28 Plays Later: Challenge 5 (The Catch Up)

Holy crap on a cracker, this has been murder (pun an happy accident!) Today I had to write a murder mystery and it has been grueling trying to write something half decent with little time. I wanted to quit but I didn’t, so while I may not be hugely proud of the work below I’m hugely proud of that.

The Catch Up

Samantha Frost

5th February 2017

 

Characters

Sophie Deven’s

Paul Shrew

Matt Riley

Detective Summers

2 x Police Officers

 

 

Act 1.

Scene 1.

One side of the stage is set as an interrogation room in a police station, the other side is in darkness. We see SOPHIE, sat, waiting. She has clearly been crying. Enter DETECTIVE SUMMERS, he has a file under one arm and a plastic cup of water in the other, he sits opposite Sophie and gives her the water.

Sophie:

Thank you.

Summers switches on the tape recorder.

Summers:

Interview with Miss Sophie Davens conductive by myself Detective Ryan Summers, the time is 1:48pm. Miss Davens, could you please take me through the events of last night.

Sophie:

You can call me Sophie. Where do you want me to start?

Summers:

If you could start by telling me why you were at the decedents house, Miss Davens.

Sophie:

It was a catch up, I guess.

Summers:

A catch up? What were you catching up on?

Sophie:

Well I had been travelling for three months so the gang wanted to get together and catch up, celebrate my home coming. We had really missed each other.

Summers:

The gang? Yourself, Matthew Riley and Paul Shrew?

Sophie:

Yes.

Scene 2

Fade to black as the other side of the stage is illuminated, we see Paul, driving. He is talking on his hands free.

Paul:

No, I don’t think so… Of course, I will but I imagine I will be home tonight…. Sure, I Love you sweetheart, have a great night, don’t eat all the cake (laughing) Ok honey, bye.

Paul stays lit, next to him another car is lit inside we see Sophie, she is singing loudly along to her stereo, the music should reflect a modern inspirational song about finding your strength (Fight Song, Fighter etc.) Her music fades out as her phone rings, Sophie looks at the caller ID and ignores it, eventually the ringing stops and she continues her singing. She pulls up and turns the engine off, as she is doing so Paul does the same. They get out of their cars.

Paul:

SOPH!!

They embrace. As they do the lights fade on the cars.

Sophie:

Hi! Oh, my god I missed you so much!

Paul:

Same! How was South Africa?

The Lights come up and the cars are gone, we see Matt enter.

Matt:

Group Hug?!

Sophie and Paul:

Matt!

Sophie runs and gives Matt a hug, it’s a second or two longer than an average hug, barely noticeable.

Matt:

Hey babe, hey Paul. Come let’s get inside and get some eats.

Sophie:

And wine?

Paul:

Obviously, wine!

They walk off stage the lights dim,

Scene 3.

Lights up on the interrogation room, Paul now sits in the chair.

 

Summers:

Did you notice anything unusual about Mr Riley? Did he seem stressed or paranoid?

Paul:

No, he seemed like Matt, just happy to see Sophie and have us all in the same room again. The night went like always, food and too much wine.

Summers:

Would you say you were intoxicated?

Paul:

Yeah, we all were. That’s what you do when you are with friends you get drunk and have a laugh.

Summers:

Did Mr Riley seem more intoxicated than usual?

Paul:

I don’t know? What does that matter? He had a sword through his chest! I hope to god he was black out drunk when he went to bed, so he didn’t know what was happening to him.

Summers:

The sword in question, was a gift from you, is that correct?

Paul:

Yes. I bought it for him last year. Its Sting.

Summers:

Excuse me?

Paul:

Sting. As in Bilbo’s sword form ‘The Hobbit’

summers is still, clearly having no idea what Paul is talking about.

Paul (cont.)

It’s a replica of a film prop. Matt was a huge fan.

Summers:

Let’s get back to the events of last night, you said you were all enjoying yourselves? What were you doing?

