Death by Fancy

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Death by Fancy

Post by CluedoKid » Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:35 am

DEATH by Fancy
A one-act tragedy by Matthew D. Chapman






CAST

Mrs. Janice Tanner
Mr. Charles Tanner
Mr. Louis Rose
Dr. Diane Dragon
Nurse Nancy Schneider
Lt. Richard Head
Sgt. Frank Carlson
John Nasty










SCENE 1

(The Drawing Room of the Tanner home is an immaculate appointed with tasteful period furniture and with the slight cluttering of antique brick-a-bracks. Mrs. Janice Tanner is dressed in a comfort sweater, stretch pants and a bit of jewelry. Her husband Charles descends the stairs into the room joining her. He has thrown on a blue housecoat and he has yet to shower and shave.)
CHARLES: *yawns* Did you leave the garbage open, Jan?
(Janice lowers her coffee)
JANICE: What do you mean, ‘leave the garbage open?’
CHARLES: It smells putrid!
(She huffs and glares)
CHARLES: Do you know what it is?
JANICE: Do I have to tell you?
CHARLES: Sure.
JANICE: *fuming* I farted.
CHARLES: That was a rotten one, hun.
JANICE: Charles…
(He pauses and looks amused at her.)
JANICE: Don’t embarrass me like that!
CHARLES: Why would you be embarrassed?
JANICE: Because you are being so forward about it.
(He laughs callously as the phone rings. Janice gets up to answer.)
JANICE: Hi…is that you Louis?
(She pauses as Charles looks over.)
JANICE: Well how did that happen? (pause) God damn Louis! At least, I think you know what to say to her, so I don’t see why you need to bother me at 7 in the morning about it. (drops the phone on the receiver.)
JANICE: I need to leave…right this minute.
CHARLES: *bemused* Hmm. (He sips his own coffee, while standing by the window.

SCENE 2
(Janice works at an antique store filled with all sorts of whimsical nick-knacks. Her partner, Mr. Rose is a flustered assistant who paces back and forth in front of the cashier counter. )
JANICE: Is she here?
LOUIS: Yes. (He points to a stout woman at the counter.)
JANICE: Mrs. Schneider? Nancy?
NANCY: M-hmm.
JANICE: So, we are not sure at this particular moment why your Tiffany lamps got damaged….however on behalf of myself, Mr. Rose and this store, we sincerely apologize. I especially apologize, and I will promptly reimburse you.
NANCY: It’s especially worse, those lamps in particular. Those were late-Victorian lamps; stained-glass and leaded. It’s a terrible loss. These are two…priceless antiquities now victims of carelessness.
JANICE: *heartfelt* I know.
LOUIS: Um, there’s plenty more lamps from that period in the back. Eh, just arrived last week, y’know!
JANICE: Oh, bring them out.
LOUIS: Yes, of course.
(He turns to leave.)
JANICE: *calling* Oh Louis, did you hear back from the UPS store about the cause for the damaged lamps?
LOUIS: No. Not yet.
NANCY: Y’know, it’s going to be hard to find lamps such as those that were both economically sound for my budget, and blended tastefully with my décor.
(Mr. Rose returns with a box.)
LOUIS: Ohhhh…let’s not get our hopes up yet Mrs. Schneider. Let’s see here…
(He pulls out a brass table-lamp with a stain-glass shade.)
LOUIS: This real beaut. Pure Victoriana.
NANCY: Hmm. Hmm. I really don’t have time to look right now.
JANICE: Once again, I’m really sorry about all this.
NANCY: Well, I’ll try again, but I know what ever I get won’t be the same as those two lamps I first saw!
(She leaves.)

