Monday, February 8, 2010

"That bird is unloading!" Scene 10 and Scene 11

Scene 10


(morning light breaking through the curtains in Maxim Afinogenov’s room. Max laying on a made but ruffled bed, fully clothed. He’s even wearing his hat, though his glasses are crooked. A fair bit of noise coming from the next room. “I heard you!” says a male voice. “I don’t think you did, you good-for-nothin’ son of a varmint!” says a female voice. This exchange is followed by a loud crash. Max sits up, looks concerned.)


FEMALE VOICE

I’m leavin’!


(male groans unintelligibly. Another loud crash. Max puts his ear to the wall and looks horrified but curious)


MALE VOICE

(slurred) You ain’t really leavin’; come on back here to Jimmy. Come on now. How come it is you’re leavin’?


FEMALE VOICE

You can’t stop drinkin’, Jimmy! It’s as obvious as a parakeet in pantaloons!


(Look of recognition crosses Max’s face.)


MAXIM

(whispering to himself, still listening through the wall) The hotel owner?


FEMALE VOICE

Lowlife. Always the lowlife’s!


MAXIM

(to himself) Or is it lowlives?


(door in next room slams. Angry heels clomping down the corridor. Max backs away from the wall and, hesitating for a second and then eagerly, opens his door and peers down the hallway. He recognizes the disgruntled lady as one of Marty’s Party Girls, given her blue dress. All of a sudden the door next to him opens and out walks Jimmy Slates, who happens to be clutching his head.)


MAXIM

(trying to appear like he heard nothing) Oh, good morning, Mr. Slates. A fine day for one of your hotel breakfasts, I’m sure.


JIMMY

(still holding his head. Both eyes closed. Clearly suffering from a bad hangover, perhaps still drunk) They have the worst timing, Mr. ‘Fin. The worst timing.


MAXIM

A rough night, then?


JIMMY

The night was great; it’s the mornings she realizes I ain’t good for nothin’.


(silence)


JIMMY

You have a girl, Mr. ‘Fin?


MAXIM

(fumbles with his glasses, looks uncomfortable in the extreme) Um, ah, uh, yes. Yes I do, as a matter of fact.


JIMMY

Why didn’t she come with you to Thrasherville?


MAXIM

(polishing his glasses, still uncomfortable, but suddenly wistful) She’s uh, elsewhere. Has some things to do. I was hoping to come out here and make a quick dollar, then maybe she and myself could move to someplace nice. We write.


JIMMY

Well, if you’re ever lonely there’s more than a few girls here in Thrasherville who can keep you company, just ‘til you see her again. If you know what I mean! (nudges Max knowingly, then looks extremely pained and resumes his head-clutching)


MAXIM

Oh I couldn’t do that. Don’t have the temperament for it.


JIMMY

The temperwhat?


MAXIM

The, uh, never mind.


JIMMY

Well, Mr. ‘Fin, I gotta lay down a little bit. Any big plans for the day?


MAXIM

I’m supposed to be visiting the bank today.


JIMMY

You best not be pullin’ a stick-up! (laughs, then grimaces. He is in pain. He retires to his room. Maxim walks away.)


Scene 11


(Maxim walking down the dusty main street of Thrasherville in the harsh morning sun. He passes a clergyman, some greasy gold-diggers on their way to have their discoveries weighed and valued, and a trio of Mexican schoolgirls. Max manages an enthusiastic “Buenos dias!” before coming upon a large crowd gathered outside the town bank. The Thrasherville townsfolk are jabbering indignantly to one another. Max cranes his neck and surveys the scene. He’s looking for someone he recognizes. Finally his eyes---through the sea of cowboy and bowler hats and mustaches [some weak, some impressive]---fall on Pavel Kubina. He approaches his train ride buddy.)


MAX

What’s all this about?


PAVEL

Something about the town sheriff, your compatriot.


MAX

Kovalchuk?


PAVEL

Yes.


(Cut to a hapless bank teller standing at the front of the bank trying to calm the crowd. He bears more than a passing resemblance to Todd White.)


MAX

Is that man a banker?


PAVEL

I believe so. “Whitey,” they call him.


