Speaking In Tongues

Scribbling In Voices


By Stas Tyrkin

Translated by Max Nemtsov

...I found Centennial Mystery fascinating -- funny & horrible and so strange -- How lucky the t.v. audience will be to witness this original work of madness -- [Stas] must surely be a bit insane to have conceived this -- but also quite a talent...

-- Beth Henley, playwright


A girl named Vlada ascends the stairs with confusion in every step and approaches a door. She pauses, extending her hand, reluctant to touch the door. She bits on the fingers of her other hand as if trying to control emotions. She squats, communicating with the door as if it were a sentient being, but to no avail. At last, Vlada braces herself and touches it with her finger. Exactly at the same moment the door is banged open by a girl of very militant looks and expansive manners. Her name is Barbara.

BARBARA (sharply): What did you do yesterday with Nikolay Stepanych?

VLADA (in despair): Happy New Year! (The tears start rolling.) I've come to wish you a Happy New Year... And some new happiness too!..

BARBARA (still standing at the threshold, speaking more to herself): I boiled water, I made tea, I brew coffee, I made lemonade, I threw an empty yoghurt bottle out of the window... I didn't think (screeching) I didn't think that you would come to wish me a Happy New Year! (Starts crying.)

Vlada, aware of her now revealed weakness, uses it and rather impolitely enters her apartment with sudden resolution.

VLADA (turning back to Barbara with a lot of meaning): And Nikolay Stepanych made souffle!!

BARBARA (reacting instantly, grabs Vlada's fur coat by the collar): What did you do yesterday with Nikolay Stepanych?

Vlada slowly slips down the wall again.


An hour has passed. The girls are sitting at the kitchen table facing each other as if they have a confrontation.

BARBARA (acting like an interrogator): Are you still making kis-kis like you used to? (Smokes nervously.)

VLADA (as if under investigation): After Plush left I started to add more salt.

BARBARA: And what about a happy perch? Is it still delicious? (Exhales smoke.)

VLADA: I don't know, Plush used to eat it all up himself in the past. He never left me a single piece of a happy perch, so I don't know if it's tasty or not... Nikolay Stepanych hoarded a slice for me once, and that's why Plush left.

BARBARA (jumps up, coming to her senses): What have you done yesterday to Nikolay Stepanych? And to Anjelica Andrevna? What?


Some time has passed, the girls are sitting in the dark.

VLADA: How many years we haven't seen each other, how many years I've been absent, how many years we've been separated...

BARBARA: About fifteen years, I guess, and what's wrong with it?

VLADA: You're looking so good...

BARBARA (pleased with the compliment): That's true. I'm confident in my own strength. For I work with my face. And only with my face, m'dear! With my face, and just a little tiny bit -- with my brains!

VLADA: I'm expecting a phone call at midnight sharp.

BARBARA: I thought so: you don't give a shit about my face, about all those assets belonging only to me, about all this property not subject to selling or buying!

The light is on. Barbara is seen in a mannequin pose, completely still, with an outstretched hand, in front of a mirror. She's been looking in it all the time. Vlada is behind a curtain, afraid.

BARBARA: Are you scared? Of whom? Of Nikolay Stepanych?

VLADA (starts up sharply, like Barbara, then stops suddenly and finishes the phrase softly): What did you do yesterday... with Nikolay Stepanych?


The girls are sitting with their backs against the wall.

BARBARA: When have you last seen Potap?

VLADA: Just before all that happened. He brought the goods to the city trade show...

BARBARA: I know. The brilliant idea of the city administration. And have you met Methuselah there?

Vlada shakes her head.

BARBARA: And Lyuba? Haven't you seen Lyuba?

Vlada shakes her head sadly.

BARBARA: And what about Ivanov?

Vlada shakes her head again.

BARBARA (deep in thought): Yeah, all of them could have been here today, yet no one came.

VLADA (whispering): No one... No one here... And we won't be here neither...

