Molly's Chamber by Andrew Hanson

This Play is the copyright of the Author and must NOT be Performed without the Author's PRIOR consent

Inspired by the Traditional Irish Folk Song: Whiskey In The Jar

Prologue

A prison cell, A federal prison, Alaska. Late afternoon, A few years
from now.

A spotlight lights up the center of the stage revealing two men in
orange jumpsuits seated on opposite sides of a chess board in their
modest prison cell.

The man with salt-and-pepper hair perched on the edge of his bunk and
contemplating his next move is INMATE-MATTHEW, an older and more
haggard version our main character: MATTHEW.

His CELLMATE is a long tenured veteran of the prison system- with the
scars and tattoos to prove it.

CELLMATE: Oh, for fuck sake, Matthew! You are testing my patience,
homie. Make your frickin’ move, dude!

INMATE-MATTHEW: Don’t rush me. It’s never wise to rush. Trust me.

CELLMATE: Fifteen minutes between turns aint rushing, man. Whatever
wisdom you’re hoping to suddenly strike you aint coming, bro.

INMATE-MATTHEW: Now, why in the hell would you doubt that? Have I
ever failed to embarrass your ass at this game?

CELLMATE: Yeah … well, if I took that long between turns, I’d be
kicking your ass too. I just aint got that kind of patience.

INMATE-MATTHEW: (moves one of his knights) And therein lies your
downfall, my friend. (smirks while deftly moving chess piece)
Checkmate.

The CELLMATE stares down at the board in a desperate search to prove
INMATE-MATTHEW’s pronouncement wrong.

CELLMATE: (after a few moments and without lifting head up) Fuck
you.

INMATE-MATTHEW: Does that mean you don’t want a rematch?

CELLMATE: I’ll play another game with your bitch-ass. It aint like
I got much else pressing at the moment. But if I gotta suffer through
another defeat, I'm gonna want something from you in return.

INMATE-MATTHEW: And what might that be?

CELLMATE: Well, seeing as how I been asking for months now and I aint
been able to get one fucking word out of you ... if you want me to
suffer through another game with you, you’re at least going to give
me the story of how you ended up in here. You owe me that by now,
homie. Come on, I genuinely want to know. I been a damn good cellie to
you- and you to me. Come on, man, trust me a little. Come on, man, I
think I've earned your story from you by now, bro. Wouldn't you say?

INMATE-MATTHEW: You don’t give two shits about my sob story. You
just want me to lose concentration on the game.

CELLMATE: Oh come on now. How much focus do you honestly need to kick
my ass?

INMATE-MATTHEW: Good point. (both laugh) You really want to know my
story? I thought our relationship worked because we don’t talk about
our pasts.

CELLMATE: I don’t talk about my past ‘cause it’s fucking
boring. I just missed child support payments and court summonses and
racked up one too many drug busts. You know- boring ass shit. Just
like one of a hundred other dudes in here. What, do you think you got
a unique story? Matthew, I done heard ‘em all. I been in and out of
the system since I was 11 fucking years old. There aint nothing you
could say to surprise me.

INMATE-MATTHEW clears the chess board and the two men begin setting up
their pieces for the next game.

INMATE-MATTHEW: Well, maybe so. (shakes his head) I relive it every
day anyhow ... suppose I might as well spit out the story. (looks
CELLMATE in eyes and grins) It aint gonna to distract me, though.

