There Can Be Only One

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
Don't judge a comic book by it's cover.

Submitted: February 08, 2016

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Submitted: February 08, 2016

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A dusty, dirty antique book store.

Ribboned light streams into

the store from a skylight

exposing the dust and uncleanliness

of the store.

 

On the left of the stage is a 

long book shelf filled with

comic books in no discernible

order - Superman, X-men and 

Batman are spread out in no

particular order.

 

Opposite the large bookshelf

is a long, glass counter.

Stood behind the counter is 

BARRY a man wearing

old clothes, in particular

a stain-covered wool tank top.

 

At the rear is the front door of

the shop. 

 

BARRY is reading a comic.

 

 

The door opens.

The antiquated sound of a bell

ringing sounds to indicate the

door has been opened.

 

Barry doesn’t raise his head

from his reading.

 

A woman enters.

She is dressed in a suit and 

carries a briefcase.

She looks like a mother buying 

for her child - completely out of 

place in a comic book store.

 

She looks at the long book shelf 

for a limited time and turns

to face Barry.

He doesn’t raise his head.

 

MARY  

Good morning.

 

Barry turns another page.

He pretends not to hear her.

 

 

MARY  

I said, good morning.

 

Barry pauses as he turns a

page. He doesn’t look up. 

He turns over the page.

 

Mary steps up to the counter

in front of Barry.

 

 

MARY  

Good morning, I’m here to 

buy a comic book.

 

Barry stops turning and 

looks at her like she has 

caught him on the toilet.

 

 

BARRY

Really?

In a comic book shop?

I’d never have guessed.

 

MARY

(nervous)

I... I’m sorry but I’m looking for...

 

BARRY

Something for your son?

 

 

MARY

(sternly, in control)

No.

I hear you have a Spiderman, Number 1.

 

BARRY

Yes.

The last one in existence.

 

MARY

The last one?

I thought there were two left in the world?

 

BARRY

Well, strictly speaking there are

two left in the world.

But!

One of them has been lost for over

thirty years so our copy is 

generally regarded as the last one

left in the world.

 

MARY

I see.

 

BARRY

But you don’t want to buy it.

 

MARY

I don’t?

 

BARRY

(patronizing)

No.

Buy some up to date comics

(pointing)

on the shelf behind you.

 

MARY

Thank you.

But I’m here to purchase Spiderman, Number 1.

 

BARRY

Ok.

Well I didn’t want to do this but you can’t

because... you can’t afford it.

It is the last Spiderman, Number 1, 

left in the world and it is very expensive.

 

MARY

I would expect nothing less...

if it truly is unique.

 

BARRY

Oh it’s unique alright.

Unique to the tune of one hundred thousand

dollars.

 

MARY

Ok.

May I see it?

 

BARRY

Ok what?

But, you know, I like your persistence.

I’ll just get it from out back.

So we can both have a look.

 

Exit Barry stage right.

 

Mary picks up the comic Barry has

been reading. She flicks through

it and throws it back on the counter.

 

MARY

Now I see who reads this trash. 

 

Enter Barry stage right.

 

Barry is holding the comic. 

It is sealed in a protective

plastic casing.

He places it carefully on

the counter.

 

BARRY

Behold. The legendary, last surviving copy

of Spiderman, Number 1.

 

MARY

Allegedly, the last copy.

 

BARRY

(smiles)

The last known copy.

 

Mary moves to pick it up.

Barry stops her.

 

BARRY

No, no, no.

What do you think you’re doing?

 

MARY

I want to have a look at it.

 

BARRY

You can see it just fine from there.

 

MARY

How much is it again?

 

BARRY

One hundred thousand dollars.

 

MARY

(looking closely at the comic)

Wow.

 

BARRY

Yes, expensive.

It would be more, a lot more.

 

MARY

Really?

 

BARRY

As long as the other copy is out there,

even though it’s been lost for years,

this comic is not unique.

MARY

Not unique?

 

BARRY

As you have pointed out, this cannot

be called “the last one in the world”.

The last Superman, Number 1, comic 

is now worth over a million dollars.

Now that truly is the last ever copy.

 

MARY

I’m not interested in Superman.

 

BARRY

No, me neither.

Too much of a goody-two-shoes.

It is a shame though.

 

MARY

(not listening)

Really?

 

BARRY

Well, now that comic is stored in some

vault. In a bank or someone’s personal

safe buried deep in their basement.

It will probably not see the light of

day again.

 

MARY

Hmmm.

I’d like to have a closer look at this

one, if I may?

 

BARRY

I have already explained that you’d have

to buy...

 

As Barry talks, Mary moves

her briefcase onto the counter.

She opens it and turns it

towards Barry.

 

BARRY (continued)

...it for...

PAUSE

How much is that?

 

MARY

(now in complete control)

One hundred thousand dollars.

In cash.

 

Barry is open-mouthed.

He shakes his head in

disbelief.

 

BARRY

Ok.

 

Not taking his eyes off the money

Barry pushes the comic to Mary.

 

Mary picks the comic up.

Barry picks up a stack of money.

 

Mary gazes at the comic with

the same love Barry is gazing at

the money.

 

Mary unseals the plastic jacket

and slides the comic out.

 

This wakes Barry from his trance.

 

BARRY

Be careful!

I know you just paid all this

beautiful money for it but 

remember it is pretty unique.

 

MARY

Not quite unique.

 

BARRY

Ha, yes.

I suppose we won’t go over that again.

Is there anything else you want?

MARY

No, no.

I’m fine.

(holding the unsealed comic)

This is all I came for.

 

BARRY

Good.

I hope you don’t mind then if I 

just go and put this money away.

In my safe.

 

Barry greedily picks up the still-open

briefcase, turns and walks out.

 

Exit Barry stage right. 

 

Mary takes a deep breath and lovingly

strokes the front of the comic.

 

Mary then tears it up with her hands.

 

She tears the comic into strips.

And then those strips into smaller pieces.

 

Just as she is finishing Barry

crashes back into the shop.

 

Enter Barry stage right.

 

BARRY

(shouting)

What are you doing?

 

Mary finishes tearing.

The small pieces are all over

the counter and the floor.

 

 Barry is speechless.

 

BARRY

But... but... but... you can’t.

 

Barry picks up some of the pieces

of paper and they fall through his fingers.

Mary stands triumphant.

 

MARY

Do you have a waste basket?

 

BARRY

(wide eyed)

I can’t believe you did it.

 

MARY

You just don’t get it, do you?

 

Mary leans towards Barry.

 

MARY

Now... my copy is unique.

 

Barry’s eyes widen even further

with the realisation of what 

has happened.

 

Mary turns and leaves the shop to

the rear of the stage.

 

Exit Mary.

 

Barry frantically searches

through the remnants.

 

Blackout

 

CURTAIN

 

THE END

 


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