Barbara looks at Vlada, surprised.


Vlada is standing in the middle of the room in her fur coat. Barbara is jumping up and down in self-oblivion, at the small safety net fit into the room; she's in her fur coat too, she's very hot, she fans herself. Vlada is in total confusion and rips her artificial nails off one by one. Barbara stops jumping (an entertainment of sorts for her), drops down her fur coat and looks at Vlada questioningly.

BARBARA (threatening Vlada and moving towards her): And now I'm going to try your fur co-at on!

VLADA (terrified): No! No! Don't do it... Please, no!

BARBARA (forcing her to surrender): And anyway... This is necessary...

VLADA (screaming): Noooooooooo! (Without her coat, softly.) Kis-kis...

BARBARA (turning round and round in the stolen coat): Wha-at??

VLADA: Kis-kis... (Walks out of the room, unnoticed.) Kis-kis... Kis-kis...

BARBARA (marvelling at herself): No strength. I cannot take it. Misha! The beauty is my pain, Misha... It hurts when I look at myself... It hurts so much.

There is a loud noise in the kitchen, the dishes are breaking. Barbara cautiously walks to the kitchen. Afraid to come in, she's doing what Vlada did in front of the front door. Finally, she enters the kitchen. Vlada is stretched on the floor. She doesn't breathe and hugs a flower pot with a big cactus planted. There is a kitchen stool sticking out of the semi-open window. The tablecloth is half-way down from the table, covering a part of the awkward body. Barbara lifts the body's head up just a little bit, drops it, sits down on another kitchen stool and puts a thread into a needle.

BARBARA (partially out of her mind): The house is empty! The shutters, the bars and the blinds -- everything's in order. (Starts to sew.) The doors of the wardrobe, the fridge and all drawers are locked, secured and closed; the keys are thrown out of the window. Everything's listed, itemized and insured. All money is in the bank. There is not a single ruble in the house. You cannot even buy salami. (Cries.) There even is no bread for the celebration. (Sniffs the wet tablecloth.) Smells like champaigne. (Sews, then suddenly remembers.) I had a dream last night... about either my granny or Agatha Christie! Something about some silly mousetrap! They came together, six of them, the house was all blocked with snow, you couldn't even walk out of it, let alone come in, but bingo -- an innocent young girl is murdered, and here you are -- those five persons start searching for a murderer within their small circle, they have nothing more to do. What a delirium, what a literature! Life is much more mysterious than fiction. The question is -- who killed an innocent girl, if a house is empty and there are only two of you, not even six, and mind you -- the surviving party doesn't have any time to get interested in the circumstances, absolutely. (Bits off a thread.) I've got to run to Plush, quick. He might have not left yet.

The telephone rings.


Banging the door close behind her (and she had thrown the key to it before -- more likely to the garbage chute, than out of the window), Barbara swiftly runs down the stairs. There is a girl still lying on the cold floor in her empty apartment -- a girl whom she would never call a friend, whom she could easily and irretrievably forget, and for whom she could inconsolably and sweetly weep for a very long time. Her name was Vlada and she is dead already, there was no more hope in that. The girl that is still alive now runs sportively along the Centennial Avenue. She takes her breath only in front of a door -- somehow there is no apartment number on it.

Barbara rings a doorbell. A young and elegant character, in his thirties, dressed in tuxedo, although he's at home, opens the door. His name is Mikhail, alias Plush. There is a rose in his teeth.

BARBARA (invitingly): Mee-sha!..

PLUSH (adjusting his bow tie in some agitation): The matter is... I... I've been waiting... not for you...

BARBARA (passionately): It doesn't matter now!

Still in the doorway, she forces a long, painful and multi-episodal kiss on him.


In the casualty ward of the municipal toxicological hospital there are two bodies lying on stretchers, with their heads covered. A nurse and a woman paramedic are watching some Christmas entertainment program on a badly tuned TV. Enters a duty physician with a glass of champaigne in his hand.

