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Krieger's Girlfriend

On Feb 27, 2015, I was writing for the 14/48 Festival, with a random actor draw of four men and a theme of "Rotten To The Core." The first play I wrote that night wasn't right for the festival - it's more of a sketch than a real play - but it cracked me up while I was writing it and I wanted to preserve it here even though it was never produced. (I wound up submitting "Krieger's Dilemma" instead.)

Lights up on what appears to be a woman tied to a chair, her back to the audience, wearing a 40s style dress, short blonde wig, underneath a harsh light from above. Two men in shirts & ties, Jackson & Ripley, hover nearby; we are joining an interrogation in progress.

JACKSON: I don't think you understand your situation. Nobody's gonna rescue you.

RIPLEY: Tell us where Krieger hid the jewels. Or your world's gonna get real ugly, pretty lady.

JACKSON: You better talk before Weaver gets here, let me tell you.

RIPLEY: You won't be sitting so pretty when Weaver gets here.

JACKSON: Weaver always gets what he wants, you understand me?

RIPLEY: He don't care what happens to you. All he cares about is the jewels.

Weaver enters in a slick suit.

WEAVER: What the hell's going on?

JACKSON: We're interrogating Krieger's girlfriend.

RIPLEY: She won't talk. She won't talk to us anyways. Figure you might have more luck.

JACKSON: Yeah, we saved her for you, Boss.

RIPLEY: Haven't touched her yet. She's all yours.

JACKSON: Y'hear that, sweetheart? Weaver's here for you, ahead of schedule even.

RIPLEY: Your world's about to get real ugly, pretty lady, just like I said.

Weaver takes a long hard look at the woman.

WEAVER: She hasn't talked because she's a mannequin.

Long pause.

JACKSON: That's Krieger's girlfriend.

RIPLEY: We're interrogating Krieger's girlfriend.

WEAVER: You're interrogating a mannequin.

Jackson & Ripley take a much closer look at the woman, who is indeed a mannequin.

JACKSON: Ohhhhh, I see it now.

RIPLEY: She's so lifelike, anybody could get confused really.

WEAVER: I told Krieger to come here, with the jewels, because I said we kidnapped his girlfriend. Instead... you morons kidnapped a mannequin. You clearly just - I mean, that's not even kidnapping, it's like, petty theft.

JACKSON: Maybe... could be grand theft.

RIPLEY: That dress could be very expensive.

A huge booming knock on the door. Jackson & Ripley draw snub-nosed pistols; Weaver remains cool. Krieger enters, wearing a suit underneath a long overcoat or trenchcoat. Krieger and Weaver eye each other warily. Jackson & Ripley circle to flank Krieger, Ripley keeping him covered as Jackson pats him down.

WEAVER: Krieger.

KRIEGER: Weaver.

JACKSON: No weapons on him, Boss... and no jewels, either.

RIPLEY: You got a lot of nerve, coming here empty handed.

KRIEGER: I want to see her first. If you've hurt so much as a hair on her head... Baby, is that you? Are they treating you rough? Can I talk to her, Weaver?

WEAVER: No, you can't talk to her. Because she's a mannequin. She's obviously a mannequin.

JACKSON: To be fair - wasn't super obvious from a distance.

RIPLEY: She looked pretty classy from a distance.

KRIEGER: Of course she's classy! What do you take me for - a common thug like you mongrels?

WEAVER: I took you for someone who dates human beings.

KRIEGER: Don't judge me.

WEAVER: Are you dating this mannequin?

KRIEGER: I am.

WEAVER: Then I am judging the fuck out of you.

JACKSON: Anyway, there’s your girlfriend, Krieger, safe and sound.

RIPLEY: Now it's your turn for show and tell. Cough up the jewels, and we’ll forgive and forget.

KRIEGER: Oh, I’m prepared for show and tell, gentlemen. If I may? He slowly reaches into his coat, and pulls out a manilla envelope. You thought your secret was safe, but I found her, Weaver. I found your secret mistress. He pulls out a set of black and white photographs from the envelope, which Jackson & Ripley can see. I found her… and now I have her.

JACKSON: Boss - you shoulda told us you had a mistress!

RIPLEY: How can we protect her if you keep her a secret from us?

Weaver snatches the photos from Krieger, looks up at Krieger in disbelief.

WEAVER: This is a microwave oven. Flipping through them: These are all photos of a microwave oven.

KRIEGER: Yes, and as you can clearly see, I’ve placed silverware inside of her.

JACKSON: You monster!

RIPLEY: You wouldn’t dare!

WEAVER: This microwave oven is not my mistress. Throws the photos to the floor. She was just a fling. I don’t care what happens to her.

KRIEGER: You’re bluffing. You couldn’t walk away from that tight little 1200 watt package.

WEAVER: Tough luck, Krieger. Throw her in the dump for all I care.

JACKSON: Oh, you can recycle microwaves!

RIPLEY: Only if they’re metal.

KRIEGER: She’s brushed steel actually-

WEAVER: I want my jewels, Krieger, or your girlfriend suffers!

KRIEGER: Leave her out of it! She’s innocent!

Weaver heaves and rips one of the mannequin’s arms off. Krieger lets loose a horrible shriek and tries to rush Weaver, but Jackson & Ripley hold him back and push him to his knees. Weaver makes a big show of massaging himself all over with the arm as Krieger wails, and Jackson & Ripley cackle. Finally, Weaver prepares to use the arm as a baseball bat to take a big swing at the mannequin’s head. Just as he is about to follow through, Krieger stops him.

KRIEGER: Wait! I’ll give you the jewels! Just - let me talk to her first.

Weaver nods, and Jackson & Ripley release Krieger. Krieger slowly crosses to the mannequin, Jackson & Ripley following closely behind.

KRIEGER: I’m so sorry, sweetheart. I thought we could escape this god forsaken town. Our dreams will have to wait. You were so brave to keep our secret, but - I need to give these men the jewels you’re hiding inside of you.

WEAVER: Inside of her?

Weaver drops the arm. He rushes to the mannequin, about to grab its head and twist it off - when Krieger stops him with a vicious hiss:

KRIEGER: You’ll kill her!

Krieger reaches underneath the mannequin’s dress.

WEAVER: What are you doing?

KRIEGER: I carved a hole so that I could-

WEAVER: Do not answer that question.

Weaver spins to face Jackson and Ripley, hoping to make small talk as Krieger fishes around inside the mannequin.

JACKSON: So, uhh… what’s it like fucking a microwave, Boss?

RIPLEY: Yeah, that’s a real big aperture, ain’t it? How’s that work?

WEAVER: We mostly preferred to cuddle.

KRIEGER: Aha!

Krieger pulls out a bag which we presume contains jewels. With ceremony, he hands the bag to Weaver.

KRIEGER: You have what you want. Now please… let me take her home.

WEAVER: Sorry, Krieger. Can’t let word get out you double crossed me and got away with it.

Weaver produces a knife and stabs Krieger suddenly in the stomach. Krieger collapses and dies. Jackson & Ripley drag him off stage. Weaver turns to the mannequin, perhaps tries to re-attach the arm as he speaks.

WEAVER: Just like we planned it, baby… Krieger gets rid of that microwave oven for me, I get rid of Krieger for you, we take the jewels and escape this god forsaken town. Pause. No, I swear I never loved her. She’s just very clingy.

LIGHTS OUT.



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