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Official website of Seattle-area actor and writer Nathaniel Jones

• Box 13 •


                                  Box 13

            INT. OFFICE OF THE STAR TIMES - AFTERNOON

                                   SFX - door opens, footsteps. General office noises.

                                   DAN
            Hello, Suzie.

                                   SUZIE
            Oh, Mr. Holiday, there's - 

                                   DAN
            Any messages for Box Thirteen?

                                   SUZIE
            No, but there's -

                                   DAN
            Any packages?

                                   SUZIE
            No, but a man - 

                                   DAN
            All right - well, if you see any packages, I'm expecting something, so go ahead and call me
            at home. But for now, I'm going to go enjoy a nice three day weekend far away from the
            glamour of all this.

                                   SUZIE
            But Mr. Holiday - there's a man to see you!

                                   DAN
            A man?

                                   SUZIE
            Uh-huh.

                                   DAN
            To see me?

                                   SUZIE
            Uh-huh.

                                   DAN
            Here?

                                   SUZIE
            That's right, Mr. Holiday.

                                   DAN
            Now, Suzie, you knew that I wasn't planning on coming in today.

                                   SUZIE
            Yes, Mr. Holiday.

                                   DAN
            So then why would he be waiting for me?

                                   SUZIE
            I don't know - you'll have to ask him. I told him that you wouldn't be here, but he
            insisted. He's just inside.

                                   DAN
            Suzie... well, did he say what it's about?

                                   SUZIE
            No - he just said that he had to see you, even if he had to wait the entire weekend.

                                   DAN
            Well, with such dedication it hardly seems fair to leave without finding out who he is...

                                   SUZIE
            It would be nice of you.

                                   DAN
            I'm going to regret this, aren't I?

                                   SUZIE
            You usually do, Mr. Holiday.

            INT. INNER OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

                                   MAN
            Oh! Mr. Holiday! I am so glad that you've arrived! You have no idea how long I've been
            a fan of your adventure stores. Box Thirteen - will go anywhere, will do anything!

                                   DAN
            That's very flattering, Mr...

                                   MAN
            Mr. Veritus. Mr. Charles Veritus.

                                   DAN
            Mr. Veritus. Have a seat. How did you get this address?

                                   MAN
            Oh, that is a rather long story that I don't want to bore you with - suffice it to say, I
            came about your address after much personal inconvenience. 

                                   DAN
            And what, may I ask, is the reason for this great personal inconvenience?

                                   MAN
            Well you see, I have been reading of your adventures for some time now, and I feel that
            you are the only person that I can turn to in order to solve a rather difficult mystery. A
            murder mystery, which I believe would run right up your alley.

                                   DAN
            A murder mystery, huh? Well, Mr...

                                   MAN
            Veritus.

                                   DAN
            Right. I'm sorry, but Box 13 is closed for business until I return from vacation, so if this


            can wait, 

                                   MAN
            I'm afraid, Mr. Holiday, that it cannot. I've brought along a file here of all of the details
            that you will need to know in order to solve the case - here's a photograph of the victim,
            along with his vital statistics, a series of photographs of his apartment building, a list of
            his neighbors and owners of adjascent buildings.

                                   DAN
            Why are you bringing this to me? The police investigation didn't turn out the way you
            wanted?

                                   MAN
            Oh, there's been no investigation, because as of now there has been no murder.

                                   DAN
            Come again?

                                   MAN
            I say, the murder is yet to be comitted.

                                   DAN
            In that case, how do you have so many details?

                                   MAN
            Because, Mr. Holiday, I will be the one to kill him.

                                   THEME SONG

                                   DAN (V.O.)
            And this is how I became aquainted with Mr. Charles Veritus. And boy was I right when
            I said i would regret it.
            He refused to answer any more questions, saying that all the information I needed to
            prevent the murder was right there in that envelope. So, I took the envelope down to my
            old friend Lieutenant Kling, passed it off to him and told him it was his problem - I was
            on vacation.
            But unfortunately for me, it wasn't so easy to shake off Mr. Charles Veritus, as I found
            out that night. When I got back to my room, I had two messages on the machine.

                                   Answering machine beeps.

                                   VERITUS
            Mr. Holiday. I put my trust in you, and you go to the police? You disapoint me -
            especially after your piece on how the terribly the police bungled the Koppenhauer case.
            It appears that you did not take me seriously, Mr. Box 13. Perhaps next time you will
            not make the same mistake. 

                                   Machine beeps again.

                                   KLING
            Holiday - it's Kling. Call me back as soon as you get this. We have a problem.

                                   DAN (V.O.)
            This series of messages did not bode well for my vacation. I was reaching for the phone
            to return Kling's call when the phone rang.

                                   Phone rings. 

                                   DAN
            Holiday.

                                   KLING
            Not anymore, buddy.

                                   DAN
            Who is this?

                                   KLING
            It's Kling. I know you're on vacation, but you've gotta come down here.

                                   DAN
            What's going on?

                                   KLING
            Trouble. You know Envelope Guy? The one with the picture and that?

                                   DAN
            Yeah?

                                   KLING
            Well we send around a guy to check on him - see if he can give us any clues here.

                                   DAN
            And did he?

                                   KLING
            He had a little trouble talking on account of his being dead.

                                   DAN
            Dead!

                                   KLING
            Dead, Holiday.

                                   DAN
            So Veritus wasn't kidding. Did you find anything at the scene that'd help find him?

                                   KLING
            Well that's a funny thing about it - there was plenty of evidence. Fingerprints
            everywhere, and we were able to match the prints to the ones left on that envelope you
            gave us.