Fade to black.

Scene 4.

Lights up, the friends are sat round the table, plates empty. There are three empty bottle of wine and Matt is opening a fourth.

Sophie:

Oh god, I’m going to have the worst hang-over tomorrow! How am I going to get home?

Matt:

Stay over, it will be like old times.

 

Paul:

If we are doing sleep overs I better call Terry, I promised I would.

Sophie:

Sleep overs? What are we thirteen, are going to braid each other’s hair and have a pillow fight?

Paul:

You’d be the first one hit, drama queen.

Sophie:

Not if we team up on Matt (laughing)I suppose I should call Mark, I’ll catch hell otherwise.

Matt:

Firstly, Hey! And secondly don’t both leave at once, I need someone to drink with!

Paul:

Needy much? I’ll pop out and Sophie can babysit!

Matt:

I’m not needy, I’m drunk and I want some company shit head.

Paul:

(laughing) piss off.

Paul exits.

Scene 5.

Interrogation room.

 

Summers:

And how long were you out of the room?

Paul:

Five minutes, why?

Summers:

Five minutes. So, Mr Riley and Miss Denver were alone for five minutes?

Paul:

Yeah, so?

Summers:

When you came back in the room, did everything seem normal?

 

Paul:

Why do you keep asking these questions? He was stabbed, when I was sleeping. I think I would have noticed a sword sticking out of my friend’s chest.

Summers:

If you could answer the question, please Mr shrew

Paul:

Everything was fine.

Summers:

You are sure Mr Riley wasn’t acting strange, he didn’t appear ill to you?

Paul:

He was wasted, he looked pale and said he needed to go to bed.

Summers:

And Miss Devan’s? Did she seem normal?

Paul:

YES!

Summers:

I understand this is frustrating, I’m trying to understand the facts of the case so I can determine what happened to your friend.

Paul:

Yeah, she was fine, she said she was going to go to bed too.

Summers:

She didn’t step out to call (he checks his notes) Mark?

Paul:

No, she text him instead, she couldn’t be bothered to deal with his drama. Marks an arsehole. Sorry.

Summers:

So, you were outside for five minutes, Mr Riley and Miss Devan’s were alone. When you returned to the room Mr Riley was pale and said he needed to go to bed. Miss Devan’s changed her mind and text, mark. She also wanted to turn in for the evening?

Paul:

You’re making it say weird.

Summers:

I’m simply stating the facts as they have been told to me.

Paul:

But you’re making it sound like Sophie did something wrong. Like I said he went to bed and he was, apart from being off his face, fine. He was stabbed, someone broke in and stabbed him.

Summers:

Why do you think someone broke in?

Paul:

Well, it sure as hell wasn’t one of us, we’ve been best friends since school.

Summers:

There were no signs of a break in Mr Shrew.

Paul:

What are you saying?

Summers:

It would appear, the crime was committed inside the house. So, I ask again, are you sure that Miss Devan’s was acting normally on your return?

Paul:

What does it matter? Even if she did it, which she didn’t, he was stabbed in the night, not at the dinner table.

Summers:

I am asking Mr Shrew because Mr Riley was murdered before he left the dinner table.

Paul:

WHAT?! No, he wasn’t, he was fine!!

Summers:

He was pale and unwell because he had been poisoned.

 

END OF ACT ONE.

 

 

Act Two.

Scene 1

Sophie and Paul are sat in the living room.

Sophie:

Do you think we should wake him up?

Paul:

I was thinking the same thing, I don’t want to leave without saying goodbye and I promised Teri I’d be back by 10.

Sophie:

You go, I don’t want to see anything grim hanging out of the bedsheets again!

Paul:

Like that’s on my wish list for the day!

Sophie:

Please, you’ve got one too. Its less weird for you.

Paul:

Fine.

Paul exits

O.S. Paul: Matt wake up you lazy bastard, we are going

We hear a door open.

