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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1385502
Rated: E · Script/Play · Comedy · #1385502
A man fakes his death to play a prank on his friend
ACT ONE

SCENE ONE

(Front of curtain.  Early 1900’s.  Small American town.  Street scene.  Shrub stage right.  SHEVEAL is working at store.  SCARLET is gossiping to everyone.  MARC and JOE enter.  Stage right.  MARC soaking wet.  JOE laughs.  Walk and talk past shrub).

MARC
(Rings clothes).  You really sunk low this time, Joe.

JOE
Hey, anything for a good prank.

MARC
Yeah, well, just you wait.  You’re paying for these clothes, you know.

JOE
Oh, they’re just wet.  And I don’t have to pay for anything that gets in the way of a good prank; anyway you have enough money as it is.

MARC
Whatever.  Oh man, I dropped a dollar.  (Points to bill few feet back.  JOE and MARC stare).  It’s the least you could do.  (Indicates clothes).

JOE
Fine.  (Goes to it.  Dollar moves foot towards shrub).  Very funny, Marc, like I’m going to fall for that one.  –-- But how are you doing that if you’re over there, and the dollar is being pulled the other way?  (Bush  rustles).  Who’s there?

SHAWN
(Coming out of shrub, laughing).  Sorry Marc, I couldn’t hold it in any longer.

JOE
Shawn! (Turns to Marc).  You can’t use other people for a prank.

MARC
All’s fair in prank and war.

JOE
Shawn, how could you stoop so low as to help Marc with a prank?  Especially one as bad as this.  (JOE’s back turned.  MARC gets bucket behind bush.  Lifts.  JOE points over shoulder.  Knocks bucket.  Contents land on SCARLET.  JOE turns.  Laughs with SHAWN.  MARC stands horrified.  Holds bucket).  Like I’ve said many times before, Marc, I can always see your pranks coming.

MARC
I’m sorry, Scarlet.

SCARLET
I cannot believe you, Marc Samson.

MARC
It wasn’t meant for you; it was meant for Joe.

SCARLET
Now I’m all covered in mud!

MARC
(Defensive)  Hey!  I’m wet too.

SCARLET
Oh you two, always fighting and pulling these infantile pranks.  When are you ever going to grow up?  (Exit. Stage right).

MARC
(Looking after her).  That woman infuriates me.  Can’t she take a good joke?

JOE
That, my wet friend, was not a good joke.

MARC
Yes, it was.  If it had worked out the way I planned it.

JOE
But it didn’t, just like so many of your other pranks.  They are just too elaborate.  You need to keep them plain
and simple, stop thinking so much.

MARC
I’m still going to get you back for this.

JOE
(Laughing)  No, you won’t, you’re a horrible prankster.

MARC
This might not be one of my finest moments, but I am definitely a better prankster than you.

JOE
So, do you like her?

MARC
Who?

JOE
Scarlet Vera.

MARC
No!

JOE
Are you sure, because I could have sworn you did.

MARC
Of course, I’m sure.  I positively hate that woman.

JOE
Are you really sure?

MARC
Yes!

JOE
Good, because I’m going to go ask her out on a date.  (Exit.  Stage right).

MARC
What!  (To himself).  I have to get him back somehow.

SHAWN
How ya gonna do it?

MARC
I do not know yet, but you do not get to help.

SHAWN
Why not?

MARC
Because you foiled my last plan.

SHAWN
How?  I did everything exactly the way you told me to.

MARC
It doesn’t matter.  I need to do this one myself.

SHAWN
Fine.  (Exit.  Stage right).

MARC
(Pauses in thought)  I have it!  (Exit.  Stage left).

SCENE TWO

(Curtain opens. Marc’s parlor.  Numerous knick-knacks.  MARC reads in chair down stage left. A couch stage center, another chair stage right).

JOE
(Off stage)  Marc!

(MARC.  Nonplused, turns page).

JOE
Marc! 
(Enter stage left, dressed entirely in pink). 

MARC
What is it, Joe?

JOE
Oh, you know what it is.  (Snatches book, MARC tries to keep straight face). Look at my clothes!

MARC
I think pink’s a fabulous color on you.  (Laughs). 

JOE
How could you do this to me?

MARC
(Mockingly) Do you really think I, over-thinking-never-pulls-off-a-prank-Marc, was capable of something as outlandish as this?

JOE
(Ignores him) And today of all days. 

MARC
Just keep drawing attention to your feet.  You should be glad I didn’t think of dying your hair until I was halfway home.

JOE
(Pulling hair, nervously).  Yeah, thanks for that, but couldn’t this prank have waited a couple of days?  You know I have my first date with Scarlet.

MARC
(Stands up, bitterly) Scarlet Vera.  The town busybody.  Well, tell me how your date goes, oh wait, she’ll have already told the whole town even before you get home.

JOE
Don’t make fun of her; she’s just very –-- talkative.

MARC
I think she’s the one that will have a marvelous time making fun of you, my pink friend.

JOE
Shut up, Marc.  Ya know you are going to have to buy me new clothes and a new hat.  (Hands MARC hat covered in feathers and ribbons).  How’d you get my clothes so pink anyway?

