I found a missing flash drive, and on that flash drive were the next three and a half scenes of Conniving Souls. Enjoy.
Chuck walks into a pub. He sits at the bar. The bartender comes up to him.
BARTENDER: What can I get ya?
CHUCK: I’ll have a rum-and-Coke on the rocks; hold the rum, and no ice.
BARTENDER: Comin’ right up.
The bartender pours a can of Coke into a glass and sets it down in front of Chuck.
CHUCK: Thanks. I need some of the hard stuff tonight. (He empties the glass and grimaces as if it were a shot of whiskey.) Hoo-ee! Keep ‘em comin’!
As the bartender pours Chuck another Coke, Connie enters the tavern and sits down at a table on the other side of the room where she can watch Chuck.
CHUCK: Are you married?
CHUCK: Lucky guy. Women are nothing but trouble.
Connie perks up, hoping Chuck is on the verge of saying something damning.
BARTENDER: Trouble at home?
CHUCK: I haven’t slept in the same room as my wife in a month. She’s always mad at me, and I don’t know why.
BARTENDER: Maybe she’s mad that you aren’t sleeping in the same room as she is.
Connie sits back and listens.
Two hours later.
Chuck is still drinking his Cokes. The bartender has moved on to serve other patrons, and Chuck is just drinking and watching TV.
CONNIE: (under her breath) This is getting nowhere. If he were meeting someone, she’d be here by now.
Connie stands up. She takes off her hoody, revealing a nice shirt, flattering to her figure without being skanky. She approaches the bar and sits down next to Chuck.
CONNIE: Is this seat taken?
CHUCK: No. Be my guest.
The bartender comes over.
BARTENDER: What can I get you?
CONNIE: Do you have any carrots?
BARTENDER: Yeah. We serve them with chicken wings. I’ll go in the back and grab you a plate. You want any ranch dip with them?
CONNIE: No, thanks. Just the carrots.
CONNIE: What’s your name?
CHUCK: Chuck Stanton. You?
CONNIE: Connie Stellation. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Chuck.
CHUCK: You, too.
They shake hands.
CONNIE: Are you here alone?
CHUCK: Yeah. I’m on my own tonight. Again.
CONNIE: You aren’t waiting for anyone?
CHUCK: No. Who would I be waiting for?
CONNIE: Oh, I don’t know. A girlfriend, maybe.
CHUCK: I don’t have a girlfriend.
CONNIE: No? A nice looking man like you?
CHUCK: I’m married.
CONNIE: Where’s your wife this evening?
CHUCK: We had a fight, and she ran out. She’s probably staying with a friend.
CONNIE: I’m sorry.
CHUCK: Don’t worry about it. What about you? What are you up to this evening?
Bartender returns and sets a plate of carrots in front of Connie. She picks one up and takes a bite.
CONNIE: I’m not really up to anything. I was just in the neighborhood, and I got a carrot craving. (She takes another bite.)
CHUCK: We all have our vices. (Holds up his glass of Coke to illustrate his vice.) At least I’m not a smoker.
CONNIE: You seem like a nice guy, Chuck.
Cylash knocks on Crane’s door. He answers it.
CYLASH: (seductively) Hi, baby.
CRANE: Hey, love-bucket.
They embrace, closing the door behind them.
CYLASH: I brought us something to get us in the mood.
CRANE: (excited) Oh yeah?
Cylash holds up some comic books with sexy female super heroes on them.
CRANE: (not excited anymore) Oh.
Connie and Chuck at the bar. They’re laughing.
CHUCK: And the next thing I know, I’m the CEO. Tobacco disgusts me!
They laugh again.
CONNIE: (checks her watch) It’s late. I should get going. It’s been fun, though.
CHUCK: Yeah, it has. Thanks for cheering me up.
CONNIE: (standing up) Do you come here often?
CHUCK: Say, aren’t you supposed to use pick-up lines to start the conversation?
CONNIE: Of course, how silly of me. I guess I had one too many carrots.
CHUCK: As a matter of fact, yes, I do come here often.
CONNIE: Will you be here tomorrow?
CHUCK: Only if my wife storms out on me again. So, yes, I will be here tomorrow.
CONNIE: I’ll see you tomorrow, then.
Connie leaves. Chuck watches her go. At first he’s smiling, but the smile fades.
CHUCK: Oh, crap. Did I just make a date?
BARTENDER: Sorta. Not really, though.
CHUCK: I’m a married man! I can’t date other women!
BARTENDER: So don’t show up tomorrow.
CHUCK: You aren’t much of a businessman, are you?
BARTENDER: Hey, I don’t own the place. I just work here.
The next day. Crane and Cylash are sitting across from Connie at Connie’s office.
CONNIE: Good morning, Mrs. Saltlickington-Stanton.
CYLASH: Good morning. This is my lover, Dr. Crane Sextopoulos.
Connie is a little stunned. After a brief pause, she shakes her head and goes on.
CONNIE: What can I do for you this morning?
CRANE: We’re here to see how your investigation is going.
CONNIE: Well, my investigation isn’t even 24 hours old, so I haven’t exhausted all leads yet.
CYLASH: So you have nothing at all?
CONNIE: I watched him closely last night. He didn’t have sex with anyone. I have his phone tapped, too, and he hasn’t been in contact with any strange women. In fact, he didn’t make or receive any phone calls last night.
CRANE: Listen, Ms. Stellation, we’re paying you…
CYLASH: I’m paying her.
CRANE: Cylash is paying you good money to catch this man in his wickedness, and you’re telling me that you’ve failed?
CONNIE: I just took the case yesterday afternoon. These things can take time.
CRANE: Time and our money.
CYLASH: My money.
CRANE: Cylash’s money.