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The Debt
by Dean Herring
01/13/05
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EXT. STREET OUTSIDE GILLINGS DEBT COLLECTION AGENCY
(Walking down a typically busy city street, feeling more than a little sorry for himself. Absorbed in his own worries Andy barely notices the scruffy shoe shine man until he trips over him.)
SHOE SHINE MAN
Sorry, I’m so sorry. Here sit down. Free shine. Sorry.
ANDY
Ahhh, great, just what I needed today.
SHOE SHINE MAN
Sorry man, Free shine, sit down.
ANDY
Sure. I’m in no hurry.
SHOE SHINE MAN
How are you today sir, before I got in your way that is.
ANDY
Fine.
SHOE SHINE MAN
Ah, that good huh?
ANDY
Yeah that good!
SHOE SHINE MAN
You got a debt huh?
ANDY
You can tell by my shoes?"
SHOE SHINE MAN
(Laughing)
No, no, just the way you shuffled up here to Gillings, couldn't a walked more slow if you were on your way to the gallows.
ANDY
Yeah I might as well be
SHOE SHINE MAN
Hmmm All I can tell from the shoes is that they're old but not worn much, not cleaned much neither. You're probably all dressed up in a suit that you don't wear much too"
(Andy sees the cane with the coat and paper lunch bag.)
ANDY
Look I'm sorry about bumping into you back there, I didn't realize you were…You couldn't see…
SHOE SHINE MAN
Blind as a bat. Heard you coming tho' just didn't get out of the way in time, reactions not as good as they were!
ANDY
Anyway, I'm sorry, I wasn't watching where I was going.
SHOE SHINE MAN
No worries. So you owe Old Man Gillings Huh?
ANDY
Yep, A Grand.
SHOE SHINE MAN
(A statement)
You ain't got it.
ANDY
I scraped up a hundred, maybe they'll take that as a down payment.
(The shoe shine guy shakes his head slowly.)
ANDY
What?
SHOE SHINE MAN
I know a few guys go in there with a part payment, not one has been accepted. It's all or nothing.
(Andy watches his shoes being shined up to a buff that somehow makes the rest of his suit look shabby. The shoe shine guy turns his face up towards Andy.)
SHOE SHINE MAN
I can help you out...if you want.
ANDY
I don't think shiny shoes are going to impress them that much.
SHOE SHINE MAN
I can wipe your debt.
ANDY
Now that would be impressive. How are you going to do that?
SHOE SHINE MAN
Gillings is my old man.
(Andy laughs. The shoe shine guy keeps on shining.)
ANDY
You're serious?
SHOE SHINE MAN
Gillings's never joke about debt.
ANDY
So you're trying to get back at your old man for not reading to you as a child or not giving you enough pocket money or something by canceling his clients debts...I like that, yeah I'll help you out with that, what do I do?
SHOE SHINE MAN
He knows I'm here, he sent me out here, to do this.
ANDY
I don't get it?
SHOE SHINE MAN
Gillings doesn't need your money, we don't need anybody's money. The money is not the issue. The debt is what it’s all about.
ANDY
What?...The letters all said I've got to pay back every cent.
SHOE SHINE MAN
But you can't, can you?
ANDY
No, but I've got a hundred for starters, and I can get the rest.
SHOE SHINE MAN
You can walk in there with your hundred and try but you know what’ll happen. You shuffled down here knowing you didn't have a chance. You were probably praying for a miracle. Praying that your lotto numbers would roll up, praying that you'd find 900 bucks in the gutter. You sat down knowing you were in deeper trouble than you could handle. Now you can stand up in your nice shiny shoes and old suit and go it on your own, or you can have your miracle. I wipe the debt and you walk away, your choice.
Andy sits there for a moment or two stunned by this ultimatum coming from a scruffy shoe shine guy cleaning his shoes.
ANDY
(long pause)
If you were...I mean you wouldn't...Gillings would...You're a shoe shine guy...
SHOE SHINE MAN
Yes, and I'm done...what about you?
ANDY
Thanks for the shine
(He chucks a handful of small change at the guy.)
ANDY
Go con someone else. I hope they nail you!
(Andy walks into Gillings).


If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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