Under The Pillow


INT. Upscale home sitting room-eve

A wealthy, somewhat sated middle-aged well-educated couple sits in their 'drawing room'---their decorator has persuaded them to use the 'proper' terminology of the well-bred---their well-planned lives include an only child to whom neither particularly is attached, albeit the child has become a pawn in the ennui of a relationship which is more banal brochure than genuine.


Another tooth....what is this, the 2nd or 3rd .....

(sardonic, extreme)

God, I'm glad we planned so well, to savor these little....moments.



It's the first; you're thinking of your niece---so typical.


Oh, well, I suppose you're right: it just seems that she's so alive you can't not remember the smallest thing about...her.


And, our child is somehow less 'lively', that about it!?


Do we have to go through this too well-rehearsed little scene, again? Look, ours is perfectly....fine, Ok?

(attempted misdirection)

Did you put the money under the pillow?


I thought you did....


Great: I'll go in and get the bloody little tooth---got any change?


Typical! Leave a couple of dollars, alright?!

He goes off stage; she is fuming visibly, shielding her eyes as if from a bright light; 30 seconds pass, then he rushes back on stage.


The tooth----it's all moist and sticky; the sheets'll be ruined; didn't you think to put it in a baggie or something?!


I've gotta go wash my hands.

He goes offstage again. She is also offstage, in the child's room.



Ahhhhhhhhhh!! Sweet God!


Didn't you see the marks on his arms?!

She has run on stage, followed by him from the bathroom.


Damned cat, but how...didn't he wake up?!


(looks at him suspiciously)

This is no cat's doing.....! What.. .what happened yesterday, at the park!?


(guilty sounding)

Don't be ridiculous.......we were in a hurry, and he fell, that's all; anyway, it was his leg, dammit.


H U R R Y!? Oh, it's such a chore for you---late for a conference call?!


Look, I'm going to bed; it's probably a bug or something, ok?

He leaves the stage, just then the child screams and they both run off to his room. They return to stage with a strange piece of paper in her hands.

FATHER (cont'd)

I don't get it: he's fast asleep, in the same exact position as before.


A....bad dream, I suppose...


Where were you, just then?


With you, you ditz!


Before that, you bastard!


In the bath, remember:


Just what are you suggesting?!


(looks that kill; then looks at paper)

Look...at this, it's parchment or something!


Real sheepskin.....it looks like Latin, for payment, 'solutio'...


But, it says more, 'cupide', like greedy for it...


This writing, it's like with a quill, scratchy, like it was done quickly...



The writing's still...damp....!

You....you and your enemies!

(looks again at the paper)

Look, look.....'nympha', fairy!!! Did...did you leave the money?!

(in a seeming daze)

The safe, you've got thousands in there, p-l-e-a-s-e, God....

(crying/screaming simultaneously)


Now you've really lost it...!

(looks at paper again)

Is this your idea of some sick payback joke!? Well, now you've gone too far.....and I'm not buying it, you hear me....I am sick and tired of your innuendos about him being the proverbial stepchild, and, now, this....really, it's just the end, the absolute end, of everything!

(storms off)

He continues venting, from offstage,


I've got a crucial meeting early in the morning, and you think you can spoil it; well, you're wrong....good night!

(slams door)


(muttering to herself)

I....I must sleep with him, to protect him......nothing can harm him if I.......I'm so sorry, my sweetheart......

She walks offstage to child's room, we hear a door close. End of Scene One.

Scene Two.


We find the mother sitting in her nightgown, hair disheveled, makeup running from too many tears; she is sobbing into the phone. Sound of a shower running offstage in bathroom.


Yes, yes......I mean no, there are no signs of struggle, just blood everywhere.......

(breaks down)

Alright, I'll....try.......yes, you must send someone, you see, I can't wake up my child; he was fine last night, just....tired, he's losing his teeth, you see, and.......no, my husband would never......no, he's his stepson....why?......okay, I understand, but, well, he did get a little short with him at times....but, no, he never hit him....yes, the blood, it's all over the bathroom wall, there's something written, I can't make it out......it looks like....Latin.....no, Latin, not Latino, I told you, I didn't see anything, or hear.....wait, the note.....the note....in Latin......

The police and EMS arrive, finding her; she drops the phone, and is escorted to her bedroom offstage, hysterical. End of Scene Two.


Scene Three.


The authorities are speaking to each other about forensics.


Damnedest thing I've seen in, well, 20 years......got anything on that paper?


It's parchment, alright; ripped from one of the husband's Ivy League degrees on the wall, right next to the safe; the ink, well, gonna need the lab on that.


You think she wrote it?


Possible, maybe even probable, given their history according to the neighbors......just can't figure how they didn't hear anything....



The kid?


One for the coroner, but my guess is he died of absolute terror, some kind of traumatic shock, too much for his age to handle---he saw something, something horrible, maybe them struggling, dunno, no physical evidence, I mean zip; no apparent signs of physical trauma, but it could be internal injuries, but, from what? The arms only show insect bites forming a rough outline, but definitely not intentional. I've got one for you, though: what the Hell happened in that bathroom----none of his personal effects are gone, none, the wife says there are no clothes missing, not even a sock from his neat, cavernous closet.


Seen it before; your guy says its definitely his blood according to his doctor's records......no, looks to me like some kinda scam, maybe not insurance, but, my guess is he staged the thing, bought some clothes ahead of time, had some offshore stash and, poof, he does a Rhett Butler--cheaper for him than divorce.

End of Scene Two.

Scene Three.

Int. Santiarium-day

It is years later; the mother of the dead child and presumed dead husband is watching blankly a TV with other committees; a news flash comes on.


According to police, the woman called 911 when she found her dead child in his bed and her husband vanished, the shower still running......police have not released the names of the family members for privacy reasons, but did reveal that blood was found both on the boy's pillow---- apparently he had lost a tooth or two to the tooth fairy----and in the bathroom where the father had been....this case is eerily similar to one some seven years ago, a case that remains unsolved to this day; more details as they become available.....


She slowly comes out of her stupor, doing her best Tony Perkins 'Psycho' or Jack Nicholson 'The Shining' twisted, pained smile at the audience.

Music up, from 'The Shining' intro or something similar.

The End