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Nine Tenths
by Howie J. A. Cherry (lastboiscout@hotmail.com)

Rated: R   Genre: Film Noir   User Review:

This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.

We enter a messy, disorganised room. The only thing that
makes it an look distinctly like an office is one or two
filing cabinets, a desk and a sign on the front door that
The desk was messy: loose paperwork, coffee cup stains, food
remains and a half empty bottle of whiskey.
However, this was an office – a place of work - CHARLIE
JORDAN’S place of work.
Charlie had a career change – he had become self-employed,
and worked, or tried to, as a Private Detective.
This place was also Charlie’s home. On the far side of the
room was a messy bed, a TV and in the back room there was
the toilet, sink, bath, etc.
CHARLIE JORDAN, then 40-ish, in his trademark chinos, sports
jumper and leather jacket, sat at his desk.
Charlie picked up a coffee-stained cup and poured himself
some whiskey. Opposite Charlie sat a man. We never saw this
man’s face – his identity remains a MYSTERY, however he did
wear a gold, expensive-looking watch. Everything else about
MYSTERY MAN was normal: white, his clothes are plain,
average build, etc.
MYSTERY MAN came to Charlie for business. He handed Charlie
a picture. We never saw the picture itself but as Charlie
was a Private we could safely assume that this is a picture
of a person MYSTERY MAN wanted finding.
Charlie glanced at the picture. He observed it... He stared
at it... He absorbed it.
MYSTERY MAN also gave Charlie a wad of cash. Charlie took
Charlie stood alone – MYSTERY MAN had gone. He stood by the
window, drinking whiskey from his coffee cup.


Charlie placed the cup on his desk. He picked up the photo –
stared at it peacefully for a moment, placed inside his
jacket pocket.
Charlie opened the top draw of his filing cabinet inside
were various separators, one entitled MISSING PERSONS,
written in black pen. This entire draw was empty and in that
MISSING PERSONS section, Charlie filed a single piece of
paper – his first case. Written on this paper, were the
details on the missing person.
In the floor was a safe. Charlie hid the money here. Next he
took out his gun, his favourite gun.
Charlie leaves.
                       CHARLIE (VO)
Never in a single lifetime was a
man more misunderstood.
It is late morning... We return to Charlie’s workplace and
home. It is now even more of a mess and disorganised - a
pigsty. There are various take-away, pizza boxes, over
flowing ashtrays, paperwork, etc scattered about the place
along with numerous bottles of whiskey - empty.
                       CHARLIE (VO)
You would have thought this place
had been ransacked or robbed.
It smelled like there was a dead
body lying over there on that bed…
Lying on the bed, on top of the covers is CHARLIE JORDAN,
Charlie, still wearing his trademark chinos and sports
jumper(no shoes/socks), is fast a sleep. He snores heavily,
still holding last night’s bottle of whiskey – one last
mouthful left.


                       CHARLIE (VO)
In a way... I am dead.
I’m Charlie: burned out Private
Dick, obsessive gambler, alcoholic
and loser.
Fallen from Grace and landed deep
in it.
I have lost the respect from my
family, friends and colleagues.
But that doesn't matter anymore.
There was still one thing left in
this life for me and that's all I
On the wall are numerous framed pictures of Charlie. Some
include his younger days when he worked on the market. There
is a blank spot, one picture is missing. Next to that, a
picture of Charlie holding a gun - his favourite gun - in
one hand and the other is wrapped tightly around an
attractive young lady (20’s, bleach-blonde, slim). She isn’t
                       CHERRY (VO)
Charlie open’s his eyes – he is awake. He lies dazed for a
moment, slowly stumbles out of bed, swigging the last of
last night’s whiskey: BURP!
He picks out a cigarette dimp from an ashtray, lighting and
smoking it as he staggers to the bathroom.
The toilet flushes off screen – Charlie returns to the
bedroom. He sits on the edge of his bed. He holds his head -
it hurts, a hangover.
Charlie stares at his filing cabinet for a moment - lost in
thought. He snaps to.
      (Momentarily Alert)


Charlie leans forward, searches his bedside cabinet for
another cigarette. Nothing. Charlie stretches over to his
leather jacket that hangs on the back of the door – fishes
around in the pockets.
      (to himself)
Come on. Come on. Cigarette...
Nothing. Charlie stands, walks toward a set of drawers. As
he does so, he stands on a picture on the floor, cracking
the glass, cutting his bare foot.
Charlie cries out in slight pain. He falls to his knees,
investigates his injury – a minor cut. Charlie picks up the
picture, the glass now cracked, and looks at it: a picture
of Charlie, many years ago during his days on the market.
Charlie returns the picture to its original hanging position
on the wall. As he does so, he stares at the other picture,
the one with Charlie holding his gun – his favourite gun.
Charlie takes little note of the woman in the picture.
Charlie touches the picture, touches the gun.
      (Out loud)
The gun? My gun!
Where’s my gun?
Charlie rushes over to his jacket, searches the pockets
again. Nothing. Charlie searches the safe and floor, under
the bed, the bins... nothing.


Charlie puts his shoes and leather jacket on. He quickly,
lazily tidies his hair. He picks up some unused bullets off
the floor, puts them in his pocket. He prepeares himself to
go outside. But before he heads for the door, Charlie looks
at the picture again. This time he looks hard at it, much
harder: Charlie, the gun... the woman.
He falls to his bed in a slump – in a trance-like state,
closes his eyes in deep thought.
He thinks, tries to recall the previous night …
(Charlie was drunk the night before – very drunk. He played
cards, gambling all of his money away. There are others
there too, but they are blurred – a representation of
Charlie’s state of mind. People are talking and laughing and
moving and drinking and playing cards, but there is no
sound. It is like a dreamscape.
Charlie ran out of money early in the game but he wasn’t
going to quit. Not that night. He tried to take off his
watch, use that to stay in the game. It wasn’t on his wrist.
It was on another man’s wrist – the man who he has lost it
Charlie placed his gun on the table, his favourite gun. This
was going to keep him in the game...)
Charlie opens his eyes – breathing heavily in fear. He
closes his them again.
(Charlie placed his gun on the table, his favourite gun...
One of the other gamblers becomes clear to Charlie – JOEY
FRANCIS, 50’s. Joey has Charlie’s watch.)
Charlie sits still for a moment, in recall. His face
crumples, tightens as he remembers something, something
truly horrible. His eyes open wide, so wide that his eyes
could have popped out of their sockets.
                       CHARLIE (VO)
And that was it. It was gone...
lost in a mere game of cards. I


                       CHARLIE (cont'd)
had to get it back. I am going to
get it back.
And so my mission begins.
He leaps up off the bed – panic stricken. He has lost
something dear to him in a mere game of cards – he has to
get it back.
Charlie exits the room quickly, banging into the wall on his
way out.
The sun shines and the streets are busy with people and
traffic – it is Saturday, shopping day.
Charlie runs quickly along the pavement, in and out of the
busy crowd of people, occasionally stepping on the busy road
to avoid being halted. Charlie is on a mission, more
determined than he has been in many years. He knows he
doesn’t have much time left.
                       CHARLIE (VO)
The sun was shining. But it wasn’t
very bright. One thing was sure:
It was going to be a long day.
My destination was the local
market. My target was a man named
Joey Francis. If I find Joey
Francis, I’d find what I had lost.
It was going to be a long day...
Charlie reaches the bus stop – there is a queue meaning that
the bus is late – as usual. This angers Charlie, and
everybody else because this bus service was supposed to be
every five or ten minutes.
Charlie looks at his watch – it isn’t there. Joey has it.
Charlie becomes more and more impatient as he waits. He
clenches his fists, cannot stand still.


