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Con Man: Kids Need to Read

By Adam Montierth All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Humor

Chapter 1

FADE IN:

INT. PHOENIX COMICON - CONVENTION CENTER

WRAY rushes off of a makeshift stage. He is physically

drained from a rousing Q & A session with Spectrum fans.

BOBBY is waiting in the wing holding Wray’s cell phone.

WRAY

Hey, that’s my phone. How did you

get that?

He checks his pants pockets.

BOBBY

You know they don’t want you to

have it during the Spectrum Q & A.

WRAY

That’s a suggestion. Now I’m

feeling a bit violated.

He snatches the phone from her.

They walk.

BOBBY

Jack Moore is on the line.

WRAY

You called Jack?

BOBBY

I knew he was going to be here

this weekend.

WRAY

Why did you? How? (Putting the

phone up to his ear.) Hello,

Jack?

JACK (O.S.)

Hey, Buddy!

WRAY

Uh, oh. What do you want me to do?

JACK (O.S.)

What do you mean?

WRAY

You’re using your “I need you to

do something for me” voice.

JACK (O.S.)

I am not. This is my normal

voice.

WRAY

So you don’t need anything from

me?

JACK (O.S.)

It’s for the children.

WRAY

I don’t like kids.

He says this overly loud and comicon patrons stare at him

disapprovingly.

WRAY

I mean, of course I like kids, I

just don’t have any kids, to like.

(Exasperated and back to the

phone.) What do you need?

JACK (O.S.)

I need you to sit in for me at the

Kids Need to Read Charity Poker

Tournament. I’m on my way, but

I’m going to be late. And

coincidentally, it’s in the room

right next to the Q & A you just

hosted.

WRAY

Convenient. This sounds somewhat

planned.

Wray looks at Bobby who looks away nonchalantly.

JACK (O.S.)

Thanks buddy. It’s for the

children.

WRAY

You keep saying that. I don’t

even know how to play poker.

JACK (O.S.)

It’s okay. Take my seat. Lose

your chips quickly and then duck

out. I do it all the time.

Smile, wave, leave.

WRAY

(Heavy sigh.) Okay fine.

JACK (O.S.)

I knew I could count on you. See

you soon!

Wray hangs up and puts his phone in his pants pocket. He

turns to Bobby.

WRAY

I’m just a big sap.

Bobby doesn’t say anything. She just turns Wray around

and pushes him through another doorway.

INT. KIDS NEED TO READ CHARITY POKER TOURNAMENT

Wray steps into the room. There is a partition next to

another make shift stage at the end of a long conference

room. The HOST is waiting there.

Wray peeks through the partition. The room is full of

comicon attendees sitting at many round poker tables

scattered though out the large room.

No children can be seen.

HOST

Welcome Mr. Nerely. It’s generous

of you to join us this evening.

WRAY

Evening?

HOST

Is Jack with you?

WRAY

He’s running late. He asked me to

take his seat.

HOST

Oh, that’s too bad.

WRAY

Don’t sound so disappointed.

He’ll be here later on.

HOST

(More upbeat now.) Oh, great

news.

WRAY

Where are all the children?

The Host laughs. Bobby joins in. Wray follows suit

confused.

HOST

It’s a charity poker tournament

for the children, not a poker

tournament with the children.

WRAY

(Laughing louder.) Of course.

The Host hands Wray a paper.

HOST

Here are some instructions and

your seat assignments.

Bobby leans in to see the paper. He keeps it away from

her and tries to stare her down. When he turns back to

his paper, it’s gone. He’s no longer holding it. He

turns back to find Bobby reading it.

WRAY

How did?

BOBBY

Oh good. You may have your phone

at the table with you.

She hands him his phone.

WRAY

What? Again? How do you keep

doing that?

He checks all of his pants pockets again.

He snatches the phone and puts it into his shirt pocket

this time.

HOST

I’ll introduce you and then you

can take your seat.

WRAY

Is it possible for me to just say

a few words and then duck out?

HOST

Jack would never “duck out”. He

committed to playing in the

tournament.

