A supernatural dark comedy in one act.
6m, 1f, 1 voice over
Joey, Silvia, and Angelo are three low-rent hoodlums looking to score their big break. While passing through the quiet little town of Kingsport, they learn of a mysterious old man who lives alone with a vast wealth in gold. While the locals keep their distance from the ancient hermit, the three crooks see him as an easy target, and make plans to relieve him of his surplus wealth. It’s only too late that they realize there’s a reason the people of Kingsport shun the terrible old man.
Set in 1930s New England and adapted from the short story weird fiction author H.P. Lovecraft, “The Terrible Old Man” is a grizzly dark comedy perfect for an evening of ghoulish one-acts. Contains adult language.
Joey – (20s-30s) The self-appointed leader of the trio of crooks; a two-bit thug with delusions of grandeur.
Silvia – (20s-30s) Joey’s long-suffering girlfriend; not much brains, but plenty of big dreams.
Angelo – (20s-30s) Joey’s dim-witted young brother; the brawn of their little operation.
Store Keeper – (50s or older) a decrepit old man who’s been running the same general store for decades.
Customer – (30s-50s) a regular at the general store.
Old Man – (ancient) A mysterious, evil-faced individual shunned by the townsfolk.
Howie – (20s-30s) The young, mute store assistant.
EXCERPT FROM THE SCRIPT
ANGELO crosses to the right side of the bed and goes through the bags on the floor. Meanwhile, SILVIA pulls JOEY over to the stage left side.
(Calmer than before)
Joey, I really got a bad feeling about this. I mean, I know I ain’t never been a saint or nothing, but I don’t want to hurt an old man.
JOEY takes SILVIA by the shoulders and turns her so her back is to the bed.
Silvia, baby, we’re not going to hurt anybody, I swear.
(ANGELO pulls a pistol out of the bag, checks the cylinder, sets it on the bed)
It’s just gonna be an easy in and out operation. No fighting, no violence.
(ANGELO pulls out a second gun, checks it, sticks it in his belt)
We’re just gonna sneak in, find the gold, and sneak back out again.
(ANGELO retrieves a pair of brass knuckles, slips his fingers into them, gets a feel for them, then drops them in his pocket)
The old man won’t even know we were there. Nothing to worry about.
(ANGELO pulls out a baseball bat, takes a few practice swings with it, then sets it on the bed)
ANGELO takes everything that’s still on the bed and shoves it into one of the bags, then sets the bags on the bed, ready to be taken out.
But what if he finds you taking the gold? What if he tries to stop you or tries to call the police?
Hey, what if he has a gun in that old house, Joey? And what about the way he was acting with those glass jars? Something about that made me nervous.
You too, now? Listen to me, the both of yous. There ain’t nothing to worry about. This is an easy job.
But it just feels wrong...
What’s wrong about it? What’s he need all that gold for, anyway? He lives alone. He ain’t got no family. If we don’t take it, in a couple of years he’s gonna die and someone else’ll help themselves to it instead. But with that money, we could finally have that place we talked about. Our own club. And it’ll be legit. I’ll run it.
You’ll make sure only the classy people get let it. It’ll be the hottest joint in town.
(Draws the others together on either side of him)
Now, I know things have been hard. But fortune is smiling on us tonight. We just gotta do this one job. What could possibly go wrong?
On an ominous CRASH of THUNDER from outside, we go to BLACK.
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