MARC
A magician never reveals his secrets.  But it seems that an intricate plan did work this time.

JOE
It seems it did.  (Sits on couch).  Maybe I should try to pull off some highfalutin’ trick of my own.

MARC
Oh, don’t kid yourself.  You are nowhere near smart enough to pull of something as elaborate as this.  What? (Scoffs)  Weren’t you last in our class?

JOE
No!  I was second to last.  Myron Krill was last.

MARC
That was because Mrs. Flowervous hated him so much, poor kid. 

JOE
Remember when he was trying to compete with us to be the best class clown?

MARC
Yes, that was before Flowervous beat every humorous atom out of his body.  The unfortunate fool never had a chance.

JOE
She never got us though.

MARC
Yeah, Pranksters for life!  (High-five).

JOE
I remember teaching you the art of trickery.

MARC
What?  No way did you teach me.

JOE
Of course, I did.  Before me you were just some smart, proper, little rich kid.  Now you’re a smart, proper, little rich kid who knows how to have some fun.

MARC
Hey!  I’m not a little kid anymore.  I’m 20-years-old for Pete’s sakes.

JOE
And I’m 23, the older the wiser.

MARC
Let me remind you who had three senior years of schooling.

JOE
Yeah, so I remember more than you with your measly one year.  But the point of all this chit-chat is that you have to buy me a whole new set of clothes.

MARC
I don’t have to pay for anything that gets in the way of a good prank.

JOE
And speaking of paying for things, you still owe Cluckshins money for his dead chicken.

MARC
Why should I have to pay for it?  You were the one driving.

JOE
It was your car and you distracted me.  You should at least pay half.

(ALICE.  Enter stage left carries tray of lemonade.  Lemonade has clumps of odd objects floating in it.  Bumps into everything).

MARC
(Defeated)  Fine, I’ll pay half.

ALICE
Lemonade, Master Samson?

MARC
(Distracted) Uh, sure. (To Joe) How much would that be?

ALICE
Lemonade, Mr. Eaton?  I made it myself.

JOE
(Eyes pitcher suspiciously)  No, thank you.  Fifteen dollars.

MARC
Fifteen dollars for what?

ALICE
Another glass, Master Samson?

MARC
Sure. 

(ALICE gives glass to MARC.  Exit stage left.  Knocks over table).

JOE
Fifteen bucks for the chicken.

MARC
Fifteen dollars!  You’ve got to be kidding me!

JOE
Nope, fifteen dollars is right.

MARC
There is absolutely no way I am paying fifteen dollars for half a dead chicken!

JOE
Fine then.  (Stands in a huff.  Starts off stage left.  Stops abruptly.  Clutches chest.  Breathes heavily.  Falls.  Twitches.  Completely stops).

MARC
Joe?  Joe!  (Runs to Joe)  Talk to me!  How do you check for pulses again?  (Starts checking in obviously wrong places).  It’s no use, he’s dead.

ALICE
(Enter.  Stage left).  Who’s dead?

(During the following dialogue between MARC and ALICE, MARC has back to JOE entire time.  JOE sits.  Gestures to audience that he is not deceased.  Use wink or “okay” symbol.  Stands.  Silently laughs.  Mocks MARC). 

Director’s Note:
(It is optional for more scenes with JOE mocking MARC than there are written.  Be absolutely sure MARC’s back is always turned).

MARC
(Scrabbling)  Alice, I need you to pay very close attention to me.  You might even want to write this down.

ALICE
No need, Master Samson.  My mind’s like an elephant’s.  I never forget a thing!

MARC
Right.  (Aside) You’re as out of it as you were the day I met you.  (Back to ALICE)  You must remember what I tell you next.  Are you sure you are paying attention?  Do not, and I mean do not, let anyone, for any reason, inside this house today.  Do you understand?

ALICE
Oh don’t be silly, Master Samson.  I always follow your directions to a “T.”  Just this morning I planted the flowers like you asked me.  They are really going to spruce up the lavatory.

MARC
What do you mean?

ALICE
Well, of course, they don’t look like much now but when they bloom…

MARC
But why would they “spruce” up the lavatory?  (Realizing)  Don’t tell me…

ALICE
You told me to water them after they were planted and instead of having to lug that huge watering can out back and forth to the yard I thought it would be a much better idea to plant the seeds next to a primary water source.

(MARC puts face in hands.  ALICE moves stage left).

MARC
I’m going to be picking seeds out of that rug for months. (Calling after her)  Don’t forget what I told you.

ALICE
Of course, just show anyone who comes to the door right in.  (Exit. Stage left.)

MARC
No!

BRIGIT
(Offstage) Marc!

MARC
Not now, Brigit!

(BRIGIT.  Enter stage left.  Ignores Joe.  Balancing book on head.  Book stays entire time.  If it falls pick it up).

MARC
What are you doing?

BRIGIT
I’m looking for my hairbrush.

MARC
So the book is your attempt to hide your hair until it is properly brushed?  (Laughs).

BRIGIT
Brother dearest, you never did have a knack for jokes.  The reason that there is a book on my head is because if I want to be a perfect lady I must have perfect posture.  Have you seen my hairbrush or not? (Walks around room, searching.  Never looks down.  Oblivious to JOE’s presence).

