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writingA strange night

Act –I
A man, his wife and another man are at a table in the house. They are having a drink. The
man is ALLEN and his wife is JUDE. Other man is GLENN. The time is 10:45 in the
night. They are in the middle of a conversation.
ALLEN: You know what; when a dead body needs to be dumped in a river,
it has to be tied up with a weight. Or else, it floats up after some time.
JUDE: Allen!! Why do you always talk such things? This is our marriage day for god
sake! And you are sitting right in front of your wife and talking about murders! You are a
crime novelist; but it doesn’t mean that you can discuss such stuff with your wife. When
will you learn to be a bit more romantic?
ALLEN (ignores her and turns to Glenn): What I am trying to say is how to commit a
perfect murder without getting caught.
(Jude sighs… puts her glass down on the table and turns her head away.)
ALLEN: See, when a body gets drowned in water, it swells up with air and floats on to
the surface. The amount of weight to be added varies from person to person. For average
adults, you need to add up 3 times the body weight to make it not to float up. But for old
people, it should be around 5 times…their bones are more porous, you see.
JUDE: Oh god! Allen, will you stop it?? (Gets up hastily from her chair. She walks to
other room; opens the door of it and says)
JUDE: I’m going to sleep. Sorry Mr. Glenn, I don’t mean to be disrespect. But with a
husband like this, even a marriage day would be a stage for murder discussions. Good
(She slams the door shut. She opens it again after a moment and shouts at Allen)
JUDE: I’ve got a much better idea. Just kill me and drown me in the way you want. You
see, I have one hundred thousand dollars on my life, on a double indemnity clause. You
will get them all if I die; including my property. How about that? A perfect murder with a
profit included.
(She slams the door shut much harder)
(Allen turns to Glenn and gives a faint smile)
GLENN: Allen, you have to be sociable with her sometimes. She is your wife and this is
you marriage day. Spare your clever murder plots for the novels you write.
ALLEN: What do you mean by it! You are the most famous crime detective in the city.
You are the one who solved the infamous Cannon’s case and Doyle’s mysterious case.
You are the most reputed one Glenn. You have to have some interest in murder plots,
don’t you?
GLENN: I do. But look at her…you disappointed her. It is your marriage day and you
need to spend some good time…
ALLEN (interrupts Glenn): Oh stop it. I don’t care about her or what she thinks about
me. Look at her; the way she talks…She is no more interested in me, Glenn…no more
interested in herself either. She sits all day watching TV and eating junk. She puts on
weight and can’t even walk fast. What is her life worth? Except for her 100 thousand
dollars and her property…Nothing! And she gives me advices on what to talk and what to
think? I think her brain might have stopped thinking because of the accumulated fat
inside it.
(Glenn finishes off his drink and stands up; looks at Allen who is lighting a cigar. Allen
looks at him)