CELLMATE: Just start talking, bro. (moves his pawn)

INMATE-MATTHEW: Haha. Okay. Well, let’s see … well … a few
years ago I was working for a guy in a port city on the coast of the
Bering Sea. The town’s called Bay Port. I doubt you know it. It’s
kind of small town- as far as places like that go. It would be an
inconsequential bump in the road really. Just like every other small
town in this frigid fucking shit-hole of a state. The only thing that
saved it from utter oblivion was the huge harbor and fish market
located right smack in the middle of downtown Bay Port. Now, I know
jack shit about the fishing industry- admittedly. But I got the
impression it must’ve been the biggest one for miles around, because
despite it being a pretty fucking isolated and an otherwise boring ass
town, it’s actually a pretty populated place. Especially during peak
fishing seasons. There ends up being a lot of money on those streets.
And a lot of dumb smelly fishermen with no urge to keep in their
pockets for very long. So, anyways … I was working for this
dude who was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Dude’s name was
Nathan. I guess he rose up the criminal ranks on the streets there in
Brooklyn or some shit. Doing what exactly? I couldn’t rightly say.
Seeing as how he never really talked about it and I was never overly
motivated to inquire. But whatever he did, he was able to scrape
enough cash together to buy a tavern in Bay Port, Alaska. Now, why he
chose Alaska of all places, I couldn’t tell ya. And like I said, I
never really cared enough to ask the dude. But long story short, he
bought a tavern and named it The Cork and Kerry Tavern. It was a
pretty big place. It had his house attached to the back. He used the
upstairs bedrooms of his house as a defacto brothel. There was a
staircase right next to the bar inside The Cork and Kerry that led
right up to those rooms. Now, like I said, there was a lot of
fisherman in port every night desperate for a fun way to spend their
hard earned cash. So, Nathan ran all sorts of different illegal
enterprises out of that tavern. And, needless to say, he needed a lot
of help of a very specialized nature ... help that I was all too happy
to provide. (moves his pawn) It wasn't for any special fondness for
Nathan or his business acumen. No, the reason why I worked for Nathan
and stuck around Bay Port is plain and simple: My Molly.

CELLMATE: Oh, there is a chick too. This story aint shaping up half
bad. (moves a pawn) By all means, continue.

INMATE-MATTHEW: Alright ... well … (moves pawn) I suppose I should
start by telling you that Molly was the wife of Nathan- that boss of
mine I just mentioned.

CELLMATE: (pauses mid move and looks up at INMATE-MATTHEW with a
grin) Damn, dude! You was fucking the bosses wife?! Haha ... Damn,
bro. Tell you the truth though, homie, I didn’t take you for the
type. Your ass has always seemed far too honorable for any true inmate
I ever met. Haha ... wait, wait ... let me guess ... the dude didn’t
deserve her, right?

INMATE-MATTHEW: Despite how childish I come across by saying it ...
yes, he didn’t deserve her. It was complicated.

CELLMATE: It always is, my dude.

INMATE-MATTHEW: Haha. Yeah, maybe so. I didn’t really care about
the complications though, if I’m being honest. He didn’t deserve
her, but that changes little. I’d have most likely done it all the
same no matter what kind of man Nathan was. You can go on and judge me
for that if you like. I was never proud of what we were doing, but
that didn’t matter either. Pride don’t count for much when
you’ve found your heaven ... and she was that for me. Waking up in
the morning with her snuggled up in my arms ... that was my heaven. As
it happens, that was how that fateful late-autumn morning began ... I
awoke snuggled up in heaven in my Molly’s chamber...

The spotlight fades out on the two men in their cell.

ACT I

SCENE 1

MOLLY’s chamber, Bay Port, Alaska. Summer, about an hour after dawn.
Present day.

The lights slowly fade up over MATTHEW and MOLLY to reveal them curled
up on the master-bed in a loving embrace.

The floor of the room is littered with the couples’ clothing.

A beam of sunlight inches it’s way into MOLLY’s resting eyes.

She groggily begins to stir and a few dazed moments elapse before
MOLLY instantly snaps into full consciousness.

She quickly sits upright and starts to shake MATTHEW awake.

MOLLY: Oh my god! Matthew! Oh my god! We must have passed out last
night! Shit! You can’t be here! Wake up! Come on, you got to go!

MATTHEW: (yawns) Relax, angel. He’s out of town. You know that.

