Laundry Day (Short)
“Laundry Day” is a short story written by Daniel Macnaughton, based on the characters featured in his BBC award winning audio program, “Above and Below”.
Show as produced by Jim Kulakowski.
(An Above and Below Editing Short)
AMBIENCE: A BUSTLING STREET CORNER LOCATED SOMEWHERE IN THE TEEMING FUTURISTIC METROPOLIS KNOWN AS MIDNIGHT CITY. IN THE BACKGROUND, WE CAN HEAR THE GENTLE HUM OF HOVER-CAR’S SPEEDING AWAY FROM THE SKIES ABOVE.
SOUND EFFECTS: WALKING DOWN THE SREET IS MARCUS REACHMAN (A HARDENED AND SOMEWHAT CYNICAL PRIVATE DETECTIVE), ACCOMPANIED BY ALISS (A CHEERFUL AND INCREDIBLY ECCENTRIC FEMALE ANDROID).
Aliss: Are we there yet?
Marcus: Just a little further…
Aliss: Marcus, you’ve been saying that for almost twenty minutes now! Just where exactly are you taking me anyway?
SOUND EFFECTS: MARCUS COMES TO A STOP.
Marcus: Ah! Here we are! “Master Makato’s Launderette and Drycleaners’.
Marcus: Sure! If your gonna learn how to live like a human being your gonna have to learn how to do your laundry sometime, right? Come on.
SOUND EFFECTS: MARCUS PUSHES OPEN THE DOOR INSTANTLY SOUNDING A SHOPKEEPERS BELL FROM UP ABOVE HIM AS MARCUS AND ALISS STEP INTO THE LAUNDRETTE.
AMBIENCE: A QUIET LAUNDRETTE. IN THE BACKGROUND, WE CAN HEAR THE DULL HUM OF VARIOUS ACTIVE WASHING MACHINES.
SOUND EFFECTS: MARCUS AND ALISS WALK SLOWLY THROUGH THE LAUNDRETTE.
Marcus: (Calling) Hello? Mister Makato? You around?
SOUND EFFECTS: FROM THE BACK OF THE LAUNDRETTE, WE CAN SUDDENLEY HEAR MASTER MAKATO, AN ELDERLY ASIAN MAN, HURRYING TOWARDS THEM.
Master Makato: Ah, Dennis! So good to see you! So good! So fine! I trust you are well?
Marcus: I’m surviving. This is Aliss by the way. She’s living with me now. Say…you mind if we use one of your washers for a while? Gotta do some laundry.
Master Makato: Not at all! Go right ahead! (To Aliss, Conspiratorial Whisper) I owe Dennis big favor! I hire him long time ago as private detective to find long lost daughter. Now I let him use fabric softer for free whenever he likes. He is a good boy!
SOUND EFFECTS: MASTER MAKATO SHUFFLES OFF TO THE BACK OF THE LAUNDRY.
Aliss: Did he just call you Dennis…?
Marcus: Yeah. First time we ran into each other, the old geezer just started calling me Dennis so I guess I just ended up going along with it. Besides… I think the guys starting to go a little cuckoo.
Aliss: What makes you say that?
Marcus: Well…for starters…that “long lost daughter” of his that he hired me to find was actually turned out to be a pen that he ended up losing behind the cash register last week. Not that I’m complaining. Easiest forty bucks I ever made.
SOUND EFFECTS: ALISS MOVES OVER TO A WASHING MACHINE AS SHE OPENS IT’S DOOR, POKING A FEW BUTTONS ON IT’S FRONT PANEL.
Aliss: So…this is a washing machine? It doesn’t seem very exciting.
Marcus: Just hold my stuff, will ya? Right, let’s start off by teaching you how to tell your basic fabrics from your delicates….
SOUND EFFECTS: MARCUS GRADUALLY TO PILE HIS CLOTHES INTO THE WASHING MACHINE.
