EDIT: Since initially writing this post I have adapted the story in to a screenplay, with a few changes, and it is currently with my producer in England. I admit that this upturn in enthusiasm for my previously stalling film career has a lot to do with the great work Alex Withrow has done with Earrings. If you are yet to see it, you simply must, it can be found here.
Feel free to critique, criticise and give feedback in the comments.
A Dog and Duck Story (2012)
The Dog and Duck, a traditional English pub; brass pans hanging from mock Tudor beams, old wooden tables surrounded by mismatched chairs, fruit machines lined up flashing their jackpots at naïve punters, jukebox playing the greatest hits of Robbie Williams, Karl the barman wiping down the bar and eyeing the couple in the corner.
Under her beret she displays her poor eyesight with pride, spectacles from the seventies that Michael Caine would be proud of, lips painted red and smiling constantly. You’d be forgiven for thinking the navy was in the way she flaunts her nautical stripes, not quite horizontal thanks to the fascinating way it clings to her chest.
She clings to him and his matching glasses, his flatcap and hunting blazer worn with irony, unable to disguise the pasty face and weak chin of a man who’s never done a days hard work in all his life. The delicate fingers of one hand play with his pint glass whilst the other rests in her lap.
Now Karl has work to do, the arrival of Mikey always signifies the start of the lunch rush. His footsteps on the original wooden floor can be heard over the whine of the jukebox. The lager top is ready and waiting as Mikey arrives with a grunt of thanks.
-Look at this guy
He nods his head towards Mikey
-What an idiot
-This is not the nineties anymore guy
-I know right, where did he find somebody to give him that mushroom cut?
- And somebody should tell him that cargo pants are fugly
-Look at him acting tough
-What’s that scowl for? Is he trying to intimidate people? It’s not working
-No, he forgot his walkman, the soothing taped voice reminding him “breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out,” is still in his white van
This is too much for the couple, their jokes causing hysterical laughter between them. A few minutes pass and Sharon trips her way over to the bar calling for a Bacardi and a bag of nuts.
-Woah, looks like he’s in there
He starts again
-Look at her face, so gaudy
-Bit too much fake tan yeah
-Yeah but no she don’t score high
-And those earrings!
-Prison guard keyrings more like
-Stripper heels for a lunchtime drink?
-No wonder she stumbled in to him
-There’s no other excuse, he looks like the missing link
-But with hair
It’s enough. They love the sound of their own opinions and can’t stop laughing.
Karl is worried. He can hear them. He can see the veins in Mikeys neck bulging, his face going red. Any minute beer will be spilt.
-Calm it Mikey, they’re just kids
-Nobody talks about Sharon that way
-Fair play, I can’t dispute that, but not in here yeah?
Now Mikey is off, pushing Sharon to one side and stomping over to the corner table.
-I believe you owe my wife an apology sir
This is greeted by the suppressed laughter of the hipster couple
-I said I believe you owe my wife an apology. Sir
The laughter only gets louder. Mikey is forced to smash an empty glass on the table but before he can do any more damage Karl is there at his side like a good barman.
-That’s enough Mikey, outside and don’t come back til tomorrow
Turning his attention back towards the couple
-And you two aren’t welcome here, sling your hook
Settling the situation is what a good barman does. Back behind his bar he watches Mikey drag Sharon out. He watches the hipster couple wrap themselves up in duffle coats and slowly leave, giggling the whole time.
Outside in the beer garden Mikey is resting his weight on an ancient looking picnic table. Scowling at the couple as they leave the pub. He stands and flexes his muscles at them. The hipster boy pulls a straight edge razor from his pocket.
-Didn’t you see John Hammond in Brighton Rock you damned dirty ape?
The hipster boy doesn’t give Mikey a chance to react, the blade cuts through the soft flesh of his face as a boot crushes his testicles.
The hipster girl watches Mikey fall to the floor in pain and laughs. She pulls a meat cleaver from the pocket of her coat and in one movement buries the blade in the fallen mans skull.
-That was fun, which pub shall we go to tomorrow?
A Dog and Duck Story by Toby Halsey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.