SCENE 3
(Still in the store…Janice and Louis are reeling from Mrs. Schneider’s visit.)
JANICE: This is unbelievable, you know that Louis?
(Louis smiles reassuringly)
LOUIS: Oh now, don’t you worry Janie. It’s not as bad as it seems.
(He walks over and places his hand on her shoulder.)
LOUIS: How about a drink?
JANICE: It’s 10 am. That’s sounds like something Charles would do.
LOUIS: I didn’t mean an alcoholic drink. I was going to stop for a minute at Jack’s and buy some ginger-ale.
JANICE: *resigned* Sure, why not.
LOUIS: I’ll be back.
(He gets up to leave and ask he starts walking…)
JANICE: Louis!?
LOUIS: Yes.
JANICE: Who is Nancy Schneider? I’m just curious.
LOUIS: Oh…let me think now.
JANICE: I’m wondering where I know her from before…
LOUIS: She’s a nurse.
JANICE: Yeah?
LOUIS: Down at St. Joe’s.
JANICE: Oh, I never go to the hospital.
LOUIS: Then where might you know her now?
JANICE: *bored* Dunno. Anyway, go get some ginger-ale…and afterwards…
LOUIS: Yes?
JANICE: Could you come by to-night? Say, around 8:30?
LOUIS: Sure, why not? I have a cat to feed, but she won’t hold me prisoner the whole night.


SCENE 4

(A clock chimes its back at the glowing Tanner home. Janice and Charles have just sat down to dinner with some light generic jazz soothing in the background on their stereo.)
CHARLES: So this client I have, John Nasty…
JANICE: Is his name really *John Nasty*?
CHARLES: Yes, it is.
JANICE: That’s really unfortunate for him.
CHARLES: Well what’s ironic is that he isn’t nasty at all. Oh and his wife, who is this really nice woman, served us this gargantuan lunch. Oh the lasagna was just…*makes a lip-smacking sound* And so we had a nice dinner….and went over the proposal for Friday.
JANICE: Oh…the Wellin & Bondtrough thingie?
CHARLES: No. Wellin & Bondtrough went under last month. Hehe. Get a clue Jan.
JANICE: *glares* Oh right.
CHARLES: No, we’re now looking into real estate.
(door bell rings)
CHARLES: Jesus, not at dinnertime.
JANICE: Shall I get it? I think I know who it is…
(He ignores her and gets up from his seat. He opens the door. It’s Louis.)
CHARLES: Oh hey! How are you Mr. Rose?
LOUIS: Very fine, my good sir. The weather this evening is just…right.
(Janice approaches him.)
JANICE: Hi Louis. You can hang your jacket over there.
(He removes his jacket and hangs it.)
LOUIS: I hope I didn’t intrude on your dinner. I’m an early bird as you know.
JANICE: It’s fine Louis; really. Are you hungry at all? We still have lots of extra chicken that we won’t finish tonight.
LOUIS: Well…no. I’m not particularly hungry. I thought we could grab a coffee afterwards.
JANICE: Well could we finish dinner first?
LOUIS: Of course.
Last edited by CluedoKid on Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:54 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by CluedoKid » Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:09 am

SCENE 5
(Janice, Charles and Louis have returned to the dinner table to finish the meal…Charles offers some wine.)
CHARLES: We’re having a Henry of Pelham tonight.
LOUIS: Oh, now that stuff’s plunk.
CHARLES: Well we are trying to use up the cheaper stuff.
LOUIS: Cheap is right!
CHARLES: Well it’s nothing like that swish we had at Tim’s.
LOUIS: Hehe.
(They sit back and enjoy life. Louis notices the lamps in the other rooms.)
LOUIS: Janice, now let me draw your attention to those two lamps in your living room. Wouldn’t you say they look almost like the ones that got damaged?
CHARLES: Yes, I bought those. They went with the curtains.
JANICE: Actually, I was going to show you exactly that. I thought they looked exactly like Mrs. Schneider’s lamps…even better in fact.
LOUIS: I think they could be worth more. If you’re going to give them to her, I’d raise the price.
JANICE: By how much?
LOUIS: I’d like to look at them first.
(Charles gives a double-take.)
CHARLES: Hey! Don’t touch my lamps!
JANICE: Well it was just a thought.
LOUIS: Maybe we can work something out.
CHARLES: Well no! I love those lamps!
JANICE: Well it would be thoughtful if we did give her a decent replacement for the sake of our reputation!
CHARLES: Well…what happened to the other ones?
JANICE: I told you already.
CHARLES: Tell me again.
JANICE: *sighs* The UPS had an accident while shipping them and they arrived broken.
CHARLES: Well…sue ‘em!
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Post by CluedoKid » Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:30 am