A double-decker bus comes along – the queue moves forward.
But, to everyone’s annoyance, the sign on the bus reads:
Charlie (along with others) curses.
Finally, a bus comes along. It’s destination: MARKET.
More people had queued since and they all crowd the bus,
pushing and shoving to get on. Charlie his knocked about in
the stampede. He decides to fight back and starts pushing
his way through also. He eventually gets on, shares a seat.
The bus is crowded and tight.
The bus drives away.
The bus reaches the outdoor market, Charlie’s destination
and more or less everybody else’s. It is also the last stop
for the bus before it turns around and makes its way back
the way it came.
Charlie realises it is Saturday, one of the busiest days on
the market – shopping day. And today is no exception with
literally hundreds of shoppers crammed into a small space –
it can become quite a dangerous place.
There are market stalls littered everywhere selling
everything from fresh fish to the latest televisions and
It is a very hot day and the heat is already getting to an
already stressed out Charlie as he rushes and pushes his way
through the market crowd – he feels ill.
                       CHARLIE (VO)
From here I had to make my way to
what the local market people
referred to as the Cabin. If I got
to the Cabin, I’d hope to find
Joey Francis.
If you wanted to run a stall, you
went to the Cabin. If you already
ran a stall you went to the Cabin
once a month or once a year.
Either way, you went to the Cabin


                       CHARLIE (cont'd)
at some point and you saw Joey
No matter how much I hated it, I
was on my way.
Unfortunately for Charlie, the Cabin is located at the far
end of the market. There are many ways to get there, none
any quicker than the other and none would be less crowded.
The place is like a maze: tiny isles overflowing with warm
bodies and market stalls on either side. Aggression is in
the air.
                       CHARLIE (VO)
This wasn’t the best part of town,
in fact in is one of the worst in
terms of street violence and
crime. To many, the many new
changes had brought about
deteriation. Not to me, mind. To
me it all looked the same.
Charlie cuts through a few stalls, pushes past one or two
crowds… tries his best to get through.
TOMMY PIPER, 70’s, owns one of those ‘Fast-Food-on-wheels’
trailers. Charlie decides to get something to eat.
Charlie leans at the counter, eating a cheeseburger. Tommy
continues to fry burgers and hot dogs as he explains to
Charlie his view on life.
      (to Charlie)
You see this?
He points to an Asian man selling various fabrics for clothe
making. His only customers are Asians.
Charlie nods idly, his mouth full.


I tell you, this country’s going
down the drain. Disgusting.
You know me, Charlie, I’m not
racist or anything... I don’t have
a problem with anyone who doesn’t
have a problem with me.
Charlie takes another bite of his burger – chews and
swallows hard.
                       TOMMY (CONT'D)
But then they took it too far. One
moved into our town, and it was
ok. But then, one became two and
two became three. Multiply. And
before you know it, here we are
now. I don’t even recognise this
place anymore.
Yep. Yep.
What d’you think, Charlie?
Charlie stops chewing. He looks at Tommy as though he hasn't
listened to a sinlge word Tommy has been saying.
Tommy serves a customer.
Eh... Things change, Tommy?
Yeah, you’re right Charlie. I’ve
been working here for 60 years and
a lot has changed - and not for
the better either.


Tommy begins frying another burger. Charlie finishes his
burger, stares at the raw meat frying amongst the sizzling
                       CHARLIE (VO)
I didn’t much care for Tommy and
his views on life. But I always
had to hear and digest them
whenever I came to get something
to eat.
Like the man said, he had been
here for 60 years! That says it
But in a way I had to offer some
respect, no matter how small it
may be, for Tommy and all his
bull-talk. He never changed his
tune throughout my time on the
market to the present day.
However, talk is cheap and one
thing was defiantly true no matter
which way you looked at it: this
was all Tommy was worth and he was
going to have to put up with it
for another 60 years... or at
least until the day he died.
Tommy finishes frying, turns to Charlie.
      (to Charlie)
That’ll be £1.50 for the burger,
Charlie reaches the ‘Cabin’: shed-like and old, painted in
a dull green that was fading.
                       CHARLIE (VO)
Joey Francis owned the market...
now. The council put it up for
auction in late ’91 and Joey made
sure he won it. I don’t know how
he won but he did.


                       CHARLIE (cont'd)
And this was the Cabin, the market
HQ. It wasn’t flash like Joey now
was. But as he was only here on
the last day of every month and
the odd evening to play cards it
didn't have to be. Flash didn't
belong here, anyway. Joey at least
understood that much.
The door is closed - locked. There was various signs pinned
etc. Another sign reads ‘BACK AT 2(PM)’. Charlie peers
through the front window – nothing.
Charlie looks at his watch – it isn’t there, Joey has it.
      (out loud)
God, give me a break! Damn-
Charlie punches the door with his fist – it hurts. He turns
around, looks at the market. He feels humiliated, that
everyone is looking, laughing at him. They aren’t of course
– not the way he thinks anyway.
Charlie steps forward, notices BOBBY FITZPATRICK, 50’s. He
is a big man, heavy build. He walks to his stall, carrying a
television set. Bobby sells electrical goods, most of which
have fallen off some wagon at some point.
(Charlie remembers the game of cards. One of the blurred
faces becomes clear. It is Bobby Fitzpatrick.)
Charlie runs after Bobby.
Charlie races after Bobby.
Hey Bobby! Bobby Fitzpatrick!


Charlie catches up with Bobby. Bobby ignores Charlie -
continues to walk. Charlie follows.
Oh, by the way. I’ve seen that
Tara Lee here today – shopping
with the kids.
Hey Bobby! How’s it going?
I’m kinda busy now, Charlie.
Yeah I know. Listen, you haven’t
seen Joey have you?
Bobby doesn’t answer – the television is very big and heavy.
No, I haven’t seen Joey.
He’ll be here later.
When’s he going to be back, Bobby?
Like the sign says Charlie: ‘back
at 2’.
Charlie sighs. He continues to follow Bobby, remaining
silent for a moment. Then, he nervously approaches the


Bobby, about the game last
Charlie, give me a damn break,
will you?
I haven’t got your money, right?
Charlie stops dead – dumbfounded.
Someone owes Charlie money?
He watches Bobby struggle ahead and slowly... he smiles
      (To Himself)
My God!
(Calls to Bobby)
Hey Bobby! No rush, right man?
Let’s just say... you owe me!
Bobby turns, faces Charlie. Struggling with the television,
he tries his best to give Charlie the finger.
Charlie laughs in disbelief as he walks away.
      (to himself)
Highlight of my day!
Charlie turns – just one last thing:
      (Calls to Bobby)
Hey Bobby! What time is it, man?
Bobby doesn't answer.


Charlie makes his way back to the Cabin to wait for Joey
Francis. As he does so, he meets STEVEN CHERRY, 20’s. Steven
sells fruit and vegetables.
      (to Steven)
Hey Steven, you seen Joey?
Steven doesn’t answer - pretends not to see or hear Charlie
and continues walking. Charlie follows him.
Steven finally pretends to notice Charlie, but doesn’t stop
for him.
Oh! Hey Charlie! Didn’t see you
Charlie follows. Steven walks faster.
Steven! Stop will you! I’m having
a heart attack here!
Steven stops - sighs. Charlie catches him up.
      (Catches his
That’s better... Have you seen
Joey today?
Steven is edgy - avoids eye contact. Charlie is oblivious to


No, I haven’t seen him today...
Do you know when he’s coming back?
No idea, sorry Charlie. I got t-
It’s all right, never mind. He’s
probably gone to get some stock or
something, eh?
You got the time on you, Steven?
Yeah course. It’s 12.30 Charlie.
I don’t think Joey coming on here
today. He hasn’t been on here for
a few weeks now.
What’s the problem? Do you need to
see him urgent?
Yeah, I’m afraid to say I do.
What’s it about?
Nah! Just need to talk some
business that’s all.
Business? You? I haven’t seen you
here during market hours in years
Yeah, well you know... It’s in the


Steven smiles - sly. His attitude swiftly changes to that of
Oh, by the way. I’ve seen that
Tara Lee here today – shopping
with the kids.
Charlie now becomes quite nervous – feels faint. He looks
around paranoid.
Oh, you have?
Steven moves closer to Charlie.
Yeah about 15 minutes ago I saw
W- With the kids... you say?
Yeah, well two of them anyway. God
only knows where the rest are.
Steven... Which kids?
I don’t know. God knows.
It was a baby and her… little boy
– you know Charlie, the one with
ginger hair.
Charlie, slightly startled he tries to be calm and cool.


Oh, really?
Yeah. I don’t know why you got
mixed up with that. You’re lucky
her family don’t know about you
two otherwise you’d be up
      (Nervous laugh)
Oh, come on!
‘Come on’ what? They are nothing
but a bunch of thieves and
murderers – scumbags.
Steven walks away.
Thanks, Steve!
Charlie needs to waste time but now preferably not in
market. He wanders out.
Charlie finds the nearest pub he can remember, located
conveniently around the corner from the market.
Unfortunately for Charlie, the pub isn’t open and it hasn’t
been for many years - closed down and boarded up, covered in


                       CHARLIE (VO)
‘Things have changed’.
My, oh my... How right I was. My
words, the words I said to Tommy
Piper. Shame... if I could only
remember what else I had said in
response to his bull.
Charlie circles the entire the pub. He steps takes a few
steps backward, to get a better view of the pub, to see if
there is at least one window that isn’t boarded up – there
isn’t and a sudden car horn ‘beep’ from an oncoming car
reminds him that he is stood in the road.
Charlie stumbles back onto the pavement – pockets his hands
and walks helplessly and pathetically back to market.
                       CHARLIE (VO)
My God. I act and talk like I’ve
been in some sort of hibernation
or locked in some cage for a
decade. No, this part of time I
have avoided and have done so
successfully for about three,
three/four years. Throughout this
time I only passed through the
place when I had to and I only
visited the place when it was
absolutely necessary. Today was
one of those days. And like I
said, it was going to be a long
Charlie returns to the Market. He decides to get something
to eat and so visits TOMMY PIPER and his Fast Food stand
where he orders a cheeseburger and listens to Tommy as he
explains his views and beliefs on current times and the
state of the country.
It was only 1.30pm. Charlie tries his head to keep track of


the time by looking at other people's watches. He browses
around the market. One of the other reasons Charlie hadn't
visited the local places was because he didn’t like crowded
places, people pushing and shoving. But, as he was in no
rush today, it didn’t matter.
Charlie visits the Video stall ran by DAVID ROPER, 50’s. All
of his videos are second hand and reasonably priced. People
come and buy, exchange and sell. Charlie is a big fan of
movies – Cop Movies being his favourite genre.
Charlie leaves with a video, wrapped in a plastic bag. He
shoves it into his jacket pocket.
Charlie glances at a watch - it is almost 2pm. He makes his
way back to the Cabin.
Along the way, to Charlie’s horror, TARA LEE, 40’s, an old
flame of Charlie’s stands directly in his path.
Tara is at a clothes stall. Thankfully for Charlie, she
doesn’t notice him. Charlie quickly moves over to the next
isle and paces forward.
Charlie continues to the Cabin.
                       BILLY (OS)
Hey Charlie!
Charlie freezes. He knows this voice and it is one he would
have rather not heard on this day of days. Charlie closes
his eyes – sighs. Charlie’s screws his face, moodily. He
turns, smiling.
(We return briefly to the previous night - the game of
cards. Another face becomes clear – it is BILLY BATES.)


BILLY BATES, 50’s, (large, slightly muscular, bearded,
scruffy-looking) stands a few feet away from Charlie. Billy
owns the Butchery. He too is wearing a false smile. Billy
approaches Charlie, stops real close up. Charlie feels sick
from the smell of sweat, dirt and dead meat.
      (softly -
Hey Charlie.
      (awakes - startled)
Oh… hey, Billy. How’s it going?
Billy moves closer, nearly stepping on Charlie’s toes.
Charlie takes a less-than-confident step back.
Listen, Billy. About the money I
owe you...
What money is that, Charlie?
You mean I don’t owe you any?
Oh you do, Charlie.
Last night?


Last night? No, from what I
recall, you didn’t owe anything.
I didn’t?
Listen, Billy, about last night.
I’m talking about three months
ago, Charlie.
God, Billy. I mean, you can’t
expect me to remember that far
back. I-
Billy puts his arm around Charlie and he gently, yet
forcefully pulls Charlie forward. They walk over to Billy’s
Butcher Stall.
Billy’s stall, unlike most others, is housed inside a small
brick building as electricity and freezers are required to
keep the meat fresh.
Charlie tries to speak as he is dragged.
B- Billy… About… L- Last night-
Billy throws Charlie against the counter.
Charlie glances at the meat through the glass – it doesn’t
look fresh. Neither did the sausages that dangle above the
counter, or did black pudding. There is blood on the raw
meat. Charlie feels sick.


Over the counter, and in the back, Charlie could see one of
Billy’s employees cutting and chopping a skinned animal
carcass that hung on chains by it’s hind legs. Charlie feels
But now, the pleasantries are over:
      (direct, serious)
Where’s my money?
Billy, I got to ask you something
important about last night-
No, forget about last night, damn
I’m talking about the money
Charlie cannot speak.
Billy swipes a blooded butcher’s knife from the top of the
counter, sticking it ever so slightly up Charlie’s nose.
Charlie no longer struggles. He freezes. One false move now
and whoooosh! Off it comes.
Suddenly, there is silence.
Billy moves his head closer to Charlie.
9 o’clock, tonight Charlie.
Sure, Billy. Whatever you say… I


Oh you better, Charlie.
Billy glances into his Butchery. Charlie’s eyes follow. In
the back, we see the skinned animal carcass hanging from the
ceiling by its hind legs. Charlie feels sick.
                       BILLY (CONT'D)
I’m gonna hang you up. And chop!
I’m gonna have me a Weekend
Special. You get me, chief?
Charlie walks away from Billy the Butcher. He face is pale,
sickly. He walks away - a zombie.
                       CHARLIE (VO)
Unless I could think of a miracle
I had only 7 hours to live. Billy
the Butcher had shaken me up
something but that didn’t bother
me for some reason. I should have
been dead three or four weeks ago,
four days ago, two hours ago but
here I am: alive and… well, not
very well… but alive. I was
running out of places to run and
hide. But there are other places
in other cities to run to and
hide. And it was at this point
that I decided to get out. Get out
as soon as possible whilst I was
still breathing. I’ll just leave
it all behind… as soon as I get
what I came to this god forsaken
place for.
Charlie stops – awakes.
      (out loud)
It’s back to the Cabin. It has to
be 2 now.


                       TARA (OS)
This time Charlie didn’t stop. He heard the voice, the
annoying screech of her voice and he’d rather feel the
blooded blade of Billy the Butcher up his nose again than
have deal with her.
Charlie begins to walk faster, closely pursued by Tara. As
he reaches a junction, rather than go straight ahead in the
direction of the Cabin, Charlie quickly darts off to the
left in a hope to lose Tara.
Luckily for Charlie, his plan has worked. Tara loses sight
of him. She continues to look.
Charlie returns to the Cabin.
The door is still locked with no sign of Joey. Charlie kicks
the doors in annoyance.
Charlie notices Steven Cherry again, walking by in the
distance. He moves quickly forward to speak to him.
Charlie bumps into a huge pair of chubby breasts. He looks
up in fear. It is TARA LEE. Surprisingly she looks happy to
see Charlie.
Charlie backs up a little.
Tara is a large girl. She wears skimpy tight clothes.
She cradles her youngest baby, father unknown, in her arm
and carries at least two shopping bags in both hands, filled
with food.
                       CHARLIE (VO)
Tara Lee.
I was one of many who’d gotten
involved with Tara.


                       CHARLIE (cont'd)
Would you believe me if I told you
it wasn’t my doing?
I was just an unlucky guy.
And now, I was stuck with her.
Even I treated Tara with little
respect... no respect. It was as
though she didn’t command any. No
mercy for the weak.
I was probably the one who treated
Tara the best even though I didn’t
want to know. But I never had the
heart to tell her straight…
Thankfully for me, Tara’s family
were not aware of the
      (happy - excited)
Oh, hey Tara… H- How are you?
Oh, well I’m fine… Fine thank you.
Got my hands a little full though!
Yes, I can see.
Tara and Charlie stand silent, both waiting for the other to
say something.
How’s the family?
Oh there’re good.


                       TARA (CONT'D)
Yeah. Michael just got out… he’s
back at my mothers.
Oh, Michael...
My brother. The eldest.
Oh right, yes. Good. Good.
Bobby’s just been sent down though
– six years.
Oh... Bobby?
My stepfather. Manslaughter.
Oh right, yes. Bobby.
My stepfather.
Charlie nods his head slowly, repeatedly, with a false,
sympathetic look. Charlie is anxious to leave for more
reasons than one but he tries his best to keep the
conversation alive.
He looks at the baby.
      (to the baby)
And this is?
Tara looks at the baby, ticked tightly under her arm, as
though she had forgotten it was there amongst all her


Oh, this is Devoreaux – the latest
Tara, restricted by the extremely heavy bags, tries her best
to show Charlie the baby. Charlie remains still – no effort
to move.
Oh how wonderful! How old is he?
Eight weeks.
Eight weeks!
Charlie leans forward with caution, briefly looks at the
He’s... big! A big baby!
Yeah he is. He eats non-stop – a
bottomless pit!
Yeah, that’s why I’m shopping.
We’re desperate for food!
Charlie doesn’t think – the first things that pop into his
mind he speaks.


Who is the father?
Excuse me?
Charlie stutters –Was that appropriate? He quickly tries to
correct him self.
How’s your mother?
She’s dead, Charlie.
Charlie hears, but doesn’t hear.
Good. Good.
Thankfully for Charlie, Tara doesn’t look too hard into what
he says. She is just as naïve as he.
Little Johnny’s with me too.
Charlie suddenly feels hot – he tries to cool, calm.
J- Johnny?
Yeah. He got fed up with looking
at women’s clothes. I think he’s
gone to the toy store.


Once again Charlie returns to the Cabin. And once again it
is still locked up with no sign of life – and no sign of
Joey Francis.
Charlie sits down in the corner, in a hopeless heap. He
pulls out his bottle of whiskey and begins to drink in a
hope to get drunk.
Charlie walks with Tara along the market stalls. She
struggles along with the bags and baby whilst Charlie spends
the majority of the time looking around in the hope of
spotting Joey Francis.
Tara walks, everyone who sees her is nervous – ignores her.
                       CHARLIE (VO)
Everyone knows Tara. She came from
a rough family of thieves and
blackmailers so for their own sake
people would try and avoid her as
much as possible. Her family
reputation had done her injustice
throughout her life.
Men, she thought she loved and
they loved her, had used and
abused her and then left her –
usually with another child.
I guess Tara kept it quiet for her
own dignity and respect.
Tara places the bags down as she looks at a rack of woman’s
underwear. One of the bags falls forward, shopping falls
onto the ground. Charlie ignores it.
Listen, Tara. I can’t stay long.
I’ve got to go see...


Oh Charlie. I was just enjoying
The baby begins to cry.
I know, but it’s important.
Tara continues to look at the clothes - pretends he hasn’t
Tara snaps – mood change.
Charlie, you can’t just come and
go as you please, for God’s sake!
You need to take some God damned
responsibility. Ok?
She turns to Charlie – he is unimpressed. She smiles - mood
change, happy.
All right Charlie.
Tara continues to browse.
                       BILLY (CONT'D)
Can you at least stay with me
until Johnny comes back? I’m a
little worried. He’s been gone a
Charlie sighs. He thinks for a moment. The baby continues to


Johnny? How old is he now?
      (To the baby)
Shh! Shhh!
(To Charlie)
He’s 3 now.
Only 3! God!
He steps forward to grab Tara – stops as he trips on her
shopping. He takes a step back.
Right, where was he last?
Tara picks up a pair of knickers – little concern.
He said he was going to the toy
You stay here and I’ll go and get
Charlie rushes off. Tara continues to browse.
      (calls to Charlie)
I’ll be in the café!
(To baby)
Shh! Shh! Come on now...
Charlie doesn’t know the man who owns this stall so he
doesn’t ask for his help. Johnny isn't there.


Whilst he looks for Johnny, Charlie makes a quick detour to
the Cabin in the hope that Joey Francis has come back.
He hasn’t. Charlie peers through the Cabin window again.
There is no sign that anyone has been inside since he last
Charlie continues to search the market for Johnny, swiping a
small bottle of whiskey from a stall along the way.
The Market Café: hot, greasy and dirty. And the same went
for the food. Despite this, it was a popular venue for lunch
and breakfast and was always busy with shoppers and stall
Tara sits at a table by the window, the baby in a baby’s
chair. Johnny, three years old (ginger hair/freckles,
skinny, scruffy), has found his mother himself. He sits at
the table tucking into some café cake. Tara drinks a
chocolate milkshake, washing down her full English
Tara stares out of the window - Charlie stands outside
drinking his whiskey straight from the bottle. She leans
forward, lifts the netting and bangs hard on the window.
Charlie! Charlie!
A few of the elderly customers look at Tara with disgust.
Charlie enters the café, slipping the bottle into his inside
pocket. He stands by the table.


Hey Charlie! Look! Johnny’s back!
Charlie looks at Johnny - nervous. Johnny, his mouth covered
in cake looks at Charlie for a brief second then continues
Sit down, Charlie!
Charlie pulls out a seat, slowly seating himself.
      (to Johnny)
Daddy’s here, Johnny!
Charlie stumbles, falling off the seat and onto the floor.
Johnny laughs hysterically. Tara jumps up frantically,
coming to Charlie’s aid.
Oh my God! Charlie!
Charlie gets up and seats him self - embarrassed.
I’m all right, Tara.
Are you sure, Charlie? I mean,
Tara. I’m fine. Sit down… Please.
Tara sits. She pushes a cup of coffee toward Charlie.
Here, I got you a coffee.


Charlie wipes his jacket, lifts his cup and sips his coffee.
Johnny stares at him - Charlie avoids looking back but can
feel Johnny’s stare. Charlie feels hot, nervous.
Charlie looks up – Tara stares at him also. He swallows a
large mouthful of his hot coffee – he feels hotter as the
coffee pours down his throat and splashes into his stomach.
Johnny is still staring at Charlie.
Charlie drops his coffee cup onto the table, turns to Johnny
angry yet nervous.
      (to Johnny)
What are you staring at, damn-it?
Don’t you know it’s rude to stare!
Johnny looks away quickly - scared.
      (to Charlie)
What’s your problem, eh? He’s only
a kid.
      (to Tara - moody)
Leave it will you?
Tara tries to argue back – sighs, doesn’t bother and drinks
her milkshake.
Charlie sits forward, looks at Johnny who stares at the
tabletop. Charlie continues to look, Johnny – in a sense,
observing him. Charlie thinks to himself. Then:
      (to Tara)
Ginger! How come he has ginger


                       CHARLIE (CONT'D)
      (looks at Johnny)
Where does the ginger come from,
(To Tara)
You’re not ginger. Where’d it come
from? And those freckles – so
Oh Charlie, stop it!
Well, where? Tell me?
I don’t know, Charlie!
      (to himself)
That’s strange. Hm.
Charlie swigs the last of his coffee – remains silent. Tara
tries to change the subject.
I’m going out tonight Charlie,
with my brother and a few of the
girls - a ‘Welcome Home’ party. Do
Suddenly anxious, Charlie looks at his watch – it isn’t
there. Joey Francis has it.
Right, that’s it. I’ve got to go –
But Charlie! W-
Charlie jumps up – leaves the café quickly.


Tara is speechless. Johnny sits quiet – slightly confused.
The baby begins to cry.
Charlie walks away as fast as he can, distancing himself as
far away from Tara as possible. He takes a few swigs of
The Fruit & Veg stall is ran by Steven Chapman.
Charlie walks-by.
                       CHARLIE (VO)
Every market has one of these, and
Steven Chapman ran this one.
It was his father’s stall before
him and he had helped out as a
child. His father had since
retired and Steven had taken over.
After our earlier encounter, I
knew that Steven wouldn’t be too
surprised and any more disgusted
to see me. I also knew he wouldn’t
have any nasty surprises to tell
me – well, not any more.
I knew Steven’s father and there
was a bit of history – some I
would these days rather forget.
I didn’t intend to stop-by but I
realised I could make use of this
visit - no matter how much it
would hurt my non-existent pride.
Steven was a good lad – though at
times quiet and shy. He was always
friendly with me – or at least he
made an effort. He was however,
young and gullible - still
learning the tricks of the trade.
Charlie approaches the stall. Steven spots him immediately –


Steven continues to serve customers as he deals with
Hiya Charlie. What can I do you
for this time?
Charlie is slightly embarrassed.
Well, last night I-
Oh yeah? What about it?
Well, you’ll be glad to know I
know where Joey Francis is now.
Yeah, he’s at the Stadium.
Didn’t you know he goes there on
Steven doesn’t answer.
Well, I’m on my way there now.
Charlie sighs.
Can you lend me a tenner, Steven?
Oh, come on Charlie!


