Short Screenplay: Fool Me Once

I entered this five-page short into a competition for April Fool’s Day.  It wasn’t selected, so I thought it would be fun to add here.    Cutting and pasting has funked up the formatting, but I think it’s still readable.

 

 

 

FADE IN:

EXT. GLASGOW- DAY
It is early in the Dear Green Place, and the only people out
are hosing last night’s sick off the cobblestone streets.

EXT. STREET – DAY

A cab drives away, revealing a young couple struggling with large backpacks.

VANESSA is 24, of Indian descent and British Nationality. She is dressed in Thai fisherman pants and a Bob Marley tshirt.

Her companion is Dylan–29, or so he has claimed for a few years now. His curly mane and twinkling eyes have wooed more than one young lady. He is South African and clutches a beer in one-hand.

They trundle into a large, spacious hotel lobby. No one is behind the large desk and the stairs behind them are likewise empty. Vanessa rings the bell, once, then twice.

VANESSA
I don’t like this.

DYLAN
Come on. You’re scared now?

(sips beer)

VANESSA
I didn’t say that. I said I don’t like it.

DYLAN
Vanessa Singh–veteran traveler of scary places like Pakistan, Iran, and America. How is it that Glasgow frightens you?

VANESSA
I didn’t say–fine. Look, I know it sounds funny, but I have the strangest feeling.

DYLAN
Well I booked it two days ago. They said they had plenty of room.

VANESSA
Have we got the right day?

DYLAN
Dunno. Isn’t it Wednesday? Or maybe Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays.

VANESSA
You and me both, Mr. Dent.
(beat)
Hang on. I literally do not know what day it is.

DYLAN
Got me. Iphone got stolen in Vietnam. Here, I’ll just ask someone.

He walks out the door. As he does so, Vanessa slips her phone out of a pocket. A wicked smile spreads across her lips.

Dylan is back in a flash.

VANESSA
And?

DYLAN
Hard to say. I couldn’t really understand him.

VANESSA
Scottish is hard, and Glasgow especially so.

DYLAN
But you’re from here?

VANESSA
I’m English, mate. A little town called Putney. It’s where the boat races are, where the PM is from.

DYLAN
Sounds like Wankerville.

VANESSA
Nailed it.

DYLAN
(rings the bell again,
thrice)
Fuck it, let’s go somewhere else.

Vanessa laughs.

DYLAN (CONT’D)
Something funny?

VANESSA
You know what day it is? Month?

DYLAN
We’ve established this already. Late March, I reckon.

VANESSA
It’s not late March. It is, in fact, April 1st.

Understanding dawns.

DYLAN
Fuck me.

VANESSA
April fools!

DYLAN
You arranged all this?

VANESSA
I emailed them last night. Cost a few bob, but what price humor, heh?

DYLAN
It’s moderately funny, I suppose.
(beat)
You set up the creepy fish-looking local outside too?

VANESSA
Nah, mate, that’s just Glasgow.

DYLAN
So where is everyone?

VANESSA
Good question, that. Hey! You can come out now.

Silence. Vanessa frowns. Dylan finishes his beer and throws it toward the rubbish bin. It misses and clatters on the tile floor.

A groaning sound echoes throughout the hotel.

VANESSA (CONT’D)
I wish you hadn’t done that.

DYLAN
Tsk, Tsk. Vanessa Singh. Fool me once….

VANESSA
Shit. Of course it’s part of the gag.

Someone pounds on the glass. It is a wild-haired old man, whose features are as much amphibian as mammalian.

DYLAN
Wow. You really got your money’s worth.

VANESSA
I guess. I just asked them to look really busy, put us in the same room.

DYLAN
Oh really.

VANESSA
This is all so, above-and-beyond.

Another frogman appears, vacant-eyed and drooling. He–it–latches onto the glass with leech lips.

DYLAN
I, um, am going to check upstairs. They’re probably up there cleaning.

VANESSA
Good idea.

Hand in hand, they briskly ascend the staircase. As they do, more groaning rings through the empty hotel. Two more frog creatures slip up to the glass windows.

DYLAN
What is that smell?

VANESSA
Smells like a Thai fish market.  But worse.

DYLAN
How much did you pay?

VANESSA
10 quid.

DYLAN
You’re really getting your money’s worth.

VANESSA
That’s what I’m afraid of.

The reach the top of the stairs and see: A long hallway, with all doors open, save one.

VANESSA (CONT’D)
Fuck this. I never liked the Shining anyway.

DYLAN
Would be a shame to die in your home country after so many adventures.

They walk past open doors, revealing only clean and empty rooms.

VANESSA
You’re awfully calm about this.

DYLAN
Grow in Joburg, it takes a lot to scare you.

They have reached the last door.

VANESSA
Hello?

Dylan pushes the door open.

Inside is a family of frogmen, feasting on human bodies. The
most human of them looks up, big eyes blinking.

FROGMAN
Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Phatagan!

Dylan slams the door shut.

DYLAN
Same thing the fellow outside said. Hectic.

VANESSA
Fucking Glaswegians.

FADE OUT.

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