“DUSTED FOR PRINTS”
(A Screenplay, based on An Original Short Story)
Copyright © Des Nnochiri 2010
Copyright © Des Nnochiri 2010
INT. JOHN SMYTH’S OFFICE - DAY
Polished bookshelves, neatly stacked. Plush furniture, like you’d find in an old English gentlemen’s club. Everything spotless, and positioned as if by design.
Behind the desk, an upturned swivel chair. Sprawled in it, the body of JOHN SMYTH, fifties. Well-groomed, and polished as his office. Save for the bloody hole, in his forehead.
On the wall above Smyth, a circular depression, at the center of a splatter of blood, bone, and brain tissue.
GIANNI VITALE, early thirties, and LENNOX GARBER, forties, stand at the desk. Both men wear surgical gloves. They prod occasionally at the knick-knacks on the table top. Which also look to have been placed there by careful deliberation.
Shouldn’t it be “Smythe?” I mean, that’s how it’s spelt.
Class thing, maybe? Fellow of his standing, station in life, he’d want to be a cut above. Set himself apart from all the other John Smiths, out there. Guys with solid names, like us - Vitale, Garber - we don’t have that problem.
Hmph. Why the hell doesn’t he spell it right? Did. Didn’t he?
Behind the two detectives, Forensic investigator MATTHEW CLAPTON, thirties, a little geeky, but solid-looking, fusses around the body. Plotting trajectories, doing scrapings. He’s meticulous. Thorough. Slow.
Hey, Matty. What do you say? D’you think he’s dead?
He doesn’t even look up. Ignoring Vitale, as he carries on with his work.
Vitale turns back, to a frowning Garber.
Garber’s frown deepens.
Len. So, what’s it look like, to you?
I’m not sure...
Garber nudges a drinking bird paperweight, on the desk. Nestled neatly behind it is a sleek little cell phone.
Garber picks up the cell, and hits last number redial. Holds the phone to his ear.
Clearly audible, a whiny, nasal voice, on the other end.
ARNOLD GLEISSNER (O.S.)
Arnold Gleissner, paparazzo. Hello? Hello?
Garber cuts the connection. Mouthing the word, “Paparazzo?”, he turns toward the Forensics man.
Clapton holds out a clear plastic evidence bag, with a scrap of paper in it.
Pried this out of the victim’s hand. I had to smooth it out, a little. Well, a lot, actually. See the edges there--?
Garber, not listening, holds the bag up to the light. And grins.
He hands the bag over to Vitale, who studies the paper.
It’s a fragment from a glossy photograph, showing--
Hey! Isn’t that--?
You guys can go ahead. I’ve dusted for prints already.
A harsh laugh, from Vitale, as he gestures toward the corpse.
Yeah. That’s what this guy was, looks like. Dusted. For prints.
Mm-hmm. Let’s go pay a visit to an Arnold Gleissner, photographer. See if he can put us in the picture.
FADE TO BLACK
BIO: Desmond (Des) Nnochiri spent his early years traveling with his parents, and was educated in England, the USA, and the Republic of Ireland (Eire). He writes freelance now, and has taken his first steps into the world of screenwriting. He has contributed stories to A Twist of Noir, The Flash Fiction Offensive, and Powder Burn Flash. He blogs at Des Nnochiri’s Write to Speak.