MARC
No.

ALICE
(Offstage)  Master Samson!

MARC
(Walks toward doorway, back to JOE).  Yes?

ALICE
(Enter.  Stage left). Master Samson!  Master Samson.  Oh, I’ve forgotten it.  (Turns, knocks chair.  Exit.  Stage left). 

(BRIGIT stands next to JOE.  Book falls, bends away from him.  Picks it up.  JOE grabs leg.  BRIGIT squeals.  Smiles at JOE.  MARC turns to her.  Alarmed). 

BRIGIT
My book fell, I was about to beat my record of seven minutes.  (Places book back on head). I guess I’ll be the only one who misses ‘im.

MARC
(Startled)  Who?

BRIGIT
My hairbrush.

MARC
(Calming down).  Oh, right.

BRIGIT
Maybe I left it in the kitchen.  (Exit.  Stage left.  Dangerously close to JOE).

MARC
(Lets out deep breath).  What a ditz.  (Doorbell rings.  Whips head towards doorway).  Alice!  Remember what I told you!

ALICE
(Offstage)  Oh, hello, Mr. Hobson.

SHAWN
(Offstage)  Is Marc here?

ALICE
(Offstage)  Yes, he’s sitting in the lounge.

SHAWN
(Enter.  Stage left).  Hey Marc!  I was thinking if you and Joe were done fighting we could… (Sees JOE)  Hey, what’s he doing on the floor and why is he in pink?  Never mind.  Joe, get up.  I want to show you guys this thing at my house. 

MARC
He’s kind of dead, Shawn.

SHAWN
(Face drops.  Smiles).  Stop foolin’ around.

MARC
I’m serious.

SHAWN
(Laughs)  No, you’re not.

MARC
Yes, I am.

SHAWN
No!

MARC
Yes!

SHAWN
No!          

MARC
Yes!

SHAWN
No!

MARC
Yes!

SHAWN
Fine.  (Kneels next to JOE.  Poke him gently.  Violently shaking.  JOE stays limp).  Joe!  Joe!  You better get outta here Joe, Sheveal’s comin’ and he looks pretty angry that you didn’t show up at work.  (Waits for reaction).  Wow!  Threats about the boss won’t even rouse ‘im.  He must be real dead.

MARC
That is what I have been trying to get through your thick skull.

SHAWN
(Dazed)  I always told people you two would fight to the death, but I thought it was just a joke.

MARC
(Jumpy)  I didn’t kill him!

SHAWN
Okay, okay.

(Both stare sedately at body).

MARC
I am going to need your help.

SHAWN
With what?

MARC
Hiding the body.

SHAWN
(Snapping out of haze)  Whoa, whoa, whoa.  (Begins backing out of room).  I thought you said you didn’t kill ‘im. 

MARC
(Stopping him)  I didn’t!

SHAWN
I don’t wanna be an accessory to any murder.

MARC
How many times do I have to tell you I did not kill him?

SHAWN
If you didn’t kill ‘im, then why are we hiding a body?

MARC
Because it looks like a murder.

SHAWN
And was it?

MARC
No!

SHAWN
Alright, I believe you.  (Aside)  Kind of.

MARC
The point is I did not kill him, but it doesn’t look that way.  Let’s look at the facts here.  Joe was only 23 and supposedly in good health.

SHAWN
Oh yeah.  He was the handsome young buck of Baldwin.  He made all the young girls swoon and all the mothers cry.  There’s your way out, Marc!  No one will believe a skinny pampered boy like you could take down Joseph Eaton, not in a million years.

MARC
(Brightening)  You’re right!

SHAWN
But there aren’t any marks on him, so a scuffle couldn’t have been the way he went.  The town’s people will probably think you used that big ol’ noggin of yours to off him.

MARC
Like how?

SHAWN
(Surveys room. Spots lemonade glasses).  You could have poisoned him.  Two glasses --- only one empty.

MARC
Oh, what am I going to do?

SHAWN
The first thing I would do is get rid of these glasses.

MARC
Right.  (Calling offstage)  Alice!

ALICE
(Enters stage left).  Yes, Master Samson.

MARC
Clean up those glasses, please.

ALICE
Right away sir.  (Picks up glasses.  Trips over JOE’s body, empty glasses break).  Oh, Mr. Eaton.  You’re always napping in the strangest of places.  Last week I found him sleeping in your sister’s room, Master Samson. 

MARC
What!  If he wasn’t already dead…

(Doorbell rings).

ALICE
Oh I’ll get it.  (Exit.  Stage left).

MARC
Alice!  No, No!

ALICE
(Offstage)  Why hello, Mrs. Flowervous.  Marc is in the lounge.  (Pushes FLOWERVOUS with measuring cup on stage left.  Exit).