Oh, come on Steven!
I’ve seen how business is doing!
Surely you can help an old man out
with a bit of spare change, no?
(Lower tone)
I wouldn’t ask, but after last
night – I’m burned out.
I think you would ask.
Anyway, you must have been looking
at the wrong stall, Charlie.
Here, you can have a fiver.
Steven hands over the money.
Thanks, Steven. You’re a star –
just like your father.
How is your father, by the way?
Oh, he’s ok – getting by like the
rest of us.
That’s good – great, because last
time I heard he wasn’t doing too
Well, he’s paid off all of his
debts - he’s out of the gambling.
And what’s left, like I said, sees
him by.
That’s good.
And Jackie. How’s Jackie?
She's fine too. She looks after my
dad now, you know?


Oh, they’re back living together
Yeah for about six months now.
Wow! That’s amazing! Huh.
Steven bags some apples. Charlie stands there – like a bad
smell. He has more to say, but approaching it was difficult.
The subject is sensitive.
You know Steve. I’m really sorry
about what happened between me and
your dad... and your mum – even
Steven puts the bag down, taps Charlie on the arm. Charlie
lowers his head.
Charlie, don’t worry about it.
That’s over now.
For Steven the conversation is over. A customer walks over
to the stall.
You’ll have to excuse me now,
Oh sure, Steven.


I’ll see you later, Charlie.
Yeah. I’ll see you... soon.
Charlie moves away. He stops.
Oh Steven! Thanks for-
Charlie holds up the money. Steven nods at him, continues to
serve. Charlie walks on.
                       CHARLIE (VO)
That was a little deeper than I
intended. I only came for the
material. But having half a heart
meant I had to say something. I
felt bad for taking the money but
felt even worse about bringing out
the skeletons. But I did get the
money and I had to treat the rest
as just words – not matter how
much it hurt.
Charlie strolls forward, but something is bothering him. It
was Steven, and Steven’s father... and Steven’s mother.
                       CHARLIE (VO)
Charlie is suffering. He is suffering from something that he
once thought was dead and buried: his conscience. He feels
sorry for Steven and his family and everything he had done
to them.
Charlie looks at his watch – it isn’t there, Joey has it. He
sighs, bites his lip – deep in thought. He considers
something, weighs out the pros and the cons - decides just
to go for it.


      (To Himself)
I’m must be outta my God damned
Suddenly, like a rocket taking off, Charlie runs. He runs
downhill from the market, going under a bridge, turning left
going up a steep walk until he is on the main road, crossing
over the same bridge and running uphill. He crosses the road
carelessly, reaches the right side of the road and makes his
way to the bus stop.
There aren’t many people waiting at the bus stop. Charlie,
gasping for breathe, examines the bus timetable/destination.
There it is: CITY CENTRE
It isn’t too long before a bus comes along. Charlie boards,
pays with the money Steven gave him. He sits downstairs.
Charlie sits uncomfortably. He is anxious to get to his
destination as quickly as possible with little delay.
Charlie glances out of the grimy window as the bus pulls up
at a bus stop. There are a good number of people waiting to
get on. Charlie pulls a face and curses under his breathe.
The bus continues its journey. Another passenger sits next
to Charlie.
The bus stops again. A few people crowd on followed by a
mother with a child and a pram. She struggles to get the
pram onto the bus. Charlie watches her with impatience.


      (To himself –
It’s taking too long!
(Out loud)
That’s it! Excuse me!
Charlie stands and pushes his way through the tight, cramped
space and past the person sitting next to him, as he does so
his video slips out of his pocket and falls onto the floor.
He makes his way the front of the bus where he grabs the
front end of the pram and lifts it onto the bus. The mother
is both overwhelmed and thankful, but Charlie doesn’t care.
He just lifts and pulls the pram enough so it’s fully onto
the bus and drops it, leaving the mother herself struggling
to get on the bus.
      (out loud)
You can see she’s struggling. But
you just sit there!
The other passengers take little note of Charlie’s remarks.
Charlie returns to his seat where he now has to sit on the
outside of it as the other passenger and moved over into his
window seat. Charlie doesn’t mind overly, so he falls
heavily down into the seat.
The bus begins moving again, before the mother has time to
secure the pram. She falls forward slightly, as does her
child. Charlie just watches. He then closes his eyes and
folds his arms.
Like the market, and most places of business on a Saturday,
the City Centre is jam packed with shoppers.
The bus stops and Charlie, exiting amongst a flood of other
people, makes his way directly to the City Centre bus
station where he has to catch yet another bus to reach his
final destination.
To get to the bus station, you have to walk more or less in


a large semi-circle. Charlie, who is still familiar with the
place, takes a short cut, passing through old, dirty,
stinking alleys and passageways that where the backs of the
shops and restaurants and was the place where they dumped
all of their rubbish.
Stopped by a few people who ask for spare change, a
cigarette, etc Charlie makes his way quite easily to the bus
      (to homeless)
Get a job! Bum!
Of course, being a Saturday afternoon, the bus station was
one of the busiest places to be. Hundreds of people all
crammed into small bus terminals, huge queues for each bus.
The station was small and buses were crammed in mini traffic
jams trying to get in and out, beeping their horns
This place was also filthy. The terminals were covered in
graffiti and smelt like stale urine, litter was everywhere
and the bus station was home to many people. The homeless
slept in the terminals for shelter, harassed people for
money, rooted through bins and were considered to be general
Charlie stands in Terminal A. He stares at the timetable.
There are literally hundreds of bus numbers, destinations
and times. And to Charlie, in his state of mind, it appears
to be in some foreign language. The other thing clear to him
is the graffiti it is covered in. ‘Bez Luvz Jan’, ‘JC woz
‘ere’, ‘Rude Boys smoking da spliffs!’, etc.
Charlie attempts to ask someone for help. He approaches a
Jewish couple. They quickly try and avoid him. Next, Charlie
asks a Pakistani lady. She was dressed in traditional
Pakistani clothing and clearly cannot understand English.
She just smiles at Charlie. Charlie walks away. Finally,
Charlie finds a bus driver.


Charlie finds the correct bus stop. By this time he is hot,
exhausted and edgy. He gasps for air repeatedly. Charlie
examines the queue – it is very long. He joins the back and
waits as patiently as he can.
      (under breathe)
I shouldn’t have wasted time
talking! Steven! Little prick!
For a change, the number 65 bus to the Stadium, a
double-decker, one of the old buses, was more or less on
time. It pulls up at Stand F. A stampede of shoppers empty
the bus, and before the last person can step off, the cheque
of people waiting to get on, do so in what is far from an
orderly fashion – pushing, shoving, pure aggression.
Charlie looks ahead at the front of the cheque as they pile
onto the bus. He becomes agitated and impatient as he
observes people pushing in ahead and some people just
walking straight to the front and barging their way in.
Charlie cannot control himself. He begins to move forward
and push past those in front of him, making his way to the
front. People begin shouting verbal abuse at Charlie, with
the odd one pushing him, grabbing him. Just a few steps from
the front, Charlie is pushed hard from behind. He falls
forward, bashing his head on the glass bus shelter – it
hurts. But this does not stop him. He continues forward,
completely humiliated, half dazed.
Charlie steps onto the bus with about half a dozen other
Charlie clambers up the stairs of the bus.
Charlie finds himself his own seat. He sits and peers
through the window down at the hoard of people below trying
to get onto the bus.
A few moments later, Charlie hears the bus doors close and


the engines start. There are still many people who want to
get on but cannot. The bus drives off leaving them behind
for the next No.65.
Charlie smiles -amused. He turns to see if anyone wants to
join in on the laugh. He is met by an evil stare by a group
of black teenagers sitting at the back of the bus. They, are
not amused. Charlie quickly faces front, wipes the smile
from his face.
It was about an hour journey from the bus station to
Stadium. Charlie leans his head on the glass window - it is
cold, hard. The condensation wets his hair. He stares
blankly outside.
Bus No.65 leaves the city centre and travels along numerous
back streets and long stretches of road. The bus passes
numerous universities and industrial estates and building
                       CHARLIE (VO)
The old city was slowly
disappearing, being replaced by
high glass towers and funny shaped
buildings. I don’t recognise this
place anymore. The place where I
had grown up - spent my life. I no
longer felt welcome. I was part of
the old generation that would
refuse to accept the changes. I’m
not alone, but it was a shame the
handful are blinded.
During the journey, Charlie drifts off into a light sleep,
awakening every so often when the bus stopped and jerked.
Throughout these short bouts of unconsciousness, Charlie
continues to recall the previous night...


