Thriller s03e03 - Death To Sister Mary.

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Mark Field an American journeyman actor, nothing major, is in London, has been for sometime working on a project.
He is in an underground car park, walking towards his car, he passes a parked black car.
After he has passed, the door opens, someone steps out, this person is carrying a heavy rubber torch.
Mark gets to his car and fumbles for his keys. Suddenly he is attacked from behind. The torch smashes into his skull.
A voice says ," keep away from Sister Mary, keep away from Sister Mary"
Mark slumps onto the garage floor, the mugger runs off back to his car.
George Maharis is Mark Field.
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A convent- by the side of the grey outer wall is a lawn, a few bushes. Walking thoughtfully in this garden is a nun.
A man , Larry Turner walks across the lawn too, camera equipment carrying bag over one shoulder, a sports bag over the other. He sees the nun deep in thought.
L " psst...Sister Mary"
The nun looks up and smiles,
Nun " Larry!...how come you're back so soon"
L " job in Thailand fell through"
The two embrace and kiss.
Nun " I better go, don't want to be excommunicated"
L " yeah, see you when you finish"
Larry leaves, the nun turns round and sees the Mother Superior watching her, stuffing a burger into her mouth !
" fancy a cheeseburger Penny?"
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Larry has walked off the lawn and onto the studio floor.
It's a tv show set. The wall of the convent, the lawn , just fakes.
We see cameramen, make up artists etc. The director steps onto the set
Director" gather round people, bad news , Mark Field has been mugged , last night"
The actress playing the nun, Sister Mary is Penny Stacey,
P " is he alright?"
Dir " just some bruising, but he is in hospital, so the writers are going to write him out of the next episode. So it means juggling the scenes a bit, and a couple of extra hours this evening in the studio. Okay people?"
Dicky the floor manager says,
Dky " okay with the crew I've briefed them"
Dir " okay fine, and you luvvies?"
Penny and Anne Taylor, the actress playing Mother Superior both nod, as does Tony Barton, actor playing Sister Mary's father,in the daytime soap opera ' Saints and Sinners'
Jennie Linden plays Penny Stacey ( Sister Mary)
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The company that makes Saints and Sinners, a soap about the goings on in a convent, is JSB TV, outside the studio building is the car park, at the entrance is a security hut. A uniformed guard at a barrier has stopped a lorry and is talking to the driver. The driver shows his authorization documents and the security man reaches into his hut, presses a button and the barrier lifts up, the lorry drives through. What the security man doesn't see is that by the other side of the lorry, on the blind side, is a man in a black suit, glasses, holding a briefcase. He is using the lorry to gain access to the studios.
The lorry drives in, the man walks, keeping pace with it, and he is in, an intruder, he walks towards the main building.
 
