Sunday, March 1, 2009

Week Six, Day Forty-Two - “MR. MYSTERIUM”

“MR. MYSTERIUM”
Written by Joe Janes
3/1/09
42 of 365

CAST:
JUDGE VOODOO
MR. MYSTERIUM
STAVIUS PROCTOR
MARY PROCTOR
MALONEY
SAILOR
COURTROOM THUGS
ANNOUNCER
SOUND EFFECTS GUY

(Lights up on a 1940’s radio studio with its various old timey microphones. Off to one side is a table loaded with props for the sound effects man. All the actors dress in 1940s clothes with accents to their costumes denoting their characters. For example, Judge Voodoo wears a robe, Mr. Mysterium wears a fez, etc.)


(sfx: gong sound)

ANNOUNCER
The Dunbar Corporation presents…

MYSTERIUM
(low, slow and over-pronunciated)
Mee-sterrrrrrr Misssssss-steeeeeeerrrrr-eeeeeeeee-ummmmm. (then quickly) Fortune Teller Dectective.

ANNOUNCER
… brought to you by Dunbar - the makers of White Power Bleach. Black stains, yellow stains, red stains, even pesky little brown stains, are no match for the pure fighting power of White Power Bleach. Housewives everywhere, don’t just get your family’s clothes white, get them extra white with White Power Bleach.

(sfx: gong sound)

We hear the chattering of a small crowd.

(sfx: A gavel bangs and brings them to order.)

JUDGE
Order. Order. The court will now come to order. Bring in the prisoner!

STAVIUS
(sfx: being dragged by guards)
No, no. You people are mad. Mad, I say!

JUDGE
Guard, silence him!

(sfx: a slap is heard.)

Stavius is in pain and quiets.

JUDGE (continuing)
Mr. Stavius Proctor. Millionaire Philanthropist. Devoted husband and father. Writer of mediocre poetry. Kind to animals. Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Council to Make Orphans Happy. How do you plead?

STAVIUS
Plead? To what? What are my charges?

JUDGE
Those were your charges!

STAVIUS
What?

JUDGE
Do you deny them?

STAVIUS
No, this is ridiculous-

JUDGE
The prisoner pleads guilty of the crimes!

The crowd cheers!

JUDGE
You are hereby sentenced to…DEATH! By stoning!

(sfx: Rocks are flung at Stavius. Their pace quickens as he speaks)

STAVIUS
No, no. Please. I demand legal representation. I appeal! I appeal! I a-

(sfx: A rather large rock strikes him in the head and he falls.)

The crowd cheers, again. The sound fades.

(sfx: a bell is heard as a door opens and closes)

MARY
Hello? Hello-

MYSTERIUM
May I help you?

MARY
Are you?

MYSTERIUM
I am.

MARY
Mr. Mysterium?

MYSTERIUM
I said that I was.

MARY
I need your help.

MYSTERIUM
I know.

MARY
How did you know?

MYSTERIUM
Because you are here.

MARY
I see.

MYSTERIUM
No, I see. I am a seer of many things good and evil. Your name is Mary Proctor. You are here because your husband, Stavius Proctor, is missing. The police have been unable to help you, so you have come to me, Mr. Mysterium.

MARY
That’s about right.

MYSTERIUM
Your husband is dead.

MARY
Dead?

MYSTERIUM
Dead… That will be fifty dollars. Is there anything else I can help you with?

MARY
Dead?

MYSTERIUM
Yes.

MARY
Dead dead?

MYSTERIUM
Yes. I am a seer of good and evil. This is the evil part. I saw it in my crystal ball. I will take a check, but I prefer cash.

(sfx: A rock is thrown through the window of Mr. Mysterium’s shop and hits him in the head.)

MYSTERIUM
Ow! My head! My window! My head! I wish I had seen that coming!

MARY
There’s a note tied to the rock. And there’s blood on it.

MYSTERIUM
That’s probably mine. What does it say?

MARY
It says “If you want to see your husband again, be at the docks at midnight. Come alone. Bring $10,000. Preferably in cash.” My husband is still alive! You said he was dead.

MYSTERIUM
I thought it was him. Stocky. Curly red hair. Screams like a woman….?

MARY
That’s Stavius, all right.

MYSTERIUM
This could be a trick, Mrs. Proctor.

MARY
I can’t take that chance. Stavius needs me. The orphans need him.

MYSTERIUM
But $10,000, plus my $50 and the window, is a lot of money.

MARY
I don’t see how I owe you $50 if my husband is not as dead as you claimed.

