THE URN

by PETER RONDEL

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Beginning as an angry boast, Ray claims that he would be willing to travel to London and steal the ashes back. His two friends, Vic and Brendan, soon realize the impact that such a venture would have and begin to develop a plan to carry it out. Ray's girlfriend becomes involved and causes some problems of her own in the early stages. The success of the robbery depends largely on their ability to create a replica urn in Brendan's garage. Of the three characters, Ray is short tempered and at times, behaves more like a schoolboy. Brendan is the most level headed and tends to control the group in an effort to avoid confrontations. Vic is an ideas man, and develops the main plan to get hold of the urn in the first place. He has one serious problem however, in that he can never resist the temptation to play the clown. This gets him into trouble with a lot of people, including a hostess who gets her own back on the flight to Heath Row, during which he also falls foul of a customs officer and one of the passengers. This is an adult orientated story with a humorous slant and finishes with the group disposing of the urn in Perth, with the help of a television station and several internet cafes. By mutual agreement, the reward money offered by a brewery is to be paid directly to the children's hospital.

                                                        
THE URN
BY
Peter Rondel
FADE IN:
A CITY BAR, A FEW PATRONS. RAY SITS AT A TABLE STARING AT HIS GLASS. LOOKS UP AT THE BARMAN.
                            RAY
What about those bloody Poms then? Thieving pack of bastards.
(SWALLOWS LARGE GULP OF BEER.)
Those ashes are ours-we should have ‘em back.

BARMAN (CLEARLY NOT INTERESTED.)
 Yeah, I suppose so.
GOES TO OTHER END OF THE BAR TO SERVE ANOTHER CUSTOMER.

RAY DRAWING PATTERNS IN THE PUDDLE OF BEER LEFT UNDER HIS GLASS HE LOOKS UP AS ANOTHER MAN COMES OVER TO THE TABLE AND DRAGS A CHAIR OUT.

                            RAY
G’day Brend. Did you see the news last night?



BRENDAN TAKES A LONG SLOW DRINK THEN GRINS AT RAY.

        BRENDAN
Are you on about bloody cricket again? Who gives a stuff?
           
                            RAY
Christ, you’re an Aussie. Act like one. This is serious. I’d like to go over there and take the fuckin thing off of ‘em myself.

BRENDAN LAUGHS
You and what army. That thing’s treated like the crown jewels. They’d lock you in the tower and throw away the key, for even thinking about it.

ANOTHER MEMBER OF THE GROUP JOINS THEM AND SITS DOWN.

            VIC
G’day. Did you guys see the news last night? They won’t……,




        BRENDAN
No need to worry me old mate.  Ray here is going to get it back for us. (LOOKS AT RAY)  Isn’t that right Ray?

VIC LOOKS AT BRENDAN, PUZZLED

        VIC
Eh?

        RAY (LOOKING ANGRY)
They think they can do what ever they want. We can’t let those bastards get away with it. No-one here is likely to do more than whinge about it.

        VIC
Just imagine it. The headlines in the British press. It’d be the story of the year, if not the decade. You’d make cricket history.

THEY ALL LAUGH.
RAY GOES UP TO THE BAR TO REFILL THE GLASSES.

                                                                    BRENDAN
Tell you what though. Crazy as it all sounds, I reckon between us, we could just about do it.

VIC LOOKS AT BRENDAN, WIDE EYED AND A BIT SHOCKED.

                            VIC
You’re not serious. It’s one thing to joke about it, but you’d have to be insane to try something like that.

RAY COMES BACK, JUGGLING THREE GLASSES
                                VIC
What do you reckon? Could we do it?

        RAY
Do what?

        VIC
Go over there and grab the ashes back?

RAY.
Bloody oath. The three of us could handle that no trouble.


HE SWALLOWS A HUGE MOUTHFULL THAT OBVIOUSLY HURTS A BIT ON THE WAY DOWN.
                                RAY
Better than sittin’ here every day drinkin’ this stuff.
BRENDAN HOLDS UP A HAND
                                BRENDAN
Hang on a minute. It’s not that easy. We need to think it over carefully first. If everyone still thinks the same way tomorrow, we can meet at Ray’s place.

RAY (LOOKING SURPRISED).
Why my place? What’s wrong with yours?

BRENDAN.
My place is too small.  Besides, you’ve got a ‘fridge full at your place.

        RAY
Cheeky bastards. OK, my place tomorrow.  (DRAINS GLASS) Morning or arvo?

VIC.
Morning - We might want to do a bit of research, so we need as much time as possible for the rest of the day. 


VIC AND BRENDAN LEAVE THE BAR TOGETHER, LEAVING RAY SITTING AT THE TABLE.

OUT IN THE CAR PARK
                            BRENDAN
Want a lift?

    VIC
Yeah, thanks.                                                                                                            BRENDAN
Are you going round to Ray’s in the morning?

    VIC
You bet. It’s about time he opened that bloody ‘fridge to the outside world. Nobody ever told him it was supposed to be for food.

BRENDAN
I’ll pick you up at eight – that ok?

FADE OUT:
               
FADE IN:

NEXT MORNING. VICS APARTMENT DOOR.                                                     BRENDAN
You ready yet? - Let’s go

IN BRENDAN’S CAR. VIC IN PASSENGER SEAT. DRIVE THROUGH CITY.
FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
RAY’S APARTMENT. ON STREET OUTSIDE, AT INTERCOM. VIC PUSHES BUTTON.
A SLEEPY VOICE FROM THE SPEAKER.
                        RAY’S VOICE
Who’s that?

VIC
Father Christmas, you lazy bastard. Open the bloody door, I’m dying for a coffee

BRENDAN, (TRYING TO STIFLE A YAWN )
Lazy bastard. He’d sleep all day if we didn’t wake him up

RAYS VOICE FROM SPEAKER
I heard that

A LOUD BUZZING NOISE, FOLLOWED BY A “CLACK” FROM THE FRONT DOOR.  THEY GO IN AND CROSS TO THE ELEVATOR.

                            VIC
I wonder if they have a robot that cleans shoes as well 
LEVATOR STOPS AND THE DOORS OPEN.

VIC KNOCKS LOUDLY ON RAY’S DOOR.
 THE DOOR OPENS, TO REVEAL RAY WEARING NOTHING BUT A PAIR OF BOXER SHORTS THAT DISPLAY A PICTURE OF TWEETY BIRD. AS VIC AND BRENDAN ENTERED THE ROOM, RAY TURNS AWAY AND WITHOUT A WORD, WALKS OVER TO THE KITCHEN AREA WHERE HE PROCEEDS TO FILL AN ELECTRIC KETTLE AT THE SINK.
VIC
For Christ’s sake put some clothes on. You look disgusting.

BRENDAN
You look like a candidate for the Salvo’s

    RAY
OK. You make the coffees. Make an extra one. White and one.

RAY DISAPPEARS INTO THE BEDROOM AND SHUTS THE DOOR BEHIND HIM. VIC LOOKS AT BRENDAN.

                                VIC
Shit! He’s not alone. Do you think we should go?
BRENDAN LOOKS OVER AT THE BEDROOM DOOR.
                            BRENDAN
Like hell.  I want a look at it.  (GRINS) Bet she’s ugly.

VIC POURS BOILING WATER INTO THE COFFEE MUGS.
                                    VIC
Yeah – she’d have to be

THE BEDROOM DOOR OPENS AND THEY BOTH TURN TO WATCH THE TIGHT JEANS AND BIKINI TOP EMERGE FROM THE ROOM.
                            VIC
Christ!
(SLOPS SOME OF THE SCALDING COFFEE OVER THE EDGE AND BURNS HIS THUMB.)
VIC HANDS A MUG TO THE GIRL.
                            VIC
                     Here luv. This is yours.
THE GIRL SMILES SEDUCTIVELY AT VIC AND TAKES THE MUG WITH BOTH HANDS.   
Thanks.

VIC
No worries.
RAY INSTANTLY PLACES A PROTECTIVE ARM AROUND THE GIRL’S WAIST.
                            RAY
This is Tracy - We’re an item.

VIC THINKS TO HIMSELF ,  you lucky bugger
VIC
That’s obvious. G’day Tacy. Nice to meet you.
RAY (POINTS AT BRENDAN.)
That’s Brendan.  He’s a newspaper guy. Writes a lot of stuff about nothing important.

BRENDAN (LOWERS THE COFFEE MUG.)
I write a column about current affairs and human interest articles.
TRACY SMILES
Yeah, you look like a writer.
.                            (TRACY LOOKS AT RAY.)
Do you mind if I have a shower?

RAY
Of course not. Take your time.
(RELUCTANTLY REMOVES HIS ARM FROM HER WAIST.)
VIC  (WITH SMIRK).
Do you want a hand?
THE GIRL STOPS AND TURNS AROUND. GIVES VIC AWITHERING STARE
Yes, but certainly not yours.

BRENDAN LAUGHS
You dumb bastard. She’d never fancy an ugly prick like you.

VIC GRINS
Gotta have a go, don’t I?

RAY (ANNOYED)
Yeah but not with my girl, so back off.
THEY ALL SIT ON THE SOFA
                                VIC
I had a look through the paper this morning. There’s a few cheap trips to the UK with seven days accommodation. The fares are pretty cheap, but the accommodation is the real killer.

TRACY REAPPEARS FROM BEDROOM.
If you’re going to the UK, I can arrange a cheap place to stay.

TRACY SITS ON THE ARM OF THE SOFA, NEXT TO RAY, WHO IMMEDIATELY PLACES ONE HAND PROVOCATIVELY ON HER EXPOSED KNEE, WHERE THE BATH ROBE DIVIDES.
                        TRACY
My brother and his wife live over there. She’s a Pom -But she’s really nice.

BRENDAN
Where do they live?
TRACY
Hendon.

RAY
Where’s that? -  And don’t say its in England.
TRACY RUFFELS HIS HAIR WITH BOTH HANDS.
Somewhere near London. I don’t know exactly.

        VIC
It’s North West of the city. Not that far away from what we’re looking for.

TRACY LOOKS SURPRISED.
How come you know so much?

RAY LAUGHS.
He knows just about everything.

VIC
Oh no he doesn’t. It’s just that I’ve been to Lords. I got to know the area a bit while I was there.

RAY SQUEEZES THE KNEE THAT HE’D BEEN HOLDING ONTO AND TRACY JUMPS UP.
Stop that
SHE SLAPS THE TOP OF RAY’S HEAD.

RAY
We need a map or an atlas.
TRACY
What am I supposed to do about it?

        RAY
You must know where we can find one. You’re a woman. You’re supposed to be able to find anything.

        TRACY
Don’t be a smart-arse.  Everything you need is on the internet.

RAY POINTS WITH HIS FLATTENED HAND, PALM UP TOWARDS THE GIRL.
Is she brilliant or what?

TRACY (TRYING NOT TO SMILE)
I’m not just a beautiful face and don’t any of you forget it.
Now I’ll have that shower.
       
THE THREE MEN SPEND MOST OF THE DAY SEARCHING THE INTERNET.. THE FIRST USEFUL PIECE OF INFORMATION CAME IN THE FORM OF A PHOTOGRAPH OF THE ASHES. THEY PRINT THE PICTURE

                            RAY
It’s a bloody miniature.  I thought it would be a hell of a lot bigger than that. Four bloody inches.  Hardly seems worth all the fuss does it?

VIC
Don’t you believe it. That little piece of junk could be worth a fortune to a collector.


 HE HOLDS UP THE PICTURE THAT THEY HAD JUST PRINTED OUT, AND POINTS TO IT
Did you know it’s made of wood?

BRENDAN LAUGHS.
It gets better and better. You cricket fans are all bloody crazy.

VIC
Hey. That’s the holy grail of sport. Don’t knock it.

BRENDAN (LOOKS AROUND THE ROOM).
Where’s Tracy?

VIC
She must have got fed up and went home.

RAY (POINTING TO THE CLOSED BEDROOM DOOR.)
No, she’s having a sleep.

    VIC
Oh yeah. Of course. (GRINS KNOWINGLY.)

THEY ALL SIT ON THE SOFA AGAIN
                            RAY
Well, what are we going to do now?

    BRENDAN
Are we really ready for this?

RAY
Bloody oath. I’d go it alone if I had to.

VIC NODS IN AGREEMENT.
Me too. This is a chance of a life time.

    RAY
First up, everyone got a passport?

EVERYONE CONFIRMS THAT THEY HAVE

                            RAY
Good. that’s the first thing out of the way

TRACY APPEARS FROM THE BEDROOM AGAIN
I’ve got one too.

THEY ALL STARE AT TRACY IN SILENCE.

                            TRACY
You’re not going without me. Not if you want my brother to put you up.

BRENDAN
She’s got a point. We’re going to need her. Besides, she could carry it.

TRACY TAKES A COUPLE OF STEPS BACKWARD.
Like hell. You can do your own carrying.

BRENDAN
I was only joking. It’s small enough to put in my pocket.

VIC HAS BEEN STUDYING THE PICTURE OF THE URN. HE WAVES THE PAGE IN THE AIR
I”ve just had a bloody great idea.

THE OTHERS LOOK AT HIM WAITING FOR AN EXPLANATION.
                            VIC
Who knows someone with a wood turning lathe?

SILENCE.
                            VIC
OK, does anyone have an electric drill?

BRENDAN
I’ve got one. What do you want it for?

VIC
Well,  I can get a lathe attachment to fit the drill. It’ll take some time, but I reckon I could make an imitation urn. Good enough to fool someone at first glances anyway.

TRACY
What use would that be?


    VIC
Well, If we simply remove the urn, someone’s going to notice it’s gone pretty quickly.
THE OTHERS AGREE.
                            VIC
So, if we replace the real one with ours, we can leave without a panic and go home.
BRENDAN, TRACY AND RAY, LOOK AT EACH OTHER.

                            BRENDAN
Just like that?
    VIC
Sort of – yeah, There’s more to work out yet once we’ve been there for a look-see.

                        TRACY
Air fares

RAY
What about ‘em?

TRACY
Where do we find the cheapest? Who’s going to check all that out?

                            RAY
That’s easy, you are.

TRACY
And what are you going to be doing all that time?

RAY
Brendan and me will figure out a way to get the bloody thing through customs, for one thing. There’s a heap of thinking to be done.
TRACY PLACES HER HAND ON HER HIP

                        TRACY
I’m not stupid. (ANGRY)  I don’t mind helping any way I can, but don’t treat me like a fuckin’ dumb blonde – because I’m not.
BRENDAN GLARES AT RAY, THINKING  Don’t get her off-side you dumb bastard
VIC STANDS UP.
                            VIC
Well, if I’m going to make a replica, I’d better get started. (LOOKS AT BRENDAN)
Can we get that drill now? I’ll have to find a fitting for it.
BRENDAN NODS. BOTH KEEN TO LEAVE.
FADE OUT:

FADE IN:
BRENDAN’S GARAGE
VIC WORKS ON A MAKESHIFT LATHE, CLAMPED TO A SMALL TABLE.
HE SWITCHES ON THE DRILL AND THE WHOLE TABLE SHAKES VIOLENTLY. THE WOOD BLOCK IS UNBALLANCED.

                    BRENDAN (SHOUTING)
Is that safe?

VIC (SHOUTING)
She’ll be right.

VIC PICKS UP ONE OF THE TOOLS AND TOUCHES IT TO THE SPINNING BLOCK OF WOOD. THERE’S A LOUD BANG AND THE TOOL DISAPPEARS.  VIC SWITCHES OFF THE DRILL. HE’S OBVIOUSLY HAD A FRIGHT.

VIC           
Christ, this thing’s trying to kill me.
AFTER A FEW MINUTES OF SEARCHING, THE CHISEL IS LOCATED, STICKING INTO A LARGE WOODEN BEAM ABOVE BRENDAN’S HEAD.


                        BREND
Let me have a go.

VIC MOVES TO THE FAR END OF THE GARAGE.
For Christ’s sake be careful. If you get killed, there won’t be anyone to write the column any more.
BRENDAN IGNORES THE COMMENT. HE TURNS THE WOOD SLOWLY WITH ONE HAND WHILE HE TESTS THE STEEL BLADE AGAINST IT. THEN SWITCHES ON THE DRILL AGAIN.
GRADUALLY THE SHAKING BECAME MORE SUBDUED AS WOOD CHIPS GATHERED ON ONE SIDE OF THE TABLE. BRENDAN SWITCHES OFF THE DRILL.
                            BRENDAN
What do you reckon?
VIC INSPECTS THE PARTLY TURNED WOOD, THEN SCOOPED UP A HANDFUL OF WOOD CHIPS. HE GRINS.
You bloody beauty. It’s working a treat. If we draw lines around it, we can mark the parts that have to be narrower. We’ll have to keep checking the picture though.