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Penny Stacey is in her dressing room, after removing her Sister Mary costume is sitting at the dresser removing make up. The door opens in walks Larry. They embrace again.
P " sorry I'm late, had to work late, Mark Field got mugged, altered all the schedules"
L." Mugged!, is he okay?"
P " fine, be back tomorrow"
L." hmmm I've mixed feelings, always thought Mark fancied you Penny"
P " jealous Larry?"
L.( laughing) " look, I'll get the car meet you out front in fifteen, okay ?"
P " fine"
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Larry leaves the room, walks down the corridor. Along the corridor is the black suited intruder. The man stops outside Penny's room.
" hey you, what do you think you're doing?"
A security guard has turned up,
Guard " do you have a pass, no, then you're leaving right now"
Penny comes out of her room,
P " what's going on?"
G" found him outside your room Miss"
The man breaks free of the guard's grip,
Man " I'm sorry Sister Mary, I just wanted to talk with you, about your fan club, the Sister Mary fan club"
P " erm...yes, of course. I invited him here"
G " you Miss?"
P " sorry I should have told security"
G " okay Miss, if you're sure"
Penny has lied of course, but a fan club, she's interested.
Penny shows the man inside.
Leigh Lawson plays Larry Turner;
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P " well Mr...?"
R " Rook, Charles Rook, I'm sorry to intrude"
P " ah, you mentioned fan club, any actor would be interested in that Mr Rook"
R " it's all arranged, we've got a magazine planned, membership, premises lined up everything"
P." Premises, my god, how large is this club?"
R " the membership is substantial Sister Mary, you're deeply loved. All we need is your blessing, so to speak, to make it all official"
P.( laughing ) " my blessing!"
R " patronage then, so it can be the official Sister Mary fan club"
P " this isn't a joke, you're serious aren't you?"
R " of course, I wouldn't joke about this"
P " well, my part in the show is not large, though I suppose it is important. But not a starring role"
R " you are a star to us Sister Mary, a shining beacon"
Rook enthusiastically opens his briefcase and pulls out some sheets,
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R " we haven't decided yet on the exact design of the magazine, I thought you could make the final choice Sister Mary"
P " call me Penny, that's my real name , Penny Stacey Mr Rook"
Rook looks uncomfortable,
R " erm..I prefer Sister Mary, it's wonderful you agree to all this. I'd like to send you some of our literature. Can I have your home address?"
P " I don't see why not, it's 4b Streetly Towers"
Rook is writing it down, Penny is looking through the magazine designs.
P " are you the President of the club, or the treasurer Mr Rook?"
R " both, until we can have proper elections"
P "Mr Rook, I'm sorry but I have to ask you to leave now, I do have other things to do"
R " yes, of course"
Rook gathers up his things, puts them back in his case and leaves. Penny smiling to herself as he departs.
Robert Powell as Charles Rook;
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That evening in Penny's flat, she and Larry are canoodling on the settee.
P " Larry, what was Thailand like?"
L " hot"
P " wow, your description is so detailed!"
L " my camera tells the story for me, that's what photo journalism is all about. Though Thailand wasn't great this time"
P " why?"
L " two reasons, the story I was on fell through and secondly, you weren't there"
The doorbell rings.
P " who on earth can that be, at this time?"
L " someone with lousy timing"
Penny answers the door, it is Rook.
R " sorry to call so late Sister Mary, but I saw the light on"
P " come in Mr Rook,..Larry come and meet my biggest fan"
L " how do you do"
P " Mr Rook, this is Larry Turner"
R " don't you play one of the monks?"
P " er..no , Larry is my fiancee"
R ( puzzled) " that can't be right, nuns can't get married"
P " no Mr Rook, MY fiancee, Penny Stacey's, you mustn't confuse me with Sister Mary"
R " er...no I guess not"
P " what did you want to see me about Mr Rook?"
R " it doesn't matter now, I shouldn't have burst in on you"
P " well now you're here"
R " no, I better leave"
Rook leaves hurriedly, he seems confused by what he has seen. Outside in the street Rook walks slowly, hand up to his forehead as if he has a headache. Sister Mary....fiancee, no...
In the flat,
P " what did you think of Rook?"
L " a nut, anyone who can cherish an image, someone he doesn't even know, must be loose somewhere"
P " or perhaps lonely. I think he's a sad man"
About half hour later Larry leaves the flat , walks down the road, and crosses the street.
Suddenly a black car with Rook at the wheel tears along, Larry is hit, smacked into the air.
In her flat Penny hears the screech of tyres and a car driving off. She looks out of the window, Larry is lying in the road...dead!
P ( screaming) " Larry Larry!!"
 