                                   DAN
            Well great, - 

                                   KLING
            Not so great, Dan. The thing is - they were your fingerprints.

                                   DAN
            Say that again?

                                   KLING
            We ran the prints through the system, and you came up as a positive match.

                                   DAN
            Now that's just - what about the envelope? His prints would be on there.

                                   KLING
            Only two sets of prints on the envelope, Holiday - yours and mine.

                                   DAN
            So he framed me.

                                   KLING
            When can you come down to the station? We have a lot of questions to ask.

                                   DAN
            So have I. Can I call you back, Kling?

                                   KLING
            Listen, Holiday, as of right now you're the main suspect in a murder investigation. I
            believe you, but we can't give you any special treatment. How soon can you get here?

                                   DAN
            I'll be there.

                                   DAN (V.O.)
            Of all the ways to end a vacation, being framed for murder is one of the worst. Add that
            to the thinly veiled threat left by Charles Varitus, and I had two ingredients for what
            would become one of least enjoyable weekends of my life.
            As soon as I got off the phone with Kling, I picked up the hat and coat I had just
            removed moments before, and headed to the police station.

                                   KLING
            Holiday!

                                   DAN
            Listen - I got a message from Veritus. I think he's going to try something again.

                                   KLING
            He is. Come on back to my office.

                                   DAN
            What's going on?

                                   KLING
            We got a message about an hour ago from Veritus - he's offering a deal. He says he'll turn
            himself in and confess to the murder.

                                   DAN
            If...?

                                   KLING
            He wants you to meet him at Kernel Klucks Chicken tomorrow morning.

                                   DAN
            Chicken for breakfast?

                                   KLING
            Oh no - for breakfast they have these great omelette sandwhiches. You haven't tried
            them?

                                   DAN
            No - I'm trying to watch my figure. So what did he say he wants exactly?

                                   KLING
            He didn't. All he said was that he would meet you at the chicken place tomorrow
            morning with instructions. If you follow those instructions, he'll turn himself in.

                                   DAN
            And if I don't?

                                   KLING
            Then you'll be arrested for the murder of Michael Packer.

                                   MUSIC

                                   DAN
            I spend the next day going over the situation. I searched all my files for any reference to
            either Charles Veritus, or the guy he had killed. No luck. 
            Next morning I show up at Kernel Kluck's. I'm early - so I bite my tongue and order
            Kernel Kluck's World Famous Breakfast Basket - over three thousand calories of
            breakfast goodness, which I proceed to eat as I wait for Veritus to arrive. After forty five
            minutes, he does not. I look out the window and shrug at Klink, who is sitting in his
            squad car across the street.
            I order another coffee and continue to wait. And then another. By the time I get the call,
            I've had enough caffeine to keep me up for a week.

                                   MAN
            Holiday? Dan Holiday?

                                   DAN
            Yeah?

                                   MAN
            Phone call.

                                   DAN
            Thanks. Veritus?

                                   VERITUS
            That wasn't very nice of you, Mr. Holiday.

                                   DAN
            Neither was framing me for murder.

                                   VERITUS
            I had no choice - it was the only way to get your attention.

                                   DAN
            I can think of a few ways that I prefer.

                                   VERITUS
            It's obvious you don't take me seriously - the police? Honestly, I expect more of you
            than that

                                   DAN
            Listen, Veritus, you come into my office and tell me you're going to commit a murder. So
            I assume you're a nutcase, and I turn your file over to the police. What did you expect?

                                   VERITUS
            I expected you to save his life.

                                   DAN
            And I tried, by going to the authorities. I'm not a body guard. Where are you?

                                   VERITUS
            I'm nearby. I would have been there in person, but you had to bring your friend in the cop
            car with you. That wasn't a smart move, Mr. Holiday.

                                   DAN
            Listen, I don't have time for games. What do you want to turn yourself in?

                                   VERITUS
            The same thing I wanted the first time - I want you to prevent a murder.

                                   DAN
            Who this time?

                                   VERITUS
            Well, since you did not take the first one seriously, I'm targeting someone that you will
            actually work to save.

                                   DAN
            Who?

                                   VERITUS
            You, Mr. Holiday. I'll give you twenty-four hours. During that time, I will attempt to
            murder you. If you can prevent it, I will turn myself in to the police. If you fail, you will
            be dead. And if you refuse my terms, you will go to the chair for the murder of Michael
            Packer.

                                   DAN
            You won't get away with this.

                                   VERITUS
            That's the entire point, Mr. Holiday. Goodbye.

                                   DAN
            Hello? Veritus?

                                   DAN (V.O.)
            He was gone. And I had twenty four hours to find him, or die trying. In the meantime, I
            headed back to the station.

                                   KLING
            Well?

                                   DAN
            Not particularly. For whatever reason, Veritus has deemed me worthy of matching wits
            with him, and whether or not I play his game, there's death at the end of it.

                                   KLING
            What do you mean? What did he say?

                                   DAN
            Your guys didn't listen in?

                                   KLING
            No - I realized that they should have been, but I didn't think of it till afterwards. And hey
            - if we had been recording the conversation, it would have probably been enough to get
            you cleared of all the charges.

                                   DAN
            You didn't think of that before?

                                   KLING
            Well, don't worry about that now - let bygones be bygones. What did the man say?

                                   DAN
            He said he's going to murder me in the next twenty four hours, unless I stop him.

                                   KLING
            So what are you going to do?

                                   DAN
            I'm going to stop him. Or, I'll be murdered. I think those are the two most likely
            scenarios at this point.


2009 - Nathaniel Jones