Calamity – Draft (yeah, I know there’s errors!)

It’s early on Christmas Eve and the three animal rights activists enter Harry’s Furs on George Street in downtown Guelph. Harry’s alone in the store. Sid, Elliot and Johnathan don’t look like they could afford new coats let alone furs. Johnathan, hidden by the other two locks the door behind them. Thunk, click, the tumbler goes unnoticed. Harry comes out of the back of the shop glasses on top of his balding head holding several pieces of paper, and, sliding the glasses down with a wrist flick, takes in the dishevelled trio with a squint: “Can I Help You?” he says half enquiring,

“Elliot. Grab him.” Sid is the first of the three to speak.

Elliot is quick to act and strides across the store to Harry, taking him by first one then both arms and twisting them up behind  Harry’s back. A roll of duct tape falls out of Elliot’s coat pocket and, hitting the ground seemingly in slow motion, rolls back across the floor to stop at Johnathan’s feet.

Johnathan pauses looking at the tape for a second before picking it up. When he does all four men have a surprised look on their faces, Harry’s mouth widens in his otherwise serious stare and utters, “What the fuck?” twisting to snarl at Elliot. Johnathan bolts across the room with the tape, pulling off a large enough piece to press against Harry’s mouth, stopping any further emissions. 

“Nice,” says Sid ironically. Harry is struggling against Elliot’s grip as Johnathan starts to wrap Harry’s hands and wrists, rolling the grey sticky tape to the elbows.

“Stop moving old man,” Elliot tells Harry, giving him a shake, now in total control of his capture, “We don’t wanna brake anything.” Elliot is the stockier of the three -well muscled and uses it to his advantage to control Harry.

Sid moves forward to the register and takes out the small metal bar he brought and slips one of the ends into the cash drawer seam which gives way immediately. He turns to the others who have now sat Harry down in a chair, working the tape around his torso so he’s stuck fast.

“There’s no money!” Sid yells. The other faces turn from their prey to look at Sid.

“What do you fuckin mean there’s no money,” exclaims Elliot. “This guy’s rich!” All three would-be robbers turn to Harry. Sid moves to stand beside the chair and in one motion tears the tape from Harry’s face.

“Ah Fuck,” Harry grimaces. “What the fuck’s goin’ on. I don’t have any money in the cash after Theresa takes it to the bank at two. Let me go!” but Sid quickly slaps the tape back over Harry’s mouth. Harry mumbles something inaudible.

“Shit. Shit. Shit!” Elliot stomps, “I new something was going to fuck up.”

“Shut up,” Sid replies, “Let me think.”

“Let’s just get out of here.” begs Elliot. “ Scrap everything. This is fucked up.”

“Yeah, let’s go.” Johnathan adds in palpable fear.

“No. We came to a job and we’re going to finish it. There’s a lot riding on this you don’t know and we can’t leave without somethin.” states Sid. “ Look, take the old man into that closet and Johnathan, roll down the front blind. Put the closed sign up.” Sid stands in the middle of the store with his hands wrapped around his head tightly, eyes closed he’s thinking.

“What are we going to do now,” Elliot enquires.

“We’ve got to take some furs to sell. It’s the money we need.” Sid replies

“What the fuck do we know about selling stolen fur coats?” Elliot complains. “And these are furs, we should be spray painting them so they can’t be sold. That’s what activists do. You said this was going to be about robbing a fur shop to save the species. You never said anything about getting our hands bloody doing it.”

“Yeah, yeah. I know – looks bad. But remember our promise to Sheila.” Sid declares. “We needed the money to prove a point – that we don’t back down for the effort.”

“Shelia’s not fucking here, locked in a fur shop with no money, is she. And what’s so great about Sheila anyway. You got a chubby for her?” Elliot accuses.

“Shut up – you know we have something meaningful,” Sid responds.

“That’s it, isn’t it. Harry’s locked in a cupboard, and we’re locked in his store just so you can prove something to a girl.” says Elliot.

Meanwhile Johnathan comes out of the office carrying two plates full of Christmas shortbread cookies, Christmas Cake and chocolates. “Hey guys, they must have been having a party here today and look what I found?” He holds up an opened bottle of champagne admiringly.

“What the fuck? Put that down” Sid orders.

“Leave him alone!” Elliot shouts back.

“What kind of robbery is this when he helps himself to leftovers – all he ever thinks about is food.” says Sid.

“Better than thinking with his dick, isn’t it.”

