Tuesday, 22 November 2011
10:50:51 PM (GMT)
[The curtains rise to reveal a 1950’s diner on a lonely stretch of a desert road.
In bright lights, the name “Helena’s Diner” flashes on the sign atop the roof.
The sun is approaching the west, leaving only a couple hours of daylight left. Only
three cars are parked outside of the building; an old ford, a shiny new Cadillac
Eldorado, and a 1956 corvette. The corvette is scratched and dented in various places
and the sides are splattered with mud. The smell of delicious home-cooked food drifts
from the doors of the diner, but inside it is almost empty. The floors are checkered
and all the booths and seats are bright fire truck red. The walls are adorned with
neon signs and rock-n-roll posters. A couple is seated in a booth, whispering
furiously to each other. Nearby, a young unmarried man named Frank is sitting at a
table eating a sandwich. He is dressed in a beige striped suit and shiny black
leather dress shoes. From his wrist a golden watch gleams and casts lights on the
walls. Behind the black counter, a plump woman named Helena stands with her arms
crossed over her chest, observing the customers as they wolf down her classic
all-American fare. An upbeat rock-n-roll tune blares loudly from the jukebox in the
far right corner of the diner and completely drowns out the whisperings of the couple
in the booth.]
Misty: [in hushed whispers] I’m so sorry honey, I didn’t know the bill would turn
out to be so high. I-I shouldn’t have bought that new toaster. It was my mistake.
Gerard: [looking furious at Misty] Do you have any idea what kind of debt we are in?
We probably can’t even afford this food right now. You’re so stupid, you know
that Misty? I work all fucking day and I come home and find all my money gone?
You’ve got quite some nerve.
Misty: [trying desperately to divert attention away from them] I said I’m sorry
babe. But the old toaster broke and I’m tired of everything we have being garbage.
I wanted something nice for once!
Gerard: You ungrateful little bitch. I slave away everyday just to make a better life
for you, and it’s never enough. You spend it on useless garbage! I’m trying to
get us out of this hole and you keep digging us deeper and deeper.
[Misty starts to weep and sobs quietly into her napkin, but Gerard pays no
Misty: Please d-dear. I’m s-s-sorry. I shouldn’t have done that. It won’t ever
happen again, I promise babe. Never a-a-again…
Gerard: [Speaking loudly] Shut up Misty. Just shut up before I fucking strangle you
Misty: [Wiping tears from her eyes] Well, if you weren’t such a failure we
wouldn’t have to fight about the money! Oh my mother was right, I should have
married the doctor!
[Gerard slams his fist on the table, causing the forks to clatter. The sudden noise
attracts the attention of the others in the diner.]
Gerard: [His voice slowly rising] How dare you. You do not speak to me like that, do
you hear me?
[Misty does not speak or move.]
Gerard: I said, do you hear me?
[Misty rears back and spits in Gerard’s face. He sits, surprised for a moment,
before slamming both fists on the table and standing up. He runs to the other side of
the table and clamps his hands around Misty’s throat.]
Gerard: [Slamming Misty’s head against the table with each word he speaks] You.
Stupid. Whore. Is that how you treat your beloved husband?
[Blood gushes from Misty’s mouth with each consecutive hit and drips onto the
table. Helena runs into the kitchen to call the police and the Frank drops his
sandwich and sprints to the booth where Misty and Gerard are located.]
Frank: HEY! Get yours hands off of her before I knock you out.
[Gerard quickly turns around to face Frank. His hands are covered in Misty’s blood.
Misty has her head down on the table and her body shakes with sobs.]
Gerard: [Snickering] Get out of here rich boy. I’ll treat my gold-digger wife
however the hell I want, and there aint nothing you can do about it.
[As Gerard reaches over to continue beating Misty, Frank grabs his wrist, twisting it
until a loud crack can be heard.
Misty: [Looking up from the table] Don’t hurt my husband you monster!
[Gerard howls in pain, clutching his broken wrist. He curls up his other fist and
punches Frank in the gut and an all out fight ensues. Misty is sobbing in her seat
while Helena rushes over and tries to persuade her to leave the diner for her own
Helena: Honey, you’ve got to get out of here now! He’s going to kill you if you
Misty: [Rocking back and forth] No…no…he’s my husband, I love him. It was my
fault…all my fault.
[Gerard and Frank continue to throw punches until Gerard is trapped in a headlock.
