Blood on the Shop Floor: Part Two
SCENE 1: INT THE STORE’S MEN’S SECTION IN FRONT OF STAIRS. GATHERED ARE ANIS, LAUREN, ISIS, AND OSCAR. EVERYONE IS GROUCHY.
LAUREN: So who do you reckon did it?
ISIS: You mean me?
ISIS: Well I don’t know
OSCAR: Well you were there
ISIS: I wasn’t there, I found her
ANIS: Yeah, you found her
ISIS: I had nothing to do with this
ANIS: You knew the code
ISIS: And so did all of you! What’s to say she didn’t just let the killer in when he knocked. I think it was Ibrahim who did it.
ISIS: He’s creepy
LAUREN: And did you see the blood on his shoulder? How did that get there I wonder? Hmm…
ANIS: But why would he kill her, he’s got a lame reason to kill her – if any! I had a much better reason to kill her
FROM SEEMINGLY NOWHERE WITH BLAKE
KHUS: Which was?
ANIS GULPS. WHAT A PUSSY, IT’S ONLY KHUS.
ANIS: Now, look, saying I have a better reason to kill her doesn’t mean I actually went through with it. Sure, I didn’t want to be friends with her but that doesn’t mean I killed her
KHUS: You know, I noticed something earlier when we discovered the body.
KHUS: Delicia said ‘What the hell’, Ramsey asked ‘How the hell’, and Matt asked ‘Who the hell’. Blake asked ‘WHEN the hell’ a very good question, and partly why I’ve taken him on as an aide, but I noticed no one asked ‘WHY the hell’
KHUS: It seems that everyone thought there was an obvious answer as to WHY this woman was shot in the face. Well, only when we have the ‘why’ am I going to find out who and learn the when. We already know what the hell and how the hell. So, I leave you with the question of ‘WHY the hell’
KHUS: We’re going to go round the room and each of you is going to give me a reason WHY she would be murdered, starting with you, Isis
ISIS: Umm…she wasn’t very nice
KHUS: Perfect, now you, Oscar
OSCAR: She always put people on rubbish shifts
KHUS: You, Lauren
LAUREN: She made working here a stressful environment
ANIS: She was a bitch
BLAKE: You want a reason from me?
KHUS: No, you’re fine, Blake, (TURNING TO GROUP) Well…a dazzling array of motives all coming under one heading, starting with Isis’ point: she wasn’t very nice. No, she wasn’t, and do you think, perhaps that if she had been nicer she would still be alive
LAUREN: That’s unfair, we don’t know why they killed her
ANIS: Most certainly yes
EVERYONE LOOKS AT HIM
ANIS: If she had been a bit nicer, someone would not have graffitied on the fridge, we wouldn’t have stayed here locked in with her for someone to kill her.
BLAKE: He has a point
KHUS: He has a hunch, and it is as flabby as a French bell ringer. Anis,
KHUS: Do you like olives?
KHUS: Olives, are the largest natural export of Morocco, and are distributed from one tiny village to the rest of the world for oil
KHUS: Not the kind of oil they start wars over, olive oil. You squish grapes to make wine; you squish olives to make oil. Wine is more expensive, and classy. There is far less wine made each year than olive oil and yet they charge more for wine. You know why?
ANIS: Look this is getting us nowh-
KHUS: Please do not interrupt me when I am asking obviously rhetorical questions. They charge more for wine because a grape is far more desirable than an olive. Anis is an olive in a grapevine. He is embittered, sour, and discardable
ANIS: Where the fuck do you get off?
KHUS: Such a temper over such a small insult. I wonder what a consistent spate of verbal abuse and dressing down would force you to do?
ANIS STANDS UP
ANIS: You beat a dog, it will bite back
KHUS: Down boy
KHUS STANDS UP. IT’S FAR MORE IMPRESSIVE BECAUSE OF HIS HEIGHT.
ANIS: Can’t you at least throw me a bone?
KHUS: No, her bark was only worse than her bite
ANIS: Fine, put me into the dog house
KHUS: I’m not the kind to let sleeping dogs lie
ANIS: Why are you sticking up for the bitch?
KHUS: Because she got put down!
ANIS: And you just wanted to play fetch, well watch out for her fleas!
KHUS: At least one of us gets to do it doggy style!
ISIS: Guys, sit!
KHUS: Anis, you’re not being entirely truthful, and that has seriously ruined any credibility you have with me.
BLAKE: Yeah! Ruined any credibility with Khus.
