SANDMAN MEETS GUMSHOE
A Durk Dik Monster Masher Mystery
a half-hour film script for TV
by Shawn Paul Stewart
Kindle Direct Publishing
Sandman Meets Gumshoe is published exclusively online by Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission of the author. For information regarding permission, write to the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright (c) 1988 by Shawn Paul Stewart, All Rights Reserved.
Printed in the U.S.A.
First printing via Amazon.com, February 2014
A tough-nosed detective takes on mummy-like monster in this nod to film noir classics like THE MALTESE FALCOLN and THE MUMMY. This teleplay was written as a spec script for the MONSTERS television series in the late 1980s. The script was warmly received by the TV show’s producer, Richard P. Rubenstein, who sent me some kind notes. Alas, he passed away before the conversation could continue.
INT. DURK’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
The lights are off. All that is seen are amorphous shapes of purple and black. There is a storm going on outside. Lightning strobes the only window. Below the window is a bed. A huge shape moves under the covers. Another, smaller shape moves on the nightstand beside the bed.
Some nights are meant to be bad. They eke into your soul like sand in a carburetor. Tonight was one of those nights.
The PHONE RINGS. A hand reaches out of the covers and gropes for the light cord.
The light comes on, illuminating the small stand. A pistol, handcuffs, notepad and other private investigator paraphernalia litter the stand. The small figure is a Parrot. The Parrot walks to the phone and knocks it from the cradle.
This is Durk Dik, private investigator. I’m not in right now, but if you’ll leave a message at the caw–
Give me that damn phone! Hello? Speaking. You found what? Ho-hold on a minute. Now? Look, mister, couldn’t this wait– Okay, okay. Yeah, Yeah, I know the place. Alright, just wait for me there.
The phone is recradled.
Durk throws aside the covers. He is still wearing his shoes, pants and suspenders.
Three friggin’ o’clock in the morning and everyone’s got problems. Keep your friggin’ claws off the phone or you’ll be picking bird seed out of your ears.
Ha ha ha ha ha.
INT. HALLWAY OF “THE SANDS” APARTMENTS – NIGHT
This is a small portion of a second floor hallway leading to several apartments. At one end is a window. The storm still rages on without. A FIGURE in a black trenchcoat and fedora stands facing the window.
Durk enters at the opposite end of the hall. He is soaked and his shirttails are dragging. He stashes his cigarette in an ashcan and approaches the unseen figure.
You the one who called, buddy?
The figure turns. It is not a man but a gorgeous WOMAN with sandy-blonde hair. Beneath the coat she wears a rather sexy maid’s outfit. Durk is appreciably surprised.
Oh, I thought you were– I’m sorry; I must have really been asleep.
My name is Sandra Scott, Mr. Durk. Oh!
She falls sobbing into his arms.
Here now, you said something about a murder?
Yes. It’s this way. Follow me.
You trying to make a fashion statement in that outfit, or something? If so, you make it very well.
No. I work here, Mr. Durk. My brother loaned me this coat. Tito. He works in the kitchen downstairs. Here it is. Room 2B.
Would you like to tell me what I’m about to see?
I think it would be better if you just looked for yourself.
He turns the handle. It offers no resistance.
Was the door this way when you found it?
INT. MR. SCOTT’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
The door opens. Durk thumbs the light switch. The room is full of sand. Enough to fill a dozen children’s’ playboxes. It covers the tables, the couch, the counter, everything. Sandy stifles a little gasp. Durk steps over a small dune by the door and goes to the center of the room. Sandy stays by the door.
Sonofa B. Sandy.
Oh, no. I meant the room.
Durk picks up the phone.
He goes to the refrigerator and opens the door. Sand spills out of it. He finds a shoe on the floor and pours sand out of it. Sandra ventures into the room a few steps. Durk takes a jar from the cabinet, fills it with sand, screws on the lid and puts it in his overcoat.
Did you know this guy?
He was my brother, Mr. Durk.
Your? Oh, I’m sorry.
What are you two doing here?
A squat, balding MAN stands in the doorway to the apartment. He looks like an Egyptian–a dead ringer for Peter Lorre.
Mr. Dik. This is Larry, our landlord.
What are you doing in Mr. Scott’s apartment?
More important I think, Abdul, is what’s half the Sahara doing in Mr. Scott’s apartment. Durk Dik, private eye. Ms. Scott here called me about the possible murder of her brother. From the looks of things, I’d say her suspicions are well grounded.
Your brother? Why didn’t you call me first, Sandra darling?
Larry’s an odd name for an Arab.
Egyptian. What are you insinuating, Mr. Durk?
Nothing. Nothing at all.
I think you should leave before I call the police.
Sure. I’ll be in touch with you later, Ms. Scott.
END ACT ONE