ALLEN: What? Why are you looking at me like that? Am I wrong?
GLENN: You’re getting obsessed Allen…obsessed with your crime novels. You’ve
written 10 best sellers in the past 6 years and still pushing yourself much more. Just give
a break.
ALLEN (gives a fake smile): You don’t understand this, do you? All you think is, I sit
here…drink and smoke…come up with an idea of a clever murder and write a story about
it. It comes out as a novel and people will read it. You think that is easy, don’t you
GLENN: Look, I didn’t say that. But
ALLEN: But? Tell, me…what did you mean?
GLENN: Yeah it is easy to sit and write clever murder stories. But you are over doing it,
Allen. I take up complicated cases but never overload myself with work.
ALLEN: What did you just say? It is easy to sit and write clever murder stories?
GLENN: Of course it is.
ALLEN (in a voice of slight anger): Oh what do you do then? You detectives find some
clues left over by mindless murderers and solve cases. You just need an answer for ‘who
did it’…you don’t care about ‘how they did it’. It is just a one-way thinking that you
people do.
GLENN (waves his hand): This is turning into a professional argument from a personal
ALLEN: For me, my profession is everything. I can’t differentiate between
‘professional’ and ‘personal’.
GLENN: Alright. But whatever you say, a detective has his own share of difficulties.
They don’t work the way in which you describe in your novels.
ALLEN (gets up from his chair): We don’t write in the way you think either. A crime
novelist has to think in both ways…he has to write a clever murder plot as a murderer
and solve it as a clever detective. We act in both ways. You just act the single way. We
deal with minds and you deal with cases.
GLENN: We can commit clever murders too…We think through the mind of murderers.
How else do you think we solve complicated cases?
ALLEN: Oh you can?
GELNN: Yes, of course!
ALLEN: Well, I want to see then.
GELLN: What?
ALLEN: Commit a perfect crime…but leave 5 clues. Just 5…and I’ll find out what they
are...If I find them out, I’m the better one or else I’ll agree you are the better one among
GLENN: What is this turning out into? A marriage day evening into a personal argument
into a professional argument and now into a crime game?
ALLEN: I can’t believe that a famous detective like you has such an unenthusiastic
approach towards crime plots.
GLENN: Alright. I’m in. Tell me, what is it I have to do?
ALLEN (puts his cigar down and fills his glass): Look, my wife is in the adjacent room
sleeping. In that room, there is a box of jewels. We both leave the house now at 11:30.
I’ll lock the house while we leave. You have 20 minutes to get into the house somehow…
get into her room…find the jewels and steal them in a clever way without waking her up.
But remember, leave 5 clues. I’ll come in exactly 20 minutes and you have to finish your
task by then…and I’d find those 5 clues…say, in exactly 15 minutes. Whoever wins in
this game is the best.
(Glenn listens silently to all this. He walks to his chair and sits on it)
GLENN (in a low and thoughtful voice): Alright.
(Allen fills Glenn’s glass and hands it over to him. Glenn takes it)
ALLEN: So, get ready for the strangest night of your life.
We see the same house as seen before. Glenn has come with his gloves on. He is wearing
a cap too. He is carrying a torch to search inside the dark room where Jude is asleep. He
is now outside the house trying to get in somehow. He knows he just got 20 minutes to
prove his intelligence to Allen. He takes out a screwdriver and tries to unlock the door,
but fails to do so.
He walks few steps further along the corridor and finds out that Jude’s bedroom has a
glass window. He tries to look through it, but is all dark inside. He tries to open the
window with his screwdriver. After a few attempts, he manages to unlock it. He
appreciates himself and sneaks into the room smiling with pride. He switches on his
torch. He spots Jude on bed, sleeping peacefully. He slowly searches the room and finally
finds her jewel box between her clothes in her wardrobe. He remembers that he has to
leave clues. So he plucks one hair from his head and puts it on the clothing where he
picked the jewel box from. He pulls of his coat button and puts it on the table beside the
books. He takes off his left hand glove and marks his finger print on the wine glass that
he finds on the table. He looks at the clock. He got just 5 more minutes to finish his task.
So he decides to leave the room by leaving those 3 clues. He sneaks out of the window;
forgets to lock the window back to its original position.
Allen comes exactly at the specified time.
Glenn gives a smile of pride and waves the jewel box at Allen.
ALLEN (smiling): Put that box in your coat pocket. Oh! You made it in time. Now, it is
my turn.
GLENN: Well, yes. So get started. I can’t wait to see you lose this game and agree that
I’m the best.
ALLEN: Let’s see Glenn. The game is not over yet. It is just half finished. You left the
clues, right?
GLENN: Yeah I did. I left 3 unusual clues. You said 5, but I left 3. 5 clues in 15 minutes
isn’t an easy task. So I reduced you effort. You need to find just 3 clues. Thank me for
(Glenn smiles again)
ALLEN (smiling back): Oh it’s nice of you. Thank you.
GLENN: Come on, Allen. Start. I’m eager to see this great crime novelist using his
clever two-way brain and finding clues.
ALLEN: You are very excited, aren’t you?
GLENN: Yes I am.
ALLEN: Well, let me start then.
(Allen opens the main door and walks in. Glenn also follows him in. He switches on the
GLENN: Wait a minute. I’ve put on gloves so as not to leave my finger prints during the
theft. Why are you wearing the gloves for?

ALLEN: It’s cold outside Glenn.
GELNN: Okay. Your time starts now, Allen. Just 15 minutes to find out 3 clues. All the
(Allen doesn’t say anything. He walks into Jude’s room. After 2 minutes, Allen says)
ALLEN: Glenn, come and look at this.
GLENN (walks to Jude’s room): What? What is it?
ALLEN (in a low voice): This really is a strange night Glenn…A very strange night.

(Glenn looks at Allen, unable to understand what he is saying. Allen slowly walks
towards Jude who is asleep and sits beside her on the bed. He suddenly takes his gun out,
puts it on to Jude’s neck and shoots 3 times before Glenn could understand what exactly
happened right before his eyes)
GLENN: What! What…What the hell did you do!!
ALLEN (slowly gets up from the bed and smiles at Glenn): She is dead now.
(Glenn runs out of the room in a panic)
ALLEN (walking out of the room): Calm down Glenn.
GLENN (in a voice of shock and terror): Why? What is it you are trying to do?
ALLEN: Are you terrified, Glenn? (Allen laughs out loud) You are the best detective in
city! But here you are, in a state of terror by witnessing a murder. This isn’t the trait of a
great detective. Calm down Glenn.
GLENN: You…you are a maniac. You…you…Why did you do this?

