Sunday Matinee – Double Down (Part 8)

by A. Jay Adler on July 25, 2010
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A Film Noir

by

A. Jay Adler

DOUBLE DOWN

Part Eight

The Story So Far

Jack Miles, rock n’ roll roadie, has returned home looking for a job. He encounters old friends and begins a new love with Evelyn “Sonny” Morales, a detective. Old friends, Kyle and Ray, propose to Jack that he help them rob his wealthy, but estranged, identical twin, Joseph. Jack turns them down, and instead goes to see Joseph to ask for a job. But Joseph humiliates Jack and they nearly come to blows. Enraged, Jack lures Joseph to him and kills him, making the murder appear his own accidental death. He then assumes Joseph’s identity and sets Kyle and Ray up in a botched attempt at the robbery. As Sonny investigates Jack’s death, Jack, as Joseph, discovers that Joseph and Crank Wilson were closeted lovers. Jack tries to adjust, while Sonny’s investigation continues to bring her and Jack together.

Now, Part 8:

Jack is found out.

———–

EXT. THE KORT MANSION – REAR GARDEN – DAY

A gazebo. A fountain. Flower beds. Long winding walkways. Benches.

Jack lounges in a garden chair, his legs stretched out. On the table beside him sits a glass of BOURBON, a pack of CIGARETTES. An IPOD WITH SPEAKERS plays POST-ROCK guitar music.

Jack gazes out at the orchards peacefully, thoughtfully. His eyes start to close in an afternoon doze.

He opens them: the ORCHARDS again.

His eyes start to close once more: the orchards slowly fade into darkness.

EXT. WOODS – NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

Jack runs in his headlong descent, through a murky darkness.

EXT. THE ORCHARDS – JACK’S POV – DAY (END FLASHBACK)

The peaceful scene.

EXT. THE KORT MANSION – REAR GARDEN – DAY

JACK’S EYES: OPEN WIDE

A male hand descends to his shoulder, a face, lips, to his neck.

Jack jumps out of his chair, startled, afraid.

It’s Crank.

CRANK

Whoa, precious, take it easy. A little jumpy for a quiet Saturday afternoon.

JACK

You scared the shit out of me. I was sleeping.

CRANK

Poor baby. So sensitive these days. Let Augie make it better.

Augie moves toward him. Jack backs away.

CRANK (CONT’D)

What’s the matter with you?

JACK

(nervously)

What’s the matter with me? Anybody could see us. Manuel, up in the house.

Jack circles around back to his chair. He takes a drink of his bourbon, lights a cigarette.

CRANK

I do hope this excessive caution is going to change, Joseph. The bitch is gone. The money’s yours. There’s no need.

JACK

Well, you count a little quicker than I do. It’s not in my name yet.

CRANK

All right, fine. That’s why I came anyway. Let’s get away. Let’s be private. A couple of nights in Pismo Beach, all to ourselves.

Jack drinks, smokes.

JACK

No. I don’t think so.

CRANK

(coolly)

Why not.

JACK

I’ve got a lot to do.

CRANK

(re: the chair, the drink, the music)

Yes. I see that.

JACK

Besides, I hate Pismo Beach.

CRANK

Really?

EXT. PISMO BEACH – DAY (FLASHBACK)

Crank and Joseph sit in chairs under an umbrella on the beach together.

EXT. THE KORT MANSION – REAR GARDEN – DAY (END FLASHBACK)

Crank stares at Jack.

CRANK

I didn’t know that.

Jack shrugs. He sips some bourbon.

Crank’s eyes focus on the glass at Jack’s lips.

Jack takes a drag of his cigarette.

Crank’s eyes focus on the cigarette leaving his lips, Jack drawing the smoke in, exhaling it.

CRANK (CONT’D)

I didn’t know you hated Pismo Beach. I didn’t know you liked bourbon. I didn’t know you smoked.

Jack is running out of room to maneuver.

JACK

I always snuck one every now and then.

EXT. RESTAURANT/BAR – NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

Busy and crowded with late night revelers.

Crank and Joseph sit at a table near some smokers. Joseph waves the smoke away with disgust.

EXT. THE KORT MANSION – REAR GARDEN – DAY (END FLASHBACK)

Crank stares at Jack.

JACK

And now, since –

CRANK

You always loved my touch. Made you quiver, you said. Now you run away from it. Don’t you still love my touch? Tell me you love my touch.

Jack squirms.

CRANK (CONT’D)

Can’t bring yourself to say it, Joe? Not even for millions of dollars?

JACK

Augie, the last six months — Mirabella. Jack. I’m not myself.

CRANK

No. You’re not.

JACK’S POOL SHOT SPLITS TWO BALLS INTO DIFFERENT POCKETS

TWO JACKS GET SPLIT AT THE BLACKJACK TABLE

SONNY SITS ASTRIDE JACK, KISSING HIM

CRANK (CONT’D)

Are you, Jack?

Jack stares at Crank, completely alert, calm now.

CRANK (CONT’D)

Doubled down again, didn’t you?

Crank cackles and howls.

CRANK (CONT’D)

Oh, fuck your brother. You’re better than he was. Beautiful. Beautiful. Joseph is Jack and Jack is Joseph. One dead in the ground, the other just hanging around.

(dead serious)

Waiting for his millions.