O.S. Paul: Oh Shit! Shit! Fuck! Sophie!

 

Scene 2

Interrogation room, Sophie is in the hot seat again.

 

Sophie:

Poisoned?! What? No. Matt had a sword in his chest.

Summers:

You were alone with him while Paul stepped outside. He was gone for five minutes, that would be plenty of time for you to administer the poison, wouldn’t it?

Sophie:

You think I, did it? (she breaks down) I loved him!

Summers:

You two were in a romantic relationship?

Sophie:

Yes, well no. I mean we used to be.

Summers:

I assume he broke it off considering your feelings?

Sophie:

Yes, he was seeing someone else.

Summers:

Who?

Sophie:

He wouldn’t say

Summers:

That must have been very upsetting for you.

Sophie:

You think I killed him because we broke up? That was years ago.

Summers:

You just said you love him, maybe you never got over the betrayal?

 

Scene 3

Sophie and Paul are downstairs, Sophie is crying, Paul is pacing.

Sophie:

We need to call the police.

Paul:

No,

Sophie:

What?! Matt is upstairs with a fucking sword through his chest, we need to call the police now!

Paul:

They will think it’s one of us Soph!

Sophie:

That’s ridiculous, of course they wont

Paul:

We are the only people here Sophie, think about it!

Paul raises his hand to his head and we see a fresh cut.

 

Sophie:

What’s that?

Paul:

What’s what?

Sophie:

The cut on your hand, it wasn’t there last night.

Paul:

(Looking at his hand) I don’t know I woke up with it this morning.

Sophie backs away and starts dialling 999

Paul:

What are you doing? Sophie what are you doing?

Sophie:

(Puts the phone to her ear) I need the police please.

Paul:

Sophie, hang up! I didn’t do it, I swear. I must have done this last night and not remembered because I was so wasted.

Sophie:

I need to report a murder

Paul:

Sophie, you know me, come on please I loved Matt I could never do that to him (Paul starts to cry)

Sophie:

I’m at 38 Kingston road. No, I’m not in any danger, my friend is dead and I don’t know who did it. Thank you.

Paul:

Thank you

 

Scene 3

Interrogation room. Paul.

Paul:

No, no, no – you’ve got to be fucking kidding me

Summers:

I’m afraid not Mr Shrew

Paul:

That bitch tried to pin it on me!

Summers:

Miss Devan’s?

Paul:

She noticed I had a cut on my hand and acted like I had stabbed him, when she poisoned him and then tried to blame me?!

Summers:

Yes, I was going to get to that. How did you cut your hand?

Paul:

I don’t know, I woke up with it.

Summers:

It’s a pretty big slice for you not to notice.

Paul:

I don’t know! Can we get back to the fact that Sophie murdered my best friend!

Summers:

We don’t know that yet, Mr Shrew.

Paul:

It couldn’t have been me! I wasn’t alone with him. All night and not one chance for it to be just him and me.

Summers:

Chance? What did you need a chance for?

Paul:

To be alone! For three months, all I ever heard about was Sophie, how much he missed Sophie. I was there for him, I held him. I loved him but all he ever wanted was her! He left her for me but he’s never truly been with me. Always wanting her! And she killed him for it!

Summers:

You and Mr Riley were lovers?

Paul:

We were soul mates.

Summers:

We found a glass of water in Mr Riley’s bedroom, it had your finger prints on it.

Paul:

Yeah, I got him a glass of water before he went to bed because he was feeling rough, what has that got to do with anything?

Summers:

You said he was drunk nothing more.

 

Scene 4

Matts living room.

Paul:

We just need to stay calm, ok?

Sophie:

Trying to calm down

Yeah.

Paul:

We haven’t done anything wrong, we are victims too, just try to remember that.

Sophie:

Why would I forget that, Paul?

Paul:

I just mean, they will try to twist our words.

Sophie:

Why?!

