Skip to content

Corporate Jungle (Ch 9) Zorro’s Got Game

April 9, 2011

   CORPORATE JUNGLE

A Novella

By

Yoly Solis        

             The R.D.S. Industries skyscraper stabs a chubby cloud. The cloud
             drifts, ignores the attack.
.
 
             MAN, draped in an off-the-rack suit, sits in a glass-
             encased conference room, taps a laptop’s keyboard.
 
             Brad paces, leers at him from the hallway. J.B. marches
             forward.
 
                                      J.B.
                           Why is he here?
 
                                      BRAD
                           I don’t know; he said he needed
                           to see us.
 
                                      J.B.
                           Are they going to pay the
                           ransom?
 
                                      BRAD
                           I don’t see why not.

                                      J.B.
                           You can’t afford another screw-
                           up.
 
                                      BRAD
                           How was I supposed to know the
                           wrong kidnappers got him?
 
             J.B. grunts, marches inside the conference room…
 
             Extends his hand…
 
                                      J.B.
                           I’m J.B. Dreyfuss.
 
             STAN REYNOLDS pushes glasses up his nose, stands.
 
                                      STAN REYNOLDS
                           I’m Stan Reynolds, investigator
                           for A.I.B. Insurance.
 
             Hands over business cards. J.B. glares at Brad.
 
                                      J.B.
                           Investigator?
 
                                      STAN REYNOLDS
                           I’m here to review a claim
                           filed for Horatio Samson.
 
                                      J.B.
                           What’s the problem?
 
                                      STAN REYNOLDS
                           We need to speak to…
                                (scans computer
                                 screen)
                           Janice Johnson, who signed as
                           witness to Mr. Samson’s
                           signature.
 
                                      J.B.
                           Why?
 
                                      STAN REYNOLDS
                           Apparently, this kidnapping
                           occurred less than forty-eight
                           hours after Mr. Samson signed
                           the beneficiary designation
                           forms. 

                                      J.B.
                           So?


                                     STAN REYNOLDS
                           Not only did AIB underwrite
                           your company’s Kidnap and
                           Ransom policy, we’re also the
                           re-insurer for the corporate
                           life insurance issued on Mr.
                           Samson. We’ve had a rash of
                           kidnappings that have gone bad
                           in the last few months, and our
                           actuaries recommend we
                           investigate claims which fall
                           into certain parameters.
                           Particularly after paying a
                           substantial ransom and life
                           insurance claim for a deceased
                           executive of your firm so
                           recently.
 
             J.B. shoots another glare at Brad. Brad shrugs.
 
                                      J.B.
                           Are you refusing to pay the
                           ransom because of a bean
                           counter? Your company is
                           jeopardizing the life of a
                           valuable executive. Not to
                           mention…Horatio is like a son
                           to me.
 
                                      BRAD
                           Yeah, like a son.
 
             J.B. clears his throat.
 
                                      STAN REYNOLDS
                           We have a lawyer–a Notario–in
                           CocoLoco dealing with the
                           ransom funds. If the ransom
                           claim is legitimate, it’ll be
                           paid.
 
                                      J.B.
                           What do you mean…legitimate?
                           What are you insinuating?
 
                                      STAN REYNOLDS
                           I’m not insinuating anything,
                           Mr. Dreyfuss. I’m here to
                           investigate this claim. Can you
                           ask Ms. Johnson to come in,
                           please? I need confirmation of
                           her signature as witness.
 
             J.B. and Brad share a look.

                                   **

             In a jungle clearing, up the street from hell…
 
             Beaten, hog-tied to a tree trunk, guerrilleros carry
             Horatio. They drop him…he falls
             hard to the ground at Generalisimo’s feet. He’s covered in
             cuts, bruises–roughed up bad.
 
                                      GENERALISIMO
                           Señor Yankee Doodle…you have
                           returned to our lovely abode.
 
             Groan…
 
                                      GENERALISIMO
                           And here I thought you would
                           show us your…Rambo.
 
             Horatio finds the strength to speak.
 
                                      HORATIO
                           Please…let me go home. I’ll
                           pay you anything.
 
             Generalisimo nods to guerrilleros–they untie him, roughly.
             He manages to stand.
 
                                      GENERALISIMO
                           Señor Yankee Doodle, you must
                           be thirsty.
 
             Motions to a guerrillero who throws Horatio a canteen like
             a football…it slaps him across his head…he drops to his
             knees. With effort he reaches for it, gulps down the water.
             Gasps, catches his breath…
 
                                      HORATIO
                           Please tell me what you want.
 
                                      GENERALISIMO
                           What I want?
 
                                      HORATIO
                           Anything, Generalisimo.
                           Anything you want.
 
             Motions to another guerrillero.
 
