The Devil You Know- a play- Part 3
The Devil You Know
A play by Tony DeLorger © 2011
The scene opens in Andy’s flat, it is night. He is in his PJ’s brushing his teeth in the bathroom, for the third and final time. When he is finished drying himself thoroughly, he turns off the bathroom light and goes to his bed, firstly turning down his cover and then his sheets. After carefully taking off his slippers and lining them up perfectly at the side of his bed, he climbs in, only to hear voices next door.
Andy- No, not again! (Covering his ears, not wanting to hear any of it)
(Muffled voices next door)
Véga- Where the hell did you get that? (Pointing to the dummy on the floor)
Moose- They were throwing it out, that dress shop down the street.
Tito- It’s a body to practice with. I thought it would help.
Véga- Use your imagination, you’re supposed to be actors.
Andy, unable to maintain his resolve, removes his hands from his ears and moves closer to the wall.
Véga- I don’t want this body hanging around here. Get rid of it. The leg’s nearly off anyway. Just snap the other one and fold it up, put it into one of those big garbage bags. The trash gets picked up tomorrow
Andy- My God, it is true, and it’s too late- they’ve already killed someone.
Andy hears the door open next door and a repetitive thud as the body is dragged down stairs to the trash. He rushes to the window to see Moose and Tito, each with an end of a large garbage bag, take it over and hoist it into a large metal skiff in the lane.
Andy- That’s it! I can’t ignore it. (Rolling over onto the bed, picking up the phone and dialling)
Detective Mason, please. This is urgent! (Pausing)
He can’t go home, this is urgent! All right, I’ll hold. (Pausing again) Detective Mason? It’s Andy Knowles. They’ve done it. I was right, they’ve actually done it. Next door, they’ve murdered someone. I heard them; it was horrible! They broke the legs to get it into a bag and then.. (Pause)
How can I misunderstand that? I saw them dumping the body in the metal skiff down stairs. (Pausing)
No, you have to believe me. I’m not dreaming, I saw it with my own eyes. (Pause) OK. Yes, OK. I’ll be right here in the flat. Please hurry!
Andy hangs up the phone and nervously looks around the flat.
Andy- I wish you were here, Butch. (Sitting all hunched up, waiting anxiously on the bed)
Not long later a car pulls up outside and Andy goes to see who it is. He smiles, seeing that it is indeed Detective Mason and goes to the door, ready to open it. A few moments later there is a knock on the door and Andy quickly unlocks the locks and bolts, letting Mason in. He is holding an old, dilapidated store dummy in his hands.
Detective Mason- (Said sarcastically) Anyone you know?
Andy- I don’t understand?
Detective Mason- This is your dead body, Mr Knowles. I retrieved it from the skiff myself - something I didn’t really need at the end of my day.
Andy- (Hanging his head in confusion) Oh!
Detective Mason- Look Mr Knowles, I should be home with my family right now, not covered in garbage rescuing store dummies. Next time you call me about a murder, you’d better have a dead body- in your arms or you’ll end up being the corpse. Do I make myself clear?
Andy- Ah..yes. I..I’m sorry. I don’t understand. (Now questioning his very sanity)
Detective Mason- Are you on any kind of medication, son?
Pop the odd pill, smoke a joint or two, do you?
Andy- (Said indignantly) No, of course not. I’d never take drugs.
Detective Mason- Perhaps you should give it more consideration. Good night, Mr Knowles.
Andy, completely embarrassed and still confused, closes the door and locks it securely only once, being somewhat preoccupied with what else is going on. He rather mindlessly goes to bed yawning, trying to ignore what’s happening and get some sleep. He climbs into bed and pulls the covers up, then turns off the side lamp and eventually, after tossing and turning for a moment, goes to sleep.
Soon he is in a deep sleep and once again dreams, the image appearing behind him on the wall.
2ND DREAM SEQUENCE
Once again Andy dreams of the hooded group standing in a circle. This time it is outside and pitch black apart from several candles set at strategic points around them. The supposed leader appears to be Rita, who is holding the golden dagger above her head. But this time, as the camera pans down to the bound woman in the middle of the circle, it is Mrs. Biggs. She is awake and gagged, her eyes bulging with fear. The chanting starts as it did in the previous dream and begins to build as Rita steps forward and looks down at Mrs. Biggs, who is now frantically trying to fight against the ropes that bind her. Rita looks coldly down and begins to stab Mrs Biggs repeatedly through the heart, until she is still and the deed is done.
Andy- (As the image fades on the wall he sits bolt upright, screaming) Noo!
My God, Mrs. Biggs! No, hold on, this can’t be happening. Must Listen to Detective Mason, I’m sure he’s right. It was only a dummy, not a body. (Hitting himself in the forehead with the palm of his hand)
I’m so stupid! How could I misunderstand their conversation like that? (Pausing for a moment, looking into the air pensively)
But what if I’m right? Poor Mrs. Biggs could be in danger..now as I sit here. She could be tied up, scared to death. I have to save her; get her away from them.
He kneels on the bed and puts his ear to the wall.
It’s so quiet. What are they doing in there? My, God, by the time they begin the chant, no one could save her.