MOLLY: (flustered) Well, he could be back by now for all we know! And
I’d rather not risk it. Although I’d like nothing more than to see
the look on Nathan’s face when I told him I was sleeping with
someone else, I have to weigh that against how much I enjoy your face
in one piece ... and attached to the rest of your body for that
matter.

MATTHEW: Why are you always trying to scare me with some threat about
what your husband might do to me? I know what he is capable of. And I
know what he is likely to do with me should he be lucky enough to
catch us- he aint never gonna, by the way. I know who Nathan is.
(smiles) Look at me. Do I look scared to you? If I was scared of him
in the least I wouldn’t have pursued you in the first place. That
dude don’t scare me, baby. I told you I was only afraid of snakes
and clowns. Although, it's true your husband can be categorized as a
huge fucking clown, he’s just not the scary kind. So it’s all
good.

MOLLY laughs despite herself. MATTHEW levels a smile at her full of
boyish charm.

MOLLY: And I suppose you think that’s what I like about you?
(sarcastic) How you aint scared of no man? (still thick with sarcasm)
Oh, my darling you’re such a fucking badass. You drive me wild.
(scoffs) Ha! The last thing I want is another jerk playing
pretend-badass. (touching his cheek and speaking sweetly) No, what I
like most about you is how naive you are. You are in so fucking far
over your head with me- and it’s not that you aren’t able to see
it, it’s that you manage to nonchalantly turn a blind eye to it. You
are living in some alternate reality for me. I find it extremely
endearing. (softly smacks him) Extremely stupid ... but also
endearing.

MATTHEW: Well, I suppose I’ll keep it up then. Seeing as how you
like it so much.

MOLLY smacks him softly once more. Then she leans in for a passionate
kiss.

MOLLY: Now, go!

MATTHEW fumbles around the bedroom floor gathering up his clothes and
quickly hopping into them.

He sits on the edge of the bed leaning over to tie up his shoes.

MATTHEW: So, same time tonight then?

MOLLY: (playfully pushing him and smacking his back) Oh my god! Get
the hell out of here! If you come anywhere near here tonight, I will
kill you myself.

MATTHEW: Like hell. You’d miss me too much.

MOLLY: (reluctantly giving in) Yeah, maybe so. That is exactly why I
don’t want you anywhere near me tonight. Nathan will be back
sometime today from one of his trips back home to Brooklyn. The jerk
always tends to catch some sort of romantic flu whenever he is away
from me for a few days. I have no frickin’ clue why. It’s as if
his memory of our marriage erases and rewrites itself in his mind
whenever he gets a few miles away from me. Like we’re just two
starry-eyed kids in love ... what a fucking joke. Anyways, I may not
be able to keep him off me tonight.

MATTHEW: (quickly angered) Why even say that to me?! You know I just
want to crush his fucking neck with my bare hands now.

MOLLY: (scolding) Well, too damn bad. You better learn to reign in
that temper of yours around my husband, 'cause he is going to expect
to see you today. I’m sure he’s got some work for you.

MATTHEW pulls MOLLY close to him with both his arms.

He plants a gentle kiss on her forehead and then looks her dead in the
eyes.

MATTHEW: He is never going to hurt you again, Molly. You hear me?
Never again. I won’t let him. I swear to you.

MOLLY: Okay, okay ... calm down, drama queen.

MOLLY realizes she might have been a bit too cruel.

MOLLY: I appreciate it, babe. You know I do. (pauses then smiles)
Now, get the hell out of here before he gets home and starts looking
for you!

MATTHEW: Don’t you worry, darling. I’m not late yet. (looks at
the alarm clock om the end-table) I still have ten minutes until I
have to meet him in The Tavern.

MOLLY: Do you mean to tell me that he is out front in The Cork And
Kerry right now?

MATTHEW: (nonchalantly) Don’t know for sure. He could be.