SCENE 6
(Janice and Louis are about to leave for some coffee. Little do they realize it will be their last time seeing Charles…)
(Charles waits at the doorway as they prepare to leave.)
LOUIS: Well Charles, I hate to be leaving you here all by your lonesome.
JANICE: Unless you want to join us, dear?
CHARLES: Why would I want to come? If I want coffee I could just make it myself. It’s probably better here anyway.
JANICE: Then you’re just going to be drinking coffee all by yourself?
CHARLES: Well no, I was suggesting hypothetically if I was going to drink coffee. If! I said if!
LOUIS: Well….see you later.
JANICE: See ya Charles.
(They leave.)
(Charles opens the door a second time.)
CHARLES: Oh, and I don’t go talking about selling my lamps! Those lamps stay. I love my house just the way it is!
(He slams the door.)
(Charles goes into the Kitchen to pour himself some whiskey, just as the phone rings. He answers.)
CHARLES: Yello? Mr. Nasty..er..John? What’s up?
JOHN: Charles, Donna found your proposal in the hall. Want to come pick it up first thing in the morning?
CHARLES: Yeah….I could do that.
JOHN: Unless of course, you don’t want to leave your cosy bed. I’m perfectly capable of delivering it for you instead.
CHARLES: Very gracious of you to offer John.
JOHN: Charles?
(John steps out.)
CHARLES: Yes John?
JOHN: Put down the phone. I’m already here.
CHARLES: Where?
JOHN: Behind you.

SCENE 7

(John Nasty has just paid a surprise visit to Charles in his living room.)
CHARLES: Oh heh heh heh heh heh heh! (Laughs uncontrollably and drops the phone…but not his whiskey) That was…that was good!
JOHN: Charles…
CHARLES: (wipes a tear) Yeah John?
JOHN: Tonight…is a special night. This is a very special hour.
CHARLES: Well it’s 9:45 Mr. Nasty.
JOHN: Charles? Do you know where you wife is?
CHARLES: Oh…fuck. She’s been gone for two hours!
JOHN: She’s having intercourse with Mr. Rose right now.
(The clock starts ticking rapidly.)
JOHN: I can see that my news would upset you…I do understand.
CHARLES: No…no… (Downs his drink)…I thought so all along.
JOHN: *sharply* Don’t let her make an ignorant cuckold of you. Now is the perfect time to consummate your relationship with your beautiful home.
(John solemnly walks away, as a waltz begins)
CHARLES: *tearily eyed* I…love my house!
HOUSE: Look at me Charles.
(A harp begins to play.)
HOUSE: Look at me…I’m so fancy. Look at the curtains!
(The curtains begin to sway back and forth)
CURTAINS: Fancy! Fancy! Appointed in luxurious supreme! We are the cosy…curtains! Fancy! Fancy! Look at us!
CHARLES: Fuck! You’re all just too fucking fancy!
(He rushes over to feel the curtains. They snake along his body...tightening the pulls around him.)
CURTAINS: Fancy! Fancy! FANCY! FANCY! FANCY! FANCY!
CHARLES: WAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! ACK! GACK!
(With a final tightening…Charles explodes in a geyser of blood.)
Last edited by CluedoKid on Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by CluedoKid » Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:53 am