JACK

I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Crank advances on him.

CRANK

I’ll bet you don’t. How’d you break your finger, Jack? Accidentally on purpose?

Crank grabs Jack by the shirt.

CRANK (CONT’D)

How’d you like me to break the rest of them?

Jack tries to resist, but the broken finger hobbles his efforts.

CRANK (CONT’D)

Think I can’t? You could ask your brother, if he was still with us. I’m very strong. He liked that.

Crank throws Jack to the ground, holds him there.

CRANK (CONT’D)

I want what’s mine, Jack. What would have been mine if you hadn’t decided to be so very fucking clever. You can start with the money in the safe you fucked me out of.

JACK

I can’t.

Crank slaps Jack in the face.

CRANK

Don’t say “can’t,” Jack. Augustus doesn’t like “can’t.”

JACK

I don’t know where it is. He hid it. I can’t find it.

CRANK

Look harder.

Crank drags Jack to his feet, pushes him against a tree.

CRANK (CONT’D)

Because that’s just the start. You’re splitting the pot with me, gambling man. Those are the table stakes, if you still want to play the game.

SONNY (O.S.)

Wilson!

Crank and Jack turn to see Sonny approaching in the distance.

SONNY (CONT’D)

Take your hands off him! Now!

Crank lets go. He throws Jack a warning glance. They separate as Sonny arrives. She points Crank to the other side of the chair and table.

SONNY (CONT’D)

Over there.

Crank doesn’t move.

SONNY (CONT’D)

You want to try me? My finger’s not broken — and I’m on the rag. I’d love to draw blood from a man today.

Crank walks away.

SONNY (CONT’D)

(to Jack)

What’s this about.

CRANK

Just a little disagreement between friends that got out of hand. Joseph called me here to tell me he’s moving his business to another bank.

SONNY

(to Jack)

Is that true?

Jack nods.

SONNY (CONT’D)

(to Crank)

What difference does that make to you? You don’t own the bank.

CRANK

It’s a major account, Detective. It’s been mine for ten years. How do you think a loss like that is going to make me look?

SONNY

How do you think an assault charge would look? I’d say you need to think a little about what kind of business you’re in. Get out of here. Now. Don’t come back. You do and I’ll talk him into pressing charges.

Crank walks off. Sonny and Jack watch him go.

SONNY (CONT’D)

You all right?

Jack nods.

SONNY (CONT’D)

You two really friends?

Jack shakes his head.

JACK

We’re in some of the same circles. He was Mirabella’s banker.

SONNY

Why are you moving your business?

JACK

Is he the kind of banker you’d want to do business with? I’ve been looking over the accounts. I don’t like the ways he’s been handling them.

SONNY

What?

JACK

Nothing I can put my finger on.

SONNY

Well, then maybe you oughtta have your accountant look things over. There’s something not right about Wilson. You should be careful.

JACK

I will. Thanks.

SONNY

I came to tell you we’ve closed the investigation, ruled it an accident. You can make whatever arrangements you need to now.

JACK

Then it’s done.

SONNY

It’s never done.

JACK

I think you must have loved him very much.

SONNY

He wasn’t — It’s not like I had any illusions, you know. He was a reckless man. Kind of aimless, too. Lived too hard. I guess the way I see it, neither of you were saints. But he was very kind. He was unusually kind. He treated me like a woman. But he had no trouble with any part of me. He made me feel whole.

JACK

When he came to me, Evelyn — it was so hard. He loved you, too.

(beat)

I guess — the way things go — not much reason we would see each other again.

SONNY

I guess not.

They look at each other with all their contradictory feelings.

Sonny walks away.

Jack looks after her, on his face the knowledge of all he threw away.

EXT. DOWNTOWN OFFICE BUILDING – DAY

Jack walks with purpose into the building.

INT. ARTHUR PERRY’S LAW OFFICE

Arthur stands as his SECRETARY shows Jack in.

ARTHUR

Joseph. This is unexpected. Have a seat.

(to the Secretary)

Get Mr. Miles a cup of coffee, would you?

Jack motions “No” as the Secretary withdraws. He stands.

JACK

I won’t be staying long. I just want to throw some things at you.

ARTHUR

The kids are fine. Thanks for asking. Life’s good for you, too?

Jack stares at him.

JACK

The last six months have given me a lot of time to think.

ARTHUR

Comes a time in every man’s life.

JACK

I don’t know that I’m up to olive farming. It’s still new to me, obviously. It’s not in my blood. I don’t know enough.

ARTHUR

There’s not much you have to do, Joseph. You’ve got people for that.

JACK

So I just sit on this business that isn’t really mine, that I don’t really know, and just take in the money?

ARTHUR

There are worse ways to live. People have been known to do it.

JACK

I don’t want to. Without Mirabella –

(beat)

I think I want to sell. One of the conglomerates. I’d like you to look into that for me.

ARTHUR

Okay.

JACK

I need to get away. Think about what to do with all I’ve got. Like you say, there comes a time in every man’s life. I want to travel, maybe for a long time. When will it all be final?

ARTHUR

About a week or so.

JACK

I’ll need ready access to cash. A lot of it. I want to be able to draw on it from any part of the world, without any trouble. Can you arrange that for me?

ARTHUR

I can arrange it.

Jack nods.

AJA

——–

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