MOLLY: Oh my god! You asshole! You knew! He could have barged in here
at any moment. He may very well be headed down the hallway right now!
Fuck! I hate having that fucking bar attached to this house. I hate
how fucking close he always is. (throws a pillow at MATTHEW) Get out
of here!

MATTHEW: (smirking at MOLLY) Promise me that I get to see you
tonight.

MOLLY: Oh, damn you. (returns his smirk) I promise.

MATTHEW shoots MOLLY a wink and a big smile as he moves towards the
window that looks out over the backyard.

He pops up the window with ease and gracefully hops out.

The lights fade out as MOLLY sits alone in her bed trying to fight off
the mischievous grin worming its way across her face.

ACT I

SCENE 2

The Cork And Kerry Tavern. A few moments later.

The Cork and Kerry Tavern’s interior is much like you would expect a
small town bar’s interior to look: A long oak bar faces the
entrance. A large mirror hangs from the wall behind the bar. Set in
the wall at the end of the mirror is a door that leads into NATHAN and
MOLLY’s house. At the opposite end of the bar there is a split-level
staircase which leads up to the guest bedrooms of NATHAN and MOLLY’s
house.

NATHAN enters the tavern through the door behind the bar.

He scans the bar and takes it all in before he moves to stand
alongside his right hand man, JACOB.

JACOB is leaning against the bar, his attention focused on the party
of mariners who are laughing and drinking together in the corner of
the bar near the brothel staircase.

JACOB doesn’t notice NATHAN sidle up beside him.

NATHAN: What’s the deal?

JACOB: (startled) What th- ...oh- oh, Nathan. Sorry, man. I didn’t
hear you. How was the trip?

NATHAN: Aahh, same old deal as before. The bastards make me go
halfway across the world every three months to renegotiate our deal
and nothing ever changes with it. They just like lording their fucking
power over me. (broods for a moment) Fuck them. I don’t have to deal
with them for another three months ... hopefully, Nevermind all that
now. I want to know what you been doing to my business in my absence.
What’s going on? Why the fuck do you still have customers in here?
It’s fucking … (looks at his phone) 9:30 in the morning.

JACOB: Believe me, I know. They came in last night. They was already
pretty shit-faced too. I was about to kick ‘em out right then and
there, but they started throwing money around ... and a lot of it too.
I know how much you hate to pass up a good score, so I gave ‘em
special accommodations. (pause) Sheriff Lynott was in here though. She
was giving me some shit about staying open past 3:00 a.m. You believe
that? The nerve of that greedy fucking worm. All the shit we already
pay her ass to overlook aint enough? Nope, she’s got to be a greedy
bitch whenever she can. She fucking jumps at any chance she can to
squeeze some cash out of us.

NATHAN: Lynott is a joke. But you know me, I like to laugh. I like
keeping the joke around. (chuckles) Who knows, the next asshole that
comes to replace her might just be unbribable. I’m told people like
that do exist, believe it or not. (both men utter a short chuckle)

JACOB: Well, all kidding aside, she's crossed the line one too many
times for my taste.

NATHAN: I’ll have a talk with her. So, how did you handle her
then?

JACOB: I put a Benjamin in her palm and she grunted and walked out
the door.

NATHAN: (grunts acknowledgement) So, these mariners then ...
(pointing at their table) who are they?

JACOB: Well, I know a few of the guys. They’ve crewed for some
ships who stop into town pretty regularly. I don’t know the Captain
though. But from what I’ve been able to overhear over the past few
hours, he owns and captains a commercial fishing vessel called The
Jameson. That’s his crew there with him. A couple of his fellas are
still upstairs with a few of the girls. He hasn’t really drank much
himself ... a few pints, nothing more. But he has been doling out the
cash every time one of Molly’s girls come down to take one of his
crew members upstairs for a ride.

NATHAN: Wow. A philanthropist and a fishing-boat captain, eh?

JACOB: Yeah, I guess so. I don’t know no other Captains in this
town who would do anything like that for their crew.