THEY TAKE TURNS FOR THE REST OF THE DAY.
BRENDAN PLACES A HAND ON VIC’S SHOULDER.
We’re going to do it.
                            VIC
Too bloody right we are.
 BRENDAN TAKES HOLD OF THE POWER CORD AND PULLS THE PLUG FROM THE WALL SOCKET.

                            VIC
Pub?
BRENDAN
Yeah, I reckon we’ve earned it.
FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
VIC AND BRENDAN SPEND TWO DAYS TAKING TURNS ON THE LITTLE WOOD LATHE. THEN WORKE WITH SAND PAPER, SMOOTHING OFF THE SURFACE. IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A BIT LIKE THE REAL THING.
THEY STAND FOR SEVERAL MINUTES, ADMIRING THEIR CREATION. THERE’S STILL A LOT OF WORK TO BE DONE
                            VIC
What about the handles?

BRENDAN
They don’t look like anything too complicated. In fact I could probably carve that bit at the top as well. If we glue it all together before we do any staining, it’ll all look the same.

    VIC
How do we make that pattern?

    BRENDAN
That’s the easy part. If we cut masking tape to same shape as the pattern, then stick it all in place, it’ll leave a lighter colour when we’ve stained it. Just peel off all the tape and it’s done.

        VIC
What about Ray? We really should go and see     him.

BRENDAN HESITATES
Perhaps we should phone him first. We’ll see what mood he’s in. That’s if Tracy hasn’t killed him.

THEY LAUGH AS THEY MAKE THEIR WAY UP THE STAIRS TO BRENDAN’S APARTMENT. BRENDAN PICKS UPP THE PHONE AND PUSHES THE BUTTONS. (PAUSE)
                        BRENDAN
G’day. It’s Brendan.


VOICE ON PHONE (RAY)
About bloody time. I was beginning to think you’d gone without us.

    BRENDAN
We’ve been working non-stop on the urn.  It’s looking pretty good. What have you been up to?

        RAY
I’ve got all the details here. We’ve booked the fares for two weeks time

                        BRENDAN
Do you think that’ll give us enough time?

    RAY
Well, any later and we’ll be getting into the school holidays. The fares will go up and we’ll be lucky to get on a ‘plane at all. Not all of us on the same flight anyway.

                                BRENDAN
Fair enough. We should have everything ready by then. We’ll keep going on the urn until it’s finished.
RAY
Hang on, I’ll need the fares from you two. I don’t mind arranging it, but I’m not bloody paying for them as well.

BRENDAN LOWERS THE HANDSET AND LOOKS AT VIC.
We have to give him the money for the fares. Can we shoot over there later today?

VIC NODS.
Yeah, that’s ok. We’ll fix it up with you today. (GRINS)  Will you be out of bed if we come around about four?

                            RAY
Get stuffed.

VIC SHAKES HIS HEAD.
Shouldn’t have done that.

BRENDAN
He’ll get over it..
ANOTHER TRIP TO THE HARDWARE SUPPLIER AND THEY COME HOME WITH AN ASSORTMENT OF WOOD OFF-CUTS, A VARIETY OF SMALL SAWS, A TIN OF WOOD STAIN AND A ROLL OF MASKING TAPE. BRENDAN SPREADS OUT A FEW LAYERS OF NEWSPAPER ON THE CARPET AND PLACES THEIR PURCHASES IN THE CENTRE. VIC SORTS THROUGH THE PIECES OF WOOD, THEN HAVING SELECTED THE MOST APPROPRIATE ONE, SITS DOWN ON THE FLOOR AND BEGINS TO DRAW THE OUTLINES ON IT.

                        VIC
I’ll have a go at the top, if you do the handles.

BRENDAN       
That sounds good. Tell you what though, I’ll grab us a beer before we get started.

HE GOES INTO THE KITCHEN, AND COMES BACK WITH A CAN IN EACH HAND.
                            BRENDAN
Get that down yer.

THEY WORK AWAY FOR A FEW HOURS, IN ALMOST CONTINUOUS SILENCE, INTERRUPTED AT ONE STAGE WHEN VIC MANAGES TO CUT HIS FINGER.

                            VIC
Bugger.

BRENDAN SEES THE DROPS OF BLOOD THAT ARE THREATENING HIS CARPET. HE RUNS OFF TO FIND A STICKING PLASTER.

                            BRENDAN
Tell you what, have you ever seen that stuff that the kids use to make things out of, then bake it in the oven?

                                VIC
You mean play dough?

                            BRENDAN
No. This stuff goes like wood when it’s baked, but it’s like plasticine to start with.

                            VIC
Never heard of it. Are you sure about that?

BRENDAN
My sister’s kid had some. They made things out of it that seemed like wood. They painted it and as far as I know, they still have it.

HE STANDS UP AND LEANS BACK TO GET THE STIFFNESS OUT OF HIS BODY.

                                BRENDAN
I’ll call Sis and see if she’s got some, or if she knows where we can get it from.

BRENDAN DISAPPEARS INTO THE KITCHEN AGAIN. HE’S ON THE PHONE FOR SOME TIME, SO VIC BUSIES HIMSELF BY CLEARING UP THE MESS AND WRAPPING IT IN THE NEWSPAPER. HE TAKES THE BUNDLE INTO THE KITCHEN, WHERE HE DROPS IT INTO THE RUBBISH BIN. BRENDAN FINISHES HIS CONVERSATION AND HANGS UP THE PHONE.

                                BRENDAN
She hasn’t got any, but there’s several places where we can get some. We can pick some up on the way over to Ray’s.

VIC PATS HIS STOMACH.
I’m bloody starving. How about you?

BRENDAN
Good idea. What do you fancy?

VIC
What about that Greek place on the corner?

                            BRENDAN
Ok, let’s go.
FADE OUT:

FADE IN:
SMALL CAFÉ. SEVERAL TABLES OCCUPIED. THEY SIT NEAR THE DOOR.

                            VIC
There’s Ray. I think he’s looking for us.
VIC GOES TO THE DOORWAY AND WHISTLES LOUDLY, TO THE OBVIOUS ANNOYANCE OF THE OTHER CUSTOMERS.
RAY LOOKS ACROSS AND SEES HIM. IGNORING THE TRAFFIC, HE SPRINTS ACROSS BETWEEN THE CARS. VIC HAD RETURNS TO HIS SEAT, AND RAY RUSHED IN, OUT OF BREATH. HE DROPS A NEWSPAPER ONTO THE TABLE.

                            RAY
Have you guys seen this?

                            VIC
Seen what?
(WIPES HIS MOUTH WITH A SERVIETTE.)

RAY PICKS UP THE PAPER, FOLDS IT IN HALF AND DROPS IT BACK ONTO THE TABLE.
THE FIRST THING THEY NOTICE IS A PICTURE OF THE URN, AND A Headline That ReadS  Ashes coming, but only for a flying visit.

                        VIC (LOUDLY)
Shit!  How will we know if it’s real or not?
DRAWS DISAPPROVING GLARES FROM OTHER CUSTOMERS.

                        BRENDAN
Shut up, do you want the whole bloody world to know?
RAY (PICKS UP THE PAPER)
Right. We’ll all go back to my place. There’s things to be done, and quickly.

THEY LEAVE THE CAFÉ AS THE WAITER CLEARS THE TABLE, GLAD THEY WERE GOING.

FADE OUT:

FADE IN:
AT RAY’S APARTMENT, THE TRIO ONCE AGAIN OCCUPY THE SOFA
RAY JUMPS TO HIS FEET. HE WALKS AS FAR AS THE WINDOW, THEN WALKS BACK AGAIN. HE IS THE MOST AGITATED OF THE THREE.


                                RAY
Well, what do we do now?

                                BRENDAN
We calm down for starters. You’ve already booked the fares. Can we get them brought forward? I say we go on Thursday, we still have to finish the urn. (PAUSE) That reminds me, we still have to get that stuff to make the lid.

    RAY
What stuff?

BRENDAN
There’s some stuff the kids use to make jewelery and ornaments.  They bake it in the oven, and it comes out like a piece of wood. I need it to make the lid.

        RAY
What is it and where do we get it from?

BRENDAN HANDS HIM THE SMALL PAGE THAT HE’D RIPPED FROM THE TELEPHONE PAD AT HIS APARTMENT.
                   
            BRENDAN
That’s the name of it and a few places that sell it.

RAY (LOOKS AT THE LIST).
FIMO – I’ve heard of that.
HE LOOKS UP AT THE WALL CLOCK.    
I’ll give Tracy a call. She’ll pick some up on the way here. How much do you need?

                                BRENDAN
About enough to fill a tea cup, I suppose.

RAY GOES THROUGH TO THE KITCHEN AND MAKES THE CALL.

                            BRENDAN
I’ll work on it all bloody night if I have to. I want it finished by tomorrow, then we can concentrate on the trip itself.

VIC’S DEEP IN THOUGHT.

                            BRENDAN
Did you hear what I said?

    VIC
Yeah. I wish I could take a look at that glass case. I just might have an idea for getting it out of there.

RAY COMES BACK INTO THE ROOM.
All fixed up. She’ll stop off on the way here.

BRENDAN
Vic thinks he’s got a way to get the urn out.

 VIC
Maybe. I’ll have to do some shopping of my own tomorrow, but I’ll keep it to myself until I’m sure it’ll work
FADE OUT:

FADE IN:
BRENDAN’S APARTMENT.                   
BRENDAN WORKS THROUGH THE NIGHT, GLUING, MASKING AND STAINING. HE STOPS FROM TIME TO TIME, TO COMPARE THE REPLICA WITH THE PRINTED PICTURE.  VIC FALLS ASLEEP ON THE SOFA.

                   

        BRENDAN
Bloody hell. A man could go blind doing this.

BRENDAN LAUGHS. HE’S FEELING PLEASED WITH HIMSELF.
BRENDAN MAKES COFFEE AND TOAST, THEN DISCOVERED THAT VIC IS SNORING ON THE SOFA. THERE’S NO POINT IN WAKING HIM UP. BRENDAN DRINKS HIS COFFEE AND  EATS ALL OF THE TOAST, BEFORE STRETCHING OUT ON THE BED, TO FALL ASLEEP AND JOIN VIC IN LOUD NASAL CHORUS
.
THE PHONE RINGS BUT NEITHER OF THEM HEARS IT, OR AT LEAST WANTS TO ANSWER. A LITTLE HALF LATER, IT RINGS AGAIN. THIS TIME, VIC DRAGS HIMSELF OF THE SOFA AND STAGGERS INTO THE KITCHEN.
                            VIC
Yeah?
 
                        RAY’S VOICE (ON PHONE.)
Who’s that?

                                VIC
It’s me. Who the hell did you think it was?

 VIC PULLS A BAR STOOL TOWARDS HIM WITH HIS FOOT, THEN AFTER TURNING THE STOOL SLIGHTLY, HE SITS ON IT.
                            RAY (ON PHONE)
Where’s Brendan?

                            VIC
Asleep.

                            RAY (GETTING ANGRY)
`                    Then wake him up. I want to talk to him.

VIC
Hang on.

 HE DROPS THE HANDSET ONTO THE BREAKFAST BAR AND SHUFFLES OVER TO THE OPEN BEDROOM DOOR.

                            VIC
Hey Brendan, you’ve got a phone call.  It’s Ray.

INCOHERENT MUMBLING FROM UNDER THE BEDCLOTHES.
                                       
                            BRENDAN
Tell him to piss off. I’ll call him back when I’m conscious.


VIC GOES BACK TO THE KITCHEN AND PICKED UP THE PHONE.

                            VIC
He’ll call you back.
 
HE HANGS UP. THEN AS HE STARTS TO WALK AWAY, HE STOPS AND REMOVES THE HANDSET FROM THE CRADLE.

                            VIC
That’ll shut em up.

THEY BOTH CONTINUE TO SLEEP UNTIL IT’S DARK AGAIN.
BRENDAN’S WAS THE FIRST TO SURFACE. HE FLICKS ON THE LIGHT AND VIC SITS UP. HE RUBS HIS EYES WITH THE BACKS OF HIS HANDS.

                            VIC
What’s the time?

                            BRENDAN
Twenty past eight.  Bloody hell,  I’m stuffed.

THEY BOTH GOE BACK TO SLEEP. VIC SPENDS THE NIGHT ON BRENDAN’S COUCH, TOO TIRED TO GO HOME AND BRENDAN’S TOO TIRED TO TAKE HIM.

BRENDAN WAKES NEXT MORNING, TO THE SOUND OF THE SHOWER RUNNING. HE GOES THROUGH TO THE KITCHEN AND REFILLS THE KETTLE, THEN DROPS FOUR SLICES OF BREAD INTO THE TOASTER. VIC COMES OUT OF THE BATHROOM.

                                VIC
That feels a lot better.  I’ll have to call in home for a change of clothes though.

HE NOTICES THE PHONE IS STILL OFF THE HOOK.

                                VIC
Bloody hell. I forgot about that

HE REPLACES THE HANDSET.
BRENDAN LOOKS AROUND FROM THE SINK.

                            BRENDAN
At least we got a decent sleep.

THE DOORBELL RINGS. IT’S TRACY.

                                TRACY
I brought you round that modeling stuff you wanted.
SHE HANDS BRENDAN A PLASTIC BAG, CONTAINING FOUR SMALL CARDBOARD PACKAGES.
                            BRENDAN
Thanks. Do you want to come in?

TRACY LOOKS AROUND AT THE ROOM.

                        TRACY
                     No thanks. I’m in a bit of a hurry.

 SHE TURNS AND QUICKLY DISAPPEARS DOWN THE FLIGHT OF STAIRS.

                        VIC
Was that Tracy?

                        BRENDAN
Yeah, it was.

VIC
Why didn’t you ask her in?

                        BRENDAN
I did, but she caught sight of you and took off.  She brought round the modeling stuff.

VIC SITS ON THE SOFA TO PUT HIS SHOES ON.
                            VIC
OK, you start on that and I’ll do some shopping. There’s a few items I need for this trip.

BRENDAN
And what might they be?

                                    VIC
You don’t need to know that. Not yet anyway.

 VIC HEADS FOR THE DOOR.
                                    VIC
See ya.

 HE GOES OUT.  BRENDAN SHRUGS.

WITH NEWSPAPER SPREAD ON THE DINING TABLE, BRENDAN EMPTIES THE CONTENTS OF ONE PACKET INTO HIS HAND. IT’S GREEN. HE TRIES ANOTHER ONE. THAT’S BROWN, SO HE STARTS WITH THAT.
HE WORKS AWAY AT THE PUTTY LIKE MODELLING CLAY UNTIL IT RESEMBLES THE TOP OF THE URN IN THE PICTURE.
SATISFIED THAT HE CAN’T DO ANY BETTER, HE PLACES IT INTO THE OVEN
AFTER GIVING IT THE REQUIRED AMOUNT OF TIME, HE TAKES IT OUT OF THE OVEN AND SITS IT ON THE STAINLESS STEEL BENCH TOP.
CAREFULLY CURVING A SMALL RECTANGLE OF ALUMINIUM AROUND A JAR OF VEGEMITE, HE FASHIONS A PLAQUE WHICH HE GLUES TO THE SIDE OF THE WOODEN URN.
HE’S JUSTIFIABLY PROUD OF HIS HANDIWORK AND STANDS ADMIRING IT FOR A WHILE.


                               
BRENDAN SHOWERS, SHAVES AND DRESSES.  HE RUMMAGES ABOUT IN A CUPBOARD IN THE BEDROOM AND TAKES OUT A SMALL WOODEN BOX WITH A HINGED LID AND OPENS IT.  IT CONTAINS A BUNDLE OF INDEX CARDS, WHICH  BRENDAN TIPS OUT ONTO THE BED.  HE SLIDES THE NEWLY-MADE URN INTO ONE OF HIS WOOLEN SOCKS THEN SLIDES THIS INSIDE A SECOND SOCK AND GENTLY LAYS THE BUNDLE INSIDE THE WOODEN BOX AND CLOSES THE LID.

