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Midnight, Hotel Mystery Groove

Part Two

2. INT. HOTEL LOBBY. MORNING

Middle-aged MAN and WOMAN, WALTER and PEGGY STAMP, stride somewhat purposefully through an incredibly dingy lobby, past a couple of OLD MEN sitting and staring, past the terribly tacky lobby furniture and up to the battered front desk. The OWNER watches them passively as they come up, not moving nor particularly getting excited about their arrival. They, however, both seem quite anxious about something.

WALTER
Excuse me, do you have a guest by the name of Jessica Stamp?

PEGGY
It wouldn't be under Jessica's name, silly.

WALTER
Right, not Jessica, a guest by the name of Thomas... Thomas, what's his last name, is it--

PEGGY
It's Hill. Thomas Hill.

WALTER
Thomas Hill. Do you have a guest by the name of Thomas Hill?

OWNER
Who?

WALTER
Thomas Hill. He would have checked in late last night.

OWNER
Thomas Hill, checkin' in late last night?

PEGGY
Did he check in? Do you have a book you can check?

OWNER
No, I remember. Late last night?

3. INT. HOTEL LOBBY. EVENING.

POV shot from the front desk, we see a car pull up and screech to a halt right before the front doors. The MAN from the first scene - THOMAS - climbs out the driver's side, runs around to the passenger side, and flings open the door. He reaches inside and grabs the WOMAN from the first scene - JESSICA - and pulls her out of the car and throws her over his shoulder. Her hands are tied behind her back, her feet are tied together, and she is gagged and struggling furiously, but he carries her handily into the lobby, past the two OLD MEN, straight up to the front desk, where the OWNER stands.

OWNER (voiceover)
Only one fella checked in last night. Strange fella.

THOMAS
You got any rooms for tonight?

OWNER (fairly expressionless)
Uh huh.

THOMAS
Great. Can I have one?

OWNER
Single or double?

THOMAS
Doesn't matter.

OWNER
Smoking or non smoking?

THOMAS
Doesn't matter.

OWNER
They're all smoking.

THOMAS
That's great.

OWNER
Sign the book.

THOMAS transfers JESSICA to his other shoulder, she struggling the whole while, and grabs the pen with his right hand and signs the book.

THOMAS
Key?

OWNER
Nineteen bucks.

THOMAS
Uh, right.

He sets JESSICA down on the counter in order to fish out money from his wallet. The OWNER and JESSICA trade glances - she furious, he nonplused.

THOMAS (as he fishes money out)
I'm sure this looks pretty strange...

OWNER
I didn't see nothing.

THOMAS
I have to gag her for her own good.

OWNER
Uh huh.

THOMAS
Mine too. She's a wild one.

OWNER
They're all wild ones. Just keep it down up there, pal.

THOMAS throws down nineteen bucks on the counter and picks JESSICA back up. The OWNER grabs a key from the wall behind him and sets it on the counter.

OWNER
223. It's upstairs.

THOMAS
Thanks.

OWNER
There's no room service.

THOMAS (as he grabs the key and starts off)
That's okay.

OWNER
Telephone calls are extra.

THOMAS (out of shot)
Thank you!

The OWNER watches them leave, still fairly expressionless.

4. INT. HOTEL LOBBY. MORNING.

WALTER and PEGGY seem mortified.

WALTER
What room are they in?

OWNER
Oh, I can't tell you that, sir. Privacy, you know?

WALTER
Can you call up there and tell them we're here? They're expecting us.

OWNER
Sure, sure. Cost you a dollar.

WALTER
What?

OWNER
Cost you a dollar for me to call up there. Service charge.

WALTER
What the hell kind of service charge is this? I'm here to see one of your guests! They're expecting me!

OWNER
And I'm saying, it costs a dollar.

PEGGY
Walter, it's just a dollar.

WALTER
It's the principle of the thing, Peggy! What kind of hotel charges a dollar to call a guest?

OWNER
This kind.

WALTER
Listen, mister, if I walked across the street and called here from a pay phone, how would you charge me a dollar?

OWNER
I wouldn't. I'd charge him a dollar.

PEGGY throws a dollar down on the desk. WALTER scoops it up.

PEGGY
Walter!

WALTER
We're going across the street.

PEGGY
Our daughter is upstairs, Walter!

WALTER
She can wait two minutes while we go across the goddamn street! (to OWNER) I'm watching you, mister.

OWNER
Look at me. I'm shaking.

WALTER storms off, and PEGGY follows reluctantly.


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