NATHAN: Me neither. (pauses and contemplates) No, something smells
wrong here. Do we have anything on any of his crew?

JACOB: Them two sitting at the table with the Captain owe us for a
few poorly placed bets ... couple hundred at the most- only a few
weeks old too.

NATHAN: Hmmm. (grabs JACOB’s arm and starts to pull him along)
Fill me in on the pertinent details of last night while we head over
to see what they’re all about.

JACOB follows NATHAN out from around the bar while whispering in his
ear.

As they make their way across the tavern, MATTHEW bursts in through
the front entrance, whistling a cheerful tune.

NATHAN looks over at the sudden commotion and locks eyes with MATTHEW.

His menacing stare quickly silences the younger man.

NATHAN points to a nearby vacant table.

MATTHEW nods with understanding and takes a seat at the indicated
table.

NATHAN and JACOB walk up to the table of rowdy fishing-boat crewmen
and their sullen captain.

NATHAN: Good morning, gentlemen.

After a few moments without the mariners acknowledging him, NATHAN
clears his throat and speaks louder.

NATHAN: I said good morning, gentlemen. (notices DEIRDRE) Oh, excuse
me … gentlemen and lady.

NATHAN tips his imaginary cap to DEIRDRE, the only female member of
the crew.

NATHAN: Pardon me. I truly do hate to interrupt. Although, I do find
that life is full of such unpleasantries nonetheless. Nothing for it
but to grin and bear it. (chuckles softly) Which leads me to the
introductions, I suppose. My name is Nathan. I’m the proprietor of
this lovely establishment. Now, I do recognize a few of your faces,
(scanning the table and ending at the CAPTAIN) but I don’t believe
I’ve seen you in here before, sir. Your name is?

CAPTAIN FARRELL: No business of yours.

JACOB: Watch yourself, old man.

NATHAN: (after a beat) It’s alright, Jacob. Everyone is entitled to
their privacy. Personally, I'm a steadfast defender of that right.
Like for example, the Captain’s right to not tell me his name, I
respect that right. Just as I respect his right to not tell me what
kind of fish he’s catching out there that allows him to pamper his
crew so lavishly. Although, I must admit, I sure would love to know
it. Why, who knows ... I might just buy myself a boat and hit the
Pacific in search of it. Stranger things have certainly happened.

DEIRDRE: Watch how you speak to the Captain. You aint half the man he
is.

JACOB: Ha ha! Great man is he, ‘eh? He’s a fucking fishing-boat
captain. How great can he be?

DEIRDRE: Fuck you! It’s an honorable life. Not that you two would
know anything about that.

NATHAN: Except that he aint just a simple fishing-boat captain, is
he? (pauses a few beats for a response that never comes) You know, for
someone who owes me money from a gambling debt, you sound awfully high
and mighty. (after a few moments) What? Did you think we forgot about
that bet you lost last month, Deirdre? Or maybe you’ve forgotten
about all those times you’ve spent upstairs “honorably” paying
money in exchange for sex with ... (to JACOB) who was it Jacob?
Mckenna or Fiona?

JACOB: Mckenna, boss.

NATHAN: Mckenna. That’s right.

DEIRDRE instantly swells with rage.

Before she can burst out of her chair and charge at NATHAN, CAPTAIN
FARRELL places a silencing hand on her shoulder.

CAPTAIN FARRELL: Just what is it you want, Nathan?

NATHAN: (incredulous) What do I want? What I want is to not be
insulted in my own tavern. Now, seeing as how were passed that, I’ll
settle for a little information.

CAPTAIN FARRELL: Like what?

NATHAN: (pauses a few heartbeats, then responds menacingly) What’s
your business in Bay Port, Captain? What are you doing in my tavern
this morning? Huh? I know it aint for the pleasures The Cork and Kerry
offers. Seeing as how you aint had but a few pints and not one woman
... you haven’t placed one bet, nor have you solicited Jacob here,
(nods towards JACOB) for any narcotics. Now, I don’t know what to
make of that. It’s more than a little unsettling, quite frankly.