                            BRENDAN (TO HIMSELF)
Perfect. 
(HE GLANCES AT HIS REFLECTION IN THE MIRROR)
Let’s go and see the boys.
HE CHECKS HIS POCKETS, PICKS UP THE BOX AND BOUNCES LIGHTLY DOWN THE STAIRS TO THE GARAGE. AS HE UNLOCKS THE CAR DOOR, HE LOOKED ACROSS AT THE MAKE-SHIFT LATHE STILL CLAMPED ONTO THE TABLE.AND LAUGHS.
No-one would ever believe it.


A PUSH OF A BUTTON ON THE REMOTE CONTROL AND THE GARAGE DOOR MAKES ITS WAY UP. HE BACKS THE CAR OUT AND PRESSED THE REMOTE AGAIN, THEN WAITS UNTIL THE DOOR IS CLOSED BEFORE DRIVING AWAY.

FADE OUT:

FADE IN:
AT VIC’S BUILDING.
AS HE AIMS A FINGER AT THE DOOR BELL, THE DOOR OPENS AND VIC STANDS THERE OPEN MOUTHED.

                                    VIC
Christ, you scared the shit out of me. I was just coming to see you.

BRENDAN
What about?

        VIC
Nothing in particular. I just couldn’t sleep any longer. My mind’s working overtime.

BRENDAN SUDDENLY STOPPED, MAKING VIC JUMP TO ONE SIDE TO AVOID A COLLISION.
                                BRENDAN
Have you got your credit card with you?

VIC
Of course I have. You know what they say, ‘Don’t leave home without it’.

BRENDAN
If we don’t pay the travel agent , we may lose the bookings.

                                    VIC
Fuck it. Let’s pay the lot now and then the others can fix us up later.

OUTSIDE IN THE STREET.
BRENDAN STARES AT VIC OVER THE ROOF OF THE CAR.

                                BRENDAN
Do you think I’m made of money? Yeah, OK,
 HE LEANS ACROSS AND UNLOCKS THE OTHER DOOR.
THEY ONLY DRIVE AS FAR AS THE FIRST CORNER BEFORE BRENDAN PULLS INTO A PARKING SPOT AND THUMPS THE STEERING WHEEL.

                        BRENDAN
Ah, shit.

VIC (LOOKING WORRIED.)
What’s up?

BRENDAN
I just realized, we don’t know who the travel agent is. At least, I don’t. Do you?

        VIC
No bloody idea.  Give him a call.

(POINTS TOWARDS THE MOBILE PHONE SITTING IN THE SHALLOW COMPARTMENT NEAR THE HAND BRAKE.)

                        BRENDAN (ANGRILY)
Bloody typical
HE THROWS THE PHONE BACK INTO ITS PLACE.
He must be on the internet. The phone’s engaged and it’s too early for anyone to be calling him.



VIC
Yeah, everyone knows that he sleeps ‘till lunch time.

BRENDAN PULLS OUT FROM THE KERB AND DRIVES IRRITABLY TO RAY’S APARTMENT.

FADE OUT:

FADE IN:
THEY STAND IN THE CORIDOOR OUTSIDE RAY’S APARTMENT.
                         VIC POINTS TO THE WOODEN BOX.
What’s that?

                        BRENDAN GRINS
You’ll see.

Brendan knockS on the door. NO ANSWER. Vic trieS banging on it with the side of his fist. Still no answer. They both bang on the door. This time two of the doors on the other side of the hallway open.

                            OCCUPANT OF OTHER FLAT
What’s happening?

VIC (WITHOUT LOOKING AROUND)
We’re police. Piss off.

THE TWO DOORS CLOSED SIMULTANEOUSLY.
BRENDAN LAUGHS BUT HE’S UNCOMFORTABLE WITH VIC’S REACTION

                                BRENDAN
You’ll drop us both in the shit, you dopey bugger.
RAY’S DOOR OPENS.

                        BRENDAN
Where the hell were you?

RAY
I was busy.

 RAY LOOKS EMBARRASSED. THE SHOWER START UP. 

VIC (LAUGHING)
Christ, don’t you two ever do anything else?

THEY ALL WALKED INTO THE LIVING ROOM.

BRENDAN
We need your credit card and the name of the travel agent.

    RAY
Bugger, I forgot all about that.
    
RAY WALKS OVER TO THE BEDROOM DOOR THEN TURNS TO FACE THEM.

                                RAY
I’ll just get dress then I’ll come with you.



 THE BEDROOM DOOR CLOSES.
AS THEY STAND WAITING, TRACY APPEARS, RUBBING HER BLONDE HAIR WITH A TOWEL. THIS TIME THERE IS NO BATH ROBE. THEY BOTH STAND PERFECTLY STILL.  THEN SHE SEES THEM.
                    TRACY (YELLING IN PANIC)
Bloody perverts.
 
SHE MAKES A RUSH FOR THE BEDROOM DOOR AND FLINGS THE DOOR BACK. THERE IS A SCREAM FROM RAY, WHO NOW HAS HIS TOES JAMMED UNDER THE DOOR. IN AGONY, HE HEAVES THE DOOR SHUT AGAIN, FLINGING TRACY BACK INTO THE ROOM. BRENDAN AND VIC STAND WIDE-EYED. VIC SPEAKS WITHOUT TAKING HIS EYES OFF THE NAKED BLONDE SPRAWLED ACROSS THE CARPET ON HER BACK.

VIC
People pay big money to see something like this.

TRACY DOESN’T WAIT TO REGAIN HER FEET, INSTEAD SHE CRAWLS ON HANDS AND KNEES THROUGH THE NOW OPEN DOOR AND THROUGH THE OPEN LEGS OF RAY, WHO STANDS THERE GRITTING HIS TEETH IN PAIN.  NOBODY HAS THE COURAGE TO LAUGH.  THEY’LL DO THAT LATER.
 
FADE OUT:

FADE IN:

IN BRENDAN’S CAR.  VIC IN PASSENGER SEAT, TRACY AND RAY IN BACK SEAT. (LOOKING UNHAPPY)
THEY DRIVE TO THE TRAVEL AGENT IN SILENCE, BRENDAN TRIES NOT TO LAUGH WHEN HE LOOKS IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR.

AS THEY STAND AT THE COUNTER, THE AGENT COMES OUT FROM A BACK ROOM.

                                    AGENT
What can I do for you?

RAY
We’ve got flights booked to Heath Row and we want to pay for them.

AGENT
Ah yes, I remember now. I’ll print your itinerary.
HE GOES TO THE COMPUTER ON HIS DESK AND KEYS IN THE DETAILS.  A PRINTER ON THE OTHER DESK HAMMERS OUT A PAGE.
THEY EACH PAY WITH THEIR CREDIT CARDS AND THE AGENT HANDS THEM THE PAGE FROM THE PRINTER.
                    TRACY (LOOKING THREATENING)
Can we have one each?

AGENT
Certainly.

TRACY, HANDS OUT THE TICKET FOLDERS.

                                TRACY
We’re all responsible for our own tickets. OK?

EVERYONE NODS IN AGREEMENT AND THEY LEAVE THE SHOP. 

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
BACK AT RAY’S APARTMENT
                        TRACY
Coffee anyone?


A CHORUS OF  “Yes, please.”

THE THREE MEN LEAVE HER TO ATTEND TO THAT AND MAKE THEIR WAY TO THE SOFA. THEY EACH OPEN THEIR FOLDER AND READ CAREFULLY THROUGH THE INSTRUCTIONS AND WARNINGS.

                            RAY
How come we have to be there so bloody early?


    BRENDAN
That’s in case someone wants to carry a bomb onto the plane.


    RAY
Bloody terrorists. We should make all of those bastards in parliament into suicide bombers and make ‘em fly a whole swag of Cessnas over there. Wipe the bastards out.

        VIC
That’s not very charitable.

        RAY
Yeah, well I don’t feel very fuckin’ charitable, do I?

        TRACY
You’re not a happy little Vegemite today are you?
 TRACY CARRIES IN THE FIRST TWO COFFEE MUGS AND GIVES THE FIRST ONE TO RAY.

                                RAY
Neither would you be if some dumb bastard squashed your toes under a door.

        TRACY
Not so much of the dumb, if you don’t mind.

SHE GOES OFF TO GET THE OTHER TWO COFFEES.

                            RAY
So, what’s in that box?

BRENDAN
I’ll show you.

HE GOES  OVER TO THE TABLE AND OPENS THE BOX, THEN VERY CAREFULLY SLIDES THE TWO SOCKS FROM THE URN. HE STANDS IT ON THE TABLE AND PLACES ITS LID ON TOP.
THE OTHERS GET UP AND COME OVER TO TAKE A CLOSER LOOK.


                            TRACY
That’s fantastic.

THEY ALL ADMIRE BRENDAN’S HANDIWORK BEFORE HE CAREFULLY WRAPS THE URN BACK INTO THE SOCKS AND RETURNS IT TO THE WOODEN BOX.

                        BRENDAN
I suggest that everyone get a good night’s sleep. Do your packing tonight, so everything’s ready for the morning. We don’t want any hold-ups.

VIC
Once we get to the airport, we are all total strangers. We don’t know one another. Understand?
                   
                                RAY
What for?

        VIC
When we go through customs, this end or the other, I want to make sure that whoever has the urn, will get through Ok with it. Trust me, I know what I’m doing.


                            BRENDAN (SHRUGS)
If you say so, that’s good enough for me. But what about Tracy and Ray?



        VIC
That’s different.  You couldn’t separate them with a plank of wood. They can remain a couple.

FADE OUT:

FADE IN:
BRENDAN’S APARTMENT, EARLY MORNING.
BRENDAN SLIDES THE SOCK-COVERED TROPHY INTO HIS JACKET POCKET, THEN STANDS IN FRONT OF THE LONG MIRROR, TURNING ONE WAY THEN THE OTHER.
SATISFIED, HE CLEANS UP THE FEW DISHES IN THE KITCHEN.  HE COLLECTS A SUITCASE AND A SMALL OVER-NIGHT BAG FROM THE BEDROOM, THEN MAKES HIS WAY DOWN THE STAIRS TO THE GARAGE.
 THE JOURNEY TO THE AIRPORT IS A LOT MORE LIGHT HEARTED THAN EARLIER. THERE’S A CONTINUOUS STRING OF QUESTIONS. HAVE YOU GOT THIS?  DID YOU REMEMBER THAT?
THEY ARRIVE AT THE AIRPORT CAR PARK AND VIC GOES OFF TO FIND A TROLLEY.
WHILE THE OTHERS UNLOADED THE SUITCASES AND BAGS. HE COMES BACK PUSHING TWO TROLLEYS IN FRONT AND PULLING A THIRD BEHIND HIM.

                                VIC
I just realized, we’ll have to have one each, if we’re not supposed to be together.

AT THE CHECK-IN COUNTER, THE CASES ARE WEIGHED AND BOOKED IN, THE TICKETS ARRANGED AND BOARDING PASSES ISSUED.
THEY SIT AT SEPARATE TABLES IN THE CAFÉ. BRENDAN WANDERS OVER TO THE SHOP AND AFTER SEARCHING THROUGH THE MAGAZINES, SELECTS ONE ON SOUTH AMERICA. HE ALSO BUYS AN ENGLISH NEWSPAPER.

AS HE WALKS OUT, VIC COMES IN. THEY IGNORE EACH OTHER COMPLETELY.
BRENDAN TAKES THE LIFT UP TO THE OBSERVATION DECK, WHERE HE WATCHES A PLANE TAKE OFF AND TWO OTHERS LAND.
EVENTUALLY, THE SPEAKERS IN THE CEILING ANNOUNCE THAT HIS FLIGHT IS NOW BOARDING.  HE STRAIGHTENS UP FROM THE HAND RAIL THAT HE’S BEEN LEANING ON.
                        BRENDAN
About bloody time.

A SMALL CROWD OF PEOPLE STAND AT THE DOORWAY TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD, WAITING FOR THEIR TURN TO SHOW THEIR BOARDING PASS. FROM THERE, IT’S QUITE A LONG WALK DOWN THE TUNNEL THAT LEEDS INTO THE AIRCRAFT.
HOSTESSES SMILE AND DIRECT THEM TO THEIR SEATS.
AS HE LOWERED HIMSELF INTO THE SEAT, HE HOLDS THE URN IN HIS POCKET, AVOIDING THE ARM REST.
VIC SIT DOWN IN THE SEAT NEXT TO HIM.

                            VIC
Hi, You going far?

    BRENDAN
Same place as you, you dopey bastard. Where the hell would I be going?

THEY WATCH, WHILE PEOPLE GET IN AND WANDERED DOWN THE AISLE TO THE OTHER END. OVERHEAD CABINETS OPEN AND CLOSE AS PEOPLE STUFF THINGS IN THAT ARE REALLY TOO BIG IN THE FIRST PLACE. SOMEONE YELLS  “OW” IN A LOUD VOICE, AS THEIR FOOT GETS TRODDEN ON. BRENDAN SEES VIC’S SHOULDERS SHAKING. HE’S LAUGHING.

                        BRENDAN
What’s so funny?

VIC
I was just thinking.  Just imagine the reaction of this lot, if someone yells ‘fire’ .

BRENDAN TURNS SLIGHTLY TO LOOK AT HIM.

                                BRENDAN
You’ve got a fuckin’ warped sense of humour.  (LAUGHS).

FINALLY, EVERYONE     IS SEATED, THE DOORS ARE CLOSED AND THEY BEGIN TO MOVE.  BRENDAN HAS THE WINDOW SEAT AND WATCHES AS A VARIETY OF ODD LOOKING VEHICLES PASS BY.
VIC OPENS THE MAGAZINE HE’S BOUGHT AND THERE ON THE CENTRE PAGE IS  “THE GIRL”.

                        BRENDAN
Did you have to buy that?

VIC
I only got it for the articles.

BRENDAN
Yeah, and she’s got both of them
BRENDAN POINTS TO THE TWO PAGE SPREAD.


A HOSTESS STOPS TO TELL THEM TO FASTEN THEIR SEAT BELTS. THEY DIDN’T HEAR THE GONG OR LOOK UP TO SEE THE ILLUMINATED SIGN. SHE GLANCES DOWN AND SEES THE MAGAZINE, THEN QUICKLY LOOKS AWAY.

                            VIC (LOOKS UP AT HER)
You look quite different in real life.

THE HOSTESS GLARES DOWN AT HIM, THEN HURRIED TOWARDS THE BACK   

                            BRENDAN
Good one, dick head. Now what do we do for drinks. She’ll ignore us for the rest of the trip.


ONCE IN THE AIR, THE SAME HOSTESS APPEARS PUSHING A TROLLEY LADEN WITH BOTTLES AND GLASSES. BRENDAN POLITELY ORDERS A BOURBON AND COKE. VIC ASKS FOR THE SAME, BUT SOMEHOW, THE GLASS GETS DROPPED, LANDING IN VIC’S LAP.
                                HOSTESS
I am sorry sir,  I don’t know how that could have happened (GRINNING)

 BRENDAN
Don’t worry about it. Poetic justice.
THE HOSTESS CARRIES ON DOWN THE AISLE, LEAVING VIC WET AND UNCOMFORTABLE, AND WITHOUT A DRINK.
                            BRENDAN
Serves you right

                            VIC
What a bastard.

AS THE HOSTESS COMES BACK WITH THE TROLLEY, BRENDAN CATCHES HER EYE.

                            BRENDAN
Excuse me, do you think you could forgive this idiot? (POINTING TO VIC) He’s not always that stupid.

(THE HOSTESS LEANS FORWARD)            HOSTESS
He couldn’t be. Someone would have shot him by now.

SHE RELENTS AND HANDS VIC A GLASS WITHOUT SPILLING A DROP.
                            HOSTESS
I’ll get you a towel.

 VIC SCOWLS AT BRENDAN.                    VIC
I’m not sitting here like this for the next twenty hours. I’ll probably develop a rash, not to mention the bloody stain it’s going to leave.

BRENDAN POINTED UP AT THE OVERHEAD LOCKER.
    BRENDAN       
Didn’t you put a change of clothes in that bag?

    VIC
Of course I did, but they’re for when we get there.
 VIC SQUIRMS IN THE SEAT, OBVIOUSLY VERY UNCOMFORTABLE.
                            BRENDAN
Tough, you’ll just have to change now, and make sure you behave yourself from now on.

