A BRIEFCASE

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THE SETTING IS IN A BAR. THERE IS A BARTENDER BEHIND THE BAR AND A MAN AT THE BAR DRINKING. A WOMAN WALKS IN WITH A BRIEFCASE AND SITS DOWN NEXT TO THE MAN AT THE BAR. SHE PLACES THE BRIEFCASE ON THE FLOOR NEXT TO HER STOOL.

MRS PEACOCK
Double scotch on the rocks please.

BARTENDER
Yes ma’am.

PROFESSOR PLUM
So do you come here often?

MRS PEACOCK
Only when the scenery is good.

PROFESSOR PLUM
Are you any good at billiards?

MRS PEACOCK
Yes, amongst other things.

BARTENDER
Here is your drink ma’am.

MRS PEACOCK
Thank you very much.

PROFESSOR PLUM
After you.

Prof Plum motions for Mrs Peacock to walk ahead of him towards the pool area. Mrs Peacock picks up her drink and briefcase and walks over to the billiard table at the far end of the room.

PROFESSOR PLUM
Well, you are bit tardy for such a serious rendezvous.

MRS PEACOCK
Well I am sorry Professor Plum, but there was a little problem in the observatory upon my departure.

PROFESSOR PLUM
I am so sorry to hear that. Everything turned out alright I hope?

MRS PEACOCK
Yes, yes. Little bit of a mess to clean up but everything was taken care of quite nicely.

PROFESSOR PLUM
And I assume that you have brought what we discussed?

MRS PEACOCK
Why of course old man. I didn’t just come here to beat you at billiards.

PROFESSOR PLUM
Hahaha. Well shall we play a game while we wait for the others to arrive?

MRS PEACOCK
Rack them up if you will.

Professor Plum racks up in the middle of the table and Mrs Peacock picks out a stick.

PROFESSOR PLUM
So Mrs. Peacock, please refresh me on status of our current situation.

MRS PEACOCK
Well Professor, the situation right now is a bit unclear. Our party was told to meet here at this location because something was going to happen tonight and this briefcase is the only clue we have as to what. We were given strict orders to all come separately and not to open the briefcase until all were present.

PROFESSOR PLUM
Even so none of us could open the briefcase otherwise since each of us were given a separate part of the 3 digit code.

MRS PEACOCK
Precisely. Ah ha. Another one of our guests just arrived.
A tall woman with dark hair enters the bar and spots the couple

PROFESSOR PLUM
Excellent, Ms Scarlet is here.

MS SCARLET
Good evening Mrs Peacock. Professor Plum. How are we all this evening?

PROFESSOR PLUM
Fine dear, just fine. I am sure that you found the place alright?

MS SCARLET
Yes the cab driver knew exactly where I was talking about.

MRS PEACOCK
So good to hear dear. Did you bring your part of the code?

MS SCARLET
Yes I did but I don’t understand why all of us were called here and what exactly is going on

MRS PEACOCK
None of us really do. All we know is that this briefcase is going to tell us everything. Since everyone is now here why don’t we just go ahead and sit at a table and discuss a few things before we get started.

PROFESSOR PLUM
That sounds like an excellent idea Mrs. Peacock.

All three move away from the billiard table with the briefcase and chose a table.

MRS PEACOCK
Now, who would like to start? Maybe if we all recount our stories we can piece some things together before we try to open this briefcase.

MS SCARLET
Well, I guess that I will start. I am student at Washington College where I am an anthropology major and studying the ancient civilizations.

PROFESSOR PLUM
As you both already know I am a Professor at Washington College where I teach the anthropology. I specialize in the Catooki people. I have yet to have Ms Scarlet in my class yet I know her through the department.

MRS PEACOCK
Lastly, there is myself. I am the research assistant for the department in which both of you are a part of. Interesting facts I must say. So, we all know what we have in common - anthropology, yet none of us have really met before. What is unique about each situation?

PROFESSOR PLUM
Well my situation started about a week ago. We had just started the chapter on the Catookie people and were beginning to discuss their death rituals.

MRS PEACOCK
That is ghastly!

MS SCARLET
And I was starting a paper for one of my classes.

MRS PEACOCK
I was researching all that week with a friend.

PROFESSOR PLUM
I remember the main topic of discussion for my lecture was the practice of bringing people back from the dead. The Catooki people are well known for this.

MRS PEACOCK
Are you serious? I think that is a bit horrid don’t you?

MS SCARLET
No, I have heard about this from some of my friends in your class Professor. Its quite amazing Mrs Peacock.

PROFESSOR PLUM
I must agree with Ms Scarlet. I have been studying them for years. We have found manuscripts with the formula written on it and even first hand accounts written at the time about resurrections.

MRS PEACOCK
That seems like utter nonsense to me.

MS SCARLET
Some do think so but others are trying to figure out the formula and have been attempting to for ages.

MRS PEACOCK
How well known is this? I mean why haven’t I heard about it?