“Fuck off.” Sid replies

“Jonathan, let’s get out of here.” says Elliot

“No wait.” says Sid. “There is something you don’t know about. The money from the robbery was to buy explosives. There’s this guy, Armand, who Sheila says is looking to make a statement by blowing up some fur stores in Toronto. That’s all I know. I promise. Look Elliot, we’ve been friends for a long time. I need your help.”

“What did you get us into, Sid.?” Asks Elliot.

Jonathan returns to the office with his loot, seemingly oblivious, and finds a plastic cup for his champagne.

“Sid?” Elliot prods. What did you get us into?”

“I need your help.” Sid says. “I can’t do this without you.”

“But what are we going to do?” Elliot pleads. Both are looking at each other with apprehension. Sid didn’t quite know. Elliot speaks first: “ OK. I know this guy who steals things, mostly electronics. You remember Tony, he was a year younger than us in High School. Maybe we can take a few of the coats and see if he’ll sell them.”

“Thanks Elliot – I know you would come through,” Sid says.  

“But now we do things my way.” reply’s Elliot.

“First, we have to find the high end furs. I think they have a locker or a vault or something – I saw this in the movies. That’s where they keep the expensive stuff.” Elliot says, looking around the store. “Over there.” Both men cross the store and. Flicking on the switch step inside the vault.

Johnathan comes out and, seeing the store empty, begins to panic. He drops the plates of cookies and the plastic cup of champagne and heads for the front door. In the way, he pushes the vault door which slams shut. He reaches the front door and undoing the latch runs out onto the street. Their car is still there. Cautiously, he heads back into the store. He hears muffled voices behind the vault door and approaches. “Hey, where are you guys?”

“Jonathan, we’re in the vault, what’s going on. Open the door? Johnathan can hear Elliot’s voice from behind the door.

“The handle doesn’t turn and there’s no key.” Johnathan says, putting his mouth close to the door.

“Get the old man – he must have a key” says Elliot.

Inside the vault Sid is looking around. Hanging in several rows there are long fur coats, mostly white and jet black, very different from the ones on display in the store. They must be luxury items.  On a shelf against the wall there’s some unopened champagne bottles that must have been from the party. On one rack, something catches Sid’s attention. There seems to be sets of fur bra’s and panties, along with some rubber boustiers. “Hey Elliot, the old man is into some kink!”

“What are you doing Sid?” shouts Elliot, “Give me your crow bar. We don’t have time for that.”  Sid hands over the bar. :Just Looking.” he says.

“Look we’ve blown it. We really have to get outta here.” Elliot states while pushing the crowbar into the door jamb. It doesn’t give way and  both men try their weight on it to no avail.

“Call Johnathan, see what he’s doing.” Sid says.

“Johnathan!” Elliot shouts. Nothing.

“Why did we bring him anyway – That was your idea.” Sid accuses.

“You know he wants to help animals and has a soft spot for Sheila. He’s always going on about how nice she is to him. It’s not his fault he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer.” Elliot replies. “And anyway, who knows what we were going to face today. Really. Now look at us.”   Elliot hears a pop and turns around. Sid is standing with a bottle held to his lips and is tipping the contents into his mouth. “What the fuck are you doing?”

“Just helping myself.” Sid replies. “I’ve never tasted Champagne before.”

“For Christ’s sake, put it down and give me a hand over here.” Sid takes another couple of swigs  before putting the bottle next to the door with him.

Out in the store, Johnathan opens the closet where Harry was placed and looks at the old man. Harry struggles and is saying something, eyes narrowing in anger. Johnathan pulls off the tape.

“You guys are in fucking trouble.” Harry shouts. “Let me go.”

“I need the key for the door.”

“What door?” Harry asks – “You’ve already got us locked in.”

\ “For my bro’s “ Johnathan says. “They’re locked in your vault.”

Harry thinks for a minute and burst out laughing. “The bastards are locked in the vault? That’s incredible. What kind of robbers are you? “

“We’re not robbers, we’re vegans.” states Johnathan, smirking.


“Yeh, activists. We’re not robbers.” Johnathan responds.

“I don’t care what you fucking are, let me go!” Harry declares.

“No. I need the key.”

“Well, you’re not getting any key until you let me go.” says Harry.

“Well I’m not letting you go until I get my bro’s out from behind your wall.” Replies Johnathan. He starts to go through Harry’s pockets.

“ I don’t keep them on me – you think I want to be robbed you asshole?”

“I’m not an asshole, I’m Jonathan and my bro’s need the key. Where is it?” Asks Jonathan.

“That’s it, when I get free you’ll all pay – what’s it going to be like in jail eh – you’ll have lots of bro’s then.” Harry is grinning. “Yeah, they’ll have a field day with a snot-nosed little bugger like you!!”

“Hey, be nice.” Says Johnathan.