DOCTOR (singing): All beauties, all beauties, all beauties of the cabaret, you've been created just for entertainment! (Playfully.) Gee-orls, how do our old-timers do? Not cooked yet?..

«Georls» don't like to be distracted from the show, they laugh merrily, the paramedic shoots a cracker into the ceiling, the nurse showers her with confetti. The doctor, not embarrassed by this outburst, walks up to the left stretcher and lifts up the sheet.

DOCTOR: Well, Anjelica Andrevna, here you are! (Reads from the description on the body.) The death is caused by arsenic, vitriol and belladonna poisoning... A very unhappy coctail, dahling, a highly unhappy one... (Sternly.) And where, Anjelica Andrevna, are our little putrid stains? Where, I'm asking you, eh? (Finds them.) Here they are! Here are our little stains!.. Very up-to-the-point... (Covers Anjelica Andrevna's head with the sheet, and the old lady's innocent thin feet in the home slippers remain uncovered.) That's the way it is, Anjelica Andrevna... That's the way it is...


Barbara is standing in front of a big wardrobe. She is dressed in the holiday pink frock and puts a hat on her head with an abrupt movement of her hand.

BARBARA (to Plush): The flame of my love to you torches me down to the cinders, it destroys me to ashes, it makes me forget about everything... This is a passion, Misha, an all-consuming, burning, unconquerable passion! I don't have any thoughts in my head when I'm loving you, I don't have any feelings when I'm loving you, I don't have any strength...

She faints. Plush bends over her.

PLUSH (teasing): Unconquerable!

Glances at his watch nervously, sips from the glass and splutters at Barbara's face. Barbara comes to her senses and jumps up.

BARBARA: I wanna dance! With you, Misha! (Starts singing.) I wanna waltz with you and only you -- and this is the waltz of our destiny! (Waltzes with Plush, singing.) The whirlpool of waltz will take us in, a favour to all my love within -- if our friendship finds ourselves in it!

With mixed feelings of annoyance, pity and tiredness expressed in his face, Plush tries to equal his wild partner in their waltz.


The doctor gets closer to the right stretcher.

DOCTOR (to the female paramedic): Izabella Gennadyevna, and whom do we have over here?

PARAMEDIC (sternly): Who-who... Grandfather Whoer!

DOCTOR (good-naturedly): That's who he is. (Reads from the sheet.) Nikolay Stepanych Whoer. Death caused by intoxication... That's how our old-timers celebrate the New Year now... Well, what do we have here? (Rips off the cover, ecstatic.) Unbelievable! I can't trust my own eyes! What a specimen! What a magnificent specimen, eh?

NURSE: Why are you, Svyatopolk Kuzmich, appraising the grandfather as if he's some frog?

DOCTOR: You just look, Galina, what a specimen he is! What a Hercules, look! What an athlete! A Russian Man! A stud! A Rasputin!

The nurse and the paramedic eye the thrilled doctor suspiciously.

PARAMEDIC: A stud! Why has he kicked the bucket then?


Barbara and Plush are still waltzing. Plush expresses his discontent and plain fury, subject to this incessant torture.

BARBARA (singing): The whirlpool of waltz will take us in, a favour to all my love within -- if our friendship finds ourselves in it! (Yelps.) Ah! How 'bout it? (Still faster.) The whirlpool of waltz will take us in, a favour to all my love within -- if our friendship finds ourselves in it!

PLUSH : Enough, may be?..

Barbara fills up her glass waltzing, gulps it down and forces Plush to dance away.

BARBARA (in a more romantic tone): The whee-orlpool of waltz will take us in, a faaa-yvour to all my love within -- if our friee-endship finds ourse-elves in iiiit!

As a result of such intense waltzing, Barbara pushes Plush into an armchair. Plush tries to resist her unsuccessfully.


The doctor scrutinizes the Nikolay Stepanych's corpse.