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The next day at the studios, actors Anne and Tony who play the Mother Superior and Mary's father in Saints and Sinners, are studying their scripts. Tony Barton sees himself as an Olivier class actor, all this tv soap stuff ,beneath him really.
T " I tell you the emphasis is all wrong, these lines need changing"
A " what are talking about, they're my lines"
T " your lines yes, but it's about my character development, it's all wrong"
Mark Field is back with nothing more than a plaster on his forehead to show for his ordeal.
A " I didn't think Penny would be in today, not after last night"
T " oh yes, her fiancee, well the show must go on"
Mark " whoever came up with that is an idiot, or a sadist"
Mark leaves, the floor manager Dicky comes over.
D " ready you two, we'll do scene 12 first , give Penny a bit more time"
The director comes over, Tony is as usual complaining.
T " this needs a rewrite, you're giving far too much of the show to Penny. I mean the girl is just not up it in my opinion"
Dir " Tony darling, let's just say the lines as written yes?"
In her dressing room Penny has been crying, Mark enters,
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M " Penny, so sorry about Larry, if you need a shoulder to cry on"
P " thanks Mark. He was so alive, can't believe he's dead"
M " I know, cry as much as you need to. I wish I cried when my wife died instead of taking to the bottle, it would have been cheaper"
P " sorry I've not asked how you are"
M " fine, just a few bruises, to think I came from New York to be mugged in London"
P " was it a gang"
M " I think it was one man, of course the story going round is I drank a few and fell down some stairs"
P " how could they!?"
M " I guess I deserve it, I've been on some benders before now, but not lately. Anyway I'm always around if you need anything Penny"
P " thanks Mark"
Anthony Newlands is Tony Barton,
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On the set of Saints and Sinners
Mother Superior's office:
Mother Superior " you may be her father, but the final decision must rest with Sister Mary"
Father " you have not heard the last of this Mother Superior"
MS " good day sir"
Father. " I'll be back, with plenty to say I assure you"
Father ( Tony) leaves the room.
Director " and...cut, lovely folks well played Tony very nice"
Tony is still chuntering
T " not right at all, sooner Sister Mary is written out of the show the better"
Tony storms off, passing Rook who is standing at the back of the studio, a visitors' pass around his neck that Penny gave him.
In the car park Tony wearing his own clothes of course now, which are more ostentatious than a costume. He wears a cape and a fedora! He crosses the car park to his car, Rook in his car speeds up to him, thankfully brakes in time, just trying to frighten Tony, a warning, Tony is unaware of any deliberate act on the driver's part as he was walking without paying much attention, he puts his hand up in an apologetic gesture to Rook, who of course he doesn't know and carries on, Tony gets to his car, all four tyres have been slashed.
T " god in heaven no...why"
Back on set: In Mother Superior's office.
MS " Sister Mary, this pride is misplaced, you must be humble"
Sister Mary" please Mother Superior, you don't understand..."
MS " Sister Mary you must learn humility, I will break you if necessary, so you will fit God's plan for you, that is all"
At home Rook has watched this scene on his tv, the credits roll, Rook picks up the phone.
At the switchboard of JSB television it's a busy period for the operators taking calls. One lady speaks into phone,
" JSB television can I help you...no sir the producer isn't available, can I take a message...well sir really it's just a show"
She hangs up and turns to the girl next to her,
" a nut call, Saints and Sinners, tell Mother Superior to lay off Sister Mary or else"
Derek Fowlds plays Dicky;
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Joan Haythorne plays Mother Superior.
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That evening Penny is home, the doorbell rings, it's Mark.
M " can I come in?"
Marks walks in, picks up a half empty bottle of whiskey.
M " I thought so..this isn't the answer Penny"
P " I can't stop thinking about him"
M " you must, he's gone Penny, you must get over him. I know it's tough, remember I've been down this road myself. Look what you need is people around you. Dicky our floor manager is throwing a party this evening, I wonder if you'd like to come?"
P " please Mark I don't think I could"
M " try Penny, it'll take your mind off things"
P " okay"
M " good girl, I'll get us a taxi, you get changed"
Mark leaves to hail a cab, leaving the front door ajar.
Charles Rook walks up to the door and knocks, very lightly.
R " Sister Mary, are you there?"
He goes inside. Penny is surprised as she comes out of her bedroom and sees Rook.
P " Mr Rook"
R " sorry Sister Mary, I did knock, there was no answer. I just wanted to ask a favour of you. I told you we were getting premises, well it's all sorted, we have a grand opening on the 10th. It would mean so much if you were there"
P " the 10th...yes okay..I can't really let you down can I, with all the trouble you've gone to"
R " fantastic, I can't tell you what this means Sister Mary"
Mark has returned,
P " Mark this is Mr Rook, I was telling you about him"
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R " you play the priest don't you"
P " Mr Rook takes Saints and Sinners all terribly seriously"
R " of course, I've seen every episode, well from episode 10"
M " that's when you came into the show Penny, replacing poor George , remember fell down stairs, broke both hips"
R " yes, I hated him, that character, absolutely hated him"
P " well Mr Rook we've got a party to go to"
R " won't keep you, I've bought you this"
Rook hands Penny a small bible.
P " thank you"
R " the man in the shop assured me it was a good one, I'm not very religious but he said it's one of the best ones available"
P " I'll use it in the show"
R " and for personal use"
P " like you I'm not very religious"
R" but you're a nun!"
P " me Mr Rook, Penny Stacey, I've told you before don't confuse me with Sister Mary"
R " I better go thank you Sister Mary"
Rook leaves,
P " poor Mr Rook, all stressed out by Saints and Sinners. He's harmless though"
 