WHITEY

Come on now, folks, I mean...come on now. Let’s get un-riled, huh? How ‘bout that? Imagine you’re dunking your head in cool water and, and, uh--- (the crowd’s jeers and hisses drown him out)


MAX

And to think I was meant to open an account today...


(someone in the crowd calls out “Tell us what’s happening! Is he coming back?” The main topic of the crowd noise seems to be the whereabouts of Sheriff Kovalchuk, though one man, particularly loud, is shouting insults at Whitey the Bank Teller. He wears a purple cravat.)


MAX

Who’s the fellow in the cravat being so rude to the bank teller?


PAVEL

Oh, a journalist from the Thrasherville Journal. Willy Tilly, I think his name is.


MAX

Why’s he being so dismissive of this Whitey?


(empty milk carton flies through the air, hits Whitey on the forehead)


PAVEL

Mucked up his finances, I think. But Tilly is a gambler. He’s in Marty’s a lot I hear; I’m sure he’ll win it all back.


MAX

You sure do know a lot of stuff about Thrasherville for someone who’s only been here a few days.


PAVEL

It’s elementary, Maxim. When you have the connections I have, that is. Hey, let's go get a drink.


(Maxim and Pavel walk down the street a bit, to a bar called Thrash’s. They enter. Mostly empty except for a giant bird tending the bar. They sit down.)


PAVEL

Pilsner for me.


MAXIM

Um, a water for now, please.


(camera remains on Pavel and Max, but the shot prominently includes a giant yellow beak nodding in acknowledgement. The bird obliges. Pavel takes a long swig of the Pilsner. Maxim sips his water.)


PAVEL

We’ve come to a strange town, Maxim, a strange town.


MAXIM

Well, yes. That much is obvious. It’s not without charm, though.


PAVEL

You’re right, it does have some charming qualities. Often the strange and the charming are one and the same.


(silence. Max nods, slowly.)


MAXIM

So what were you saying about your connections? Did you already know some people before you came here?


PAVEL

No. My connections are, shall we say, less obvious.


MAXIM

I’ll say. What the hell are you talking about?


PAVEL

The occult, Maxim, the occult.


(The bar-tending bird looks up from his bar-polishing.)


PAVEL

(watching the bird out the corner of one eye, waiting for him to return to washing.) Where I come from, this stuff is available to anyone who seeks it. Prague is full of people who can teach you all about it. Second sight, the evil eye, magic, ghostly visitation...


MAXIM

Please! You’ve got to be kidding. Yes, I’ve heard all about Magic Prague, its alchemists and golems and tarot-readers and all that nonsense. It’s great for storytelling, but it’s not real.


PAVEL

(stone-faced) It is real, Maxim.


MAXIM

So are you telling me you’re some kind of clairvoyant? A visionary or second-sighter or something?


PAVEL

That’s more or less right.


MAXIM

(exhaling loudly and tapping his glass of water) Bartender! Whiskey, whiskey please.


PAVEL

I’m telling you, Max, I know what’s going on behind the scenes in this town. In the mayor’s office, in the rooms of the railroad magnates and mine-owners. Among the cowboy gangs and the stupid (he stresses that word) cops.


MAXIM

The police here aren’t stupid. That Peverley fellow, the one with the ten gallon hat, he’s an honest and decent man. The littler deputy, what’s his name?


PAVEL

Deputy Little.


MAXIM

He seems amiable enough. The other deputy is a bit brusque, but he’s a cop isn’t he? And besides, the police force here has hired me to do some detective work. They can’t be all that bad.


PAVEL

That’s the problem. They need a detective and they don’t know just what a fine resource they have in you. I can teach you, Maxim. I can help you solve crimes.


MAXIM

(scornfully) Through magic?


PAVEL

I can see things other people can’t. With your intellect and my, um, special abilities, we can bring the rule of law to this town.


MAXIM

(drinking his whiskey) It’s not like the town’s in a state of chaos or anything.


PAVEL

(looking suddenly perturbed) Maxim?


MAXIM

Yes?


PAVEL

Duck.


