“The Struggle” – Part Four

by Mark Essem

Jack Walking Home – Day

(Jack is walking home, more paranoid and with a bag full of drugs. He’s taking notice of every one and every car, paranoid he might get caught or that it could be a set up. He enters his flat.)

Meeting a Customer – Later the Same Day

(Jack is walking to the graveyard to meet a customer, making sure he’s not being followed. He gets to the graveyard; there’s the customer he’s meeting and someone he doesn’t know.)

Jack: Who’s this you’re with?

Customer: I’ve known him for while; he’s sound. It’s cool – he’s after some stuff, as well.

(Jack gets out his phone)

Jack: Shit, I’ve got to go – forgot I have to be somewhere. I’ll get back to you.

(Jack walks off, thinking he’s been set up. The customers are standing there, puzzled, not knowing what just happened. Jack is walking fast and got the drugs screwed up in his fist, in case he has to run and throw the drugs. He’s walking as fast as he can, looking out for anyone who could be there to bust him. He gets to his front door, opens it, and locks it behind him.)

Inside Jack’s Flat

Jack takes a line of coke and makes a joint, then messages Bill (“How much?”) Bill replies (“2k.”). Jack goes to his bedroom, opens the wardrobe, and goes in the bag full of drugs and money and gets $2,000.

Bill Picks Jack Up – Later

(Jack walks out of the flat, looks across the street and sees a car he thinks he’s seen earlier. He gets in the passenger side, at the front. Tim is in the back. Bill sets off driving. Jack is looking in the mirror and sees that a car is following.)

Tim: Not seen you for a while. How you been?

Jack: Same shit, different day, mate. Signing on and doing this.

(Jack is fidgeting, looking in the mirror, seeing the same car from before. Bill turns some corners and the car follows. They stop at traffic lights.)

Bill: You got the stuff?

(Jack snaps and grabs Bill by the throat.)

Jack: What the fuck have you done? You fucking setting me up to get yourself out of the shit?

(Bill grabs Jack by the throat, angry and confused.)

Bill: What the fuck you on about? You’re losing your mind!

Jack: I’ve seen that car everywhere I’ve been today! You’re setting me up!

Tim: You’re paranoid, mate! Chill! It’s not a set up!

(The cars in front have gone. The car behind pipes the horn, as they are holding up traffic. Jack looks behind, realizing it’s not the cops and lets go of Bill and Bill does the same. Bill drives and pulls up around the corner.)

Bill: Your losing the plot, mate. Put the stuff in the glove box and get off home and chill out. I can’t believe you thought I was setting you up. I think we both have gotten a little stressed with what’s been going off. Get yourself off.

(Jack gets out the car and goes home.)

Walking Home From Job Center – Day

(Jack walks out of the job center, walks home, and enters his flat.)

Jack Finds Out He’s Been Robbed – Day

(Jack walks in and finds his stuff all over. He notices the back window smashed open. He rushes to the bedroom and opens the cupboard, to find the bag is gone. He goes to see if his safe is there, but it’s gone. Jack erupts with anger, smashing the flat up, shouting “FUCK!” Jack drops to his knees, his hands covered in blood and swollen after washing his hands. Getting rid of the blood, he covers the broken window with wood.)

Jack Telling Bill He’s Been Robbed – Later

(Jack goes into Bill’s. Bill notices Jack’s hands.)

Bill: What’s happened? Your hands are a mess.)

Jack: It’s bad news! I’ve been robbed! They’ve took everything: all your stuff, all mine, all the money – it’s all gone! I’m done! I am out! I’ve had enough of all of this! I’ll pay you back when I get a job.

Bill: Don’t worry about it! We had a good run; you don’t owe me anything! I’ll find out who took it and sort them out. What you going to do, now?

Jack: I haven’t got a clue; going to have to get a job.

Bill: Things will not be the same without you. If you change your mind, you know where I am.

Jack: Cheers, Bill, but this is the end for me. I am out. Maybe you should think about doing the same.

(Jack leaves the house.)

In The Flat – Night

(Jack is cleaning up the flat, starting to get edgy because he hasn’t had any drugs all day. He starts searching the flat, hoping to find a bag of coke or weed or a pill. He cuts up the sofa and finds a bag of cocaine that he had dealt up. He lines it up and sniffs it, then pours a glass of vodka and starts drinking it. He sits on the floor up, against the wall, depressed and lost.)