P:O.V. No.5 - Three Recent Short Fiction Films, THE BLOODY OLIVE

An outline of The Bloody Olive

Richard Raskin

Werner and Mylène are preparing a cozy Christmas Eve for themselves, playfully decorating their tree, smiling to one another as Mylène puts a turkey in the oven. When they have set an elegant table, placed olives on a tray, and finished dressing and make-up. they lean toward one another for a kiss, when the doorbell unexpectedly rings.

Werner. The doorbell...

Mylène. I'll go.

Sam is at the door.

Sam. Hello, Mylène. I've got to talk to Werner.

Mylène. Come in.

Sam (entering, as Werner, elegantly dressed, is admiring himself in the mirror. To Mylène). Santa's brought you a Veuve Cliquot '46.

Mylène. Sam, you're spoiling us.

Sam. I know. Much too much. Good evening Werner.

Werner. Hi Sam.

Mylène. Who wants an aperitif?

Sam (ignoring her offer, to Werner). Did you think I wouldn't notice?

Werner (to Mylène). Get the drinks, will you darling?

Sam. Falsifying the books for the last two years! Ever since old man Philips died.

Werner. Come on, Sam. It's Christmas. (Picking up a dagger in its sheath.) What do you think? My latest addition. A present from Mylène. (She looks up and smiles.)

Sam. How interesting. But that's not why I came. (Looking at the dagger Werner has handed him.) I want your letter of resignation... and the money. Otherwise I'll notify the police. (All three characters look at one another.)

Werner (pulling a gun from his pocket). You shouldn't have said that.

Mylène. Werner!

Sam. Don't be stupid. (Werner pulls the trigger.) Well I'll be...

Werner fires three more times. Sam falls to the floor. Mylène clutches at her heart.

Werner (calmly). Sorry. I had no other choice. Our future was at stake, Mylène. I'm sorry for your heart. (Handing her a drink.) But there wasn't time to warn you. (She drinks.)

Mylène. But what about the police?

Werner. His prints are on the knife. We can call it self-defence...(Sam, lying on the floor, opens his eyes, but only we can see this happening.) ...saying he wanted to murder us because we knew he was stealing funds.

Werner walks over to where Sam - who has closed his eyes again - is lying and puts his hand on Sam's chest.

Mylène. Is he completely dead?

Sam (suddenly opening his eyes and drawing the dagger out of its sheath). Not quite.

He stabs Werner, who stands up and stumbles backwards, behind the Christmas tree. Mylène screams. Sam continues stabbing Werner, then looks menacingly at Mylène, who backs away from him.

Mylène. Sam, this has nothing to do with me. (She knocks over a lamp as she continues backing away.) I didn't see anything. Nothing. (Sam approaches her, holding the dagger threateningly.) Run away, Sam. I won't say anything. (Sam gets closer.) Please Sam, I don't feel well.

Sam. Come here. Let Dr. Sam have a go at you.

Mylène, gasping, collapses on the floor, apparently dead of a heart attack. Sam stands over her, looking at the dagger with a flourish. We see Mylène's lifeless body, then cut to Sam again, this time with Werner standing beside him, both men looking down.

Werner. Congratulations. A perfect heart attack. The insurance and inheritance are ours. (Werner pulls a bag of fake blood out from under his jacket. The two men laugh.) I thought her heart would never give out.

Sam. Pessimist. Right, champagne? My bottle is in the kitchen. (The two men head toward the kitchen.)

Werner. Champagne? A good year I hope? (He eats an olive.) Here, have an olive.

Sam. Maybe we'd better ring the police. We don't want to delay reporting the death. (He eats an olive.)

Werner. We'd better change before they come. And peal an onion.

Sam. An onion?

Werner. We've got to get the tears flowing.

Suddenly, Mylène is standing in the doorway, holding a gun.

Mylène (to Werner). Your distress is really touching.

Werner (feigning relief). You're alive!

Mylène. Spare me the dramatics. Sam's told me everything. I couldn't believe it.