DOCTOR: Yeah, there is nothing we could do. Death has no mercy. Well, where are our precious spots? Those ones -- putrid... Where are they? (He notices nothing of the sort.) Hey? How should I comprehend this?! (Peeks into the corpse's eyes, grabs his wrist checking on the pulse and instantly gets very serious.) Izabella Gennadyevna, Galya! (Laments.) Where have you been? What have you done? Where have you looked?

NURSE: And what have you done, Svyatopolk Kuzmich?!

DOCTOR (himself again): Quick! Prepare the body for washing out!


DOCTOR: I told you, prepare the body for washing out!


DOCTOR (in a fit of impotent fury, shoving some rubber hose down his own throat): That's how, that's how, don't you understand?!

NURSE: Well, she's being paid very little. So she doesn't understand anything. She doesn't understand a single thing because of that...

With her arms akimbo, the paramedic pushes the stretcher out of the room. The old lady's lonely feet are still lying on the other stretcher.


Barbara and Plush are kissing passionately in the armchair.

BARBARA (suddenly): Whose... are... those boots?

In the anteroom, side by side with the Plush's accurate shoes there are male biker's boots.

PLUSH (collecting himself): Oh my God! (Presses his hand to the left side of his chest.) Those are Methuselah's... (Varying intonations.) Methuselah! Methuselah, Methuselah...

BARBARA (amazed): So... what... is he... still alive?

Forgetting Methuselah, she starts following Plush with her hands and her gaze.

PLUSH (casually, getting out of the armchair): Alive, alive. What can happen to him? Just arrived today. Out of the blue. «Hi,» says, «lemme in for the sake of our old friendship, to catch some breath, to lick the wounds of my soul...»

BARBARA (still following Plush with her eyes): So?..

PLUSH: So he got into the bath, imagine, on the very New Year's eve, and has been sitting there for an hour already.

BARBARA (vaguely): Maybe he's there... well...

PLUSH (instantly): No way, why shoud he?.. (Moves towards the door.)

BARBARA (anxiously): Where are you going?

PLUSH: I'll be back... I'll just make some kis-kis.

BARBARA (wails): Mee-sha! O my Plush! O! O!


A dark character with thin blond hair stands dejectedly in the shower under the strong current of cold water. He extracts a pack of cigarettes from nowhere, lights one with the lighter and slowly slips down to the hot tub with the cigarette.


The stretcher with Nikolay Stepanych on it is rolled into a hospital ward.

DOCTOR: Faster, faster, women! Or we'll lose the stud... the patient, that is, pardon me God!.. Why are you fumbling there, why are you so slow, ah? (Shouts at the nurse.) He's still breathing, he's breathing in spite of what we did to him!

NURSE: Don't give me your hysterics, O.K.? Don't give me that. Gimme a break.

PARAMEDIC: I'm looking for a tube, are we going to perform the intubation or what?


PARAMEDIC: Intubation or watsitsname?

DOCTOR (getting madder): Well, you should have done that ten hours ago, when he was just brought in!

NURSE: Hush now, hush, Svyatopolk Kuzmich! You told us yourself, remember -- let the old-timer lie there for a while, let them ripe... That's a hell of a strange effect that champagne is having on you... (Inserts a rubber hose in the Nikolay Stepanych's mouth.)

DOCTOR (screaming at the paramedic woman): The probe! Get me the probe! The dropper!


Methuselah is lying in the tub smoking, then immerses himself into the water covering his head, with the cigarette still in his teeth.


The Plush's bedroom. Barbara is respectably sitting in front of the mirror in her nightgown. Plush is melancholly stretched on the bed looking at his clock. Barbara is singing, charmingly turning to Plush now and then.

BARBARA (singing Carmen): L'amour, l'a-a-mour, l'amour, l'aa-aa-mour!

Plush picks up a thick volume of Ovid's Love Elegies and starts reading out loud, in hope that Barbara will understand that those words are aimed at her.