ANIS: I don’t have to fucking impress you
KHUS. Right. Now, Oscar, you disappeared just before the body was found. Where did you go?
OSCAR: I was looking for Ibrahim
KHUS: And where did you look?
OSCAR: I looked in the stockroom, accessories, everywhere
KHUS: And what reason, if any, would you have for killing your boss? Before you said ‘assigning people rubbish shifts’ did she ever assign you a rubbish shift?
OSCAR: Of course, but you know, I did not do anything to her.
KHUS: Hmm I’ll be watching you, Oscar, I suspect you’re not being entirely truthful
BLAKE: Yeah! He be watching you
KHUS: Now, Isis, you found the body, yes?
KHUS: I want you to tell me everything that happened up to when you found the body.
ISIS: Well, Oscar was missing for quite a while, looking for Ibrahim, and I went to the manager’s office and knocked on the door because…she…hadn’t been seen for, like, ages, so I just knocked and there was no answer.
KHUS: Go on
ISIS: Well then, because I knew the code, I got the door open, and then I saw her and it was the most scariest thing in my life
KHUS: Are you sure you’re not leaving anything out? Like, how when you farted earlier and left everybody upstairs, what did you do then?
ISIS: I swear on my mum’s life
KHUS: No, Isis, tell me what happened during that unwitnessed absence?
BLAKE: Khus! You’re not asking Isis any more questions she’s been through enough this night
LAUREN: You’re mean
ANIS: He’s a dick
KHUS WALKS OVER TO ANIS AND SUCKER PUNCHES HIM
KHUS: I apologise if I did not make myself clearer earlier. Allow myself to introduce…me…self…my name is Khusrao Hakimi and I’m responsible for the wellbeing of this store, and like it or not, you all are going to tell me the truth, and you will give me answers. Until then, you’re going to keep your mouth shut.
ANIS IS TOO WINDED TO REPLY
KHUS: Now Lauren, you’re next.
KHUS: Now after the group, mostly led by Anis, ostracised you, you disappeared from the rest of the group. Where did you go, and what did you do there?
LAUREN: I went downstairs, and did nothing else.
KHUS: You’re lying
LAUREN: I’m not!
KHUS: Well you’re concealing the truth at the least.
LAUREN: I’m actually not
KHUS: Oh I believe you went downstairs, but you did not do nothing. Lauren, you said a reason for killing her would be because she made working here a ‘stressful environment’. Would that hold up in court?
LAUREN: That’s not fair
KHUS: Life’s not fair. This woman went round doing her job and she got killed for her troubles.
ANIS: Are you insane?? She was a total cow! She wanted to get rid of everyone who had experience, like me, Lauren, Matt, Shabana, even you!
KHUS: And why’s that?
ANIS: Because we know what it’s like to be under a competent manager! She definitely made working here a stressful environment, handing out punishments wilily nillily, behaving so fake to everybody, just thinking she was above all of us, and never stopping to hear any of us out when we were in trouble.
KHUS: Like it or not, Anis, you are paid here to work, and do you not think that someone who is not working, does not need to be paid?
ANIS: But –
KHUS: And following that, is it not preferable to be punished rather than not get paid? As for thinking that she was of a higher status than the rest of us, get real. In this store she was the manager, out on the street, she’s just another carbon blob. As for being fake, I will be surprised to see you handle delegating tasks to the likes of people like Dominik and Matt without coming off patronising and superficial.
LAUREN: Yeah, but other managers do it just fine
KHUS: She is not other managers, she was the store manager
ANIS: WAS the store manager
KHUS: That’s…what I said
ANIS: Yeeeeah, addition by subtraction
KHUS: What does that even mean?
ANIS: You know, you are worse than her, we’ve been working together for almost three years, I never knew there was this side to you
KHUS: That’s because you are arrogant, like an olive
BLAKE: Yeah! Like an olive!
KHUS: Anis, when was the last time I gave truly you advice?
ANIS: Never. Oh wait, I’m thinking of the last time I truly took it.
KHUS: Well, it’s about time you should. Let me tell you this: you can't possibly overestimate how much you underestimate me, and if you're under the impression you'll overwhelm me with your little stunts, understand this: I'll be all over you the minute you try. I'm not your underling in here, you have nothing over me. And under the heading of…
ANIS: There are just far too many overs and unders going on here. My point is this: you’re a sad little arrogant jerk.
KHUS: I object to the term ‘little’ and my arrogance is only anticipatory. It coincides with the prospect that you are a murderer and a certain douche.