MYSTERIUM
Well, I did put in the time. At least the window. Let me consult my crystal ball-

MARY
I’m afraid I don’t have time, Mr. Mysterium. The bank will close soon and I need to get that money together.

(sfx: She exits out the door with the bell)

MYSTERIUM
All right, then. I’ll just send you the bill.

(Sfx: a door opens. The sounds of a ship’s horn and sea gulls are heard. A door closes, silencing the shipyard sounds.)

MALONEY
Judge.

JUDGE
Yes, Maloney.

MALONEY
The message has been delivered to Mrs. Proctor. We followed her to some fortune-teller’s shop.

JUDGE
Fortune-teller, you say?

MALONEY
Yeah. A Mister Mystanthemum.

JUDGE
Mysterium, you idiot.

MALONEY
Yeah, that’s him. You want I should go mangle him up?

JUDGE
I have a better idea. Get the word out amongst your lackeys, Maloney. After we deliver Mr. Proctor and collect our due, court is going to be in session. (He laughs. Maloney joins him.)

(sfx: gong)

ANNOUNCER
We’ll return to “Mr. Mysterium, Fortune Teller Detective” in just a moment. Right now, I want to speak to the ladies about the Dunbar Corporation’s new product - White Power Bleach. Are you tired of washing clothes only for them to get dirty again? Well, White Power Bleach is the soaping agent you’ve been looking for. Every time you use the scientifically proven superior White Power Bleach, it builds an invisible protective barrier on your clothes. White Power Bleach gets unwanted stains out and keeps them out. Now, back to our story…

(sfx: gong)

(sfx: We hear dock sounds and a bell tolling in the background and the footsteps of a sailor.)

MARY
Excuse me, sailor. Yoo-hoo. Do you have the time?

SAILOR(lustfully)
Do I have the time? You bet I have the time, lady. …It’s midnight.

MARY
Thank you.

(sfx: walking off)

SAILOR (trailing off)
You’re welcome. Have a good evening.

MARY
My, it’s chilly out here. And so,so foggy. I can barely see my hand in front of my face, if I were to actually do such a thing. This satchel full of money is quite heavy.

JUDGE
Allow me to relieve you of it.

MARY
Who’s there?

JUDGE
Never mind who. Just put the satchel down and walk away.

MARY
But, where’s my husband?

JUDGE
He’s right behind you.

(sfx: Stavius is heard groaning and slowly walking toward Mary)

MARY
Stavius! Oh, Stavius! It’s you! It’s really you.

JUDGE
Maloney. Grab the satchel and check the money.

MALONEY
Right, Judge.

MARY
Oh, Stavius.

STAVIUS
(slowly)
Mary-

MARY
Yes, tis I. Your sweet devoted wife, Mary. I thought you were dead.

MYSTERIUM
He is dead, Mary.

MARY
Mr. Mysterium!

MYSTERIUM
Stay right where you are, you criminals. Don’t you dare move, Judge Voodoo.

JUDGE
Hello, Carl.

MYSTERIUM
Hello, Steve.

JUDGE
Why I haven’t seen you since…

JUDGE MYSTERIUM
Morrocco! Cleveland!

MYSTERIUM
Morocco?

JUDGE
Yes, I think it was Morocco.

MYSTERIUM
I could have sworn Cleveland. The flesh-eating rainbow perch you threw into Lake Erie?

JUDGE
I almost had them growing feet and walking onto shore before you interfered. But I’m still thinking Morocco was the last time… The scarabs , the fake mummy and the mystical babaganoush…The fez of doom?

MYSTERIUM
I kept the fez of doom. I use it for my winter fez. It’s very warm.

MARY
Carl Mysterium?

MALONEY
Steve Voodoo?

JUDGE
Judge Steve Voodoo. I earned this robe.

STAVIUS
Mary.

MARY
Oh, Stavius. It’s so good to have you back. You’re so cold. Here. Wear my bonnet.

MYSTERIUM
Tell her why Stavius is so cold, Voodoo.

JUDGE
Certainly, Mysterium. Mrs. Proctor, your husband is so cold because he is a zombie.

MARY
A zombie?

JUDGE
That’s right. A zombie. The living dead. He is in my control, now. I plan to return him to his philanthropic world and have him funnel his charitable dollars to us.

MYSTERIUM
So, you see, technically dead, which means I was right. Which also means there’s a matter of $50 and a window…

MARY
Fine, fine. I’ll pay you $50. But I’m not paying for that window. It was your window.

MYSTERIUM
The note was for you.

MARY
Have the person who threw the rock replace the window.

MYSTERIUM
I would, if I knew-

MALONEY
I threw the rock.

MARY
There you go. Get your money from that mean man.

MYSTERIUM
Fine. You, sir, owe me a new window. $35 ought to cover it.

MALONEY
Sheesh, I don’t carry that kind of cash on me. Oh wait- Here you go.

MARY
But that’s my money.

MYSTERIUM(counting the money)
Ten, twenty, thirty, thirty-five. Thank you.

JUDGE
Technically, it’s my money, now.

MALONEY
What should I do, Judge?

JUDGE
Let him keep it. We’ll get it back from him soon enough.

MYSTERIUM
You won’t get away with this, Voodoo.

JUDGE
Won’t I? Perhaps your crystal ball forgot to warn you about the men hiding in the shadows just behind you! Get him boys! Boys?


MYSTERIUM
Ha! My crystal ball did warn me about them. Perhaps you’re voodoo vision neglected to tell you that I had the police come earlier and dispatch of them. Officers! Officers! You can come out now!

JUDGE
Ha and Ha! My voodoo vision did warn me of your little plan and I hired a gang of shifty shore men to tie them up and ship them off to Shanghai!

MARY
But your crystal ball saw that, too, didn’t it, Mr. Mysterium? Didn’t it?

MYSTERIUM
You know, it really only gets one channel-

JUDGE
Grab him, Maloney!

MALONEY
Come here, you-

(sfx: Maloney struggles with and grabs Mysterium)

MALONEY
Got him, boss. What about Mrs. Proctor?

JUDGE
Don’t worry, her husband will take care of her.

(sfx: Zombie growling and struggling and dragging away)

MARY(trailing off)
Oh, Stavius. You animal! Oh, how I’ve missed you! This one’s for the orphans!

MYSTERIUM
And what do you plan to do with me, Voodoo?

JUDGE
Don’t worry, Mysterium. You will have your day - in court! (he laughs)

(sfx: crowd sounds and gavel calling court to order)

JUDGE
Order! Order in the court! Mr. Carl Mysterium. Teller of fortunes. Thwarter of evil. You are hereby sentenced to DEATH!

(sfx: crowd cheers and pelts Mysterium with rocks.)

MYSTERIUM
Sticks and – oh - stones may break my –

(sfx: big rock hits him in the head)

Ow.

(sfx: he falls)

The crowd cheers!

(sfx: door opening, letting in dock sounds, and door closing again).

MALONEY
Mr. Judge. We got more money in from the Proctors for our own “orphan” fund.

JUDGE
Excellent. Let’s celebrate, Maloney. Mysterium, bring us lime phosphates.

(SFX: Zombie groaning, quick mixing of drinks, and shuffling is heard)

MYSTERIUM
Here, Master.

JUDGE
Thank you. To us, Maloney – uh, why are you still here, Mysterium? And why are you holding your hand out?

MYSTERIUM
Tip.

JUDGE
One doesn’t tip a zombie slave. That’s the slave part. (MYSTERIUM groans) Fine. Here’s a quarter. Go away.

(sfx: Mysterium shuffles off)

MALONEY
You know, Boss, if you keep tipping him for everything he does, you’ll run out of money.

JUDGE
Not if we keep stealing it, Maloney. Not if we keep stealing! (They laugh, Mysterium joins in very loudly and kills the joy of their laughter.) Oh, shut up, Mysterium.

ANNOUNCER
Will Mr. Mysterium forever be Judge Voodoo’s zombie slave? Will he find a way to undo being undead? Will he be able to undo the voodoo Judge Voodoo dood? Join us next week on…

(SFX: GONG)

MYSTERIUM
(low, slow and over-pronunciated) Mee-sterrrrrrr Misssssss-steeeeeeerrrrr-eeeeeeeee-ummmmm. (then quickly) Fortune Teller Detective. And zombie.

ANNOUNCER
… brought to you by Dunbar - the makers of White Power
Bleach. Most laundry bleaches get your clothes clean for only a short period of time, but White Power Bleach is forever. Goodnight!

(sfx: gong sound)

3 comments:

idjar said...

I certainly hope White Power Bleach continues the show. Mr. M is worthy of a serial.

Paul said...

Yay! More serials!

Henri D said...

My new tongue Twister which I will practice really fast...Fortune Teller Detective.

outersin: n- the sin you let the world see, whilst keeping your real sin hidden