2017 Scene-Writing Challenge: Day 4
Scott Myers



Door CHIMES JINGLE as HARM enters, 40, suit and tie handsome, Hermes tote, surveying the joint:

Booths on the far wall in pools of shady light, one occupied by 4 traders in Armani chic. Tables split the middle where a married executive makes a play for Office Pool Irene. At the backlit bar an older couple, lawyers going to the opera.

Harm moves through pools of light to the last stool, view of the door, expecting someone? Sets the tote on the floor, half open, full of $100 stacks wrapped in $10,000 bands.

BEL tends, 50 going on 35, seen and heard everything, which she’ll tell you if you ask, sometimes if you don’t.

HARM: (orders) Something to make me forget.

BEL: Ten minutes left in happy hour, forget while the forgettin’s good.

Her smile, teeth, eyes, and diamond earrings all sparkle.

HARM: No, top shelf, tumbler of your finest tequila, chilled.

She nods, concocts with expertise as Harm apprises: she’s pretty, sexy even, under those ruffles. She sets the drink on a coaster.

BEL: What’s your name?

HARM: Harm, as in Harmon. Been doing this long?

BEL: Long enough that I’m almost there. This close.

She slides a photo from her order pad across the bar: Fiji. Almost there. Her thumb and finger nearly touch. That close.

HARM: I can see you in this picture.

BEL: Can you see yourself in this picture?

Harm meets her eyes, pulls a harmonica from his pocket, plays a sad riff. CHIMES JINGLE. He stops, doesn’t glance as a couple enters in b.g., laughing at something she said. He downs the tumbler, nods for another. Bel sets it up, goes off to the couple.

Harm downs half, hand shaking, blinks for focus. Bel returns.

HARM: He wanted Tarquin’s but settled for Hendricks, splash of tonic, cucumber. She’s having a Campari cocktail.

BEL: You know them?

HARM: Too well, I’m afraid. I imagine you’ve seen and heard about everything there is to see and hear in a place like this, some you’d rather not have seen or heard ever.

She nods.

HARM: Go in back and get some ice. I’ll deliver these.

BEL: I’m good on ice.

Harm lays a .357 on the bar. Bel’s eyes flit to the patrons — the lawyer sees the gun and ushers his wife out. The others don’t notice. Her eyes stop, a split second on a black woman in the last booth, unseen in the dark corner. Bel nods to Harm and retreats through saloon doors. Harm hefts the satchel to the bar, beside Fiji, then lifts the drinks, spilling gin.

Harm at the insurance exec’s table.

HARM: If you haven’t closed her yet, you aren’t going to. (reveals gun) Time to go.

They scram. Harm moves to the traders.

HARM: I have to ask you to leave.

TRADER JACK: We’re just having an IPA here.

HARM: Ask yourself this: Is that the last IPA you’ll have here, or the last IPA you’ll have ever?

He shows them the gun, spilling Campari. They bail.

Harm moves to the front booth, IAN and MEG. Sets down the drinks, spilling more. They look up together


HARM: With my fiance, Ian?

He pulls the gun, BLAM BLAM, Ian jolts twice and slumps dead.

HARM: My business partner, Meg?

MEG: Harm stop! We’re making this list for-

BLAM BLAM, Meg jolts twice and slumps dead.

Harm eyes a list, turns it with the barrel as DETECTIVE BORDEN moves from the deep shadow of that back booth, circling him.

DET BORDEN: Freeze! LAPD! Put the gun down!

- Harm reads: Guest List, Harm’s Surprise B-Day, many names.

DET BORDEN: Sir, let go of that gun!

Harm re-grips the .357.

ZOOM Bel at the saloon doors. BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM. She pushes through. Sets the ice aside. Deadly SILENCE. Peers into the tote. The money. The photo of Fiji. Money. Fiji. This close.



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