VIC GLANCES AROUND HIM, NOT SURE WHAT TO DO.
                            VIC
Can you get my bag down? (PAUSE) Please.
    BRENDAN
Sorry, but I’m sitting right under it. I can’t get to it from here.

THE HOSTESS COMES BACK WITH A TOWEL

                            HOSTESS   
There you are, sir.
SHE DROPS IT INTO HIS LAP. VIC SPREADS THE TOWEL OUT IN FRONT OF HIM BEFORE STANDING UP, THEN REALIZES THAT HE CAN’T LET GO OF IT, TO OPEN THE LOCKER. HE SITS DOWN AGAIN AND TUCKS THE TOWEL INTO HIS BELT. MOVING LIKE LIGHTNING, HE STANDS UP, FLINGS OPEN THE LOCKER DOOR AND GRABS ONTO HIS CABIN BAG.   AS HE DRAGS THE BAG FORWARD, IT BRINGS SEVERAL OTHER BAGS WITH IT. THE FIRST ONE LANDS ON THE HEAD OF THE MAN SITTING IN FRONT.  THE MAN SPINS ROUND IN HIS SEAT.
                                    MAN
You clumsy bastard. What the fuck are you trying to do, kill someone?


THE SECOND BAG TIPS OVER THE EDGE AND LANDS ON THE MAN’S SHOULDER. THE MAN IS ENRAGED. HE STANDS UP AND LEANS ACROSS THE BACK OF THE SEAT.
                                MAN
You’re a fuckin idiot. I should smack you in the mouth.

    VIC (GRINS)
LET’S Step outside and we’ll settle it man to man.

THE LAST OF THE THREE UNSETTLED BAGS DROP OUT OF THE COMPARTMENT, HITTING HIM ON THE SAME SHOULDER. FOR A MOMENT, HE KNEELS ON HIS SEAT, FACING BACKWARDS AND MAKING INCOHERENT NOISES. HE’S OUT OF CONTROL. TWO HOSTESSES HAVE BEEN WATCHING. TRYING  TO CONTROL THEIR LAUGHTER, THEY RUSH TO CALM THE MAN DOWN AND OFFER HIM ANOTHER SEAT AT THE FRONT OF THE AIRCRAFT.  HE GETS UP AND FOLLOWS ONE OF THE HOSTESSES TO HIS NEW SEAT.
THE OTHER HOSTESS WHO IS STILL STANDING BESIDE VIC, LOOKS DOWN AT HIM AND SHAKES HER HEAD, THEN VERY QUIETLY, IN A CULTURED ENGLISH ACCENT, SHE WHISPERS,
                            HOSTESS
You’re a fucking menace.
SHE GOES AFT TO THE GALLEY. BRENDAN TURNS TO FACE THE WINDOW
                                        BRENDAN
If you don’t settle down, I’m going to ask for another bloody seat as well.
VIC FALLS ASLEEP.
BRENDAN KEEPS LOOKING AROUND FOR THE DRINK TROLLEY
               

RAY AND TRACY LOOK OUT FROM UNDER THE BLANKET THEY ARE SHARING.  THEY SEE THAT VIC IS ASLEEP AND DISAPPEAR UNDER THE BLANKET AGAIN.
FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
VIC WAKES UP. HIS NECK HAS LOCKED ITSELF ON AN ANGLE AND HE FIGHTS AGAINST THE MUSCLES TO GET IT STRAIGHT AGAIN. HE’S UNCOMFORTABLE. HIS CABIN BAG IS STILL ON THE FLOOR. HE LOOKS UP, TO SEE THAT THE LOCKER DOOR IS SHUT.
                        VIC
Bugger this.
( HE WRESTLES WITH THE CABIN BAG)

HE  WAKES BRENDAN WHO ALSO FINDS HIS NECK CRAMPED.

                        BRENDAN
Why can’t we sleep on the floor?

VIC LOOKS ACROSS THE AISLE. THERE ARE TWO EMPTY SEATS. HE NUDGES BRENDAN WITH HIS ELBOW.

                            VIC
Where are they?

BRENDAN (IRRITABLE)
How the hell should I know? Probably got off at the last stop.

BRENDAN TRIES TO TURN HIS HEAD TO LOOK BACK UP THE ROWS OF SEATS, BUT HIS NECK HURTS

BRENDAN.
Gone to the loo I suppose
VIC LEANS FORWARD TO LOOK UP THE AISLE. THERE IS NO-ONE WAITING OUTSIDE THE BATHROOM DOOR.
                            VIC
What, both of em?  That dunny’s hardly big enough for one.
THEN REALIZATION DAWNS
VIC.
Aw,Bloody hell. They’re worse than fuckin’ rabbits.
 
BRENDAN IGNORES HIM.  AFTER A WHILE, HE TURNS TO VIC
                            BRENDAN
You going to get changed or not?
When that dries, your dacks’ll be glued to you forever. You’ll never be able to change ‘em again.

VIC STANDS UP, HOLDING THE BAG IN FRONT OF HIM. HIS LEGS ARE A LITTLE UNSTEADY. HE GLANCES DOWN AT BRENDAN.
                            VIC
Right. Those two have had their time – now it’s my bloody turn.”

AS HE STARTS OFF, TWO WOMEN APPEAR AT THE BATHROOM DOOR. VIC REACHES THE TWO WOMEN, ONE OF WHO IS SHIFTING HER WEIGHT FROM ONE FOOT TO THE OTHER. BRENDAN NODS TO THEM. HE POINTS TO THE BATHROOM DOOR.

                            VIC
Those two have been at it for nearly half an hour. Shouldn’t be allowed.
THE DOOR OPENS AND RAY LOOK STARTLED AT SEEING THE THREE OF THEM STANDING THERE. OVER HIS SHOULDER THEY  SEE TRACY’S FACE, HAIR REDONE AND MAKE-UP LOOKING FRESH.
THE WOMAN STANDING CLOSEST TO THE DOOR LOOKS RAY UP AND DOWN
                   
            WOMAN (ANGRY)
You’re disgusting!

SHE STORMS OFF DOWN THE AISLE TO THE BATHROOM AT THE FRONT. THE OTHER WOMAN STANDS FOR A MOMENT, A LITTLE ENVIOUS, THEN SHE TOO WALKS RAPIDLY IN THE DIRECTION OF THE OTHER BATHROOM.
                            VIC
Hurry up, I need to get changed.

 AS VIC BEGINN TO CHANGE CLOTHES, IMAGES OF RAY AND TRACY KEEP POPPING UP IN HIS HEAD. HE SUDDENLY REALIZEZ THAT HE WAS TRYING DESPERATELY NOT TO TOUCH ANYTHING.
                            VIC
They’ll have to give this place a good scrub out.

HE ROLLS UP THE CLOTHES THAT HE’D TAKEN OFF, HE STUFFS THEM INSIDE THE CABIN BAG. HE TAKES OUT THE PLASTIC TOOTHBRUSH HOLDER, THEN LOOKS DOWN INTO THE HAND BASIN, THINKS AGAIN OF RAY AND TRACY, AND DROPS THE PLASTIC CASE BACK INTO THE BAG AND GOES  BACK TO HIS SEAT.               
TAKING GREAT CARE THIS TIME, HE OPENS THE OVERHEAD LOCKER AND PUSHES THE BAG INSIDE. THE DOOR CLICKS INTO PLACE AND VIC GIVES IT A COUPLE OF QUICK TUGS, JUST TO BE SURE.
                            VIC
That’s better (HE DROPS INTO THE SEAT.) Where are we?
    BRENDAN (FED UP)
Up in the bloody air. How should I know?

        VIC
What’s your problem?

    BRENDAN
I dunno, This trip is beginning to really piss me off.

VIC
I know what you mean. It wouldn’t be so bad if you could go for a walk. (PAUSE) Why don’t we take a look in the pilot’s cabin?

        BRENDAN
No bloody way.  We’re not going anywhere near them.  You’re just an accident waiting to happen. I want to get to the other end in one bloody piece.

        VIC
You’re not a whole lot of fun today, are you? (LOOKS BACK TOWARDS THE GALLEY.) Where are those bloody sheilas? I’m dyin’ of thirst.

        BRENDAN
Why don’t you go back there and ask them?

        VIC
Like hell. They’d probably do something I’d regret.
I rather fancy that Pommie one though. She’s gutsy.
                                BRENDON   
Yeah, and she’d have your guts mate. She’d eat idiots like you for breakfast.

A HOSTESS WITH THE TROLLEY STOPS ALONGSIDE THEM. 
                                HOSTESS
Would you two likely lads want something to drink?

        VIC
Thanks love, I’ve got a throat like a corner of the Gibson.

        HOSTESS
And a sense of humour to match.

                                VIC
Aw, don’t give me a hard time, I’m really a nice bloke when you get to know me.

        HOSTESS
Maybe, but no flight would ever be long enough for that.
HOSTESS SMILES AT BRENDAN   
                                HOSTESS   
What would you like, sir?

                            BRENDAN
Would I be pushing my luck if I asked for two bourbons?

                            HOSTESS
Not at all.  Anything to make the flight enjoyable.
SHE PAUSES, THEN GLANCES DOWN AT VIC
                            HOSTESS
Well - almost anything.

VIC LOOKS SURPRISED WHEEN THE HOSTESS HANDS HIM TWO DRINKS
.
                            VIC
Thanks Love.

THE HOSTESS MOVES TO THE NEXT ROW OF SEATS. VIC WATCHES HER APPRECIATIVELY
                                VIC
She’s bloody nice from any angle

BRENDAN TUNS HIS HEAD SLOWLY AND FROWNS
                            BRENDAN
Don’t start that again.

BRENDAN LOOKS OUT OF THE WINDOW.
                            BRENDAN
Looks like we’re getting somewhere.
That bloke’s riding a bike with a flat tyre.

VIC LEANS ACROSS TO LOOK OUT OF THE WINDOW.

                        VIC
Eh. Where?

BRENDAN
Too late -  gone now.

BRENDAN SHAKES HIS HEAD.
                        BRENDAN
You’re a dopey bugger. We’re twenty something thousand feet in the air.

VIC’S FAVOURITE HOSTESS IS WALKING UP THE ROWS OF SEATS.

                            VIC
Where are we?

HOSTESS
Up here. (POINTS OUT OF THE WINDOW)

    VIC
God, you’re as bad as he is.(POINTING TO BRENDAN)

        HOSTESS
We’ll be landing in about an hour. Are you continuing on from Dubai?

            VIC
Yep, all the way to London.

        HOSTESS
Wonderful. I’m not. You’ll have to torment someone else from here on. But don’t worry, I’ll make sure the new crew are familiar with your little ways.

VIC WATCHES HER AS SHE WALKS BACK TO THE GALLEY

                                VIC
Isn’t she fantastic? I wish I could take her home with us.

THE SIGN ABOVE THE AISLE LIGHTS UP, AND A GONG SOUNDS THROUGH THE LOUD-SPEAKER. FASTEN SEATBELTS AND RETURN TRAYS TO THEIR UPRIGHT POSITION.
THE PLANE LANDS
THE PLANE STOPS MOVING, AND THE WARNING SIGN GOES OUT. PEOPLE UNCLIP SEATBELTS AND BEGIN REMOVING BAGS FROM OVERHEAD LOCKERS. THE MAN WHO HAD ORIGINALLY SAT IN FRONT OF VIC, PUSHES HIS WAY THROUGH THE LINE OF PASSENGERS
                                BRENDAN
Look out, he’s coming to get his revenge.

VIC KEEPS HIS EYES ON THE LOCKER ABOVE HIM, HALF EXPECTING SOMETHING TO DROP ON HIM, BUT THE MAN GRABS HIS BAG AND DISAPPEARS AGAIN, AMONGST THE OTHER PASSENGERS.
                                    VIC
What’s the chances of grabbing a Fosters from here?

                                BRENDAN
I dunno. Some of these places forbid alcohol.
They cut off your hand if they catch you with a drink.

VIC, REALIZING THAT HE WAS BEING MADE FUN Of
                                    VIC
No, it’s your dick that they cut off, and that’s for bullshittin’ people.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
INSIDE THE AIR TERMINAL AT DUBAI
MEN IN ARAB DRESS MOVED ABOUT, WHILE UNIFORMED OFFICIALS STAND THREATENINGLY AT DOORWAYS, HOLDING WEAPONS. PASSENGERS GATHER IN A GROUP AT THE FAR END OF THE ROOM. A LOUD SPEAKER COMES ON, BUT IT’S  IMPOSSIBLE TO TELL IF THE MESSAGE IS IN ENGLISH, LET ALONE WHAT IS SAID. BRENDAN LOOKS AROUND THE ROOM.
                                BRENDAN
Aren’t you glad we live in Perth?

                                VIC
Bloody oath. Last time I went to England, we flew over much friendlier parts of the world.

BRENDAN CATCHES SIGHT OF TRACY. SHE IS STANDING AT THE EDGE OF THE CROWD, AND OBVIOUSLY THE CENTRE OF ATTENTION FOR THE LOCALS. THE MAN AT THE DOORWAY OPPOSITE, HASN’T TAKEN HIS EYES OFF OF HER AND BRENDAN SMILES, THINKING, You’re no different from anyone else, you ugly bastard. She’d make mincemeat of you mate, gun or no gun.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
 BACK INSIDE THE AIRCRAFT. AFTER TAKE-OFF, BRENDAN AND VIC RELAXING. BOTH OF THEM ARE SOUND ASLEEP. THREE HOSTESSES COME AND STAND BESIDE THEM, STUDYING THE TWO SLEEPING MEN.
                                    FIRST HOSTESS
They look harmless enough

                                    SECOND HOSTESS
Let’s hope they stay asleep

                                    FIRST HOSTESS
That’s them.

SHE NODS TOWARDS RAY AND TRACY, ALSO SLEEPING SOUNDLY. THE THREE GIRLS STUDY THE COUPLE FOR A MOMENT, THEN RETURNED TO THE REAR OF THE AIRCRAFT, GIGGLING.
FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
VIC IS WOKEN BY A HOSTESS,  GENTLY SHAKING HIM BY THE SHOULDER.

                                    HOSTESS
Please fasten your seatbelt, sir. We’ll be landing shortly.

VIC FUMBLES FOR THE ENDS OF THE SEAT BELT AND CLICKS THEM INTO POSITION.
ONCE AGAIN, THE PLANE BUMPS GENTLY AS IT MEET THE TARMAC, AND ITS ENGINES CHANGE  PITCH, SCREAMING IN AN EFFORT TO SLOW THE AIRCRAFT DOWN.
THE WARNING SIGN IS SWITCHED OFF AND VIC STANDS UP.HE TAKES HIS CASE DOWN FROM THE LOCKER.

                                    VIC
I have to be first through the customs. You follow me through and try to look like a happy tourist.

HE STARTS TO MAKE HIS WAY TOWARDS THE FRONT, BUT A HOSTESS STOPS HIM.

                            HOSTESS
I’m sorry sir, but you can’t leave just yet. The forward passengers have to disembark first.


    VIC
That’s OK,

BACK UP THE AISLE, RAY AND TRACY ARE GETTING READY TO LEAVE. BRENDAN SIGNALLS TO THEM TO WAIT FOR HIM TO GO FIRST.
A HOSTESS COME THROUGH THE CURTAIN THAT SEPARATES THE TWO CLASSES OF PASSENGERS AND NODS TO THE GIRL BLOCKING VIC’S WAY. SHE SMILES AT VIC
                               
                                HOSTESS
I hope you had a pleasant flight, sir. Please enjoy your stay

FADE OUT:

FADE IN:  AT THE LUGGAGE CAROUSEL.

SECURITY IS EVIDENT EVERY. EVEN HERE, THERE ARE MEN WITH GUNS. THEY ALL WAIT AT THE CAROUSEL, FOR THEIR LUGGAGE TO APPEAR. EVENTUALLY RAY GRABS TRACY’S BAG FROM THE CONVEYOR THEN WAITS FOR HIS OWN TO APPEAR. BRENDAN SEES HIS CASE APPROACHING AND SLIDES IT OFF ONTO THE FLOOR. HE STANDS BACK OUT OF THE WAY, UNTIL VIC HAS TAKEN POSSESSION OF HIS SUITCASE AND IS WALKING AWAY.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
AT THE CUSTOMS COUNTER
VIC MAKES HIS WAY TO THE NEAREST CUSTOMS POINT. HE GOES TO THE CENTRE OF THE COUNTER. A WOMAN IS HAVING HER BAG INSPECTED AT THE FAR END.  BRENDAN DUMPS HIS SUITCASE ONTO THE COUNTER BEHIND HIM.


