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TWOFACEDDEATH

ABLUEPRINT
Black.
Shadowswhichdontbelongtotheobjectscasting
them.
Crisplightilluminatesthesceneofthecrime.
Twomen:INSPECTORSLENNONANDESSEXstandamidthe
disarray.
Lennonwearsasuitandcarriesasuitcase.
Essexwearsatowellingbathrobeandcarriesa
toothbrushandatowel.
Asilencedpistolinthemiddleofthefloor.
Adeskwiththebodybehindit,itslegsprotruding.
(Onthedeskaredeskythingsornothingatall.A
diary,aphone,apaperbag).
Anoverturnedchair.
Abloodypalmprintisclearonthewall.
LENNON:Theresagunonthefloorandadeadman
coveredinwhitepowderbehindthedesk.Andwehave
asuitcasefullofpressednonsequentialbills.Do
yourealisewhatthismeans,Essex?
ESSEX:Drugs?
LENNON:Paperwork.Accountability.Wecouldeasily
denytheexistenceofthiscaseandIcouldretire
quietlytotheBahamasandspendtherestofmydays
andthismoneydrinkingalcoholfromfunnyshaped
glasseswithumbrellasinthem.Iwouldhavea
wonderfultanandbeautifulfullyfiguredwomen
wavingtheirgrassskirtedbehindsinmy,nodoubt
leering,face.Icanseeitnow.
ESSEX:Whytellme,Sir?
LENNON:Everyperfectplanhasitsflawsandyoure
mine.

ESSEX:Therewasastruggle.
LENNON:Andquiteafantasticonebythelooksofit.
ESSEX:Illgetthegun.
LENNON:Pistol.
ESSEX:Illgetthepistol,then.
LENNON:No!Noonecandisturbthesceneuntilthe
labboysandgirlsgethere.Justletmegetready.
Lennonopensthecaseheisholdingandputson
rubbergloves.Hethenbeginstoassembleacamera.
Essexexaminestheroom.Hedoubletakeswhenhesees
thepalmprint.Hesmearsitintounrecognisable
oblivionusingthetowel,whichhefoldstohidethe
stain.
Lennondoesntsee.
Lennonstartstakingphotosanddescribingthescene.
Essexstandsby,innocentascanbe.
LENNON:Imhere.Soletsreview:Man;dead.
Snap!
Silencedpistol,presumablyfiredintoman,dead.
Snap!
Chair,overturned.
Snap!
Bagondesk,contentsunknown.
Snap!
Handprint;bloody.
Snap!
Youmaycollectthepistolnow.
Lennonbeginstodisassemblethecamera.
Essexpicksupthepistolbythehandle.
LENNON:WhatinthenameofGodsballsareyou
doing!?
Essexdropsthepistol.
Usethetoothbrushandthengetyourselfprinted!You
useless...you...you...civilian!

Lennonreturnstothecamera.
Essextriesrepeatedlyandunsuccessfullytoinsert
thetoothbrushhaftintothebarrelofthegun.
Essexgivesupandplacesthepistolbythehandle
ontothetoothbrush.
LENNON:Youwerefirstatthescene?
ESSEX:Iliveinthebuilding.
LENNON:Youheardtheshotsandcame
ESSEX:No,Iheardscreams,thengunfire.
LENNON:Maleorfemale.
ESSEX:Well,female.Thepitchindicatingextreme
distressandanapproximateage ofabouttwentyfive.
Thelengthofthescreamsuggestsawomanwitha
largelungcapacity.Notaforeignertoanaerobic
exercise.Arunnerperhaps.
LENNON:Perhaps.
Pause
Tellmehaveyoueverheardofanaudit?
ESSEX:Taxaudit?
LENNON:Emotional
ESSEX:Nope.Neverheardthewordbefore.
LENNON:Iaskpurelyoutofpersonalselfinterest.
ESSEX:Whatinterest?
LENNON:Ihavenoideawhatsoeveritwaswrittenon
apadonthedesk.
Snap!
Anemotionalaudit...religiousperhaps?Or
somethingaltogetheralittlebitmore...
sinister.Youneverknowwhatthesecreativetypesdo
intheirowntime.Morethanlikelytheycallitart.
Morethanlikelyitsjustperversionanddecadence.
Snap!
Soyouwerefirstonthescenefirstimpressions?
ESSEX:IhadtocalmMissCentremsdown.