Werner. Jesus Christ. So you and Sam where in it together from the start?

Sam (moving to a spot just behind Mylène, and kissing her neck). In more ways than you think, Werner.

Mylène (having loaded the chamber of the gun). This time it's loaded with real bullets.

Werner. But you'll be accused of murder.

Sam. Quite right, if we use the gun. But a bullet doesn't fit your style. (Placing a little bottle of poison on the table and smiling.) The champagne wasn't really from a good year. You've got five seconds. (Werner's head is swimming. He blacks out and falls to the floor.)

Sam gives Mylène a peck on the cheek.

Sam. Come.

Mylène. Yes, yes.

Sam (having lit the candles in a candelabra). My darling, we've waited for this for so long. (They embrace.)

Mylène (suddenly drawing back from him and aiming her gun at him). You've waited, I have to avenge my husband's death. I don't need you any more, Sam.

Sam tries unsuccessfully to knock the gun from her hand. The candles go out, leaving the room dark. Sam turns on a light and Mylène shoots him, then continues firing at him until he drops.

Mylène (in silhouette, leaning down over Sam). Self-defence. A handy term.

The lights go on. Werner is standing there, calmly smoking a cigarette.

Werner. I'd prefer "manslaughter". I realised that alcohol was harmful so I drank sparkling water. (He picks up the box Mylène had given him as a gift, and doesn't see Mylène aiming her gun at him from behind.) It'll be pretty quiet here, with you in prison. (She fires her gun at him, but it is empty.) My poor darling. Run out of bullets, have you? Pity, eh? It's better if you die too. They'll say you killed each other. (Removing the dagger from the box.) There was no need for that. (He throws the dagger, which lands in Mylène's stomach. She falls to the floor, clutching at the knife.)

Sam(seated in an easy chair). Thanks Werner. With you in prison for killing your wife, I'll have total control of the company.

Werner. You set this up to get me to kill Mylène.

Sam. It's nothing personal, Werner. It's simply a matter of money.

Mylène (suddenly standing up behind Werner. To Sam). Werner was right, after all. You used me. (To Werner.) Can you ever forgive me, Werner?

Werner caresses her cheek. Sam stands up.

Werner. Sam! (Werner shoots Sam, who drops to the floor.)

Mylène (laughing and opening her arms to Werner). My hero. Come here. (As they kiss, she picks up an ice-pick from the nearby mantle and plants it firmly in Werner's back. She then looks down at her dead husband and says) I shall run the company on my own.

The sound of a blow-gun is heard and Mylène raises her hand to her neck.

Sam (holding a blow-gun). Aruyos, ladies and gentlemen, is a deadly poison from the Amazon region. It paralyzes the body muscles in seconds. (Mylène's head is swimming.) It also attacks the heart muscles. Result: a simple heart attack. (She drops to the floor.) A highly plausible cause of death. Common too. Someone from our own company suffered the same thing a couple of months ago. The managing director, I believe... Mr. Philips. That's right, a heart attack. So sudden. (Sam laughs.) I used the same dart.

Mylène (suddenly reappearing). Thank you, Sam. That's all we wanted to know. We only lacked conclusive evidence.

Werner (standing before a mirror and opening it like a door, behind which the police superintendent and his assistant had apparently been observing everything). Have you got what you wanted, Superintendent?

Superintendent (emerging from his observation post). Absolutely. (Speaking to someone we can't see.) Take him away.

An officer emerges just beside Sam and puts handcuffs on him. The apartment is filled with police and photographers, who had apparently been there all along.

Mylène (speaking to an unidentified woman). I was vaccinated against all known poisons.

Sam is led out.

Superintendent. Thank you Werner, thank you Mylène. (Looking into the camera as he makes his way toward the door.) And thank you all viewers. I hope that this has yet again shown you that crime doesn't pay! Drive home safely and Merry Christmas.

The Superintendent exits. Werner and Mylène are now alone, once again. As they kiss, we can see the ice-pick still sticking out of Werner's back. They face the camera and smile.