                                      GENERALISIMO
                           I think you should eat your
                           dinner first. So you may
                           negotiate your release with a
                           clear head.

             Guerrillero sets a box in front of Horatio–uncovers the
             lid.
 
             Horatio peeks inside…
 
             An oversized, hairy tarantula struts restlessly.
 
             Horatio looks up at Generalisimo…
 
                                      GENERALISIMO
                           You wouldn’t refuse my
                           hospitality, would you? Enjoy
                           your dinner, Señor Yankee
                           Doodle. Buen provecho.
 
             Horatio doesn’t move.
 
                                      GENERALISIMO
                           Oh, forgive me…I am an
                           ungracious host…my
                           apologies…
 
             Generalisimo motions to guerrillero…He drops a bottle of
             ketchup inside the box.
 
                                      GENERALISIMO
                           I suggest you start with the
                           legs…very crunchy, loaded
                           with protein. Tastes like
                           chicken.
          
                                    **

             Chuck “Chocolate” Cantina bustles with an alcohol-induced
             fog.
 
             The doors slam open. A walking stick pokes through…
 
             Blind Police Capitán slaps the door frame, the walls…
 
             BOINK! He slams a CUSTOMER over the head…
 
             SLAP! Bottles crash, elixir dribbles down the bar.
 
             Like Zorro’s sword, he points walking stick, stabs an
             unaware HEFTY-SIZED WAITRESS smack dead center in the butt
             crack…
 
                                      WAITRESS
                           Ay, ay, ay!
 
             She turns, eventually smiles.
 
             Chuck disarms Capitán, leads him to a chair.
 
                                      CHUCK
                           Let’s have a drink, amigo.

             Chuck pours.
 
                                      CAPITÁN
                           I know she is here.
 
                                      CHUCK
                           Who?
 
                                      CAPITÁN
                           That crazy American Lady. I
                           will never forgive her. Never!
 
                                      CHUCK
                                (to Cantina patrons)
                           Amigos! Is Americana loca in
                           the Cantina?
 
                                      CANTINA PATRONS
                                (toast)
                           No!
 
                                      CHUCK
                                (points)
                           See? Well, You know what I
                           mean. Let’s toast to–
 
                                      CAPITÁN
                           I saw her today–the crazy
                           Americana.
 
                                      CHUCK
                                (waves a hand over
                                 Capitán’s eye
                                 patches)
                           You sure about that?
 
                                      CAPITÁN
                           She was on the street. I am
                           certain of it. I’d recognize
                           that butchered Spanish anywhere.
 
                                      CHUCK
                           You heard her? C’mon,
                           Capitán…lots of ex-pats
                           butcher Spanish.
 
                                      CAPITÁN
                           No one butchers Spanish like
                           her. She is like those Texas
                           Chainsaw Massacre people. It is
                           a Romance language for Christ’s
                           sake!

                                      CHUCK
                           Well then, let’s toast to
                           romance…
 
             They do.
 
             Cantina Doors Swing open.
 
             Janice rushes inside, José in tow.
 
             José spots Capitán.
 
                                      JOSÉ
                           Ay, ay, ay.
 
                                      JANICE
                                (to Chuck)
                           I need to talk to you–
 
             Chuck signals for her to shut-up…
 
             Capitán turns his head…
 
             Cantina patrons spot Janice.
 
                                      CANTINA PATRONS
                                (toast)
                           Yanice!
 
             Capitán jumps out of his chair, whips out his gun…
 
                                      CAPITÁN
                           I will shoot you, you crazy
                           lady!
 
                                      CHUCK
                           Capitán, what are you talking
                           about? The crazy lady isn’t
                           here.
 
             He waves Janice away.
 
                                      CAPITÁN
                           I know you are here. I will
                           kill you.
 
             He races forward, waves his gun…patrons dive to the
             ground.
 
             Silence…
 
             Janice stands only a few feet in front of Capitán…

             Capitán shuffles forward, Janice steps back…one
             foot…the other foot…
 
             She backs into the swinging door; it squeaks open…
 
             But the door pushes back, slams into Janice. She falls
             forward…
 
             Tumbles right into Capitán.
 
             They stumble to the ground. She lands on top of him.
 
             Arturo, Cantina waiter, enters, stands over the two…
 
                                      ARTURO
                           Hola Capitán. Hola Yanice. How
                           jou been?
 
             Capitán scrambles to stand; Janice crawls out the door.
 
             BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!
 
             A bullet misses her by an inch…
 
             Patrons dive, bottles explode…
 
             CLICK, CLICK, CLICK…gun empty.
 
                                      CAPITÁN
                           Bullets…I need more bullets!
  
                                       **
            
             Inside Generalisimo’s Trump Tower jungle tent…
 
             Generalisimo speaks into a satellite phone.
 