(The game of cards at the Cabin... Loosing his watch to Joey
Francis... He remembers Joey Francis, Billy Bates. The rest
have blurred faces...
Charlie’s money has run out...
He then places his gun on the table, his favourite gun. This
was going to keep him in the game...)
Charlie sits peacefully, his head leaning against the
window. Suddenly he awakens.
      (Shouts, slightly
       hysterical –
       still dazed)
Charlie realises he is still on the bus. Passengers look at
                       PASSENGER (OS)
      (To Charlie)
Embarrassed, Charlie sinks in his seat, covering his eyes
with his hand – hide him self.
Finally, for Charlie, the journey was almost over. Ahead in
the distance he can see the football stadium. The region’s
best football team played there. And on Saturdays, just a
few yards away was another market. Another outdoor market,
it had absolutely nothing to do with the stadium, but that
is what locals called it: The Stadium.
The bus stops outside the Football Stadium, but most of its
passengers headed for the market, as does Charlie.


                       CHARLIE (VO)
Another market and to me another
hell – got to keep going.
Charlie enters the Stadium, another outdoor market, and is
overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people. There are
literally hundreds over people crammed into the marketplace.
The market stalls themselves appear to be invisible which
makes Charlie’s mission more impossible as it has been many
years since he last visited and he had no idea what end of
the market Joey Francis is at.
Charlie observes the chaos as people push and shove every
step they take. There are hundreds of faces, black, white,
yellow, etc and not a familiar one amongst them.
The noise – a hundred conversations and shouts all at once,
is unbearable for Charlie. His head hurts. He feels out of
breath – all of the air consumed, he sweats.
Where to Start? Where to Start?
Charlie looks to his left – in the distance, he sees help:
MARTIN SMITH, 50’s, and his ‘junk’ stall. Martin sold TVs,
video players & remotes, aerials, plugs, stereos, radios,
etc – all second hand and dated and for sale to the
desperate. Charlie doesn’t actually ‘know’ Martin, more of a
‘know of’ with the odd ‘hi’ and ‘goodbye’ from the days when
Charlie was a regular at the local Market. Martin didn’t
gamble, he was never at the nigh time card games and he
wasn’t at last nights, but he knew Joey and that was enough
for Charlie to start with.
All that stands between Charlie and Martin is a sea of
shoppers, and this isn’t going to be easy to cross. The
crowd appears to go left-to-right and Charlie has to go
straight and cut through. Thankfully, this market isn’t as
‘compact’ as the previous, but the crowds appear to have mad
the most of this and you cannot spot a single, unoccupied
space. But people, unlike walls and fences, can be move and
shoved by the likes of Charlie, with enough aggression
Without thinking twice, Charlie, rather clumsily, leaps


forward into the crowd, pushing this way through violently.
Charlie is pushed, shoved, kicked and hit. Occasionally
Charlie is swept away, he falls to the ground once or twice,
struggles back to his feet, but he soon manages to gain his
balance and continue forward.
Finally, Charlie makes it to the other side. He is still
surrounded by people, but he has crossed the pathway and
made it onto the sidewalk where he can now leisurely walk to
his destination, albeit with the odd ‘excuse me’ and shove.
Charlie approaches Martin. They talk for a moment then
Charlie leaves. He walks a few steps, takes a few swigs of
whiskey then continues forward.
Finally we meet JOEY FRANCIS, 50’s. He is large and
muscular, rough and gritty dressed and hidden under a smart,
businessman-like suit and lots of gold.
Surprisingly he is moving pieces of furniture around and
organising his stall. BEN JARVIS, SAM SMITH and TOM JOY,
(all aged around 19, dressed scruffy, tired looking),
employees of Joey Francis, stand in the background watching
and observing Joey at work. Ben is holding Joey’s jacket.
                       CHARLIE (VO)
Joey Francis, the man himself.
Joey had moved up the ladder since
his early market days. Gone was
the dirty, ripped jeans and body
warmers, driving second hand
wagons – now it was suits and
gold, cigars, flash cars and a
sparkling clean forehead.
He still ran his stall and I’ll
give him that. It was in his blood
I guess. The only difference was
he no longer got up at the crack,
doing a hard graft. That was left
to the hired help. He just came
and went as he pleased. But, to
give the man credit, when he did


                       CHARLIE (cont'd)
visit the old places, he never
forgot what it was all about and
he still wasn’t afraid to get his
hands dirty – a little dirty. Like
I said, it was in the blood.
But Joey Francis was still a
bastard. That too stays in his
Joey straightens the display of furniture, to the precise.
There you go, boys.
His employees gather round closer. Joey makes sure he has
eye contact when he speaks.
      (To Employees -
Presentation... is everything!
Ben, Sam and Tom observe Joey’s work. They are impressed,
but do not know why. Joey wipes his hands clean.
      (to Ben)
Give me my jacket.
Ben steps forward, gives Joey his jacket. Joey puts his
jacket on, dusting himself down.
Joey looks at his stall. Unhappy with the positioning of a
steel ornament, he picks it up. Carrying it, he turns only
to crash into Charlie.
What the f-
The steel ornament hits Charlie hard, smashing the bottle of
whiskey in his inside pocket and knocking him to the ground.
Ben, Sam and Tom stand there - watch.


Joey looks down at Charlie.
      (Relief - Amused)
Joey continues to re-position the steel ornament, offering
no help. Charlie sits up, in pain.
      (To himself –
Knocked the wind out of me!
Charlie looks at himself. His jacket is dripping with
alcohol. He stands, fishes the smashed glass out of his
jacket pocket, He straightens himself. He tries hard to
smile, despite the pain.
Joey, finished with the ornament, turns to face Charlie. He
stares at him for a moment with a pathectic look, wiping his
hands together. He walks away.
What do you want, Charlie? I’m not
giving you any money!
Charlie stands still, in pain. He lifts his jacket, the
glass had smashed against his chest – he is bleeding. He
remains in a daze for a moment. Ben, Sam and Tom stand and
stare at him. Finally, Charlie snaps to. He then quickly
staggers after Joey.
The open car park is located at the back of the market. Joey


strolls to the far end of the car park where there a no
other cars apart from his own - a flash, expensive car.
Charlie follows behind.
What do you want, Charlie?
Joey stops at his car, Charlie approaches, leans forward,
his hands on his knees, gasping for breathe. He struggles to
look up. Joey looks down at him unimpressed. He smells the
alcohol on Charlie.
God! You’re drunk! You stink!
Joey! (Gasp) Joey!
Yes, Charlie?
Charlie looks up - sees Joey is going. He leaps forward onto
the driver’s door in desperation. He sinks down the door to
his knees. He bangs on the window repeatedly with his hands.
Joey, wait! Please wait! Wait!
(bangs on window)
Joey, angry, shouts at Charlie through the window.


Get off the glass, Charlie! Get
off the glass, Charlie damn it!
Joey repeats this until Charlie falls fully to the ground on
his hands and knees. Joey sits still for a moment, has some
mercy and winds the window down.
Thank you, Joey.
Charlie clambers upward, remaining on his knees, leaning on
the car door.
What the hell do you want,
You are drunk! Go home, for God’s
What do you want, Charlie?
Charlie takes a long, deep breath - exhales. Joey feels
I’ve got to have it back, Joey.
I’ve got to have it back, please.
I need it! I’ll do anything!
Joey shakes his head – completely fed up.


I heard you like-
Joey looks at Charlie with a look of complete seriousness on
his face and a hint of guilt.
      (Anger – guilt)
Like what?
Well... you know.
Like, those boys you got at the
I’ll give you a...
What Joey shocks him – shocks him in more way than one. He
looks at Charlie as though he is the most foulest,
disgusting and pathetic thing on this earth.
Joey spits in Charlie’s face. Charlie doesn’t even flinch.
Joey pushes Charlie away from the car – starts the engine.
      (Shouts - furious)
Get outta here!
Charlie bounces back, jumps onto the car bonnet, sliding off
the side and grabbing the driver’s door, grabbing Joey’s arm
through the open window.
Joey, slightly shaken by Charlie and at the same time
furious, shouts and hits at Charlie repeatedly.
      (Furious – Shouts
Get of me you bastard! Get off me!


