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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1566430
Rated: 18+ · Script/Play · Dark · #1566430
A third shift convienence store worker wrestles with the darker side of his profession
SETTING: Gas/Convenience store

TIME: 11:30

UR is the entrance to the station. UC is the store. UL is a cash register on a counter behind bulletproof glass. There is a lottery ticket display stand on the counter. There is a door Behind the register on the other side of the aisle is a desk with a calculator. A safe is next to the desk.  JACK is behind the glass. Enter TALL MAN R. He motions, waving his hand high and walks to a door C. A buzz is heard. The TALL MAN walks through the door.



JACK

How was the walk in?



                                                           TALL MAN

Same old walk. The only things lit up round here are the station and the Mormon missionaries apartment.



                                                           JACK

They’re still awake?



                                                           TALL MAN



Yeah, there’s a greenie in there fresh from Tooele. He ain’t never been in a place like this.



                                                           JACK



(Laughs a little) He ain’t gonna find anyone round here “born of goodly parents,” ‘cept maybe you.



                                                           TALL MAN

Oh Hell, now what do you want?



JACK

My drawer is $10 short. Recount it for me so I can get outta here. I have a bank full of silver I’m cracking open tonight. Hope Crystal at the tittie bar takes quarters.



                                                           TALL MAN

Ya gotta be shittin’ me. I hate countin’ that shit! I---



                                                           JACK

You’re  a good egg, man.  Ciao fella (he makes for the door, opens it and steps out)



                                                           

                                                           TALL MAN

F---, oh hell, you ain’t worth the rest of the word.



                                                           (He sits down at the desk and begins to count. The TALL MAN lifts up the drawer and reveals a $20 bill stuck to the bottom of it. Enter FIGURE. It stands next to the man at the desk.)



FIGURE

So, he wasn’t short $10; he’s over $10. Now what do you think of that. You don’t drink, often. You don’t smoke. You really need to loosen up, get a vice. How about those? When’s playing the lottery ever hurt someone?



(ENTER  TEENS. They approach the counter. TALL MAN stands up and walks to the window.)



TEEN

Give me a Swisher?



         FIGURE

He isn’t 18 yet. Tell him to show you an ID.



         TEEN

What? You know me.

         

         FIGURE

No you don’t. Tell him again.

         

         TEEN

What you do me like that for? I thought we were cool?

         

         FIGURE

You want to see the ID or he has to leave.

         TEEN

Fuck you man! I don’t need this shit. (Teens leave)

         

         FIGURE

Cute kid.  I’d watch the quiet one. He’ll be in jail for murder before the end of the week. Never trust the quiet ones.

(The TALL MAN looks at the lottery ticket stand)



FIGURE

Which one will it be? (TALL MAN reaches towards a smaller denomination ticket.) You don’t want that one. C’mon think! No, not that one either. Look there, the $10 ticket. You want to win big, you have to think big. It’s 25 grand on the spot if you win. What will it hurt, it’s not your money, is it?

         (The TALL MAN pulls a $10 ticket off the rack. He steps back towards the desk, puts the money in an envelope and drops it in the slot in the safe next to the desk. He reaches into his pants pocket and pulls out a quarter.)

         

         TALL MAN

(Looking at the coin) Nineteen eighty-four.

         

         FIGURE

Tigers won the series that year. You had a son that year. It was a good year then, maybe history will repeat itself?

                                                           

                                                           TALL MAN

I hope not. I don’t need another kid.

                                                           

                                                           FIGURE

Don’t be a smart ass. It’s not your strong suit. (He watches as the TALL MAN scratches off a box on the ticket.) Whatcha know?

                                                           

                                                           TALL MAN

It’s a good start, but there’s another three boxes to go.

                                                           (He puts the coin to the ticket, but the bell rings interrupting him. Enter JAY a tall black man wearing a pink poodle skirt, matching sweater, red pumps. FIGURE fades into the shadows of the booth.)

                                                           

                                                           JAY

Whaddup Capt’n?

