’s not coming because he was already here. Like he said, I’m good at joining the dots. He wanted to sell the business, but I was against it, so he paid Ivy to call me. She rang just after he left so I wouldn’t get suspicious. Yeah, that’s it. Then he killed her and set the cops after me. It was him who shot at me at the office. And then he rushed home. He knew where I’d be and what I’d do. And like a predictable sap I called him for help. He got me to come out to the fair ground where he got the drop on me. Jake’s not gonna get me out of this… He put me in here. He left me a torch and a corpse, and enough air to work it all out. He’s playing with me… and if I can’t get out of here myself, I’m going to die.
  3. SOUND: KICKING COFFIN LID FROM INSIDE – LET IT FINISH.
  4. JOHN: (WHEEZING) Let me out damnit. Let me out… I’m going to… going to… ungh! (PASSES OUT).
  5. MUSIC: SCENE ENDER.

SCENE 16 – EXT – THE FAIR GROUND – 9.00 AM (JAKE PORTEUS, COP 3)

  1. SOUND: (WALLA) BIRDSONG, TRAFFIC IN DISTANCE – ESTABLISH AND UNDER.
  2. SOUND: DIGGING IN DIRT UNTIL HITTING SOMETHING SOLID – LET IT FINISH.
  3. COP 3: I think we’ve got something, Jake.
  4. SOUND: BANGING OF SHOVEL ON BOX – TAP TAP – LET IT FINISH.
  5. COP 3: Looks like it’s big enough.
  6. JAKE: Aw, hell. You’d better call it in, constable.
  7. COP 3: You don’t think he might still be…
  8. JAKE: Alive? Naw. He’s been there all night. There’s no chance the air would have lasted. If he’s in there, and I’m pretty sure he is, then Doyle’s dead.
  9. COP 3: Damn. How’d you figure he’d be here anyways?
  10. JAKE: He called me last night. Said he was coming out to the fair ground. I came out to give him some backup, but, you know Doyle? He didn’t wait for me. I found some blood back there where we came in. I knew something was up, but I didn’t find this turned earth ‘til I called you guys this morning.
  11. COP 3: Damn shame. Word is he made a good private eye.
  12. JAKE: Yeah, he was a good partner to have. I always had his back… well, nearly always.
  13. COP 3: What’ll you do now?
  14. JAKE: I don’t know. Something like this makes you re-evaluate things. Maybe it’s time I got out of this business.
  15. COP 3: Yeah?
  16. JAKE: I hear Eckersley’s in the market for a new branch Detective Agency right now. Maybe I’ll give him a call.
  17. COP 3: Who’d blame you Jake, after something like this?
  18. JAKE: Yeah. Who’d blame me?
  19. 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.

JOHN DOYLE: I love my job.  Not the thousand grimey days when I’m desperate for a client, or the other thousand days where I’m being asked to snap “proof of infidelity” pictures for the poor betrayed palookas that cross my threshold.  I love my job for that one day in a thousand when a genuine, bonafied mystery crosses my desk.  On those days all the others are suddenly worth it and I’m reminded, again, that I love my job.

JAKE PORTEUS: I work with John, but I’ve had enough.  We’ve got a good offer on the table for the business but I can’t sell up just my share.  They want the whole thing.  Johnny doesn’t get it.  I’m too old for this… and I never loved it the way he does.  But maybe there’s a way to change his mind…

WAITRESS: I’m bored.  This isn’t the life I dreamed of when I was a kid.  Sure, I’ll smile and be polite, but we’ve all got our problems and, frankly, mine is getting paid today.  So, let me get  back to my job and I’ll let you do… well, whatever.  I’m really not all that interested.

COPS 1-3: We’ve mostly seen it all.  I mean, every once in a while there’s a weird one.  But when you’ve seen one body while doing homicide, you’ve pretty much seen ’em all.  It’s not that I’m jaded or nothing.  It’s just that you develop a pretty thick skin after a while.  And if you don’t, you don’t last long in this job.

BAR TENDER: Hey pal, how’s it going?  Nah, I couldn’t say.  Confidentiality of the bar.  Lawyers, priests, and what not.  Hey you gonna buy a drink or what?

IVY CRYSTAL: Buy a girl a drink, pal?  Sure, I like a good time, same as any girl.  But, uh, did you hear what I said about that drink?  What?  Thanks, pal.  You’re a prince.  Oh, I needed that.  Why, thankyou.  You know, my ma used to tell me I had the prettiest eyes too.  Oops.  Looks like my drink’s all gone.  Any chance of another.  You know, you’re kind of cute.

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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.