(at that instant a wooden barrel shatters the front window and crashes into the bar, knocking all kinds of bottles onto the floor, spilling different kinds of liquor into a streaming pool of different colors. The crowd gathered outside the bank is rioting. The bird bartender pulls a shotgun from under the bar and heads towards his broken window. He starts firing. Pavel and Max are face-down on the wooden floor, crawling towards the back of the room.)


MAXIM

(glancing up at the front window) Good Lord! That bird is unloading! (To Pavel) How could you possibly know that barrel was coming?!


(Pavel looks at Max.)


MAXIM

Holy shit.

13 comments:

Mr. Speaker said...

Holy shit Pasha! That sure is one ornery chicken! He's riiight bulbous too, ain't he?

Well done my Lord, but Jesus H, we'll never get Bill's ego to unswell after his cameo outside the bank! Oh boy. ;-)

GoPuckYourself said...

Haven't read 10 & 11 yet, cause I just saw on Twitter a glimpse of Eklund doing some ACTUAL reporting--Anssi Salmela was taken off the ice on a stretcher after getting hit by Jeff Carter. No idea if he's ok or not.

Mortimer Peacock said...

Yeah, I've been watching the game and I seen it with my eyes. It was brutal and kind of distressing, but he was moving his legs a little bit. According to the Grossman's Twitter he has a "refractured broken nose," which I first read as "refracted broken nose," but that he'll be OK.

Mortimer Peacock said...

Worst of all, it happened right after Salmela had scored a short handed goal.

In other news, Ilya still hasn't scored as a Devil.

Jay said...

Bergfors-1
Kovalchuk-0

Thrashers 1-1
Devils 1-2

Hmm...maybe it's Kovalchuk that's been the problem. LOL.

By the way, I just bought tickets from Stubhub for the April 6th game. Are we cheering or booing the former Captain?

Big Shooter said...

I'm not going to be booing. Some will though. No matter how it ended, Kovy gave every thing he had for 8 years and is our franchise leader in all important categories. Some respect is deserved, and has been earned by Kovalchuk.

Mr. Speaker said...

Yes, it would be quite a shame if the Blueland faithful were to boo and deride Anssi Salmela.

Rawhide said...

throwing popcorn at Big Shooter and Mr. Speaker

DOWN IN FRONT DAMMIT!!!

CaptainStefan said...

I want everyone involved with this story to know that if you see a fellow in a nice blue shirt and cowboy get-up at Blueland, thank yourselves. My brother likes the serial so much that he is now known as the "Blueland Bandit" to some STHs around town.

Jay said...

I'm thinking that those eight years were nice and all, but he threw my support down the drain when he says he wants to stay just to save face with the fans but then he wants to basically bend the Thrashers over to get a max deal. If he ends up signing in the KHL or for the max with another team, then fine, he is all about the money. But if he signs for less than what the Thrashers offered then he is dead to me. If anything he is worse than Hossa because at least Hossa pretty much said he wanted to choose and gave almost no inclination of staying. The Thrashers could have made out like bandits if Kovy had said he only wanted the max back in July and they traded him then.

krisabelle said...

Morty, I loved this: "It’s as obvious as a parakeet in pantaloons"! Nice work! Loved Bill throwing the milk carton at Todd White! Fabulousity!

The day Shooter boos Kovalchuk (or let's get real, takes down his poster of him in a kilt that hangs over his sofa) is the day I shave my head. Never. Gonna. Happen! And good for you, Shooter; I respect your Kovaluv!

Cheers!

krisabelle said...

Or would it be Lovalchuk? :) just in time for V-Day!

Big Shooter said...

Alas, just like every other love interest I've had, my Kovalchuk has left me for greener pastures (and just before V-Day too... now what am I going to do with my heart shaped Ilya Kovalchuk pillow?). The only difference this time is Kovalchuk is a man, not a woman. But hey, love is love!!

Hey... the last three girls I've dated have all immediately started dating other guys after me and have all married them within a year. I know, I'm Good Luck Chuck. I say this because this can only mean Ilya signs a lifetime contract with the Devils. Oh well, at least I still have my poster over the sofa, and in the bedroom, and in the kitchen, and in the bathroom...