Working for Death
A Script Blamed on Herring
(Narrator stands centre stage, dressed in black jeans and a white collared shirt, hands behind his back, smiling calmly. There is a spotlight on him, a circle wide enough to show him and nothing else)
(Sound of thunder, rain, wind)
NARRATOR: It was a dark, stormy night –
(Sounds screech (literally) to a halt and birds start to sing)
NARRATOR: Oh all right, so it was a beautiful Tuesday morning. I just thought the other beginning sounded more ominous.
(Someone unseen in the background clears his or her throat)
(Sound effects disappear)
NARRATOR: (Looks annoyed) All right, I'll get on with it. (Looks to audience) To start, ladies and gentlemen, let me welcome you to a night that will be filled with love, hate, tears, joy, heartbreak, bloodshed and, above all, life and death…a story filled with such emotion, you may find yourself overcome with tears. If, for some implausible reason, this happens to be the case, I'm sorry to inform you that the theatre will not be supplying tissues this evening, so you will have to make do with the sleeve of the unfortunate individual stuck sitting next to you.
(The throat clearer tries again, louder this time)
NARRATOR: (Sighs) And now, ladies, gentlemen and toads, let me introduce you to the stars of the show.
(A young man walks on stage wearing a black cloak with the hood up. He lowers it and grins cheerfully at the audience as he reaches a spot on the other side of the Narrator, and a large spotlight appears on him)
NARRATOR: This is our hero, a young man by the name of Tom. His father has been hiding his career from his son for nineteen years now, and never told Tom that he was going to be his successor in the family business. He's not going to like it when he finds out what that is.
(Tom gives the Narrator a worried look. The Narrator smiles innocently)
NARRATOR: Unless, of course, Tom already knows somehow…
(Tom shrugs and shakes his head)
(A woman a few years older than Tom joins him under the light, wearing a pink t-shirt over dark blue jeans. She glares darkly at the audience as she twirls a thin branch in her hand. Tom eyes her nervously)
NARRATOR: Now Kyra here isn't as young as she looks. She's been working as Tom's dad's personal assistant for many years now, and she's looking forward to teaching Tom everything she knows.
(Kyra grins maliciously at Tom, who moves away slightly)
(A man who looks quite a bit like Tom walks on stage, also wearing a black cloak. He grins brightly at everyone and ruffles the Narrator's hair as he passes and joins his son and assistant)
NARRATOR: (Glares after him for a second while smoothing his hair) And, as I am sure you can tell, this gentleman is Tom's father. Luke here rather likes his work and gets along with his boss, and I just hope that Tom will be as good at it once he takes over. He just regrets that he never told Tom what he really did for a living, because the kid's been guessing his whole life…and as far as he knows, Tom's never come close.
(Luke just shrugs at Tom. As he's doing so, a tall figure cloaked in black joins the stage)
NARRATOR: This, lads and blondes, is Luke's boss. Since I don't want to give away the plot, from here until his identity is revealed he'll be referred to as 'Tall Cloaked Figure'.
(Tall Cloaked Figure joins the others in the spotlight)
(Next to join the stage is a short young woman wearing a white dress and blue wings. She is holding a thin branch about thirty five centimetres long which is wrapped in shiny blue, pink, gold and silver opaque cellophane)
NARRATOR: Now this lovely young lady is somewhat new to her own profession, but so far she's been doing a good job. Sadly though, she doesn't get along with Luke's boss, and tries, whenever she can, to stop him in his work. She is, ladies and gentlemen, the Tooth Fairy.
(The Tooth Fairy waves at the audience and smiles, before pointing her wand at Tom, Kyra and Luke menacingly)
NARRATOR: (Clears throat) Shall we move on? We only have one more to go up here.
(That 'one' walks on stage, a tall man with black hair in a pony tail…wearing a pink tutu and a glare that could freeze fire. He also has a wand, a pure black stick)
(Tom, Kyra, Luke and the Tooth Fairy stare in shock, then begin to laugh)
NARRATOR: (Puts hand over mouth to hide grin, waits a few seconds and removes it, keeping a calm face) And this, boys and girls, is Tom's very own Fairy Godfather. He may look like he's a softie, but don't get him mad, or he may decide to eat your eyes for lunch.
