31 Plays in 31 Days: Death by Death

Death by Death

(Mike Death, cloaked in his black cloak with his face obscured, sits in a break room drinking coffee and playing on his phone. Cory Death enters dressed the same.  He pours himself some coffee and sits across from Mike.)

Cory                Hey Mike, what’s up?

Mike                Not much.  Busy day.  How are you?

Cory                Good, good.  I’m just banging through my caseload, you know?  Feels good to get all the shit off my desk.  

Mike                Sounds nice.  I’m totally stalled on the Texas high school thing.

Cory                Dude, you gotta just do it man!  This is a big break for you.  You gotta show the big man what you’ve got.

Mike                I know.

Cory                You know he gave you that one to test you, right?

Mike                Do you think so?

Cory                Dude! They are totally grooming you for bigger things!

Mike                Shit, really?  Oh man.  I wish you hadn’t told me that.

Cory                Why?

Mike                I just don’t think I can handle the pressure.

Cory                You are taking this way to seriously, dude.  Look, walk me through the case.  I’ll help you out.

Mike                Seriously?

Cory                Absolutely.

Mike                Ok.  So there’s this Texas football team.  Seven of them need to go.  Now, it’s up to me if I take’em all at once or if they go one by one.  Tragedy either way, right?

Cory                Right.  Totally.

Mike                But the big man, he doesn’t want a blood bath. He wants something quiet.  Something that maybe will be the stuff of urban legends.

Cory                Do able with one, maybe two, but seven? In this day and age?  What is he thinking?

Mike                I know right?  I mean, I know he’s been doing death for a long time, but he is so old fashioned.  If I, let’s say, kill them all one by one on the same road at the same time of night all under unusual circumstances then maybe MAYBE there will be a rumer or something running around, but in no time flat Buzzfeed will have an article debunking the rumors, there will be a website devoted to their families, and on and on.  It’s just not like it was in the sixties and the seventies.  I mean in the nineties I could get legitimately cool and spooky deaths going –

Cory                You were a legend at it!

Mike                Right?  But now it’s all different.  If the boss doesn’t catch up to the digital age we’re all sunk.

Cory                Hey, you just gotta show him how it’s done man.  Take his ideas and twist them to fit your style and the needs of the time.  I know you can do it.

Mike                But if I mess this up –

Cory                You won’t. trust me man.  You’ve got this.

Mike                Thanks Cory.  You’re the best.  And I bet you’ll be managing this whole death floor in no time.

Cory                Hey man!  I’m just trying to help you out.

                                                                        (Mike Death exits.  Sheila Death enters.)

Sheila              Hey Cory.

Cory                Hey Sheila.

Sheila              Are you going to the big party on Friday?

Cory                Totally!  I’m bringing my famous crab cakes.

Sheila              Those are totally deadly!  I eat too many last time.

Cory                Are you bringing your boyfriend?

Sheila              God!  Don’t remind me about that asshole. 

Cory                Did you break up?

Sheila              No.  As if.  He should be so lucky.  No, we’re on a break.  I’m going to hit on Tony from pet deaths to make him jealous.

Cory                Tony?  Pet deaths? Sheila, no one could be jealous of Tony and no one could be jealous of anyone from pet deaths. 

Sheila              Yeah, but Tony’s so nice and harmless.  Not to mention, I heard he’s a secret lady killer.

Cory                Tony? No way.  Tell you what, hit on Barkley from Auto Deaths.  He’s creative, funny, spontaneous and he’s got a sense of adventure.  And he’s good looking.

Sheila              Barkley? Well, ok.  If you say so.  Thanks Cory!  See you at the party!

                                                                        (Sheila exits.  Danielle enters.)

Danielle          Hey Cory, what are you doing? Hiding out in here?

Cory                No, just drinking my coffee.

Danielle          I feel like hiding.  Dirk is prowling the halls.

Cory                Dirk’s not so bad.

Danielle          His breath is. 

Cory                True.

Danielle          He comes up behind me and he breaths heavily and waits for me to say hello.  Then he says: “Hi Danielle.  I’ve still got a case of the Monday’s…careful…you might catch it…”

Cory                You know, if you feel like he’s harassing you, you can do something about it.

Danielle          No, it’s not that.  He’s just annoying. 

Cory                Are you sure?

Danielle          I am.

Cory                Then I think you should just tell him.  If you let Dirk irritate you it’s just going to build up until you say something you don’t mean.

Danielle          Thanks Cory, you’re the best.

Cory                Any time.

(Danielle exits. Cory sits back and drinks his coffee. Death enters.)

Death              Cory?

Cory                Yeah.  I’m Cory.  Hey! Nice suit.  Is it custom? 

Death              It is.

Cory                I totally got mine off the rack. 

Death              It looks well on you.

Cory                Thanks. So, I don’t think I’ve seen you around.  Are you new here?

Death              No.  I’m very old. 

Cory                Ah.  That’s what it’s like working for a big company, isn’t it? What floor do you work on?

Death              Right now I’m working here.

Cory                Sweet.  I always wanted to be a floater, but I don’t mind being here on diseases. 

Death              How is work going?

Cory                Great.  There was an uptick a while a go, but I’m almost all caught up. 

Death              Do you specialize?

Cory                Small pox.

Death              Yes.  Yes I thought so.

Cory                You’ve been watching me?

Death              I have.

Cory                Am I up for a promotion?

Death              Of a kind.


Cory                Ah crap.

Death              I’m sorry Cory.

Cory                But I’m just starting to do well.

Death              You’ve always done well.

Cory                But, I’m not finished yet.

Death              You are. 

Cory                No, I’ve still got some folders on my desk.

Death              We’re going to suspend those cases and hand them off to other departments.

Cory                No, one more.  The doctor in the lab in Russia.

Death              If I give you one more, it’ll be one more after that and another after that. Where will it end?

Cory                What about all my friends?

Death              They will miss you, but they will be all right without you.

Cory                I’m not ready.

Death              Is anyone ever ready? Really?


Cory                How do I die?

Death              Does it matter?

Cory                It’s my business.

Death              You slipped and fell on a wet spot right after Danielle left. 

Cory                What happens after?

Death              Danielle heard you fall and she comes back for you.

Cory                No, I mean IN the after.

Death              You’ll be there soon, in the after.

Cory                I know, but, I want to know.

Death              Come close.

                                                                        (Death whispers in Cory’s ear.)

                                                                        End of play.


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