UW Oshkosh OSRCA
Dempsey Hall, 317
Phone: (920) 424-1195
Poker Night, by Nick Locke Beake
Nick Locke Beake
INT. A Tavern Around Closing Time — NIGHT
PETER waits at the bar, on edge. Behind the bar is CAIN, hard at
work cleaning. Off to the side is the effervescent LUCY, playing
hard-to-get with the BARFLY. A disoriented JACK enters. Peter
crosses over to greet him.
Hey! You made it! I heard you went
out partying last night. You feeling
Yeah, I’m fine. It was stupid, a few
friends dragged me out with them to
some bars. I’m certainly paying for it.
I woke up feeling like I got hit by a
I was gonna say, Jack. Partying isn’t
like you. (beat) Well, glad you made it
Yeah, sure. So… um, what is this exactly?
Oh, it’s a poker night with some
colleagues. Kind of a spur of the
moment thing. Actually—
Lucy throws her arms up in greeting, snubbing the BARFLY as she
strides over to greet Jack.
As I live and breathe! Jack, so kind of
you to join us! Was this guy boring you?
No. He was just telling me about tonight’s
I was about to say that my boss was the
one who suggested that we invite you.
Speaking of which, how is that job?
Still cleaning up after you, Lucy.
Is the boss still mad at me?
What do you want me to say? He’s certainly
sad that you left. You were his favorite.
Of course! Though I still think I could
run the place better than him.
What exactly is your job?
I’m a doorman for this private club.
Hey, Cain! You almost done over there?
(finishing the last of his work)
Yeah, yeah. You can’t rush perfection.
Patience is a virtue, you know!
And pride’s a sin! (beat) C’mon, let’s
Wait, I don’t have any money with me.
Don’t worry. Your buy-in’s already
been prepared for you.
Cain finishes and the four of them exit.
INT. – TAVERN, BACK ROOM, NIGHT.
Jack sits, pondering over his buy-in.
Alright, five card stud is the name
of the game.
(beat)(A little disoriented)
So… Uh, you work here?
Not exactly. It’s more of a permanent
arrangement. I just watch the bar
’til…whenever. This is different,
though. You got Lucy and Peter in
a room together. All for you. You
must be special.
(beat)(to Peter) Hey. I— I don’t really
know why I’m here. You said your boss
put this together. Why?
Look, this may seem strange, but he knows
you’re a good person. He wanted a way
for you and me to talk about what
happened last night. It’s important.
What happened last night that’s so
important to you? I got drunk on some
crappy beer. That’s it…
Peter’s desperate look says much more than that happened last
night. Lucy, Cain, and Peter look at their cards as the weight
of the situation begins to sink in for Jack. His cards remain
Bold move. Throwing caution to the wind.
(rising from his chair)
Look, I’m not so sure I should be
here. I really need to—
Now, Jack. It’s very important that
you stay. (beat) Why don’t you go first?
Jack reveals his hand. It’s a winner. Jack smiles and grabs the
pot, as Lucy smirks. A montage of the game, Jack winning hand
after hand, Cain busts out, and Lucy feigning playful defeat.
Exiting the montage, Jack cheers as he wins another hand.
Wow, another one. It’s just one
after another with you, sorta like…
Sort of like what? What are you talking
You’ve been doing very well, Jack.
(beat, looking at her hand) Well,
I probably shouldn’t, but I’ll go
all in. Why not, yaknow?
Lucy pushes all of her meager capital into the pot. Lucy looks
to Peter, who after reviewing his hand, folds.
I guess it’s just you and me, Jack.
Jack matches Lucy’s bet with a mere percentage of his earnings.
Lucy playfully scoffs.
Really? That’s all? You have all of that
and you call? Boring. Make this more
interesting. Raise the stakes. C’mon
Don’t do it. She’s bluffing. You
don’t have to risk it. Play it safe.
Where’s the fun in that? C’mon, Jack.
Jack, listen to me. She’s playing you.
You don’t have to do this.
You have everything going for you,
Jack. You can’t lose. What’s the worst
that could happen?
Jack goes all in. Peter looks up to Providence, Lucy has made
her move and he needs every edge he can get. Lucy motions for
Jack to reveal his hand. A full house with the Ace of Spades.
Lucy fakes nervousness. Sinister and cocky, she holds up the Ace
of Spades, and fans out revealing a Royal Flush in spades.
(rising to his feet)
No… That’s not possible…
Cain appears behind Jack, gently easing him back down into his
chair. Lucy strides and stands before Jack.
I said it before and I’ll say it again:
You seem like a person who’d risk anything
for a little bit of fun. A one-time
thing, sure. But you did have fun at
the bars, didn’t you? Maybe even a little
too much fun. Do you remember what
you did when you woke up this morning?
Yeah, I got up and I… I went—
Are you sure? Are you sure you even
made it back to your bed? Can you
even remember anything? I doubt it.
Jack, listen to me. Think hard about
what you were doing! What you heard,
what you saw. Think back to last night.
Something happened! You need to
remember what it was! You need to
There’ll be hell if you don’t.
I can save you Jack, I can get you out
of here. But you need to remember what
you did last night! You went out to the
bars, you had a few too many. You were
leaving the bar when you…
He ain’t gonna remember, Peter. You
might as well start saying your
No, no. He knows. He can remember.
(to Jack) C’mon. Think hard! What
happened?! What did you do?!
I don’t know!! (beat) I— I can’t
remember anything! I don’t remember
anything that happened last night…
Jack’s line rings like the haunting peal of a church bell. It’s
over. The desperate Peter loosens. He has lost.
There’s a good boy. The thing is, you
never made it. Well, not to your place,
anyway. Though, the nurses are happy
to have you. They got you holed up in
this room, they call it the “Vegetable
Garden”. They’re feeding you applesauce
through a tube. Doctor said—
Stop toying with him, damned cheat!
Back off, Peter. The deal was if he could
remember what he did, he could get a second
chance. He doesn’t remember. 3 people dead
and can’t remember.
He doesn’t deserve this. He’s been on
the straight and narrow all his life.
He shouldn’t be cast aside for one slip-up.
Why so much for him?
I want to prove a point: Anyone can
fall off the wagon. He reminds me of
myself when I was younger. And now he’s
mine. You lost the deal, you lost the
game. Jack is mine to keep.
(afraid) Peter? What is she talking about?
I’m sorry, Jack. I’m sorry for everything.
He sheds his mortal coil, then he’s mine.
(beat) You’re hanging by a thread, Jack.
And I just got me a new pair of scissors.
What the hell are you?
Now, don’t worry about me. There
are plenty of bigger things for
you to worry about. From now ’til
Hell freezes over.
Peter can barely watch. Lucy smiles as Jack’s soul is freed.
CUT TO BLACK.