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Dicky's party is in full swing at his flat. All the cast are there. Loud music and booze.
Tony to Anne" living next door to Dicky, he has to invite me, or I complain about the noise"
A " what, can't hear you?"
Penny is sitting by herself in a corner of the room, Mark comes up to her.
M " I'm sorry Penny, my fault, it was a massive mistake asking you here. I'll get you a taxi"
Dicky comes up,
D " done that ten minutes ago, I could see it was a mistake"
P " thanks Dicky, lovely party"
D " but not for you, not at this time"
M " I'll walk you to the taxi"
D " aha, no Mark, host's privilege"
Dicky leads Penny out and downstairs to the street. The party goes on. Five minutes later Dicky returns looking dishevelled, his glasses smashed, blood on his face.
M " Dicky what happened, is Penny alright ?"
D " yes, she got in the taxi, a car was waiting, it nearly ran me down. So close ..almost killed me"
Anne hands Dicky a scotch.
D " thanks , no damage, just to my glasses"
T " we've had a run of incidents with cars, poor Larry, my tyres and now Dicky. Coincidence I suppose"
Mark looks thoughtful,
M " coincidence? I'm not so sure"
The next day at the studio Tony is annoyed,
T" Penny is late on set, give her a bigger role and she thinks she's some sort of star "
Penny in her nun's habit walks onto set, carrying the bible Rook gave her. Rook is there, an onlooker with his visitor pass.
P " look Mr Rook, your bible, it'll be in the show today"
R " I'm so grateful Sister Mary, I want you to see something"
He opens his attaché case and pulls out a magazine.
R " volume 1 issue 1 the Sister Mary fan club official magazine. For you."
Penny quickly looks through it,
P " it's very professional looking Mr Rook. Must have cost a lot"
R " worth every penny, nothing but the best for you Sister Mary"
Penny turns to the others,
P " sorry I'm a bit late"
On set - in Mother Superior's office, just Penny and Tony,.Mary and Father.
Father" you are too young Mary to make a decision like this, that is all I have to say"
Mary " Father please, you don't own me, I will decide, you will not ruin my life like you did Mother's"
F " how dare you!"
Tony slaps Penny on the face.
Director " and cut....fantastic both of you" Penny leaves, Tony says to the director in a hush voice,
T " between you and me I enjoyed slapping that young thing! She came on set five minutes late, she's getting too big for her boots if you ask me"
Dir " never mind Tony luv, see you tomorrow"
Tony leaves for the dressing rooms, Rook glares at him.
Gerry Cowan plays the Director;
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Tony and Anne are standing in the corridor outside the dressing rooms, Penny comes out of her room. Tony all smiles and politeness in front of Penny.
T " nicely played today, very nice. Hope I didn't slap you too hard"
Mark comes along with Dicky.
M " here Penny don't forget this" He hands Penny the fan club magazine.
T " what's this? Sister Mary fan club. I don't believe it!"
M " that's right Tony, a lot of fans rooting for Penny. Don't be sore Tony, I'm sure you've got your fans too"
Mark and Penny leave together. Dicky turns to Tony,
D " Tony, I've got to work late tonight, do us a favour and feed my cat will you?"
T " oh, god"
D " please Tony, you've done it before, here's the key, leave it under the mat"
T " okay "
Dicky leaves , Anne fancies winding Tony up a bit.
A " come on Tony, mustn't leave the fans waiting, they're probably hordes of them outside now wanting a piece of you!"
Tony knows when he's being goaded and storms off in a huff.

Tony enters Dicky's flat and in to the kitchen. A cat is there meowing.
T " okay okay, bloody moggy, I'm feeding you"
He gets a can of cat food from the cupboard and opens it , placing the lid down on the worktop. He bends down and spoons the food into the bowl.
Behind him a black gloved hand picks up the lid, Tony looks up, too late, the serrated lid is slashed across his face, not once but twice.
Rook " keep away from Sister Mary"
Blood goes everywhere, even onto the cat.
 