WRAY

But he’s not here.

HOST

But you’re taking his place.

WRAY

I don’t even know how to play

poker.

HOST

Please do the best that you can.

And remember, it’s for the

children.

WRAY

As I’ve been told.

The Host goes to the mic and the crowd goes quiet.

HOST

Ladies and gentlemen, zombies and

superheroes, welcome to the

Phoenix Comicon’s 10th Annual Kids

Need to Read Charity Poker

Tournament.

The crowd claps enthusiastically.

HOST

I’d like to introduce our special

guest tonight from Spectrum...

The audience hoops and hollars.

HOST

Wray Nerely.

Wray steps out from behind the partition and waves. The

crowd goes flat.

HOST

Wray will be sitting in for Jack,

but I’ve been assured that Jack

will be here later on.

The crowd responds enthusiastically.

Wray checks his paper and heads to his seat. Bobby

follows.

WRAY

What am I doing? They don’t even

really want me here.

BOBBY

Of course they want you here.

They just prefer Jack. Who

wouldn’t?

WRAY

Thank you for that.

BOBBY

Just lose quickly.

WRAY

And how do I do that?

BOBBY

Push all your chips in and say,

all in.

WRAY

All in what?

BOBBY

No, just all in.

Bobby leaves him.

WRAY

What?

Wray finds his seat between two large WOMEN. There is

very little room left for him. He tries to squeeze in.

Both women are more masculine than Wray.

FAT PAT

I don’t think so muchacho.

LARGE MARGE

This seat is reserved for Jack

Moore.

WRAY

I’m Wray Nerely.

FAT PAT

We know who you are. Love your

work, but this seat’s for Jack.

LARGE MARGE

You’re awesome. Now move on.

WRAY

Wow, I’ve never experienced such

hostile adoration. I’m sitting in

for Jack.

FAT PAT

What?

LARGE MARGE

You’re kidding?

WRAY

He asked for me to sit in for him.

FAT PAT

We paid good money for these

seats.

LARGE MARGE

We donated $500.00

WRAY

It’s for the children!?!

FAT PAT

I’m tempted to ask for half my

money back.

Wray squeezes in.

WRAY

At least sitting by me is worth

something.

LARGE MARGE

We’ll see.

Wray pushes his chips forward.

WRAY

I’m all in.

DEALER

We haven’t started yet.

WRAY

Just kidding.

He pulls the stacks back in front of him.

Pat and Marge are not laughing.

Wray looks around the table. There is a ZOMBIE, a

KLINGON, a SUPERHERO, and an ANIME CHARACTER with a huge

cardboard sword.

Directly across the table sits a COWBOY.

WRAY

What are you dressed as? Space

Cowboy?

COWBOY

Are you makin’ fun of how I dress?

WRAY

No?

COWBOY

I’m not here for your little

Comicon! And I don’t care about

your children’s charity. I’m here

for one thing and one thing only.

The poker. And to win, of course.

WRAY

That’s two things.

COWBOY

So don’t get to attached to your

chips, sunshine. They’re mine!

WRAY

You can have them.

COWBOY

That’s right! I will own them.

And yours, and yours, and yours...

Cowboy points around the table.

FAT PAT

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We get it.

They’re all yours. We’re all very

intimidated.

COWBOY

I’m just saying.

LARGE MARGE

Don’t let him get in your head.

He’s all bravado.

COWBOY

Oh, yeah?

Cowboy pulls out a little chip and holds it up for all to

see.

COWBOY

Does this look like bravado?

WRAY

What is it?

FAT PAT

Last years champion token.

COWBOY

I won last years poker tournament.

WRAY

Congratulations.

COWBOY

So, now you know that I mean it

when I say that I’m going to be

taking all of your chips.

WRAY

You can have them.

COWBOY

I mean it.

WRAY

So do I.

COWBOY

Do you smell that?

WRAY

Comicon B.O.?

COWBOY

Repeat victory!

The table moans.

A bell suddenly sounds.

HOST

The tournament begins now. Good

luck. We have a very special gift

for tonight’s champion.