LENNON:Ithoughtyouwerefirstonthescene.
ESSEX:Wearrivedmerenanosecondsapart.
LENNON:Firstequalthen.Who
ESSEX:No.
LENNON:What?
ESSEX:Weweresecondequal.
LENNON:FirstbeingtheHumanTargethereIsuppose.
ESSEX:Yes.
LENNON:Whyareyourreportsalwaysthislaboured,
Essex?
ESSEX:Igetnervous,Sir.
LENNON:YoureamemberoftheAmateurdramatics
society,arentyou?
ESSEX:Yes,sir.
LENNON:Youactforgod'ssake,Essex!Thisjobisno
different.
ESSEX:ButImme,Sir.WhenImonstage,Im
someoneelse.ItsasifIamfreedfrommyself,and
canpursue,anddothingsIwouldntnormallydo.
LENNON:Well,atleastactlikeadetectivethen.Go
andgetdressed.
Essexleaves,handingLennonthegunbrush
Blackout.
INTERLUDEONE

CLEANSCENE
Lennonputshiscamerabackinthecaseandbeginsto
unpack.

Ablacktarpisplacedoverandtuckedunderthe
corpse.
Athermosisplacedonthedesk.
Thechairisrighted.
Severalgladeairfreshenersareplacedaroundthe
corpse.
Apictureframeisplacedaroundthebloody
handprint.
Lennonsitsdownatthedesk,picksupthephone,
poisestodial,reconsiders,andhangsup.
Hesteepleshishands.
LENNON:Comeinthedoorsopen.
Silence,nothing,noone.
Heopensthepaperbagonthedeskandtakesoutan
opaquejar.
Hestudiesit.
Hetriestoopenithecant.
Heplacesitonthetableandstaresatit.
Heholdsittothelight.
Heshakesit.
LENNON:JustasIfeared.Nothing.
Thephonerings.
Lennonpausesbeforepickingitup.
LENNON:Hello?No,Imnothimme?Inspector
Lennon.Yes,Police.No.Hes...not...available
tothephone.Yes,itisapolicematter.Icant
saythatIknow.Couldbe.No.Thatsrather
forwardofyou.Howdidyouknowthat?Cream
filled.SouthIslandblend.Why,yes.ADunedin
beanfieldsmanthroughandthrough.Icanseeyou
throughthewindow?WhywouldI spoilthesurprise?
No,youcomeonupDontbecoy.Cheeky...okay:

Imwearingaskybluesilkgown;itshimmiesovermy
skin;mynipplesarehard.Ilikethesensationofme
movinginmyclothes.Whatareyouwearing?How
short?Black?Red?Red.Ilikelongblack
stockingswithsuspenderbelts.No,Imchainedto
thedesk.Yes,Ihaveseveralsetsofhandcuffs
severalyearsofcollecting.Ialsohaveasizeable
baton.No,Idontuseitmuch,onlytoforce
submission;alittlesubmissiongoesalongway.
No,Imnotlaughing...
Essexreturns.
Couldyoucallback?Yousure?Great!Seeyou
later.
Hehangsup.
Yourelookingmuchmorepresentable.
ESSEX:Thankyousir.Anydevelopments?
LENNON:VictimsnameisThomasMiddleton.
ESSEX:TheEnglishrenaissanceplaywright,Sir?
LENNON:Soitwouldappear.
ESSEX:Whatsadeadliterarygreatdoingdeadinmy
building?
LENNON:Hesnotthatgreat.
ESSEX:Admittedlybutheisoneofthefew
playwrightstosortofsurviveintheshadowof
Shakespeare.
LENNON:HewasdamnedluckytolastthislongI
wouldveshothim.
Aburstofspookymusic.
ESSEX:Doesthatmakeyouaprimesuspectthen,Sir?
LENNON:InyourwildestdreamsEssex.Ifbeinga
suspectinvolveslyingnearapuddleofyourown
vomitinacomatoseinebriatedstate,thenmakeme
Prime.Otherthanthat:shutup.
ESSEX:Dowehaveanysubjects?Imean,suspects?
LENNON:IlladdyoutotheDeathoftheEnglish
languagecase,butforthisone?No,none.