                            FIRST CUSTOMS MAN
Are you staying long?

                                VIC
No

                            FIRST CUSTOMS MAN
Would you mind opening the case please?

IT ISN’T LOCKED. THE MAN RUMMAGES ROUGHLY THROUGH THE CONTENTS OF THE CASE, THEN PICKS UP A LONG THIN ITEM, WHICH IS WRAPPED IN BROWN PAPER, HE UNROLLS THE WRAPPING, TO EXPOSE A SHINY FLEXIBLE STEEL BLADE. HE HOLDS IT UP, TURNING IT SLOWLY IN HIS HANDS.

                            FIRST CUSTOMS MAN
What is this, sir?

VIC
It’s a spring,

THE CUSTOMS OFFICER TURNS TO THE UNIFORMED MAN WHO IS ATTENDING TO BRENDAN.

                            FIRST CUSTOMS MAN
What do you think?

THE SECOND CUSTOMS MAN WAVES BRENDAN THROUGH.
                                SECOND CUSTOMS MAN
(TO BRENDAN)  You can go


 BRENDAN GRABS HIS BAG GOES OUT.
           
RAY AND TRACY ARE AT ANOTHER COUNTER. HAVING PASSED INSPECTION, TRACY TOO MAKES HER WAY TO THE OUTSIDE, FOLLOWED CLOSELY BY RAY.
AT VIC’S COUNTER, THE TWO CUSTOMS OFFICERS AREN’T CONVINCED.

                            SECOND CUSTOMS MAN
What exactly is it for?

                                VIC
It’s for a wide bed printer.  My mate can’t get one in England and without it, the printer’s useless.

THE TWO OFFICERS INSPECTED IT AGAIN.
                                    VIC
I’m just trying to help a mate. It’s not worth a lot, except to the printer.

THE BLADE IS ABOUT HALF A METRE LONG AND TAPERED AT ONE END. THERE’S A SMALL HOLE  AT THE TAPERED END. IT’S FLEXIBLE ENOUGH TO BE ROLLED UP. AS THE FIRST CUSTOMS MAN PLAYS WITH IT, VIC WARNS HIM

                            VIC
Careful. It’s bloody sharp.

THE FIRST CUSTOMS MAN DROPS THE BLADE ONTO THE COUNTER.


                        FIRST CUSTOMS MAN
Bugger

HE WATCHES THE DROPS OF BLOOD FALLING FROM THE SMALL CUT ON HIS THUMB AND TURNS TO THE OTHER OFFICER.
                        FIRST CUSTOMS MAN
Wrap that up and give it back to him. I’ll have to get a plaster for this.

HE GLARES ANGRILY AT VIC THEN RUSHES AWAY THROUGH THE DOOR BEHIND HIM.
THE REMAINING OFFICER RETURNS THE BLADE TO VIC’S CASE AND CLOSED THE LID.

                        SECOND CUSTOMS MAN
Thank you, sir.
FADE OUT:
FADE IN: 
ON THE PAVEMENT OUTSIDE THE AIR TERMINAL.

PEOPLE ARE MILLING ABOUT WAITING FOR PASSENGERS. A COUPLE OF MEN WANDER BACK AND FORTH, HOLDING UP NOTICE BOARDS WITH NAMES ON THEM.  TRAFFIC NOISE. HORNS ARE HONKING. VIC SEES BRENDAN STANDING AT THE KERB, HE’S  TALKING TO A MAN IN GREEN OVERALLS. VIC WEAVES HIS WAY THROUGH THE PEOPLE.

                                BRENDAN
What the hell was that all about?

        VIC
I told you I had a plan

BRENDAN
What was that metal thing you had in the case?

                            VIC (LAUGHING)
That will get the urn for us- I made it the other day.

BRENDAN INTRODUCES THE OVERALL CLAD FIGURE
                            BRENDAN
This is Tony; Tracy’s brother.

TONY AND VIC’S SHAKE HANDS. UNLIKE TRACY, HE’S TALL AND ATHLETIC.

                            BRENDAN
Tony’s a zoologist. He came straight from work to pick us up.

                            VIC
Where do you work?

    TONY
The zoo.

    VIC
Which zoo?

                            TONY
London zoo.

TRACY APPROACHESWITH A DARK HAIRED WOMAN, LAUGHING, AND VERY PREGNANT.
                            TRACY
This is Brenda. (POINTS TO EACH IN TURN)
Ray you’ve met. That’s Brendan – he’s a writer, and that’s Vic.

                            BRENDA
Hello. Did you have a good flight?

BRENDAN (QUICKLY)
Very good, thanks

TONY OPENS THE PASSENGER DOOR OF THE GREEN VAN, THEN HELPS BRENDA TO CLIMB UP INTO THE SEAT. THEY LOAD THE LUGGAGE INTO THE BACK, BEHIND THE REAR SEAT. THE SMELL OF ANIMALS IS ALMOST OVERPOWERING. TONY SLIDES BACK THE SIDE DOOR AND THE OTHERS CLAMBER IN. TRACY AND RAY TAKE OVER THE HALF-SIZED FRONT SEAT, LEAVING BRENDAN AND VIC TO OCCUPY THE BACK SEAT.
TRACY, BRENDAN AND VIC EACH UNLATCH A WINDOW AND SLIDE IT OPEN. TONY LAUGHS AND LOOKS AROUND FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT.

                            TONY
Smell a bit much for you?

                            VIC
Just a bit.

                            TRACY
It stinks. How can you stand it?



BRENDA (LAUGHING)
You get used to it. The zoo lets him bring it home, so we can’t complain.
TONY (STARTS THE ENGINE.)        
Actually, I rather like the smell of elephant poo now.

TRACY (FROWNS)     
Remind me never to get pregnant.

FADE OUT:

FADE IN: 
DRIVING THROUGH LONDON
                                    VIC
This is even worse than Sydney. I won’t be doing any driving, that’s for sure.

TONY MOVES IN BEHIND A FURNITURE VAN
                                    TONY
This guy’s going the same way we are. He’ll plow a way through the traffic for us. All we have to do now, is follow him.

VIC LOOKED AT THE BACK THE TRUCK THAT THEY WERE FOLLOWING.

                                    VIC
But you can’t see anything.



                                    TONY
Don’t need to. I can stop a lot faster than he can. I just have to keep an eye on his brake light and indicators.

GRADUALLY, THE TRAFFIC GETS LIGHTER AND THEY MOVE ALONG AT A FASTER PACE.

                        BRENDA
Almost there.

THEY TURN INTO A CUL-DE-SAC AND STOP AT THE GATE OF A SEMI-DETACHED TWO STORIED HOUSE.

                        TONY
Home sweet home

TONY JUMPS DOWN ONTO THE ROAD. HE RUNS AROUND TO THE OTHER SIDE AND HELPS HIS WIFE CLIMB DOWN FROM THE PASSENGER SEAT, THEN SLIDES OPEN THE SIDE DOOR. THE BAGS AND CASES ARE UNLOADED AND LINED UP IN THE FOOTPATH.

BRENDA  (SUDDENLY)
Oh heck. I’ve got to go somewhere

SHE RUSHED TO THE FRONT DOOR, DISAPPEARS INSIDE. VIC LOOKS IN THE DIRECTION THAT SHE’S TAKEN AND THEN GLANCES AT TRACY.

                                TRACY
It’s OK, it’s all part of being pregnant.



THEY CARRIED THE LUGGAGE INSIDE AND PLACED IT ON THE LIVING ROOM FLOOR.

                            TONY
I’ll show you where your rooms are, then I’ll get us something to eat.

THEY FOLLOW HIM UP THE STAIRS. HALF WAY UP, AT THE LANDING, A WINDOWS LOOKS OUT ONTO THE BACK GARDEN. THE STAIRS BEGIN AGAIN ON THE RIGHT, ENDING AT A SHORT CORRIDOR. THERE ARE FOUR DOORS, TWO ON EACH SIDE. TONY STOP AT THE FIRST ON THE LEFT, AND OPEN THE DOOR.
                            TONY
This has a double bed. I don’t know if Tracy and her bloke want this one, or if you two do. (HE LAUGHS)
Thought so. (LOOKS AT TRACY) You can have this one


THEY CONTINUE ON DOWN TO THE SECOND DOOR ON THE RIGHT. TONY OPENS THAT DOOR.
                                    TONY
You’ll have to use this one.It’s only a single bed, but I’ve got a camp bed in the garage. I’ll bring it up. The room over there is a bathroom.

BRENDAN SITS ON THE EDGE OF THE BED.
                                    BRENDAN
Well, we’re here.

VIC SITS HIS CABIN BAG ON TOP OF THE CHEST OF DRAWERS AND UNZIPS IT.
                                    VIC
We should go and have a look at Lords tomorrow.

BRENDAN WATCHES, AS VIC TAKES SEVERAL ITEMS FROM THE BAG AND LAYS THEM ON THE BED. TRACY APPEARS AT THE DOOR AND LEANS AGAINST THE DOOR JAMB, ARMS FOLDED.
                                BRENDAN
What’s that?
VIC PICKS UP SOMETHING THAT LOOKS LIKE A CIGARETTE LIGHTER AND HANDS IT BRENDAN.
                                    VIC
It’s a digital camera.  Compliments of Richard Smith.

    BRENDAN
Who?

TRACY (CHUCKLES.)
Substitute Dick for Richard.

VIC (LAUGHS)
Smart girl.  Does your brother have a  computer?

        TRACY
Yes. He uses it mainly for the internet and emails.
Not that I hear from him very often.

                                    VIC
OK,  I want to get some pictures of the museum at Lords tomorrow. I’ll need to upload them into a PC to look at them. Do you think he’ll mind?

        TRACY
No, I’m sure he won’t. He doesn’t know why we’re here yet, but I think you’ll find he’ll be all in favour of it when he does.

BRENDAN INSPECTS THE ITEMS ON THE BED. HE LOOKS PUZZLED.

                                    BRENDAN
Just what do you intend to do with all this?  A reel of cotton?  What’s that for?

                                    VIC
You’re a nosy bastard, aren’t you?
OK, I can tell you now. I’ve thought about it all the way here and I reckon I’ve got it pretty well worked out.

TRACY WALKS OVER TO THE BED AND SITS DOWN BESIDE BRENDAN.
VIC PICKS UP THE ROLL OF THREAD AND THE LONG STEEL BLADE THAT CAUSED THE FUSS AT THE CUSTOMS COUNTER.



                                    VIC
OK, the first thing we need to do as get at the urn itself.  It’s in a glass case and I’m gambling on it not being airtight. They usually aren’t.
I’ll feed the end of this thread through this hole. - Incidentally, it’s not cotton-it’s boot maker’s thread. Very strong.

HE TOSSES THE REEL TO BRENDAN, WHO TRIES UNSUCCESSFULLY TO SNAP THE BLACK THREAD.

    VIC
A drop of super glue on the thread, then feed the blade into the glass case from the bottom, the side, or at the side of the door. That’s one reason why I need the pictures tomorrow.
The idea is to stick the thread to the urn.
We have to arrange for the glass case to get broken. This’ll leave the urn free, for me to reel in with the thread and put into my pocket. I don’t know if there’ll be a security camera or not, but we’ll assume that there is. That way, we won’t get caught out.

                                    TRACY
I don’t understand. Why go to all that bother with the thread?
VIC 
Imagine that the glass case is over there, where the chest of drawers is.
Now, if the case is broken, but we are all over here, we are far enough away to prove we weren’t involved.

                                    TRACY
Just how do you intend to break the case open?

        VIC
I don’t have the faintest bloody idea. I need the pictures, to find out what else is there and where. I also want to know about any security camera, if possible.

                                BRENDAN
What about the replica I made?

        VIC
Just before the case is broken, we have to place the replica on, beside, or behind the case. That way, no matter what else happens, the urn will still be there, as far as they’re concerned anyway.

BRENDAN (LOOKS AT TRACY)   What do you think?


                        TRACY
Not sure.

                                    VIC
Where’s Ray?  He should know all this too.

TRACY STANDS UP AND GOES TO THE DOORWAY.       I’ll get him.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN: SAME SCENE

                                        RAY
Is he serious?

    TRACY
I think it’s bloody brilliant. But we’ll have to wait until we get the pictures.

BRENDA HAS BEEN BUSY. ON THE DINING TABLE IS ARE LARGE PLATES OF SANDWICHES AND SCONES. A GLASS BOWL OF WHIPPED CREAM AND TWO SMALL BOWLS OF BRIGHT RED JAM.
                                     BRENDA
Come and sit down
                           
                                    VIC
Struth!  This is bloody fantastic.



VIC POINTS TO THE HEAVY LOAD SHE’S CARRYING.   How long have you got to go? 

                                    BRENDA
About three weeks

BRENDA AND TRACY START  A CONVERSATION ABOUT BABIES AND CHILDBIRTH. BRENDAN TRIES NOT TO LOOK IN THEIR DIRECTION, WISHING THAT THE SUBJECT WOULD CHANGE. THE SOUND OF A TELEPHONE RINGING INTERRUPTS THE TWO WOMEN.
                                BRENDA
That’ll be for me.
SHE PLACES BOTH HANDS ON THE EDGE OF THE TABLE, AND SLOWLY GETS TO HER FEET.
                                TONY
You OK, luv?

                                TRACY
Don’t worry about me, I’m fine.
BRENDA LEAVES THE ROOM AND TRACY TUERNS TO TONY.
                                TRACY
I’d better tell you why we’re here.
TONY LOWERS THE SANDWICH THAT HE’S ABOUT TO BITE INTO.
                                TONY
You came to see us, didn’t you?
(LAUGHS)     Of course not. I was wondering why you’d come all this way.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN: SAME SCENE
                                    TONY
I’ll be buggered That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. It’s a GREAT idea, but definitely crazy.

                                    VIC
I need to get photo’s of the room where the urn is kept. A lot of what we do will depend on what I find there. I’d like to get them tomorrow. How can I get there from here?

                                    TONY
Shit! If you think you can carry this off, I’ll take you there myself.
I’m not that interested in cricket, but I was a bit pissed off about the ashes.

BRENDA COMES BACK INTO THE ROOM AND WITH EFFORT, REGAINS HER SEAT AT THE TABLE.
                                    BRENDA
That was the clinic.  They want me to be there tomorrow at ten, for another ultrasound.

        TONY
Perfect. We can go to Lords while she’s at the clinic. It’ll take at least a couple of hours. (LOOKS AT BRENDA.) Won’t it?
        BRENDA
Probably. Why, what are you going to be doing?
FADE OUT:
FADE IN: TONY HAS EXPLAINED IT ALL TO BRENDA
                                    BRENDA
My god!  You’ll get into terrible trouble.

        TRACY
If you were an Aussie, you’d see it differently

        BRENDA
Are you in on this too? (SHOCKED)

        TRACY
Too right.  It’s the most exciting thing I’ve ever done. (LOOKS AT TONY) Perhaps you shouldn’t get involved.

        TONY
Like hell. You’re not leaving me out of this.

        BRENDA
You’re like a bunch of high school kids (POINTING HER KNIFE AT TRACY),
Are all Australians this crazy?


        TRACY
No,  only the good ones.

THE AFTERNOON PASSES PLEASANTLY. TRACY AND TONY SWAP NEWS AND REMINISCE ABOUT THE YEARS GONE BY. BRENDAN AND VIC WASH THE DISHES.
 TONY PICKS UP THE VAN KEYS FROM THE SIDEBOARD
                                    TONY
I’m going down to the corner. Fish and chips ok with everyone?

            VIC
I’ll come with you

BRENDA TURNS TO TRACY, WHO’S LOUNGING COMFORTABLY ON THE SOFA.

                                BRENDA
They’re a nice couple of chaps


TRACY (LAUGHING.)
You probably wouldn’t think so if you knew them like I do.

                                BRENDA
They couldn’t be that bad.

                                TRACY   
No, not really.