ANIS: You’re the douche, ‘Kouche’
SILENT PAUSE. LAUREN IS FIGHTING BACK THE URGE TO SAY ‘OOOO’
KHUS: And so’s yer face
BLAKE HAS TO COME BETWEEN THEM TO STOP ANOTHER MURDER
SCENE 2 INT THE STORE’S KIDS SECTION WHERE WE LEFT ANA, PARDEEP, MATT, LOIC, DELICIA, MARIGOLD, SHABANA, RAMSEY, IBRAHIM, DOMINIK, DAVID, AND DOREEN.
MATT: Man, they’re taking a while. How does Khus know it’s one of them?
MARIGOLD: Can we please change the subject, please?
MATT: A-Z game?
DOREEN: No one wants to play that stupid game
PARDEEP: What’s the time?
DELICIA: It’s half 12, I’m tired, you know,
MATT: We’re all shattered man…Ana, pull up your jeans
MATT: We can see your waist, man
BLAKE COMES DOWN THE STAIRS
BLAKE: Khus is coming in a minute, he’s been pretty tough on people he suspects, which is everybody, you know, watch your step with him, I think he’s been hit hard by what’s happened
ANA: We all have, what’s his deal?
MATT: Maybe it’s because he never thought a manager would die
RAMSEY: Maybe he liked her
IBRAHIM: Nah, no one would like her
BLAKE: Well, I dunno, just take it easy, try not to get too…you know
MATT: Look everyone, let’s not knob two bitches with the same johnny
ANA: Yeah, what the hell?
BLAKE: Oh, here he comes
KHUS COMES DOWN THE STAIRS. HE LOOKS IMPRESSIVE
MATT: Well, well, well, if it isn’t Inspector Clousseau
KHUS: That’s Khusrao
MATT: Whoops…sorry, they sound very similar
ANA: Where’s Oscar and that?
KHUS: Upstairs. Well I’m sure all of you must be feeling quite discomfited at the moment. I’m pleased to see that you all appear to have remained calm in lieu of this tragedy. I do have a chief suspect at the moment, but for now I’d just like to get everybody buddied up in a group of two to minimise any more incidents.
KHUS: Ramsey, you can be buddied up with Ibrahim, Ana go with Pardeep, Matt go with David, Marigold go with Doreen, Delicia go with Loic, and Shabana you’re left with Dominik. You will stay with your buddy at all times, and this will help you avoid any accidents, because at least your buddy will protect you…right…um…everybody pair up
MARIGOLD: (KISSES TEETH) I want to be with Loic
DELICIA: Haha shame
MARIGOLD: This is bullshit. Bullshit!
THEY ALL PAIR UP
KHUS: Ibrahim, let’s have it.
KHUS: You left the shop floor for a long time and when you returned, you had distinctive blood spots on your jumper. I want to know everything that happened when you left the shop floor.
IBRAHIM: Look, yeah, Isis, farted yeah, and I ain’t gonna stick around to inhale her fuckin’ butt breath, man, so I walked
MATT AND PARDEEP: Innit man.
KHUS: Then what happened?
IBRAHIM: (KISSES TEETH) Look yeah, I’m not comfortable answering these questions
KHUS: Comfortable? Little pussy want a lawyer? Get real.
IBRAHIM: You suspect me, innit, Blake said that you get hard on interrogation when you suspect them
MATT WHISPERS TO DAVID
MATT: He said hard on
DAVID: Yeah, I, yeah…
KHUS: Stop whispering. I hope you heard that I ‘get hard on’ people I suspect.
KHUS: Seeing as I suspect all of you, don’t expect to me to go soft at any time
MATT: We won’t
DELICIA SEES MATT GRINNING AND STARTS TO SMILE IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT SOMEONE JUST DIED. PARDEEP AND ANA THINK HE’S BEING AN IDIOT. DOREEN LOOKS LIKE SHE WANTS TO HIT SOMEONE. MARIGOLD HASN’T GOT TIME FOR THIS. DAVID IS SHAKING HIS HEAD
MATT: So you’re saying you’re going to be hard all night?
KHUS: You won’t know what hit you
MATT IS GOING TO LOSE HIS SHIT GIGGLING. IT’S REALLY NOT THAT FUNNY. I’M NOT EVEN SURE I GET IT
KHUS: What’s it like having bigger tits than your mother?
PARDEEP LAUGHS. DELICIA AND ANA ARE EMBARRASSED FOR MATT.