ESSEX:SowerewaitingforanactofGod?
LENNON:Oratleastamajorpieceofimprovisation.
Pause.
ESSEX:Nowwhat?
LENNON:Wewait.
ESSEX:Forwhat?
LENNON:Forphotostodevelop,printstorun,
ballisticstested,knownacquaintancestobedrawn,
horoscopescast,biorhythmscharted,tarotsread,
psychicsearches,psychicsearchers,divinationanda
touchofouijaboard.
ESSEX:EhtRekeeshasdisappeared.
LENNON:Youhavegottobejoking
ESSEX:Disappearedwithouttrace,carleftinher
disignatedparkatthepolicestation.
LENNON:When?
ESSEX:Lastnight.Hertimetableandmovements
unknown.
Pause
LENNON:Veryconvenient.
ESSEX:Yes,sir.Amurderandadisappearanceinthe
sametownistoomuchofacoincidence,evenfor
Serendipitycity.
LENNON:YourarseholesarcasmisdulynotedEssex.
Pause.
ESSEX:Whatsthetimeovenerablemaster?
Lennondoesnotrefertoaclock
LENNON:Ninefortyfive.
ESSEX:Cuppa?
LENNON:Withthisworkload?
ESSEX:Comeon,itsonlyonemurder.

LENNON:True.Perspectivebecomesskewedinthisjob.
I'vebecomejaded,fuzzy.
ESSEX:Ageandexcessivealcoholabusewilldothat.
Sir.
LENNON;Areyoutakingthepiss?
ESSEX:Iwontlietoyou,Sir.
Silence
LENNON:Yes?
ESSEX:Isaid,Iwontlietoyou,SirSir.
LENNON:Youcouldhaveatleasttriedyoulazy
bastard.
ESSEX:Ihaveethics.
LENNON:Youjumpedup,selfimportant...evenHitler
hadethics.
Pause
ESSEX:Yourmother?
Blackout
INTERLUDETWO
COMPLICATIONS
Lennonaloneatthedesk.
Revolverisonit,anenvelopeunderit.
Lennongoestothedoor.
Hegetsacorkboardandplacesinonthewall.Onit
arephotosofthecrimescene.
Hesitsandopenstheenvelope.
Heexaminesthecontents:Towit:Asheafofpapers;
Acoupleofphotos;Anothersealedenvelope;A
cassettetape.
Heflicksthroughthepapers.
Thephonerings.

Hepicksitupandthenhangsup.
Hebeginstoreadthepapersinmoredetail.
LENNON:Idiot.
Thephonerings.
Hepicksitupandhangsup.
Hespreadsthephotosoverthedesk.
Hefrowns.
Heholdstheenvelopetothelight.
Heopensit.
Hepullsoutaslimslipofpaper.
Hereadsit.
LENNON:Inapickle,inajam,Saintspreserveus,
thereIam.LoveEht.
Heplacesthenoteonthetable.
LENNON;Eht?DarlingdisappearedEht?Nothingfor
eht.
Thephonerings.
Hepicksitup.Pause.
LENNON:YesLennonhere.Why,hello.Youvebeen
inmythoughtsallday.Ahno,couldntreally
drinkwithyouinabar.Isaidnothingabouta
cafe.Howaboutit?Coffee?.Ilikemycoffeeas
itcomestheexcitementsinthenotknowingwhat
someonewillseemeas:Shortandblack.Sweetand
blonde.Blondeontwolegs.Blondeandstandingon
itsown.Blackandbitter.Twooclocktomorrow?
Good.Beseeingyouthen.
Hehangsup,thephoneringsinstantly.
Hello?Yes,Sir.Thecaseistrundlingalong.
Yes,sir.Newdevelopmentseverysecond.Infact:
alsoaleadintoourmissingSeeker.Yes,Ms.
Rednif.
Anote,ofallthings.Riddles.Most
confusing.Mostirritating.Suspects?Oneortwo.
Essexenterscarryingtwocupsofcoffee.

Yes,sir.He'sbeingagreathelp.Yes,sir.Heis
intheroom.No, nothingbutthehighestpraisefor
him.ImquitefreewiththetrutharoundInspector
Essex.Certainly,Sir.FirstthingMonday.Ona
personallevel,Frank.DeirdreandIwerewondering
ifyoudliketocomearoundforadrink?Friday?
Thatisashame.Maybesomeothertime,then.
Certainly.Sir. Goodbye.
HehangsupandcrossestoEssex,whohandshimthe
cup.Lennonraisestosip,butbeforehecanEssex
buttsin.
ESSEX:Anyprogress?
LENNON:Imtakingabreak.
Againwiththebuttingbeforehecansip.
ESSEX:Butanyprogress?
LENNON:EssexIfinditahellofaloteasierto
think...toruminatewithaquantityofcaffeine
stimulatingmynervoussystem.
ESSEX:Sure,Sir,butwhataboutthecase?
LENNON:TheCase?
Heputshiscoffeedown.
Thecase,Ifind,Essex,islikeoneofthoseMagic
eyepuzzles.Itsmadeupofallthesestrangeparts
thatmakenosense.Soyoustareatitforanage,
youholditupatarms'lengthandstare.Youbring
itcloser.Youblink,youloseit.Youalmostgiveup
andthen youreyesgoslightlyoutoffocusandyour
mindwonders.Andthen...somethingclicks,shapes
lock,coloursmergeandthehiddenimageleapsoutat
you.Thatswhatthecaseisabout.
Pause.
ESSEX:Icannevergetthosethings.
LENNON:Ittakespatience.
Silence.
WithgreatdeliberationLennonraiseshiscupof
coffeetohislips.Hestops.Asecond.Hesniffs.
Furtherseconds.