TONY AND VIC ARRIVE BACK AND PLACE THE PACKAGES ON THE BENCH IN THE KITCHEN. TONY TAKES A STACK OF PLATES FROM A CUPBOARD UNDER THE BENCH AND PUTS THEM WITH THE PARCELS OF HOT FOOD
                                TONY
Just help yourselves. (OPENS DRAWER)  Knives and forks for those with dirty hands.

 VIC TAKES A PAPER SERVIETTE FROM THE PLASTIC HOLDER ON THE TABLE AND WIPES HIS MOUTH.
                                VIC
I’ll say one thing for the Poms, they really know how to make fish and chips.
THEN HE LOOKS ACROSS AT BRENDA, EMBARRASSED
                                VIC
Sorry- I meant the English.

BRENDA (LAUGHS).
That’s OK. I’m used to being called a Pom. (LOOKS SQUARELY AT TONY.) Amongst other things.
FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
THEY CLEAR  THE TABLE AND VIC AGAIN HELPS BRENDAN TO WASH UP THE DISHES.
TRACY TRIES TO STIFLE A YAWN, BUT BRENDAN NOTICES, FOLLOWING SUIT. THEN EVERYONE IS DOING IT. 
                                    TRACY
I don’t know about you lot, but I’m going to bed.
Only Brenda and Tony remain in the living room.
                                    BRENDA
Are you really going with them?
                                    TONY
Too right,  I couldn’t let my little sister down, now could I?
FADE OUT:
FADE IN: NEXT MORNING.

 TONY IS MAKING TOAST, AS FAST AS THE TOASTER WILL OBLIGE. TRACY WORKS ON AN ASSEMBLY LINE OF COFFEE MUGS
TRACY
What’s happening this morning?

        VIC
If it’s OK with Tony, I’ll go and check out the place. I’ll get some photos and work out the finer details.

                                    RAY
What about the rest of us?

VIC
If too many of us front up there today, there’s a good chance that some of us will be remembered when we turn up a second time.
 
BRENDAN.
That makes sense

THEY EAT BREAKFAST AND CLEAR AWAY THE DISHES
FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
 VIC SITS IN THE PASSENGER SEAT OF THE VAN, WHILE TONY DRIVES
THEY ARRIVE AT REGENTS PARK. THE CAR PARK IS ALMOST EMPTY.

THEY FOLLOW THE SIGNS TO AN OLD BUILDING THAT HOUSES THE MUSEUM. VIC AROUND AT THE DISPLAYS AND WALL HANGINGS, THEN CROSSES TO THE FOOT OF A FLIGHT OF STAIRS THAT CLIMB IN AN ARC, TO THE NEXT FLOOR. THE OBJECT OF THEIR INTENTIONS IS WAITING FOR THEM BELOW THE CURVING BANISTER. A SMALL GLASS CASE,  WITH THE URN SITIING ON A SMALL ROUND BASE, INSIDE IT.
VIC TAKES THE MINIATURE CAMERA FROM HIS POCKET AND SURRUPTICIOUSLY CLICKED AWAY UNTIL THE MEMORY BANK IS FULL.
                                    VIC
OK, that’ll do. Let’s go home.

TONY HESITATES, OBVIOULY WANTING TO STAY A BIT LONGER.

                                    VIC
Sorry, but we can’t afford to become familiar here. You can come back any time.

                                    TONY
Yeah, that’s true


FADE OUT:

FADE IN: 
AT TONY’S HOUSE IN THE STUDY. TONY POWERS UP THE COMPUTER. VIC TURN THE COMPUTER SLIGHTLY AND PEERS AT THE BACK OF IT.


                                    VIC
Good,  it’s got one.

                                    TONY
One what?

        VIC
The camera connects through the USB port.  Older models don’t always have them.
HE TAKES A CABLE FROM THE SMALL CAMERA BAG, AND AFTER STRAIGHTENING IT OUT, PLUGS ONE END INTO THE CAMERA AND THE OTHER INTO THE CONNECTION AT THE BACK OF THE COMPUTER.
THE MONITOR DISPLAY CHANGES, ADVISING THE USER ‘NEW HARDWARE FOUND.’
VERY SOON, THERE’S A LIST OF FILES ON THE SCREEN. MOVING THE MOUSE POINTER TO THE FIRST ONE IN THE LIST, VIC OPENS THE FILE, DISPLAYING A SLIGHTLY DARK BUT CLEARLY VISIBLE VIEW OF THE ROOM THAT THEY’D JUST VISITED. HE FLICKS FROM PICTURE TO PICTURE, STOPPING THOUGHTFULLY FROM TIME TO TIME. SATISFIED THAT HE HAS THE INFORMATION HE NEEDS, VIC STANDS UP.
                                    VIC
Let the others have a look.
HE STOPS IN THE DOORWAY AND LOOK BACK AT TONY.
                                    VIC
This is going to be a two man job, so that’s the only view they’re going to see of the place.
FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
IN THE LOUNGE ROOM.
VIC WALKS A MEASURED DISTANCE ACROSS THE ROOM THEN COUNTS THE PACES ALOUD AS HE MOVES THIS WAY AND THAT. HE STOPS AND SPEAKS TO BRENDAN.
                                    VIC
Can you get everyone in here? I think Tracy’s upstairs. I need to let you all know what’s happening.

HE SITS AT THE DINING TABLE WAITING FOR THE OTHERS TO JOIN HIM.
                                    VIC
OK. I’ve got it worked out. I’ve had to change my plan slightly, because the case that’s got the urn in it, isn’t what I’d expected.

RAY (FROWNS)
So?

VIC
Tomorrow, only Brendan and I will be going to the museum. It’s a two man job.

        RAY
Why can’t I go? Instead of him.
( POINTING  TO BRENDAN).

VIC THINKS  BECAUSE YOU’RE TOO BLOODY SHORT, BUT CHOSE HIS WORDS CAREFULLY.
                                    VIC
I need the extra height- The long arms (TURNS TO BRENDAN) Let’s go upstairs. I’ll have to go over everything very carefully with you. We’ll only get one shot at it, so it’s got to be spot on.



THE OTHERS REMAIN SEATED AT THE TABLE, LOOKING BEWILDERED. THEY FEEL A BIT LEFT OUT.
VIC
Once we’ve got it perfect, you’ll all be put in the picture.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
UPSTAIRS IN THE BEDROOM.
                                    VIC
Ok, this is what we’ve got to do. Timing is going to be critical and we’ll need a few other visitors in the room at the same time, to create a bit of confusion.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
THEY GO DOWNSTAIRS AGAIN. THE OTHERS ARE IN THE LIVING ROOM, LOOKING THROUGH SOME PHOTOGRAPH ALBUMS, ONE OF WHICH IS DEDICATED TO THE ZOO AND ITS OCCUPANTS. THE PICTURES HAVE QUITE A PROFESSIONAL QUALITY AND SOON THEY’RE ALL ADMIRING THEM AND ASKING QUESTIONS.

                                    TONY
Brenda took all the good ones. She used to be a photographer – still is really.

                                    BRENDAN
They’re bloody good.


THE STACK OF PHOTO ALBUMS HELPS TO FILL IN THE REST OF THE AFTERNOON.

VIC
Why don’t we go somewhere for dinner?

    BRENDA
There a good Indian down the road, or Chinese if you like. Or, there’s a really good restaurant that serves proper food.

    RAY
That sound more our style. What d’you reckon?

    VIC
Sounds good to me.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
AT A TRADITIONAL ENGLISH RESTAURANT. A COUPLE OF BOTTLES OF WINE AND A ROAST DINNER.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:

OUTSIDE TONY’S HOUSE.  GLOOMY MORNING -  COLD AND SLIGHTLY FOGGY.
BRENDAN AND VIC SET OFF WITH TONY IN THE VAN, THE OTHERS ARE LEFT STANDING ON THE PAVEMENT OUTSIDE THE GATE.


FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
DRIVE THROUGH HENDON TO LOURDES. TONY POINTS OUT VARIOUS LAND MARKS.
 THERE ARE FOUR OTHER CARS IN THE CAR PARK WHEN THEY GET THERE.  TONY STAYS IN THE VAN, WHILE VIC AND BRENDAN WALK ACROSS THE LAWNS TO THE ENTRANCE, THEN DISAPPEARED THROUGH THE DOORWAY.
TONY SITS NERVOUSLY, FIDGITING.

VIC STOPS AT THE DOORWAY AND GLANCES OVER TO HIS LEFT. HE MOVES OVER TO WHERE THERE ARE SOME FRAMED DOCUMENTS AND PHOTOGRAPHS, THEN STANDS THERE, PRETENDING TO READ EACH ONE. BRENDAN MOVES A LITTLE FURTHER DOWN THE ROOM, AND DOES THE SAME.
A GROUP OF FOUR MEN ENTER THE ROOM AND SLOWLY MOVE ALONG THE RIGHT HAND SIDE OF THE ROOM, GLANCING AT THE ITEMS ON DISPLAY AS THEY GO. ACCENTSIDENTIFY THEM AS INDIAN OR PAKISTANI. THEY STOP AT THE EASEL LOOKING AT THE NEWSPAPER ARTICLES AND PHOTOGRAPHS TAPED TO THE BIG BLACKBOARD.
EVEN BRENDAN IS STARTLED, WHEN VIC YELLS LOUDLY
   Look out!

AS HE RACES ACROSS THE ROOM, THE FOUR MEN SPIN AROUND TO FACE HIM.  NOT KNOWING VIC'S INTENTIONS, ONE MAN LEAPS BLINDLY OUT OF THE WAY, WHILE THE REMAINING THREE STAND RIVETED TO THE SPOT, LOOKING QUITE TERRIFIED.
VIC REACHES BEHIND THE MEN WITH ONE HAND, AND WITH ALL HIS STRENGTH, LIFTS THE CORNER OF THE BLACKBOARD.
THE HEAVY BOARD MOVES SIDEWAYS, CAUSING THE EASEL TO TURN SLIGHTLY, THEN BEGINS TO TIP OVER.
ON QUEUE, BRENDAN CROSSES THE ROOM IN THREE GIANT STRIDES, THEN PRETENDING TO CATCH THE BLACKBOARD, SKILLFULLY GUIDES IT DOWN ONTO THE TOP EDGE OF THE GLASS CASE.
THERE’S A LOUD BANG AS THE WHOLE SIDE OF THE CASE DISINTEGRATES AND THE EDGE OF THE BOARD HITS THE TABLE. THE EASEL CONTINUES IN ITS WAY TO THE FLOOR, TURNING AS IT FALLS. IT STRIKES ONE OF THE UNFORTUNATE MEN ON THE BACK OF HIS LEGS SENDING HIM SPRAWLING HEAD FIRST ACROSS THE FLOOR. BRENDAN TAKES ADVANTAGE OF THE COMMOTION TO GRAB THE URN FROM THE REMAINS OF THE CASE WITH HIS RIGHT HAND, AT THE SAME TIME PLACING THE REPLICA ONTO THE EMPTY WOODEN BASE. HE TURNS AWAY FROM THE WRECKAGE, POSITIONING THE URN IN HIS HAND, ON THE FAR SIDE, AWAY FROM THE DOOR AND DROPS IT INTO HIS JACKET POCKET. HE JOINS THE OTHERS, WHO ARE TRYING TO HELP THE FALLEN MAN TO HIS FEET.
                        FALLEN MAN (INDIAN ACCENT)
My goodness. This is such a terrible thing.

THREE MEN RUSH INTO THE ROOM. ONE OF THEM RUNS OVER TO THE BROKEN CASE.

                                MUSEUM MAN
What happened here?

                                FALLEN MAN
I was reading your most interesting articles when this gentleman yelled at me to look out. I am not understanding at first, but the notice board was falling and this excellent gentleman tried to stop it. (PAUSES FOR BREATH) Unfortunately he was unable to arrest its fall. Now I fear that something is most broken.


                                MUSEUM MAN
I'm going to have to ask everyone to leave, until we can get this mess cleaned up. (HE LOOKS AROUND AT EVERYONE) I take it that no-one is injured?

THERE’S A CHORUS OF NO'S.
BRENDAN IS ALREADY ON HIS WAY OUT OF THE DOOR. EVERYONE ELSE FOLLOWS.
FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
IN THE CAR PARK. VIC MAKES HIS WAY AS QUICKLY AS HE CAN, WITHOUT RUNNING, TO WHERE THE VAN IS WAITING.  BRENDAN IS ALREADY CLIMBING INTO THE FRONT SEAT.
VIC (SLIDES THE DOOR CLOSED)
 A complete success. Let's get the hell out of here.

BRENDAN SITS ADMIRING THE URN.
                                BRENDAN
I can't bloody believe it. We've actually done it.

THEY LAUGH AS THEY DRIVE BACK TO TONY’S HOUSE.
 AS THEY WALK UP THE FRONT PATH, THE DOOR OPENS AND RAY STANDS THERE.

                                RAY
Well?  Did you do it?

BRENDAN HOLDS UP THE URN FOR ALL TO SEE.
                                BRENDAN
You can contact the travel agent and confirm a flight for tomorrow. You should've seen us.

VIC BOUNDS UP THE STEPS.  
 We were fuckin' awesome.

TRACY AND BRENDA APPEAR
                                TRACY
My God! You actually got it (JUMPS UP AND DOWN A FEW TIMES, EXCITED).

BRENDA
Now what?

VIC
It won’t be long before the press get hold of this and when they do, there won’t be much hope of getting it through customs.  They may even remember us and come looking. I think the faster we get out of here, the better.

BRENDA LOOKS DISAPPOINTEDLY AT TRACY. AND RAY NOTICES.

                                RAY
It's OK for Tracy to stay a bit longer isn't it?
She's come all this way to see her brother. She might want to be here for the baby.

TRACY HUGS RAY AFFECTIONATELY.
BRENDAN (TO TRACY)
You could stay as long as you wanted. The ticket's good for a few months.

THERE ARE HUGS AND HANDSHAKES ALL ROUND.  THEY’E ONE VERY HAPPY GROUP.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
DINNER IS A TRADITIONAL ENGLISH ROAST. TONY CARVES THE LEG OF LAMB, WITH AN ELECTRIC KNIFE AS THE OTHERS WATCHED HIM PATIENTLY.  A MOUNTAIN OF ROAST POTATOES SITS ON A HUGE OVAL PLATE, WHILE ANOTHER HOLDS A REAL YORKSHIRE PUDDING.
(VIC LOOKS ACROSS AT RAY).  And what did you do today? I bet you didn’t even peel the spuds.

(RAY PRETENDS TO BE OFFENDED.)   Who do you think shot the fuckin’ lamb?
REALIZING WHAT HE’S JUST SAID, RAY IS EMBARRASSED.              I’m sorry (LOOKING AT BRENDA)

                            BRENDA
Please, don’t worry about it.  I’ll just pretend I didn’t hear you.
        RAY
Thanks, I feel like such a fuckin’ idiot.

THERE WAS NO HOLDING THE OTHERS NOW. EVEN TONY IS SHAKING WITH LAUGHTER. THE EMBARRASSED LOOK ON RAY’S FACE SENDS THEM ALL INTO HYSTERICS.

FADE OUT:

FADE IN:
THE FOLLOWING MORNING.  THEY LOAD THE LUGGAGE INTO THE VAN.  BRENDA WAS NOT THE RIGHT SHAPE FOR HUGGING, SO BRENDAN, RAY AND VIC ALL SETTLED FOR A KISS ON THE CHEEK.
                                BRENDAN (TO BRENDA)
You should come over to Perth for a visit. I reckon you'd like it there.
(HE GLANCES UP AT THE CLOUDS)
The weather's a whole lot better, for a start.

THE VAN DRIVES OFF DOWN THE ROAD. THEY CONTINUED TO WAVE UNTIL THEY TURN THE CORNER, THEN SETTLE DOWN FOR THE DRIVE TO THE AIRPORT.

                                VIC
Do you ever think of going home?

                                TONY
All the time. Trouble is, I’d never get another job like this one. The London Zoo is a great place to work.

THEY PULL IN AT THE KERB OUTSIDE THE AIR TERMINAL

                                TONY
I’ll take Brenda there after the baby gets big enough to travel. Probably spend a month or two over there, although I don’t know how she’ll handle the heat.

TONY HELPS THEM TO CARRY THE CASES INSIDE.
THEY SAY THEIR GOODBYES AT THE CHECK-IN COUNTER, THEN, AS TONY WALKS AWAY, THEY CAN’T HELP FEELING SORRY FOR HIM.