(Screaming and pounding on the wall)
What are you doing in there? I know you’re doing something. Mrs. Biggs, are you in there, are you OK?
(Collapsing against the wall, feeling frightened and completely helpless, sobbing to himself)
Moments later there is a pounding on his door, and Andy nearly hits the roof, his eyes almost popping out of his head.
Véga- (From outside the door)Open up, you idiot! I’ve had enough of your foolishness! Open the damned door!
Andy, half-scared to death, approaches the door but is too scared to open it.
Véga- I know you’re in there, you can’t escape. Open this damned door, or I’ll break it down!
Andy- (Said sheepishly) No. What will you do to me if I let you in, sacrifice me like you’re going to do to Mrs. Biggs?
Véga- What? Sacrifice? No, that’s the play. I’m not going to hurt you, but you can’t keep doing this- calling the police, blaming us for the death of your cat. Hell, we don’t know you from a bar of soap.
(Trying to allay his fears)
Look, please open the door? Let’s sort this out, talk it through, Andy. That’s your name isn’t it?
Andy takes a deep breath and begins to open the door slowly feeling a little less threatened. As he releases the last bolt..
Andy- (Said softly) Keep this home safe from harm.
The door opens slowly and suddenly Véga, dressed in his dressing gown, bursts through the door and grabs Andy by the throat and leans him half over the lounge chair.
Véga- Listen boy, I don’t know what you’re on, but if you don’t stop calling the police every five minutes and blaming us for everything in your pathetic life, I’m
going to lose my patience. Do you understand?
Andy nods emphatically, unable to utter a word.
Véga- No more phone calls? No more pounding on the walls?
Andy shakes his head, his eyes frozen with fear.
Andy- (As he lets go of his throat) I promise.. I promise.
Véga- (Moving back he straightens his gown) All right then. (Pointing at him threateningly) Not another word!
Véga Turns around and storms out of the room, with Andy closing the door behind him and beginning his door closing ritual, chanting and knocking after each action. As the last bolt is locked he leans forward with his head against the door for a moment.
Andy then goes lethargically to the table and sits down, leaning forward with his arms folded, as if comforting himself, rocking back and forth. He soon stops and looks vacantly down at the table, then eventually lays his head against the table and falls asleep.
Outside the light is changing as if the night is passing, until moments later, the sun begins to rise and Andy is still at the table.
It is the next morning. There is a gentle knock on the door.
Rita- Andy? Wake up sleepy head.
Andy begins to stir, having had a rather bad nights sleep. He looks up at the door.
Rita- Please Andy, it’s just me Rita. I just want to apologise. Open the door?
Andy pulls himself up and staggers to the door and slowly opens up all of the bolts and locks, opening the door.
Rita- (Entering the room) Oh, you poor dear. Haven’t you
slept well? I’m so sorry.
Andy- (Still half-asleep) What do you want?
Rita- I want to apologise for last night. (Sauntering around the room, running her fingers over the lounge chair)
I’m afraid Véga has a bit of a temper, but his bark is much worse than his bite. I really came over to see if there was any way I could make it up to you. Véga will be gone for a few hours this morning and I’m all alone with nothing to do.
Approaching Andy and running her finger seductively over his chest as he backs up, not knowing how to handle this. He suddenly reaches the chair and falls backwards into it, with Rita draped over him.
Rita- There must be something that I can do for you, something that perhaps you don’t get a lot of- Mm?
Andy- (Looking like a stunned rabbit, his face no more than a centimetre from hers) I..I’m.. Well?
Rita- Don’t be shy, Andrew. Let Rita take care of everything. (As she starts to unbutton his pyjama top)
Suddenly there is a sound outside the door and then you can hear Rita’s flat door opening.
Véga- (From next door)Rita? Where are you?
Rita- Shit! What’s he doing home? My God, he’ll kill me (Looking to Andy) and you.
She springs to her feet, but is startled by a loud knock on Andy’s door. It’s Véga.
Véga- (From outside the door) Rita, are you in there?
Rita- (Frantic, running around in circles) Shit!!
Andy- (Said softly and pointing) The bathroom.
Rita rushes to the bathroom and closes the door behind her, while Andy goes to the door.
I’m coming! (Going to the door and nervously opening
all of the bolts and locks)
Véga- (Bursting in) Where is she? I know she’s here. (Frantically looking around the room and seeing the bathroom door ajar)
I warned you, didn’t I? (Storming over and sliding the bathroom door open)
Rita- (Brushing past him) All right, I’m here apologising for your behaviour, if you must know.
Véga- (Turning toward her, fuming) Why do I find that hard to believe? Go on get home, I’m so sick of this embarrassment.
Rita- You have to suffer embarrassment? Give me strength!
(Storming out of the room, returning to her flat)
Véga walks over to Andy and looks at him angrily.
Véga- I’ll deal with you later! (Storming out after Rita)
Andy shuts the door, but doesn’t lock anything, feeling his fate already set in concrete, having given up on everything. He walks over and slumps down into his chair, shaking his head in disbelief.
The stage lights slowly dim and the curtain comes down on Act 2, Scene 1.
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