(Fairy Godfather glares at everyone)
(The five of them walk off stage, and the spotlight they were standing in disappears)
NARRATOR: Now that's done, ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts; we're in for one wild ride!
(Luke and a tall figure cloaked in black are sitting either side of a small wooden table. They both have a handful of cards and there is a pile between them)
NARRATOR: Although he didn't know it, it was Luke's last day at work. He and his boss were, as usual, working very hard.
TALL CLOAKED FIGURE: Have you got any threes?
LUKE: Go fish.
TALL CLOAKED FIGURE: Damn!
LUKE: Any fives?
TALL CLOAKED FIGURE: (Glares) How can you be so good at this?
LUKE: (Grinning) Years of practice. I used to be so embarrassed when Tom would beat me when he was five…so I practiced and practiced; these days he never beats me.
TALL CLOAKED FIGURE: It's a game of luck, Luke. Idiot.
LUKE: Yeah yeah, whatever. You're just a poor loser.
NARRATOR: Yes, that's right; Luke and his boss were working very hard at playing Go Fish. But because they were both so engrossed, not even Luke's boss noticed a third person enter the room.
(A cheerful looking man dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and blue jeans walks into the room with a rubber baseball bat in his hand. He walks over to behind Luke and hits him around the head with it)
LUKE: (Gasps) Oh no… (Falls to the ground and lies still)
TALL CLOAKED FIGURE: Hey! You killed him! That wasn't on my schedule! Who are you?
ASSASSIN: I'm not going to tell you, you'd organise my death!
TALL CLOAKED FIGURE: Well, yeah. That one's kind of obvious.
ASSASSIN: I don't want to die.
TALL CLOAKED FIGURE: I don't see why not. How did you know that the only way to kill my poor Manager was with a rubber baseball bat?
ASSASSIN: That's classified information, and I'm not allowed to tell you.
TALL CLOAKED FIGURE: In other words, the person who hired you told you.
ASSASSIN: Something like that.
TALL CLOAKED FIGURE: Get lost then. I need to hire a new Manager…
(Two armchairs sit on stage. In them are Tom and his Fairy Godfather. A coffee table sits between them, with a vase on it. In the vase is the Fairy Godfather's wand)
NARRATOR: Far away, Tom was having the same argument he always had with his Fairy Godfather, not knowing that his father had been brutally murdered with a show bag toy and that his life was soon going to change forever…
TOM: I don't need a babysitter! I'm nineteen you moron, I can look after myself!
FAIRY GODFATHER: Hey, I don't like this any more than you do, but your father insists that I stay with you at all times when he isn't here. I think he's still worried about that incident when you were nine…
TOM: That was ten years ago! The Tooth Fairy isn't going to show up and try to kidnap me while taking a tooth anymore! I don't have any to lose!
(The Tooth Fairy flies in)
TOOTH FAIRY: (Surprised) Oh, hello! Don't mind me, I'm just passing through. (Grabs the Fairy Godfather's wand and flies back out)
FAIRY GODFATHER: Oi! That tooth taking pixie just stole my wand!
TOM: So get it back from her. I don't mind, I'll be fine here on my own.
FAIRY GODFATHER: Oh good. I'll be back as soon as I get my wand off that kleptomaniac myth!
(Fairy Godfather stands up and runs off stage)
TOM: Brilliant! I think I ought to thank that Tooth Fairy next time I see her. Now, what to do with my free time?
(He stands and wanders around for a minute, before leaving the stage)
(Kyra is sitting on a chair behind a desk covered in papers, reading out of a file. Luke's boss walks on stage)
TALL CLOAKED FIGURE: Ahem. Hello Kyra.
KYRA: Hey! Don't sneak up on me like that…what do you need, Boss?
TALL CLOAKED FIGURE: Some stupid assassin came in with a rubber baseball bat…
KYRA: Oh no! Is Luke okay?
TALL CLOAKED FIGURE: I'm sorry Kyra, he was killed.
KYRA: Damn! What are we going to do? And how are we going to tell Tom about his dad?