FLOWERVOUS
(Calling after her)  But all I wanted was a cup of sugar.  (Turning to MARC).  I suppose I can just ask you for it.  (Spotting JOE)  Now what’s Joseph doing on the floor? (Aside) And what a strange outfit.  (Back to MARC and SHAWN) It seems the lazy boy has become a lazy man.  Look at him taking a nap on the floor of another man’s house, despicable.  And you, letting him.  I always thought my teaching would help produce respectable young adults but I’m proved mistaken.  Wake up, Joseph!  You stand when a lady enters the room.  (During speech she goes stage right.  Waits.  Turns to the others). Why won’t he get up?

SHAWN
(Like a pupil answering teacher)  He’s dead, Mrs. Flowervous.  (MARC glares.  Shrugs).  I’m used to having to answer her questions.

MARC
She is not your teacher anymore.

(FLOWERVOUS faints behind chair. Stage right).

SHAWN
Well, that’s one problem solved.

MARC
How is that solved?  Now we just have another body on the floor.

SHAWN
At least that one’s not dead.

MARC
But this one is!

SHAWN
And now there’s evidence of a struggle. 

MARC
I thought you said I was too weak to defeat the strapping young buck that was Joseph Eaton.

SHAWN
You gave him a drink to make him a bit drowsy and then you bashed his head in with his own glass.

MARC
It was only lemonade!

SHAWN
They don’t know that.

MARC
Who’s they?

SHAWN
The police.

MARC
The police!  Oh, Shawn.  What am I going to do?  A scandal of this magnitude hasn’t occurred in Baldwin for a hundred years.  The town will do anything to be able to declare this murder just so they have something to talk about at next Sunday’s picnic.  We have to hide this body.

SHAWN
Maybe you should ask that Franky guy.

MARC
Why?

SHAWN
He just moved here from New York and I hear “accidents” like this happen there all the time.

MARC
I don’t know if we should involve any more people…

(Doorbell rings).

SHAWN
Too late.

MARC
Alice!  Do not…

ALICE
(Offstage)  Hello.

SHAWN
Maybe it’ll be Franky.

FRANKY
(Offstage)  Hi ya, I’m Franky Hughes.  Is Marc here?

SHAWN
Ha!  I was right.

ALICE
(Offstage)  Right in there, Mr. Hughes.

FRANKY
(Offstage)  Thanks.  (Enter.  Stage left).  Hi ya, Marc, Shawn.  I was wondering… (Sees JOE)  What’s that pink thing?  Wow!  Is that a dead body?  I haven’t seen one of those since the day I left New York.

SHAWN
I told you he’d know about this kind of stuff.

FRANKY
Wow!  And it’s Joe too.  So which one of yous knocked ‘im off?

SHAWN
(Points)  Marc!

MARC
Nobody knocked anybody off.  (During following dialogue, MARC faces doorway.  JOE stands, moves various objects in room.  SHAWN and FRANKY contain laughter).

FRANKY
So you just thought it’d be fun to dress up a dead body?

MARC
(Sighing)  He was already dressed like that.

FRANKY
Why?

SHAWN
The Joe Eaton I knew would never be caught dead in pink.

FRANKY
It seems he has.

MARC
I dyed all his clothes pink this morning. 

FRANKY
Why the blazes would you have gone and done that?

MARC
(Turns.  JOE is on ground.  MARC does double take at moved objects.  Shakes head).  It was a harmless little prank.

SHAWN
All of his clothes?  Ha!  That’s pretty funny, Marc.

FRANKY
Yeah, funny.  That is until Joe came over here ready to rough you up a little if you weren’t willing to supply him with new clothes.  And then when you opted for a fight I guess you turned out to be not as weak as you look.

MARC
That is not what happened at all!

FRANKY
Alright (Skeptically) How’d he go then?

SHAWN
Yeah.  How’d he die?

MARC
We were just talking…

SHAWN
They were just fighting.

MARC
We were just talking and he got all funny.

SHAWN
How so?

MARC
(Performs actions while speaking).  He was clutching his chest and breathing heavy and then he fell down and then he just stopped. 

FRANKY
When did this happen?

MARC
It was about noon.

FRANKY
(Looks at watch).  Then why is it still here?

SHAWN
We were hoping you could maybe help us out with that.

FRANKY
Me?

SHAWN
You’re from New York and all…

FRANKY
The reason I moved out here was to get away from all this kinda stuff.  Why do you think I picked Baldwin of all places to settle down?  There hasn’t been a murder here in over a hundred years.

MARC          
Exactly!  That’s why we have to get rid of the body.

FRANKY
I thought you said this wasn’t murder.

MARC
It’s not.  But I don’t think I’ll be able to convince the police of that fact.

SHAWN
And the shards of glass all around him really don’t help.

MARC
I forgot about those.  (Calling offstage)  Alice!

ALICE
(Enter.  Stage left.  Holds brush).  You called, Master Samson.

MARC
Clean up this glass, will you?

ALICE
One thing at a time, Master Samson.  I still have to finish shining the silver like you asked me to this morning.  (Holds up brush).

MARC
Are you using…

ALICE
It’s Mistress Samson’s hairbrush. 

MARC
Just get back in here as soon as you can to clean up this glass.

ALICE
(Exit.  Stage left).  As you wish, Master Samson.

(Doorbell rings).

MARC
No!  (Exit.  Stage left).

(LIGHTS dim.  Curtain closes).