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Dicky has told Anne and Mark and Penny what happened at the studio the next day.
A " I know he was a bore and an incredible egotist, but who would want to do that to him?"
D " police reckon he must have interrupted a burglar doing over my place..there was so much blood.....so much...he's in a coma....touch and go on whether he'll pull through"
P " are you okay Dicky?"
D " just a bit shaken, to think, it could have been me"
The director comes up to them,
Dir " okay people, you know about Tony, we must assume he's not coming back. The writers have decided his character will die in a car crash"
Later on set, in Mother Superior's office.
MS " I'm sorry Mary, very sorry"
Mary " my father? is he badly hurt"
MS " very badly..you must face it Mary , he may not pull through"
Rook is watching at home, the credits roll, a close up on Mary's tearful face. Rook touches his hand on the tv screen.
R " don't cry Sister Mary, I did it for you, he was so brutal to you"
Penny is in her flat with Mark
M " ready Penny, it's about thirty minutes to the hospital"
The phone rings, Mark picks it up, it's Rook, he hands phone to Penny.
M ( whispering) " your pet nut"
P " yes Mr Rook"
R " just reminding you about the 10th. The opening of the club premises...you can come"
P " erm...okay sure"
R " I'll pick you up at four. We're going to immortalize you Sister Mary, so you'll be remembered forever and ever"
P " that sounds interesting, see you on the 10th Mr Rook"
She puts phone down.
P " says he's going to immortalize me"
M " that's one kook I can rule out"
P " of what?"
M " my theory. I think someone has it in for the show. Think about it, Dicky, me, now Tony"
P " but who could hate the show so much"
M " dunno...come on let's go"
 
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In the hospital Tony is in intensive care, a man at the bedside, who stands as Mark and Penny arrive.
DSM " Detective Sergeant Moore. Are you relatives?"
M " no work colleagues"
DSM " of course, saints and sinners, I recognise you, you're Sister Mary"
P " that's right. How is he?"
DSM " not good, in a coma, probably die without coming out of it, poor sod"
Tony is heavily bandaged, only a part of the left side of his face unbandaged.
A couple of days later, it's the 10th, Rook arrives at Penny's flat, she is in full nun costume.
R " four o'clock on the dot , just like I said I would. I see you've done what I asked, thank you"
P " I feel silly wearing these clothes off set"
R " seems right that the Sister Mary fan club should be opened by Sister Mary....as she really is"
P " how far is it to this club?"
R " not far , about 15 minutes"
Meantime Mark is back at Tony's bedside, along with Detective Sergeant Moore.
DSM ( doing crossword) " can you think of a nine letter word meaning retribution? It'll have to start with a Q and end in X , unless I've got all the others wrong. I'm hopeless with these puzzles "
M "any change ?"
DSM " nope "
Suddenly there's a groan from Tony, he's regained consciousness.
DSM " can you hear me Mr Barton?"
T ( quietly)" hurt me...hurt me.."
DSM " who, who hurt you?"
T " man.."
DSM " what man Mr Barton, did he say anything to you?"
T " yes...keep away from sister.."
Tony slips into unconsciousness.
DSM " okay we got something, keep away from my sister...could be a revenge attack, someone's sister and Mr Barton...the brother didn't like it"
M " no no, he didn't finish, not my sister, but sister Mary, that's what he was trying to say, I'm sure ,that's what the guy who mugged me said, keep away from Sister Mary"
DSM " what Saints and Sinners?"
M " it must be"
In the meantime Rook and Penny have arrived at the club premises, situated in a dingy street in an industrial estate.
They get out of the car.
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R "here it is"
A large steel door, above it a sign - THE SISTER MARY FAN CLUB HQ.
Rook opens the door, they go in to the old grey bricked building. As the door slams shut, the sign outside falls off, revealing this sign- WATSONS COLD FOOD STORAGE.
Windsor Davies played Moore;
windsor-davies-actor-1980-bpw27g.jpg
 
