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a scene from

by Niccolo Machiavelli

adapted by Walter Wykes

[A street.  Florence, Italy.  SYRO and CALLIMACO.]


SYRO: I didn't do it!


SYRO: It wasn't me!

CALLIMACO: What are you talking about?

SYRO: Whatever you were about to accuse me of!

CALLIMACO: I wasn't going to accuse you of anything.

SYRO: Good.  'Cause I'm completely innocent.

CALLIMACO: I just thought you might have noticed me acting a little strangely.

SYRO: Yeah.  So?

CALLIMACO: Well, I wanted to explain myself.

SYRO: Go ahead.

CALLIMACO: No.  I mean, if you didn't notice anything ...

SYRO: Yeah.  I did.  You were acting weird.


SYRO: Brooding and shit.

CALLIMACO: I was brooding.

SYRO: Why?

CALLIMACO: That's what I was going to tell you.

SYRO: Well, don't let me stop you.  I'm just the servant.

CALLIMACO: You're more than a servant, Syro.


CALLIMACO: I think of you as ... well, almost a brother.

SYRO: What do you want?

CALLIMACO: I don't want anything.

SYRO: I'm onto your game, Callimaco.  Anytime you start acting nice, there's a price.

CALLIMACO: Okay, okay.  There's this woman ...

SYRO: I knew it!  A woman!  It had to be!

CALLIMACO: There's nothing else it could have been?

SYRO: Not for this brooding shit.  That's always a woman.

CALLIMACO: You were probably surprised I left Paris so quickly.

SYRO: Yeah.  I mean, what the hell man?  Paris sucked?  Don't tell me Paris sucked!  That's my dream!  To do Paris!

CALLIMACO: Paris was fine.

SYRO: Thank god!

CALLIMACO: I came home for a reason.

SYRO: Some chick.  I get it.

CALLIMACO: Not just "some chick."

SYRO: This one is special?

CALLIMACO: Well, let's not go overboard.  I wouldn't say "special."  But there's something about her.

SYRO: Is she married?

CALLIMACO: Of course she's married.  If she wasn't married, I could have her, and then I wouldn't want her.

SYRO: You're kind of an asshole like that. 

CALLIMACO: Usually.  Yes.  That's true.

SYRO: But not this time?


SYRO: She's got you hooked?

CALLIMACO: I have to have her, Syro!  I'm losing my mind!

SYRO: Seriously?

CALLIMACO: This is no joke!  I can't stop thinking about her!  I can't eat!  I can't sleep!

SYRO: Go get a whore.

CALLIMACO: I don't want a whore!  Not anymore!

SYRO: Oh my god.


SYRO: This is serious.

CALLIMACO: What am I going to do?

SYRO: Well, we'll have to get her for you, I guess.  This witch woman.  This siren of Florence.

CALLIMACO: Syro!  Brother!  I knew I could count on you!

SYRO: Just one thing.

CALLIMACO: All right.

SYRO: What's in it for me?

CALLIMACO: Does there have to be something in it for you?

SYRO: Damn straight there does!  You're gonna ask me to do some crazy shit!  I want to be properly compensated!

CALLIMACO: I promise.  You will be compensated.

SYRO: Properly?

CALLIMACO: Yes.  Properly.

SYRO: Okay.  Tell me what to do.

CALLIMACO: Her name is Madonna Lucrezia.

SYRO: She's married to that Calfucci dude?

CALLIMACO: Calfucci.  Yes.

SYRO: She's fucking hot!

CALLIMACO: She's beautiful.

SYRO: You think you're gonna nail that?

CALLIMACO: If everything goes according to plan.

SYRO: This better be one good plan.

CALLIMACO: It is.  It will be.  When I think of it.

SYRO: How did you meet her?

CALLIMACO: They came through Paris.  On vacation.

SYRO: You met her at a party or something?

CALLIMACO: A soiree.

SYRO: And followed her here?

CALLIMACO: I couldn't stop thinking about her.

SYRO: What if she's not interested?

CALLIMACO: She likely isn't.

SYRO: She's a prude?

CALLIMACO: Very chaste.

SYRO: Married and chaste.  Great.

CALLIMACO: Her husband is ancient, but he's a healthy old bugger.  He could live for years.

SYRO: You can't wait him out?

CALLIMACO: I'll kill myself first.

SYRO: Can you get to any of the maids?

CALLIMACO: I don't want the maids.

SYRO: No.  Bribe them.  Get them to plead your case.

CALLIMACO: Calfucci runs a tight ship.  Bribery and extortion are out of the question.

SYRO: You're killing me here.

CALLIMACO: I'd think it was hopeless, but he's an idiot.  A real dufus. 

SYRO: That's helpful.

CALLIMACO: And he wants kids.  He's desperate.

SYRO: How desperate?

CALLIMACO: He'd do anything.

SYRO: Anything?

CALLIMACO: What are you thinking?

SYRO: I know a guy.

CALLIMACO: We can't have him killed!

SYRO: I wasn't going to say that.  You always think the worst.

CALLIMACO: Well, you're capable of anything.

SYRO: This guy.  Ligurio.  He's tight with Calfucci.  He could bring you around.  Help you infiltrate the inner circle.

CALLIMACO: Syro!  You're a genius!

SYRO: Remember that when it's time to pay up.

CALLIMACO: Would your friend help us?  I'd pay him, of course.

SYRO: Oh, he'll help.

CALLIMACO: Beautiful.

SYRO: But don't trust him with anything you don't have to.  Ligurio's a parasite.  A real lowlife.  He'd sell you out for a granola bar.

CALLIMACO: I thought you were tight.

SYRO: Oh.  We are.  Like brothers.

* * *

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Copyright © 2010 by Walter Wykes

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that The Mandrake is subject to a royalty. It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, and of all countries covered by the International Copyright Union (including the Dominion of Canada and the rest of the British Commonwealth), and of all countries covered by the Pan-American Copyright convention and the Universal Copyright Convention, and of all countries with which the United States has reciprocal copyright relations. All rights, including professional and amateur stage performing, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, video or sound taping, all other forms of mechanical or electronic reproduction, such as information storage and retrieval systems and photocopying, and the rights of translation into foreign languages, are strictly reserved.

Inquiries concerning all rights should be addressed to the author at sandmaster@aol.com



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