CAPTAIN FARRELL: (slowly stands) My name is Captain John Farrell.
(points at crew) We’ve had a good run of it lately, is all. So
naturally, I thought my crew deserved a night of fun. Drunken
debauchery is often synonymous with fun in our line of work. And we
were near Bay Port and a few of my crewmen mentioned your place. They
said it was the kind of place where a sailor might find that sort of
fun. While it is true that I’m not given over much for such
pleasures myself, the reasons for that are mine and need not concern
you. We do appreciate the hospitality though. As it happens, we were
just headed back down to The Jameson now. (to crew) Right guys? (they
all nod reluctantly and stand up the CAPTAIN turns back to NATHAN) We
got a few fellas still upstairs. If you could tell ‘em where we gone
when they come down, I’d sure appreciate it.

NATHAN: Sure. I’d love to do that for you, Captain. As long as you
do something for me.

CAPTAIN FARRELL: And what might that be?

NATHAN: Tell me how you really came across the money for last night.
I’ve known fishing captains for a long time now. There aint a one
ever lived who would do what you did last night for your crew. Not
unless they came across a chest of buried treasure out there in the
Pacific. (pauses and smiles) Is that it? (to the whole fishing crew)
Find some buried treasure, did yas?

CAPTAIN FARRELL: How I spend my money is my business-

NATHAN: -When you spend it in my place it becomes mine. I don’t
know you. But I know a few of your crew well enough to know they aint
shy about some shady work, if needs be.

CAPTAIN FARRELL: You don’t know nothing about my crew. Leave them
be.

NATHAN: Until they pay me for their poor bets and ill advised loans,
I’m going to make their business my business.

CAPTAIN FARRELL: What do they owe you?

The CAPTAIN reaches into his back pocket and pulls out a well stuffed
wallet.

JACOB: Damn! No shit, Nathan, this dude must have found a chest of
gold out there.

NATHAN: Ha ha. Yeah, I think so. (to CAPTAIN FARRELL) I’m afraid it
doesn’t work like that, Captain Farrell. I don’t like you very
much, if I’m being honest. You insist on lying to me in my own place
and I just can't abide such a thing. (menacing) Gather up all your men
and women, Captain Farrell and get the hell out of my tavern. The next
crewmen of yours I see in The Cork And Kerry is going to pay up for
all the rest. In whatever ways I deem satisfactory. You understand me?
I'll make sure to ring out every last fucking dime along with whatever
else I decide they owe me. (indicates JACOB standing next to him)
Jacob will see to it. He’ll enjoy himself I’m sure.

JACOB stands up straight, puffs out his chest and shoots a sinister
smirk at the fishing boat crew as he cracks his knuckles.

NATHAN: If your crew was truly worth all this, they would’ve warned
you about crossing me. They should know better.

CAPTAIN FARRELL: Save your threats, the both of you. You’re
menacing act is wasted on me. (to BRIAN) Brian, go upstairs and get
Phil and Darren. (to NATHAN) Don’t you worry none, Nathan. You
won’t see any of us in this shit-hole ever again. (spits on the
floor)

JACOB makes a move towards the CAPTAIN and NATHAN quickly places his
hand on his chest to stop him.

NATHAN and CAPTAIN FARRELL exchange silent appraisals.

Their eyes stay locked until the rest of the CAPTAIN’s men rejoin
him.

NATHAN adopts a stoic pose and a slight grin.

After a few tense moments, CAPTAIN FARRELL and his crew shove through
NATHAN and JACOB and head towards the exit.

NATHAN glances back at their now vacated table and then turns to shout
at the departing fishing crew.

NATHAN: (sarcastic and loud) What, no tip?!

End of Extract

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