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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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