MATT: You mother fucker
KHUS: Logically it’s the only way I’d know for sure
MATT: You Sonofabitch!
KHUS: I can’t help think that you are talking about yourself. Hey, Matt, knock knock,
MATT: Fuck off
KHUS: Knock Knock!
MATT: Who’s there?
KHUS: Me, the guy who fucked your mother
BLAKE: Khus! Stop it man, what’s wrong with you, can you just be impassive like you are normally? You can’t expect to find out what happened from people if you insult them all the time.
KHUS: Maybe if I wasn’t surrounded by murderous morons, I’d mellow myself out, but my mind is made: Matt’s immaturity makes me mad. Mired in motives miraculously made from mere dark matter, this makes things all the more madcap.
PARDEEP WHISPERING: What the fuck is he on?
KHUS: Anyway passing over this alliterative hiccup, could I please be allowed to continue my investigation without anymore immature whispering, please, Matt?
MATT OPENS MOUTH TO GIVE A DEFIANT RESPONSE BUT DOESN’T HAVE TIME TO ANSWER
KHUS: Ibrahim, you’ve had ample time to think of a good cover story over the past two minutes explaining what happened after you left the ‘gas chamber’ upstairs.
MATT WANTS TO LAUGH BUT HE’S STILL ANNOYED. YOU DON’T CUSS PEOPLE’S MUMS, MAN.
KHUS: We’re all ears, Ibrahim
IBRAHIM LOOKS ROUND
IBRAHIM: Fuck it, I tried going out the back way to have a cigarette but it was locked. I tried going to the stockroom, just where the mens denim is kept, and I was down there smoking. Don’t no one tell no one please, I was just getting stressed waiting to be punished for something I didn’t even do. I know none of you…believe me or…like me, but I’m telling the gods honest truth, I swear down now. Look you can smell the smoke on me.
KHUS: I believe you, Ibrahim
IBRAHIM: Thank you, I’m not even, like, a violent person, I wouldn’t even sleeper hold someone from behind, let alone shoot someone
MATT QUIETLY: Oh that is such bullshit,
MARIGOLD OVERHEARS THIS AND WHISPERS
MARIGOLD: I think it’s him
DELICIA: I think it’s him, too
MATT: AND the smell of smoke can be explained by the gun smoke! It ALL fits!
PARDEEP: What’s going on with everybody upstairs, Khus?
KHUS: I think everyone up there has a reason to have murdered her
BLAKE: No, not EVERYBODY upstairs
KHUS: Right, but don’t think that all of you are off scot free. You all have a reason to kill her, it’s just they knew the code to the office.
DOREEN: When’s Oscar and everybody coming back?
KHUS: For now, I want them separate from the group. It helps if we’re in smaller groups it’s less easy to panic
MARIGOLD: I really don’t think that makes sense.
KHUS: Trust me, you’ll see.
MATT: I think this is such a waste, man
KHUS: Ramsey, you haven’t been your usual chatty self.
RAMSEY: I don’t feel the need to talk for the sake of talking
KHUS: I see, where does that come from?
RAMSEY: I’ve always been pretty good at dealing with tragedy.
KHUS: And where does that come from?
RAMSEY: Well, when I was younger, I had an accident, and I just learned to deal with it
KHUS: What happened?
RAMSEY: It involved a bear attack in Canada, my parents got badly hurt.
MATT: What happened, did the bear maul you?
RAMSEY IS SILENT
KHUS: Well, you have our sympathies, but let’s crack on and not deal with ancient history. There comes a time in someone’s life where someone as…extrovert as yourself can tend to lash out in unpredictable ways…can you tell me sincerely that you had nothing, and I mean nothing to do with today’s event
RAMSEY: I didn’t
KHUS: You’re telling me you didn’t, are you Ramsey?
RAMSEY: That’s right
KHUS: You didn’t have anything to do with the murder tonight?
RAMSEY: I’m telling the truth
KHUS: Are you?
KHUS: I’m going to ask you one more time. Did you have anything to do with her death, perhaps not murdering her yourself but is there maybe any other outside information you have that may have lead to her death, you can say absolutely nothing?
RAMSEY: Well, actually…
SUDDENLY THERE IS A MASSIVE POWERCUT. THEY ARE ALL PLUNGED INTO DARKNESS. THERE’S A LOT OF SCREAMING. KHUS IS HEARD OVER EVERYBODY
KHUS: EVERYBODY HOLD YOUR BUDDIES HAND!