Paul:

Because we are the only ones here Sophie!! Don’t be so fucking stupid, of course they will think it’s one of us.

Sophie:

Don’t call me fucking stupid! I’ve just seen the man I loved dead, I’m in shock.

Paul:

I loved him too, not just you!

Sophie:

Yeah, I know. He would never tell me who he left me for but because I’m not fucking stupid, I figured it out pretty quick.

Scene 5:

Interrogation room:

Both Paul and Sophie are sitting now

Summers:

Miss Devan’s, would you care to explain this? (He places a clear plastic bag, within it a small Tupperware container and a pair of latex gloves)

Sophie:

I don’t know what that is.

Summers:

This was found in your handbag, it has traces off Hemlock in it, this plant is indigenous to south Africa, Miss Devan’s.

Paul:

You crazy bitch!

Summers:

Mr shrew if you cannot restrain yourself you will be restrained; do I make myself clear?

Paul falls silent.

Sophie:

I honestly have never seen that before in my life.

Summers:

The stranger thing though is this was not brought back from south Africa but ordered online 4 months ago, stranger still the finger prints on the inside of the gloves belong to you Mr Shrew.

Paul:

What? No I…

Summers:

We also have traced the purchase of the poison to your account and confirmed your phone call to your husband went to your answer machine, meaning you waited outside for five minutes to give yourself an alibi

Sophie:

I knew it was you! Who doesn’t remember cutting their hand?! How could you? You said you loved him! You cheated on your husband for years, you made him leave me, so you could poison him and then stab him in the chest with a sword you bought him?! You’re sick! All this time he could have been with me!

Summers:

The peculiarities don’t end there I’m afraid Miss Devan’s, while it is clear you did not poison Mr Riley, the stabbing I’m afraid is another story. It was strange to me that a replica prop would be sharp enough to pierce a man’s sternum, that is why we had it checked to see if the blade had been tampered with. It had. It had been sharpened, the strangest thing though is we found Mr Shrews blood on it.

Sophie:

Why is that strange? He has a cut on his hand, clearly, he cut himself stabbing matt.

Summers:

Yes, that was my first thought also and indeed we found blood near the hilt as if Mr Shrew and slipped and managed to cut himself. That isn’t the blood I am speaking too however. There were traces of Mr Shrews blood on the tip of the sword, underneath Mr Riley’s. Meaning, you waited until he was asleep, I’m assuming you injected him with a sedative to ensure he wouldn’t wake up, in the spot you were about to cut if I had to make a guess, then you cut his hand and planted his blood near the hilt before going into Mr Riley’s room and committing what you believed to be a fatal blow, of course by this time he was already deceased from the poison administered earlier by Mr Shrew in the water he gave him.

Sophie:

That’s crazy, I could never do that and you have no proof I did, clearly Paul planted his own blood to make me look guilty.

Summers:

Perhaps but it is made highly unlikely by the discovery of these (he produces another evidence bag, containing a syringe, knife sharpening stone and latex gloves with blood on them) This time Miss Shaw it is your finger prints inside the gloves.

Sophie lunges for Paul, with the hatred she can no longer hide, Paul fights back with equal vitriol. Two police officers come in and restrain both of them.

Summers:

Next time you need to dispose of evidence I suggest you go further afield than next doors bins, miss Devan’s.

Sophie:

But I didn’t murder him, you said it yourself he was already dead.

Summers:

Intent to kill carries the same weight as actually murdering someone Miss Devan’s, you believed yourself to be killing a man and had he not been poisoned you would have succeeded.

Fade to black

Scene 6

Back at Matts House. We see the flashing lights of police cars outside. Sophie and Paul are sat on the sofa with two police officers standing by them. Detective Summers enters from off as if coming from upstairs.

Summers:

Mr Shrew, Miss Devan’s, I’m afraid you are both going to have to come with me.

 

End

 

 

 

 

 

 


One thought on “28 Plays Later: Challenge 5 (The Catch Up)

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