ACT TWO

SCENE ONE

(Curtain opens.  LIGHTS come up.  Marc’s parlor.  JOE sits center stage.  SHAWN and FRANKY on stage).

SHAWN
He’s really falling for it!

JOE
(Full of himself)  I have been told I am an exceptional actor.

SHAWN
(Sarcastically)  It really takes a lot to play possum.

FRANKY
This is all so brilliant!  Back in New York we had much simpler ways of settling the score.

SHAWN
Well, you are in the presence of a prank master. (Points at JOE).

JOE
(Nods)  The man had it coming. When I opened my closet this morning --- I don’t think I have ever seen so much pink in my life.

FRANKY
That was pretty harsh, but you were trying to move in on his gal.

JOE
No way!  I’m not that mean.  The whole Scarlet thing is all just part of the big picture.  Marc was right; a complicated plot is much more fun.

SHAWN
Besides, Joe fancies Marc’s sister, Brigit.

BRIGIT
(Enters.  Stage left).  Did someone say my name?

JOE
Brigit!

BRIGIT
Oh, Joe!  You’re alive now I see.

JOE
For as long as your brother is out of the room.

BRIGIT
I saw him in the hall.  Nearly trampled me down, trying to beat Alice to the door.  Poor boy’s paler than he was before.  How many people have you lined up to show up today?

JOE
Plenty.  I can’t thank you all enough, for helping me out with this. 

FRANKY
Our pleasure.

SHAWN
It will teach Marc to rue the day he fired Shawn Hobson from his prank assistant responsibilities.  Also the look on Marc’s face every time he sees Joe on the floor makes this whole experience unimaginably enjoyable.

FRANKY
Oh yeah.  That look is priceless.  Too bad you have to miss it, Joe.

JOE
That is the one flaw in this ingenious plan.  But it will all be worth it when the last part kicks into action.  (ALL laugh).

MARC
(Offstage)  No, Abigail.  How many times do I have to tell you?  Brigit’s not here…  I know I didn’t look for her… (ALL look stage left).  I just know she went out.  Where? --- Out…  No, you can’t come in and wait for her in the parlor!  Why am I raising my voice? ... You just can’t come in…  I’ll send her to your house, when she gets home…  Alright…  Alright…  Goodbye, Abigail.

BRIGIT
Oh!  Abigail’s going to be so disappointed she didn’t get to join in the fun.

FRANKY
Sounds like he’s coming back!

JOE
Quick, Brigit!  You have to leave.  Everyone act natural.  Well, act like you would if there was a dead body lying in front of you.  (BRIGIT.  Exit.  Stage left.  JOE lies down).

MARC
(Enter.  Stage left.  Dragging in ALICE).  Alice, when I say to you “Do not open the door,” that means you should not open the door.  I would have hoped you would have gotten that concept by now, especially when I’m screaming the commands.

ALICE
Forgive me, Master Samson.

MARC
(Sighs)  It’s all right, Alice. You are just going to stay in here with me for the remainder of the day.  No more answering the door.

ALICE
Quite right, Master Samson.  (Moves stage left).

MARC
Where are you going?

ALICE
I need to get my mop.  That chair is filthy.

MARC
(Sighs)  You may get your mop, but then come right back in here.  And you’ll clean the floor, not the chair.

ALICE
As you wish, Master Samson.  (Exit.  Stage left).

(MARC.  Screams into sofa pillow).

SHAWN
It’s all right, Marc.

FRANKY
We’ll figure out something.

(Doorbell rings).

MARC
ALICE!

ALICE
(Offstage)  No worries.  I’m getting it.  Hello, Mr. Cluckshins.

CLUCKSHINS
(Offstage)  I’m here for my money.

MARC
Not again!

SHAWN
That’s gotta be the fourth person she let in today.  Does she ever do anything you ask her?

MARC
No.

FRANKY
Then why do you keep her around?

MARC
She won’t leave.  And that means I have to deal with her broken down son everyday.

SHAWN
(Worried)  You don’t think he’ll show up, do you?  He’s far too squeamish for this situation.

MARC
No, Myron is at work.  He’ll be there well into the night, you know how Sheveal is.

CLUCKSHINS
(Enter.  Stage left.  Carries chicken and newspaper).  I’ve come here for my money, even though that will hardly fill the empty place in my heart that once belonged to my dear Henrietta.  (Sits on couch).  But you two hooligans killed her.  And I am not leaving until you pay me my money, even if the house catches on fire!  (Opens newspaper.  Puts it down).  Are those dead bodies?

MARC
(Sighs)  Only one of them.

FRANKY
There’s two of ‘em!

SHAWN
Yeah, the old school teacher’s fainted over there.

FRANKY
(Goes stage right).  Wow, Marc, you’re really getting’ around.

CLUCKSHINS
So you did this!

MARC
No!  He just sort of died.

CLUCKSHINS
In pink?

MARC
Yes!  Why does everyone keep obsessing over his outfit?

CLUCKSHINS
I’ve just never known a man to wear pink.  But I always knew the two of you were a bit weird.  One of you is wearing pink and the other one killed the first.  It’s a tough responsibility to be able to judge people so perfectly.