PLUSH (expressively): A hunter is following game but as soon as he gets it, loses his interest, drops it and follows a new one!

BARBARA: You are so clever, you are so just... Do you want a kis-kis, do you want a piece of happy perch?..

PLUSH: By love I've been turned into skin and bones a long time ago, alas!

BARBARA (singing): L'amour, l'a-amour!

PLUSH: Isn't there a great deal of both men and women who live without love? You just please them and bask in your triumph.

BARBARA (singing): L'a-amour, l'a-a-a-amour!

PLUSH: Rome, if it didn't set its hordes on the world, could have stayed just a quiet thatched village... A warrior, when he's tired, gets a plot of earth...

BARBARA: What does he get?

PLUSH: Where?

BARBARA: Well, you've just read it yourself!

PLUSH: Oh! A plot of earth... A dacha, that's what he gets! (Continues reading.) There are all vessels taken from seas, tied down in the long docks, and the gladiator's sword is replaced with a wooden one. (Raises his index finger.) It means that myself, just an infantryman in the army of love, should be issued a long leave of careless living.

BARBARA: L'a-amour! (Moves towards Plush menacingly.)


Methuselah lies unmoving, submerged in the tub. The butt of his cigarette is floating on the surface.


The doctor is carefully arranging a blanket of Nikolay Stepanych who is still unconscious under dropper. The paramedic woman is mopping the floor after the washing out operation.

PARAMEDIC: Should I take away the basin, or how?

NURSE: You can take it home for all I care.

PARAMEDIC: You fool.

NURSE: You fool yourself.

DOCTOR (to the nurse): Write it down, Galina. Nikolay Stepanych Whoer, age 63. First diagnosis. Vitriol, arsenic and belladonna poisoning. Ultimately grave condition. Preliminary check-up by the doctor-on-duty Sidorenko. The patient is comatose, the pulse is weak, pupils are slightly dilated, don't respond to light due to some reasons, our mucous membrane is dry, there is almost no mucus on our membrane, and we, Galochka, have a tissue turgor decreased. That's the way it is.


It's the morning. Plush is carefully trying to get out of bed, but Barbara unexpectedly grabs him by the arm in her sleep. Plush frees himself and walks to the bathroom door in his nightrobe. He turns the doorhandle, the door opens. Methuselah is still lying in the tub.

PLUSH (surprised): Methy! I forgot all about you!

Methuselah doesn't show any signs of life.

PLUSH: Methy, Methy, the water must be quite cold now...

Plush grabs him by the hair, shakes the body's head, but, afraid, drops it in the water again. He screams.


Plush screams, and Barbara appears in the doorway. At first she doesn't speak, shaken, and then starts screaming too.

BARBARA (lowers her voice, as if she's just remembered something): Vlada has been killed.

PLUSH: Why... oh why... why did he have to take a bath? Why did he have to wash himself like that? (Grabs barbara by the shoulders and shakes her violently.) Why, I'm asking you?

BARBARA (a bit louder): Vlada is killed. Methuselah has drowned.

PLUSH (doesn't hear her): What should I do now with him, what could I prove and to whom? Olga Vladimirovna would testify that we used to argue a lot, we quarrelled, even fought with each other, we framed each other... Nobody would believe that he drowned himself, everybody will say that I killed him!..

BARBARA (shouts): Vlada is dead!

PLUSH (stunned): What?..

Barbara is weeping loudly.

PLUSH: Vlada who?

BARBARA: Your Vlada, your girl! Your new Barbara, you God-damned stud! (Whips him with a towel.) And you would prefer me killed instead, eh?

PLUSH: What, what are you saying, what does it mean -- dead, who, for what? (Laughs nervously.) Who could have done that? Why should anybody murder a poor silly girl?

BARBARA (in a tired voice): How should I know? She came to me yesterday, we sat down and talked, she went to the kitchen to make some kis-kis, and I stayed in the rooms, why should I go to the kitchen -- it's holiday after all? Now there's noise over there, some banging, moans -- it means she's expired. I came in... that's it... She lies on the floor, dead, unmoving...