“You’re not too bright are you – you’re Lenny!”

“Who’s Lenny, I’m Johnathan.”

“Doesn’t matter you freak – let me out of here.”

“I might if you calm down and be nice, and give me the key” Says Johnathan. “Hey, did you have a Christmas party today? I thought you were a Jew?”

“I am – my staff aren’t. What does that have to do with anything?” Harry asks.

“Nothing really. Sheila says Jews killed Jesus. “

“Who the fuck is Sheila.” Asks Harry

“She’s my friend in the group. We’re activists.”

“There you go again with that activists bullshit.” says Harry,”Don’t you know we’ve been raising animals for their coats for thousands of years and we’ll be doing it for a thousand more.”

“That’s what we are here for – to stop you.” says Johnathan.

“Well there’s a hell of a lot of us to stop, isn’t there.” Harry points out.

“I need the key.” Jonathan states.

“I’ll make you a deal,” Harry says.” You let me go and I’ll give you the key.”

“I’ll think about it.” Johnathan replies.

“Oh My God – that will be the day!,” cries Harry as Johnathan puts the tape back across his mouth and closes the closet. Jonathan walks to the vault, this time with sandwich in hand. “Hey guys, Harry says he’ll give us the key if we let him go.”

“He’s just playing a game – he won’t let us out. You have to find the key” Elliot shouts from inside the locker. “Start looking for it – search everywhere.”

“I’m starting to feel sick.” Johnathan answers. “When can we get out of here.”

“When you find the fucking key,” Sid shouts.

“Oh.” Jonathan replies. But instead of looking. He goes into the office and sits in Harry’s chair, putting his feet up on the desk, and falls asleep.

“Hey, look at these things,” Sid says, holding up a riding crop he found in a bunch lying on one of the shelves. “”who would have thought that little bastard played with toys.”

“We don’t have time for this shit.” Elliot states.

“ Yeah, all we have is time – until Johnathan finds the key so what are you afraid off. “

“Let’s just not get carried away.”

“Lighten up – have some champagne,” Sid hands the bottle over to Elliot who, shrugging, takes a long swig.

A figure appears at the window. The girl tries the handle and it opens. She steps in and bolts it behind her. Cautiously she moves through the store. She hears someone kicking on the closet door and opens it slowly to see Harry staring back in surprise. She hears something from the office as well and approaches slowly. There, wrapped in a fur coat, Johnathan is snoring. She nudges him and he comes to life.

“Hi Sheila, what are you doing here?” Jonathan asks.

“I came to see what was taking you so long.” Sheila replies.”Where’s Sid and Elliot?”

“They are in the vault and I have to find the key.” Johnathan replies.

“The Vault?” Sheila exclaims. “and who’s that in the closet?”

“Oh, that’s Harry.”

Sheila walks over to the vault and hears laughing from the other side. “What’s going on – what are you guys doing.”

Silence for a second, then two voices shouting over each other.” Get us out of here, let us out, hey Sheila.”

Johnathan is rooting around in desk drawers and the filing cabinet, shoving papers over the desk when Sheila returns to start looking herself saying,. “It’s got to be around here somewhere.”

“Hey, I think I know.” Johnathan says, looking at Sheila. “Check the fridge. “ Sheila opens the small refrigerator and looks inside.. There’s a set of keys when she lifts  the ice box door, sitting on a plate. Johnathan burps. “Excuse me.”

Sheila runs to the vault where the voices are still crying out. “Help! Help us,. Let us out of here.”

She fumbles through the keys trying several before the handle lock turns and with it the door opens. Out falls Sid and Elliot into a pile on the floor, several empty champagne bottles rolling out with them.

“Hi sweetie,” Sid tries to stand..”What are you doing here?”

“What the fuck is happening here.” Sheila is shocked. Sid is dressed in a floor length white fur coat, and Elliot  – laughing – is wearing a pair of fur bra and panties with nothing else….except a riding crop!

“I know this looks bad honey, but…” Sid trails off laughing.

“Maybe we better get them outta here before someone see’s them like this.” Says Johnathan.

“Yeah, let’s get out of here – which way to the party?” Laugh’s Elliot.

Carrying one of the men each as best they can. Sheila and Johnathan get the two out the front door and into Sheila’s car. “Wait,” says Johnathan, “we forgot about Harry.” Johnathan runs back inside and opens the closet door. He peels off the tape quickly and stands the man up. “Now you count to 100 before you do anything. “ Johnathan looks Harry in the eyes. “And I’m no Lenny. You can call me Armand. ” Johnathan runs out the front door again and jumps in the car which speeds off. 



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