MARC
I didn’t kill him!

CLUCKSHINS
Once a hooligan always a hooligan.  But I meant what I said and I am not leaving until I get my money.  (Reads newspaper).

FRANKY
(Snaps fingers).  You still might be able to talk your way out of this, Marc.

MARC
How?

FRANKY
Motive.  Every murder needs a motive.  What possible reason would you have to kill your best friend?

MARC
You’re right!  Franky, I could kiss you

FRANKY
I’ll pass on that offer.

MARC
Oh Shawn, it’s all over, all I have to do is tell them the truth and when they suggest murder I’ll just challenge them to come up with a motive!  Isn’t this great?

SHAWN
Well…

MARC
Well what?

SHAWN
There is the fact that you two never really did get along.

FRANKY
You were always fighting.

SHAWN
In public.

FRANKY
When I first came to town I was surprised to hear you two could stand to be around each other, let alone were best friends.

SHAWN
There are always rumors going around town that you two secretly hated each other.  Hating each other, does that count as a motive?

FRANKY
I’m afraid so.

MARC
I’m done for.

FRANKY
I like you kid.  And I think I’ll come out of retirement just this once to help you out.  But if we get caught and anybody asks, I’ve never done this before.

MARC
Thank you, thank you, thank you.

SHAWN
So what do we do?

FRANKY
I don’t know yet.  This is a lot smaller area to work with than all those times in the city.

MARC
Think fast because I can’t have this body lying on my floor forever.

CLUCKSHINS
If you didn’t do it, what are you so worried about?

MARC
Were you not paying attention?

CLUCKSHINS
No need to get snippy.  In my day young folks respected their elders.

FRANKY
I got it!  We can throw ‘im in the lake.

CLUCKSHINS
Baldwin doesn’t have a lake.

FRANKY
In the river then!

CLUCKSHINS
The nearest river is twenty miles away.

FRANKY
How can you not have a lake or a river?

CLUCKSHINS
I’m sorry but we just don’t got what you fancy city folk do.

FRANKY
Then what do you got?

SHAWN
There’s a small stream not too far from here.

FRANKY
Then we’ll throw ‘im in the stream!

(MARC and SHAWN pick up JOE.  LIGHTS dim.  Curtain closes).

SCENE TWO

(Open curtain.  LIGHTS come up same scene.  FRANKY slaps MARC and SHAWN on heads.  Causing them to drop JOE.  JOE glares at SHAWN.  Hits him on leg.  SHAWN yelps.  Clutches leg.  MARC turns to SHAWN.  SHAWN moves hand.  Rubs head).

SHAWN
What was that for?

FRANKY
We can’t go now, you morons.  It’s broad day light.  And with Scarlet Vera out on the prowl for gossip, the whole town will know you’re a killer in 10 minutes.

MARC
Stop saying that!  (Doorbell rings.  Exasperated).  Oh, come on!

MYRON
(Offstage)  Here’s the milk you ordered, ma’am.

ALICE
(Offstage)  Ma’am?  Now, Myron, you don’t have to call me ma’am.

MYRON
(Offstage)  Mr. Sheveal says we should show respect to all our customers whomever they may happen to be.

ALICE
(Offstage)  I don’t care what that Mr. Sheveal says.  A boy should call his mama, Mama.  Now why don’t you visit your friend, Marc?

MYRON
(Offstage)  I really shouldn’t, I have a lot of milk to deliver.  And besides we live here, Mama, (Pushed stage left by ALICE.  ALICE exit.  Stage left). I see him every day.

MARC
(Whispering to SHAWN and FRANKY)  Block the body.  His stomach won’t be able to handle it.

MYRON
Handle what?  (Voice cracks)  Is that a dead body?

SHAWN
It’s alright, Myron.  No need to get upset.

MYRON
I’m not upset.  (Nervous laughter)  I just better be off… Lots of milk to deliver and all… (Starts backing out stage left).  You know how Mr. Sheveal gets.

MARC
No one’s leaving until Joe leaves!

MYRON
Joe?  Joe!  You killed Joe?

MARC
No!  He just died.

CLUCKSHINS
(Nonchalantly)  And what happened to the other one again?

MYRON
(Jumps)  Other one!

FRANKY
(Soothingly)  She’s not dead; Mrs. Flowervous just fainted over there.  (MARC and SHAWN shake their heads at this mistake.)

MYRON
(Screaming)  Mrs. Flowervous!  She’s not here is she?

CLUCKSHINS
What’s wrong with that one? (Nodding at MYRON).

SHAWN
He’s been a bit off ever since school. 

MARC
Mrs. Flowervous was so harsh; she tore him down bit by bit until he was just a puddle of self-respect you see before you.

SHAWN
It’s sad really.

FLOWERVOUS
(Sitting up behind chair)  Did somebody say my name?  (Looking around)  Now how did I get here?

MYRON
(Rocking back and forth on couch, trance-like) I’m sorry, Mrs. Flowervous, but I do not know the answer to that question.

FLOWERVOUS
Get up, Myron.  You never did know the answer to anything.