      (Desperate –
       shouts back)
Joey, please! Give her back to me!
Give her back to me! JOEY!
Joey pulls a gun from the glove compartment. He aims it at
Charlie, who takes no notice. He pulls the trigger. ‘Click!’
It isn’t loaded. Charlie continues to pull and shout at
Joey hits Charlie repeatedly in the face and on the head
with the gun eventually knocking Charlie off his arm, off
the car and onto the floor.
Joey throws the gun out of the window and drives off at
speed, running over Charlie’s hand as he does so.
      (Screams in agony)
Agh! You bastard!
Joey exits the car park, driving at speed. His engine and
screeching tyres can be heard in the distance. Eventually
they fade away.
The car park is silent...
Charlie lies on the floor in a heap, now unconscious, his
good hand holding his wounded one.
Charlie remains in a heap on the floor. People pass by but
take no notice.
Eventually, Charlie awakens. His face and head are cut,
bleeding. His hand, crushed and blooded, aches - the pain
unbearable. He sits up, cries and moans, moving like a
cripple. He doesn’t dare look at his hand. He remains still
for a moment, begins to cry.


Charlie wipes the dirt and blood from his face. He notices
the gun lying on the ground a few yards away.
Slowly and with great effort, Charlie puts his bad hand into
his trouser pocket and uses the other to drag himself across
the dirty ground.
      (In pain)
Agh! Agh! Agh!
Charlie reaches the gun. He grabs it, using it as a crutch
to sit him self up right. He crosses his legs. Charlie
breathes heavily his head sags downward. He takes a few deep
breaths and lifts his head to examine the gun – every move a
great effort.
The gun is covered in blood, Charlie’s blood.
Charlie recognises this gun... It is Charlie’s gun – his
favourite gun.
Charlie is puzzled.
Gun... It’s my gun?
Charlie sits silent for a moment. He then clambers to his
feet, places his gun into his inside jacket pocket and
slowly exits the car park - limping.
In a state of total of confusion, anger, frustration, in a
great deal of pain and not thinking straight at all, Charlie
decides to walk home.
He tries to follow the bus route, each bus stop confirming
he is on the right track.


Soon, day becomes evening and evening becomes night and all
is black. But Charlie continues his journey, limping but
never stopping.
                       CHARLIE (VO)
At this point of my journey,
tired, humiliated, beaten... I
never felt more alive.
Things started to become a little
clearer to me. I wished I had
stayed at home and waited –
prepared my self. Saved myself all
of this day’s torture. But in a
way, today had knocked more sense
into me than Billy Bates and Joey
Francis could have ever done.
But the day wasn’t over yet and my
mission wasn’t completed. I still
hadn’t got what I came out for.
There was still more knockings and
beatings to come before I learned
the ultimate lesson. At this
point, I knew that. But I didn’t
care – it was necessary. We never
like what does us good and this
path of self-destruction I was
walking was going to cure me
During this time, Charlie has time to think. He thinks about
the day. He thinks about his life. He thinks about last
The card game... Himself and the other gamblers: Joey
Francis, Billy Bates, Bobby Fitzpatrick... But the other
faces still remain a blur.
He continues back...
We return to the local market. Everywhere is silent – not a
soul in sight. It appears strange when compared with all of
the commotion and crowds earlier.


A shadowed figure stands in the dark alleyway.
It is Charlie.
Despite his injuries, long journey and even his state of
mind Charlie appears very much alive and alert.
He moves forward...
Inside, it is dark. The only source of light comes a street
lamp that shines through the front windows. We can make out
very little.
There is a bang on the front door from the outside, followed
by a few pushes. A shadowed figure approaches the front
window – it is Charlie.
With little concern for the noise, Charlie smashes the
window with a single bash from the handle of his gun. The
entire window shatters, glass falls both inside and outside
the cabin and even on Charlie.
Charlie pockets his gun and clambers inside, climbing
through the window frame.
Clumsily, Charlie stumbles around looking for a light
switch. He finds it, switches it on.
The Cabin lights up.
In the centre of the room is a table. It is the table where
last night’s game of cards took place. The empty/half empty
bottles of larger remain on the tabletop along with
cigarette ends, ash, left over food. Two of the chairs have
been knocked down.
Joey’s desk is at the far end of the room with filing
cabinets to the left. On the wall is a notice board covered
in various notes, posters, etc. There are various framed
certificates for high standards, etc, scattered about the
wall with the odd picture of Joey and a few others from the
market and a calendar of naked women.


Charlie slowly limps about the room, looking around:
nothing. He kneels down, looks under the table: nothing. He
searches around Joey’s desk: nothing.
Charlie sighs.
In a bout of rage and frustration, he flips the card table
over with his good hand, kicks over the chairs, rips down
the pictures and notice board, swipes the coffee cup, pens,
papers, etc off Joey’s desk and onto the floor.
Charlie, excited, enraged and frustrated breathes heavily
looking for more to destruct. Looking around, he notices a
lighter of the floor. He kneels down, picks it up. He stands
and begins to flick the lighter until there is a flame.
Billy Bates walks into the doorway, shocked by the commotion
and destruction. He looks at Charlie.
      (Shouts - Angry)
Charlie looks up at Bobby, drops the lighter.
                       BILLY (CONT'D)
You Son of a-
Before Billy can finish, Charlie charges at him - a wild and
muderous look in his face. Billy, a much larger and stronger
man than Charlie, runs away, slightly petrified by this
Charlie stops at the doorway- he cannot be bothered to give
chase. He turns and returns inside. He kneels down to pick
up the lighter...


A sharp blow to the back of the head by an unknown person
knocks Charlie down and out cold.
We return to this mysterious night at the Cabin. The sound
has been drained. Everything is silent.
The local market men are playing cards: JOEY FRANCIS, BILLY
BATES, BOBBY FITZPATRICK - the other faces are a blur. They
are all laughing and drinking, playing cards.
CHARLIE JORDAN is also there. He’s playing cards but he is
not laughing. He is on a loosing streak.
Charlie is drunk – very drunk. He has been playing all
night, gambling everything away...
Charlie has run out of money. But he refuses to quit. Not
that night.
Charlie decides to use his watch for cash. His watch isn’t
on his wrist. It is on Joey Francis’ wrist – the man he has
already lost it too.
But this watch is familiar to us: it was a gold, expensive
looking watch that once belonged to MYSTERY MAN.
Everyone stares at Charlie impatiently – he is holding up
the game. Charlie refuses to give in.
He reaches into his pocket and reveals his gun – his
favourite gun.
Joey looks at Billy. They laugh.
Suddenly, another face becomes clear. It is TOMMY PIPER. He
is concerned about the gun.
Joey accepts, Charlie is still in and the game continues...


Joey Francis places his cards down on the table. He has the
highest hand and has won that round. He takes the money and
Charlie’s gun from the centre of the table.
Again, all eyes are on Charlie to place a bet. But he has no
money. He has no watch. And he has no gun. Charlie stares
into space hopelessly. Billy hits him in the arm.
Charlie then turns to his left where we see one of those
blurred faces. He stares at this blurred face. Charlie looks
back at the game. Billy hits him in the arm again. Charlie
doesn’t react. He leisurely glances at Billy to his right
then turns to his left again where the face is no longer a
This face is familiar to us. It is a woman. It is the woman
from the picture, the picture with Charlie. She is CHARLIE’S
WOMAN. She belongs to Charlie.
Charlie calls her:
                       CHARLIE (VO)
CHERRY looks sad. Charlie smiles at her. SHE will keep
Charlie in the game...
The card players throw their cards down on the table. Joey
curses as does Billy and Bobby and Tommy. They have lost.
Charlie is motionless - his head sinks. He is not the winner
The winner stands, his face blurred. He walks over to
Cherry, Charlie’s Woman, places his hands on her shoulders.
She is reluctant to leave. The winner doesn’t force her, but
instead Charlie pushes her away. She resists, shouts and
tries to reach out to Charlie. He ignores her, doesn’t even
look her in the eye. The winner pulls her away. Finally, she
goes with him.
His face becomes clear. It is STEVEN CHAPMAN.
Charlie stares at the tabletop. A tear runs down his cheek.