SCENE 8
(The next day, Det. Head and Sgt. Carlson have arrived at the Tanner home to deal with the aftermath.)
CARLSON: This is completely fucked, y’know Dick? I feel bad for the lady though.
HEAD: For all we know, she could be the one who killed him.
CARLSON: Don’t be a penis-pump. She was out having coffee with that man! See? There he is right there…
(Louis approaches the officers.)
CARLSON: I’m sorry sir, but you can’t go inside.
LOUIS: I…I see.
CARLSON: Hey but, how’s the wife doing?
LOUIS: She’s still at St. Joes. She…hit her head hard when she fainted. She had a concussion...and I don’t know really.
HEAD: Are you Mr. Rose?
LOUIS: Yes.
HEAD: I’m Detective Richard Head and I’m presiding over this investigation. Apparently you’re a material witness for Mrs. Tanner’s alibi?
LOUIS: I never left her side.
HEAD: I see. Is there anything you need?
LOUIS: Just…a few things I wanted to retrieve from the house.
CARLSON: Well listen, we can’t let anyone in because we’ve got a pulverized body of your friend in the living room…if you could call it a body. He’s crushed beyond recognition.
LOUIS: Oh my God.
HEAD: Yeah. We can’t have anyone contaminating the crime scene.
LOUIS: I also came to retrieve some medication for Charles Tanner’s wife. It’s prescribed medication.
HEAD: Did Mrs. Tanner suffer any mental or physical illness?
LOUIS: She always had terrible migraines.
CARLSON: Are the meds on her bedside?
LOUIS: I think so. Just bring all the bottles out.
(Carlson hurries inside and for the first time we see the gruesome sight. The silence rings out as Carlson hurries…careful not to look at Charles.)
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Post by alwaysPeacock » Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:05 am

...strangely enough...I like it. It reminds me of something David Ives or Christopher Durang would write, especially the "fancy curtains" scene. I look forward to seeing where this story goes.

BTW: have you heard of Script Frenzy? It seems like something you might enjoy.
"But look what happened to the cook!"

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Post by CluedoKid » Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:40 am

Thanks! Glad you like it! Also, no I haven't heard of script frenzy. I'll look at it tomorrow. I pushed an all-nighter to get this done.
Last edited by CluedoKid on Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by CluedoKid » Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:40 am

SCENE 9
(Janice is in the hospital ward, being attended to by Dr. Diane Dragon. Janice has finally snapped awake...not used to the loud sounds of a hospital.)
JANICE: Oh.
DR. DRAGON: Hi Mrs. Tanner! Are you feeling good?
JANICE: Yes, and I feel fine. I think I’ll go home.
DR. DRAGON: Do you remember what happened last night?
JANICE: Yes.
DR. DRAGON: Then you know that your house has now taken over by…police officers.
JANICE: To remove the…meat?
DR. DRAGON: No. They are removing your husband’s body.
JANICE: Charles isn’t dead. He went to bed, sure, but he isn’t dead. By the time we got back somebody had broken in and dropped meat all over the place…and wrecked the curtains. I can’t believe it. I really can’t.
DR. DRAGON: Actually…that wasn’t meat, per se. That was actually your husband.
JANICE: Fuck…you! I don’t care if you’re a doc…
(Dr. Dragon covers Janice’s mouth with her hand.)
DR. DRAGON: I want to express my deepest condolences for your terrible loss. I can’t imagine what you must be going through. Also, I need to catch a dental seminar, so I’m leaving one of my nurses in charge. Don’t worry. She’s really nice.
(Dr. Dragon hurries out of the room as Nurse Schneider enters.)
NANCY: When I heard you checked in, I took it upon myself to take the shift for your ward.
(Janice doesn’t listen, she is sobbing uncontrollably.)
JANICE: He’s dead! He’s dead! Gone! Oh God…that was him!
NANCY: Don’t cry now Ms. Tanner. It’s not as it seems.
JANICE: What do you know?
NANCY: I only know as much as a woman my age has experienced. But I do know this....there is a realm…different from the one you are much accustomed too. Remember the banality of yesterday when I insisted for those lamps?
(Janice sniffles.)
NANCY: You see…at that very moment, another horrific realm possessed this world. We just didn’t notice it. This is the shadow realm. It is real, my dear. I very much wish it weren’t so….Oh…how I wish it weren’t so.