ALLEN (laughing again): Well, you don’t seem to be in a position to use your one-way
detective brain now, are you? So, let me explain this. Jude is shot dead with a gun that is
on the table over there. There are no finger-prints on it. So, the police will think either
one of us should have killed her.
GLENN (shouts): I didn’t kill her. You did it!
ALLEN: Relax Glenn. You knew I did it. But you can’t prove it, can you?
GLENN (in an angry voice): Oh…oh god!
ALLEN: And what makes you a perfect suspect in this murder is, you sneaked into her
room a few minutes ago. You stole her jewel box.
GLENN: You son of a…I’m going to report all this to the police right now. I didn’t do it!
I didn’t kill her!!!
(Glenn walks to the main door)
ALLEN: Don’t trouble yourself Glenn. The police will be here in a minute. I called them
just before I got here.
GLENN (nearly in tears): They don’t believe you.
ALLEN: Yes. They look for clues. You did leave the clues, right? …3 unusual clues.
They might have a hard time finding those unusual clues that you left, but I’m sure they
will. And after they find those clues, you’ll be the one who would be arrested.
(Allen laughs again. Glenn starts crying. He is totally in shock now. He realizes how
cleverly Allen made him the suspect to this murder that has happened right before his
GLENN (in tears): Oh god! I can’t believe this
ALLEN: Remember what I said, Glenn? I deal with minds and you deal with cases. I
worked with your mind tonight. (Allen smiles) Now, I’ve got rid of a fat useless wife.
I’ve got her property and the double indemnity…and now, that is what I call "a perfect
win". A perfect murder with a profit and a victory added to it. I’m the best one, right? Do
you agree now?
(The door bell rings. Glenn looks up in shock. Allen smiles at Glenn…He immediately
changes his expression to a serious one and walks to open the door. The police come in)

POLICE OFFICER: Is this the house that we got a call from some time back?
ALLEN: Yes, officer. I was the one who called. This man here murdered my wife and
tried to steal her jewel box. I reached the house while he was about to run away. I caught
him…and here he is.
GELNN (in tears): I didn’t do it. He did it!
POLICE OFFICER: Where were you when this incident happened, sir?
ALLEN: I was outside, officer. I was at the bar waiting for a friend of mine. While I got
back, I saw him trying to escape with the jewel box that is in his coat pocket. I caught
him went into the house. In the bedroom, I saw my wife murdered.
(Police officer walks to Glenn). He walks to Jude’s bedroom and finds out the unscrewed
window. He comes back to the main room)
POLICE OFFICER: You…can you please let us see what is in your coat pocket? Take
it out.
(Glenn takes out the jewel box from his coat pocket. He also takes the screwdriver that he
used to sneak into the bedroom. He is shell shocked now)
POLICE OFFICER: Well, Mr. Glenn...What do you say about this? (Turns to his fellow
cops and says) Go inside and check the bedroom.
GLENN (in agony): But I haven’t killed her!!!
(The cops go in and start checking the room. The inspector sits in the hall while Glenn
immerses in tears. He couldn’t believe what he had gotten himself into. Allen is waiting
eagerly for the cops inside to find those 3 clues. At least 1 would be enough to convince
that Glenn is the murderer)
GLENN (still in tears): It was a game, officer. He murdered her. Let me explain this
whole thing to you. Let me…
(Even before Glenn could complete his words, a cop comes out of the room with a button
that matched Glenn’s coat. He also says that the window has been removed with a screw
driver as it is not placed back again. Allen then knew that he won. Glenn collapsed in a
chair out of shock)
POLICE OFFICER (to his fellow cops): Arrest him. (Turns to Glenn) You are under
arrest for murder of a woman and attempted robbery.
GLENN (his eyes red with tears and voice that could barely talk…he was pleading): I
didn’t do it, officer. I didn’t.
POLICE OFFICER: You can say that to the jury. But for now, we need to arrest you.
Cooperate with us.
(The police officer puts handcuffs to Glenn’s hands and walks him out of the house to get
him into the police car)
(Allen sits on the chair… fills his glass…and drinks. He is smiling for his victory. He
knew he won this game)
The End

One night, a detective and a novelist play a game that would decide who is The Best among them. But for one of those 2 men, it turns out that the game is not all that simple. See how a simple game transforms into a strange life-time hell...

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abhi manyu







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