LENNON:Areyoutryingtopoisonme?
ESSEX:Sir?
LENNON:Almonds.
ESSEX:Almonds?
LENNON:Cyanide.
ESSEX:Cyanide?
LENNON:Areyoutryingtopoisonme?
ESSEX:GoodGod!No!
LENNON:Sowhydoesmycoffeehavecyanideinit.
ESSEX:Itdoesnt.
LENNON:Sowhydoesitsmelllikealmonds?
ESSEX:Illswapyou.
pause
IsaidIllswapyou.
LENNON:Youvepoisonedboth.
ESSEX;Ifuckingwellhavenot!Look!
Hedrinks.
See!AmIdead?No.Stillwanttoswap?
LENNON:Youvedrunkfromit.
Pause.Lennonputshiscupdown.
ESSEX:Theressomethingnotquiterightaboutyou
Anyway,itsafallacy.
LENNON:Whatis?
ESSEX;Thinkingclearerafteracoffee.Itsa
fallacy.
LENNON:Itis,isit?
ESSEX:Itis.
LENNON:Youmustbeundertheinfluenceofcoffee,
then.

ESSEX:Illgetyou.
LENNON:Oh,yes?
ESSEX:Yeah.
LENNON:Cyanideinmycoffee?
Essexshakeshishead.Lennonpicksupthecupof
coffee.
Drinkit.
ESSEX:Getoffit.
LENNON:Goon,Essex,drinkit:provemewrong.
ESSEX:Idonthavetoproveanythingyouwanker.
LENNON:OnlywhenImoffduty.Drinkit.
ESSEX;No.
LENNON:Drinkit,Essex.
ESSEX:Makeme.Sir...
LENNON:Ifyouresure.
Lennonpicksuptherevolver.
Isaiddrinkit,Mark.
ESSEX:Likefuck,John.
Lennoncocksthegun.
Blackout.
Lightsup.Essexstandsinthespace.
Thephonerings.
NoreactionfromEssex.
Itkeepsringing.
Eventually.
ESSEX:Hello.
Pause.
Whoisthis?
Pause.

Idontcarewhatyousay,yousickbitch.Ima
policeofficerandIcanhavethiscalltraced.
Pause.
Howdareyou!
Hehangsup.
Thephoneringsagain.
Itringstentimesandstops.
Pause.
Thephonebeginstoringagain.
ESSEX:Justfuckoff!
pause
Imsorry,sir.No,Lennonisntinatthemoment.
Noanobscenephonecallerpesteringus. Sorry,
Sir.Lostmytemper.Illtrynottoletitgetthe
betterofmeinfuture.IlltellInspectorLennon
yourang.
Essexhangsup.
Hesitsdownatthedeskadjustingtheseat.
Hepicksthejaroutofthebag.
Hetriestoopenitfailure.
Heopensthedrawerandfrisksit.Heslipssomething
fromthedrawerintohispocket.
Heknocksthejarlidagainstthedeskedgeacouple
oftimes.
Hetriestoopenit:failure.
Noiseoffstage.
Hequicklyputsthejarbackinthebagandshutsthe
drawer.
Hereturnsquicklytothecenteroftheroom.
Lennonenters.
LENNON:Werethereanymessages?