Frank runs with Gerard’s head in his arms and slams him against the wall.
Gerard’s body goes limp and crumples to the floor. Frank runs over to Misty and
yanks her by the wrist, taking her to his car.]
Misty: [In hysterics] No! No! I don’t want to leave him! He’s my husband! Take me
[Frank opens the door of the Eldorado and pushes Misty inside. She kicks at the
window, screaming to be let out while Frank gets into the driver’s seat. As the car
starts with a deafening roar, Gerard staggers out of the diner and throws himself
onto the Eldorado, furiously kicking the windshield in an attempt to break it. Frank
slams his foot on the gas, causing Gerard to fly off the roof and roll onto the
Misty: No! Don’t hurt him you monster! Let me go back!
Frank: I’m not going to let him hurt you. Just be quiet, I’m taking you somewhere
[As they speed down the dusty highway, a corvette quickly approaches them from
behind, gaining speed as it goes.]
Misty: He’s catching up! He’s going to get you! Oh shit, he has the gun!
[Gerard shoots at the Eldorado, shattering the back window. Misty screams from inside
the car as Frank slams down on the gas, pushing the Eldorado as fast as it can go.
Suddenly the Eldorado veers off the road and speeds off into the California desert,
leaving a cloud of dust in its path. Gerard’s little corvette screeches to a halt
at the end of the highway and he runs out, screaming and cursing.]
Frank: [Looking back at Misty] Are you all right missy?
Misty: [Wailing] No, I'm not all right! It was all fine before you got in the way!
Frank: If I hadn’t, you’d be dead by now. I saved your life.
Misty: No you didn’t. My husband would never do anything bad to me. It was all my
fault. My own, stupid fault.
Frank: Don’t say that. You didn’t do anything wrong.
[Frank continues to drive until he finds the road once again. He weaves through the
city before stopping in front of a small clothing store.]
Misty: [Frightened] You’re not going to leave me here, are you?
Frank: Of course not. We need to buy you some new clothes. Yours are filthy.
Misty: [Looking down at her blood soaked clothes] Oh…I guess you’re right. Okay
[Frank and Misty walk into the store, attracting stares from the other customers.
Misty quickly picks out a white blouse and red polka dot skirt. She walks out of the
fitting room in her new clothes, smiling.]
Misty: [Beaming] Thank you so much sir, I’ve never owned anything quite as nice as
Frank: No problem missy. My name is Frank by the way. And yours is…?
Misty: Misty. Misty Clydesdale.
Frank: Beautiful. Uhhh…I should pay for this now. Lets go.
[Frank pays for the clothes and receives worried glances from the cashier about his
beaten and bruised appearance. Misty and Frank exit the store and climb into the
Misty: Frank, umm…thank you. I didn’t realize how bad it got back there.
Frank: [Dabbing at Misty’s wounds with a tissue] Don’t worry about it. Cant stand
to see a woman treated that way. Unfortunately it seems that all the nicest women
marry men who deserve them the least.
Misty: Gerard is a good man. He is my husband and I love him.
Frank: Misty, trust me when I say this. No woman as beautiful as you deserves a man
like that. Now lets find us some place to stay. I can’t take you home and risk this
Gerard character finding out where I live.
[The stage darkens to accommodate a change of setting. When the lights turn on, an
old desert-beaten hotel can be seen. The faded wooden sign outside reads “La Hotel
Bella Muerte” in fancy lettering. The lobby is dusty and somewhat outdated. The
main focal point hanging from above is the large crystal chandelier. On the scratched
wooden floors sit three old velvet armchairs and a large oak desk. A large man sits
at the desk, fiddling with his mustache. His nametag reads “Bob”. He is surprised
to see people walk into the lobby and shuffles around trying to make things as neat
Frank: Hello sir, could I please have a room for the night? One with…uh…two
Bob: [Grunts] All right, here you go. Room 13. Up the stairs, the last door on the
[Frank and Misty make their way up the rickety staircase. Frank pauses in front of
room 13 before slowly unlocking the door and stepping inside. The hotel room is far
worse than expected. Scarlet paint peels of the walls, revealing the unsightly
plaster beneath. Two small wooden beds lay in the center of the room, covered in
cream coloured sheets. However upon closer inspection, it is obvious that the sheets
had once been white. In between the two beds in a small wooden nightstand with an
old, flickering lamp on top. The room smells of old whiskey and cigars, giving Frank
and Misty a vague idea of the kind of people who inhabited the room last.]
