INT. MARGE'S DINER - EVENING HARRY, a washed up, old detective who has seen it all, and LUKE, his younger and dispassionate partner, are at the counter before working a night case. LUKE's brother-in-law ELI has come for a ride-along Door chimes, LUKE and ELI enter. MARGE (Far) Well look at this young fella you brought me Luke. Coffee, handsome? ELI (Far) I uh… LUKE (Aside but close) …Mary said I needed to get him out of the house for dinner, and here we are. She's got her bridge gals coming over. HARRY (booming voice) Not much of a bridge player… LUKE (Normal) …Eli… HARRY …Eli? ELI Elijah, pleased to meet you. Luke and Mary have told me a lot about you. Ma too. HARRY So she gave you the gospel, did she? Which one was I? Jesus, or the Antichrist? LUKE (Interrupting) Mary and her ma said all kinds of great things about you… ELI Well they did say you're some kind of hero for saving a girl from drowing after she drove off the bridge last summer. HARRY I saved her from drowning, but the guy who had her brake lines cut just went and sent a guy with a gun to wait for her when she got home from the doctor. ELI Did you catch him? HARRY The gunman? LUKE We caught the gunman. Some bum. Kids said he lived on fish guts and root beer floats. Showed up at the pharmacy the next day with five bucks in one hand, and the gun in the other. ELI And you were waiting? HARRY He walked right up to the counter while we were talkin' to 'em. ELI To rob the place? LUKE Nah. He was using the gun to scratch his fleabitten ass. He just wanted his favorite soda treat to wash down his dinner. ELI Right...the fish (far. gulps) guts. I guess he didn't put up a fight. HARRY The gun went off and sent your brother-in-law here into a tizzy. He almost shot himself in the foot, he reached for his gun so quickly. LUKE You didn't even flinch, you hard old bastard. HARRY I had his gun in my hands before you even figured out you had to unbutton your holster. LUKE He caught me by surprise. You can't be too careful these days, even out at the soda fountain. ELI Sounds like God kept you safe that day. HARRY You need more than God to keep you safe down there, in the city. God'd shit his pants if he were with us some nights. ELI A… LUKE You don't need to scare him, Harry. (aside) The whole reason I'm bringing him along is to convince Mary…and Ma how safe my job is. HARRY (Normal) If he ain't scared, he ain't going to be smart. And if he ain't smart, he's gonna get scrambled. ELI Scrambled? HARRY Yeah, scrambled. All mixed up so you can't put it back together again…so you can't put *yourself* back together again. LUKE Come on, Harry. You're exaggerating. There's going to be none of that tonight. We'll go talk to… HARRY What are you afraid of, Eli? ELI Guns don't scare me, sir... HARRY "Sir" is for my father, and even he'd whup you for calling him that. ELI Uhh...It's what would make someone have to use one that scares me. Evil. Maybe even the devil himself is who pulls the trigger. HARRY You're looking at a guy who pulls the trigger more times than you've peeked at your sister's titties… LUKE Leave Mary out of this! We use our sidearms to fight the bad guys. There's nothing more to it. HARRY Sometimes you just have to shoot the evil out of 'em is all. ELI There must be (swallows) a less *violent* way. Are you saying you guys fight evil? HARRY I'm saying we fight scum. Low-lifes. You know any of those types? ELI …n…no! LUKE Well hopefully we won't meet any tonight… HARRY I think he might've met more than a few of the scrambled type before. (Louder) You got your Bible with you, Eli? ELI I never leave home without it. HARRY Sounds like someone already cracked you open and beat you with a fork. Maybe best you leave it with Margie here. MARGE More coffee? ELI I… LUKE We're heading out Margie. Please keep my brother in law's book safe. HARRY No place for the bible where we're going. Let's go. (They put on coats, coffee cups clink, boots shuffle) ELI Where are we going? HARRY (Mid-Far) To hell and back, young Elijah. LUKE Harry! (Door chimes) Fade out background noise of coffee shop.
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