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Penny looks around the room, very impressed. It's an exact replica of the studio set, courtyard, convent building outer wall, Mother Superior's office.
P." it's incredible Mr Rook"
R " I made it all myself"
P " it's a bit cold in here isn't it"
R " yes, I bought the place off of a meat storage company"
P " where are the other members?"
R " they'll be along shortly, I thought I could have you to myself for awhile before they come. You wouldn't begrudge me that?"
Rook pours sherry into a glass and offers it to Penny.
P " thank you"
Meanwhile Mark and Moore have arrived at Penny 's flat.
DSM " that's marvellous, she keeps a key under the mat, and then tells you"
M " I'm a friend"
They enter, Mark sees the fan club magazine on the coffee table.
DSM " you say she's gone with this Rook character"
M " yes, a fan, hang on, you know what fan is short for"
DSM " I told you I'm no good at puzzles "
M " fanatic, an obsessive, he idolises her, cares for her, surely he won't harm her"
Moore looks at the magazine's first page.
DSM " listen to this, President Rook, secretary Rook, treasurer Rook, but no address where we can find him..wait a minute...the printers will know"
 

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Penny wanders around the club premises, and sees the huge poster of herself in character on the far wall. Actually it's not on the wall, but hanging loosely from a beam about two foot from the wall.
P " what's behind here?"
She peers round and sees a glass coffin on a dais.
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R " oh dear I wanted that to be a surprise Sister Mary. That's for the finale"
P " this doesn't appear in the show, the writers wouldn't be happy you changing anything Mr Rook"
R " that's just the show, this is real life"
Rook seems totally mad and unpredictable, he now can it seems differentiate between fact and fantasy.
P " the other members Mr Rook, shouldn't they be here by now"
R " other members....yes I always meant to .....but I couldn't share you, I just couldn't. And all those people wanting you, sharing you, I couldn't deal with all of them, not all, well could I ? This way I won't have to"
Rook is totally insane.
 
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Moore and Mark arrive at Rook's place. He lodges with an old woman in a house.
Woman. " this is his room Sergeant"
They all go in, and see something unexpected. The wall is totally covered in photos of Penny, in and out of a nun's habit. An altar with candles is in the corner
M " Jesus Christ!"
DSM " he's in a world of his own"
Moore opens a desk and takes out more photos.
DSM " my god, these aren't of Miss Stacey, these are of a girl who went missing eighteen months ago. Rook is dangerous and dangerous people are unpredictable...in a fantasy world , look invoices"
Moore gives some of the paper invoices to Mark.
DSM " come on give me a hand, look through them"
They both flick through reams of invoices.
DSM " here's one, a purchase of a cold storage plant, not more than ten minutes from here"
Mark reads an invoice with great concern.
M " oh my god, he said he was going to immortalize her, this is for embalming fluid"
 
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I Am Boz

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Penny is feeling extremely sleepy, yawning.
Rook " that'll be the tablets I put in the sherry. Triple dose of sedatives. I take them when I can't sleep. I couldn't bare to break your skin, so when you're asleep I'll suffocate you. And I'll preserve you for ever and ever. I've read all the books on the subject of embalming, got all the apparatus, I'm sure I can do it.
You see Mummy was wrong, I can think for myself"
Penny has collapsed on a pew in the copy of the set that Rook has constructed. Rook leans over her, stroking her face!
R" you see I'm not religious , but I can recognise good, there are so many bad people and not enough good ones, and you are so good Sister Mary, we must preserve all the good people, and this place is so cold, it's perfect"
There's a huge thud on the outside door, it flies open, in run Moore and Mark.
DSM " stay where you are Rook, police."
Rook is no fighter, he runs, up some stairs, leading to a gallery running around the storage chamber.
DSM " Field, up the other stairs we'll cut him off"
Rook is trapped in the middle as Moore and Mark close in, Mark reaches him and tries to grab him, Rook lashes out with a swipe of an arm, he loses balance , and falls screaming into the glass coffin below. He lies across the shattered glass coffin, blood coming from his mouth.
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A huge glass shard punctured his stomach. He staggers to his feet and falls through the poster of Penny towards her.
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R " I did it for you Sister Mary"
Rook dies at her feet. Mark picks Penny up, on to her feet, she is just about awake.
DSM " I'll call for an ambulance"
Penny looks at the dead Rook, a mixture of disgust and pity, Mark walks her into the fresh air outside, safe at last.
THE END
 
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