Frank: So…umm. Ill take the bed on the right and you take the one on the left I
Misty: What am I to wear to sleep? Surely not in my new clothes!
Frank: Oh, damn it. I'm so sorry. I suppose we could go to the-
Misty: Oh that’s all right. I’ll just sleep without clothes. I hope your wife
Frank: I have no wife.
Misty: [In a surprised tone] Why not? A fine, rich fellow such as you should have a
wife by now!
Frank: To be honest, I just don’t have the time. My work keeps me extremely busy
and I wouldn’t want to be an absent husband like my father was. When I have a wife
and kids, it will be when I have enough time to be home and watch them grow.
Misty: [With a wary look on her face] Why, that’s so sweet of you. You’re a good
man Frank. Far better than any man I know.
Frank: Misty, if you don’t mind me asking, what do you possibly see in Gerard? You
are so lovely and kind. Why do you let yourself be treated so terribly? There are
thousands of men who would treat you well. I don’t understand a woman’s fixation
with men who treat them badly.
Misty: [Taken aback by Frank’s question] I don’t know Frank. I’ve never thought
much of myself and Gerard is the only man who ever loved me. Nobody else has ever
showed a remote interest in me.
Frank: Well I do. You’re a beautiful woman and deserve more than an abusive
husband, but that’s just my opinion.
[Misty nods and proceeds to take off her clothes. She slowly takes off her blouse and
skirt, leaving her only in her bra and underwear.]
Frank: [Clears throat uncomfortably] So, umm…off to bed then?
Misty: [Looking disappointed] Oh. Yeah, I guess so…
[Frank and Misty climb into their respective beds. Outside the window, the sun has
just set and is replaced by a black sky and glittering stars. Frank turns off the
lamp and closes his eyes. Misty remains wide-awake.]
Misty: Frank, are you awake?
Frank: Yes I am. Is something wrong?
Misty: This room doesn’t have any heat and I'm terribly cold. I'm quite sensitive
to the temperature and cannot sleep. Do you mind if I sleep next to you? If that’s
all right, I mean…
Frank: Oh! Of course you can.
[Frank turns on the lamp once again as Misty saunters across the room and slips under
the covers of Frank’s bed. She curls herself up against his body, shivering.]
Misty: Thank you Frank. You’ve done so much for me today. I don’t know how I
could ever make it up to you. I owe you my life.
Frank: Don’t worry about it Misty. I would do it again just to see you safe.
[Misty looks up at Frank and closes the gap between their lips. Frank quickly pulls
away from the kiss.]
Frank: But your husband. Gerard.
Misty: I can’t go back to him. I don’t ever want to see him again. I could make
you happy Frank. I could be exactly what you need. Imagine our future together Frank,
cant you see it?
Frank: I can see it darling. Misty, come live with me. Lets make a life together.
Misty: Oh Frank, that would be perfect. Gerard will never find us. Our life will be
[Misty kisses Frank. Neither pulls away from the kiss as Frank turns off the lamp and
pushes Misty down onto the bed. The stage darkens as a giggle escapes Misty’s
[The lights turn on again to reveal the hotel room bathed in sunlight. The sun shines
through the window onto the bed, revealing the bloody corpse of Frank. His neck is
slit wide open and dripping scarlet blood. Misty stands at the other side of the
room, putting her clothes on. She walks over to the bed and grabs Frank’s wallet
and keys from his pants on the floor. She pauses for a moment and smiles at the
Misty: Another bed, another mess. The devil’s appetite never rests.
[Misty exits the room and makes her way down the winding staircase. She exits the
hotel to find Gerard leaning against the corvette in the parking lot.]
Misty: [Winking] Hey baby, how’ve you been?
Gerard: I’ve been better. That bastard knew how to throw a punch.
Misty: [Laughing] Well, he had a real soft spot for women. [Throws Gerard the keys to
the Eldorado] I hope this makes up for it. We’ve got cash to spend. Where do you
want to go?
Gerard: Aw, sugar. We can go anywhere you like.
[Gerard and Misty share a passionate kiss before jumping into the Eldorado. With a
deafening roar, they speed off into the desert, leaving nothing but a corpse and a
cloud of dust in their wake.]