MYRON
(Still rocking)  So sorry, Mrs. Flowervous.  It’s my fault.  I should have paid more attention in your class.

FLOWERVOUS
(To herself)  Now why was I on the floor?  (Sees JOE) Oh yes, the dead body.  (Faints).

CLUCKSHINS
Get a hold of yourself, young man.  (Slaps MYRON).

MYRON
(Snaps out of trance)  I really have to get back to work.  I should already be on my sixth stop of the day.  The boss really blew a gasket when you and Joe didn’t show up at the store.  I don’t want to make him any madder.

MARC
You can’t go and neither can I.  We have a dead body here!

MYRON
Mr. Sheveal wouldn’t care if you killed half the town, he’d still want you at work.  Joe’s the only one with an excuse he would accept since he’s dead.

SHEVEAL
(Enter.  Stage left).  You’re wrong Myron; the only excuse I accept is being dead on your birthday.

MYRON
(Squeaks)  Mr. Sheveal!

MARC
I didn’t hear you come in.

SHEVEAL
Myron!  Why are you still here?  This should have been your third stop of the day and by now you should at least be on your ninth.

MYRON
I’m sorry, Sir.

SHEVEAL
And Marc, why aren’t you at the store?  I know that this job is just for the experience or whatever you said when you signed on, because I don’t think I know anyone else in less need of money.  Know that, even though your father built this town from the ground up doesn’t mean I can’t fire ya.  And where the heck is Joe?  I stopped by his house on the way over and he wasn’t there.  Myron, why are you still here?  Get to work!  (MYRON sprints off stage left.  JOE grabs SHAWN’s leg.  SHAWN yelps and moves to give SHEVEAL a clear view of body). Now, what is that?  Joe, get on some decent clothes and get to the store.  Joe, Joe, get up, you lazy bum!  You’re supposed to be at work.  Myron!  Get back in here!

MYRON
(Enter.  Stage left.  Panting).  Yes, Sir?

SHEVEAL
Get Joe off the ground.

MYRON
I’m afraid I can’t do that, Sir.

SHEVEAL
And why not?

MYRON
He happens to be –-- kinda dead, Sir.

SHEVEAL
Dead!  Who killed him?

ALL
Marc!

MARC
I did not kill him!

BRIGIT
(Enter.  Stage left.  Book on head). Didn’t kill who?  Has anyone seen my hair brush?  I’ve been through the whole house and I still can’t find the silly old thing.  And now I’ve come full circle and I’m back in the lounge.  (Begins to search.  Bumps into couch.  Book falls.  Bends.  Spots JOE.  Screams.  MARC tries to calm her.  FRANKY moves to window).

FRANKY
You’re never gonna believe this.

SHAWN
(Goes to window).  If it already wasn’t bad enough.

MARC
What!

FRANKY
Scarlet Vera is walking straight towards your front door.

MARC
(Runs towards doorway).  ALICE!  Do not let her in!  ALICE!

SHAWN
Tough luck, Marc, in about five minutes the whole town is going to know you killed a man.

MARC
I am not a murderer!

FRANKY
Doesn’t matter.  It’s going to be like Christmas for a gossip fanatic like Scarlet Vera.

CLUCKSHINS
Can’t an old man get some peace and quiet?  All I’m trying to do is read my newspaper until this ruffian coughs up some cash.  But all I have been hearing is a load of bickering from all of yous about how this hooligan offed that hooligan.  And now you’re telling me Scarlet’s coming?  Lord knows that girl never lets her mouth rest.

SHEVEAL
That’s my niece you’re talking about.

CLUCKSHINS
Yeah, then you should have noticed by now that she never shuts up!

SHEVEAL
Hey! Don’t-

SCARLET
(Enter.  Stage left).  Hello, hello everyone.  Oh uncle!  I didn’t know you were here (Kisses him on cheek.  To MARC). Your darling maid, Alice, let me in.  Let me explain my business here.

CLUCKSHINS
I think her business is sticking her nose into other people’s.  (SHEVEAL leers at him).

SCARLET
(Ignoring him)  Well, I was looking for Joe, you see, because we were supposed to have a date this afternoon and he was late.  When he wasn’t at his house or at the store the only place I could imagine he would be was at your
house.  On my way here I happened to notice all of these people coming into your house, and I thought to myself, ‘It’s not very polite for Marc Samson to have a party and only invite half the town.’

MARC
This is not a party.

SCARLET
Than what is it?

SHAWN
(Casually)  Marc killed Joe.

MARC
I did not!

SCARLET
Marc killed Joe?  Marc killed Joe!  (Calling to offstage)  Alice!  Alice, be a dear and let those people waiting by the curb in.  To think I came here to crash a party, and it turned out to be something much more scandalous!

ALICE
(Enter.  Stage left, ushering in PARTY CRASHERS).  Right this way, right this way.

MARC
Why don’t ya let the whole town in?

ALICE
Well, it seems that everyone is here except Officers Jinnikey and Olivair.  (Looks out window).  And oh, here they come now!  (Exits stage left).

MARC
ALICE!  (To room)  We have to hide him.  (Table is placed over JOE.  Leg sticks out.  MARC, SHAWN, and FRANKY stand in front of table.  ALICE leads in JINNIKEY and OLIVAIR stage left).