He closes his eyes.
Charlie’s cries out in great pain. His cries at first appear
distant. The cries continue. And as they do so, each cry
becomes closer.
He opens his eyes. He is looking at a ceiling, a dirty,
grimy ceiling. It appears that Charlie is floating. When he
looks up, he sees a bloodstained floor. When he looks down
he sees the ceiling. But then he sees the chains, chains
that are wrapped around his ankles, hanging him from the
The back is where the meat is strung up and cut. The walls
and floor are covered in cold, white tiling. It is dark and
shadowy. There are no windows or lighting, only a bizarre
pale spotlight in the centre of the room.
In this spotlight, Charlie hangs upside down from the
ceiling - like a dead piece of meat waiting to be carved.
The chains are wrapped tightly and very uncomfortably around
his ankles, dangling him helplessly. The chains begin to cut
through the skin. His ankles bleed.
Charlie’s hands are tied behind his back. His battered hand
Billy Bates’ Butchery is a very frightening place.
Especially when you are in Charlie’s position. The dirty
white tiled walls are covered in stained blood. The floor,
also blooded stained, is covered with dead flesh and bone,
cigarette ends and other bits of nastiness.
There is only one entrance/exit: an open doorway – beyond
that total blackness. There are two chairs positioned a few
yards away from Charlie and to the left, a steel trolley. He
lifts his head slightly to see more. To his horror lying on
the trolley top a selection of butcher knifes, one in
particular has a very unpleasant look about it.


Oh my God! God!
Charlie tries to struggle free – his battered hand still
hurts – he cries out in pain.
Billy Bates enters. Charlie watches him carefully.
Hey Charlie! How’s it hanging?
Billy sits – looks down at Charlie.
Billy! Billy! Help me!
Billy laughs. He leans forward, pushes Charlie. He swings
back and forth.
Oh, Charlie.
Charlie tries to stop him self from swinging.
      (Confused – scared)
Billy... what?
Oh, oh, Charlie.


      (Helpless - moans)
Help... me.
Billy grabs Charlie, stops him from swinging.
Did you bring my money?
Not exactly, Billy...
I came here with another solution.
Oh yeah? And what was that?
      (Less calm)
Billy! Billy!
Yes, Charlie.
Let me down, please?
Billy stands - Charlie panics.
I don’t think so, Charlie. Not
this time.
Billy! I- I- I came here to- to-
to settle up.


Billy kneels beside Charlie, face-to-face.
Charlie, you’re one crazy son of a
You came here to burn Joey up –
you trashed his place. What’s that
all about?
Charlie doesn’t answer. Billy stands, slowly circles
Charlie. This makes Charlie nervous - the element of not
Joey said you went to the Stadium
to see him. He was acting all
weird. What happened?
Charlie doesn’t answer.
Are you two fags? Is that what
this is all about?
Charlie laughs – still nervous.
What? Are you crazy?
Billy snatches a large butcher’s knife from the trolley. He
holds it to Charlie’s face.
      (Startled - Shouts)
Billy! What are you doing!
Billy laughs.
What ever is happening between you
and Joey – you two can keep it. I
just want my money.


Billy, take the knife away!
Where is Joey? Is he here?
Billy rolls one of Charlie’s trouser legs part way down. He
raises the knife. His eyes widen with pure adrenalin.
Billy! Billy!
(The knife slices the skin)
Charlie screams in pain.
You know, Charlie. I must have
done this a thousand times before
and it never really did anything
for me...
      (In pain)
Billy! Billy! Stop!
But now... I just can’t describe
Another cut...
Billy places the blade along Charlie’s flesh... Charlie
struggles violently. He is able to free his hands, slipping
his battered hand through the loop.
                       JOEY (OS)
What the hell are you doing?


Billy stops, disappointed. Joey emerges from the blackness –
his suit is covered in dried blood, Charlie’s blood. Charlie
sighs with relief. He keeps his hands behind his back.
It’s about bloody time, Joey.
Billy throws the knife down onto the trolley.
      (Still Petrified)
Joey! Joey! Help me! Billy’s a
bloody nut! Help me Joey!
      (Looking at Billy)
Shut your mouth, Charlie.
Now. Billy, come here.
Billy strolls over to Joey – Joey whispers to Billy. Billy
Joey! Joey! Get me down, please!
I said shut-up, Charlie.
Joey lights a cigarette, doesn’t bother to look down at
We’ll talk about my office later,
Charlie. But now, we’ll deal with
the current situation.
You’re a total screw-up Charlie.
You know that? God knows why I let
you in last night’s game. But you


                       JOEY (cont'd)
had to go and screw that up to,
didn’t you?
Joey! Jo- Joey! I just want-
Then, you’ll never see me again.
Not to mention...
As for never seeing you again -
Oh, that much is true. I’ll make
sure of that, Charlie.
Billy returns, dragging STEVEN CHAPMAN, dressed only in his
boxers and vest, along with him. Steven is obviously
distressed and confused but is not being held against his
Billy, Steven-
      (Shouts - hopeful)
Ste- Steven! Thank God! Steven!
Where is she?
Joey flicks his cigarette at Charlie. He walks over to Billy
and Steven. They talk amongst themselves, standing by the
shadowed doorway.
Charlie makes the most of the opportunity. He removes his
gun from his inside pocket. Holding the gun with his
battered hand, he uses the other to fish around in his
outside pocket. Thankfully, he finds two bullets – the
bullets he picked up first thing in the morning back in his
bedroom. Charlie struggles to load the gun.
Joey, Billy and Steven continue to talk about last night’s
game and Charlie’s woman. They talk quietly, near
      (To Steven)
Where is she?


      (Shivering – arms
I don’t know! I woke up this
morning – she was gone!
Why do we want to care about this
psycho-whore? My God, if she’s
with that piece of shit over
      (To Billy)
You – shut it. Psycho. What the
hell were you doing with that
Who are you calling ‘psycho’, huh?
Why don’t you tell me what’s going
on between you are shit-heap over
W-What are you talking about?
What’s he been saying? What are
you saying, Billy?
What’s with all this blood on you?
Didn’t lover want to play or
Joey grabs Billy by the throat.
Why you s-


Suddenly, the three men freeze as out of the darkness and
shadows of the doorway steps CHERRY.
She approaches the three men, stopping beside them. Joey
stands to her left, Billy and Steven on her right. She
stares straight ahead, through the middle of them.
Joey prepares to say something...
A single shot is fired. The bullet hits Cherry directly in
the forehead, exiting the back with a shower of blood. She
falls down immediately, dead in an instant. She disappears
into the shadows.
The gunshot echoes... Disappears.
Joey, Billy and Steven are lying on the floor taking cover.
Joey looks up, in a state of shock. He looks into the
darkness. He looks to Charlie.
Charlie still hangs from the ceiling. His hands are now free
and in them, he holds a smoking gun. She stares straight
ahead, staring motionlessly into the darkness of the
Joey looks for Billy and Steven. They, lying on the floor
also, are looking back at Joey. They are all in a state of
The three men all watch the man with the gun. Neither of
them dared move. Charlie remains still, like a statue.
Billy tries to move, making a slight sound as he does so.
Immediately, like a robot Charlie aims the gun at Billy and
without thinking, pulls the trigger.
The bullet hits Billy in the backside.


      (In Pain/Shock)
Joey, Steven and even Billy quickly and rather clumsily jump
to their feet and rush out of the doorway.
Charlie drops the gun. He stares directly ahead, into the
blackness of the doorway. He can see nothing.
Charlie hangs there – drops the gun. He tries to lift
forward and free himself from the chains. He cannot – his
ankles bleed. The pain increases. Charlie gives up, just
hangs there.
He looks into the blackness of the doorway… the emptiness.
Charlie hangs there.
Charlie stood by the window. He drank whiskey from a coffee
The office was different. It was still messy and
disorganised. But the walls were covered in photographs –
hundreds of photographs that Charlie had taken. Each
photograph was of a different time and place, the only thing
that remained the same in each photograph was the presence
of a woman. The woman was CHERRY.
Charlie’s first and only case had become an obsession. An
obsession for this woman – the woman he had been paid to
Charlie walked over to his filing cabinet - the top drawer
was open. There is only one separator: MISSING PERSONS. The
drawer wasn’t empty like earlier, it was now filled with
paperwork: notes and pictures of CHERRY.
Charlie closed the drawer – locked it.
Charlie drank the last of coffee cup of whiskey.


Sat at Charlie’s desk was MYSTERY MAN... Dead – a single
gunshot wound to the chest.
On the desk was Charlie’s gun, his favourite gun – the gun
that had killed MYSTERY MAN. Under the gun lies the
photograph given to Charlie by MYSTERY MAN. The picture was
On the bed sat, in darkness, was another person. This person
was difficult to identify in the shadows. But we know it is
Charlie smiled.
                       CHARLIE (VO)
My first case was my last case.
If my philosophy about today was
true… I should be cured. I should
be free.
It’s time to get out – now.
Tomorrow is another day.
Cased closed.


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