TALL CLOAKED FIGURE: We tell Tom exactly what happened, and then we tell him that his father put his name down to be his successor.
KYRA: Oh. Tom's not going to like that.
TALL CLOAKED FIGURE: I know. But I don't have to tell him.
KYRA: So who will the – oh no. No. No way. I won't!
TALL CLOAKED FIGURE: Someone has to.
KYRA: Oh fine, I will then.
(Tooth Fairy runs through, looking behind her and holding the Fairy Godfather's wand out in front of her)
TOOTH FAIRY: Help!
FAIRY GODFATHER: (Running in after her) Get back here you fairytale fake!
TOOTH FAIRY: Oh no! (Runs out)
FAIRY GODFATHER: Dammit! (Goes to follow)
TALL CLOAKED FIGURE: Hey! Fairy!
FAIRY GODFATHER: (Stops and turns) What? Oh! Hi!
KYRA: What are you doing here you stupid fairy? Where's Tom?
FAIRY GODFATHER: Oh no…I left him alone back at the house! Luke's going to kill me!
TALL CLOAKED FIGURE: Actually, he's not. Luke's dead.
FAIRY GODFATHER: You mean…
KYRA: Yes! Some moronic assassin came in with a rubber baseball bat and whacked the poor guy!
FAIRY GODFATHER: That's not what I meant. You do realise who your new manager is, don't you?
TALL CLOAKED FIGURE: I do. I just hope Tom's up to the task.
FAIRY GODFATHER: Up to it? Up to it? He's nineteen, overly sheltered, he's just about to be told his dad is dead, and not to mention the fact that he has no idea what his dad did for a living!
KYRA: What do you mean? Of course Tom knew. He's been into work before and all.
FAIRY GODFATHER: Luke never told Tom about his job. Tom thinks he's a spy or something. Although, back when he was sixteen he was worried that Luke had killed the Tooth Fairy and had taken over her job. That's the closest he's ever come to figuring it out.
KYRA: Oh dear. And poor you, having to tell him all this.
FAIRY GODFATHER: What? No. No, no and no! I won't!
KYRA: Technically, you're his guardian now, even though he's nineteen. You have the task of telling him.
FAIRY GODFATHER: That's not fair.
KYRA: Get over it. Go. Tell him.
FAIRY GODFATHER: Oh whatever. Um, can I ask a favour?
FAIRY GODFATHER: If either of you see the Tooth Fairy going past again, can you get my wand off her?
KYRA & TALL CLOAKED FIGURE: Sure.
FAIRY GODFATHER: Thanks. See you both later then, assuming Tom doesn't eviscerate me.
(The Fairy Godfather leaves)
TALL CLOAKED FIGURE: That was incredibly cruel of you.
KYRA: I know. Aren't you proud?
TALL CLOAKED FIGURE: Moderately. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to be getting on with the job…I'll be in Los Angeles if you need me.
KYRA: Sure thing Boss.
(The Tall Cloaked Figure leaves. Kyra looks around before sitting at her desk and picking a file up to read)
(Back at Tom's house. The chairs are there, the table is there, and even the vase is there)
NARRATOR: Back in the house, nothing was stirring. It was calm, peaceful, and quiet. Too quiet. Something had to give.
(Fairy Godfather runs on stage, looking around frantically)
FAIRY GODFATHER: Damn! The brat tricked me! I have to find him!
(Runs back off screen)
NARRATOR: See what I mean? But yet again, the Fairy Godfather had been tricked.
(Tom and the Tooth Fairy stand up from behind the chairs)
TOOTH FAIRY: That was close.
TOM: Very close. Thanks for warning me. I'm not sure what he'd have done if he'd caught me.
TOOTH FAIRY: I don't see why they're so hell bent on keeping you sheltered. You're nineteen, not nine. And I promised not to kidnap you again.
TOM: Yeah, about that…why did you? Kidnap me in the first place, that is.
TOOTH FAIRY: (Suddenly nervous) Um, well, I think it has something to do with the whole you being sheltered thing…Tom, your dad isn't a spy.
TOM: Hell, I knew that. He's Death's Manager.
(Silence. Tooth Fairy stares at Tom in shock for a few minutes, and then everything starts up again)
TOOTH FAIRY: How did you know? They've been keeping that from you your whole life!