PLUSH (softly): And I was waiting for her yesterday, all evening long. And she never came, I thought she was with Nikolay Stepanych...

BARBARA: Congratulations, you didn't even know that! Nikolay Stepanych is in the morgue together with Anjelica Andrevna!

PLUSH (shocked): You... you... when did you know all that? (Infuriated.) When did you learn that?!

BARBARA (proudly): Before I came here!

PLUSH (in the quiet fury): And why, why didn't you tell me?.. Why didn't you tell me about it yesterday? If it's truth, as you say, why didn't you tell me last night? Why? (Grabs her by the shoulders and violently shakes.)

BARBARA (sobbing): I forgot! I forgot! I forgot!

PLUSH: Well now, stop that bullshit! Give me a break! That's it! (Babbling.) It means that myself, just an infantryman in the army of love, should be issued a long leave of careless living. That's it. C'mon. (Pushes her out of the bathroom.) Beat it. I bore with you long enough. I can't take it anymore. Yesterday I've been waiting for my Vlada -- every minute, every second, do you hear me, I've been waiting for her!

BARBARA: And she didn't come because she'd been dead. And it was me who came instead, because I'm alive and I'm warm, and because I'm in love with you, fool, and it's driving me nuts. And besides, it was you who killed Methuselah, and I'll tell everyone because I saw everything...

PLUSH: What?

BARBARA: Yes, I saw everything. You woke up in the middle of the night, when Methuselah was taking a bath. You sneaked on him, and I was sneaking on you and I saw you grabbing him by the throat, he all turned blue, and you pushed him under water until he stopped even bubbling. After that you washed your hands as if they were dirty and went to bed again.

PLUSH (with tears in his eyes): So -- so you mean that you really strangled Vlada?

BARBARA (rudely): Are you crazy? She was murdered. At midnight! The light went out. And when they turned the electricity on again, she was dead.

PLUSH: But who could have killed her, who, you rotten cabbage-stump?! Who could have murdered her in your oun house? Were there anybody else?

BARBARA: There was no one else in the house. It was empty. There were only two of us.

PLUSH: Well?

BARBARA: Well what?

PLUSH: Well, who killed her then if it wasn't you?

BARBARA: No! I didn't kille her at all!

PLUSH: Who then? Who? How did it happen? How did she die?

BARBARA: And how did Methuselah die?

PLUSH (after a pause): That is, you mean that...

BARBARA: Yes, yes, that's what I mean, yes, yes...

PLUSH: ...that both Vlada and Methuselah, so to say, did it themselves...

BARBARA (rudely): What?!!

PLUSH (uncertain): Did it by their own hands, terminated their lives, committed, in a way, suicide...

BARBARA: And Vlada too?!

PLUSH: Out of hopelessness, because they couldn't stand the life's absurdity anymore, they were desperate, they hated its nastiness, it's...

BARBARA: It's?..

PLUSH: What it's?

BARBARA: Nevermind, go on...

PLUSH: You've fucked my brains up again! You expected me to believe you. Vlada is alive, and if she hadn't come to me last night means only that there was some mistake, some coincidence, some absurdity...

BARBARA: I would even say -- a tragic coincidence...

PLUSH: That's it! Don't you dare to say that! You hear me? I'm going now to your abominable flat, where everything is all so kitschy, that wallpaper with huge flowers, that foor, those bare walls!

BARBARA: Go! Beat it! Only get rid of your dead body first! Ha! Whadya say? Or you doubt even this body's physical presence? Just look at it! Naked, blue, slimy! Oh, I never thought that Methuselah is so blue, how interesting!

PLUSH: I warn you -- even if you won't be able understand that: for the sake of my love to Vlada I'm capable of decisive, careless and frequently rash actions! I'll lock you in here with this body, you must be used to communicating with corpses by now, and I'll go and see if my Vlada is really there in your unwashed kitchen.

