Nailing the Coffin Excerpt

EXT. CEMETERY - DAY

Nikolai, chest deep, is digging a grave. He looks toward the source of sound.

NIKOLAI
Yes, boss!

Nikolai climbs out of the grave, brushes off dirt.

EXT. POOL - DAY

Gore is sitting by the pool. Nikolai comes, brushing himself off.

GORE
Finish the grave later.

NIKOLAI
But the funeral is…

GORE
(interrupting)
You may have to dig two more.

NIKOLAI
Don’t understand.

GORE
The Americans are at the hotel.

NIKOLAI
Which hotel?

GORE
What do you mean which hotel!
(explaining)
There-is-only-one on the island, idiot!

NIKOLAI
(hits his forehead)
Oh!

GORE
They must be hungry. Go poison their
food.

NIKOLAI
I am good with poisons.

GORE
I don’t want to find them on our charming
island tomorrow.

NIKOLAI
You won’t. I’m not a specialist for nothing.

INT. HOTEL/KITCHEN - NIGHT

The COOK is handling
a great many live eels. Nikolai comes in and gives him a basket of mushrooms.

NIKOLAI
For our honored guests, with Gore Sheed’s
compliments.

The Cook examines the mushrooms. They are small and very green. He shakes his head.

NIKOLAI
Our guest is a mushroomologist. He loves
all mushrooms. This is a surprise for him.

The Cook throws the green mushrooms into a frying pan. Smoke comes out.

INT. HOTEL RESTAURANT - NIGHT

The Cook serves Cary and Miss Brevity eels on very long plates; the eels are surrounded
by little green mushrooms.

MISS BREVITY
What cute mushrooms.

She is ready to eat them.

CARY
Don’t. They are poisonous.

He picks up one with his fork, and eats it.

MISS BREVITY
How come you eat them?

CARY
I’m immune. I grew up with these things.

INT. FUNERAL PARLOR- NIGHT

Nikolai walks through the parlor, and glances at the dead in the coffin. He walks
toward a door in the back. Sound of a rifle shot.

NIKOLAI
Lasko, are you ok?

Nikolai rushes into…

INT. FUNERAL HOME/LASKO’S WORKSHOP - NIGHT

…Lasko’s workshop.

NIKOLAI
Gore says…

LASKO
Wait. I’ll do one more.

Lasko fills a bullet with paint, plugs it, puts it into a pistol.

TIGHT ON THE METAL PLATE - as the bullet hits it, colors splash.
Sound of the bullet ricocheting in the room.
Nikolai and Lasko duck. Sound of a window glass shattering.

LASKO
Now talk.

NIKOLAI
Gore says you make two more coffins. For
tomorrow.

LASKO
Who died?

NIKOLAI
The Americans.

LASKO
How tall are… I mean - how tall were they?

Using his own height, Nikolai indicates the sizes with his hand.

NIKOLAI
What is all this shooting?

LASKO
I am making Dali originals. Did you notice
her smile when you came in?

NIKOLAI
That’s the first thing I noticed - her smile.
A very good job.

LASKO
Thank you.

NIKOLAI
I go back and see if they are dead. If they
are, I’ll bring them here tonight.

INT. HOTEL RESTAURANT - NIGHT

Cary forges Nikolai’s signature on the French Traveler’s check, and hands it to the Cook.
The Cook looks at the plates - long spines of tiny bones on the plates - both eels have
been eaten cleanly. Only one green mushroom is left.
CUT TO:

Nikolai looking at the same plates. He is delighted.

NIKOLAI
I think I done it again! I’m the best at
poisons in the whole charming island
of ours.