The Case

Inside of a modestly sized flat. It has been decorated by someone who knows what interior design is but does not know how it works. A MAN and a WOMAN are engaged in an argument. He wears a suit that would look good on someone two sizes larger. She wears a dress that aims for classy and hits something else entirely.

MAN: What have you done with my case?

WOMAN: What case?

MAN: The case that holds the key to our future.

WOMAN: I don’t know, where did you put it?

MAN: You know as well as I do. And you know how important it is.

The woman looks at him blankly.

MAN: I’m going to search your room…

WOMAN: (Giving in) It’s not there.

MAN: Well, where is it then?

WOMAN: If you want to know, I need more from you.

MAN: Like what?

The woman, sensing weakness, assumes a more defiant posture.

WOMAN: Half.

MAN: Half? Half of what.

WOMAN: The profits.

MAN: What profits?

WOMAN: You’re right, I do know how important that case is. I know how much it’ll be worth when you sell what’s in it. And I want half.

MAN: But sweetheart…

WOMAN: Don’t you sweetheart me.

MAN: But, listen. We’re in this together right? We’re going to do this one last job and use the money to get out of here, together. So, technically, technically right? Half the money will already be yours. Because it’s ours, right?

WOMAN: Well, you’re half right. For once.

MAN: Which half?

WOMAN: The half where we do the job and get the money. The other half is me taking my half and getting out of here. Without you.

MAN: What?

WOMAN: Christ you’re thick. I’m leaving you. I’m taking half the money. If I didn’t need you to make this deal, I’d already be gone with all of it.

MAN: But sweeth… (she gives him a look. He stops himself) Why?

WOMAN: Because I’m sick of you. Sick of your whining. Sick of your weasel face. Sick of your never ending parade of half-baked schemes.

MAN: Half-baked…

WOMAN: For god’s sake, you couldn’t even steal a suit that fits.

He slumps into a chair. Defeated.

MAN: Fine. Let’s just get it over with. Get the case and we’ll go see Pocket and get rid of the bloody thing.

The woman exits through the door to her bedroom. The very room where she insisted the case was not. The man is too forlorn to even complain. She returns a moment later with an unremarkable black briefcase.

WOMAN: Come on then you stupid sod.

MAN: As soon as I check the merchandise.

WOMAN: It’s been under my bed for a week. It’s hardly going to be bloody damaged.

MAN: State of your bed, I wouldn’t be surprised…

WOMAN: What.

MAN: Nothing. But I have to check. Pocket’ll kill me if I bring him faulty goods.

WOMAN: Fine.

She tosses the case to him carelessly. He barely catches it.

MAN: Jesus! Be careful would you.

WOMAN: Whatever. Just stop pissing about so we can go.

The man carefully sets the case down on the coffee table. He fiddles with the combination, then opens it. We do not see what is inside.

WOMAN: Well?

The man pulls a pistol from the case and slams it shut. He aims the gun at the woman.

MAN: Right you stupid bitch. Double cross me will you? We’ll see about that.

He pulls the trigger. There is a click but nothing happens. The woman rolls her eyes. He tries again. Click. Click. Click.

WOMAN: You couldn’t get your hands on a working one, remember? It was a miracle you got away with stealing the bloody case without getting killed. No such luck.

The man looks at his pistol in bafflement. He petulantly throws it at her. It bounces off.

WOMAN: Bastard.

She steps forward and hits him in the face. He tries to fend her off. Things soon devolve into a clumsy scuffle. As they stagger back and forth across the room they keep bumping the coffee table, until finally they knock it over altogether. The case hits the ground hard. There is a faint beeping sound which grows steadily louder and faster. Eventually they notice. They stop, arms still entangled, and look at each other.

MAN: Bugger. WOMAN: Bollocks.

Blackout. Sound of terrible explosion.

A short play created for an exercise about building a script around a particular object, for example a briefcase.
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