SCENE 10
(Finally, Nurse Schneider reveals the horrific truth to Janice. The world as she knows it…is over.)
NANCY: Janice, please listen to me.
(Janice stares at her blankly.)
NANCY: Mr. Louis Rose is dead.
JANICE: How do you know?
NANCY: Because his good-manners imploded in on himself. He died in the shadow realm…screaming in the pain of his gentlemanliness.
JANICE: Then…I have no one left! I have no one in this degrading world!
NANCY: Well my dear. You can still have them…in the shadow realm.
(Charles and Louis appear before her elongated skeletons on stilts. The lights in the hospital flicker and go out for good.)
CHARLES and LOUIS: Down! Down! Down! Go down the hall! Hall! HALL! HALL!
(Janice jumps out of her bed.)
NANCY: You must go down the hall, girly!
(Nancy pulls back her hands…now bloody stumps replaced with…two flickering Tiffany lamps!)
JANICE: Don’t come near me!
(Nancy doesn’t listen. She swings the lamps wildly, attempting to bludgeon Janice.)
CHARLES and LOUIS: Down bum down! Down bum down! Go…down…the…HALL!
CURTAINS: HAAAAAAAARK!!! FANCY!
(The curtains twist around as demonic sisters, singing like strangled Harpies.)
CHARLES, LOUIS, NANCY and CURTAINS: Bum BUM! De Bum… FANCY! Bum BUM! De Bum… FANCY! Bum BUM! De Bum… FANCY!
(Janice stands frozen as the quintet approach her menacingly. Nancy is in the lead, swinging the lamps wildly.)
JANICE: The shadow realm is a LIE!
(She rips one of the Tiffany lamps from Nancy’s arm and smacked Nancy in the head…with a THWACK!)
(Nancy falls.)
(The lights flicker back on. It is just Janice standing over a dead Nancy. The silence rings out…)
FIN.
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alwaysPeacock
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Post by alwaysPeacock » Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:47 am

Yep. Very David Ives. Out of curiosity, is there some deeper meaning to any of it, or did the idea just pop into your head, leading you to write it down?

(I'm being one of those damned annoying actors who has to know everything about every script. Forgive the insanity) :mrgreen:
"But look what happened to the cook!"

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Post by Kristev » Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:48 pm

Script Frenzy. Thank you.

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Post by CluedoKid » Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:54 pm

alwaysPeacock wrote:Yep. Very David Ives. Out of curiosity, is there some deeper meaning to any of it, or did the idea just pop into your head, leading you to write it down?

(I'm being one of those damned annoying actors who has to know everything about every script. Forgive the insanity) :mrgreen:

I was ripped out of my mind while at a friend's place and suddenly, the idea of curtains coming to life and committing murder struck my mind. The sensation of how it would feel because very vivid. I pictured such a violent act would be set to a violin. Ever since, I've been facinated with the concept of getting killed by elegance. Just as well, Titanic has resurfaced as a topic of interest because of luxious apperences becoming a deadly trap when over-taken by ocean. Funny how the third class are only permitted into first class once it becomes unsafe and they perish surrounded by finery.

I think it's a common dream for many to earn enough money so they could afford the most exquiste country manor and I could only imagine how such rich settings, combined with the isolation would metaphorically...kill the soul.
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Post by alwaysPeacock » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:23 am

:lol: I had to look up "ripped" on Urban Dictionary.

But that definitely explains the surrealism of the curtains and the final scene!

Kristev: Good luck to you with the Frenzy!
"But look what happened to the cook!"

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Post by MissScarletDidntDoIt » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:45 pm

Well that was interesting. In a good way! I enjoyed it very much, and I really like your quirky fast-paced writing style.
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Post by Black » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:28 pm

Out of interest, Cluedokid.

Does the D. stand for David?

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Post by CluedoKid » Sat Mar 27, 2010 12:22 am

Black wrote:Out of interest, Cluedokid.

Does the D. stand for David?

Zat is twue!

Where on the site did you learn that? C'mon, I know your not psychic.
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Post by Black » Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:43 am

A hunch..

David is my middle name as well

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