The DEALER deals out two cards per person at the table.

COWBOY

Did you hear that? I’ll get a

special gift.

WRAY

Thank you, we heard.

COWBOY

I just don’t want you to forget...

I’m taking your chips, and yours,

and yours...

FAT PAT

This is going to be a long night!

DEALER

Bet to you Mr. Nerely.

WRAY

Me? Can I go all in now?

DEALER

Do you want to look at your cards

first?

WRAY

Not particularly.

DEALER

Okay, then you can place your bet.

Wray pushes all of his chips forward.

WRAY

All chips in.

COWBOY

What?

LARGE MARGE

That shut up Cowboy!

Everyone folds to Cowboy.

COWBOY

What’s your deal actor man?

WRAY

What? Me? I’m giving you my

chips.

COWBOY

You’re going in blind?

WRAY

I have no idea what you just said.

FAT PAT

I think he’s scared.

COWBOY

I ain’t scared. Okay, I’ll be

your Huckleberry!

WRAY

My what?

LARGE MARGE

Don’t worry, that’s good.

Cowboy pushes all in.

COWBOY

All in.

Everyone else at the table folds.

DEALER

Do you want to go face up? It’s

just the two of you now.

COWBOY

Just show us the board.

The Dealer motions to Wray who shrugs. The Dealer flips

three cards, an ace, three, and seven.

He burns a card and then flips another card, a three.

Then he burns another card and flips the final card, an

ace.

DEALER

Two aces showing.

The Cowboy fidgets nervously.

Wray just sits there looking around. He has no idea

what’s going on.

DEALER

Gentlemen, please flip your cards.

They both flip their cards at the same time. Cowboy has

a three and a king.

Wray has two aces.

The Cowboy freezes in total shock.

WRAY

(Acting upset) Oh man, I just

lost didn’t I? Oh well, good

game.

He begins to stand.

FAT PAT

Pocket rockets to four of a kind.

Unbelievable.

LARGE MARGE

I’ve never seen anything like it.

The cowboy bursts out crying. Gasping sobs. He runs

off.

Wray is mortified.

The Dealer pushes the pot to Wray.

WRAY

What just happened?

FAT PAT

That was awesome! You made that

man cry!

LARGE MARGE

I take it back. That was worth

every penny I paid for this seat.

Pat and Marge are totally impressed now. They make room

for Wray to sit back down more comfortably.

Wray realizes that he’s still in the game and miserably

starts stacking his chips.

The girls smile and he weakly smiles back.

INT. MONTAGUE - SAME

The evening progresses. Wray’s chip stacks continue to

grow.

He gets more miserable as the night goes on.

INT. KIDS NEED TO READ CHARITY POKER TOURNAMENT - LATER

Jack enters a near empty hall.

Wray and the Host sit alone at the final table.

JACK

I’m here. Where is everyone?

They stand to greet him.

HOST

The tournament is over.

JACK

Where’s the champion?

HOST

The winner of the Phoenix

Comicon’s 10th Annual Kids Need to

Read Charity Poker Tournament

is... Wray Nerely.

Wray waves unenthusiastically.

JACK

What? I told you to lose.

WRAY

I tried.

HOST

Nice of you to bring in a ringer.

Early on he became the chip leader

and preceded to bully the other

participants.

WRAY

I did not.

JACK

I thought you didn’t know how to

play?

WRAY

I didn’t. I don’t.

JACK

Then how did you...

WRAY

I’m tired and just want to go

home. (To Host) You mentioned a

special gift?

HOST

Ah yes, you get this special first

place chip and a photo with Jack

Moore himself.

WRAY

A photo with Jack?

Jack smiles. The Host gets his camera ready.

HOST

Plus a free seat in next years

tournament.

WRAY

No thank you.

JACK

As this years winner, you’re

expected to return to defend your

title. It’s kind of an

obligation.

WRAY

Just keeps getting better.

HOST

Just remember...

WRAY & JACK

It’s for the children!

The flash goes off, as the photo is taken.

END


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