                                      GENERALISIMO
                           Where is my money?
 
 
             On the other end of the international phone call:
 
                                      BRAD
                           Your money could have been
                           collected earlier if you’d have
                           kidnapped him when you were
                           supposed to.
 
                                      GENERALISIMO
                           We have a backlog of hostages.
                           You cannot expect us to meet
                           your impossible schedule, you
                           Imperialist Yankee.

                                      BRAD
                           Thanks to your backlog, there’s
                           been a snag.
 
                                      GENERALISIMO
                           What is this…snag?
 
                                      BRAD
                           We’re working on it. But we
                           need more time.
 
                                      GENERALISIMO
                           We have many hostages to take.
                           We do not have time to waste.
                           Either you pay, or we release
                           him…alive.
 
                                      BRAD
                           No! You can’t do that–we had a
                           deal. You’ll get your money
                           once he’s dead.
 
                                      GENERALISIMO
                           Perhaps it is best you kill him.
 
                                         **

          Later, inside Brad’s office…
          Brad sits…J.B. paces.
 
                                      J.B.
                           Is there any way you could’ve
                           screwed this up more?
 
                                      BRAD
                           How was I supposed to know AIB
                           was was the reinsurer?
 
                                      J.B.
                           They red-flagged the claim
                           because of the exposure, you
                           idiot. Not to mention the
                           McGregor claim they just paid.
 
                                      BRAD
                           We had to pick the cheapest
                           policies–all that cost-cutting
                           crap.
 
                                      J.B.
                           Your ass is on the line.

                                      BRAD
                           Look, J.B., everything’s cool.
                           I spoke to —
                                (looks around)
                           — Generalisimo. He’s fine with
                           waiting. But not long.
 
                                      J.B.
                           What about the Notario?
 
                                      BRAD
                           The who?
 
             GROWL.
 
                                      J.B.
                           Did I pick the wrong
                           incompetent ass to…terminate?
                           Because of this investigation,
                           the ransom money is being sent
                           to this CocoLoco Notario
                           instead of our hostage
                           negotiator. The funds must be
                           released to our hostage
                           negotiator…
 
             Brad sports a blank look.
 
                                      J.B.
                                (leans in)
                           Otherwise, the Notario’s people
                           will handle the exchange and
                           pay the ransom to Generalisimo.
                           And if that happens…
 
                                      BRAD
                           Generalisimo will have to
                           release Horatio alive to get
                           his money.
 
                                      J.B.
                           Listen, and listen good. That
                           idiot has majority stockholder
                           status, thanks to his demented
                           Dad. I need Horatio dead before
                           he realizes how much power he
                           really has over this company. I
                           want his shares. And I want
                           that life insurance money.
                           Understand?
 
             J.B. Storms out…
 
             Brad picks up the phone…

                                      BRAD
                                (into phone)
                           I need to speak to Levin. Yeah,
                           I’ll hold.
 
             Around the corner…a gray head peeps inside the
             office…Brad is distracted by paperwork…
 
             The gray head turns…Donald Samson. He slaps a black mask
             over his eyes…a Zorro mask.
 
             Suddenly, a blade’s tip stabs Brad’s neck…he drops the
             phone.
 
             Donald Samson is draped in full Zorro gear…cape and
             sword…poses a practiced fencing stance…a drop of blood
             spots Brad’s neck….
 
                                      BRAD
                           Whoa! Old man, let’s talk about
                           this…isn’t it time
                           for…Jello?
 
                                      DONALD SAMSON
                                (Antonio Banderas
                                 accent)
                           We will duel, Señor. Name your
                           weapon.
 
                                      BRAD
                           Look, Old Man, time for your
                           nap.
 
             WHACK! Sword slaps the desk…papers fly.
 
             WHOOSH! Slices his tie in half…
 
                                      DONALD SAMSON
                           Name your weapon, Señor!
 
                                      BRAD
                           Uh…
           
                                       GLORIA SAMSON
                           There you are, darling. I’ve
                           been looking all over for you.
 
             Gloria appears sporting her charming smile, and chic Chanel.
 
             Donald Samson whispers in Brad’s ear…
 
                                      DONALD SAMSON
                           I will leave your torso free of
                           any protruding…extremities.

             Sweat drips down Brad’s forehead.
 
                                      GLORIA SAMSON
                           Time to sharpen your sword,
                           darling…
 
             Eyebrows gyrate…
 
                                      DONALD SAMSON
                                (whispers to Brad)
                           You are lucky Zorro is horny.
 
             The couple giggle on their way out–Zorro slaps Gloria’s
             ass.
 
             Brad’s knees buckle. PLOOP! He drops to the floor.

             To be continued…

*No part of this novella may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems without permission in writing from the author.    
Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: