Written by Joe Janes
42 of 365
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)
ANNOUNCERThe 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.)
JUDGEOrder. 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!
JUDGEGuard, 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?
STAVIUSPlead? To what? What are my charges?
JUDGEThose were your charges!
JUDGEDo you deny them?
STAVIUSNo, this is ridiculous-
JUDGEThe prisoner pleads guilty of the crimes!
The crowd cheers!
JUDGEYou are hereby sentenced to…DEATH! By stoning!
(sfx: Rocks are flung at Stavius. Their pace quickens as he speaks)
STAVIUSNo, 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)
MYSTERIUMMay I help you?
MYSTERIUMI said that I was.
MARYI need your help.
MARYHow did you know?
MYSTERIUMBecause you are here.
MYSTERIUMNo, 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.
MARYThat’s about right.
MYSTERIUMYour husband is dead.
MYSTERIUMDead… That will be fifty dollars. Is there anything else I can help you with?
MYSTERIUMYes. 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.)
MYSTERIUMOw! My head! My window! My head! I wish I had seen that coming!
MARYThere’s a note tied to the rock. And there’s blood on it.
MYSTERIUMThat’s probably mine. What does it say?
MARYIt 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.
MYSTERIUMI thought it was him. Stocky. Curly red hair. Screams like a woman….?
MARYThat’s Stavius, all right.
MYSTERIUMThis could be a trick, Mrs. Proctor.
MARYI can’t take that chance. Stavius needs me. The orphans need him.
MYSTERIUMBut $10,000, plus my $50 and the window, is a lot of money.
MARYI don’t see how I owe you $50 if my husband is not as dead as you claimed.
MYSTERIUMWell, I did put in the time. At least the window. Let me consult my crystal ball-
MARYI’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)
MYSTERIUMAll 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.)
MALONEYThe message has been delivered to Mrs. Proctor. We followed her to some fortune-teller’s shop.
JUDGEFortune-teller, you say?
MALONEYYeah. A Mister Mystanthemum.
JUDGEMysterium, you idiot.
MALONEYYeah, that’s him. You want I should go mangle him up?
JUDGEI 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.)
ANNOUNCERWe’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: We hear dock sounds and a bell tolling in the background and the footsteps of a sailor.)
MARYExcuse 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.
(sfx: walking off)
SAILOR (trailing off)You’re welcome. Have a good evening.
MARYMy, 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.
JUDGEAllow me to relieve you of it.
JUDGENever mind who. Just put the satchel down and walk away.
MARYBut, where’s my husband?
JUDGEHe’s right behind you.
(sfx: Stavius is heard groaning and slowly walking toward Mary)
MARYStavius! Oh, Stavius! It’s you! It’s really you.
JUDGEMaloney. Grab the satchel and check the money.
MARYYes, tis I. Your sweet devoted wife, Mary. I thought you were dead.
MYSTERIUMHe is dead, Mary.
MYSTERIUMStay right where you are, you criminals. Don’t you dare move, Judge Voodoo.
JUDGEWhy I haven’t seen you since…
JUDGEYes, I think it was Morocco.
MYSTERIUMI could have sworn Cleveland. The flesh-eating rainbow perch you threw into Lake Erie?
JUDGEI 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?
MYSTERIUMI kept the fez of doom. I use it for my winter fez. It’s very warm.
JUDGEJudge Steve Voodoo. I earned this robe.
MARYOh, Stavius. It’s so good to have you back. You’re so cold. Here. Wear my bonnet.
MYSTERIUMTell her why Stavius is so cold, Voodoo.
JUDGECertainly, Mysterium. Mrs. Proctor, your husband is so cold because he is a zombie.
JUDGEThat’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.
MYSTERIUMSo, you see, technically dead, which means I was right. Which also means there’s a matter of $50 and a window…
MARYFine, fine. I’ll pay you $50. But I’m not paying for that window. It was your window.
MYSTERIUMThe note was for you.
MARYHave the person who threw the rock replace the window.
MYSTERIUMI would, if I knew-
MALONEYI threw the rock.
MARYThere you go. Get your money from that mean man.
MYSTERIUMFine. You, sir, owe me a new window. $35 ought to cover it.
MALONEYSheesh, I don’t carry that kind of cash on me. Oh wait- Here you go.
MARYBut that’s my money.
MYSTERIUM(counting the money)Ten, twenty, thirty, thirty-five. Thank you.
JUDGETechnically, it’s my money, now.
MALONEYWhat should I do, Judge?
JUDGELet him keep it. We’ll get it back from him soon enough.
MYSTERIUMYou won’t get away with this, Voodoo.
JUDGEWon’t I? Perhaps your crystal ball forgot to warn you about the men hiding in the shadows just behind you! Get him boys! Boys?
MYSTERIUMHa! 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!
JUDGEHa 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!
MARYBut your crystal ball saw that, too, didn’t it, Mr. Mysterium? Didn’t it?
MYSTERIUMYou know, it really only gets one channel-
JUDGEGrab him, Maloney!
MALONEYCome here, you-
(sfx: Maloney struggles with and grabs Mysterium)
MALONEYGot him, boss. What about Mrs. Proctor?
JUDGEDon’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!
MYSTERIUMAnd what do you plan to do with me, Voodoo?
JUDGEDon’t worry, Mysterium. You will have your day - in court! (he laughs)
(sfx: crowd sounds and gavel calling court to order)
JUDGEOrder! 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.)
MYSTERIUMSticks and – oh - stones may break my –
(sfx: big rock hits him in the head)
(sfx: he falls)
The crowd cheers!
(sfx: door opening, letting in dock sounds, and door closing again).
MALONEYMr. Judge. We got more money in from the Proctors for our own “orphan” fund.
JUDGEExcellent. Let’s celebrate, Maloney. Mysterium, bring us lime phosphates.
(SFX: Zombie groaning, quick mixing of drinks, and shuffling is heard)
JUDGEThank you. To us, Maloney – uh, why are you still here, Mysterium? And why are you holding your hand out?
JUDGEOne doesn’t tip a zombie slave. That’s the slave part. (MYSTERIUM groans) Fine. Here’s a quarter. Go away.
(sfx: Mysterium shuffles off)
MALONEYYou know, Boss, if you keep tipping him for everything he does, you’ll run out of money.
JUDGENot 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.
ANNOUNCERWill 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…
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)