ESSEX:Noonerang.Itwasasquietasthegrave.
Howwaslunch?
LENNON:Ididnteatlunch.
ESSEX:Wheredidyougo?
LENNON:Toalittlefranchisedfastfoodrestaurant
onthemainstreet.SheateburgerwhileIcharmed
thepantiesoffher.
ESSEX:Didyoufuckher?
Lennonsitsdownatthedesknoticestheseat
adjustment.
LENNON:No,itwasjustaninnocentsortofthing.
Fastfoodandinnocentconversation.Wewerebabesin
thewood.
ESSEX:Youfuckedher,didntyou?
LENNON:WeheldhandsandIescortedhertohercar.
Shekissedmeonthecheekandwhisperedinmyear,
ESSEX:Youfuckedher.
LENNON:Illseehertomorrownight.
ESSEX:Whatsinthejar?
Silence.
LENNON:Youadjustedmyseat.
ESSEX:Whatsinthejar.
LENNON:Itsconfidential.
ESSEX:Asconfidentialascheatingonyourwife?
LENNON:Yourebeingatadaccusationalrightatthis
momentintime.
ESSEX:Whyareyouhidingthingsfromme?
LENNON:Thatsconfidential.
Thephonerings.
Pause.
ESSEX:Answerit.

LENNON:ThinkIwont?
Heanswersit.
Hello,inspectorLennonspeaking.Hi.Ididtoo.
Stillonfortomorrownight? Good,good.
Essexrevealstherevolver.
Thatsinteresting.No,noImnotnotinterested
itsjustEssex...
Essexwavestherevolverinhisface.
...hasanurgentneedformyhelp.Iwillcall
back.Hearyousoon.
Hehangsup.
LENNON:Whatthehellareyoudoing?Youretheone
arentyou.Yourpalmprint...Yourfinger
printsonthegun.
ESSEX:Imgoingtoshootyouinthefaceand then
sendyourgenitalstoyourladyfriend.
LENNON;Shewontrecognisethem.
ESSEX:Oryourwife?Imnotsurewhich.Maybea
testicleeach?
LENNON:Imnotmarriedeither.
ESSEX:Illjustshootyouinthefacethen.
LENNON:MayIaskwhy?
ESSEX:Thatsconfidential.
LENNON:Doyouwanttoknowwhatsinthejar?
ESSEX:Notreally.DoyoustillwanttoknowwhyI
didit?
LENNON:Notreally.Imjustassumingthatyourea
dulllittlepsychopath.
ESSEX:Iresenttheimplication.
LENNON:Tough.Ireceivedatapeyesterday.
ESSEX:So?
LENNON:MayIplayitbeforeyoushootme?

ESSEX:Soyoucanhavetwosecondsofcomfort in
hearingwhatsonthetape?
LENNON:Everysecondcounts.
ESSEX;Notreally.
LENNON:Itsallrelative:everysecondIstilllive
issweeterthanhoney.Mytimeisobviouslyshortand
thelongerthatIsurvivepastthatknowledgethe
moreIappreciatethetimethatthatis.
ESSEX:Everplayedmurderinthedark?
LENNON:Areyougoingtoblindfoldme,thenshootme
intheface?
ESSEX:Close.
Heturnsthelightsoff,andfirestherevolver
blindlyinthedirectionoftheseatedLennon.
Flash!
Flash!
Andthen...
Click!
Followedby...
SeveralmoreClicks.
LENNON:Youarethick.itsnotreloaded.And you
missedbyamile.
ThereisathudasLennonclubsEssexwiththejar.
Lennonturnsonthelights.Essexisonhisknees
cradlinghishead.
ESSEX:Ow!Whatdidyoudothatfor?Thathurt.
LENNON:Itwasintendedtostaveinyourincredibly
thickskull.
ESSEX:Thatsnotfair.
LENNON:Lifeneveris.Especiallywhenyoureadull
littlepsychowithnosocialgracesandamother
fixation.

ESSEX:Yourmother?
Lennontakestherevolverandreloadsitwithshell
fromhispocket.
LNNON:Thatsamusing.Yes,Idoenjoyslippingmy
mothertheoddlength.Oneofthefewperkstohaving
astepmotherlateinlife.Technicallyitsincest.
Butreally,itisnt.Iwouldntworryaboutittoo
muchifIwereyou.
ESSEX:Iwont.Idontworry.
LENNON:Notevenaboutyourimpendingarrest?
ESSEX:Notnowthatyourprintsareontherevolver.
Lennondials.
LENNON:Yes,couldIpleasehaveunitsto...yes,
thatscorrect...ontheirwayalready?Thankyou
verymuch.
ESSEX:Youddothattoyourownpartner?
LENNON:Shutupandgoandstandinthecorner.
Essexgoesandstandsinthecorner.
Lennonreturnstothedeskandproducesthetapeand
atapeplayer.
Heplaysthetape.
Blackout.

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