                                RAY
Poor bastard.  He really does want to go home, but can’t admit it in case he upsets Brenda.
        VIC
That’s what you get for marrying a foreigner.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
GOING THROUGH CUSTOMS
THE CUSTOMS MEN HARDLY PAY THEM ANY ATTENTION AT ALL. THEY SIT IN THE PASSENGER LOUNGE, WAITING FOR THE ANNOUNCEMENT TO START BOARDING.
BRENDAN BUYS A NEWSPAPER AND THEY SCAN THE PAGES, BUT THERE’S NO MENTION OF THE THEFT.
THE SPEAKERS ANNOUNCE THAT THE PLANE IS BOARDING.  THEY MAKE THEIR WAY ONTO THE PLANE. THE HOSTESSES SHOW THEM TO THEIR SEATS. THEY’RE AMONG THE FIRST TO GO ABOARD. VIC GIVES THEM THE ONCE OVER, BUT HIS ENGLISH ROSE ISN’T AMONG THEM. VIC IMITATED BRENDAN AS FAR AS READING MATERIAL WAS CONCERNED. HE’D BOUGHT A NEWSPAPER, MAINLY TO SEE IF THERE WAS ANY MENTION OF THE PREVIOUS DAY’S ACTIVITIES. BRENDAN SAT ARMED WITH A BALL POINT PEN, STUDYING THE CROSSWORD PUZZLE. RAY, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE, JUST SAT. IT WAS GOING TO BE A LONG JOURNEY FOR HIM, WITHOUT TRACY AT HIS SIDE.
VIC WATCHES WITH AMUSEMENT, AS A LARGE LADY SQUEEZES INTO THE SEAT BESIDE RAY. HE NUDGES BRENDAN AND POINTED IN RAY’S DIRECTION, ALTHOUGH RAY WAS NOW COMPLETELY HIDDEN FROM VIEW.

                                    VIC
He’ll never be the same again.

                                BRENDAN (LAUGHS)
Be a mate and swap seats with him.


                                    VIC
You swap with him. She looks more your type.

BRENDAN (PULLS VIC’S EAR.)
Shut up.

BRENDAN GOES BACK TO HIS CROSSWORD PUZZLE.
GRADUALLY THE SEATS TO FILL UP. THIS TIME, THERE WAS A WOMAN AND HER SMALL SON, SITTING IN FRONT OF THEM. THE BOY OCCUPIES THE OUTSIDE SEAT DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF VIC. BRENDAN NOTICES.

BRENDAN
Where’s your bag?

                            VIC
On the floor. Right here. Why?

BRENDAN
Just try not to kill the kid.

                                VIC
That wasn’t my fault.You saw what happened. It was that prick in front of me.

THE BOY’S FACE APPEARS AROUND THE END OF HIS SEAT.  VIC SITS AND STARES AT HIM, EYE TO EYE, UNTIL THE BOY THINKS BETTER OF IT AND DISAPPEARS AGAIN.
THE GONG SOUNDS AND THE WARNING SIGN LIGHTS UP. VIC GROPES AROUND FOR THE ENDS OF THE SEAT BELT.  BUCKLED IN, THEY SIT BACK AS THE PLANE MOVES OFF, GAINING SPEED UNTIL IT EVENTUALLY COMES UNSTUCK AND RISES STEEPLY INTO THE AIR.
THE ALL-IMPORTANT TROLLEY APPEARS PUSHED BY A HOSTESS WHO LOOKS LIKE SHE’D BE MORE AT HOME ON A SURF BOARD

                                HOSTESS
what would you gentlemen like to drink?

(THEY REPLY TOGETHER)      Bourbon and coke, thanks.

VIC (STUDIES THE GIRL’S FACE)      
 You haven’t got an accent.

                    HOSTESS
Oh yes I have. You wouldn’t know it though, I’m Australian.

VIC SMILES AND GLANCES AT BRENDAN.   
 At last, a good looking one.

BRENDAN (TO HOSTESS).   
Watch him luv. He’s a trouble maker.

HOSTESS (LAUGHING).   
No worries, I shoot roos on my days off. He’s no problem.

SHE MOVES DOWN THE AISLE
                                BRENDAN
That’s one girl who really would chuck you out, and from up here.


FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
THEY WAIT AT THE CAROUSEL  FOR THEIR CASES..  BRENDAN’S SUITCASE APPEARS.

                                VIC
Don’t wait for us. Head for that green sign over there and head through that way.

                                BRENDAN
That says ‘Agriculture’

    VIC
Trust me. When they ask if you’ve got anything to declare, say no.

                                BRENDAN
OK. I hope you’re right.

VIC RESTS A HAND ON BRENDAN’S SHOULDER.
                                VIC
The man in there will be pissed off with you. He’ll say something like ‘Why have you come through this door, you idiot’, then he’ll tell you to piss off.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
AT THE CUSTOMS COUNTER.
THE CUSTOMS MAN IS ANNOYED.  HE ASKED BRENDAN TO OPEN THE SUITCASE, AND ALSO EMPTIES THE CONTENTS OUT ONTO THE COUNTER.
WHEN EVERY SINGLE ITEM IS PILED UP ON THE COUNTER, THE OFFICER GLARES AT BRENDAN.
                                CUSTOMS MAN
You’re right, there isn’t anything to declare.

HE MOVES DOWN TO THE NEXT PASSENGER, WHO, HAVING WATCHED BRENDAN’S LUGGAGE TOTALLY DISMEMBERED, LOOKS MORE THAT A LITTLE NERVOUS.
BRENDAN STUFFS EVERYTHING BACK INTO THE CASE THEN PUSHES THROUGH THE CROWD AND OUT THROUGH THE DOORS . HE CROSSES THE ROAD AND STANDS BESIDE TICKET MACHINE, WAITING FOR THE OTHER TWO.
VIC COMES OUT FIRST AND BECKONS TO BRENDAN TO JOIN HIM.

                                VIC
Stay with the bags and I’ll go and get the car.

RAY ARRIVES AND DUMPS HIS BAGS DOWN   Where’s he off to?

                        BRENDAN
Gone to get the car.

                                RAY
Not a trip you’d want to make too often, is it?

    BRENDAN
How the hell do those girls handle it. Going back and forth all the time. You’d forget what bloody year it was after a while.


        RAY
What about the pilots. What would make someone want to do that all the time?

 VIC (LAUGHS.)
The girls.

BRENDAN PULLS INTO THE PARKING SPOT AND THEY LOAD THE LUGGAGE INTO THE BACK.THEY DRIVE AWAY.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
HAVING DROPPED THE OTHERS OFF, BRENDAN REACHES HIS APARTMENT AND PRESSES THE REMOTE CONTROL. THE GARAGE DOOR OPENS AND HE DRIVES INSIDE THEN LOWERS THE DOOR AGAIN.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
BRENDAN WAKES FROM A DEEP SLEEP. THE PHONE IS RINGING. FOR A SECOND OR TWO, HE ISN’T SURE JUST WHERE HE IS, UNTIL HE’D GLANCES AROUND THE ROOM
HE MAKES HIS WAY TO THE KITCHEN AND PICKS UP THE PHONE.

                        BRENDAN (SLEEPY)
Morning

                            VIC’S VOICE
No it’s not, it’s nearly one o’clock.

BRENDAN LEANS FORWARD AND TURNS ON THE COLD TAP. HE STICKS HIS HAND UNDER THE RUNNING WATER AND WIPES IT OVER HIS FACE.

                            VIC’S VOICE
The shit’s hit the fan.

BRENDAN
What d’you mean?
VIC’S VOICE
Tracy ‘phoned Ray this morning. Apparently someone at the cricket club gave the story to the paper. The museum people denied it at first, but someone got a close-up of the urn. Tracy says there’s a big close-up of it in the paper.

BRENDAN RUNS HIS WET HAND THROUGH HIS HAIR 
This is bloody great, just what we
wanted. Has anyone seen a local paper yet?

                            VIC’S VOICE
Not till a bit later.  It’s bound to be in the West. I’m going to watch the news as well. Might be something on there.


BRENDAN (LOOKS ACROSS AT THE TV SET).

OK, I’ll do the same. I might tape the news each
time it comes on. Try to grab it on tape.

BRENDAN MAKES HIMSELF A MUG OF COFFEE THEN WAITS FOR THE TELEVISION TO COME TO LIFE. AS THE PICTURE MATERIALIZES, HE PRESSES THE REMOTE BUTTONS TO FIND THE RIGHT CHANNEL.

HE FINISHES HIS COFFEE, THEN RACES INTO THE BEDROOM. HE GRABS A PAIR OF SOCKS FROM THE DRAWER AND PICKS UP THE URN FROM THE TABLE, THEN SEATED ON THE SOFA, HE PROCEEDS TO WRAP THE URN IN THE SOCKS AND PLACE THE BUNDLE INTO THE WOODEN BOX.

HE RECOGNIZES THE MUSIC COMING FROM THE TV AND TURNS UP THE SOUND. THE NEWS IS STARTING. THERE’S BEEN ANOTHER STORM SOMEWHERE UP NORTH, WITH HOMES DAMAGED BUT NO INJURIES.

                        BRENDAN
That’s good





NEWS READER
News has come to hand, concerning the item aired earlier, about The Ashes. Lords have closed its doors to all visitors, pending a thorough enquiry. A spokesman said that they were trying to contact a group of Pakistani nationals who were at the museum when the case holding the urn was damaged. Two other men were present, but as neither of them had spoken at all, their nationality is not known, although one of the museum attendants said that they were most likely local people.

THE PICTURE IN THE ENGLISH NEWSPAPER FILLS THE SCREEN. BRENDAN LAUGHS. EVERY DETAIL OF HIS WORK IS CLEARLY DISPLAYED. EVEN THE FACT THAT PART OF THE PATTERN ON THE SIDE OF THE URN WAS CROOKED. THE CLOSE-UP VIEW CLEARLY SHOWED THE MARKS THAT VIC HAD MADE ON THE METAL PLATE. IT LOOKS MORE LIKE HIEROGLYPHICS FROM A SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE.

NEWSREADER
We’ll keep you up to date with any developments.

BRENDAN (LAUGHS OUT LOUD).          Hell, I could bring you up to date right now.

THE ‘PHONE RINGS AGAIN.    
            RAY’S VOICE.
Did you see the news?

                            BRENDAN
Yeah, and I’m taping all the new as it comes on. When this is over, I want to get it all onto CD.
                            RAY (LAUGHING)
Are you going to write a book?
    BRENDAN
Vic already mentioned that. We can’t though. We’d be committing suicide.
    RAY’S VOICE
Yeah, I suppose so.

                            BRENDAN
One thing though, don’t talk to anyone about this. No-one at all. There’s a lot of people out there who’d love to make a quick buck out of this, even if it meant dropping us in it.



    RAY’S VOICE
Yeah, I reckon you’re right.

                            BRENDAN
How’s Tracy and Brenda?

                            RAY’S VOICE
They’re OK.  Tony’s pretty happy too with the way it all went.

    BRENDAN
If we get caught, it won’t be so bloody exciting.
FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
NEXT MORNING
BRENDAN IS SITTING IN FRONT OF THE TELEVISION AT SIX O’CLOCK. REMOTE IN HAND, HE’S READY TO RECORD THE NEWS. THE DRAMA WITH THE ASHES HAS TAKEN OVER MOST OF THE HALF HOUR DEDICATED TO THE NEWS. IT FEATURES AN INTERVIEW WITH SEVERAL PEOPLE FROM THE AUSTRALIAN CRICKET COUNCIL AND SOME OF THE HIGH PROFILE PLAYERS. INVESTIGATIONS HAVE GROUND TO A HALT. THERE ARE NO LEADS AND THE PEOPLE THAT THEY HAD BEEN LOOKING FOR CAN’T BE LOCATED.

EVERYONE IS PUZZLED BY THE MOTIVE. WOULD IT BE A RANSOM DEMAND?  WAS IT A UNIVERSITY PRANK?

                                NEWSREADER
A major manufacturer of sports equipment has offered a substantial reward of ten thousand pounds for the return of the ashes in good condition. The authorities have disapproved, claiming that this may lead to a spate of crank calls.
THE FAMILIAR PICTURE OF THE URN APPEARS ON THE SCREEN.

                                NEWSREADER
Apparantly, they were right.  Phone calls have come in to several major network stations, both in th U.K. and here in Melbourne.  A Melbourne newspaper has also received a variety of phone calls, all claiming to know where the urn is. Some of the claims are hilarious, while others border on the insane.

BRENDAN HIDES THE WOODEN BOX AT THE BACK OF A CUPBOARD IN THE BATHROOM. HE SELECTS A COUPLE OF BOTTLES FROM HIS WINE COLLECTION AND GOES DOWN THE STAIRS TO THE GARAGE.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
BRENDAN RIDES UP IN THE ELEVATOR TO RAY’S FLOOR AND KNOCKS ON THE DOOR. VIC OPENS THE DOOR. HE HOLD A CAN OF BEER IN HIS HAND. BRENDAN PLACES THE TWO BOTTLES ON THE SIDE IN THE KITCHEN THEN OPENES THE DRAWER, LOOKING FOR A CORKSCREW. RAY COMES INTO THE KITCHEN, CARRYING SOME NEWSPAPERS AND DROPS THEM ONTO THE BENCH TOP.
                                RAY
We really stirred thing up didn’t we?

BRENDAN (LAUGHS).    
We did what we set out to do, that’s for sure.

                    RAY
What are we going to do now?

BRENDAN PICKS UP THE GLASS HE’S JUST FILLED AND WALKS INTO THE LIVING ROOM.  HE PAUSES, WAITING FOR THE OTHERS TO FOLLOW HIM.

                            BRENEDAN
Did you guys see the reward that someone’s offering?

    VIC
Yeah, ten grand.

BRENDAN
That’s just for openers. You watch it climb when no-one fronts up with any real information.

RAY
Are we going to claim the reward?

BRENDAN
Not exactly. When the reward is big enough to be worth it, we’re going to claim it in the name of the children’s hospital.

                        VIC
I’ll be in that.

    RAY
Me too. I reckon we couldn’t do better than that. It’ll make the whole thing worth while.

    VIC
How are we going to arrange it?

BRENDAN
No bloody idea, but there has to be a way.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
NEWSPAPER HEADLINES, SHOW ANOTHER UNIDENTIFIED PARTY IS OFFERING A REWARD OF HALF A MILLION DOLLARS FOR THE RETURN OF THE URN TO AUSTRALIA.
FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
HEADLINES NOW NAME A BREWERY IN ENGLAND, WHO ARE PREPARED TO PAY ONE MILLION FOR ITS RETURN TO THE BREWERY’S OFFICES IN LONDON. THERE IS A DEADLINE. IT HAS TO BE RETURNED WITHIN ONE WEEK.
FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
SATURDAY MORNING. THE SAME OFFER HAS BEEN MADE WITHIN AUSTRALIA. THIS OFFER INCLUDES A GUARANTEE OF ANONYMITY FOR THE PERSON WHO COLLECTS THE REWARD. SEVERAL MEANS OF CONTACTING THEM ARE GIVEN. PHONE NUMBERS AND POSTAL ADDRESSES SUPPLIED ARE ALL WITHIN THE LONDON AREA. EMAIL ADDRESSES ARE SUPPLIED FOR AUSTRALIAN CONTACTS.


FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
RAY’S APARTMENT
                                RAY
How do we know the money will be paid once we return it to someone?
        VIC
I’ve given that a lot of thought. The offer’S been made public, so they couldn’t afford to back down now.
VIC STABS A FINGER AT ONE OF THE NEWSPAPER ARTICLES.

                            VIC
These guys have laid it on the line. If we contact a TV station first, the coverage will ensure that everything is above board.

        RAY
Which TV station?

        VIC
All of ‘em. No-one would dare step out of line They’ll all be watching each other.


    BRENDAN   
How are we going to contact them?  We still have stay anonymous.

        VIC
We’ll use an internet café. Brendan can create a letter on his computer and save it to a floppy. We can then send that to each of the TV stations and anyone else that we think of. At most, someone may trace it to the PC it was sent from, but that won’t help them at all.