BARBARA: I'm not capable of rush actions. Bastartd! I completely forgot about all that nightmare, I completely forgot about that entire crazy day, about that disaster with Vlada, about everything in the world because of my passionate love to you! Ungrateful! Go ahead! Beat it! Go away! But you know -- I threw away the key to my apartment, and I don't remember: to the window or to the garbage chute.

PLUSH (sinking to the floor): So, I won't know that... I won't know for sure if my Vlada is alive or not?..

BARBARA: Well, why never?

PLUSH: I'll have to suffer in ignorance, to hope for something, to pray and to hope... No, o my God, not that! Let it be the most terrible, the most awful thing, but not that incessant roaming in the dark. I can't take it. Please understand, I'm not strong enough for that... (Weeps.)

BARBARA: Look here, the destiny itself says that we've been created for each other, and now we need each other more than ever. The destiny speaks the language of coincidences like that, it besieges the man, it hunts him like he hunts wolves, the man has no place to escape, he has nowhere to run but into the arms of his old beloved Barbara! This is where the destiny drives him to! C'mon! Don't you see it?

PLUSH (weakly): This is one hell of a strange reasoning...

BARBARA: Remember how it had been for us before she came in, how we had been loving each other -- passionately, powerfully, yet tenderly and serenely... Was it very bad for us, was it bad indeed, tell me, Misha, my Misha...

PLUSH: Well, what can I say...

BARBARA: My passion to you gnaws my organism, it has become subject to such infections that... But I will never, never agree to any treatment! Admit that she was too weak and too stupid to live with you -- and to exist at all... (Sighs.) The poor thing even couldn't cook a happy perch for you in the proper way!

PLUSH: That was the reason why I deserted her several times!

BARBARA: Together we'll find that one right, that chess-wise correct move we should make to escape dry from this tub! And we'll find it, no doubts about it. You, I, we...

PLUSH: ...all in one family.

BARBARA: Are you going mental or what? We'll find our only way, our ray of light in the kingdom of darkness, our light at the end of the tunnel, our cloudless sky all in diamonds, and we'll dash from right here, from the Centennial Avenue straight to hell, to Moscow, or maybe to Japan! Are we any worse than the Japs? The only thing to do now is to find the thrown away key to my apartment...

PLUSH: You couldn't have thought of anything better -- to throw away your own key?

BARBARA: No, I couldn't. Now no one can enter it -- neither cops, nor neighbors, and the consierge and the elevator attendant cannot neither. This is it -- the best security system for homes and dead bodies in them! Do you still think I was wrong?

PLUSH: I've lost that ability.

BARBARA: Which one?

PLUSH: What?

BARBARA: What ability?

PLUSH: Oh. To think.

BARBARA (sighing with relief): Oh, this is not your main point anyway! I will think for both of us. So, we must find the key asap, or otherwise enter the apartment by hanging from bedsheets torn and tied together... Which way do you prefer?


A young hoodlum is dragging himself along the street in search of adventure. Suddenly one of his shoesoles steps on a keyring lying around on the asphalt beside a highrise condominium. The hoodlum gladly grabs it, throwing furtive glances around, and starts figuring something fingering the keys. His attention is drawn to the smallest one -- to the mailbox. The hoodlum quickly runs into the main entrance and spasmodically starts fitting the key in the mailboxes' locks one by one. At last, one of them opens. The hoodlum takes out a newspaper The Daily News. Now he knows the apartment number and takes the elevator up reading the newspaper. He disembarks when the elevator stops and begins picking up locks. He opens the door to the Barbara's apartment and enters. Everything is quiet for some time. Then the hoodlum runs out of the apartment like mad, dragging a big lady's fur coat behind and screaming. He runs down the stairs, echoes reverberating behind him.

A NOTE FROM THE EDITORS: This film project was never put on the screen because the writer ran out of ink.