Aliss: Marcus…when are you going to find yourself another case? You do realise it’s been three whole weeks since that whole Michael Rose? you know. When are we going to get back to all the exciting adventures? Solving crimes and catching bad guys? When are we going to go back to doing something dangerous?
Marcus: Hey, don’t knock laundry day! Laundry day just so happens to be my favourite part of the week!
Aliss: I refuse to believe this.
Marcus: It’s true! For one precious hour a week…I get to go out of the apartment, travel across the block, come to this laundrette and sit down with a good book for exactly one hour. One hour where I never have to worry about getting knocked around by gangsters or being thrown out of skyscrapers…or whatever the hell I have to do to make a quick buck in this town. Peace and quiet…now that’s what I like.
SOUND EFFECTS: Suddenley, the doors burst open as a teenageD CRIMINAL armed with an incredibly outlandish energy weapon (SKEEVER) dashes into the laundrette.
Skeever: Alright, skinwipes! Nobody move! This is a hold up and Skeever’s packin heat, ya dig?
Aliss: You were saying?
SOUND EFFECTS: NOTICING MARCUS AND ALISS, SKEETER RUNS OVER TO THE TWO OF THEM AS HE COCKS HIS WEAPON THREATENINGLY.
Skeever: Yo! You two! Hand over your wallets!
Marcus: Easy buddy. No need to get over-excited…
SOUND EFFECTS: REACHING SLOWLY INSIDE HIS COAT POCKET, MARCUS TAKES OUT FIVE DOLLARS.
Marcus: Here’s. Have five dollars. Take it. Paint the town red.
Skeether: What about you, baby? You holdin any more cash for Skeever?
Marcus: She doesn’t have any money.
Aliss: I have some money!
Marcus: No, you don’t.
Aliss: Yes I do. Lots!
Skeever: Give it to me!
SOUND EFFECTS: ALISS HANDS MARCUS’S WALLET OVER TO SKEEVER.
Marcus: (Through Gritted Teeth) Well, that’s certainly the last time I give you my wallet…
Aliss: But he asked so nicely!
Marcus: Nicely? How is that nicely? Besides, irregardless of the fact of how nice he was…
Skeever: Actually friend, I think the word your really looking for there is “regardless”.
Marcus: Excuse me?
Skeever: Ya see, contrary to popular belief… “irregardless” isn’t actually a real word! The word your actually looking for is “regardless”. “Irregardless” uses a rather iriksome double negative of prefix and suffix that’s actually discounted scholar’s from considering as a real word.
Marcus: (Sarcastically) How interesting! (Aside) Aliss, pass me that bottle of detergent, will ya?
SOUND EFFECTS: ALISS PASSES MARCUS THE BOTTLE OF DETERGENT.
Skeever: Furthermore, it’s also been discounted by a wide variety of linguistic scholars that-
SOUND EFFECTS: SUDDENLEY, MARCUS KNOCKS SKEEVER CLEANLY OVER THE HEAD WITH THER DETERGENT, CAUSING THE TEENAGER TO TOPPLE OVER ONTO THE FLOOR IN A GROANING, MESSY HEAP.
Skeever: Aww! My head! You hit me on the head, man!
Marcus: What the hell’s the matter with you? Get out of here! And leave the wallet. Actually…you know what? Keep it. Keep the wallet. Not like there was anything left in it anyway.
Skeever: Thank’s, man! I’m sorry, man! You have yourself a nice day now, man!
SOUND EFFECTS: WITH A COWARDLY WHIMPER, SKEEVER BOLTS OUT OF THE LAUNDRETTE, SLAMMING THE DOOR SHUT BEHIND HIM.
Aliss: On second thoughts, maybe laundry day shouldn’t prove to be quite so boring after all…
Marcus: One day. One day I’ll finally manage to pass an evening without running into someone who doesn’t want to kill me.
Aliss: Oh, shush. Now…you were saying something about dividing fabrics and delicates?
AMBIENCE: SHARP FADE OUT.