                                                           

                                                           TALL MAN

Hey Sweets. How’s tricks?

                                                           

                                                           JAY

Shitty. I think Houdini done died. Throw me some M’s till tomorrow.

(JAY walks over to the fountain machine, pulls a cup from the rack and slides under the ice dispenser.)

                                                           

                                                           

                                                           TALL MAN

What the hell? College boys swear off the dark meat? They finally seen your ass in the light?

                                                           

                                                           JAY

Oh, you’re gonna play it like that are you Stevie Wonder?

                                                           

                                                           TALL MAN

Will you just chill a sec and listen? You’re out they every night dressed like Fido threw up crayola on your sweater; your Adam’s apple’s bigger than your dick, which is another thing--

                                                           

                                                           JAY(interrupting)

Hold it there slim. You leave my thang out of it unless you buyin’. But, if you gotta know, I’ll fix it when I get a few more G’s.

                                                           

                                                           TALL MAN

A few more?  How much ice and KY do you think that’s from now? Lookie here (He point to the lottery tickets.), do what you do, walk your bow-legg’d ass back here and buy one. Twenty-five G ought to get you snipped and tucked.

                                                           

                                                           JAY

Oh puleez! Ain’t nuthin’ good ever come from that shit. Best yoos can get is a pack of smokes and thad’ll kill you. (He turns his head towards the door and stares.)

                                                           

                                                           TALL MAN

Friends of yours?

                                                           

                                                           JAY

Could be. (He starts walking towards the door.)

                                                           

                                                           TALL MAN

You better top off that ice before you run off with “Could be.”

                                                           JAY

(He quickly slides his cup under the ice dispenser. Ice drops. He quickly pulls it back.)

Thanks, Homes. Catch ya later.

                                                           (JAY exits through the door. Enter FIGURE                                                             from the shadows.)

                                                           

                                                           FIGURE

He, she, it’d be cute if it were another gender. On second thought, probably not.





                                                           (Lights fade to black)



                                                           SCENE II

(Lights rise on the same set. The TALL MAN puts a pack of cigs in the overhead rack, then folds the empty carton and puts it in the trash. As he does FIGURE reappears.)



TALL MAN

That should hold those till next shift.



                                                           FIGURE

Nasty habit isn’t it? Smoke enters the lungs slowly clogging the airways, depriving the brain and body of oxygen while simultaneously feeding it nicotine. How long were you hooked on those things?



                                                           TALL MAN

Five years.



                                                           FIGURE

And not even so much as a cold during all that time. What’s it been, three bouts of pneumonia and four of bronchitis? It sort of makes you wonder if quitting was worth it, does it? (He walks over towards the desk and points to the ticket.)  Did you forget about this?



                                                           TALL MAN

Shit needed done. (He walks over to the desk and picks up the quarter and scratches off another box.)



                                                           FIGURE

You’re two for two, Slick. Feeling pretty good about it aren’t you? Try the next one.



(Before he can scratch it the bell rings. ENTER KEN and SHARON. SHARON is obviously intoxicated and giggling.)



FIGURE

This should be interesting. Do you think she knows what she’s in for? I doubt it.



                                                           KEN

Hey Slim. Give her a $10 Gold Dust. (KEN pulls out a wad of bills and slides a $10 under the glass window of the counter).



                                                           FIGURE

How special, he’s treating her to lottery tickets. And people say romance is dead.



                                                           (Sharon scratches the ticket off.)



                                                           SHARON

Damn!



                                                           KEN

(Peels off another couple bills) Slide her two more.



                                                           FIGURE

Two more? She isn’t as drunk as he’s like. He’s thinking she’ll put out if she feels lucky.



(TALL MAN rips off two more tickets and slides them under the glass.)



KEN

Here you go, babe. Didn’t I tell you I’d take care of you?

                   

         (SHARON scratches the tickets off)



         SHARON

Damn and double damn! You’d think I’d at least win a free ticket. This isn’t fun at all.



         FIGURE

She wants “fun?” Ken wants “fun.” And yet neither is talking about the same thing. If she were smart, she’d run now.