TOM: (Rolls eyes, looks and sounds very irritated) I know. They have no idea that I've guessed. But really, it was kinda obvious. Dad wears that black cloak with the skull clasp, and I've seen him carrying a scythe around. Plus, there's the anti-rubber rule in the house. I looked that up. The only thing that can kill Death's Manager is a rubber baseball bat, and Death's Manager is the only thing a rubber baseball bat can kill. I guess that's why I was never allowed to get the show bags with those in them…
TOOTH FAIRY: And for your dad's sake I hope you aren't planning to break the anti-rubber rule.
TOM: I'm not an idiot, Fairy. I'm not plotting the death of my own father.
TOOTH FAIRY: Oh, that's good. I think you'd be grounded for quite a while if you were. And even longer if you actually tried. And even longer than that if you succeeded. And even longer than that if –
TOM: Shut up already!
TOOTH FAIRY: (Sulks)
TOM: Oh hell….
(Back in Kyra's office, she is sitting at her desk throwing balls of paper, seeming bored)
NARRATOR: Kyra was still alone in her office, thinking hard.
KYRA: I really ought to stop playing with this paper and start to work out who would have payed someone to kill Luke. Other than the Tooth Fairy, that is. Hey, wait a sec! What if it was the Tooth Fairy?
(The Fairy Godfather runs in, looking panicked)
FAIRY GODFATHER: He's gone!
KYRA: (Looks up from aiming paper and throws it at Fairy Godfather. He ignores it) Who's gone?
FAIRY GODFATHER: Gee, who do you think? Tom, of course!
KYRA: (Stands) What? How? Gone where?
FAIRY GODFATHER: You idiot. If I knew where he was, why would I be worried? What if that damned Tooth Fairy's got him?
KYRA: Oh no…and I was just beginning to suspect her of organising Luke's assassination, too. Oh no, poor Tom!
FAIRY GODFATHER: We have to find him. Will you help me?
KYRA: Of course. Let's go.
(They leave in a hurry)
NARRATOR: Only seconds after they left, a certain tall cloaked figure arrived back at the office.
(Death enters and props a scythe on the desk, looking around)
DEATH: Typical Kyra. She couldn't at least wait for me to get back before wandering off to who knows where, could she?
(He walks over and sits at the desk. Seeing the pile of paper balls Kyra left on the desk, he picks one up and begins throwing them at the bin…)
(Back at Tom's place, the Tooth Fairy is sitting in a chair sulking. She's alone)
NARRATOR: The poor Tooth Fairy had been deserted by Tom, and was sulking where he had left her. Luckily, before she'd really had a chance to plot Tom's death, the Fairy Godfather and Kyra arrived.
(The Fairy Godfather and Kyra run in and see the Tooth Fairy)
FAIRY GODFATHER: You!
TOOTH FAIRY: Me!
KYRA: This is ridiculous… (She sits in the second chair, leaving the Fairy Godfather to lean against the back of it) All right, Tooth Fairy, 'fess up! Did you hire an assassin to kill Luke?
TOOTH FAIRY: (Jaw drops) Luke's dead? But, but…how?
KYRA: I'll take that as a no.
FAIRY GODFATHER: Did you know that someone was going to have Luke killed?
TOOTH FAIRY: Wha – no! I would never have anything to do with killing anyone!
KYRA: Let it go, Fairy, she doesn't know anything.
NARRATOR: But the Fairy Godfather was unwilling to just let her walk – er, fly.
FAIRY GODFATHER: Let's start with the basics here. Where's my wand and why did you take it?
TOOTH FAIRY: (Reaches down the side of her chair and pulls out the black wand) Here, take it. I'm so sorry; I just wanted to talk to Tom.
FAIRY GODFATHER: What on earth about?
TOOTH FAIRY: I was sick of the way you three were sheltering him. I thought that he deserved to know, he's not a little kid anymore.
KYRA: (Nods) I know, but…well, it was what Luke wanted. He planned to tell Tom all about it on his twentieth birthday. And now…
TOOTH FAIRY: Well that's just the thing. Tom already knew. He worked it out for himself.