JINNIKEY
(Sternly)  Marc Samson, it seems you’ve gotten yourself into a bit of trouble with the law.

OLIVAIR
Yes, the law gets angry (Smiles) when you don’t invite them to your party.

SHAWN
(Nervously)  Yeah that’s right –-- we’re just having a party.

SCARLET
Well actually…  (MARC kisses her).

MARC
Yes, just a party.

SCARLET
Why I never.

(ALICE.  Enter.  Stage left with broom and pan.  Goes under tablecloth.  Begins cleaning up glass).

MARC
(Hisses)  Alice, what are you doing?

ALICE
You told me, Master Samson, to clean this up as soon as I got the chance, and I happen to have a free moment now.  No need to get so snippy.

JINNIKEY
What’s glass doing under that table?

SHAWN
Franky knocked over his glass.  You know how rowdy parties can get sometimes.  Isn’t that right, Myron?

MYRON
(Nodding frantically)  Yes, yes.

JINNIKEY
Yes, well everyone should be a little more careful.

OLIVAIR
You don’t want a shard of glass in your foot, it’s a nasty feeling.

MARC
Of course, officers.

JINNIKEY
If this is a party there should be food, shouldn’t there?

OLIVAIR
I’d think so.

MARC
I knew I forgot something.

BRIGIT
I was going to bake cookies as a surprise, but Alice was drying clothes in the oven.

OLIVAIR
That’s a fire hazard if I’ve ever heard one.

JINNIKEY
I’d better go check it out, you wouldn’t want your house to burn down during such an extraordinary shindig like the one you’ve got going on here.  (Exit.  Stage left).

OLIVAIR
Well I for one am glad the clothes hindered your production of cookies.  Now everyone will savor the muffins I brought even more.  (Produces basket from behind back.  Beaming).  I made ‘em myself!  (Places basket on table.  Almost stepping on JOE’s foot.  MARC cringes). 

SHEVEAL
(Looking at muffins)  Those are from my store!

OLIVAIR
(Downtrodden)  Fine, they’re from Sheveal’s.

JINNIKEY
(Enter.  Stage left with a glass of Alice’s lemonade).  No clothes in the kitchen, just some delicious lemonade.  (Gulps it down.  Puts it on table.  JOE grabs his leg. Shakes it off.  JOE disappears under table.  JOE’s shoe falls off.  JINNIKEY picks it up). 
         
OLIVAIR
What’s that you’ve got there, Jinnikey?

JINNIKEY
It seems to be a gentleman’s shoe.  Anyone lost a shoe? (Everyone stares).

OLIVAIR
A missing shoe, we better report that to the station!

JINNIKEY
We better be off.

OLIVAIR
We should be doing our rounds.  Protecting you citizens and all.

JINNIKEY
Just remember Samson ---

OLIVAIR
Invite us to your next party.  (JINNIKEY and OLIVAIR exit.  Stage left).

FRANKY
That was close!

CLUCKSHINS
Thank your lucky stars you owe me money, or I would have sold you out in a second.

SHAWN
You look pale, Marc, are you alright?

MARC
(After a beat)  Everybody out.

SHAWN
What?

MARC
There are way too many people here.  I can’t even hear myself think.  I need to figure out what to do with Joe on my own.  Everybody out!

(MARC stares intently at wall stage right.  CLUCKSHINS assists the confused FlOWERVOUS).

SHAWN
(SHAWN and FRANKY move table back).  Are you sure you don’t want our help?   

MARC
Everybody out!  (Everyone, including JOE, except MARC, exits stage left.  Turns to see JOE missing).  Shawn!  Get back in here!

SHAWN
(Enter.  Stage left).  What is it, Marc?

MARC
Where’d Joe go?

JOE
(Enter.  Stage left.  Coolly)  You told everyone to get out.

MARC
Joe!

(JOE and SHAWN laugh).

JOE
I had to somehow top the pink.

MARC
But…

JOE
And I got the whole town in on it too.  Why else would everyone show up here?  I think it’s good we agreed we could use other people for our pranks; it makes it more of a challenge.  Oh, you should have seen your face when the police came in.  Wasn’t that a great line, ‘Marc Samson, it seems you’ve gotten yourself into a bit of trouble with the law.’  I was worried he was going to mess it up by laughing.  Oh come on, Marc.  Don’t look so mad.  At least this prank got you closer to your beloved Scarlet.

MARC
(Sputtering)  Wha- Huh- Uh- Uh- Wha- Wrong!

JOE
Everyone knows how much you’re in love with her.  It seems to me you’re the only one capable of loving such a special girl even after she tried to rat you out to the cops.  Lord knows I couldn’t.

MARC
If you weren’t dead five minutes ago, expect to be soon.

JOE
Come on, Marc.  No hard feelings, I wasn’t trying to move in on your girl, it was all for the sake of the prank.  Besides I have a thing for your sister.

MARC
That’s it!

(MARC chases JOE off stage left.  SHAWN laughs.  LIGHTS dim.  Curtain closes).
© Copyright 2008 Some Kid (vakiener at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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