VIC TAKES SEVERAL PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE URN SITTING ON TODAY’S NEWSPAPER, AND SAVES THEM IN THE COMPUTER. HE MAKES THREE COPIES OF THE COMPLETED DOCUMENT ON SEPARATE DISKS.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
AN INTERNET CAFE THEY EACH BEGAN EMAILING FROM SEPARATE COMPUTERS. AS SOON AS THE “SEND” KEY IS PRESSED, THEY DISCONNECT FROM THE SITE AND LEAVE THE CAFÉ.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
AT RAY’S APARTMENT. THEY SIT WATCHING THE TELEVISION, CANS OF BEER IN HAND. AT THE NEXT COMMERCIAL BREAK, A NEWSREADER APPEARS, WITH THE NOW FAMILIAR PICTURE OF THE URN SITTING IN THE NEWSPAPER. THEIR PICTURE.

RAY PRESSES THE RECORD BUTTON ON THE REMOTE.

                            NEWSREADER
An unknown person has contacted this station with information concerning the whereabouts of the missing ashes. This picture was emailed to us as proof that the caller actually has the urn in his, or her possession.  Prior to this contact, it was believed that the urn was still somewhere in the UK. This station has been requested by the caller, to act as intermediary in dealing with the party who recently made the offer of one million dollars for the safe return of the ashes.

THE PICTURE OF THE URN FLASHES ONTO THE SCREEN AGAIN.

                            NEWSREADER
If the caller would contact me personally on the number displayed below, I have been authorized to make any necessary arrangements with you.

A TELEPHONE NUMBER APPEARS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SCREEN.

`                            NEWSREADER
Stay with us for further developments.

RAY PRESSES THE STOP BUTTON ON THE REMOTE.
                                RAY
Do they think we’re bloody stupid or something?

                                VIC
Yeah, I can just see them reading our ‘phone number off the phone at their end.

            BRENDAN
OK, Let’s make another disk. We only need one this time. But we’ll send it from somewhere completely different this time.

            RAY
I reckon we should send it from Fremantle this time.


            BRENDAN
Good idea, Let’s make the disk.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
DRIVING DOWN THE WEST COAST HIGHWAY TO FREMANTLE.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
IN THE CAR DIRVING BACK TO PERTH
                                    RAY
Do you think they’ll ever trace those emails?

                                    VIC
If they’re any bloody good they will. There are programs for doing just that. They just have to key in some identifying part of an email and when another one comes in, the trace is made on a map of the world, right there on the screen. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone is on their way to the café we just left, right now.

BRENDAN RISKS SEVERAL SPEEDING TICKETS ON THE WAY BACK. EAGER TO GET TO THE TV SET AGAIN.

                            BRENDAN
One of us should have stayed home to tape the news again.
FADE OUT:
FADE IN:

RAY’S APARTMENT
WAITING FOR THE NEWS. RAY HAS THE REMOTE CONTROL IN ONE HAND AND A MUG OF COFFEE IN THE OTHER.
ONCE AGAIN, THEIR PHOTO OF THE URN APPEARS ON THE SCREEN, WITH THE WORDS “ASHES TO ASHES” ACROSS THE MIDDLE.

                                RAY
A bit bloody corny isn’t it.

VIEWS OF LORD AND THE MCC APPEAR AND THEN FADD AGAIN. AN UNIDENTIFIED MAN IS SEEN SPRINTING UP THE STEPS.

                                VIC
Wonder if the Queen’ll make a speech.

EVERYONE LAUGHS.
THE NEWSREADER APPEARS AGAIN, HOLDING WHAT THEY SUPPOSED IS A PRINTOUT OF THEIR EMAIL. IT IS. THE READER HOLDS IT UP

                                NEWSREADER
Another email has been received from the person holding the ashes. This is quite incredible.

THE NEWSREADER TAKES A SIP FROM HIS GLASS OF WATER

                                NEWSREADER
The caller has requested that the reward money be paid to the Princess Margaret Hospital for Children. The caller, who has identified himself only as Turner, says that he wants no part of it for himself. He goes on to say that the theft was carried out originally only to ensure that the ashes were returned to their rightful owners.

                                VIC (FROWNING)
Turner? Where the hell did that come from?

                                BRENDAN
Easy. For a while there, I was a Wood turner while I was making the damned thing.

            RAY
I’ll be buggered. That’s bloody brilliant.
                            NEWSREADER
Please stay tuned. I shall be contacting the other parties shortly, to arrange the hand-over. I’ll let the viewers know when this is to take place.

RAY GOES OVER TO THE VIDEO RECORDER AND REPLACES THE TAPE
TO AVOID HAVING TO LEAVE THE TELEVISION, THEY ORDER PIZZA. RAY EXPLAINS TO THE YOUNG GIRL HOW TO FIND THEM AND TELLS HET TO USE THE INTERCOM AT THE FRONT DOOR.

                                RAY
I hope they don’t get lost. That kid didn’t sound too bright.

RAY OPENS THE  REFRIGERATOR. ROW UPON ROW OF GREEN CANS AND ONE CONTAINER OF MILK.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:

THE SPEAKER IN THE KITCHEN BEEPS. A NERVOUS SOUNDING VOICE SAYS “HELLO”.



RAY (SPEAKS INTO THE INTERCOM)
I’ll unlock the front door for you. Just go over to the lift and push the close door button. It’ll automatically take you to the right floor

YOUNG VOICE FROM INTERCOM
I’d rather you came down to the door.

    VIC (TO RAY)
Don’t be bloody mean. The kid’s scared stiff of coming up here, and I don’t blame him.

        RAY
I suppose so

HE GOES OUT TO THE CORRIDOR AND COMES BACK A FEW MINUTES LATER, CARRYING THREE BOXES AND TWO LOAVES OF GARLIC BREAD WRAPPED IN ALUMINIUM FOIL.
                            BRENDAN
Did you give the kid a tip?

                            RAY
No.
                            VIC
You’re a  mean bastard.
FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
TV SCREEN. START OF NEWS
THE NEWSREADER NOW SITS IN AN ARMCHAIR AND AT HIS SIDE, A WOMAN SITS IN AN IDENTICAL CHAIR.
                        NEWSREADER
Good evening. This is Annabelle Richmond. She has agreed to come into the studio to accept the arrangements outlined earlier in an email we received here at the channel.

THE WOMAN SMILES. SHE WEARS A BUSINESS SUIT, THE KIND THAT YOU USUALLY ASSOCIATE WITH SUCCESSFUL CAREER WOMEN. THAT SORT OF ‘DON’T SCREW WITH ME’ LOOK.
                            MS RICHMOND
I have been authorized by our board of directors, to make the presentation to the hospital, as requested. As a responsible company of the highest reputation, we are more than happy to make this donation to such a worthy cause.


        RAY
Bullshit! They would never have considered it if we hadn’t forced them to do it.

        VIC
She can’t really say anything else, can she?

THE NEWSREADER LEANS FORWARD SLIGHTLY LOOKING INTO THE CAMERA.
If you can get the urn in to our studio before six o’clock tomorrow, the hospital’s representative will be here to accept the cheque.

                                VIC
There’s an empty apartment on the second floor. I could get the courier to collect the parcel from there. That should keep them away from us.
Where’s the urn now?

    BRENDAN
In the kitchen.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
BRENDAN BINDS THE BOX WITH PACKING TAPE THEN HANDS IT TO VIC, WHO WRITES THE ADDRESS ON THE TAPE WITH A FELT PEN. THEN IN TRUE VIC FASHION, HE DRAWS A SMILEY FACE ON THE FRONT OF THE BOX.
VIC FINDS THE NUMBER FOR THE COURIER SERVICE IN THE YELLOW PAGES AND RINGS IT.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:

VIC TAKES THE LIFT TO THE SECOND FLOOR AND WALKS OVER TO THE DOOR OF THE VACANT FLAT WHERE HE STANDS WAITING PATIENTLY WITH THE PARCEL UNDER ONE ARM.
THE INTERCOM INSIDE THE EMPTY APARTMENT SOUNDS. VIC QUICKLY PHONES UP TO RAY ON HIS MOBILE.   
                        VIC   
Ok, unlock the door, he’s here.
THE ELEVATOR SIGN STEPS FROM GROUND FLOOR TO FIRST THEN TO SECOND. A BELL DINGS AND THE ELEVATOR DOOR SLIDES OPEN. VIC TURNS AWAY FROM THE APARTMENT DOOR, WITH A BUNCH OF KEYS IN HIS HAND. VIC HANDS THE MAN THE BOX AND WAITS WHILE HE FILLS OUT HIS DOCKETS, THEN PAYS WITH A FIFTY DOLLAR BILL.

                                VIC
Keep the change.

VIC WAITS UNTIL THE MAN IS ON HIS WAY BACK DOWN IN THE LIFT BEFORE CALLING RAY’S PHONE AGAIN.

                                VIC
All done

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
RAY FLICKS FROM CHANNEL TO CHANNEL THEN RETURNS TO THE ORIGINAL PROGRAM. THE SOUND OF A CAR HORN BRINGS VIC TO THE LIVING ROOM WINDOW. IN THE STREET BELOW, ARE SEVERAL VEHICLES ANGLE PARKED. ONE OF THESE IS A LARGE VAN WITH TWO MICROWAVE DISHES MOUNTED ON THE ROOF.  A WHITE HOLDEN ACROSS THE STREET CARRIES THE TELEVISION STATION LOGO AND THE WORD NEWS ACROSS THE DOOR.
                                VIC
Jesus!

THE OTHERS JOIN HIM AT THE WINDOW AND WATCH AS PEOPLE BEGIN TO RUN CABLES ACROSS THE PAVEMENT. A POLICE CAR ARRIVES AND SOMEONE PLACES BRIGHT ORANGE PLASTIC CONES DOWN THE CENTRE OF THE STREET, EFFECTIVELY CLOSING OFF ONE SIDE.
BRENDAN (LOOKS AROUND AT VIC).
     You’re going to have to stay hidden. That courier brought  the whole fucking television station back with him.

RAY LOOKS WORRIED.    Do you think they’ll come up here?

                            BRENDAN
I doubt it. They can’t just go door to door.

VIC GOES OUT INTO THE HALLWAY AND WATCHES THE ELEVATOR SIGN. IT SLOWLY CHANGES FROM G TO 1 AND STOPPS AT 2.

                                VIC
It’s OK.  They’ve gone to the empty flat on the second.

THE TV SET NOW SHOWS A SCENE OUTSIDE THE BUILDING. A WOMAN REPORTER IS HOLDING A MICROPHONE, AND DESCRIBING WHAT MUST HAVE ALREADY BEEN PRETTY OBVIOUS. THE IMAGE SWITCHES TO A MOBILE CAMERA THAT IS MOVING SLOWLY UP THE CORRIDOR, THEN STOPS OUTSIDE THE DOOR OF THE VACANT FLAT. SOMEONE, APPARENTLY WITH THE TELEVISION CREW KNOCKS ON THE DOOR. WHEN THERE’S NO ANSWER, HE BANGS LOUDLY ENOUGH TO BRING THE OCCUPANTS OF THE FLAT OPPOSITE OUT INTO THE HALLWAY. SOMETHING WAS SAID, BUT THE SOUNDMAN MISSES IT. A MAN CALLS OUT ‘WHAT WAS THAT?’
EVERYONE GOES QUIET AS THE LADY FROM THE ADJACENT APARTMENT CALLS OUT , “ THAT’S A VACANT FLAT. NOBODY LIVES THERE YET. WHAT’S GOING ON?”

FROM THEN ON, SHE IS TOTALLY IGNORED. THE CAMERA IS SWUNG AROUND TO SHOW THE COURIER WHO’D COLLECTED THE URN EARLIER, BEING INTERVIEWED BY A MAN WHO IS OBVIOUSLY UNIMPRESSED AT HAVING HIS TIME WASTED AND HIS REPUTATION DENTED.
                            INTERVIEWER
Are you sure this is the right place?
                            COURIER
Definitely. When I arrived, he was coming out of that door, holding the keys.

ANOTHER MAN, CLAIMING TO BE THE SUPERVISOR OF THE BUILDING, MOVES SIDEWAYS TO PLACE HIMSELF IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA.

                            SUPERVISOR
That door hasn’t been opened for the last four days. I should know, because I have the only security card for that room.

        INTERVIEWER
Security card?




                            SUPERVISOR
That’s right. We don’t use keys. They’re not really secure – too easy to duplicate. Nope, we use cards, like this one.

( HOLDS UP AN ACCESS CARD FOR ALL TO SEE,THEN TURNS AND INSERTS IT INTO THE CARD READER AT THE SIDE OF THE DOOR. THE LOCK CLICKS AND HE OPENS THE DOOR.
HE’S ALMOST RUN DOWN IN THE RUSH TO GET INTO THE ROOM. THE CAMERA CREW, THE MAN WITH THE LONG HANDLED MICROPHONE, THE REPORTER AND EVERYONE ELSE WHO HAD GATHERED IN THE HALLWAY. THE CAMERA IS PANNED AROUND THE ROOM, REVEALING A COMPLETELY EMPTY SPACE. LIKEWISE, THE KITCHEN AND BEDROOMS ARE EMPTY. WITHOUT A DOUBT, NOBODY LIVED AT THIS ADDRESS.
BRENDAN, VIC AND RAY, SAT ON THE SOFA AND LAUGHED UNTIL THE TEARS WERE RUNNING DOWN THEIR FACES.   

                                RAY
They haven’t got a bloody clue.

        VIC
I’d love to send them another email now.
Telling them what a pack of wankers they are.

        RAY
That’s probably just what they’re waiting for.

BRENDAN (JUMPS UP FROM SOFA)
Hang on a minute. Ray, give Tracy a call She could email from there, using a café like we did.

        VIC
That’ll confuse the hell out of them.

RAY MAKES THE CALL THEN HANDS THE ‘PHONE TO BRENDAN.
                            BRENDAN
G’day Tracy, how’s it going? (PAUSE) That’s great, glad to hear it.  Got a pen?. OK, this is what we want you to send.

The others are at the window from where they can  watch the convoy leaving the front of the building and the television set at the same time. The street gradually empties.

    BRENDAN (STILL ON PHONE)
Whatever you do, don’t use the computer there. because they will trace it back.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
THE PHONE RINGS. RAY ANSWERS IT.
                                RAY
It’s Tracy - she’s sent it OK.
HE LISTENED FOR A FEW SECONDS THEN LAUGHS.
 Tony added a bit to the email. Tracy says
 he described them as something rude and undesirable.”

                                VIC
What the hell does that mean?

            RAY
She won’t say, but I gather it was something rude.

        BRENDAN
This must have quadrupled their ratings tonight.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
THE TEN O’CLOCK NEWS ARRIVES. THIS TIME THERE ARE FOUR PEOPLE SITTING IN THE STUDIO. MRS RICHMOND, AND TWO PEOPLE FROM THE HOSPITAL HAVE JOINED THE NEWS READER.
BRENDAN
I’ll bet this is the longest day he’s ever worked.

RAY QUICKLY PUSHED A NEW TAPE INTO THE RECORDER AND PRESSED THE BUTTON.

                            NEWSREADER
I have with me, two of the medical staff from Princess Margaret Hospital.
THE TWO MEN NOD AND SMILE.
                            NEWSREADER
On my left, is Mrs. Annabelle Richmond, who will present the a cheque to the hospital representative.

ONE OF THE MEN STANDS UP AND MEET THE WOMAN ABOUT HALF WAY, POSSIBLY STANDING ON A CHALK MARK PLACED THERE FOR THE PURPOSE. THEY SHAKE HANDS AND THE MAN HOLDS UP THE CHEQUE FOR THE CAMERAMAN TO GET A CLOSE-UP OF. THEN TWO ENORMOUS SECURITY GUARDS COME INTO VIEW, CARRYING A METAL BOX THAT HAS THE LID OPENED, TO DISPLAY THE LITTLE URN, LYING ON A BED OF WHITE FOAM RUBBER.
THE PICTURE SLOWLY FADES AS THE ITEM COMES TO A CLOSE. RAY PRESSED THE STOP BUTTON.  THEY SIT IN SILENCE FOR A FEW MOMENTS.
                                    VIC
Well, that’s that. It’s all over.
THERE’S  A BRIEF PAUSE.

BRENDAN (LAUGHING)
Like hell it is. Ray, call Tracy again. Find out what Brenda’s favourite charity is. We’ve got a story to sell, and those pommie papers’ll pay good money to get it.”




                                        ENDS




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