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.
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 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.
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.)
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.