FAIRY GODFATHER: Kid's not as oblivious as I thought…Okay then. So where is he?
TOOTH FAIRY: I don't know. He left. He didn't say where he was going to go.
KYRA: Damn! How are we supposed to find him now?
(Kyra's office. Death is still throwing paper balls, humming a random song while he's at it)
NARRATOR: As usual, Death was hard at work. Well actually, he was slacking off due to his lack of a manager. He couldn't manage his own schedule, and not even Kyra was there to help him. What was a poor Reaper of Souls to do?
(Death's hand is raised to throw yet another ball of paper, but as Tom walks in he drops it in shock)
DEATH: Tom! What are you doing here? Did your Fairy Godfather find you? Or did Kyra vanish off from here to tell you herself?
TOM: Uh, what? I haven't seen the Fairy Godfather for a while now, and last time I saw Kyra was last week? What's going on?
DEATH: Why me? I send them both off and they can't even do what I asked them to!
TOM: (Getting annoyed) So what caused you to send them after me in the first place?
DEATH: Er, Tom, I don't think that I should be the one to tell you –
TOM: Oh just spit it out! If it helps at all, I know that Dad's your manager, and I even know who you are.
DEATH: Then why aren't you running away?
TOM: I know the Tooth Fairy personally. My Godfather has the word 'Fairy' prefixing his title and they both use a wand. When you've been kidnapped as a nine year old by someone that you're not really supposed to believe in by then, you tend to accept the fact that your father works for Death.
DEATH: I…see. Well then. Yes. I suppose…Tom, someone hired an assassin to bring a rubber baseball bat and kill your father.
TOM: That's…not good. Who's going to be your manager now? Somehow I just can't see Kyra doing the job by herself.
DEATH: And what makes you think I even need a manager? I could do it myself, you know.
TOM: Uh huh, sure, whatever you say. Then why are you playing with paper balls instead of doing work?
DEATH: I, I, I, uh, well, um…
TOM: I thought as much. You're disorganised. You need a manager.
DEATH: Oh all right, I admit it! You're right. You're dad even had someone in mind for his successor, should anything happen to him. Which it did.
TOM: Don't even look at me.
DEATH: Well, you are who he had chosen…
TOM: No way, I'm more disorganised than you, definitely.
DEATH: No, I'm more disorganised!
TOM: No, I am!
DEATH: I am!
TOM: I am!
DEATH: I am!
TOM: I a – hold it, I am not getting into a childish argument with Death.
DEATH: You already did.
TOM: But I stopped, so I didn't.
DEATH: Did too.
TOM: Did no – hey!
DEATH: (Evil laugh) I couldn't help it.
TOM: How Dad could put up with you, I'll never know. Now get away from the desk and let me go through these files. If I'm going to be your manager, I need to see these things.
DEATH: (Hopeful) So you're accepting the job?
TOM: I guess so. What's my other option, go home and be locked up by a fairy until I'm thirty?
DEATH: Hm, good point. (Stands up and moves away from the chair) All right then, get to work.
TOM: (Sits down in chair and opens the file sitting on the desk) Yes Boss.
DEATH: (Picks up scythe) So where do I go first?
TOM: Give me a bloody minute to get started!
DEATH: But I want to get back to work!
TOM: Well you've got to have patience. I can't just pull a location out of a hat, you know.
DEATH: Yeah, yeah…your father wasn't this picky.
TOM: I hate to say it, but Dad probably wasn't the best person to be your manager. He wasn't an organised person.
DEATH: And you are?
TOM: Oh, I like to think so.
DEATH: This sounds like work to me.
TOM: Well you can't just slack off your whole life!
DEATH: Er, not-life.
NARRATOR: So Death leaned on his scythe and the desk and waited, while Tom read through files. Tom was glad for the peace, and ignored his rather bored boss. After a while though, the silence was broken.
(The Tooth Fairy, the Fairy Godfather and Kyra run into the room, looking frantic. None of them see Tom behind the desk)
KYRA: Boss! We can't find Tom anywhere!
DEATH: Well –
TOOTH FAIRY: We've searched and searched and searched and searched and we just can't find him!