MATT: Can we not, that’s so gay
KHUS: Quiet down, everybody please!
THERE’S SOME HEAVY BREATHING FROM ALL ASSEMBLED. WHEN IT CALMS DOWN…
…KHUS ASKS: Is everybody holding your buddy’s hand?
KHUS: Ah phew, we’re all OK then. The buddy system: it’s foolproof, nothing can touch it.
BLAKE: What’s your plan, Khus?
KHUS: I’m going to go in the room next to the LP’s office, and try to restore the store’s emergency regenerator.
BLAKE: Isn’t it locked?
KHUS: Nah, they don’t bother locking it anymore, but even so, it wouldn’t be a problem, this store’s doors are pitifully weak.
PARDEEP: This has been some rare bare next night blood, s’all rare-tare-tare and heavy and shit and waste and ting
MATT: Man I got shit scared when those lights went out man,
SHABANA: Yeah I know, innit, my heart was beating
DOMINIK: I’m so scared
IBRAHIM: The lights just went out, why’y’r’ll bein’ pussies, man?
MARIGOLD: You’re so stupid, first of all, someone’s died, meaning someone got killed and when the lights go out when there’s a killer in the building that’s generally cause for some fright
DOREEN: Just shut up, Ibrahim, if you’re not gonna help
MATT: I know why Youssfe wasn’t scared, because the killer has nothing to fear
IBRAHIM: Shut up, man, what you saying, that the only reason I’m not scared the lights went off is because I’m the killer, isn’t it?
MATT: You’re damn right about it, mate
RAMSEY: Don’t be stupid, there aren’t going to be any more murders now that she’s dead.
THE LIGHTS COME BACK ON. DELICIA AND LOIC HAVE BEEN SHOT. THEY ARE PRETTY DEAD. BUGGER, THERE’S NOTHING TO PROTECT THE BUDDY SYSTEM WHEN BOTH BUDDIES ARE DEAD. ANA NOTICES THIS FIRST AT LOOKS AT THEM BLANKLY. AFTER FOUR SECONDS SHE STARTS TO STUTTER. EVERYONE LOOKS WHERE SHE’S LOOKING. RAMSEY’S FACE IS MINGLED WITH SHOCK AND FEAR, IBRAHIM SCOWLS BUT A TEAR POPS OUT OF AN EYE, DAVID CUPS HIS HAND TO HIS MOUTH AND SHUTS HIS EYES, MATT BITES HIS KNUCKLE AND HIS KNEES KNOCK TOGETHER SO MUCH HE HAS NO CHOICE BUT TO FALL TO THE FLOOR IN A SITTING POSITION, DOREEN IMMEDIATELY STARTS CRYING, PARDEEP’S JAW IS HANGING AGAPE, MARIGOLD TAKES ALL THIS IN AND STARTS SCREAMING FOR DEAR LIFE. THIS WOULD BE A GOOD TIME FOR THE VOLUME OF THE CAST TO BE DIMINUENDOED AS SIGUR ROS - HOPPIPOLLA BEGINS AND CRESCENDOES OVER THE REACTIONS OF THE SHOCKED ASSEMBLED STAFF. DURING THE SONG’S QUIETER MOMENT WHERE THE PIANO KEYS GET SLOWER AND THE SINGER’S VOICE SAYS ‘HOPPIPOLLA’ WE LEAVE THE SCENE ON MARIGOLD’S FACE LOOKING LIKE A WATERFALL. FADE TO BLACK.
WELL IT’S A PRETTY SOMBRE MOMENT, PEOPLE ACTUALLY CARED ABOUT THOSE TWO, WHO WOULD BE MAD ENOUGH TO KILL OFF SUCH A PAIR WHEN RAMSEY AND IBRAHIM WERE IN THE SAME ROOM? I’M NOT SAYING ANYTHING, I’M JUST MENTIONING, YOU KNOW.
WHO KILLED THEM? IS THIS THE SAME KILLER OR ARE THERE NOW TWO KILLERS? WHY KILL DELICIA WHEN DOMINIK WAS RIGHT THERE? WHAT WAS RAMSEY ABOUT TO SAY? DESPITE HAVING CRAP PEOPLE SKILLS, DOES THIS MEAN KHUS IS ACTUALLY SHAPING UP TO BE A GOOD DETECTIVE? FIND OUT NEXT WEEK IN PART THREE OF ‘BLOOD ON THE SHOP FLOOR’ RELEASED THURSDAY 20 MARCH