                                                           KEN

(Peels off one more bill) Give me that last one.



                                                           FIGURE

Testy isn’t he. He’s losing money and a sure piece of ass all within five minutes. Watch this.

(TALL MAN pulls the tickets, but there’s two not one)

                                                           

                                                           TALL MAN

What’ll it be 98, or 99?



                                                           FIGURE

That face, priceless isn’t it?  He now has a choice of two, both of which could be winners, or losers. He’s deciding if she’s worth another $10 if he picks wrong.



                                                           KEN

Ninety-nine.  Watch this, if you scratch off the bottom, it’ll tell you if it won without having to waste your time with those stupid other boxes.



                                                           FIGURE

See his fa├žade slipping? She does.

                                                           KEN

Goddam, cock sucking. son of a bitch n bastard!

                                                           

                                                           SHARON

Take me home-NOW!



                                                           KEN

Fuck this stu—(takes an audible deep breath). Fine, anything you say sweetie.



                                                           (KEN and SHARON EXIT out the door)



                                                           FIGURE

It isn’t going to end well with one of them tonight.



                                                           TALL MAN

Which one?



                                                           FIGURE

Does it matter?



                                                           (End Scene 2)



                                                           SCENE 3

(The station’s bell rings. Enter KAREN carrying a blue draw string bag. A audible bang is heard. From the cooler door USC, TALL MAN walks out of it rubbing the top of his head. He opens the door to the office and moves in front of the register).



KAREN

Hi Sexy.  How’s tricks?



         TALL MAN

Ain’t that my question?



         KAREN

You’re cute Slim. So…when are you going to let me put a smile on your face?



         TALL MAN

Honey, you put a smile on my face every time you walk through that door. Well, ‘cept maybe when I’m in the cooler. What can I do for ya that won’t cost me twenty?



         KAREN

It’s ten for you darlin’

(Enter FIGURE from the shadows behind the counter)



         FIGURE

Ten? She really likes you. Maybe the other you can use the other ten to get a dose of penicillin?



         KAREN

Count out enough of this for a pack of smokes and give me something solid for the rest of it.  (She empties the bag into the tray. The sound of coins is apparent).



         (TALL MAN scrapes the coins out of the tray and rings the register. The drawer opens. He puts the change in it, pulls out a couple bills and closes the till. He grabs a pack of cigs from the rack and slides them and the bills to KAREN)



KAREN

Find me when you want a smile. (She turns and begins to walk to the door.)



         FIGURE

Tell her to say “Hi” to Jack for you.



         TALL MAN

Tell Jack I said “Hi.”



         KAREN

Sorry Sug(ar), but talkin’ is an extra $10. (KAREN EXIT through the door.)



         FIGURE

And you dated that?



         TALL MAN

Uh huh. She always said she was saving herself for marriage.



         FIGURE

She did. It just wasn’t her marriage. (FIGURE moves towards the desk.) Isn’t it time to finish this? The night is almost through and you’re only half done.



         

         TALL MAN

Is this all you’re good for? Egging me on.



         FIGURE

Don’t flatter yourself. I’ve been quite busy tonight.

(The TALL MAN tries to pickup the quarter from the desk, but is having trouble gripping it)



         FIGURE

Must I tell you everything? Slide off the edge of the desk into your hand. You need a break from this place. If you win, you could head for the tropics for a break. Maybe even take that wife of yours with you.



         TALL MAN

And ruin the vacation? You know me better than that. Besides, once she finds out, she’ll blow half of it on bingo and troll dolls. I’ll be lucky to get a pair of Dockers and a pair of moccasins.



         FIGURE

What is it about you and wanting those damn moccasins? Give it up Daniel Boone.



(TALL MAN bends over and scratches the ticket and straightens back up.)



FIGURE

Three of four, my friend. Now finish it.

( The door opens and the bell rings. ENTER young newly wed couple, holding a $10 bill)



         YOUNG MAN

Are you sure this is what you want to do?