DEATH: Um –
FAIRY GODFATHER: He doesn't know anything about Luke, or his destiny, or you, or anything!
TOM: Hey! Shut up!
(Death smiles innocently while the other three stare at Tom)
TOM: Okay, I'm not lost, I never was, and I know everything the Fairy Godfather just said. So relax. And if anyone has a rubber baseball bat, get rid of it now.
TOOTH FAIRY: (Looks guilty and throws the rubber baseball bad she'd had behind her back off stage) Er, sorry Tom.
TOM: Why me?
DEATH: (Shrugs) Because you're special?
TOM: Well maybe I am. But special or not, I never signed up to baby sit a whole lot of crazy people. Or fairies, as the case may be.
KYRA: Hey! We don't need to be baby sat!
TOM: Want to bet on that, Kyra?
TOOTH FAIRY: Ahem, children?
(Kyra and Tom turn and glare at the Tooth Fairy)
FAIRY GODFATHER: Calm down, you lot. We don't want any deaths on Tom's first day. (Turns to Death) Except you, of course.
DEATH: Gee, thanks a lot.
FAIRY GODFATHER: You're welcome…I think.
TOM: All right, I'd like to get some work done sometime this century, so if you guys don't mind…?
TOOTH FAIRY: I had better get back to work myself; there are a whole heap of little kids out there wanting to cash in on the tooth exchange business. See you all later.
(Tooth Fairy leaves)
FAIRY GODFATHER: Finally, she's gone!
KYRA: She wasn't that bad, was she?
FAIRY GODFATHER: That flying klepto took my wand, tricked me into leaving Tom, and above all she really annoyed me.
KYRA: You asked her out to dinner?
FAIRY GODFATHER: Of course, we're going on Thursday night. Apparently that's a slow night for losing teeth.
KYRA: You are so predictable.
FAIRY GODFATHER: Oh I know…well, I'm going to buy myself a suit…or at least a black tutu. Bye all!
(Fairy Godfather leaves)
TOM: Kyra? Could you answer a question for me?
KYRA: Uh, sure, I guess. What's the problem?
TOM: Well, it seems that you just shoved all these files in here without even the pretence of organisation. Do you think you could pull them all out and sort them into alphabetical order?
KYRA: (Weakly) Sure thing Tom.
TOM: Oh good. And Boss?
DEATH: (Warily) Yes Tom?
TOM: Take your scythe down to a small farm in England called Jester's Barn.
DEATH: (Hopeful) Someone's died?
TOM: No, but they could use a hand brining the crops in…
Scene Eight – The End
(The stage is empty. The Narrator stands centre stage again, hands behind his back and still smiling calmly. Luke is standing next to him, looking annoyed. There is a spotlight on them.)
NARRATOR: Well, as always, things seem to have sorted themselves out. Tom is whipping everyone into shape, giving Kyra and Death the organisation they need.
LUKE: Organisation is bad for your health.
NARRATOR: Hush you. I'm trying to work here.
LUKE: Yeah, yeah, sorry.
NARRATOR: And of course, the Fairy Godfather found romance with the Tooth Fairy. Tom, also, is having a good time. He's always wanted to boss people around, and manage things…looks like he found his true vocation. Things truly have worked out for the best.
LUKE: What are you talking about? I'm dead! How is that for the best?
NARRATOR: Your son taking over a job you weren't particularly good at. That's how. And hey, I'm supposed to be wrapping things up; your whining isn't helping me.
LUKE: Well if you hadn't allowed me to be killed off…
NARRATOR: Luke, I can see how you might be a little bitter, but please, please, please stop complaining…
LUKE: Whatever, you're just bullying me. Right, get to the ending then. (Luke leaves)
NARRATOR: So yes, ladies, gentlemen, that rabbit in the corner and my Uncle Fred, this is truly the end of a magnificent tale. Everyone except Luke leaves us happy, and that whiny dead guy can just get over it. I'm sure that soon we'll be seeing the children of the Tooth Fairy and the Fairy Godfather flying around sometime soon.
This is the end. I thank you for coming, everyone, and I hope you enjoyed the show.
(Spotlight vanishes, Narrator leaves, curtains close)