PROFESSOR PLUM
Its not something that we enthusiasts like to throw around. I would say a few dozen or so have actually seen the text. More people are in the general know.

MS SCARLET
Yeah now there is a huge debate about whether keeping the search going for the missing ingredients to the formula. It seems now that they are close but people are scared of what could happen if they actually succeed.

PROFESSOR PLUM
Quite a stir around the department I must say. So I had just finished up with my last lecture about these fascinating people when I got the first call.

MRS PEACOCK
You mean the first phone call?

PROFESSOR PLUM
Yes. It was Tuesday of last week.

MS SCARLET
That is when I got mine as well. I had just turned in my paper for the Aztecs when I got a call at home.

MRS PEACOCK
Yes, I received mine then also. I had just gotten home from digging with a colleague.

MS SCARLET
The person told me that they knew what I had done.

MRS PEACOCK
Same thing here.

PROFESSOR PLUM
Me as well.

MRS PEACOCK
What is there that we could have possibly done? I personally had been digging all week so unless I slept walked and killed someone with even knowing it just don’t know what this person could be talking about.

PROFESSOR PLUM
Well I had been lecturing all week and then when not in the class room was with my research team. We are a few who are studying the texts in depth, quite amazing where we are at the
moment.

MS SCARLET
I had been in the library literally slaving over this paper. I actually used one of your books Professor.

PROFESSOR PLUM
What a coincidence? Which one did you happen to stumble upon?

MS SCARLET
Ancient Burials. Your chapter on the Aztecs was most helpful.

PROFESSOR PLUM
Splendid. Glad to be of service.
Just then the lights go off and there is screaming heard. Lights come on and the bartender is slumped over the bar, dead.

MS SCARLET
Oh dear god! Someone killed James!

PROFESSOR PLUM
You know that fellow?

MS SCARLET
Sure I do. This is the only bar thats close to the campus. I come in here every Thursday.

MRS PEACOCK
What happened? I couldn't see anything in the dark.

MS SCARLET
I am not quite sure. I couldn't see anything either.

PROFESSOR PLUM
Do you think this is why we were called here? That this would be what was going to happen?

MS SCARLET
It seems perfectly logical.

PROFESSOR PLUM
Lets open the briefcase and see. Now when we got the numbers we were told that they would be arranged according to birthday month.

MS SCARLET
Well I am January so that means the first code is 7.

PROFESSOR PLUM
I am April so 4 is next.
There is a pause in the action while they wait for Mrs Peacock to come over to the breifcase and contribute her number and she doesn’t move.

MS SCARLET
Mrs Peacock, we are waiting for your number.

MRS PEACOCK
I don't’ have a number.

MS SCARLET
How? We all have numbers.

MRS PEACOCK
I don’t need a number because that briefcase is mine.

PROFESSOR PLUM
Excuse me?

MRS PEACOCK
I know what the both of you did.

PROFESSOR PLUM
I am sure I know nothing about what you are talking about.

MRS PEACOCK
Are you sure? You are sure you didn’t get one of your research assistances to write that book for you?

PROFESSOR PLUM
What book?

MRS PEACOCK
The book that Ms Scarlet used in her paper?

PROFESSOR PLUM
You have no proof.

MRS PEACOCK
I have a signed statement by the women you stole the book from.

PROFESSOR PLUM
I don’t believe it.

MRS PEACOCK
Well believe it, its true. And you Ms Scarlet, did you really think that no one would find out about you and Professor Plum?

MS SCARLET
I have no idea what you are talking about.

MRS PEACOCK
Yes you do because you have been sleeping with Professor Plum. You must really be more careful where you perform such acts.

MS SCARLET
You saw us?

MRS PEACOCK
You are not the only ones who stay on grounds late.

PROFESSOR PLUM
What does this all mean? Why have you called us here.

MRS PEACOCK
Ultimately to stop you.

PROFESSOR PLUM
Stop us from doing what?

MRS PEACOCK
The ritual.

PROFESSOR PLUM
Why?

MRS PEACOCK
Because I am a direct descendant of the Cartooki and terrible things will happen to you if you succeed.

MS SCARLET
But there are great things to be learned from such a text. We could have eternal life.

MRS PEACOCK
That is what I was afraid you would say. I don’t have any witnesses now so I won’t be afraid to kill you if I have to.

MS SCARLET
You killed James.

MRS PEACOCK
Perhaps. And I can kill you too unless you agree to stop the research. And on top of that I will expose your secrets to the world.

PROFESSOR PLUM
We will not agree. This is insane.

Mrs Peacock makes a quick grab the stick she has been holding and attempts to gab Ms Scarlet. Professor Plum hurtles a billiard ball in her face

MRS PEACOCK
(crying)
What the hell!!! My eye has exploded! You burst my eye.

PROFESSOR PLUM
That is what you get madame for trying to stand in the way of knowledge.

MS SCARLET
Don’t try to get up. We will show ourselves out.
They exit.

Created: Aug 01, 2010

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