         YOUNG WOMAN

I—I’m sure. It has to win, baby, it just has to.



         YOUNG MAN

It’s the last of the money babe. You decide---a few small tickets or a large one?



         FIGURE

Breaks your heart, doesn’t it? Young, innocent, desperate. Their lives dwindled down to a game of chance. Even if they win they’ll not be the same. Spare them the pain of prolonging the inevitable, sell them the big ticket.



         TALL MAN

The Gold Nugget is $10. You can win up to $25,000.



         YOUNG WOMAN

Are the odds good.

(TALL MAN examines the back of the ticket.)

TALL MAN

It says one of five tickets will at least get you your money back. I’ve sold four tonight and none of them has won.



         FIGURE

You are so good at this, a natural. You even left out the fact that you’ve got three of four 25K boxes on your ticket. Have you ever considered selling Amway?



(YOUNG WOMAN looks towards the YOUNG MAN with pleading, holding her hands as if to be pleading.)



YOUNG MAN

We’ll…we’ll take it. (He hands over the money and is given the ticket.)



         FIGURE

This should be interesting to watch. Keep your hankie handy.



(The couple step closer to the door. They look back, and then quickly EXIT.)



FIGURE

That was disappointing.

         TALL MAN

(Looks at his watch) Damn, I need to finish up in that cooler.

         

         (END SCENE 3)



(TALL MAN emerges from the cooler and walks back behind the counter. ENTER DAVE, the morning guy.)



         TALL MAN

You’re early.



         DAVE

Couldn’t sleep with all the sirens.



         TALL MAN

Sirens? What happened?

         (ENTER FIGURE)

         

         DAVE

A cab crashed into the phone pole on the corner near my apartment.



         

         FIGURE

Interesting. Do you think—could it be?



         TALL MAN

Whose cab?



         DAVE

Ken’s. I overheard the po-po talking bout it. He’s dead and she’s in bad shape. Near as they could figure she tried to strangle him with a dress strap. She mumbled something about him making a move on her.



         FIGURE and TALL MAN

         (together)

And she seemed liked such a nice girl.



         DAVE

Pardon?



         TALL MAN

Nothing.



         DAVE

Well their bad luck and mine is your good luck--



         FIGURE

He can say that again.



         DAVE

--you can take off early, Homes.



         TALL MAN

You gonna count my till?



         DAVE

Yeah, yeah I’ll do the counts, but you’ll owe me.



         TALL MAN

Sweet.



         FIGURE

Don’t forget your ticket.



(TALL MAN slides the ticket off the desk and places it in his shirt pocket.)



         

         TALL MAN

Thanks, man. I’ll name my next kid after you.



         DAVE

Might as well, your last two kids were mine.

         (They laugh. TALL MAN EXITS through the door. FIGURE fades into the scenery behind the counter.)

         

         END SCENE 3



SCENE 4          

(The lights come up showing a street corner. Visible is a damaged phone pole R. Around it can be seen broken glass and a piece of the front fender of a cab. On the ground, lottery tickets, warped to see them better, are visible. ENTER TALL MAN walking slowly from L. FIGURE appears from the shadows near the pole.)



FIGURE

Feel better now? Does seeing this make a difference?



         TALL MAN

You’re still with me? Haven’t you finished with me yet?



         FIGURE

I’ll be finished with you soon as you finish what you began. Scratch the last box.



         TALL MAN

(Reaching in his pocket he pulls the ticket out.) It slipped my mind. (He uses his fingernail to reveal the last box. He smiles.)



         FIGURE

What do you know about that Slim?

         (TALL MAN looks L towards where he came. He then looks at the pole, then at the debris. He looks once again L. ENTER JAY)



         JAY

Some shit, huh Capt’n? Bad luck all around here tonight



         TALL MAN

That it is. (He walks over to JAY and places the ticket in his hand.) Later Sweets. (He exits L.)



         

         JAY

What the f---? I’ll be damned!



         FIGURE

Probably, but first, shall we decide if you’ll be damned as a man or as a woman?



         (Lights off)



         END

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